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I am drowning in despair


[Be...]

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Apologies to those bored with this saga as recounted elsewhere, but I need to put this down here to explain to those who have not read it.

 

I lost my job 6 weeks ago to my benzo taper. I came at things totally wrong. Way back at the beginning of the year, when I realised what a mess I was in (or I thought I realised it), I convinced myself I could out run this thing. I looked at the Ashton Manual which put me off the pills by June, if done at the 'slow' taper speed. That reassured me that I was fine. It made no mention of acute, even.

So I plunged on ahead. I decided to change my GP as I couldn't be in the same room as him any more after what he'd done to me. That was a critical mistake. The one thing he would do was dish out the pills in whatever quantity I needed. I moved to another GP, and it was with bitter irony that I remember she was recommended to me as being 'good with mental health issues'. She started off fine, by convincing me I could come off the pills 1mg a week. I had by this stage stopped reading anything online about benzos. I didn't like the timeframes I was seeing. I thought the people taking about 10% or less cuts were neurotics. I was tougher than that.

I cut from 10mg to 8mg in two weeks and became profoundly suicidal. My wife had to come with me to the next appointment to beg for her to allow me to go slower. Over the next few months this GP quite deliberately went out of her way to undermine me psychologically. She didn't believe in benzo WD at all and seemed to think I was out to fuck with her. I was just a broken, desperately sick man. And I was getting more and more frantic about work.

I never made it or even close. I didn't even have the option id have had with my old GP of massively updosing and going back to work. Work set a deadline of September. I had to resign. I simply couldn't get better in time. I was so desperately ill. I never got a single break in 8 months. I lived in constant terror.

For the first week after resigning I was in a state of shock. It didn't feel real. I *adored* my job. I was really good at it. It paid well and meant my family has a comfortable living and a secure future.

I worked there for 18 years. It was my childhood dream to work there. I loved every second of it.

 

Since then I have fallen into a deeper and deeper depression. For the first time ever in my taper, I stabilised. And it's as well that I did, because my WD went hand in hand with terrible SI. I don't know if I would be around to type this if I was still benzo sick.

The work thing has hit me harder than the deaths of my parents. Combined. It is a very real, raw, painful grief. The job was my identity, I lived and breathed it. I have spent every single day since then in bed. The only thing I look forward to every day is being knocked out by pills at night (non benzo).

I am tormented with thoughts of how I could have done things differently. The depression and despair is so deep. The slightest thought about my job is like an actual dagger in my heart. And I think about it all the time. At night j dream about work and all the people I will probably never see again, and I wake up crying. I'm having awful episodes of uncontrolled sobbing, verging on panic attack / hysterics. Just on my own, for hours on end.  None of this seems real. I have 3 texts from colleagues sitting on this phone unread because I cannot face the pain that reading them wil bring. My reputation has been destroyed as well, everyone in work just assumes I had a colossal mental breakdown. Nobody resigns from my place of work on medical grounds. The jobs are just too good. But no one else became trapped in benzo WD hell.

I have an appointment with a benzo addiction unit next week that I've been waiting for for months.

I am stabilised right now, or as stable as I've ever been. I am in a terrible fix. If I don't commit to a taper schedule with them, I'll lose the place (I assume). But the idea of going back into WD hell feeling as I do at the moment is terrifying. It's lunacy. I wouldn't be safe. I couldn't put my family through it. I'm bad enough as it is. But what is the alternative? To hold forever? Because I won't get over this job for a very long time, if ever.

I pray every night for God to just take me in my sleep. I have brought nothing but pain and distress on my family for so long. My self esteem has been crushed to nothing. I'm on disability. Finances are so bad. Before we never had to worry about a bill. Now everything is a worry.

This depression is so vast. I feel completely and utterly cornered, and beaten by this. Nearly all of my friends have deserted me. My family are so worn out. It would have been literally impossible to design a worse torture for me than what has happened. I simply see no way out of this.

I'm on an AD, at a high dose, it does nothing.

I think of nothing other than the past and how I could have done things differently. It is worse than any physical torture. I'm writing this from bed where I've remained again all day. I'll crawl down stairs shortly to read my little daughter a bedtime story. And all the time I will be in agony, for how this has devastated my poor little family, for how it has rendered me such a wretched father and husband, for all the plans we had for the future which are now smashed to pieces. Nothing fancy, I wasn't rich, but we could think of holidays, or a replacement car. Now everything is an awful worry.

