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Everything in the past


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My whole past sucks...

It feels like everything I did was wrong

Regret things I didn't do

And it keeps looping in my head for months now.

I feel like a real failure.

I'm 38 years and it feels like I have no future ahead of me.

Do you recognize this?

Do you have the same thoughts every day?

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I had the same thing. Started about a month after I finished my taper. Bad memories, intrusive, obsessive memories. My whole past seemed dark and evil, meaning my whole life was a lie. But that stopped. It took a while, many months, but gradually it faded away. It was my worst withdrawal symptom, and that's saying a lot, because I had a lot of bad withdrawal symptoms. But it went away. So hang in there, and keep reminding yourself: it's a lie, it's just some benzo brain damage that's healing and will heal, and then you'll see your past the way you saw it before, and not this dark benzo lie.
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Very common I believe.

 

Why?

 

When we were on drugs, we suppressed thinking and emotions.

They were shoved in a box deep down inside of us.

 

Now that the box stuffer is leaving or has left, we are now going to do the work on life skills that we avoided while taking the box stuffer.

 

We have a lot of time on our hands to think.

Something we couldn't do while we fed the box stuffer.

 

I'm taking those thought and regrets and figuring out what I want from the life I have left on this earth once I'm past this trial.

 

In my darkest moments, I came up with a "code of conduct" for myself going forward.

Every decision I make passed my code of conduct filter which I have in my personal journal.

 

 

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Very common I believe.

 

Why?

 

When we were on drugs, we suppressed thinking and emotions.

They were shoved in a box deep down inside of us.

 

Now that the box stuffer is leaving or has left, we are now going to do the work on life skills that we avoided while taking the box stuffer.

 

Actually, no. I don't think that is the explanation at all.

 

I can see why you might think that, if all your bad memories were from the time when you were taking benzos, and all your memories from before benzos were unaffected. But in my case at least, all my memories were trashed - my whole past, from years before benzos. It had nothing to do with thinking or emotions I repressed while on benzos. These were not unresolved issues that now, off benzos, I finally had to face. Not at all. These were memories that had never been suppressed, that I handled without difficulty before I started taking benzos. These memories turned dark and evil only after I stopped taking benzos.

 

So I think the explanation is less psychological and more physiological. It's biochemical. There is physical damage done to the brain by benzos that must be repaired. Until that repair is complete, there will be psychological manifestations of this physical damage - such as depression and obsessive-compulsive behavior. Depression makes your whole past seem bad, and obsessive thinking makes you unable to stop thinking about how bad your past was. This is a toxic cocktail.

 

The reason I bother going into such detail is that I think it would be a mistake to believe that you have unresolved issues that you put off while you were on benzos, that you now must resolve. No, there's nothing to resolve. This is just the healing process of a benzo-damaged brain. Do not give these dark memories the slightest bit of validity. They are completely false, just like the hallucinations you might experience on some psychedelic drug. Do not try to deal with them as if they were legitimate.

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I agree with what you are saying given the context of your story.

 

I've had an anxiety disorder since I was 19.

I personally have a lot of emotions that have been stuffed for years.

I have work I need to do.

 

Guess I was projecting.

 

My apologies.

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I've had an anxiety disorder since I was 19.

I personally have a lot of emotions that have been stuffed for years.

I have work I need to do.

 

Maybe. But maybe not.

 

When you see that other people have had the same problem with their memories from before benzos, you might wonder whether you actually have any psychological issues to resolve. It may be that you don't. Consider the other possibility, that's there's really nothing to resolve, that this is a purely physical problem that will disappear as the brain heals.

 

I've been through this, and I also tried to deal with these memories as if they were unresolved issues - even though I knew that they didn't use to be unresolved before the benzos. But I struggled to resolve them anyway. That was useless. Impossible. It couldn't be done, because it was not a psychological problem. It was a physical problem, an injury to the brain, and there was nothing to do but let it heal. I remember, every morning I'd wake up with this horror about the past, these dark, evil thoughts and memories. Then every evening, by around 5:00 or 6:00 pm, I'd have them all figured out and fixed, and I'd think: there, that's done. All resolved now. Whew, that feels better! And then the next morning, it would start all over again. Same thing, day after day. Now how obvious could it be? This was a physical cycle going on, tied in with the (disrupted, destroyed) sleep cycle, the morning depression, anxiety, and all that. It was physical, not psychological. I hate to think of anyone else going through that same thing. So to save yourself a lot of pain, just consider the possibility that this is not about suppressed emotions at all.

 

I think it's like the obsessive-compulsive disorder I developed (for the first time in my life) during benzo withdrawal and recovery. I would check the door a dozen times before I left the house for work. And even then, I would obsess about it. Is it really locked? Am I sure about that? Sometimes I'd even turn around and drive back home to check it again. I developed a dozen different tricks to deal with this, but it was not about "truth" or "facts" or anything like that. It was brain damage, which (hopefully) would eventually heal, and I had to try to remember that, or else it would be really disturbing to see what was happening.

 

In fact, this darkening of the past, these intrusive memories, are not only like obsessive-compulsive disorder. I think they are actually a manifestation of OCD. They are caused by that benzo OCD. And the only thing to do is keep that in mind while you handle it as best you can. But there's no point taking these obsessive thoughts seriously, and having the lock fixed on your door. There's nothing wrong with the lock. It's just your brain healing from benzo damage.

 

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I really appreciate you taking the time to write all you just did.

 

I will certainly keep thinking about all you have written.

Who wants extra work...not me.

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Yup yup and yeah. Yes to everything I just read.  A major milestone in recovery is when you can accept where you are without trying to resolve it subconsciously. 

