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Day 4...

Posted: Wed Jun 02, 2021 12:36 pm
by Tiff_Shakti
Hey guys...this is really scary for me to reach out and share something that I've been keeping such a secret for so long, which is my heavy cannabis use.

I gave it up for many years...and was completely sober. But due to some trauma in recent years, and being in lock down with an abusive family member, I found myself turning to it again. Then before I realised, it was every day, multiple times a day. I'm married, and my husband doesn't get intoxicated at all. He's also very judgemental and doesn't like to have hard or serious I've been left on my own to manage this. I'm on to day 4, and feeling hopeful. But still, the anxiety and fear of dealing with the traumas makes me want to run back to smoking again. Im a full time professional, as well as being at uni part time, so I don't have much energy left over to work in myself, and so when I came across this forum I felt so much relief...that there was a healing environment that I could tune in to around my full schedule.

I would love to hear some guidance on how long it will take for the cannabis to leave my symptoms? I'm having night sweats at the moment, combined with the the cravings are huge. I've had desires to turn to alcohol just to manage...but I've restrained so far.

I really welcome any advice or feedback, as I feel pretty alone in my situation.

Thank you, sincerely.

Re: Day 4...

Posted: Wed Jun 02, 2021 2:46 pm
by Peace Dove
Hi @Tiff_Shakti,

Welcome to the forums! It's understandable to feel fear of sharing this for the 1st time after keeping it a secret for a long time. So congratulations for coming on board and having the courage to post your story. It shows your strong willingness to take action and make a change about it. You've come to the right place, this is a safe space to share without fear of judgement and where you'll find other people going through a similar situation.

The fact that you've given it up in the past for many years proves there's no reason why you shouldn't be able to do so again. You're spot on in identifying trauma and being in lock down with an abusive family member as triggers for your current use. And I'm sorry to hear you're finding yourself in that situation with your family member. Lock down is tough enough in itself, and I can imagine that person isn't making it any easier for you.

Seems like your husband's attitude towards it is both a motivator for you to not do it too but also perhaps a bit of a weight on your shoulders as it makes you feel you have to manage this by yourself. I just want to say you're not alone! Sometimes its strange that we're able to open up and communicate these things better with strangers in places like these forums than with our loved ones. However, there's usually many things at play with people that know us well and that we have tight emotional bonds with. So I'm really glad you've found the forums in this particular time for you, you will find more people here that have been going through similar experiences to yours.

Wow, good job! You're already on Day 4, that's great! I'm glad to hear you're feeling hopeful. :) Looks like you're on track to a great start.

Sounds like you've identified your triggers as psychological rather than physical dependence. This also shows your self-awareness. Sometimes lingering on the anxiety and fear builds them up and so we keep postponing facing the traumas in order to be able to move on. Have you thought of seeing a counsellor or a psychologist that can help you work on those traumas? Understandably having both work and study on your plate is quite enough. Nonetheless, do you reckon this all being in the back of your head might be consuming your energy anyway as opposed to working on them even if little by little to start liberating that energy?

I'd like to introduce you to one of our wonderful members of the community @Minnie mouse. She's has been off cannabis for over a month now and I think she'll be able to relate to those night sweats you're feeling.

I think our peer-support-workers @ScorpionPW and @PnorkelPW might also be able to share a bit of their experiences with you on dealing with trauma.

How long it will take for your symptoms to go away is something that varies from person to person as there's many factors involved: age, health, frequency and amount of time using... I would encourage you to speak to your GP for support in that regard. A GP may also be able to help you manage the anxiety your feeling at the moment.

You're already doing a great job in not replacing the cannabis with alcohol, and seeking support here.

I can't stress this enough, you're not alone. You can jump on the forums at anytime, this is a welcoming community.

In the meantime, you might want to have a read at our fact sheet on cannabis. If you feel like you're needing more support, you can call for free 24/7 one of our counsellors in Victoria on 1800 888 236 (DirectLine). You can also speak to them through the web chat on this link. Scroll to the bottom of the page that link will take you to and click on 'Get started'.

Hope this helps, and I'm looking forward to following your journey.

Re: Day 4...

Posted: Thu Jun 03, 2021 8:39 pm
by PnorkelPW
Hi @Tiff_Shakti ……..great to have you join us on the forums and thanks for sharing your struggles. I just wanna say………..hang in there.

Pot’s a sneaky one that people don’t give enough credit to……..those night sweats kept me trapped for much longer than I wanted to be on more occasions than I want to admit to. Like I said though…………hang in there. My experience was that they lasted up to a week but I can’t help but smile when I think about that first morning I’d wake up and realise that I got through the night without sweating. It was suuuuuch a relief and I’d be stoked with the best thing being that a feeling of hope surfaced. I didn’t fear going to bed anymore because I knew I was going to finally get a good night’s sleep and not toss and turn or need to change the sheets in the middle of the night………twice sometimes. The end of the sweats meant that it was almost over. There were other symptoms that would pop up for me such as mood shifts – not swings……just shifts - or just a plain flat day……low……..and it’d sorta spring up unexpectedly.

