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I Made It! If I Did, You Will, I Promise, Just DO NOT Give Up.


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This is in opposition to my hyperprivate, reticent nature—but I believe that posting a success story is critical for people in the throes of tapering, withdrawal and the long ups and downs of recovery to read. You know, for Hope.

 

Background and Severity: I had taken Klonopin 1-2 mg daily, as prescribed by my doctor for 9 years after getting panic attacks. Living in nyc, stressful job, personal stressors, like a lot of people. Fast forward to tolerance withdrawal, interdose withdrawal, and a psychiatrist who told me that he was not "risk adverse"—he tapered me off Klonopin in two months, and add in an antidepressant withdrawal (2 month taper), a mood stabilizer withdrawal (2 month taper), acl reconstructive surgery (the mother of all knee surgeries), a clinical PTSD Diagnosis (not withdrawal related) and isolation=pain.

 

Like a lot of people, I had an extremely wobbly tapering phase, a horrific acute phase and an absolutely awful recovery phase that was nothing if not circuitous—false turns, deep dips, switchbacks, and after an enormous blood bubble of a last wave....it Broke. I'm done.

 

Remaining health issues and symptoms: left leg weakness, but slight/ I've always been athletic, and it'll come back. I'm hiking and walking every day and will start lap swimming consistently. I've also been doing yoga and cycling. I had 6 months of intensive physical therapy while I was tapering, but all that work was for naught after I went into acute, starting January of 2014. So I had my big break at the end of August of this year(2016)=In toto, about 24 months to Recovery from end to end. 2 years after completing my Klonopin taper. I get tired quicker than I should, small amount of tinnitus, and my response to stress is still adjusting.

 

I want to add something important that I hope the Moderators will let stand. I had severe suicidal ideation throughout my withdrawal, and at a certain point, it was something that I researched and started to put into a plan. The last time it happened was in August of this year. And then it all stopped. I want people who have this withdrawal symptom to know that No, It's Not You, it's the Process. Regardless of your past history, this can be overcome, and you can return to some kind of state of original grace. I could add more, but that's all I feel comfortable talking about this particular issue. People struggling with this, know that I made it. Your one job is to survive this time period, to get to the other side, and things will start taking care of themselves.

 

I haven't been super active on the forum; I posted on my log, had a couple posts on my blog (a comic strip to get my brain to turn over), and responses to people over the past couple years. However, there have definitely been people that I've followed and appreciated their humor or real kindness, their questioning of accepted fact and their personalities. Sometimes I haven't related at all to a dominant group of posters, but all in all, I've consistently found some amazing, warm people that have really made me smile and even laugh out loud. That kind of kindness and flexing of personality gives you a kind of hope of the Will to survive is inspiring.

 

I love all of you guys and gals, and send you all my hope for a full recovery that brings you the happiness and redemption that Everyone Deserves.

 

-River Pines (was here)

October 12, 2016

 

 

 

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Congrats river!  I am so happy to read another person getting their life back.  Did you have exercise intolerance?  I am almost 30 months and used to go the gym all the time and I can barely walk a mile now.  Waiting for that to return. It's frustrating but it is what it is.  Also, are your panic attacks less than ever?  Mine are practically nonexistent now and I am even better than before taking any meds for it.  I like to see how others like me are doing who took it for the same reason.  thx!
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All I can say is WOW river pines. So many fast tapers off so many drugs.  But you hung in there and as you said, survived each day, week and month.

 

I'm so happy that you have recovered and am thankful that you stopped back to offer this post of hope to our members.

 

Live life, love life!

 

pianogirl  :smitten:

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Congrats river!  I am so happy to read another person getting their life back.  Did you have exercise intolerance?  I am almost 30 months and used to go the gym all the time and I can barely walk a mile now.  Waiting for that to return. It's frustrating but it is what it is.  Also, are your panic attacks less than ever?  Mine are practically nonexistent now and I am even better than before taking any meds for it.  I like to see how others like me are doing who took it for the same reason.  thx!

