Post Acute Withdrawal Syndrome (PAWS)

#30

Postby netty28661 » Fri Feb 07, 2014 11:05 am

Hey olskoolru, thanks for the compliment!

Yes I'm fast approaching 2 yrs, I'm 20 months clean. I would say in the last 2 months I have improved in that I used to wake up most days with the most awfull feeling of dread & anxiety, like I was absolutely dreading something awful happening or that something had already happened. That has now gone more or less completely, I feel lighter somehow. I didnt have any joy or excitement in my heart about life in general & I constantly dreaded work, I wouldn't care I only work 3 days a week so how hard can it be. I know feel joy/excitement look forward to life, dont dread work because I know its only 3 days, work is better because its getting easier, I have quite a complex job & I can now remember more & my thought process is much better.

I havent had any symptoms of PAWS recently, I have suffered with depression on & of most of my adult life so will just have to cope if those feeling occur.

But yes on the whole my life is good & I'm much much better.

Jannette
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#31

Postby olskoolru » Wed Apr 02, 2014 6:18 pm

Good stuff Janette!!
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#32

Postby lynne66 » Thu Apr 03, 2014 2:01 am

Thank you for this. I am already in what they call Protracted Withdrawal Syndrome from getting off years and years of medication for bipolar disorder. I did it slowly but I know it is not going to get all fixed over night - especially adding the cannabis cessation to it as well. God help me. But I have to do this now.
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#33

Postby lynne66 » Thu Apr 03, 2014 2:04 am

netty28661 wrote:Hey olskoolru, thanks for the compliment!

Yes I'm fast approaching 2 yrs, I'm 20 months clean. I would say in the last 2 months I have improved in that I used to wake up most days with the most awfull feeling of dread & anxiety, like I was absolutely dreading something awful happening or that something had already happened. That has now gone more or less completely, I feel lighter somehow. I didnt have any joy or excitement in my heart about life in general & I constantly dreaded work, I wouldn't care I only work 3 days a week so how hard can it be. I know feel joy/excitement look forward to life, dont dread work because I know its only 3 days, work is better because its getting easier, I have quite a complex job & I can now remember more & my thought process is much better.

I havent had any symptoms of PAWS recently, I have suffered with depression on & of most of my adult life so will just have to cope if those feeling occur.

But yes on the whole my life is good & I'm much much better.

Jannette


Jannette. Thank you and congratulations. I am also a depression sufferer and it is nice to know that what you went through seems like the normal course for a depressive getting off of cannabis. I am glad it got better for you and that you feel lighter and have your sense of life back again. It also gives me hope that this will get better for me too, because I feel the same way waking up and getting through the days lately.
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#34

Postby Newyearnewyou » Fri Apr 11, 2014 8:20 pm

I'm just thankful to you olskoolru and this thread. Coming up to 100 days and PAWS was waiting there to greet me! Not had the best of weeks and will just be grateful when the cravings disappear again. The constant battle in my mind is exhausting and not being helped with poor sleep and dreams of smoking!!

I just keep trying to remind myself, that this is part of the roller coaster ride and will pass! I just never expected to feel like I was in week one, where the overwhelming desire to be stoned would be so strong, that I would loose my appetite or feel so deflated.

I'm just grateful that you and other long term quitters keep reminding us that things do get better and it will soon enough pass! That lifeline and my pact with vape is just keeping me on the right path!
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#35

Postby olskoolru » Mon May 19, 2014 11:39 pm

For context: I am currently at 1 year and 3 months

Last week, it hit me again! Like a ton of bricks! Went to bed and my heart felt like it was ripping through my chest. I started to panic. "THIS CANNOT BE HAPPENING TO ME AGAIN!!!?? DEAR GOD NO!!
The times I did fall asleep that night, I had horrific nightmares. I knew it wouldn't last because the episodes are getting shorter and shorter. This one lasted 3 days and bam, the rest of the week until now have been awesome. I now recognize the signs of my PAWS episodes and I prepare for them! It sucks when my mind starts messing with me and telling me that this will last forever! It becomes a temporary obsession. It is sooooooooo hard to fight one's own mind. I let the episode run its course and its gone again, just like I knew it would be. This recovery has made me so damn strong!

I think back to my first 2-8 months and remember the absolute obsession I had of finding answers on the internet. I would post questions and answers and read them over and over and over and over again, looking for anything that would make me feel like I would be ok one day. I mean, Jesus, I feel like I searched every single keyword associated to addiction. I would spend an entire daty at work hitting CONTROL+F to find keywords like "headaches," "insomnia," "depression," "neck pain," " pain," "1 month, 2 month, 3 month etc etc etc... in forums. My mind was beyond obsessed to the point of insanity. I would check my email 300 times a day, refreshing and waiting for someone to write and help me! I don't do ANY OF THAT ANYMORE! And that is progress ladies and gentlemen!

