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Thread: 5th Day of Quitting Cannabis

  1. #41
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    Jul 2015
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    Hi Mrs Thunders,

    Congrats on day 5. That is a very good start!
    I am guessing that at this beginning stage distraction can be the best cure in the world for your withdrawals. I would encourage you to read and engage with people (like those on this board), who have tread this path before you. I found that reading other people's stories when I was quitting both cannabis and cigarettes, incredibly valuable, because I could while away hours reading and because it had the added effect of strengthening my mindset every day.

    It sounds like you really loved cannabis and there is some part of you who doesn't want to let it go. I would suggest that you can't even begin to imagine how good life can be without it. Without it - I mean 6 months, 1 year, 2 years free. I have been quit for nearly 2.5 years and I am still noticing benefits of being weed free. Today I got on a conference call, where I was the primary informant with four other people. I would never have thought I could pull this off a couple of years ago, but I did it today. I push myself to places that I never thought were possible when I was in the tolerant, haze of cannabis. It dulls our senses, I think, and it stunts our potential. I truly believe this. I know that it FEELS like it opens doors for you creatively, and I do believe you, because, I used to think this too, but it is amazing how many more creative doors open when we are free of the grips of cannabis, and it can take some time to appreciate that. Seeing is believing in a way.

    As you have written, you are in the grips of the initial withdrawal at the moment. I remember it well. The crankiness, the fog, the lack of concentration, the poor sleep. It is temporary. One of the best strategies to get through these uncomfortable feelings and sensations, is a WILLINGNESS. You may not like these feelings and they are not comfortable, but you can be 'willing' to experience them to get to your goal, which is to give up cannabis and live a more sensitive and connected life.

    I don't want to overwhelm you, but I am happy to engage in conversation going forward if that would help you. It helped me. I would just say that in terms of the fog and the concentration, I have found through the process of overcoming numerous addictions, all with dopamine at the core of the neurochemistry, is that it can be very helpful to stimulate your mind in other ways.

    At the beginning it can be something as simple as a stick of incense, a warm shower, an upbeat song, a strong cup of coffee (in the morning), a walk outside in the brisk air, a run through a park, an exercise class, cooking a new meal - anything that turns on those pleasure centres (in a small but nonetheless noticeable way), can help you to get through the fog and the lack of concentration.

    The reason that you are feeling this, is because your dopamine receptors are starving right now, and of course it makes you incredibly irritable, and like you are in a fog. It is temporary. It all comes back - in a big way. You just have to be willing to get through this bit.

    Good luck and check in whenever you need to. Best of luck.

    Alice
    Last edited by Alice; 06-01-2018 at 08:08 AM.

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  2. #42
    Join Date
    May 2018
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    Thanks so much Alice. I really appreciate you taking the time to write back and for all of your advice, it means the world to me.

    I'm hanging in there, still steering clear of it. Seems that the night sweats have subsided and after several sleepless nights I finally got to go to sleep "on my own", without anything to aid it. Even through the active dream cycles that I have been experiencing, I feel that I slept pretty deep last night. I am groggy and tired still, but it's a small victory for me and a stabilizing one. I'm also getting my appetite back it seems, and no longer feel like I have to force food in.

    I am currently struggling with severe mood swings. Just feeling extremely irritable which then leads to guilt and sadness because I don't want to snap at anyone. Sometimes the anger that I feel is so overwhelming that I need to hide away... I'm trying to be patient with myself, but the frustration of these ups and downs can be tough to deal with. Still, I do remind myself that I am on my way to feeling better and to be thankful that I have the discipline to not cave in and burn one up.

    Because I kept myself away from the world for so long, I am finding it hard to be social and go outside. I am a total introvert, so socializing doesn't come easy to me to begin with. Your story of your conference call gives me hope that it's possible in the future to not feel like an awkward mess when interacting with people. It's funny because when I talk to people about being shy or weird, they can't believe it because I don't seem like that to them. I'm a pretty good actress, but usually I'm cringing inside, and can't wait for the interaction to be over. It's work for me, and I hope that I feel more naturally comfortable without having it be an "act" and enjoy myself more.

    The fog is still there and the the lack of concentration. But your reassurances that it will get better makes me hopeful, and that's what I need most at the moment: hope.

    Thanks again and I'll continue to visit this forum- I'm so grateful for it.
    XX

  3. #43
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    Feb 2018
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    Hey Mrs Thunders,

    Your experience with mood swings and sleep issues sounds so similar to my own, it's uncanny! I started to keep a journal where I rated the quality of each day (scale of 1 to 10) but my moods changed so frequently that I resorted to rating my mornings, afternoons and evenings! EXAMPLE: I'd have a 4/10 morning, 8/10 afternoon and 2/10 evening. I'd also rate my nightly sleep, which varied just as much as my daily moods! I wondered if things would EVER level out but they have and they will for you too. My withdrawal lasted for months and some symptoms still pop up but it is SO much better. The best prospect for you is that you are very likely going to fall into that "average" category of folks who have 2 to 3 weeks of heightened symptoms and then things markedly improve, plus you sound like a gutsy gal with the sort of makeup that will get you over any hump you encounter. I calculate you are on Day 10 now, so best wishes that in a few weeks you'll be sailing into clearer skies and calmer waters.

    Keep us informed, please.

    Hyzer29

  4. #44
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    No worries at all Mrs Thunders, I am so happy to help!

    What you are describing with regard to your challenges with socialising sounds to me, having been through it, as classic social anxiety. It is so funny because we are telling ourselves all this 'stuff' in our head about how poorly we are performing socially, but mostly people don't even notice. The evidence for this is the fact that your friends 'don't think you seem shy or weird, but you are cringing inside.' It is all about that 'internal experience' which causes us so much pain. We 'think' we are talking rubbish. It is just our minds telling us stories.

