9 Months off Weed. When will this Nightmare end?? (My Story)

Postby therebirth » Sun Mar 23, 2014 5:27 pm

A little less than 5 years back I had started smoking marijuana recreationally due to the friends I had. What started as an innocent plant that gave the euphoria of love, peace, humor, harmony and every good feeling you can imagine has turned around to be an absolute nightmare for me.

Over the course of using, the enjoyment had started sloping downwards. It was no longer like the first time and I was only smoking cuz I was in the company of those who were. Halfway through my habits I had started noticing light paranoia in public which later became evident even when I wasn’t high. I also noticed pain on my right jaw and a weird feeling in my right ear every time I smoked and the morning after (I usually smoked in the evenings when I had accomplished more important things).
I did consider myself a light smoker as I smoked 2-3 evenings a week compared to friends and other people I knew who smoked from morning till late. Sometime last year I decided to step back from friends who made smoking weed their priority and reduced my smoking to one evening a week, usually on the weekends. Slowly I stopped caring too much about pot and by March 2013, I found myself not buying pot from my dealer. I still went to house parties and get-togethers where I smoked pot not thinking too much of it. I even tried ecstasy once at a friend's birthday party. At the back of my mind however, I knew I was doing damage to my body, as even my cigarette smoking and alcohol consumptions were getting more serious. I had a drink in my hand every time i was out with friends and drank till my limit.

Towards the start of May 2013 I realized something scary. Every time I smoked weed, I got the total opposite of my early weed experience; random negative thoughts, random guilty feelings about certain choices I made in the past.. etc I then decided I was gonna quit pot for good as smoking had not just become pointless but had started rotting my mind. I also quit alcohol and cigarettes cold turkey. Later in the month I started noticing I was developing anxiety and thought It was due to stress or high caffeine intake since I was working a whole lot during this time period and was sleeping less than I should have. I never suspected that it might be the weed all this while.

I relapsed marijuana on the 12th of June 2013 at an apartment house party where I had my first panic attack. I don’t regret relapsing because this panic attack enforced the severity of my situation and my decision to quit. This was when my life will take a drastic turn. Long story short, I woke up the next morning with my first de-realization/ depersonalization episode. I felt as if I was detached from the world (as if I certainly didn’t exist), didn’t know myself (had to look in the mirror several times because I was immensely confused), and couldn’t even recognize familiar faces even if I knew them. Soon to follow was an extremely severe anxiety, loss of appetite, sudden mood swings, zero to low concentration, zero interest in things I liked or enjoyed doing, uncontrollable irrational and negative thoughts, immense guilt from the past decisions, suicidal thoughts (I’ve never been one to be suicidal, the sensation was very forced and almost beyond my control), frustration, intense depression, confusion, flu symptoms, stomach pain and diarrhea (lol), extremely vivid and bizarre dreams (I then realized I haven’t dreamt since I had been smoking). It felt like I was carrying the pain and suffering of the world in my head. This lasted for about 2-3 weeks and then entered the Post Acute Withdrawal phase, which I’m still in. It’s like a roller coaster of those same symptoms that generally keep reducing in intensity every time they come back.

Right now I’m going through altering de-realization, uncontrollable anger/ irritation at people, alternating depression, tiredness, and intrusive and minor negative thoughts. I also seem to have developed new symptoms that seems to be linked to my anxiety (Pressure in head and choking feeling in my neck, but can breathe just fine) I feel very alone now as I have alienated myself from a lot of people, also due to having had much intrusive thoughts about the friends I have here not really being friends with me for the right reasons or that they really don't care about me, only wanna hang out when it's time to drink or smoke, I also feel they don't understand what I'm going through and the fact that I keep comparing them to old friends who were actually like brothers to me and cared for me without the weed and alcohol (I'm an African student btw, studying in Europe with 1 1/2 year left). I know I should socialize as that is the whole point of traveling, but these withdrawals have crippled me. I used to be very outgoing and social, now it feels as if i'm living in an alternate universe where I can't function. These symptoms tend to fluctuate every time they come, sometimes even harder than before. However on good days, I can somewhat tell it’s generally getting better when I compare it to how it was initially (used to have constant panic attacks). Problem is I really haven't seen a good day since one month in this roller coaster ride.

