Another summer, the third one feeling benzo sick. I can't believe how long it's been and I hope I don't have to count three more summers until protracted is over.
I am almost done with my taper. I know, I know. I keep saying that. But everything has to come to an end right? I am at .20 of V. I am on 600mg gabapentin and 15mg of remeron.
I am not worried about the remeron. I don't care if my nervous system is working right and I am left on it for another year.
But who am I right now?
I don't feel like me.
I keep saying that to everyone who knows me and sees me. I sit down and after a five minute conversation ask them "Do I seem normal to you?" " Do I seem like me?". Most people surprisingly say YES.
This is the strangest thing. Feeling like you are on the edge of insanity but being able to play it off as if you are sane. Feeling terror. Sickness. Headpressure. Burning. Chest pain. On and on.
My emotions matter. A lot. What I put my attention on matters. A lot.
I know I keep repeating myself.
Where will this end? I don't know. Hopefully the finish line comes soon and fast. Hopefully there is peace. Hopefully akathisia doesn't stay too long, and god forbid forever.
I hope and pray and hope and pray and hope and pray for everyone injured by Big Pharma.
Injured by doctor's ignorance and possibly bad genetics.
Sending healing your way.
I have been throwing grenades into my life.
I want out. Not as in suicide out but just out. Out of responsibility. Out of confinement. Out of everything.
I've been impulsive.
I've been told I am not thinking clearly.
I've been told my brain had a problem before this.
I've been told I will never heal. I've been silenced. I've been dismissed. I've been ignored. I've been gaslit. I've been running to the wrong people for comfort. I've been disappointed. I've been unsafe. I've been in lack of acceptance. I've been bitter. Angry. I've been in terror. Scared. Alone. I've given to others too much. I've received too little then too much or the wrong thing. I've been out of gratitude. I've been in the moment. In the future and the past. I've been devoid of boundaries. I've been bad. I've been human. I've been rageful.
My dear friend laughed at the recent events in my life ( I will spare the details for now) and said, "You've gotten off the path".
I've been supported. I've been listened to. I've been loved. I've been held. I've been fucked with. I've been damaged. I've been triggered. I've been hopeful and hopeless about this grueling endless process.
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.
The trick in benzo withdrawal is staying calm and neutral at all costs. And yet, how to do this when the body is failing you, when there are bills to pay, kids that need you, demands, suspicions from friends who are in disbelief that this could be THAT bad.
It is that bad. And worse.
I am living in a sublet at the moment but I still come back to my home to see my children.
I want desperately to be away. To wake up to stillness. Quiet. Rest.
But when I close my eyes at night I see my children's little faces. Smiling, Innocent, Needing Mommy so badly.
So I drive back an hour to see them, but the chaos of little boys instantly sends my body into shock.
And even worse, I have to face my failing marriage.
I flew into a rage yesterday over money--or lack of it and a disagreement with my husband.
Normally I can stay calm. Poised. Mature. But some repetitive fights and the mounting financial pressure we are under just got to me.
I told my initial prescriber that he had NO clue what he has done to my family and I meant it.
I have been financially independent for years. An equal breadwinner in the family. We relied on my income for comforts, for living. More so than I thought.
The fact that I was denied for disability just makes me want to sink further into despair. I am stressed. Money is a stressor and I am worried.
I grew up poor and worked my way through college and graduate school. I built a successful business and had finally "made it" until this happened and my health collapsed.
I am so angry. So bitter.
And yet, they say that anger is the poison YOU swallow and expect the other person to die.
It's just not worth it. Especially not now.
Choose your words and your battles wisely now.
We need support, love and kindness. Benzo rage is real and frightening. It feels like a possession.
One day at a time.....
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.