Today is World Benzo Awareness Day.
On my facebook feed I am reading and watching heart wrenching and heartbreaking videos and posts from people all over the world about their struggle and losses due to benzos. I see before and after pictures. I see Mothers. Fathers. Daughters. We are all alike and yet we all have our own unique story.
I am camera shy and private these days so I have not posted much about myself on my feed or otherwise. It's hard to explain to people that every little thing revvs me up and dysregulates me. It's hard to explain to others that a group of "normal" people that used to be my friends or colleagues or part of my mom's group feel intolerable to be around. And yet part of my self- imposed "rehab" includes one on one time with one person every day. Either they come to me or I go to them. I am a connector by nature and the thought of being alone with my thoughts, purposeless and rudderless fills me with dread.
Yesterday I spent the day with a good friend. She was in need. She is lonely and scared. She was suicidal and depressed. This is not a benzo friend but she is on medication. The doctor on the phone told her that he wanted to avoid the big guns like seroquel and risperadol and instead upped her other medications. I have known this woman for a long time. 9 years ago when we met, she was perky and beautiful. She still is but her light is not shining as bright lately. She has had consecutive losses: her mother, father, brother. She has had two major neck surgeries. A host of pain killing medications and steroids. She has no family. Little money. A good job but her clients are diminishing because she has a hard time holding her sadness in during work. We spent the day together going to Trader Joe's and picking up my son. All day my benzo terror accompanied me. Chest pain, terror, panic, pelvic pain, stomach issues, the works. I have learned to separate myself from my body. I guess some call it disassociation. But what choice do I have? Each day is brutal but I am grateful for small pockets of relief. I just pray things don't get much much worse after I jump off. I am almost down to .25 mg of V and some say just jump but my doctor says keep going....
The point of the story above was to show you how important it is right now to stay connected. Not just online but in person. We need touch. Caring. Eye to eye contact. Always but especially now. She didn't need to up her meds. She needed love and caring. Someone to hold her hand. To be solid. To have a plan. She didn't need the hospital. She didn't need an antipsychotic. She is not in withdrawal and despite how profound her depression is I would trade it over benzo withdrawal any damn day of the week.
Tell someone about Benzo Awareness Day today, Let's start making changes.
Someone who found themselves accidentally dependent and suffered an iatrogenic injury from medications that were prescribed. Sharing experience, strength and hope with others. This is written as a person on this winding path and NOT as a professional. Please contact a licensed professional for any medical/psychological care or advice. This is NOT a substitute for medical or psychological care. What is written here reflects my own personal experience ONLY.