The pain benzos have caused my family is just vast. It is too much to bear. I don't know how I can survive this.

Thanks for reading and sorry for the length.

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I can't afford therapy. And the waiting list for it on the NHS is stupidly long. When things get really bad I sometimes phone crisis lines like The Samaritans. Half the time they can't make me out because I am so distressed.
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Hi. If it is any comfort to hear that I am also like you and filled with despair, then it's true. I'm so sorry that you feel like this. I can't give you any advice or platitudes. I can tell that you are too intelligent to fall for them anyway. I truly hope that things improve for you. Gilly x
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I am so sorry you are this despairing.  I can only tell you that the worst thing you could do to your family is to leave them abruptly.  But, I've thought of the same thing, at times.

 

I was also on valium and tried to taper over nine months -- I got to nine mgs and was in agony.  I finally went inpatient and tapered over two weeks.  That was brutal but it is over. 

 

I have the same depression and despair that you mention.  And other symptoms but those -- and the chronic anxiety --are by far the most debilitating.

 

But, you can get through this.  You've already come far.  This will not kill you unless you let it.

 

I think staying in bed is a bad idea even if you're exhausted.  It just leaves you alone with your head, unless you're lucky and able to sleep through this.  I cannot nap -- my brain is too active and my body too tense.  I am lucky I sleep 6 hours at night.

 

I found that walking was the most beneficial thing I could do.  It does stimulate the endorphins - or what's left of them.  I forced myself to get out and confused as hell, just started walking.  It is an every day struggle to do it but I do it.  For depression, exercise is probably the most beneficial thing you can do.  My husband wants me to increase my meagre dose of an AD but I will not because I don't think it will help.

 

This is not your baseline.  This is not your forever life.  This is not your last job.  It seems like it is, but that is the withdrawal talking and a damaged brain processing thoughts. 

 

Please hang in and keep posting.  We need you in this group.

 

Carol

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Thanks guys. 

I just am agonising over whether to start tapering again :/

I really need to go somewhere to do it. I can't inflict it on my family. But there is of course nowhere to go :(

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I used to be SO fit. Regular cross country runner.

As for walking, I hate going out round here, as many people from my ex work live locally. What the hell do I say to them?

And I'm horribly unkempt And unshaven as the bloody pills have given me horrible eczema. My face bleeds when I shave. :(

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Belfast....I cannot express how much I understand your Post...and the devastation you feel about the Job .

I too feel the same way, almost exactly.

 

I am sorry friend.

Please hang in there and keep trying.  They assure us it gets better. :thumbsup:

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Belfast, your story has truly touched my heart and I grieve for the pain and suffering that you and your family are enduring. But I believe that the Lord has a plan for each of us and even when it's hard to see it or feel it or believe it, He is working. I also am experiencing depression, but it is nothing like what you have and are going through. I will be praying for you everyday. Hang in there. You will make it! One day at a time, sometimes one moment at a time. You will get through this. And believe it or not you will be changed for the better. Beyond Your Wildest Dreams. And I believe the Lord will restore to you what has been taken away many times over.

:smitten:

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Hi Belfast2016, I did not read the whole thing you wrote but I got the gist of it. You are experiencing a ton of intrusive thoughts about losing a job that you loved, for a good company, that you have had for 18 years. I also lost a job I had of 18 years was also the best job in the world. I had bonuses, stock options and a six figure salary. I messed it up not because of WD but because of how strung out I got on opiates and benzos. I managed to start my own business and I liked working for myself but once i got in WD that went out the door too. So i totally understand how you feel and it sux. and the thoughts pop into my head all the time to.

 

All we can do is move forward. You will get something else all we can do is hang tough. It is in the past. I already have a new career objective i have not been well enough to start doing it, lets hope that day comes soon too.

 

 

 

 

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Thank you. I am being absolutely consumed today with regret about how I could have handled this better. I was just so sick and panicked. If anyone does pray, please pray for me today. I feel beyond help.
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Thank you.

I don't know how much I believe in it, but my wife is a good woman and she does, so I reckon it's worth a shot :)

 

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I used to be SO fit. Regular cross country runner.

As for walking, I hate going out round here, as many people from my ex work live locally. What the hell do I say to them?

