Life goes on in benzo withdrawal. My beloved dog, my companion for over 15 years is fighting for his life tonight. I feel regret and blame myself a bit. Thursday he went to the groomer. All was well. My son commented in the car how cute he looked and how much he loved him. I said the same. He was a filthy mess before and I was happy that he was soft and cuddly and groomed. I love him either way of course. Life proceeded as usual.
Or so I thought.
This is how quick things and life can turn. In just an instant. When he was doing a little coughing thing the last day or two, my husband and I chalked it up to kennel cough but wondered if we should call the vet. Had I been on my game, I would have, I know I would have. I have good intuition and said "maybe it's his heart" but discounted that quickly as I am blamed at being negative and imagining worst case scenarios. I say better safe than sorry.
Last night, I was sitting by the kitchen table writing little good morning notes to my children (I have been doing this while in withdrawal because I have been unable to get up with them in the morning but still want to be a part of it). While sitting there, my little beloved dog started barking and barking. I got annoyed. He was trying to get my attention I now see. He was trying to tell me something. But he was so full of energy and life, I just thought he was begging for food and passed it off as an annoyance. I checked to see if his bowl was full. It was. I got on with my business. What a mistake.
This morning the coughing became gasps. My husband told me he had booked an appt at 2pm. It was noon. I said HELL NO. HE NEEDS TO GO NOW. This is the kind of thing my husband and I often disagree on. I overreact I suppose (although I feel I listen to my intuition) and my husband undereacts. We are working on balance.
I had woken up positive and had even had a good dream for once. Not a haunting hallucinatory nightmare as I have tended to have during this withdrawal.
I had had a good conversation with Baylissa Frederick. She was calming and soothing as usual. She's fantastic. I had woken up with what felt like somewhat of a window (not sure I can use that language while still ON the medication but let's just say I felt a tiny bit better).
But life had other plans....
I was afraid to deal with my dog because my nervous system started to shake. I was afraid I would be set on fire if I didn't calm myself down. I feel I have VERY LITTLE CONTROL over what my nervous system does. I feel injured. Guiding myself with words simply doesn't work. Once the CNS express train is off and running I have little control over what happens next. I tried. I had to detach. That was the only way. The only thing that was going to help me survive this.
So, I told my husband I needed him to carry him and I would meet him there. It wasn't good news. He was in heart failure. Just yesterday after he barked I gave him a snack and he readily gobbled it all up. That was my sign whether or not it was an emergency. I didn't think it was. I am trying to take contrary action from my former self that over-reacts... so I waited. Now I realize that was just my stupid benzo brain not listening to my good intuition. I feel had we taken him one day earlier when he was showing milder signs he would have a better chance of making it. We don't really know that but still...
I lit a candle tonight and prayed.
He is in oxygen tonight and infused with medicine with hopes that they can clear his lungs. Miracles happen right?
How does this relate to benzo withdrawal? Well it doesn't really, it is just a really sad part of life. But the theme that I was talking to Baylissa about is what to do when I am down and how not to let others minimize the w/d sx as being "just withdrawal". Finding a safe place to go where others are educated on just what is going on, and not a merely labeling it as a 'recurrance of my past illness' (because I didn't have one).
If you can, have others you trust lined up to help FIGHT FOR YOU if and when the time comes when you get off this medicine.
I am at .75 mg of V. Tiny huh? But I am propped up by other medications. Without them, right now I don't think I would be alive. I was having an extreme reaction with akathisia so unbearable and the worst chest pain that had me in a curled up little ball two months ago. I want to make sure my family knows not to take a wait and see approach when I am in the thick of it. Take me to the doctor, healer, magician, I don't care. Do some insisting. Hustling. Phoning professionals. Do whatever you need to do on your partner or loved one's behalf to be seen and heard and understood. If you hear someone saying this isn't just withdrawal, well, check out what they suspect and move on. Baylissa says, it's normal for withdrawal. It's normal.
Another thought I have is that noone knows your body better than you do. While you would like to be drug free RIGHT NOW (Oh so do I believe me), it is not wise to put your life at risk or at harm in the name of principles in my opinion. While many of my BB members pm me about seizure like experiences they felt, or akathisia they weathered, we are ALL DIFFERENT. Not all doctors are evil. One doctor warned me about the seizure auras I was having and I am inclined to believe him. I don't want to take any chances with two small kids. I want to do this in a slow calculated way (which I sadly was doing but it hasn't work quite the way I hoped).
There was one you tube I watched about a man discussing his seroquel and klonopin withdrawal. He DESPERATELY wanted to be free of these drugs but suffered heart attacks while trying to withdraw. I don't know the details, but let's not judge others, okay? We are all doing the best we can. We have to consider people's health, gut health, family support, financial situation, all of it.... only you know what your mind and body can tolerate and what is best for your survival. One step at a time.
I wish I could be writing a blog about something hopeful, cheerful, light, artistic, creative. Something that is life affirming. But here I am , resisting and trying to accept where my life is at the moment. My pup included. I thought it would be another day with him jumping on the couch for a cuddle, sitting at my feet waiting for scraps and peeing in the house (yes, when it rained he liked to pee in the house. A bit of a primadonna he didn't like to get wet!!)
I talked with a neighbor also about my situation in the event I need someone to lend a hand. I told her all the people in my life are urging me to keep going with my taper, keep marching along. But I shared that I feel I am in a concentration camp and I am marching towards the gas chamber. Sound dramatic? Then you haven't experienced the horrors of drug withdrawal. So why am I resisting marching towards the gas chamber? I'm scared. I don't want to die over this, I don't want to suffer for several years in a bed. I am not sure my body is strong enough to. I have to tell you again my horrific problems started from not even daily usage. I am HYPER crazy insanely sensitive. I have underyling health issues. The OFF is where we will see what happens. I just hurt. In every way. And yet I am fairly calm tonight despite burning all over, Despite the fact that the one pet I adore beyond words is fighting for his life tonight. I am too. We all are.
Today was about my amazing dog. My amazing companion. He used to jump out of my car window when I first got him. When I would go on dates, he would run away out of the house and me and my date would be chasing after him. He never listened. He barked a lot. I still loved him. He was crazy, eccentric, he is my cutie pie. He showed affection in his own, unique way, Every morning, he waited by my bedside. He was my companion, my friend. I got him when I was in a dark place 15 years ago, still in chronic pain. He was unruly. 6 months later, I met my husband whose calm presence calmed my baby. He became our dog, our baby. He was so loved. This last year I didn't SEE him, I barely connected with anyone in my house, let alone my dog. Anyone. I am muddled and self consumed and in pain. I want out so badly of this prison and into life again.
I am grateful that I was able to be well enough to be with him today. I have lit a candle in honor of him and imagined myself sending him love, and warmth in meditation. I don't want him to suffer. I want to accept life on life's terms, not my own.
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.