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Things We Never Thought We Could Do in Benzo W/D


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Hi, guys,

 

I've seen some posts lately about some of us doing things we never thought we could do while we're going through w/d and I wanted to start a thread on this so we can brag on ourselves and get some encouragement and inspiration.

 

I'll go first.  :D 

 

- I never thought I could keep my job during a month where I slept decently only two nights out of the month, showing up for work all but two days and continuing to be an intern psychotherapist at a counseling agency. One day I think they noticed I was super tired and brain fogged but for the most part, I've worked my ass off both on my good days and on my bad days to make sure as little as possible fell through the cracks.

- I took my 13 yo on a two day staycation with LOTS of quality time with my very energetic daughter (OK, it was at a spa, that was pretty nice)

- I'm going through the legal part of my divorce (stay tuned; I should have been looking into health insurance like last month. Pretty scary and sad and he needs a lung transplant, trying not to freak out)

- That's most of it other than having to do the minimum to maintain a household - cook meals for my daughter and me and do minimal cleaning and pay bills, groceries, etc.

 

I'm still really struggling but it's getting better. On days when I've slept OK like today (6 pretty broken up hours) it's so much easier than it was that first month. On days when I haven't slept, I probably shouldn't be driving a car, but I drive like a little old lady and I know all the back roads in town.

 

The most amazing thing is since I panicked about losing my job, my anxiety and depression have been pretty much at bay, which is so unlike me. I guess I'm pacing myself since I know this may be a long haul, just saying "OK, it is what it is. Just need to deal and get through it and let my brain heal. It's getting better." So I'm honing some stress management skills. I really feel that once I'm done with this, I'll be able to handle *anything*!!

 

How about you? What have you done in w/d that you didn't think you could do?

 

Gina

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I had a terrible acute phase. I came home from rehab and couldnt walk or talk. I talked like someone with brain damage. Anyway, my sister called and told me, do not lie in bed, get up and shower every day no matter what ..and I did get up after the 1st week, showered every day, and put on lipstick. And my hands did not work properly, but I did laundry too..
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Hi, guys,

 

I've seen some posts lately about some of us doing things we never thought we could do while we're going through w/d and I wanted to start a thread on this so we can brag on ourselves and get some encouragement and inspiration.

 

I'll go first.  :D 

 

- I never thought I could keep my job during a month where I slept decently only two nights out of the month, showing up for work all but two days and continuing to be an intern psychotherapist at a counseling agency. One day I think they noticed I was super tired and brain fogged but for the most part, I've worked my ass off both on my good days and on my bad days to make sure as little as possible fell through the cracks.

- I took my 13 yo on a two day staycation with LOTS of quality time with my very energetic daughter (OK, it was at a spa, that was pretty nice)

- I'm going through the legal part of my divorce (stay tuned; I should have been looking into health insurance like last month. Pretty scary and sad and he needs a lung transplant, trying not to freak out)

- That's most of it other than having to do the minimum to maintain a household - cook meals for my daughter and me and do minimal cleaning and pay bills, groceries, etc.

 

I'm still really struggling but it's getting better. On days when I've slept OK like today (6 pretty broken up hours) it's so much easier than it was that first month. On days when I haven't slept, I probably shouldn't be driving a car, but I drive like a little old lady and I know all the back roads in town.

 

The most amazing thing is since I panicked about losing my job, my anxiety and depression have been pretty much at bay, which is so unlike me. I guess I'm pacing myself since I know this may be a long haul, just saying "OK, it is what it is. Just need to deal and get through it and let my brain heal. It's getting better." So I'm honing some stress management skills. I really feel that once I'm done with this, I'll be able to handle *anything*!!

 

How about you? What have you done in w/d that you didn't think you could do?

 

Gina

 

Hi Gina,

I absolutely love the idea of this post and your courage about how you managed through the worst of it! I also wanted to add I know how hard it can be working in the psychotherapy field - I'm in this field too! I can only imagine how difficult it was to be there for others, compartmentalize your own suffering/symptoms, and hold it together, all while also going through a divorce and taking care of a child! Incredible. We prove to ourselves how strong we are every day! As for me, I can't believe how I can still show up for work (I teach college!) after little or no sleep and someone how get through lectures. I know I'm not as effective as I could be, but my motivation and passion for this job is stronger than the weakness I feel right now because of my brain trying to heal and re-set itself.  I think we hold it together better than we might think some days!!