And I'm horribly unkempt And unshaven as the bloody pills have given me horrible eczema. My face bleeds when I shave. :(

 

 

I have the eczema too and now with the fall kicking in it has become like a dandruff from hell all over my face. I can barely watch myself in the mirror anymore and tomorrow I have to go to 3 stores again like this. It itches too. And sometimes when I scratch it there's running water out of it and feels like my skin is on fire. I been thinking about putting a bag over my head so people wouldn't see it. I just don't know how much of this I can take anymore. I mean it's hard enough already to go outside to the convenient store with the agoraphobia without having an eczema from hell allover your face. About the praying to God to take you away in your sleep, I remember doing that many times. I stopped it soon enough because I know he doesn't listen to any of my prayers anyway. I don't think he really cares. I've been asking Him this a lot though and even during the day.    :(

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That's so tough to lose a job you loved. I feel for you. It's difficult to come out of a situation where your identity becomes wrapped up with your place of work, but know that eventually you'll find yourself again. Once you get through this WD process you'll be able to take on life as you used too. there will be other opportunities. Try to keep an open mind and look to a future of being clear of the benzos.
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I have eczema also and withdrawal made it behave very strangely. What does help is putting a moisturizer on your skin all the time. Everytime after you wash your skin and it dries also. And I also use just coconut oil - that seems to help just as much as the more expensive hand lotions. And this is very important, no matter how much it itches do not scratch it! That'll make it get worse and spread and weep.
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Belfast2016, I am so very sorry for your pain.  I too feel beyond help.  I am losing everything that made my life worth living, day by day.  I long for death all the time but am too much of a coward to do it myself.  Take care and I wish that I could give you a big hug.
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Belfast2016, yes it is.  I've been there so many times during this withdrawal process (and also some times before that, but never in my life have I felt so horrible as I have as during this withdrawal).  I send hugs to you.
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Belfast2016 and  SeekingEnlightenment, A lot of people including myself on this site have suicide ideation and that includes me, but I know I will never do it, they are crazy random intrusive thoughts. I know in my logical mind how to separate that and if I came to any point where I believed I would do it, I would ask for help. So what I'm saying is when you have those thoughts understand it is WD talking and not something you would really do. Only a coward would actually do it. As hard as these days are we are brave enough to face every new day. The fact we post all this personal stuff on here is a testament to our strength. We are asking others (strangers) to help us answer tough questions and/or give us encouragement.

 

I hope you can see my point of view and try not be so hard on yourselves.

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One of the dangers in going through tough times is being hard on yourself, which ends up making you feel even worse. I was in therapy a few years ago after I was out of work and going through a divorce. My therapist pointed out that I had enough to deal with and that I was making myself feel worse by being down on myself focusing on all of my perceived flaws. I needed to step out of myself, try to look at things objectively, and not beat myself up. My self hatred was becoming another negative thing to deal with in addition to all the other crap that was going wrong in my life!

 

This helped me get some perspective. I still deal with negative feelings now and then but I try to be kind to myself. It's like I have to make a conscious effort to give myself the support and encouragement I need to get out of my bad situations. In other words, I have to be my own best friend, rather than my worst enemy. One of the important things is to notice when things go off in the wrong direction and gently redirect my thoughts towards finding peace.

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I just find the combination of being so sick, losing my identity and life's work  in my job, suddenly struggling with money and no conceivable end in sight to any of that to be basically unendurable.

I don't think it's the benzos talking tho they were to blame, it's my mind just having had enough. Every fucking second of my life for so long has been torment. I just spent another day in bed until 5pm. Like every day for months. I can't go downstairs because I'm such a mess and I'll break down and I can't do that in front of my family. I can't go outside. It's worse than prison. I used to love my home, now it's just a big cell.

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Sorry I know I have a weird sense of humor at all the wrong times. I know exactly what you are going through because I have gone through exactly the same thing. I had a really great job I had to leave. I can no longer work for myself so I don't know what the future holds. My relationship with my 12 year girlfriend broke up and she left. I'm spending retirement money to keep things going. It is one big shit show. I know all about suicidal thoughts too. I know it is hard to believe but this WD gives us intrusive thoughts and terrible regrets about the past. I regret things I said 30 years ago to people who are dead now. I never ran all that in my mind until this started. I sleep all day and get up at 3-5pm.  Your story is very familiar to me.

 

I'm trying to give you encouragement. You have a family and that is what is important. Keep some love going for them and you will heal whether you think so or not.