I’m 9 months and 10 days clean today. I was very determined to ride this through but seem to have broken down from frustration these past couple of weeks as my depression has gotten so crippling it's almost not letting me function. My social life now is nearly zero. I just try to do school work, graphic design freelancing and working out at home to get by. I know deep down I wanna hang out with someone to get my mind off things, but I don't even know where to start. At this point I don't even want a happy life, just a normal one. I just wanna be normal again :(

Can’t believe I was once so ignorant to say this drug should be legal. I feel really sorry for current weed smokers. Won’t wish this experience on anyone, not even my worst enemy.

PS: Sorry for the long post. I've been meaning to join this forum for months now but was always having issues signing up. Got lucky today I guess. Thanks for listening guys.
Last edited by therebirth on Sun Mar 23, 2014 5:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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#1

Postby Salsa » Sun Mar 23, 2014 5:51 pm

Hi mate!

I'm on the 1/3 of your quitting way and all I can say is: sh**. This thing really messed us up. Looks like that relapsing point was the trigger of all your further problems. It just makes me more determined not to relapse. Once you start healing yourself, you better do it right and for a long time, otherwise you can have many problems. I believe your symptoms are very much related to that panic attack you had. I read a lot about this and seems like many people go through the exact problems like you.

I can't give you other advice as to stick to it, try keeping your lifestyle healthy and you should start seeing positive results in a few months. 9 months of abstinence isn't little, but also isn't a lot. Stay strong and keep us updated of how you're doing. Your symptoms are depression and anxiety-connected and should disappear with time.

I also hope that you'll get some information from someone who quit for 1+ year. Good luck!
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#2

Postby therebirth » Sun Mar 23, 2014 6:07 pm

Salsa wrote:Hi mate!

I'm on the 1/3 of your quitting way and all I can say is: sh**. This thing really messed us up. Looks like that relapsing point was the trigger of all your further problems. It just makes me more determined not to relapse. Once you start healing yourself, you better do it right and for a long time, otherwise you can have many problems. I believe your symptoms are very much related to that panic attack you had. I read a lot about this and seems like many people go through the exact problems like you.

I can't give you other advice as to stick to it, try keeping your lifestyle healthy and you should start seeing positive results in a few months. 9 months of abstinence isn't little, but also isn't a lot. Stay strong and keep us updated of how you're doing. Your symptoms are depression and anxiety-connected and should disappear with time.

I also hope that you'll get some information from someone who quit for 1+ year. Good luck!


Thanks man, means a lot. I'm also planning to get in touch with a therapist in the coming weeks.
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#3

Postby bvl » Sun Mar 23, 2014 7:22 pm

Hey therebirth

Our stories are different but symptoms are identical. Those symptoms you described?... I couldn't have said it better!

On the 26th of March i'll be 2 years clean and it has been a living hell. I remember those moments of despair when I was myself 9 months into recovery. As you probably noticed, minor improvements are occuring every 2 months or so and you gradually start to not feel as bad as before (I can't say you gradually start to feel better).
I also know from my own experience that when those really bad moments occur you feel like you haven't done any real progress in recovery and it feels so frustrating and you feel like having no chance of recovery.

Good news is that you do recover but it takes time!
I still don't feel completely recovered from PAWS, still feeling irritated and get easily angered. I still have depression episodes but I can now do something to keep my mind busy and overcome them. I feel so much better now anyway...

You have to really start working on yourself, take into consideration Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, start exercising and be patient. You will slowly see results if you are determined to recover!
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#4

Postby therebirth » Sun Mar 23, 2014 9:19 pm

Thanks for the reply bvl, it's so comforting to see someone else who is going/went through the same. It's been really crazy. Esp what you said about having episodes where its like you have not made any progress.. *Sigh. I just feel that if I had some family close by, it would help a ton. Really doesn't help that i'm alone in another country, but I try not to focus too much on that as it's one of my intrusive thoughts.