 

This is why meditation is so Important for people going through this

 

Mindfulness meditation is basically when you actively watch your mind chatter, and in the moment of thought, decide whether or not it's worth ruminating on . A sitting meditation is nothing more that getting comfortable, and observing your mind chatter, and thought after thought, retrain your attention on your breathing, taking focus and energy away from thought.

 

 

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Thanks for all your replies!

 

And I agree with redevan: my whole past feels negative, even the time I wasn't on benzos.

It's like I had no life before withdrawal!

When I'm around people it feels like I'm the only one who has no life at all.....I feel so alone and empty.

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I've heard a lot of good things about meditation and mindfulness. I guess I did something like that during my 30-mile-each-way commute to work every day - although, for me, it was very hard to stay in meditation and not cross over into rumination.

 

But I think it's essential to understand what's actually causing these thoughts, the darkening of your past, the trashing of your entire life and your very identity. If you understand the true cause, you can deal with it. I will not scare you. It will bother you, yes. But not scare you.

 

Imagine if I gave you a drug, and I told you, "After you take this, you will see horrible monsters, right in front of you, coming at you. They will never actually reach you, but they will seem to get very close. Just remember: they are not real. They're just hallucinations caused by this drug."

 

So now you take the drug, and a few minutes later I ask,

"Well, do you see the monsters?"

And you answer, "Yes, I see them."

And I ask, "Are you afraid?"

And you answer, "Yes, they're very scary. But - no, I'm not really afraid, because I know they're not real.

I know they're just hallucinations caused by the drug."

 

But now imagine I gave you this same drug and didn't tell you anything - didn't even tell you I was giving you the drug, just slipped it into your drink and let you take it without knowing. And then you began seeing the monsters. I think you would feel a lot more fear.

 

That's why it's so important to keep in mind, these monsters are just illusions caused by the drug. They are not real. They'll die off as you heal. And then you'll be good as new. It happened for me. I will happen for you.

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I've heard a lot of good things about meditation and mindfulness. I guess I did something like that during my 30-mile-each-way commute to work every day - although, for me, it was very hard to stay in meditation and not cross over into rumination.

 

But I think it's essential to understand what's actually causing these thoughts, the darkening of your past, the trashing of your entire life and your very identity. If you understand the true cause, you can deal with it. I will not scare you. It will bother you, yes. But not scare you.

 

Imagine if I gave you a drug, and I told you, "After you take this, you will see horrible monsters, right in front of you, coming at you. They will never actually reach you, but they will seem to get very close. Just remember: they are not real. They're just hallucinations caused by this drug."

 

So now you take the drug, and a few minutes later I ask,

"Well, do you see the monsters?"

And you answer, "Yes, I see them."

And I ask, "Are you afraid?"

And you answer, "Yes, they're very scary. But - no, I'm not really afraid, because I know they're not real.

I know they're just hallucinations caused by the drug."

 

But now imagine I gave you this same drug and didn't tell you anything - didn't even tell you I was giving you the drug, just slipped it into your drink and let you take it without knowing. And then you began seeing the monsters. I think you would feel a lot more fear.

 

That's why it's so important to keep in mind, these monsters are just illusions caused by the drug. They are not real. They'll die off as you heal. And then you'll be good as new. It happened for me. I will happen for you.

 

I love this post!!! Thank you so much redevan!

 

:smitten:

Simone.

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I've heard a lot of good things about meditation and mindfulness. I guess I did something like that during my 30-mile-each-way commute to work every day - although, for me, it was very hard to stay in meditation and not cross over into rumination.

 

But I think it's essential to understand what's actually causing these thoughts, the darkening of your past, the trashing of your entire life and your very identity. If you understand the true cause, you can deal with it. I will not scare you. It will bother you, yes. But not scare you.

 

Imagine if I gave you a drug, and I told you, "After you take this, you will see horrible monsters, right in front of you, coming at you. They will never actually reach you, but they will seem to get very close. Just remember: they are not real. They're just hallucinations caused by this drug."

 

So now you take the drug, and a few minutes later I ask,

"Well, do you see the monsters?"

And you answer, "Yes, I see them."

And I ask, "Are you afraid?"

And you answer, "Yes, they're very scary. But - no, I'm not really afraid, because I know they're not real.

I know they're just hallucinations caused by the drug."

 

But now imagine I gave you this same drug and didn't tell you anything - didn't even tell you I was giving you the drug, just slipped it into your drink and let you take it without knowing. And then you began seeing the monsters. I think you would feel a lot more fear.

 

That's why it's so important to keep in mind, these monsters are just illusions caused by the drug. They are not real. They'll die off as you heal. And then you'll be good as new. It happened for me. I will happen for you.

 

Keep telling your message. It's starting to sink in for me.

Thank you

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Very common I believe.

 

Why?

 

When we were on drugs, we suppressed thinking and emotions.

They were shoved in a box deep down inside of us.

 

Now that the box stuffer is leaving or has left, we are now going to do the work on life skills that we avoided while taking the box stuffer.

 

We have a lot of time on our hands to think.

Something we couldn't do while we fed the box stuffer.

 

I'm taking those thought and regrets and figuring out what I want from the life I have left on this earth once I'm past this trial.

 

In my darkest moments, I came up with a "code of conduct" for myself going forward.

Every decision I make passed my code of conduct filter which I have in my personal journal.

 

Totally agree with that. I often feel like being now awake from a 10-years-long coma and now I see clear how much I was not able to live. I push myself not think back-wards because this will lead into the wrong direction. I want to create my present and future so I move on and practice radical acceptance... but..

:hug:

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