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Anyone Else Quit Marijuana?

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by ComaDivine34, Jan 2, 2023.

  1. ComaDivine34

    ComaDivine34 Peer Supporter

    I've been a daily user for more than 10 years (17 years old to now 29). In between I have taken some 3-6 month breaks maybe a few times. When Medical Marijuana became legal I got my card and used it as an excuse to smoke and take edibles more. It helps back pain right? Unfortunately it didn't do much for pain. It really never did. I noticed it made pain worse because it heightened my already sensitive nervous system. I noticed this years before I had a medical excuse to use it. But it was a habit and I did enjoy it. Within the past five years, however, it started to give me anxiety at high doses and sometimes even at low doses. But I kept using it because that is all I knew. I would take a couple weeks off and then go right back to it.

    Finally I decided to quit for good after I had two very severe panic attacks where I thought about going to the hospital, even though I knew it would go away in an hour or so. After these attacks for days, my body was extremely tense and my brain was on high alert. I finally realized that this cannot be good for me, my anxiety and my pain. I also have never been able to get a hold of my anxiety even with medication. I decided to quit for good. It has been about a week, and while the withdrawal is uncomfortable (nightmares, night sweats, sweaty feet and hands, anxiety, tension and some GI upset) I am starting to feel a bit better. I believe the cannabis was causing me to repress my emotions while awake and asleep (due to lack of REM sleep and dreaming). I also would dread doing most anything and would fear the worst when I was high since I didn't feel fit to handle emergencies or life in general. I know quitting weed may not fix everything, but I am hopeful it will allow me to do the difficult emotional work I have been putting off. I wanted to see if anyone else has had a similar experience and just discuss the topic with others.
    map76 likes this.
  2. map76

    map76 Peer Supporter

    I’ve used marijuana occasionally, but I just really prefer alcohol. I am currently trying to abstain from booze for the same reason you quit weed though- I think it keeps me from making progress on pain/emotional work. I’ve been on and off the wagon with alcohol for decades. TMS is a convenient excuse to drink, so it’s really hard to stay sober. I just say, “WTF? I’m in pain. I deserve some way to feel better.”

    I did try a low dose of 50/50 CBD/THC tincture but I had anxiety occasionally like you described. When I do weed and get anxious, I use alcohol to level myself so it’s not like I could use weed and avoid alcohol.

    I guess I’m a real addictive person because now I’m overeating all the time without drinking alcohol.

    Anyway, good luck to you. Sounds like you’re trying to take care of yourself and make improvements in your life, so be proud of that.

    Are you doing anything fun to try to replace the weed? (And I don’t mean deep breathing lol even though that’s recommended by many.) Like a new activity you really want to do.
  3. ComaDivine34

    ComaDivine34 Peer Supporter

    @map76 thank you for the kind words and support. I am not doing anything much to replace it. Since the weed was giving me some of the worst panic attacks I've had, it was pretty easy to stop. I will say the first week or so was rough and I had more tension and anxiety. But I was so traumatized from those panic attacks that I was able to push through and my mood is lifting. I did start Wim Hof breathing and taking cold showers which is a rush. I highly recommend trying it to see how you feel. The breathing creates a bit of a rush and helps get your mind into a peaceful place.
    map76 likes this.
  4. blackdog

    blackdog Peer Supporter

    Hi ComaDivine34,

    I first heard of the cold shower method several years ago, I think possibly when reading David Goggins' book (that guy is hard core :)). I took initial steps toward trying them, but I don't rememebr why I stopped. I have so much work to do on TMS - I am currently working with the 3rd fear; being afraid that I am too weak or broken to make progress (comes from unresloved trauma). I am wondering, though, if it made my pain worse (and, so being so afraid, would have stopped). It sounds like you have a lot of anxiety too, so how do you deal with the dynamic of unpleasant or even just unusual sensations setting off the fear cycle when you take your cold showers? Is this something you experience when taking them? If not, do you have ideas on why not? I think it's awesome that you are doing this and, apparently, it eventually become enjoyable (or fun?). Best,