The anger thing is also frustrating cuz u have no control over it. I read somewhere it's cuz you know others are not going through the same as you so you tend to take it out on them. An example for me could be when someone complains about something very petty when you know you are going through something much worse and still trying to keep calm. *Sigh

Thanks again fam. I'll look into the Cognitive Behavioural Therapy.
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#5

Postby george5030 » Mon Mar 24, 2014 2:10 am

Hey! I cant really describe how similar is your story with mine. Its almost the same episodes the ones I suffered before the withdrawal episodes and during them. Im 9 months also from weed... depression has not a big issue for me since its been very mild but all of the other symptoms are so similar! I feel very comfortable to know this is a temporary situation and that there are many of us going thru the same stuff. The symptoms that have bothered me the most have been anxiety, intrusive negative and repetitive thinking about irrational stuff, a little pressure on my head, the choke feeling still being able to breathe normally, getting irritated easily, vivid dreams and confusion. Ive felt my symptoms had got better within time but they still bother me enough.

I think it would be very helpful to keep coming back to this forum and posting every once in a while. Not feeling lonely is the best for us right now. Be patient! It will pass! You've gotten better the same as I have... its totally irrational and unnatural we wont recover! We have seen progress in the past 9 months, we'll keep recovering! There's no going back on time.

Try to keep busy, socializing, being as healthy as you can, taking vitamins, exercising, enjoying life at the most you can. Its also a great benefit if you can get involved in a relationship with someone!

Have faith in yourself! It shall pass :)

We can keep in touch if you'd like.
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#6

Postby lynne66 » Mon Mar 24, 2014 4:19 am

I am so sorry you are going through this, though I get the feeling that no matter how hard things are and have been since quitting, you are still better off than using the stuff again. It sounds to me like this may be symptoms of PAWS (post-acute withdrawal syndrome.) I did a lot of research on this, because the last time I made a serious quit attempt, I went through something very similar, which caused me a relapse. Looking back now, I was also on the wrong medications for depression and am now not on any psych meds. However, I am going through some sever ups and downs on only day 15. However, I also am very aware that the same thing would happen to me as did to you if I decided to just vape a little to feel better.

Anyway, from what I was reading about PAWs and cannabis, it take up to a couple of years for some folks to start really feeling better and the symptoms sort of come and go. I also have always suffered from bipolar depression, so maybe this is just what I always rant to cannabis to get relief from.

One o the things that is helping me this time around is my yoga practice and my yoga nidra meditation practice. If you want to try it, I would suggest buying either Rod Stryker's or Richard Muller (or mIller?)'s CD's. It is a guided meditation and when I am feeling really unwound and ungrounded, I just lie down and listen and feel much better and more relaxed in my body and my mind. I am so glad I have a yoga practice too now.

Do you exercise much? Long walks can sort a lot out as well.

After reading so many stories, I think the high THC content and hydroponically grown cannabis is starting to show its very dark side in terms of longer-term effects on a lot of people. However, I also think this will go away. I think our brains have amazing capacity to heal.

What you described is also one of the main reasons I decided to quit for good - the fun-house anxiety and dark thoughts effect was no longer good for me and it feels better to look for new solutions to old problems, though the mood swings are really confusing right now. Hang in there!
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#7

Postby darkmatterz » Mon Mar 24, 2014 8:49 am

I Fully Understand What Your Going Through, and when you get to that point where your like why cant i be like how i used to be before all the weed :lol: lifes lessons but it will be rewarding to overcome it Heres a small article regarding melanin and drugs take a look at it. also there is plenty more information on the matter just do a search

da13thsun.wordpressDOTCOM/2013/11/01/the-effect-of-drugs-on-melanin/



peace
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#8

Postby olskoolru » Tue Apr 01, 2014 10:03 pm

Hope this helps. If you need to inbox me, please do so.

http://www.uncommonforum.com/viewtopic. ... highlight=
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#9

Postby lynne66 » Thu Apr 03, 2014 1:34 am

this was a duplicate. sorry.
Last edited by lynne66 on Thu Apr 03, 2014 1:36 am, edited 1 time in total.
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#10

Postby lynne66 » Thu Apr 03, 2014 1:35 am

lynne66 wrote:
olskoolru wrote:Hope this helps. If you need to inbox me, please do so.

http://www.uncommonforum.com/viewtopic. ... highlight=


Thank you for posting your story. I read the whole thing. I think part of me needs to realize that even though things might get weird for a while or remain weird for a long time yet, there are still things I am liking about being clear of cannabis. I hold on to those now. Last time I quit was for six months and I had insane depression and depersonalization, etc.. This time, I want to last it out. Thanks for sharing your story. I do believe the brain heals. I am using Niacin and keeping up with my exercise and meditation. But what I have noticed is that I am constantly worried lately and feel a sense of doom and hassle about life. I guess this is why I used cannabis and I have to get through it - just be brave and face my challenges I'm worried about head on.