 

Also taking care of pets is something that I still was/am able to do well and remember to do, and forcing myself to exercise. Pretty much it. I am still in a semi-survival mode zone of just getting through the days, but there are glimpses of myself in there and moments of joy. I can't wait til I can laugh a lot again.

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Thanks, guys; these are great!

 

Wow, Sioban--how did *that* work? I want to know your secret. It's been since before I jumped since I felt much confidence at all.

 

Ferggie - I love that! I don't think I'd be very good at that if I didn't have to show up at work. I admire that you did it! Yes, laundry is always one of those things I can do no matter how bad I feel. So glad you're doing better now.

 

Tealwater - thank you. So nice to meet another therapist. I feel like such a fraud right now and would never choose to do this work all other things being equal but I'm completing a long licensure supervision process so don't have a choice. Strange thing is, I've remained pretty effective and good at what I do with the exception of a few brain foggy days that first month but I know how to adjust what I do in a session when I'm not at my best. I don't think I'd want to be lecturing in front of a class though! I love what you said about your passion for the work being stronger than the weakness you feel right now. That is what has gotten me through and the belief that has been validated many times for me that I am where I'm supposed to be work-wise. So you just took Lorazepam for three days then tapered for two? I can't imagine ct will be a problem. I WISH I'd stopped after three days!!! Good for you. :-)

 

Keep 'em coming!!

 

Gina

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Hi again Gina!

Yes, I hear you on the licensure process! I am almost done with mine, in between taking exams now - studying has not been good because I've been so stressed about my body freaking out, plus going back to teaching almost full time between different universities. There is something about being a therapist that kind of temporarily removes suffering because we have to be in the moment with the person and really listen to them, and for that time we can almost forget what is happening to us -- this has been my experience, maybe yours too?? Teaching sorta does that for me too, although it helps if I am teaching about something I am really interested in and passionate about! Last week I had one night of terrible sleep, the next night I had a night class to teach, and it was on a topic I know a lot about and was looking forward to teaching. I was so effing tired, but my students told me "that was a really good lecture!" and i didn't even let them out that early like I had done the previous week when exhausted, LOL.

 

My use of a benzo was short-term, like you noticed. I actually took 4 doses of lorazepam, stopped over a weekend, then took two more two nights in a row, and then totally stopped. I am never going back!! I am not sure if it was a combo of this, my sensitive system, re-starting a few other meds for other things, plus stress response (cortisol!) but I got thrown for a LOOP. Every day is getting a little better... the sleep is still unpredictable, but I am calmer and less anxious. Holding on hoping for more healing for all of us!

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Yes, Tealwater, same for me re: work: I love being able to be of true service to my clients (hopefully) and be learning how to be a better therapist as I go and it *does* take me out of myself. Its just so draining during a time where energy is already at a low. (I had two decent nights of sleep my first month off benzos - I'm sure you realize how fortunate you are not to be in the shape so many others of us are in!) I need healthier, more energizing ways of getting out of my head & myself, but I'm grateful for it. And, yes, teaching is something I enjoy too--did a little adjunct where I got my masters which was fun. Of course many of my clients are addicts. I wish I could shake the stigma of the whole addiction thing even though I took as prescribed and my doctor was complicit in making me dependent, I know ultimately the responsibility is mine. I'm glad to know what's what in terms of benzo w/d though and be in a position to directly help others with this knowledge--two so far. Hope you continue to feel better! I just walked briskly in the sun for 20 min--not as much as I could have done but I did something and that's good.

 

Cheers!

 

Gina

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Nice topic!!! I am so happy that all of you are doing these things although they are suffering so much and so long.

 

I would never have thought that after a struggle with some persons and being in a huge wave,having pain in every single muscle in my body, I would leave the house in the evening and go on a birthday party and stay and feel good for 6 hours.

I learned to take a time-out from the horror.

