Hard day over here in benzoland.
Felt catatonic and breathless and exhausted all day.
I had tried to cut a bit of the gabapentin the last two days and I think it's a mistake.
My head pressure got so intense I feared it would not stop. I began sweating furiously, getting those smells again and laid down to rest. Rest and Benzo withdrawal aren't words that fit together.
How can one rest with two young boys? With a pile of laundry, a pile of toys, dishes, food, mouths to wipe and feed?? All of those things are joyful and fun when your body and mind is healthy. These are things we do with pleasure. Exhaustion yes, but pleasure under normal circumstances. These times are different.
I laid in bed and did my best to plug my ears.
I am sinking.
I asked my husband if we had enough money for me to go to a functional medicine/naturopath. Where I live this will cost close to 350 dollars a pop.
I thought the answer would be yes, but I got a dose of reality. We aren't cutting it financially and I have only been out of work since November.
How in god's name are we going to continue if we are in the negative each month without my salary? My salary was half if not more of the income that we relied upon. We need the childcare because when my husband is working there is no way I can handle it on my own. The city I live in is very expensive. At this point, I am considering packing it in and selling our house and moving to a small town. I can't imagine it since we are in the local school of our dreams but in times like these we have to make some decisions. We can't live on air and fantasies and I likely will not be able to work for several years.
I encouraged my husband to join taskrabbit. He is highly skilled but is self employed and can go weeks to months with no steady work, because it's the nature of his business. He is highly qualified as an art director and can do pretty much anything on the computer--design, graphics, movies, illustrations, you name it. He can do it. But we have to fill in the holes somewhere. And I am a survivor. We have to do what it takes and yet I can't do much of anything at all but go to the grocery store and maybe pick up one son from school.
I am not well enough to do my job at the moment but apparently I am not sick enough to qualify for disability-a disability that was caused by medical care itself.
If I were a single mother I would have no choice but to reinstate for life. And that would still make me sick. So I am in a conundrum.
And even not being a single mother I am worried I will end up doing the same.
These headaches, this head pressure, this breathlessness, prickling, burning even loaded up and sedated on this garbage, this profound CNS damage is too too much. I would almost prefer god forbid a disease that is recognized, understood, so it could be treated and wham done.
I want my GABA back (don't we all?) Without that, life is all gas, no brakes. It's a life of terror, panic, breathless torture. I hate this. I am having a hard time staying positive when the titanic is sinking and there are people I love aboard the ship. WHY? Because of a doctor's mis-prescribing that's why.
Money doesn't solve problems but it sure helps.
With many other conditions I could do some kind of work. "Stability" in benzo land means you aren't writhing in pain in a fetal position but it sure as heck doesn't mean you are functional. Nope. My friend is in a recliner, another one is a high level professional who cannot work, another is a stoic mother who somehow some way pushes herself to her part time job and her children's sports events, others are literally crawling to the bathroom, or pacing our apartments all day. Are we really the anomaly??
WE ARE ALL SO SICK OF THIS. THIS CANNOT KEEP HAPPENING TO OTHERS.
There is no way I can do anything manual, I am terrible with my hands and at most tasks. I am very good at my job, but that's not the job I can do with a broken body and brain at the moment. THIS IS TEMPORARY. I keep telling myself that but I really am starting to doubt it, starting to doubt if I am one of the unlucky kindled ones that is really broken beyond repair. God, I hope I am wrong or I need to learn to make the transition to wherever life/higher power is calling me to go to in peace.
I need solutions. Fast.
Everyone says go slow on your taper. There is no point. People who go to detox can take 2.5 years at a minimum to be functional again especially if you are one that is 'sensitive' to these medications (which clearly I am..). So if I am going to do this, I have to do it in the next 4-5 months. But we cannot predict our outcome. Some are better in six weeks or six months. Especially those that have not kindled or cold turkeyed and have no underlying health conditions. We really don't know why someone gets well quickly and another does not. I hope the research starts to put together the pieces of this very mysterious and under reviewed issue. Is it genetics? General health? Kindling vs first time users? The state of our gut bacteria? Who knows. Maybe one day someone will care enough to do the research to find out.
Do I turn back around and call it a day? Is this dooable? Live a small life on a poison that I never wanted to be on in the first place? Or endure this path and pray I will become me again.
I don't want to get into regret or remorse. Forward only, not backwards. That's what a wise person said to me. Go forwards to you, not back to who you were. We can never capture who were were and this experience will change us, supposedly for the better (from those that have walked through it, I can't for the life of me see it now).
I look at myself in the mirror now and I don't recognize myself. My skin is spotted, and I am wearing the same pair of yoga pants every day. I am frumpy and out of shape. I don't even care. I managed to go to the grocery store late this evening when everyone was quiet. The fresh air smacked me in the face, the smell of wood burning, dinners being cooked and enjoyed. JOY. PEACE. PLEASURE. SLEEP. Words that every benzo sufferer dreams of.
PAIN FREE. PAIN FREE.
Words that every pain sufferer covets the most.
I am an outsider now.
I don't feel like I am part of life any longer but I am not ready to give up on life unless it gives up on me. I have never felt so close to death in my life. I hope it's my mind and not the reality. But I feel my body and mind are under assault. I saw somewhere online someone described it as being 'mentally raped'. A fellow benzo advocate has been missing these last several days.
I don't know the specifics of his situation as I did not know him, but he seemed like a gem, someone that helped others through this and advocated for others. I am saddened by the continual losses of beautiful people that have been pharma harmed. We have to keep reaching out in our darkest hour and seek medical ( I know this is scary because our situation will not be understood but if you are medically unstable go get it checked out ) or professional help or the help of peers who understand. I am an isolater in this situation, I understand. But we must continue to reach out.
For this reason, I had the idea of starting a help line. When I called a crisis line in the middle of the night some time ago, I ended up in a discussion with the call person who insisted that benzos were treatable in a detox etc etc. She was a snarky bitch. And clueless. It would be helpful to have something similar to what BATAID offers in England. Support and help for family members and those struggling from people that have been through it. People that GET IT. For me, it's the unbearable pain in my body that I cannot bear, For others, it's mental. Everyone has a unique collection of issues but please seek help if you are in a really dark place.
I want to be one of the lucky ones. The ones that glide off and say "oh that wasn't that bad", "yeah I have some looping thoughts but I sleep 6 hours!". I want to be optimistic but October showed me, it was a preview. The veil was lifted and I saw the darkness to come. The terror. It was unbelievable really. It was the most hideously heinous terrifying terror I have ever ever encountered in my lifetime. I don't know if I can live that way for years or even one year. I couldn't do it for one month. I was near death. I need some hope. I am sorry to spread so much cheer! (NOT) but I need to keep this real. This is where I am at tonight folks.
I did a supine meditation through insight timer app
I went to the store
I laughed at a video of my son running - I missed his jog a-thon this morning but caught it on video
I saw a picture of myself from my engagement. I am visualizing myself well again. I want to be that girl again. That woman.
I am going to continue to play LOTTO because sometimes magical thinking can bring....MAGIC.
The smells I am smelling are of INCENSE...that's positive right?
That's all I have to say.
And FUCK the DENIERS that say this isn't REAL.
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.