weed PAWS and social life - general question


Postby Ankhtress » Thu Aug 18, 2016 12:34 pm

All of what you describe is how I've felt when quitting. I started smoking around the time I was about to get a divorce and I felt like i liked myself better on weed ( not caring so much, much more sociable, not any real connections) as opposed to my regular stressed antisocial self. Crazy thing is now I feel like people can tell I'm high and don't wanna be around me, even though when I am high I'm (what I feel) much more personable. I've quit off and on, and I had never even heard of PAWS til seeing your post. Now it makes sense why I am the way I am! Keep going strong!
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Postby Ananda_M » Thu Aug 18, 2016 9:03 pm

Day 67 - Everything is a lot better, but, of course, still not good for majority of time. I socialize much more - I spent few hours every day in some social activities and I think I overcome significant amount of my social anxiety. Also when having the plans for next days (for socialization), it helps psychologically. I think the brain fog also subsides a lot, concetration is better. Emotional expression during interactions is now more under control.

The only significant thing is the demotivation in mornings - I am still forced to continue sleeping (even when I feel I am no longer tired) and not to get up. Dreams are still funny, but not so vivid already (by the way, the lucid dreams are almost equally common as in the early phases of quiting).

Rita: I would love to attend some MA, but there are no such sessions in my country...
' The opposite of addiction is not sobriety , the opposite of addiction is connection ' - this is absolutely true. When smoking I was alone and completely fine with this (almost no need for connection). After few days without MJ, it was like craving for socialization - chasing close connection, but such a close connection (unrealistically close) is not possible :shock: It is like a oversensitiveness to loneliness no matter what are you doing (well, telling your story to someone very close who will not judge you can help for this).

john: you are right. I am also introvert, but you know, this should not be excuse for being asocial with social phobia etc... so I think some training is good anyway - to be able normally enjoy the interaction with people around you, be close enough to friends etc., normal things

Ankhtress: good luck on your road. I also did not realize how deep it can be (and thought I'm kinda f*cked up previous quitting - this did not help). It can be literally sticking point in life! :) We have just to not smoke (and strive for good relationships) and it will be OK. I am starting to be sure, that I can be quite normal with proper socialization. The weed was making me asocial for a long time (in the end of my childhood and during adolescence), so I should learn the good emotional communication now and that's it! The problem is the weed is messing up the emotions and, apparently in some people, the ability for relationships, but the brain is very powerful in the terms of healing and learning.
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Postby Julia Stretton » Thu Aug 18, 2016 9:19 pm

I seem to remember that MA have online meetings - is that something you have tried? Might be worth checking out.

When I first moved to this town, I went to NA a lot - this place has a huge problem with alcohol and drug addiction, and there are a number of twelve-step meetings every day. I found that it wasn't for me, but I'm always happy to suggest the meetings to someone who is struggling with their addiction, if it is something they haven't tried before. I do walk past a church every evening when I walk my dog, where there are often twelve-steppers standing around outside, and a lot of the time someone will greet me. I do often think that it would be nice to just go there for my one-year anniversary, pick up my keyring, and then not go back until the following year! :lol:

All the best to you. We all have our own path to walk, and I can sense a lot of positivity from what you write ... carry on being a shining example!
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Postby Rita1 » Fri Aug 19, 2016 1:08 am

I know! Mornings are so hard! My legs feel weak , but I'm not tired! So sick of it. I have to teach a grade 2 class starting Monday and I'm so scared of this tiredness in the morning! Ah hopefully it will snap me out of it. You are so right about a desperate connection with people once you quit. I could not stop calling my sister. I think she was a little bewildered . It passed. But I still feel a large whole in my life even though I'm feeling better. Agh. What.a.journey.

Keep us updated.

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Postby Ananda_M » Tue Aug 30, 2016 8:16 pm

Julia, Rita: thanks for posts! I wish you are on a good track too :)

I am glad to say I am seeing improvements again. It is still not perfect, but the fears are less and less frequent and the good mood starts to be quite obvious. The weed is really poison for us who are not able to controll it. It makes a false feeling that with weed it is OK and without it - it is not. But it is not true at all. With weed, it sucks in general and after smoking it is just better for a while (well, after long time of abusing not even for a while). I must accent this fact again as encouragement for everyone who wants to quit or who is TEMPORARILY struggling with the PAWS. Keep not-smoking-attitude, strive to have a good life (whatever it means for you) and it will be good. I am still experiencing times of despair (now, it is like 40 %), but the life/universe is then letting me know that things are not bad as it seemed... and makes me feel happy of something :)

Now, I'm going back to the first question of the topic - whether the bad relationships/asocial lifestyle or chemical imbalance is making the main point of (my) PAWS. The truth is - it is both. Weed withdrawal is really doing the feeling of despair. This time I quit gradualy, so I experienced pretty nicely this feeling before last hits; and it immediately disappeared after the hit... the feeling which is returning with the waves of PAWS - and it is partialy independent on the circumstances (even in the presence of good people). But - good companion helps in the bad times and the awarness that there is dome good is important for a good default life feeling. With bad social habits, we don't have some many good friends and this contributes to life instability.

