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Here is my story.

I've never really been a fan of marijuana. I experimented cautiously in high school a few times but never got really high, and decided it wasn't for me.

In February 2016, at the age of 29 (1 year 8 months ago), I worked at a very stressful job that I have been on and off again for about 10 years. I reached a boiling point with that job, and was having trouble getting enough sleep at night. A coworker suggested marijuana, and hooked me up with some really strong edibles, which he was using to help him fall asleep. I decided to give it a try. At night I took a small portion of the edible. A few hours later I didn't notice anything and took another piece. Then it suddenly hit me.and I had the worst night of my life. I won't go into details, but I pretty much went crazy with intense hallucinations that can't be described in words. Extremely intense DP/DR. I was in my own personal hell which felt like an eternity. Luckily my brother happened to be home and if it wasn't for him I wouldn't have survived the night. I won't go into details but I became suicidal and the hallucination was very extreme.

After an eternity I woke up in a hospital with a somewhat functional brain, still with DP symptoms but feeling much better. I then fell asleep and woke up in my own bed the next morning, relieved to be alive and back in a somewhat normal state of mind. I was so confused about what had happened to me but relieved to be back to normal, for the most part.

This went on for about a month. I was asking myself questions every day, still confused about what I had experienced.

One day at work a panic attack hit me out of nowhere and all the feelings from that horrible night hit me once again. I had to leave work. My entire reality fell apart once again. I was so confused and had no idea what was going on. It was like a never-ending panic attack that I couldn't get out of. I was able to see my doctor that day and was prescribed Ativan, and was told to see a psychotherapist to help.

What followed was the worst month of my entire life. The first few weeks were hell to get through. If it wasn't for the pills I would not have gotten through those rough days. I left my job and lived with my parents, who were incredibly supportive. I had luckily saved a good amount of money that kept me afloat. I had no health insurance so I had to pay cash for psychologist sessions twice a week. As expensive as they were, I did not care about money. I just wanted to get better, and the sessions helped a lot, just talking to someone. I did not know about DP/DR until my therapist told me that was what I was going through, after I described my experience to her.

I discovered this site after I searched for DP/DR and was relived that I wasn't the only one going through this hell.

However, this site was quite triggering for me. Reading posts about people experiencing similar things to what I had experienced brought back the same horrible feelings and sensations to me. I never posted on here but read a ton. I would wake up and the first thing I would do was browse the recovery section in hopes of a new cure being discovered by someone.

This lasted for months. I couldn't even step foot outside of my room without suffering from a panic attack. It felt like I would never recover.

I saw many doctors and did many tests, desperate to find out what was wrong with me. I read other people's experiences on here and was convinced what I was going through was worse than DP and that I would never recover. I tried antidepressants but ultimately decided against them. I spend hundreds of dollars on natural supplements from Amazon. Some helped mildly but none were the cure. (In case you are wondering, what seemed to help very mildly was Fish Oil, Vitamin D and Vitamin B, as well as some herbal teas that helped me get enough sleep each night)

Thinking back on those days makes me so happy to be where I am at now, almost 2 years later. I am at such a good place now compared to back then it's almost unbelievable.

However I still struggle on some days like today. And I wonder if I will ever feel like I did before I went through this entire thing. Part of me is happy that I am able to live a normal life these days. But another part of me is upset that the experience I went through will always live with me. It was such a horrible hell I went through that I will never forget it and be able to erase it from my memory, and it feels like I will never be back to "100%" because of the horrible memories.

As much as this site triggered me, I also read a lot of good advice on here too. I bookmarked the most helpful posts and would read them any time I was feeling down.

After about 6 months of suffering this horrible DP, I got an offer to go back to my old job. I had run my savings dry and needed money. And my old boss promised he would make things less stressful for me if I came back. So I gave it a try. It was tough at first but forcing myself out in public and in stressful positions really helped.

Since then I have moved out into my own place, with a roommate. It was such an incredibly stressful experience and still is, but it has helped me so much. I think back on how far I have come. From not being able to leave my parents house to now living on my own and being able to handle it. I hope this trend continues and I continue to get better as the years go on.

I also started my own business and it is going OK but it is such a stressful experience. I have been through so many stressful experienced, and have not suffered horrible DP panic attacks.

The biggest issue right now is that I feel out of it many times. My sense of self has been damaged since the DP started. Some nights I have trouble falling asleep and wake up feeling confused about where I am, and some traces of DP hit me and it's horrible.

Still, compared to where I was when I first experienced extreme DP I am thankful to be where I am at in my life. It is still a big struggle.

I hope things will continue to get better. I go through many weeks of forgetting I even had DP, and it's good to experience happiness once again. But once in a while I will have a bad night and it is just so demoralizing, and it feels like I haven't gotten better at all. It's horrible, and all it takes is one bad day to completely ruin things.

Anyway, thanks for listening. I always wanted to come back to this site and post my experience. And it helps to get all of this off of my chest, even if nobody reads it. I wasn't sure if I should post this in recovery stories or introductions, since I am still confused about the entire experience I have gone through and still continue to go through in a way.
 

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Thank you for sharing this. I recently had a very similar experience with smoking marijuana September 1st of this year. It felt like hell to me too, and I thought I was going to die. I also experienced hallucinations and became something like suicidal. Since then I have had issues with sleeping, concentrating in classes/attending them, and just thinking in general. I am currently hopeful for the future, but I would be lying if I said I don't sometimes feel like I will always be like this.

I am also ashamed to admit that this wasn't the first time I have gone through this. I am a very stubborn individual and I like to experience life in all its beauty, which means that I did the same thing to myself two and a half years ago with smoking marijuana. I went through DP/DR for a long while then too, and recovered very well and even had some semblance of normalcy. I started trying to smoke again because of many reasons, but the two that stand out are:

  1. I have had one or two positive experiences out of the dozen-something poor ones and the single awful one, and
  2. I was convinced that with repeated use that I would get used to it and learn to really like it like so many of my friends seemed to.

I now know that the drug simply is not for me, and never will be, no matter how much I use it. Humans are fascinating, each different, and extremely complex. It is not crazy to think that things like marijuana can be wonderful for some people and absolutely a form of torture for others. Returning to my recovering then, I have always been a bit weird in my own way, but I was starting to feel then like I did before I ever smoked; but again, I re-traumatized myself, so now I am back at square one.

It can be hard for me to remember all the coping strategies I employed then, so I feel like I am in a rut right now. I tend to run away with my thoughts and fears, and lose myself in them, forgetting all the ways that I know to make myself feel better. I am also a senior in college majoring in something I don't even want to do anymore, which is making things worse due to the increased stress there.

Your post has made me hopeful for the future again, and I appreciate that. I forget how it was for me in the past - and feel free to chastise me for smoking again when I had such a horrible experience the last time - and your post reminded me that I can and will recover; it just takes time is all.
 
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