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Knackered Seeks Identity with Benzos




Knackered Seeks Identity with Benzos

   Hey there, Knackered here.  During the summer of 1969, having just graduated from high school,  a friend and I spent a month trying to ‘find ourselves’.  The whole thing happened in his ’53 Chevrolet that was purchased for $15.  Yes, that was outrageously cheap, even for those days.  It burned a little oil: each day consumed about half a gallon of repurposed guck that we purchased in plastic gallon jugs.  But, we gave the vehicle a coat of glossy black paint, applied with a paint brush and headed out.

   Everyone was heading out in those days, searching for adventure (circa “Easy Rider”-the movie).  A lot of them were heading to San Fransisco inspired by the summer song: “If you’re going to San Fransisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers in Your Hair”).  We’d missed the “Summer of Love” (back in ’67) and thought about “Woodstock”, but though it was in progress at the time, we were doubtful our cash or car would make it that far.

   We did have some interesting times, including numerous auto breakdowns and meeting some pretty sketchy people, but alas, once we had arrived back home and showered, everything was much the same.

   Time has passed, but for the most part, the personal search for ‘identity’ still remains quite the crisis.  With everything from social media influencers to the process of searching out your Enneagram group, it’s all enough to turn you into a stage 5 clinger.

   When asked ‘who are you’?  folks most often will state their profession, marital status, team affiliation or some particular group or organization they’re affiliated with.   My dad was a barber, I was a teacher, my brother was a drug dealer, and my mother was our house manager.  All true.

   When I first started my Benzo taper, I told friends who wondered about physical and mental changes they noticed, that I had a bit of neuropathy in my feet and legs.  When personal confusion set in, it changed to,  “I might be having some memory issues.” Chronic fatigue and nausea kept me away from summer barbecues and I ‘begged off’ when it came to vacations and outings.  When I had to quit drinking coffee and alcohol they thought that I might be doing some type of ‘cleansing’ or getting religious on them.

   All of that was just skirting the issue of the ‘real me’ in the present sense.  Nowadays, I just go ahead and ‘out’ myself….”I’ve had some serious behavior health problems and taken medication that was highly effective, but now has been found to have some serious side effects.  Getting off of it is all consuming, debilitating, and painful”.  Sometimes there’s shock and awe, other times instant silence.  Once in a while, someone will ask me to tell them about that.  I’m OK with all of it.  I’ve found a home here with you guys.  You treat me well.  Without your support, I don’t know where or how I’d be.  And best of all there hasn’t been any judgement.  I think we’ve found a collective sense of identity in the midst of all of this.


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