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Gina, I totally agree about the stigma of addiction. It's a totally different feeling when you're on the other side! It definitely can help bring about empathy and compassion for others in a whole new way. I am so motivated now to specifically find ways to help people going through benzo withdrawal, I never totally realized what hell it can be, and how much support is needed for those who are going through this. It builds resilience and makes people stronger, that is for sure, and people need to understand the journey they will begin with this. The other ironic thing is benzo awareness day is my birthday  ??? LOL. I am wondering if things happen for a reason, and this happened to me because the universe was trying to let me know I am needed to help in a certain way.
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Gina, I hope this help someone:

Believe it or not, I started a new business.  It's a story worth telling and hearing.  Quickly, my drug history. After taking 2mg Xanax for two years, no change in dose, ever; I tapered for five months and have been Xanax free for another five months.

ONE MONTH BEFORE MY TAPER I was a co-owner of a thriving antique/home decor shop in a historic town.  My senior partner decided to retire.  We had a big sale and sent the remaining inventory off to auction.  I lost my shirt. Having a lease, I was left with the decision to break it and leave the business or find another partner.  As LUCK, GOD or the UNIVERSE would have it, a wonderful woman/1st grade teacher/ came into my life, offering to be my partner.  She was not yet retired but could work with me after school and weekends for four months before she would retire and be available full time.  (Now remember, when this happened I was still taking 2mg of Xanax per day and had no intention of going off.)

Humming along (no tolerance withdrawal) I gladly agreed to partner with her.  I liked her a lot and she was eager to learn a new business.  The 2500 sq. foot space, complete with 5 rooms, was now empty.  What had been the favorite, flourishing shop of so many was now looking pretty shabby and screaming for a lot of elbow grease.  Oh, and did I say we decided to change directions, becoming a clothing boutique.  Without going into tedious detail we started the costly renovation, still paying rent.  At 2 months into the renovation I read an article about the dangers of benzos and I asked my doctor to take me off. My doctor was clueless (as many of us have experienced) and took me rapidly down one whole mg.  Remember how that feels?  OMG and my new partner didn't even know I was on Xanax to begin with.  I had to tell her what was going on.  She said no problem. Really! She said no problem!  What a leap of faith! How could she know what she signed up for?  At the same time, how could my husband and family know what they encouraged me to do? 

My partner threw herself into the physical work and anything else she could do, with the help of her fabulous husband (still working full time at her teaching post); as I went through the horrors of withdrawal. With me supervising, ordering inventory, and showing up for short intervals of time, we were on our way.  I would speak to her from my bed or couch and she had no idea what I was going through at home.  How could she? I would work from home during the windows of sanity.  All the while obsessing that I would never get better; I'd never feel good again.  I would certainly never open the shop.  M new partner would lose all her money.  I was so bad I didn't even care about the money I would lose. Six long months into it, we finally did open.  A new shop, a new business, a new partner.  I was still married.  I could never have done it without the extreme love and patience of my husband, my family and my new partner and her husband.  Can you imagine, from her end, the extreme faith she had to have in me to jump into this business both from a monitory (big $$'s) and trust stand?  The faith my husband had to have as he watched first hand the horrors of withdrawal. I still can't believe it. 

I had my last fragment of Xanax in October 2015 and four months later, in February, we opened.  That faith and trust of my husband and my blessed new partner has kept me going. At the same time it has been an extreme pressure for a recovering addict.  Herein lies my key to recovery.  As uncomfortable and impossible as it was/is, I think it has kept me sane and from succumbing to a life of doing absolutely nothing, which is how I feel much of the time, still.  I feel that if I could do all of this, all while in withdrawal, that someday I will do it without feeling like I'm just going through the motions…a fraud.  I love my husband and my new partner for never giving up on me and for having faith in my future, even when I always don't.  It's so hard to explain what we go through to those who have never experienced the horror of how one little pill, taken once a day before bed, could wreak such unbelievable havoc to not only your life but to those who love you.  One day they will know how much I appreciate them.  If you are one of them, and are reading this, thank you from the bottom of my heart.  I love you.  If you are another in recovery, take this as a story of hope.  I finally see a light at the end of the tunnel.  I have miles to go, but go I will.