 

*profanity removed

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I just find the combination of being so sick, losing my identity and life's work  in my job, suddenly struggling with money and no conceivable end in sight to any of that to be basically unendurable.

I don't think it's the benzos talking tho they were to blame, it's my mind just having had enough. Every second of my life for so long has been torment. I just spent another day in bed until 5pm. Like every day for months. I can't go downstairs because I'm such a mess and I'll break down and I can't do that in front of my family. I can't go outside. It's worse than prison. I used to love my home, now it's just a big cell.

 

Hey Man,

 

I can identify with what you're going through, about losing your identity, life's work, job, and struggling with money with no end in sight.. It's so incredibly terrible that it's impossible for anyone else to comprehend, unless they've been through it.

 

Last year, I tapered from 3.5mg of clonazepam to 1.0mg, then I went down to .75mg, and that's when I began to realize that I'd lost my mind, my identity, my memory, and my ability to speak.  I didn't know how the hell that could have happened, and started to think my live in girlfriend was some kind of evil being who was sucking the life force out of me.  (at that time I didn't know anything about tapering and w/d from benzos)  Later on, as I continued to taper, and was out of work, (had been blackballed by a school district I worked in for a few years, by someone I argued with about 5 year olds playing soccer - he thought my classroom was very unsafe because the kids were "bunching up around the ball", and I was like, "how long have you coached?" and he didn't like that, and blackballed me, officially..)  anyway, it's a longer story, but basically, I thought I was totally fucked when it came to being a teacher again.  I live in the US, and I was living off of "unemployment insurance" which isn't much, and my gf thought I was just lazy and didn't want to work.. etc.., and I didn't know what hell was going on with me either.. but I knew I was in the worst spot I'd ever been in..

 

being out of work during all of this, I think is extra tough on us.. as I believe it adds a lot to the depersonalization side effect of all this.. I had a lot of my identity wrapped up in my job too.. and then, all of a sudden, I really didn't know who i was..

 

I couldn't imagine ever getting another job.. anyway, i was in a very, very dark place last December and January, especially.. I had a lot of ideation, and was terrified of going broke. the daily panic attacks were brutal.. and one night in december, i was in bed, it was cold and snowing outside, and at 1am I couldn't breath, or wasn't getting oxygen, so i had to go driving all around the city at night trying to find a pharmacy.. it was a nightmare..

 

but, I'm telling you all this, as I have escaped that hell hole i was in, and you will too!  I don't know if you're religious or believe in a God, but I firmly believe that "there's no such thing as an atheist in a foxhole" as they said in the world wars.  I remembered someone once saying, that "God helps those that help themselves"  I started to take baby steps to take care of my hygiene, taking a walk, trying to read the bible, trying to pray.. and I know you are absolutely against the notion of AA, but it helped me a lot during those terrible times.  It got me out of the house, being around people who understand what it's like to be really destroyed from alcohol and drugs, and I found a sponsor who didn't know shit about benzos, but would meet with me and listen to my shit.. I tried going to therapy, but it was expensive and was a waste of time, because i could never remember what the therapist said.  but, i felt safe in the aa meetings, and unconditional support, which was incredibly beneficial to me.  they had hot coffee, and it was free.. 

 

eventually, a couple of months later, i got a job coaching high school lacrosse (in another school district), and that was good for me, even though i was scared of my own shadow and could hardly speak.  then i started substitute teaching and now i have a job at a school this year.  maybe next year, i'll be able to get back to teaching history, who knows..?  all i am trying to say, is hang on, it will get better, very' slowly, but it does eventually start to improve..

 

do whatever little thing you can do to try and build up your self esteem again.  even if it's just brushing your teeth, taking a shower, trying to deal with the excema on your face, etc.. one thing i heard once, when i was down was, "if you want self esteem, then do esteemable things.."  sounds stupid, but it's a good starting place.

 

you're a smart person, and you'll pull out of this, just do whatever little things you can to help your self esteem.. it's all frightening beyond belief, but we have no other choice except to go through this to get to the other side.. anyway, i hope this helps..? - Eric

 

*profanity removed

 

 

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Thanks guys, and Eric in particular I really appreciate you taking the time to write all that. It means a lot.

I had a terrible night, I ended up just screaming into my sofa about how unjust this all was, in a total frenzy, slapping my own head...wild stuff. It got something out of my system tho and I didn't do anything seriously harmful to myself. It was good to come on here and find this. Cheers :)

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