  5. ComaDivine34

    ComaDivine34 Peer Supporter

    Hey @blackdog. It definitely is a struggle. However, I am able to tell myself it will make me stronger by giving me the willpower to complete it. Plus I am aware of the scientific benefits of showers which are ultimately anxiety/depression relief, pain relief, and reducing muscle soreness. Those are all of my struggles in one sentence. It supposedly helps regulate your nervous system which I struggle from a heightened sympathetic nervous system. It also helps you deal with cold weather which is nice. Plus it feels good when you're done. It definitely takes some work but after the first few times you get used to it and learn to breathe and calm yourself through it. Also don't relegate yourself to only doing cold showers. You can definitely enjoy a warm one here and there.

    I do not notice the cold showers setting off the fear cycle, I just keep telling myself that I will ultimately be OK even though it is uncomfortable. I just jump in and try not to focus on the uncomfortable sensations and just comfort myself as best as possible. The first few times I would exit the shower laughing because it is a pretty intense experience. I have been using slightly warm water (middle on shower faucet) while I wash myself and then turn to full cold at the end for 15 seconds. And then keep building up day by day.
    JanAtheCPA likes this.
  6. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    AKA constructive self talk, which is a very powerful tool, and one I employ often. Back when I had a personal trainer who really pushed me, and especially in 2011/2012 when I was doing the TMS work and struggling with negative thoughts, I worked at mindfully employing this technique to give myself the courage to not fear the things she wanted me to try, like pressing and lifting 40+ pounds for the very first time in my life, at age 60. I also employed the same self-talk on those days when I just didn't feel like I could possibly drag myself out of bed and to the gym for my session. The fact that I'd made a commitment to be there helped push me, and I never missed a single time, and I always, and I mean every single time, felt energized and empowered afterwards.

    It's really all about mindfully taking control over your thoughts. Professional athletes, entertainers, and anyone who challenges themselves on a regular basis do this all the time.
    ComaDivine34 likes this.
  7. blackdog

    blackdog Peer Supporter

    Thank you ComaDivine34 and JanAtheCPA,

    I appreciate both of your respsonses. Negative self-talk is a huge part of my pain and anxiety cycles (cycle?). I am noticing some of it and seeking an appropriate therapist that knows how to use ACT or DBT to help me see more. For now, I am listening to Claire Weekes' audio by watching this video several times a day: . Her original take on anxiety is so powerfully hopeful to me, and her message seems to have a unique bit of insight for me every time I hear it. It has helped me sit through pain until it went away, both physical and anxiety.

    For instance, my uncle is expereincing a terrible medical ordeal for which his wife was unsure whether the best thing might be hospice. Talking to her, I could tell she was at her wits end. I am very good at searching for information on the intenert, so although I was quite worried I would end up in a bad place with both pain and anxiety by doing so, I researched for her last night for a couple of hours. I tried to be as mindful as I could of what I was experiencing and to let Weekes' message recur to me when necessary. When I was finished, my pain was only a 'little' worse in my neck, not at all in my back, and my anxiety was a bit spiked but very tolerable. I went to bed and had my most restful night in days, also by utilizing Weekes' message (this time of setting a goal - staying in bed throughout the night whether I awoke or not). This kind of experience really helps me feel some self-confidence! (As well as beleif in the TMS method - which is strikingly similar to Weekes' message).

    Also, I like your take on not forcing the issue ComaDivine34. Taking a regular shower with just a bit of cold at the end to start. Not feeling the need to do it every day. I think that may have been what caused me to stop several years ago. Probably as a means of self-sabotage, I have always pushed my limits. Generally, too fast and too hard - before I was ready. That almost has to do with fear and negative self-talk, though the workings are hazy to me. Anyway, it is encouraging to hear you espouse taking it slow as a valid and beneficial approach. Best,

    JanAtheCPA likes this.

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