3.8 years...RELAPSE

Postby tokes » Wed Dec 08, 2021 12:16 pm

Here is my first quit in 2015-2017: viewtopic.php?t=92690

My second quit 2018-2021: viewtopic.php?t=92690

2 years clean thoughts and updates: viewtopic.php?t=108891

Time since first quit: 6 years.
Total time clean in that period: 4.8 years


This last quit has lasted 3.8 years. The reason for stopping was incredibly powerful panic attacks that would lead to trips to the hospital. This powerful anxiety along with constant, daily heart palpitations lasted about a year, and then the second year was a lot more manageable and liveable. The third year I was practically symptom free with some heart palpitations here and there - but nothing serious; i'm generally a sportive, active, healthy guy.

Anyway life is going pretty well for me, I have my own apartment, good group of friends and settling into a nice routine. I box, play football, socialise, started some new pandemic induced hobbies such as painting and artsy stuff. But for the last couple of months a string of girlfriends have been weed smokers and have brought the stuff round when they come over to stay. I rejected for a while, but in the chemical haze of spending time with a new gf and lazing around in bed I decided to take the leap and have a few puffs. In hindsight, was it the best decision, was I weak? Is it something thats gonna effect me badly in the future? Will I get addicted again? I don't know, but I can only write out my thoughts here about it.

Smoking again was a big step for me because previously, if I had taken a few puffs, I would start to feel the panic rising up and taking over my body. I have to reiterate those panic attacks were absolutely TERRIFYING!!

There is an initial intense feeling of being high, staring into the abyss, forgetting what you were talking about, or having powerful visual images in your mind almost like watching a movie - then after comes the munchies, giggles and deep conversations. I haven't had any negative effects off it yet. I have smoked it 7 times in the last 4 weeks and each time was 4-6 puffs and that would be enough for me. It's really helped to gain a perspective on my life and to have great self-reflection which you are simply unable to do with all the mechanics we've built in our minds which defines our personalities, morals, world views and behaviour. Weed is really good to help break down those structures and view life in a different way.

I think this is the initial use of weed or how it has been religiously/culturally. It's medicinal at the end of the day but with the abuse comes the negative side effects.

I'm not gonna sit here and say how wonderful weed is, we are all here for a reason; because it doesn't react well with us. So I am fully aware of that and have that in mind and will intend to curb the usage to extremely minimal. To be totally honest, after reliving the feeling of being high after 3.8 years, its really not that great, and I can see it providing no long term benefit to me in the future.

I am at the stage of life (coming into 30) that I have to procure and nurture the things that will have a positive effect on my future - not a negative one. I do want a family one day, my own apartment, maybe a piece of land and a vegetable patch - I have goals, aspirations and dreams and I put those of paramount of importance. I have a father and a mother and would love to see them one day in their own home. Whirling down into a life of addiction and substance abuse with this plant is not something that I can see myself doing.

As compared to the past, where I was younger, unsure of myself and my character, weed really break me down into nothingness and despair. But as I am older now and have had long, strange and incredible life experiences in this last 3.8 years, plus the general wisdom that comes with maturity, I don't think weed can have such an effect on me that it used to in the past. I don't regret my decision, nor do I promote to anyone to give this a try, but this forum is merely to write out your lived life experiences - not only for yourself and your own mental well-being - but in hopes that maybe your message will someone else out along the way. So thats what i'm doing, i'm simply writing exactly what has happened to me in what circumstances.

So to summarise 4 weeks ago I've started to take a few drags here and there when my gf or a friend comes round. I remember Furtive was on here and documented really well with great detail how even occasional usage was not something that could work. For some people I guess it does, but the PAWs symptoms for us on here are too much to bare, so I will at some point have to curtail this down and quit again.

I'll try to update this along the way and see where this thing goes.
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#1

Postby wakinglife » Thu Dec 09, 2021 3:19 pm

First off, thanks for your openness in sharing your experience, tokes.

Reading the subject line of your post, I immediately jumped to a premature conclusion as to what you'd be describing: namely, massive regret after relapsing. Your words, however, were much more complex and thought-provoking. I can't say that I found it easy to read about the not-all-negative consequences of your offhand decision to partake with your girlfriend. A part of me (slumbering "inner weed addict" voice) perked right up an practically shouted, "See! You can go back to it. You're older and wiser now. You CAN use it in moderation. You CAN have it both ways, the medicinal benefits AND the clarity of being weed free. Moderation! How hard can it be . . . ?"

