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I've taken too long to write this, so I hope it serves as a beacon of hope for those still suffering. It's probably best to start with where I was before I say how far I've come.

 

Go back those years to my tapering off and just before, I was so very sick, terrified and so impatient to get off. I had been left on a combination of 6-7 drugs at one time. The benzos are the only thing listed here, and this does not cover the numerous medications I was yanked on and off with no tapering. The only thing that slowed my rush to taper the remains down was the physical and mental pain, the akasthaesia, and the darkest moments when I found that my ex and family had conspired to spike my tea with an antipsychotic, a moment that effectively ended my marriage. I was abandoned by the statutory services, blamed by my family and ex wife for my condition, I spent a summer on suicide watch and longer in crisis care, all the while being lectured about my dillusional withdrawal.

 

Well fuck the lot of them.  8) With everything against me I made it. And not only did I make it, I am training gymnastics at 42, I met a beautiful cheerleading coach and we fell in love, I work a high pressure job with a newfound fearlessness and am chair of a Trade Union branch fighting for jobs.

 

I still remember the last dose of benzo I took. I looked at the measurement with a smile, a sort of sense that it had been a worthy adversary in the battle for my soul, as I watched it lose its power and fall away.

 

Make no mistake, I want what I say now to be your enduring memory of all you go through. It is brutal. You may lose a lot. You may witness things you hoped you would never see. But all the while the drug falls away. All the while it's hold slips, it's chemical fingers wither away and you grow stronger as you feed off its weakness.

 

There is something out there, call it God in any religious or non religious sense, something that wants you to win and wraps you in the armour of experience. And you will not believe the new you.

 

My ex wife summed it up when she looked at me and said, "I have never seen you in a better place in your life." She knows now, my family know now. And you will too. As much as it hurts, as much as you feel so fragile, so sensitive inside, the hours of suicidal thoughts that may rock you, the days you lose, all of this will leave you with what remains when you are healed:

 

A world that no one else will see so much beauty in, a smile that fills the eyes of others with the meaning of life. And words you were once afraid to say, but are no more.

 

It may not seem it right now, but withdrawal is the gift that opens up a better, stronger version of you. Hold out for it. Words don't quite cover how special you will become.

 

I love you all, strangers and my friends and support on here alike. I love you to admire your courage in adversity and to offer some comfort as you find yourself a phoenix still spreading it's wings in the painful flames. But make no mistake those wings are spreading. Be magnificent in time. You are the inevitable heroes and you will inspire the healing of others.

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Amazing, all my best wishes for u, I nearly cried when I wrote the part where they tried to spike your tea.

Big danish hugs from Norway 🇳🇴 to you  :smitten:

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Hello Formywifeandkids,

 

I remember you very well and the difficult path you were on for such a long time.  All I can say is Congratulations!!! You deserve all the good things life will bring your way.  You have triumphed over drugs and their aftermath, you have left a message of hope for those still in the throes of withdrawal. Thank you!

 

Savor every day of wellness.

 

pianogirl  :smitten: :smitten:

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I remember you! The man from Norn Iron! It made me smile (and I almost never do that these days) to know how well you're doing. Congratulations to you, and may your happiness continue to grow!

 

Thanks so much for the beautiful post.

 

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Very inspiring. I'm happy for you and hope I'm hot on your heels! :laugh: I believe what you say about being stronger. Many things I thought were solid have crumbled away. It used to sadden me but now I want to hurry up and tear down the rest of the unstable garbage. Sincere congrats.
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I cannot express how much I admire all of you, all at various stages of healing, but fully formed in bravery and the fight. Aye it's me from Norn Iron lol, Lapis1, and I'm waiting for you, seats reserved in the happiest place you will find yourself going forward.  ;D

 

I will hope for all I'm worth for you get a sign to see the definite progress you are making. Don't give up. You know it puts something in your soul that will shine out of your eyes. It's truly special, and it is already happening. Confused1, waiting for you at the door, can see you arriving, my friend.  :thumbsup:

 

Power to all of you always.  :thumbsup:  :smitten::thumbsup:

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And pianogirl, my angel, I remember you, I remember this wonderful support network so vividly now, I'm getting emotional back here. Hold onto this forum, feel the glow from it as you need it, I can still feel it's positivity.  :smitten:
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Love your post

Can I ask how long it took to clear the akathisia?