 

drew28:

 

I did have exercise intolerance. I can offer this: Someone on this forum, said to focus on what you can do. If you cannot stand—sit, and look at what tools you have and only focus on what you can do with what's in front of you. I couldn't walk, literally for a long time, but I had these short, stabilizing bands they gave me in physical therapy after knee surgery, that you that you can slip you legs into, and it's like having muscles support you. So I would wear one around my place, especially when I had to stand when making food or going up and down stairs. Baby steps, all small steps, you don't get rewarded for pushing yourself. I rode my exercise bicycle for 5 minutes the first day, then very slowly increased the amount. When I went into a wave, I would lose that physical gain, but just start over again. My IT band was so messed up, but having a roller to ease out the worst muscle pain helped. Very, very slow progress: and do things that you loved to do before you got sick. That's important.

 

I don't have panic attacks any more. I think they were chemically induced to begin with in my case, and stress related. I've learn how to do ujjayi breathing (breath exercises) during stressful situations, and have Calm meditation app on my phone. I pulled it out and listened to the rain sound during a stressful event recently. I've put in the work to learn alternative methods of coping instead of popping the green pill. Specifically: Mindful Meditation, breathing as a good start.

 

I hope that helps a little. Just focus on what you can do, and let it grow organically, driven by your intention to recover. Every time you are thwarted by another wave or despair, let it go, and start again when you can, until you have the strength to sustain a habit.

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-Thanks Pianogirl!

 

Much love, and thanks for all the hard work of moderation and putting out emotional wildfires. All seen.

 

RP

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Hey, so glad to know you've healed.  I remember you, because I always liked your name---River Pines.  Weren't you stressed out at one point about a visit from your mother?  It's just so great to know that somebody could be so down and now be well.  I, too, hope your thoughts about suicidal ideation will be allowed to stand by the mods.  I was the same way, and I found it of immense comfort to find people here hinting of being in this very darkest of places.  It's important to know that it's just chemicals and it will go away.  People who have never been there can just not begin to imagine, though, right?

 

Anyway, thanks for checking back and posting a success story.  So many people just disappear and I'm sure it's comforting for folks to know that some of the ones who disappeared did so because they got well! :smitten:

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Thanks FJ63, Saraa, Serenitee, Countingblessings!

 

I hope and trust that everyone has healed, is healing, will heal and can find hope as they struggle. I know how hard it is.

 

FJ63, yes! My mother, whom I have not seen in 3 years, is coming next week for a week. How about that. For a while, I didn't think I was going to see her ever again, and that was some of the worst of everything. I did not think that l would see the person who gave me life, brought me into this world—again. So I am very much looking forward to hiking with her, breaking bread with her, talking with her and letting her know that it wasn't by choice that I disappeared. I suppose it's fitting she'll be here at this new sort of birth. God is Great. I am Grateful—eternally, for another chance.

 

RP

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I love everything about this post.

 

Congratulations on getting off and recovering from this whole process.  It's posts like these that kept me going before I found myself when I thought I would never, ever be able to keep up with this. Bookmarking this to remind me of success if I ever feel that low again.

 

May you continue to be well and enjoy life post-Klonopin.

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Thanks Ryuuka,

 

Much appreciated. I checked out your first blog post; I bookmarked it, I hope you continue to write more—I like the title and the styling. Good luck with everything as you recover and really embrace your new life in health. All the best,

 

RP

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Strong hope for you, Stella Bee.

 

I Hope that maybe Colin/this site will include something about just acknowledging the pervasive existence of suicidal ideation for some people (many people?) coming off and recovering from benzos. It's like a horrible eclipse that you have to wait through and not act on. Providing phone numbers for hotlines puts one in a potentially awful position of having a stranger with absolutely no knowledge of benzo withdrawal trying to convince you to go to a hospital. The argument is that it will save your life. But will it?

