Help! How can I manage my irritability when I quit weed?

Quitting weed can be rough. You make the decision to do something good for your mind and body and then, as a thank you, you get smacked in the face with some pretty hefty withdrawal symptoms which threaten to throw your best intentions way off-course. So if you’ve noticed you’re snapping at friends, family or co-workers, there are a few simple steps you can take to prevent unnecessary bridge-burning while your body readjusts to life without weed.

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Quitting weed can be rough. You make the decision to do something good for your mind and body and then, as a thank you, you get smacked in the face with some pretty hefty withdrawal symptoms which threaten to throw your best intentions way off-course.

The sleepless nights, anxiety and cravings can all have an impact on you internally, but what about the cannabis withdrawals that also affect the people around you? At NCPIC, we often hear stories of how people get really irritable when they try to quit weed, but they have no idea how to manage it. Sometimes loved ones find the irritability so difficult to live with, they even encourage the quitter to go back to using cannabis, just so they can turn from Mr Hyde back to Dr. Jekyll.

We all know the signs, it’s when the little things that aren’t normally such an issue start to really get under your skin. Like when that person sitting next to you has been sniffing since they sat down and now every snotty inhale sounds like a freight train rattling through the room. Or you’re seriously considering the merits of capital punishment for people who drive less than 2kms below the speed limit.

You’re stressed, haven’t eaten properly in days and you feel exhausted. With all the stress of withdrawal symptoms bearing down on the body, it’s natural that you might start to feel a bit sensitive and p’d off. But out of all the symptoms of withdrawal you might experience, irritability can put the most strain on relationships at home, work or school.

So if you’ve noticed you’re snapping at friends, family or co-workers, there are a few simple steps you can take to prevent unnecessary bridge-burning while your body readjusts to life without weed.

1. Where appropriate, let people know what’s going on

If you just take the time to explain what you’re going through to those closest to you, they are more likely to be understanding of the situation and cut you a bit of slack. They might even offer you a bit of support and help you push past it. Obviously some people are going to be more understanding than others, so use your judgement and choose wisely.

2. Change your surroundings

If something or someone in particular is driving you up the wall, get out of there. Go for a walk around the block or move into the next room. And hey – give yourself a pat on the back, maybe this person is always obnoxious and you’re just a super patient person!

Remember, sometimes just changing your environment can be enough to shift your mood.

3. Distract yourself

Mix it up! Changing your activity to something different, something you usually enjoy, can be enough to shift your mood.

4. Don’t beat yourself up

Acknowledge this is part of the process of quitting and it will eventually pass. No one is bubbly and perfectly mild-mannered 100 per cent of the time. Yes, maybe you have been acting out of character lately, but that’s not the real you and things will return to normal soon enough.

5. Do apologise

Hindsight is 20/20. How many times have you looked back on a situation and realised you could have handled things a lot better than you did? It can be tough to swallow your pride, but if you do find yourself regretting an action, then a simple apology can go a long way. Let your colleague/friend/partner/goldfish know you weren’t feeling yourself when you acted the way you did, and you’ll do your best to prevent it happening in the future.

Remember, the symptoms of marijuana withdrawal are temporary, and they are a natural part of quitting weed after prolonged heavy use. Stick to your guns and keep pushing through, because after a few weeks you’ll be feeling better than ever.

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