For me once those night sweats were gone my energy levels would shoot way up. It was like all the motivation that had been sucked out of me by the pot came flooding back and I suddenly wanted to do everything…… once! I’d be going here and there each day doing stuff I hadn’t done for ages and then out of the blue there’d just a be a day where I felt real flat. Maybe it lasted a couple of days and there was an underlying feeling of irritability but I knew that if I just hung in there it’d all be over very soon. It was a sorta secondary withdrawal or something but I’d move through it and the energy would come back quickly and that’d be it…… was only about the mental side of things after that………..not falling back into the trap of thinking that I wouldn’t get trapped in the cycle again if had another smoke.

Experience proved to me that alcohol wasn’t a solution either. Maybe it took the edge off but the side effect was it actually increased the cravings for me and created a whole new reason to want to smoke. The booze resulted in me needing something to come down and get to sleep so I’d just want to smoke……….then I was back to square one and the night sweats would start ALL OVER AGAIN! That was motivation to just try and push through after learning my lesson the hard way…………a few times.

Lived experience also tells me that the trauma needs to be addressed with the appropriate professionals. Family, partners, friends, etc aren’t always equipped to be able to help and sometimes we expect too much from them. They don’t always know what to do, what to say, how to help and can feel powerless, useless and get frustrated or angry because they want to help but are just unable to. This is where your GP, psychologist or counsellor comes into play and if you don’t have these things my recommendation would be to find one and find one that suits you. If you don’t establish a connection or start to feel like they’re not helping you progress then find another one but don’t give up on the idea. Trauma takes time to get over so be kind to yourself and give yourself permission to take the required time to get through it.

One thing I know for certain is that if you don’t treat the issues that drive you to want to use then you’ll just end up using again. The physical, mental or emotional pain builds to the point that you end up using again to make it stop. Maybe you could ask your partner to support you through the counselling side of things…….drive you to and from appointments, cook dinner on the days of appointments or whatever else you identify as being helpful for you during the process. Your partner may not be able to help with the trauma but they can help with the much needed support you’ll need and feel included and useful in the process.

You’re not alone and I’d love to hear how things progress along the way……it’d be great if you could keep us updated.

Re: Day 4...

Posted: Fri Jun 04, 2021 10:58 am
by ScorpionPW
Hi @Tiff_Shakti, I just wanna start by acknowledging how much courage it takes to come on here and share what is happening for you, thanks for your honesty :)

It almost sounds like having to live a double life in a way, fronting up to work and study whilst having to battle your cannabis use, it sounds like a lot to hold on your own and I'm glad to see that you've taken a step towards lightening the load so to speak.

I can really relate to your reasons for using as well. I was severely bullied and abused by my peers and cannabis was a blanket for me for a number of years to cope with it, it was like my best friend when almost everybody else around me was treating me horribly.

For me, the noticeable detox from cannabis usually lasted about 2 weeks of not sleeping much and sweating a lot through the night. Also feeling agitated, anxious and with a loss of appetite throughout the day. But this was mostly tolerable and did not come with any physical risks. The worst part of cannabis detox for me was the emotional detox. This is because it was such a blanket, and I didn't realise how much of a blanket it was till I stopped and the waves of suppressed emotions would hit me so unpredictably. It was when I was going through this that I really needed support around me.

I also went through a vicious cycle of quitting smoking cannabis then picking up alcohol and every time this would happen I would always end up just picking up cannabis again. This is because I enjoyed it so much more and when I found myself drinking everyday I just went back to what I felt was less harmful but would then be back at square one within a number of days and be fully hooked into cannabis addiction again.

In terms of not using substances to cope with the trauma, the only way I was able to do that was not alone. I needed support from 12 step based peer groups in the community and I don't think there's anyway I could have broken the cycle and managed to stay stopped without this support.

I hope you can find some solace here and that you're able to find some support that will work for you with everything else you have going on...How have the past couple of days been for you?

Re: Day 4...

Posted: Mon Jun 07, 2021 8:47 pm
by Minnie mouse
@Tiff_Shakti Hi there and welcome to this awesome group. I've been off the weed for a couple of months now, I've actually lost count now of how long. Admitting to myself that I had a problem was probably the hardest part, the shame and guilt I felt was so overwhelming. I was caught out by random drug testing at my work. I felt devastated that my job was at stake. I immediately sought help from this group, had a couple of online counselling sessions here. I also went to my doctor and was prescribed valium to help with the anxiety. I engaged in these forums daily and was given some great advice, journaling, meditation gentle exercise, gratitude, looking forward to things. It all helped me so much. The nightmares and sweats were pretty intense for the first couple of weeks, but they have settled down a lot. I have also been seeing a psychologist and have identified my triggers, past trauma being one but I also found that even being happy like excited was a trigger. It was like I was covering up all extreme emotions coz they were just too much. And the guilt made me feel like I didn't deserve to feel joy. Hang in there and just be kind to yourself. Sometimes we can be our own worst judges. The physical symptoms wont last long if we deal with our emotional reasons for using the weed. Seek help, stay engaged with this awesome group and I'm sure you will get better, 😊🙏

Re: Day 4...

Posted: Wed Jun 09, 2021 9:19 pm
by ScorpionPW
Hi @Tiff_Shakti, just checking in and wondering how you're going, if you're managing to hang in there and if there is any support we can offer you here? :)