    Despite this, there is no doubt in my mind that quitting cannabis can make our social experiences less excruciating and more fluid. It was one of the top reasons that I finally quit for good about 2.5 years ago. I just felt inside that I wasn't connecting with people and that I was struggling socially. There is definitely a 'disconnect' when smoking cannabis, that stops us from really connecting with the people we are socialising with.

    And yes, it is amazing to get to this point where I am not only connecting with people, but feeling increasingly confident in my interactions with people. I definitely put this self growth and development down to quitting cannabis.

    The irritability is par for the course, unfortunately. I have been through it too, numerous times, for numerous different addictions, and after a while, it is possible to learn to observe it, but not engage with it, and not snap at people. I have had experiences where I am out somewhere talking to someone and 'in my head' is this extreme torrent of abuse towards the other person, and yet, that person would never know and I can't remember now what those thoughts were. Yes, it is utterly exhausting and yes, I think that hiding away can sometimes be the best medicine, so I would encourage you to take care of yourself, but also know that the more you stimulate your mind and experience new things cannabis free, the better the fog and lack of concentration will get.

    All of this stuff that I am talking about really requires one particular skill and that is mindfulness - or the capacity to observe your mind thinking thoughts, but not hooking up with it. So with the irritability, it is almost as though you can stand outside your mind, and watch the irritability wash over you. Of course these thoughts will result in some pretty intense emotions, sensations and urges too, but there are other ways of dealing with your feelings, so that they don't hold so much power over you.

    Although 'mindfulness' is a buzz word and can conjure up images of practicing meditation or other mindfulness exercises, I have been able to get to this point of really observing my thoughts without doing a lot of formal practice. Practice does help of course, and it can help you to get the skills you need.

    It is good to hear that you are hanging in there, and that your sleep is starting to improve. I remember the groggy feeling in the morning well, but that is where a burst of fresh air, a morning walk, an upbeat song, writing a post or something else that stimulates you can help to get those neurons firing, may help.

    I think that you will find little dents in your withdrawal symptoms with time, and these will go on to form big holes, until in a while you can look back and say that you feel so much better.

    If the forum helps you, I would encourage you to use it. It is just the kind of stimulation that can get those healthy neural pathways working again.

    One thing that I neglected to mention is that you are right, it is so worth it. If you have been smoking since 1997, that is a long time under the influence. It also means you have more to gain, and that you will probably notice the benefits of being cannabis free even longer. Cannabis had also been in my life in some form or other for many years too, and I am only realising just how powerful my mind is without it. Even now, at 2.5 years, I am noticing improvements. It is probably the longest I have been cannabis free since my teens. It really does make a huge difference. Stick with it!

    Hope you are feeling a little better and talk soon,
    Alice
    Last edited by Alice; 06-05-2018 at 07:53 AM.

  5. #45
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    May 2018
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    Hello again Alice and Hyzer29,

    Thanks to you both for engaging with me. Your reassurances and advice are good reminders and I can commiserate with your experiences 100%.

    I'm afraid I didn't sleep a wink again last night. Felt quite restless, and just couldn't shut my mind off. I think I may have jinxed myself a bit with saying that my sleep was returning to normal. Today was a strange day, where I was outside of myself and really blue because of the lack of sleep. I wasn't as productive as I wanted and needed to be and my patience was nil. Frustrating as I'm on day 11 now. But re-reading about your posts have helped me to court patience and I still don't feel like escaping as I used to. So I hang on to that even though I feel like shit today.

    But I do like feeling in control of my feelings, and just "feeling" period.. after anesthetizing for so long. I don't feel the urge to smoke just because, like in the first days of quitting so I do see progress. I know that I have to exercise more and did try to practice mindfulness while taking a really hot bath to sweat it out. It helped some.

    I definitely think I got into smoking to alleviate my social anxiety. And because of that, I abused alcohol too, but was more of a binge/social drinker rather than a person that drinks everyday. Booze was easier to give up, because it's more apparently destructive and because it really wasn't my "drug". Weed is far more difficult because it kinda cloaked me away without the aggression and messiness that alcohol brings.

    I'm just going to try to approach tomorrow with a sense of curiosity, like ok, you're feeling this right now and maybe the next minute it will be different instead of going along with today was a terrible day and it's going to be like this for the next two weeks which tends to happen when one is sleep deprived. I guess that's called taking it one moment at a time. ;-)

    All my best to you both,
    xx

  6. #46
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    Hey Mrs Thunders,

    I am sorry you have been feeling crappy. Even though life is a bit more difficult at the moment, you sound as though you are definitely growing as a person and gathering insight. This is a great achievement in itself. And augurs well for your life beyond cannabis, when your mind is squeaky clean. It is intoxicating in a different way.

    From my memory of the early withdrawals, it feels like you just have to get through it. It is good to hear that you are trying different things, such as a bath or mindfulness. I think that the more little strategies you have for feeling just a little bit better, the easier it will be. So I would encourage you to keep trying new things that might soothe, comfort, distract, support - whatever you need!

    Feelings can be more intense, for sure. And this can be especially overwhelming if you are not used to them. My best advice would be to create a huge space inside of yourself, like an ocean for your feelings to expand and also to breathe into them. I also find that using my observing mind to describe the nature of the sensation (location, size, colour, is it moving etc) can help. I know it sounds a bit flaky, but it does really help. I hope to explain more fully sometime.

    Good luck with the next few days, and keep posting. I think it will help you to process your thoughts/ feelings and support your mindset. You are doing great!

    Alice

    For assistance with finding a reputable and accredited Marijuana Rehab Service Provider in the USA you can call the US Government’s FREE SAMHSA’s National Helpline on:

    1-800-662-HELP (4357)


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