 

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Gina, I hope this help someone:

Believe it or not, I started a new business.  It's a story worth telling and hearing.  Quickly, my drug history. After taking 2mg Xanax for two years, no change in dose, ever; I tapered for five months and have been Xanax free for another five months.

ONE MONTH BEFORE MY TAPER I was a co-owner of a thriving antique/home decor shop in a historic town.  My senior partner decided to retire.  We had a big sale and sent the remaining inventory off to auction.  I lost my shirt. Having a lease, I was left with the decision to break it and leave the business or find another partner.  As LUCK, GOD or the UNIVERSE would have it, a wonderful woman/1st grade teacher/ came into my life, offering to be my partner.  She was not yet retired but could work with me after school and weekends for four months before she would retire and be available full time.  (Now remember, when this happened I was still taking 2mg of Xanax per day and had no intention of going off.)

Humming along (no tolerance withdrawal) I gladly agreed to partner with her.  I liked her a lot and she was eager to learn a new business.  The 2500 sq. foot space, complete with 5 rooms, was now empty.  What had been the favorite, flourishing shop of so many was now looking pretty shabby and screaming for a lot of elbow grease.  Oh, and did I say we decided to change directions, becoming a clothing boutique.  Without going into tedious detail we started the costly renovation, still paying rent.  At 2 months into the renovation I read an article about the dangers of benzos and I asked my doctor to take me off. My doctor was clueless (as many of us have experienced) and took me rapidly down one whole mg.  Remember how that feels?  OMG and my new partner didn't even know I was on Xanax to begin with.  I had to tell her what was going on.  She said no problem. Really! She said no problem!  What a leap of faith! How could she know what she signed up for?  At the same time, how could my husband and family know what they encouraged me to do? 

My partner threw herself into the physical work and anything else she could do, with the help of her fabulous husband (still working full time at her teaching post); as I went through the horrors of withdrawal. With me supervising, ordering inventory, and showing up for short intervals of time, we were on our way.  I would speak to her from my bed or couch and she had no idea what I was going through at home.  How could she? I would work from home during the windows of sanity.  All the while obsessing that I would never get better; I'd never feel good again.  I would certainly never open the shop.  M new partner would lose all her money.  I was so bad I didn't even care about the money I would lose. Six long months into it, we finally did open.  A new shop, a new business, a new partner.  I was still married.  I could never have done it without the extreme love and patience of my husband, my family and my new partner and her husband.  Can you imagine, from her end, the extreme faith she had to have in me to jump into this business both from a monitory (big $$'s) and trust stand?  The faith my husband had to have as he watched first hand the horrors of withdrawal. I still can't believe it. 

I had my last fragment of Xanax in October 2015 and four months later, in February, we opened.  That faith and trust of my husband and my blessed new partner has kept me going. At the same time it has been an extreme pressure for a recovering addict.  Herein lies my key to recovery.  As uncomfortable and impossible as it was/is, I think it has kept me sane and from succumbing to a life of doing absolutely nothing, which is how I feel much of the time, still.  I feel that if I could do all of this, all while in withdrawal, that someday I will do it without feeling like I'm just going through the motions…a fraud.  I love my husband and my new partner for never giving up on me and for having faith in my future, even when I always don't.  It's so hard to explain what we go through to those who have never experienced the horror of how one little pill, taken once a day before bed, could wreak such unbelievable havoc to not only your life but to those who love you.  One day they will know how much I appreciate them.  If you are one of them, and are reading this, thank you from the bottom of my heart.  I love you.  If you are another in recovery, take this as a story of hope.  I finally see a light at the end of the tunnel.  I have miles to go, but go I will.

 

Just:  :smitten:

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- Be more confident around people.  I can even look people in the eye for long periods of time despite still being afraid a little.  I'm getting over it  ;)

 

- Clean my classroom to a point that it's literally perfect...in my eyes!

 

- Worked summer school and motivated a few kids to pass the Regents exam.  :thumbsup:

 

- Managed to keep my job despite getting very little sleep.  I only missed three days of work all year long...that's an accomplishment!

 

- Lost 15 of the 20 pounds I gained. I feel 100x better.  :D

 

I'm doing ok.  Hopefully this new year will bring on more healing and even more accomplishments. Congrats too all of you for your successes!  :smitten:

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