And you have inspired me to seek out meetings. As of now, I am having a hard time even leaving my house to do my part-time work I do on my own. Must push myself out.

I am very happy for you that you finally started to feel better, even though it took so long.
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#11

Postby Coduchis » Mon Apr 21, 2014 3:22 pm

therebirth wrote:A little less than 5 years back I had started smoking marijuana recreationally due to the friends I had. What started as an innocent plant that gave the euphoria of love, peace, humor, harmony and every good feeling you can imagine has turned around to be an absolute nightmare for me.

Over the course of using, the enjoyment had started sloping downwards. It was no longer like the first time and I was only smoking cuz I was in the company of those who were. Halfway through my habits I had started noticing light paranoia in public which later became evident even when I wasn’t high. I also noticed pain on my right jaw and a weird feeling in my right ear every time I smoked and the morning after (I usually smoked in the evenings when I had accomplished more important things).
I did consider myself a light smoker as I smoked 2-3 evenings a week compared to friends and other people I knew who smoked from morning till late. Sometime last year I decided to step back from friends who made smoking weed their priority and reduced my smoking to one evening a week, usually on the weekends. Slowly I stopped caring too much about pot and by March 2013, I found myself not buying pot from my dealer. I still went to house parties and get-togethers where I smoked pot not thinking too much of it. I even tried ecstasy once at a friend's birthday party. At the back of my mind however, I knew I was doing damage to my body, as even my cigarette smoking and alcohol consumptions were getting more serious. I had a drink in my hand every time i was out with friends and drank till my limit.

Towards the start of May 2013 I realized something scary. Every time I smoked weed, I got the total opposite of my early weed experience; random negative thoughts, random guilty feelings about certain choices I made in the past.. etc I then decided I was gonna quit pot for good as smoking had not just become pointless but had started rotting my mind. I also quit alcohol and cigarettes cold turkey. Later in the month I started noticing I was developing anxiety and thought It was due to stress or high caffeine intake since I was working a whole lot during this time period and was sleeping less than I should have. I never suspected that it might be the weed all this while.

I relapsed marijuana on the 12th of June 2013 at an apartment house party where I had my first panic attack. I don’t regret relapsing because this panic attack enforced the severity of my situation and my decision to quit. This was when my life will take a drastic turn. Long story short, I woke up the next morning with my first de-realization/ depersonalization episode. I felt as if I was detached from the world (as if I certainly didn’t exist), didn’t know myself (had to look in the mirror several times because I was immensely confused), and couldn’t even recognize familiar faces even if I knew them. Soon to follow was an extremely severe anxiety, loss of appetite, sudden mood swings, zero to low concentration, zero interest in things I liked or enjoyed doing, uncontrollable irrational and negative thoughts, immense guilt from the past decisions, suicidal thoughts (I’ve never been one to be suicidal, the sensation was very forced and almost beyond my control), frustration, intense depression, confusion, flu symptoms, stomach pain and diarrhea (lol), extremely vivid and bizarre dreams (I then realized I haven’t dreamt since I had been smoking). It felt like I was carrying the pain and suffering of the world in my head. This lasted for about 2-3 weeks and then entered the Post Acute Withdrawal phase, which I’m still in. It’s like a roller coaster of those same symptoms that generally keep reducing in intensity every time they come back.