Being positive beats any Niacin, Theanine, Omega 3, etc. Positivity and hope is what helped me make it this far.
NEVER EVER EVER EVER LOSE HOPE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

My therapist said to me "If you are not happy now, then you will NEVER be happy." Sounds so ridiculous, but when you sit there and really think about that statement, it is life changing.

All we have is NOW.

Are we still going through it??! YES!? Still feeling s#itty? Yup! Do you feel as horrible as you did a month ago? Probably not. That is the definition of progress and you need to recognize it when it's there. It is imperative that you recognize progress.

Bless you all and don't let this beat you!
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#36

Postby lynne66 » Tue May 20, 2014 12:25 pm

I guess you are an example of it can take up to 2 years for some. Hopefully you won't have another episode, but at least you know what is is and can get through it and keep getting through it. As someone who deals with depression and PMDD on a regular basis - and now PAWS, I know what it is like to have to fight one's own mind from taking over with bad thoughts. Still figuring all this out, but I do know that abusing cannabis never helped with me any of it really. Being clean helps me see through it more and get through it just a bit easier, even with still experiencing chronic suicidal ideation when I don't feel good. It's just a symptom for me and a barometer of how bad I feel when those thoughts barrage me for days at a time. I am learning how to better take care of myself now, that's for sure. Taking care of myself before consisted of mainly running for the vaporizer and maybe getting better for ten minutes or so and then downhill form there. NO solution.
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#37

Postby olskoolru » Thu Jan 15, 2015 7:30 pm

Having a particularly tough week. Brain fog, headaches, some anxiety and minor sleep issues.

I can't remember the last time this happened. Just woke up one morning and it hit me like a ton of bricks. I have to wait it out until I feel better. Getting a little better already.

Just needed to read my old posts. This one in particular.

OSR
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#38

Postby Ade,wales » Thu Jan 15, 2015 7:58 pm

I'm only 10days in and feeling f***ing amazing. Just hope it continues. A few people have said that ,eg, 6 months down the line and had depression real bad today, or the PAWS have come back etc. could this just be life in general and u would be feeling this even if u never smoked in ur life. NOBODY has the the perfect life. Everybody has to go thru some sh**. I know I've only just started on this weed free journey,but if I get(sorry,WHEN, I get to 6 months and things start to turn to sh**, I know smoking again ain't gonna help. All I'm gonna need to do is think wot a Rollocks! life I've had when smoking hopefully that will be enough to pick up the reigns and start galloping again,carefree and enjoying REAL life. Not thru green tinted specs.

This may not be the way forward for you,but just thought I'd put it out there for u to chew on.
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#39

Postby Bevano84 » Fri Jan 16, 2015 12:22 am

OSR

It's posts like the one above that have made it hard for me to contemplate getting to one year plus. But now I'm starting to see things differently... your occasional pain is nothing on the daily pain, torment etc I go through as an addict.... it's all so worth it even if the ride is rough.

Cheers bro
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#40

Postby olskoolru » Fri Jan 16, 2015 2:26 am

Bevano84 wrote:OSR

It's posts like the one above that have made it hard for me to contemplate getting to one year plus. But now I'm starting to see things differently... your occasional pain is nothing on the daily pain, torment etc I go through as an addict.... it's all so worth it even if the ride is rough.

Cheers bro

Bevano,

Keep your head up! I'm almost at 2 years. How do you think I feel? We all have different withdrawals. Those that make it through in a week, can't believe that it can take some up to 3 years. And those that it takes 2 plus years cant believe that it can take someone 10 days. I wouldn't even call that a withdrawal lol

It's sooooo hard for the first year, but it got super manageable and you know what to expect.

One things for sure... yeah Im going through an episode right now, but compared to how much my life has changed for the better, it is ALL worth it.
Hang in there Bevano!
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#41

Postby Salsa » Fri Jan 16, 2015 11:57 am

OSR, how does your episode look right now??
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#42

Postby olskoolru » Fri Jan 16, 2015 5:21 pm

Salsa wrote:OSR, how does your episode look right now??


Hey Salsa,

i had one day of anxiety and like 3 days of headaches and they are almost gone.
when I'm in an episode A sense of despair takes over me temporarily. Lucky I have my wife and this forum to remind me that it's temporary eventhough my mind is f***ing with me and telling me otherwise.

