The way I describe this experience is fear on crack. It is so hard to explain 'benzo terror' to anyone who has not endured it. It's like the feeling one might get if you get a terminal diagnosis or an oncoming bus or train is ready to hit you. That feeling stays on and on and on and tortures you. The beautiful thing is that those who have recovered struggle to remember what it felt like--I guess a little like childbirth or chronic pain. Once it's done the mind protects you from feeling that again.
I have been researching and purchased some of the amygdala retraining work by Ashok Gupta and DNRS by Annie Hopper. I find it puts me to sleep, which is a good thing but it's hard to stick with because I find it boring and I don't have CFS or MCS or any of those issues so I wonder how applicable the training would be in this scenario. I think it can help us heal if we do not think, talk, behave sick. I went on a long walk today, sat with some girlfriends and worked. Normal day. I know in acute that isn't possible, I have felt that before.
I am committing to starting the training......tomorrow?! I believe that neuroplasticity can help and occur at any time, even during benzo withdrawal. I notice that my thoughts and feelings 100% influence my symptoms. My Buddhist mentor who has been thru hell and back with addiction has said benzo w/d fucks with your mind--it's 50 percent psychological and 50 percent physical. I don't know but It makes sense. The trick is not panicking when one is symptomatic and just saying HELLO YOU UGLY BASTARD PANIC CHEST PAIN ETC ETC , Hello! You aren't going to kill me, and if you do, then so fucking what.
The problem is a tiny little emotion becomes a volcano of feeling, panic attacks, self-doubt and that feeling of oh no, here we go again. The stress response is on ON and it takes a good 10 days to calm it down. I just wrestled with this panic for the last 25 min doing meditation and deep breathing and tapping techniques. I will post some helpful videos about this. It may seem silly or weird, but right now just bring me anything and everything that works to calm these adrenaline rushes that continuously stream my nervous system.
Parenting in withdrawal is hard. It's hard to feel disconnected from your children, disconnected from yourself. I can 'act' like myself, 'talk' like myself but I am not myself. It's like I keep reaching and reaching to get ME but I can't and wonder if I ever will....
Things I am grateful for:
1. I am alive. Another day.
2. Confronting my fear of death head on
3. Re-engaged with spirituality
4. New connections with fellow travelers
5. Humility and compassion for those that have traveled this road before
7. Reassessment of my priorities and slowing down
8. Bravery and resilience of the human body and soul
9. My children
Things that SUCK:
1. Feeling crazy and being a live wire
2. No off switch
3. Having to carry on with life, business as usual
4. Parenting in this state-what this is doing to my family
5. Pretending all day, every day
6. Having very little validation or understanding from doctors or others who have not experienced this (or for people that have not had this problem when getting off their benzo)
7. Self -doubt,. Constant back and forth about what to do and which direction to go in. Lack of trust in doctors or any kind of medical treatment (detox)
8. Feeling alone
9. Having to have patience
10 This shit BLOWS.
I believe there is a purpose in this! What the hell it is? We wlll see. For those on this journey, let's dig deep and find our purpose around this.
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.