So the conclusion, and reminder for me if it will get bad for some moments :p - organise your time, do the work and some physical activity, do the fun (after work!), learn how to express your emotions properly , sleep well and IT WILL GET BETTER. The forum is full of such stories :idea:
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Postby lmcbride » Wed Aug 31, 2016 4:30 am

So True ^^^ I'm just over a year clean and it does better. You have to always remind yourself of that when you're feeling down.
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Postby Ananda_M » Tue Sep 13, 2016 9:18 pm

Hello, I'm 3 months now! :D It's day 93 without toke... still feeling quite shitty, but still improving. Most of the time it's still negative, but definitely not so negative as it was. I don't know what to say more, because it's still the same - loss of concentration, feeling like with dementia etc.. However, this is already alternating with the feeling "being normal" and (still) with the kinda depressed feeling.

Suprising is the fact that in the negative state, I still think it is for ever, in the normal state, I'm wondering what is actually the problem (because feeling normal) and in the depressed feeling, everything is pointless but not so much as in previous months :)

Do not smoke this sh*t, life should look differently than this :idea:

Btw. as my self-awareness and memory apparently improves too, I found out that I'm prone to define my lifestyle as generally bad, because I do not remeber the "cool times" with weed too much (well, they were not too cool in fact), but rather the worst memories from previous PAWS. It is shocking finding - I spent last 15 years in high (it was cool only for a short periods after breaks, then turned into sh*ty routine for longer time) or with the PAWS (when I wasn't healing long enough and still doing at least 1-2 tokes per month) :shock: Thanks god this forum exists... after 3 months OFF, I'm finally starting to understand what the endocannabinoid system is about :lol:
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Postby Ananda_M » Tue Nov 08, 2016 1:06 am

Hi there!

Some update after longer time. I stopped to read the forum compulsively, but I will go back from time to time to write something and support all quitter mates. Hope you are improving! Well, maybe the "improving" is not the best term, because we know that the progress is often nonlinear but anyway... :)

Now, I am almost 5 months (149 days)... I have almost no anxiety, concentration is A LOT better, but suffering from depression (but also seeing that the strength is lower than before) and low enthusiasm. I am no longer "tired" as before, but because of low life passion, I would sleep for many many hours per day... As I read, this is probably normal part of healing - and we should be easy with it. Huh OK :|

Wondering if porn watching can be also the factor negatively influencing me. However, I started to fill my life with some activities and this makes me feel better - the fact I am working on some life structure. I stopped physical exercise (because of some reasons) some time before - this will, hopefully, also help, when I will start with the gym again.

What to say at the end - don't smoke, don't drink, be COOL 8)

P.S.: Some good science (mechanisms of endocannabinoid actions and their behavioral correlates - anxiety etc.)

...evidence strongly supports the contribution of dysregulated cannabinoid signaling to the pathophysiology of social functioning impairments...

http://www.nature.com/tp/journal/v6/n9/ ... 6169a.html

And this? But it seems to me a little bit questionable

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Postby dylan843 » Tue Nov 08, 2016 6:10 am

PAWS lasts as long as you decide it lasts, maybe it takes 2-3 years if you sit around in sorrow about "paws". Most of the time paws is something else that was caused or covered up by weed that needs dealing with and not just letting it continue saying to yourself "oh well this is what i have to go through for 3 years its paws!"

Social life, sounds cliche but just step out of your comfort zone, talk to a therapist, if its really nessesary get on meds that can help. I think most of the social problems coming from weed is that most of us became anti social with our smoking habits and now you are used to that and your mind continues cause nothing has changed, start thinking about what if someone says this to me, what if its wierd to be around people, what if i get made fun of, when really its all in your head. You just need to become more comfortable with yourself, then social situations arent as bad.
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Postby Ananda_M » Fri Dec 16, 2016 7:12 pm

Hi there!