I feel about 95% back right now and very happy about it.
My withdrawals were unusually strong, especially in the beginning. I don't want to scare anyone into thinking that they're situation has to be like mine. I trucked through this crap and still am. Almost 90% of the time now I'm my happy positive annoying self. In the beginning, first year, my wife and I thought that I would never bounce back. That's how bad it was.
Residual problems were expected, that's why I come back to the forum to read and to give back to those going through tough times as well.
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#43

Postby NateTGreat » Sat Jan 17, 2015 1:01 am

Just want to say thanks for all you have done OSRu. I first discovered your story in August on dopaminedialougue and have been following ever since. Suffice to say, I have looked up to you for some time now. I am 7 full months clean now and can relate identically to all you have gone through. I wanted to make it known that your testimonies have really given me the strength to endure all of this suffering knowing that I will be free and clear of it someday. I too feel a deep sense of despair when a wave of symptoms return after a few good days. I do have a much better handle on it now though and try to just remain positive, as that is all I have left. All of the doctors I have seen have no clue whatsoever and have done nothing but prescribe me anti depressants and anti anxiety drugs. I took .5mg Ativan in the first 2 months when I really couldn't bear the panic attacks, but haven't touched anything since. This forum and others have been the best support net for my recovery. Even my therapist is encouraging me to get on SSRIs to get through the PAWS, but I'm not taking anymore drugs. I don't need them! I don't understand why cannabis withdrawal and its PAWS is so misunderstood. And, why does it hit some far worse than others?

Anyway. It is amazing that you have come so far and still had an episode, Ru. I just had a bad couple weeks to start off the year, yet I know that things are getting better slowly over time. In my experience, the bad days can last more than just a few days. I'm still going through stretches of a week or more before I start to have a few good days. I anticipate a very long recovery until I'm 100% and am not really expecting anything. I appreciate so much more than I ever did in this life, even when I'm in a very low spot.

I pray for a fast and full recovery for everyone dealing with these extremely heavy PAWS. It's definitely the hardest thing I've ever been through.
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#44

Postby olskoolru » Sat Jan 17, 2015 2:41 am

NateTGreat wrote:Just want to say thanks for all you have done OSRu. I first discovered your story in August on dopaminedialougue and have been following ever since. Suffice to say, I have looked up to you for some time now. I am 7 full months clean now and can relate identically to all you have gone through. I wanted to make it known that your testimonies have really given me the strength to endure all of this suffering knowing that I will be free and clear of it someday. I too feel a deep sense of despair when a wave of symptoms return after a few good days. I do have a much better handle on it now though and try to just remain positive, as that is all I have left. All of the doctors I have seen have no clue whatsoever and have done nothing but prescribe me anti depressants and anti anxiety drugs. I took .5mg Ativan in the first 2 months when I really couldn't bear the panic attacks, but haven't touched anything since. This forum and others have been the best support net for my recovery. Even my therapist is encouraging me to get on SSRIs to get through the PAWS, but I'm not taking anymore drugs. I don't need them! I don't understand why cannabis withdrawal and its PAWS is so misunderstood. And, why does it hit some far worse than others?

Anyway. It is amazing that you have come so far and still had an episode, Ru. I just had a bad couple weeks to start off the year, yet I know that things are getting better slowly over time. In my experience, the bad days can last more than just a few days. I'm still going through stretches of a week or more before I start to have a few good days. I anticipate a very long recovery until I'm 100% and am not really expecting anything. I appreciate so much more than I ever did in this life, even when I'm in a very low spot.

I pray for a fast and full recovery for everyone dealing with these extremely heavy PAWS. It's definitely the hardest thing I've ever been through.

Hi Nate,

In my case, the episodes have lasted for months with just 2 or 3 days of relief/good days. What I'm trying to say is that now it is the complete opposite. Months of feeling well and then bam 2-3 days (sometimes a week) of crappy days and then Im good again. I remember the first year VIVIDLY. Most difficult thing I've been through in my life. So bad that I wanted to kill myself. Ativan helped me through the first 2 months. I took them every night and only before bed time. That way my doc said I wouldnt get addicted if there was a chance of that. I was also on Ambien for sleep. i tried Zoloft/Sertaline, but had horrible horrible side effects, so I opted to not do anti-depressants at all after a months of Zoloft (lowest dose killed me). I made it this far and it has gotten better every few months. Progress is soooo slow and gradual that the only way you can see it is by stepping back and looking at the big picture. Then you see it!! And it's f***ing awesome! Hang in there Nate! I'm here for you if you ever need! Direct message me or email me at olskoolru@gmail.com

I am soooo happy that my story made a differerence like the stories of Justin, Biggie, BobtheBuilder, Netty, etc did for me. I was almost 5-6 months in before I found Uncommon ( i think) and it was a savior. You too will be, if you are not already, an inspiration for someone. Always give back also because you learn sooo much about yourself and your recovery by being there for others.
Stay safe and strong!

OSR
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