Right now I’m going through altering de-realization, uncontrollable anger/ irritation at people, alternating depression, tiredness, and intrusive and minor negative thoughts. I also seem to have developed new symptoms that seems to be linked to my anxiety (Pressure in head and choking feeling in my neck, but can breathe just fine) I feel very alone now as I have alienated myself from a lot of people, also due to having had much intrusive thoughts about the friends I have here not really being friends with me for the right reasons or that they really don't care about me, only wanna hang out when it's time to drink or smoke, I also feel they don't understand what I'm going through and the fact that I keep comparing them to old friends who were actually like brothers to me and cared for me without the weed and alcohol (I'm an African student btw, studying in Europe with 1 1/2 year left). I know I should socialize as that is the whole point of traveling, but these withdrawals have crippled me. I used to be very outgoing and social, now it feels as if i'm living in an alternate universe where I can't function. These symptoms tend to fluctuate every time they come, sometimes even harder than before. However on good days, I can somewhat tell it’s generally getting better when I compare it to how it was initially (used to have constant panic attacks). Problem is I really haven't seen a good day since one month in this roller coaster ride.

I’m 9 months and 10 days clean today. I was very determined to ride this through but seem to have broken down from frustration these past couple of weeks as my depression has gotten so crippling it's almost not letting me function. My social life now is nearly zero. I just try to do school work, graphic design freelancing and working out at home to get by. I know deep down I wanna hang out with someone to get my mind off things, but I don't even know where to start. At this point I don't even want a happy life, just a normal one. I just wanna be normal again :(

Can’t believe I was once so ignorant to say this drug should be legal. I feel really sorry for current weed smokers. Won’t wish this experience on anyone, not even my worst enemy.

PS: Sorry for the long post. I've been meaning to join this forum for months now but was always having issues signing up. Got lucky today I guess. Thanks for listening guys.

Hello therebirth, this is very bad, you should stop it right now. I also smoked but now i am free from it. I lately missing a close buddy to united states, and it saddens me that there are well financed "men of science" fighting a personal spiritual war on a device that provides an approximated immediate 99% damage decrease for those most at risk.
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#12

Postby lynne66 » Mon Apr 21, 2014 4:50 pm

After I quit the last time, I was in really bad shape after six months with something like you describe and I finally relapsed. This time it is a bit different, I think, because I have a yoga practice and am taking supplements Niacin about 1500 mg or so a day, fish oil, GABA for anxiety, and l-tyrosine. I am off the awful antidepressant meds I was on before as well. I have done a lot of meditation work as well so maybe that's why this time is not as bad but I have some bad days for sure still (but then I suffer with bipolar disorder and PMS), I had a lot of residue in my life last time I quit from the wrong people being around me and not being happy were I lived in a big dirty city neighborhood. Sometimes I wonder if it just takes certain adjustments or bigger adjustments to make the quit better. I definitely don't allow myself to isolate for too long anymore. Even going to 12-step meetings helped me though some of it really bugs me. If you can afford it, maybe it would be a thought to go to naturopath to get help with supplements or diet. I would say taking up a yoga or tai chi practice is essential. I think yoga has made all the difference for me. Hot baths in essential oils with good bath salts was a big help too on the bad days. Hang in there. You are loved!
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#13

Postby Ruak » Thu Sep 18, 2014 6:12 am

Me!!!!!! All the way. Wow. Im up to 11 months.. How are things now
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#14

Postby therebirth » Thu Sep 18, 2014 6:24 pm

Hey Ruak, congrats on 11months. I'm 15 months clean now and looking forward to 2years. Things have started taking shape. I still have weird thoughts and seem to keep concentrating on negative events. However it's now easier to switch my mind by rationalizing. Some symptoms are still there, but much less. People like my family say i've improved a lot. Apparently I used to whisper a lot when it started, had a blank stare and I always avoided eye contact. Bet I was overly conscious of my surroundings... Guess I was too far gone then to realize how different I was acting. That doesn't happen anymore.. thank God.

I still have episodes of mini derealisation and weird thoughts but not anything close to what it used to be. The anxiety is now more of being nervous than the raging terror it used to be. Sometimes I get a bit restless.. I just workout when that happens. Still got slight head pressures and have come to realize they have a connection to when i'm in a negative thought process. What i'm trying to do these days is to start living again, concentrating on the positive, being more of myself and being appreciative of the moment. I also try to spend less times on the forums for this topic. Somehow I just decided to check the forum today after almost 2moths and saw you replied to this thread. It's not easy man but now I have hope that all will be well again in due time.

Btw I noticed a trend with almost everyone who has this experience. Most of us seem to be creatives. Creative people tend to over-analyze and maybe it has something to do with how our minds worked with the weed.. just something I noticed.
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