Erm, this voice would have likely had me driving to the dispensery after work today. But. No.

I 100% appreciate your story, the way you are owning your experience and sharing it on this forum. Perhaps your post will challenge others (such as myself) to look in the mirror and reassess their own weed use or abstinence. Your post gives me pause.

I hope that you're able to find a level of consumption that works for you. I don't want to "enable" anyone else's substance use, nor encourage reckless behaviour; however, I'm well aware that each one of us is ultimately responsible for what we choose to ingest.

On this cold December morning, on an island off the west coast of Canada, your words have given me pause. At this time, for me, having been cannabis free since 2006, I am consciously recommiting to stay off the weed. What I'm doing is working for me. Whoever is reading these words, may you find a way that works for you!

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#2

Postby Blinkers » Thu Dec 09, 2021 8:21 pm

How has your recovery gone after smoking? Does it hit you hard or any signs PAWs is present as bad as before or has there been healing during your abstinence.
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#3

Postby Gerre » Fri Dec 10, 2021 11:45 pm

Did you feel completely recovered after the last quit?

This is interesting because it could possibly answer the old question of " can an addict ever use occasionally? " What do you think?
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#4

Postby PAWnorama » Sat Dec 11, 2021 10:40 am

I think it's really great that you made this post and it is something that needs to be talked about. Although weed will not be a part of my life in the future, I do believe that occasional use can work for former addicts. But always with a bitter taste of being very careful.
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#5

Postby tokeless » Sat Dec 11, 2021 2:54 pm

PAWnorama wrote:I think it's really great that you made this post and it is something that needs to be talked about. Although weed will not be a part of my life in the future, I do believe that occasional use can work for former addicts. But always with a bitter taste of being very careful.


It's a controversial issue really. I believe because I started from a point of feeling ok about myself, I only experienced the positive effects. Over the decades it did have a psychological grip on me, but I don't think I was dependent or addicted, as in suffering when i didn't have it or stopped. I know the type of smoker i was and am and it would be hard for me to smoke a joint and not want another... road to starting again. I don't see the point really because I know what being heavily stoned is like, so nothing to be discovered there. If I think about it, I could miss that heady buzz where you want to get out and enjoy it. However, I've moved on and I'm done. For those who could smoke or leave it and were ok without it, I guess it's possible if you choose to. I sense a few on here do think about going back but perhaps fear the failure ... there's no failure in my opinion, it's just a choice and you can choose again to stop. Many can't do that do best not do it.
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#6

Postby wakinglife » Sat Dec 11, 2021 3:19 pm

tokeless wrote:I know the type of smoker i was and am and it would be hard for me to smoke a joint and not want another... road to starting again. I don't see the point really because I know what being heavily stoned is like, so nothing to be discovered there. If I think about it, I could miss that heady buzz where you want to get out and enjoy it. However, I've moved on and I'm done.


I'm in the same boat.

tokeless wrote:For those who could smoke or leave it and were ok without it, I guess it's possible if you choose to.


I support people making whatever choice is best for them. I would ask anyone reading this post a question: If you took the time to find an online forum about quitting weed, are you really a "take it or leave it" cannabis consumer?

I can only answer this for myself: nope.

Weed was (possibly "is") my substance of choice. I always preferred cannabis over alcohol. Other substances I've consumed (MDMA, cocaine, psilocybin, LSD, amphetamines, . . .) were not something I could easily work into my day-to-day life without serious repercussions. Therefore, innocuous weed was my daily drug of choice. Since I feel happier without smoking weed daily (the pattern I consistently returned to, after periods of abstinence or moderate use), I make the choice each day (when it crosses my mind) to keep living this weed free life.

You do you!

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#7

Postby tokeless » Sat Dec 11, 2021 4:08 pm

If you took the time to find an online forum about quitting weed, are you really a "take it or leave it" cannabis consumer?