 

I'm not sure what the answer is, but I think a movement in the right direction is full acknowledgment that it does occur with some regularity. You can read it, feel it on this site. People hint at it, struggle with it and possible get worse because it can't be openly acknowledged. It's the grey zone where we lose some people, and we all know it. No one should be lost, but for the space to say...this is happening to me, is this happening to anyone else? It's a deeply chemical, nervous system, existential threat to your existence to withdraw from benzo use. It's like removal of a parasite from your soul, and as the Host, you may confuse its death with a want to do so of your own. It's not. I wanted to live, and I continue to want to live now that I've removed the monster from my body and mind.

 

For sure, it's a scary subject, scary set of emotions. What is worse is when we lose members of the community because perhaps they feel like the only ones. I just wish I could tell anyone feeling these emotions to hang on, or truly—to Accept for the moment that you are in the desert, the void, but you are headed towards a promised land of sorts. And you aren't invisible...even if you think you are, you are Seen.

 

There is salvation for every person: we don't know all of each Others' stories, but with self compassion, with universal compassion, we can begin to heal.

 

RP

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Strong hope for you, Stella Bee.

 

I Hope that maybe Colin/this site will include something about just acknowledging the pervasive existence of suicidal ideation for some people (many people?) coming off and recovering from benzos. It's like a horrible eclipse that you have to wait through and not act on. Providing phone numbers for hotlines puts one in a potentially awful position of having a stranger with absolutely no knowledge of benzo withdrawal trying to convince you to go to a hospital. The argument is that it will save your life. But will it?

 

I'm not sure what the answer is, but I think a movement in the right direction is full acknowledgment that it does occur with some regularity. You can read it, feel it on this site. People hint at it, struggle with it and possible get worse because it can't be openly acknowledged. It's the grey zone where we lose some people, and we all know it. No one should be lost, but for the space to say...this is happening to me, is this happening to anyone else? It's a deeply chemical, nervous system, existential threat to your existence to withdraw from benzo use. It's like removal of a parasite from your soul, and as the Host, you may confuse its death with a want to do so of your own. It's not. I wanted to live, and I continue to want to live now that I've removed the monster from my body and mind.

 

For sure, it's a scary subject, scary set of emotions. What is worse is when we lose members of the community because perhaps they feel like the only ones. I just wish I could tell anyone feeling these emotions to hang on, or truly—to Accept for the moment that you are in the desert, the void, but you are headed towards a promised land of sorts. And you aren't invisible...even if you think you are, you are Seen.

 

There is salvation for every person: we don't know all of each Others' stories, but with self compassion, with universal compassion, we can begin to heal.

 

RP

 

Beautifully expressed, River Pines.  I agree with you completely.  When I first ventured onto the BB board, it was these hints of suicidal ideation that spoke to me, because that's what I was suffering, and it actually HELPED to know that others were experiencing this too, apparently solely due to the effects of these drugs and going off of them.  I understand the desire to protect the vulnerable, but I think you've expressed very well here why this isn't always as helpful as the people setting up the rules imagine.

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Thanks, FJ63—

 

I can't thank Colin and the moderators, administrators enough for the support of this site. That's something I just can't pay back, except to recommend this site to other people that are heading down this path. I am grateful for all the hard work (and for free!??) and place to dialogue that they've provided All of us. I've seen the range of what they have to deal with and the techniques, safeguards that are in place to keep the site moving forward despite disagreements and despair. I hope that the boundaries of the dialogue, the map area expands a little into this territory over time to save any members who are too unwell to see that there are others suffering this way too. I put my hopes in that: we can "normalize" the darkest of thoughts to provide some comfort as well move into the safer areas of recovery. I put my hope in— Colin's and the staff's expertise and experience to perhaps engage with this issue over time as they see fit. Since the doctors and hopitals haven't ventured into palliative care for benzo withdrawal sufferers, I see the frontier issues as extraordinarily difficult as this whole pandemic unfolds over time in the media, academia and beyond.