I am just over the 6 months mark, so I will drop a few lines here :)

Well, the healing process is going quite good, but still SLOW. I have a lot of moments/periods when I feel completely normal and this is pretty cool. But then, suddenly, boooom, and I'm back on the square one. Also the default "f***ed up" state (let say average for most of the time) is not as bad as in the past. I still feel a lot of social disconnection (and loneliness) even when I am in the middle of people and interacting with them). This also gets better, there are moments when I enjoy chatting etc.

And YES, these ARE PAWS, I'm pretty sure, because this attitude towards people varies in a strange way (like without apparent causality - sometimes I see them and I am completely empty, sometimes cracking jokes).

Also next point is that alcohol started to make me feel better - before, it was like the same depression state even when I was drinking. Hangovers are still horrible :D I won't cure myself with alcohol and I'm not drinikng a lot, but I think it is a good sign that I leveled up with my mood :D

Concentration is better, sleeping is better, tiredness is not so hard already, emotions more stable. Enthusiasm into things is getting back.

OK, this is enough, see you after next few months, hopefully in the better and better mood :D

And remember - keep off the weed, good luck!
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Postby Ananda_M » Sat Jan 14, 2017 6:11 pm

7 months

Big portion of time is still quite shitty, but still improving. I have also times ejoying the life, but when it comes down I realize - it is slooooooow. Anyway, I feel more normal... See you next month :D

Keep strong in 2017!
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Postby Bagobones » Mon Jan 16, 2017 7:05 am

Ananda_M wrote:what is interesting - it seems to me I don't have a balls - like a nice guy :shock: I don't know what to do with this, probably time will solve this (and some gym)... I'm still boring and "careful" in interactions, not enjoying all the interactions by itselfs, but I enjoy the fact I'm doing something for future progress... not scared of people yet, but going too conservative :x

I like your thread here. Its interesting. I can relate to this. And the funny thing is, I can look at my facebook chatlog and see exactly when it started. Because i was chatting with this girl i know, and i told her, I just lost my balls..

Its exactly as you say, no balls, like a nice guy. And that´s not me.

My old job was communicating with people all day. Some really rough characters. And I was not like this then.
Also the girl I meet complains about it sometimes because i was not like that before.
It should be better by now, but I don´t know. last time i was really social I was traveling, and being with the locals of that country all the time, and in very different situations than here at home. And after I came home i´ve been a homebody alone a lot..
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Postby Ananda_M » Mon Feb 13, 2017 8:36 pm

Hello! I am here at 8 months. Happy to say that many things turned better. Unsuprisingly, it's not 100 % OK, but I did not expect that. Nevertheless, I am building my life and this makes me happy. There are rows of days where I feel very good. The negative feelings are still here, but they are less frequent and they are weaker.

Sleep is almost normal - even when I'm waking up in the night, it's not a problem. Sleepiness is still there, and I'm quite sure it's more like psychological - I do not enjoy things too much yet, so why not to sleep? :lol: Another thing is porn quitting - I'm feeling this is good step, but temporarily is holding me down a little bit.

It is really funny that sometimes I have feeling - I'm completely normal already, it should not come again... and then I have feeling of like I was never did any recover. These are PAWS... and also unbalanced life.

To see bigger steps in progress, I'll post less frequently. I think one year will be nice anniversary.

P.S.: It's true that after 6 months recovery probably fastened, I am almost normal now with some dips. Conversations and empathy is quite good.

Bagobones: Yes, this is weak period in our lives, but it will turn back again. Let me know about your progress from time to time. I learned a little bit how not to be so "nice" again already :twisted:

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Postby Ananda_M » Sun Aug 13, 2017 9:59 pm

14 months!!! 8)

Almost fine already. In the past two months, I started to have normal emotional connections with people. It's not 100 % yet, but pretty close. Depressions/bad feelings still appear (regularly), but for quite short time (2-3 hours with bad racionalizations). Motivation is almost back like before (caffeine helps now), sleepiness is also practically off... It's going "according to plan".

I think it's very realistic assumption (common on uncommon forum:)) that after two years without weed, all the mood/motivation imbalance should be gone for good. So... keep your life without drugs and stay cool, guys! :mrgreen:

edit: I didn't get any single hit within these 14 months and I'm not gonna change it (probably forever) :D
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Postby Ananda_M » Fri Dec 15, 2017 11:14 pm

18 months

Life is good, it's almost over... just strange feelings and demotivation for very short whiles (hits like once a week or so).
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