I'm on a couple because of my work and I find psychology interesting and addiction was here too, so jumped in. That's many years ago now and I was still smoking... hence Tokeless.. since then I've obviously stopped and whilst my experience is just that, I find it strange how so many people claim PAWS these days. I posted a good while ago whether what people smoke these days has been altered in some way, especially now the US has seen the money to be made. A shame really. The best weed I smoked was a simple sensi.. still remember it. Now, the varieties are endless and I think it's snake oil really. I remain committed to live life as a non smoker through choice. Stay safe and enjoy your waking life
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#8

Postby MJM » Sat Dec 11, 2021 10:07 pm

Thanks for posting this… and I really hope this doesn’t come off the wrong way, but I literally pray to god that I don’t convince myself to relapse… ever. I’m about 14 months in and PAWs has been literal hell. The idea that I could possibly fully recover one day then go back to the substance that caused it makes me sick to my stomach. You putting this up here reminds me how powerful addiction can be and that I can NEVER let my guard down. I almost killed myself multiple times during this and I’m genuinely surprised I’m still alive. Praying this goes ok for you, but we are here if you need ANYTHING. Best of luck with this decision, zero judgement.
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#9

Postby tokes » Tue Dec 28, 2021 6:31 pm

So it has been just over 2 weeks since my last post. This means I have returned back to smoking weed for a total of 6 weeks. I do start to see some negative effects starting to form in their very early stages but nothing overwhelming or affecting my daily life.

As of now the positive effects and after-glow the next day has definitely permeated the experience around my recent restart of smoking cannabis. Clearer thoughts, less anxiety, easier to socialise and more creative and focused on my daily tasks at hand - whether social or work related. At the moment I share about 3-4 joints with my girl a week. I am trying to make sure it does not get any more than this but the recent festivities; I've probably over-indulged slightly more than I would have on a normal week.

The aforementioned 'negative effects' come in the forms of mental sluggishness, decreased motivated and being lazier than usual (ordering a big box Boston Donuts, gaming all day in my pyjamas and ignoring texts lol). This is not good when you got people calling you and some responsibilities on the side.

I don't know how long I will continue smoking the way I am, but after the miserable experience of PAWs (twice) it is not something logically to keep on doing. I know it's only a matter of time before more of the negative effects hit me in harsher forms than what I am currently seeing now.

I think the question of getting addicted again is a definite no. Even if it is 'controlled' - it is not a viable option. I will inevitably have to engage with a point of total cessation.

I don't see it as a failure and I don't feel like I am doomed to experience PAWs again for years to come. Of course I will have to probably face some form of withdrawal whether mild or otherwise at some points; but for now I am just logging my experiences and my thoughts about re-engaging with marijuana.
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#10

Postby MJM » Wed Dec 29, 2021 10:51 am

I’m sorry Tokes but this is the definition of insanity. Hoping this doesn’t encourage others reading this to relapse… addiction doesn’t work as a choice. We all got to where we got because the beginning was great or else no one would continue. Eventually your body will require more for any sort of effect until you are back in hell. This is a ticking time bomb manipulating you in the form of “positive effects” which will last a short while.
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#11

Postby tokeless » Wed Dec 29, 2021 11:02 am

MJM wrote:I’m sorry Tokes but this is the definition of insanity. Hoping this doesn’t encourage others reading this to relapse… addiction doesn’t work as a choice. We all got to where we got because the beginning was great or else no one would continue. Eventually your body will require more for any sort of effect until you are back in hell. This is a ticking time bomb manipulating you in the form of “positive effects” which will last a short while.


I get the gist of your post, but there are millions of people who use cannabis without issue, can regulate their use and don't have to up it to get their desired effect. Tokes has relapsed and acknowledges he/she needs to at some point address their use again. I doubt the post would trigger others relapsing imo
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#12

Postby wakinglife » Fri Dec 31, 2021 6:51 pm

I respect Tokes for posting honestly about this process. Whether they are able to go back to using in moderation, only time will tell. I know my own pattern of use: smoke only once in awhile, followed by a gradual but steady reduction in the times between smoking until I got back to daily use. This was my repeated pattern for a full DECADE of serious and earnest attempts at using cannabis in moderation.

Now that I stopped drinking, I have noticed my quiet inner "weed addict" voice saying, "It's been so long. You can surely smoke every now and again."

That voice is one of the reasons I keep reading and posting on this forum.

I asked my wife to support me if I come to her with a bunch of fully-logical rationalizations as to why it would be okay for me to use cannabis occasionally. If she TOLD me not to, that would trigger my inner rebel. My request to her: I want her to ask me a question. "If you choose to use on occasion, would you still be okay with that leading you back to smoking daily?"

"Do you want to be a daily weed smoker?"

THAT is the question I have to answer honestly if I am considering smoking again.
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#13

Postby tokeless » Fri Dec 31, 2021 8:23 pm

I agree. You need to be honest with yourself and understand how you smoke... I loved it, wake and bake and that's all I need to accept.
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