 

RP

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RP--I find it thrilling how wise and well and together you sound now.  It's inspiring to notice the contrast between your posts of deepest despair in the past and how you sound now.  I send my very best wishes and hopes for your reunion with your mother. 
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Thank you FJ63, much much appreciated. I'm really excited to see her and am planning which hikes to go on, etc.

 

It has been a long, long descent and ascent up and over this beast of a withdrawal. I believe that I learned a lot, was open to a lot of different people and ideas—much more than I have been in the past. And I put in the work; I definitely had a lot of growing up to do. I had to relearn the very fundamentals of self-care: feeding, bathing, clothing myself, etc. My mom said I needed to be more humble and grateful, and she was/is right as she tends to be. I've learned to activate my Mom Translator—she doesn't always say things in the Style that appeals to me, but I try to hear the Content aside from the Delivery.

 

Sending you light and big Congratulations on your recovery as well!

 

Much Love,

 

RP

 

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river pines, thank you for being so upfront about your suicidal ideation. This is probably my biggest w/d effect. I wish you the best of everything.

 

Moderators, thank you for letting the suicidal ideation content remain on the forum. It is so good to hear that there is still hope for those with this symptom. Usually this gets brushed under the carpet.

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Thanks 4Gillyblossom!

 

I've always appreciated your name and your fun profile photo switches. I appreciate your recent thread: it's suggestions like this that are great are building up self-care techniques and help us lead better lives while we recover.

 

Tips To Make Life Easier

 

Sending you hopes for a strong recovery and return to full health and Creativity.

 

RP

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Congratulations, River!  I couldn't be more happy for you.  I posted my Success Story last month and can entirely relate to the ideation...  it was the worst symptom.  I actually believed that my life was over...  I thought I'd never be well or ever resolve all the problems that accumulated while in recovery; but, those thoughts are just gone, and I can't even fathom feeling that way now.

 

Thanks for sharing your story.  The people on this site are amazing.

 

Wishing you every joy possible,

 

Freida

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Congratulations, RP, and thank you so much for taking the time to write. 

 

I did scan through your p-log.  There are many others suffering with very stubborn muscle tension and pain so, no doubt, this will be a very encouraging read for them.  May I ask how the muscle issues resolved for you?  Was it a slow/gradual easing up or more of a "poof and one day it was gone" thing?

 

Thanks again, it means a lot, and I hope your left leg continues to strengthen in speedy fashion.

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[72...]

Thank you for your story, River Pines! I can relate to your experience as well, and appreciate your openness in discussing suicide ideation here. I also have IT band issues, which seems to be a somewhat common side effect of benzo use. During my first klonopin taper attempt in 2010, my muscles started tightening up like crazy and I injured my IT band (among other joints, muscles, and tendons) while running and playing basketball. I'd had zero injuries up until this point in my life, and it was incredibly depressing to have to stop running. After two years of physical therapy, acupuncture, bowen therapy, foam rolling, yoga, and finally knee surgery, my IT band still wouldn't heal. I gave up the idea of running again. A couple years later I got off klonopin, and the pain in my IT band basically disappeared overnight. I realized that klonopin had been the main contributor to my injury the whole time. I was so happy and thought I'd be running again soon, but then the withdrawal symptoms hit, and I've been mostly bedridden since that time. My past desire to run again has now turned into a desperation to simply go for a long walk. I'm slowly, slowly getting there. Your advice regarding exercise intolerance is spot on... it has definitely been a series of baby steps for me too, and I have never once been rewarded for pushing myself... quite the opposite.

 

Anyway, thanks again, River. Take care and enjoy your freedom and health!

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[72...]

P.S. I just checked out your comic and I love it. You're awesome.

 

"There is no knowing in this journey, only being and doing."

 

YUP.

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