Did u hit acute on your way down?

Also did you have physical pain?

You deserve all your success 💜

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Thanks again, folks.

 

Hi Jackson, the akasthaesia was with me every time they gave me an antipsychotic so it was intermittent for around 8 months, in spells of 2 to 6 weeks. When I was spiked with olanzapine, it lasted around 6 weeks then, started around 4-5am and lasted until 5pm in the evenings, then I would get maybe an hour around 7pm eventually where I didn't feel like my head was burning, but only if I lay fairly still. Whilst the akasthaesia was directly related to the drugs I took, I had a burning feeling in my head almost all the time, but I managed to ease this slightly with a tiny dose of liposomal curcumin.  Cutting the antipsychotics back reduced the akasthaesia, but it was replaced with jumping between anhedonia and suicidal depression or severe anxiety . When they put me on 60mg fluoxetine as well, it was the same and 40mg citalopram, severe akasthaesia. The risperidone numbed me completely, but it felt like muffled akasthaesia (?), that was just as bad. When I started on diazepam/valium they had me on 15mg of it split into two doses, spent the summer on suicide watch on this, but it was cut over 3 weeks to 2.5mg then cut again to nothing overnight. I was still on zopiclone and replaced that with 7.5mg, stabilised in a bad place and just kept cutting. I had severe burning pain when I cut too fast initially, so I updosed slightly once and just trusted I would stabilise again (relatively speaking).

 

My symptoms were too many to list though, severe anxiety, suicidal depression, I had sensitivity to noise and light, horrible cortisol surges,  intermittent tinitus (bizarrely when I took my dose), and that burning pain in the top of my head, and a tightness. I couldn't walk or do anything for months without becoming more severely depressed, and at the start I could literally feel the parts of my brain where the drug was working, that was terrifying. A lot of what happened is a blur, and a lot of what I tried for help didn't help at first, but did later. I used suicide phone lines for support and met a voluntary counsellor who said that she could not really help other than to offer a place I could talk without being judged.

 

Probiotics and healthy eating were my mainstay when I was able to take them, barring a potent one causing me issues mid taper and needing strong antibiotic therapy for a sheep tick bite, something that set me back two, three months. That made me really sick and more severely depressed.

 

But I'm here fighting fit and will help in any way I can. Ask away folks, I'll try my best to answer what worked for me.  :smitten: :smitten: :)

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Hello

 

Just wanted to thank you so much for such an inspiring and uplifting story.

Reading this gave me so much hope for recovery and the future.

Wishing you much happiness in your future. Thank you so much! 

 

Lib  :thumbsup:

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Thank you, folks.  :smitten:

 

Something else, I was on medication since I was 16, antidepressants, and felt that years of medication had damaged me for good. That is very clearly not true. Nothing is impossible if you keep going. It might only be that you cry yourself through some days, that you are unable to cry through others. Fake it to make it when you can, dance to music that you cannot feel, smile at comedies, do anything that, as fake as it feels, is a big f*ck you to withdrawal, even it is only for 30 seconds some days. It comes good. There is a happy ending.  :thumbsup:

 

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Hi, I just read your comment and saw you had a burning head and you were sick with it for awhile.

That's my worst symtom and I still suffering 7 months off benzo. Is so bad I was not functioning for 7 months crying every day. About 2 weeks maybe 10-20% better.

Can I ask when you burning head pain went away?

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Great success story! How did you get through? Were you working? What did you do to occupy your time and get better? I'm trying to go back to work but I don't think I can interview... but I may try anyway as I am getting so desperate. I feel like I have lost "me" and all of my people skills. So much anxiety all of the time! How can anyone live like this? I'm so bored of this crap. I'll die at home if I'm stuck with this for much longer. The boredom will surely end me or the anxiety will just drive me mad. Something has to give before I lose everything.
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What an incredible Success Story!!!  Bravo!!!  Beautifully said.  I wish you every joy in the world!  Thank you for sharing this.  All I can say is that you're amazing!  :thumbsup:
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