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Now, I can begin to sing again


[Pt...]

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Hello, I am Ptolemaica. I was a little active in socializing on here almost two months ago now. When I quit the benzos C/T, I kind of dropped off of here and focused on my healing completely. But, seeing as so many of your stories and information inspired me and aided me with my journey, I felt encouraged to return and share with you a success story.

 

I began using benzodiazepines around late November in 2019, to treat my insomnia. Within about 10 days, I was unable to sleep without said benzo, and began having such agonizing anxiety that I was unable to work. Following that, I began my frantic search for psychiatric help and found an outpatient rehab. It helped a little, but it pains me to look back on this while the would is still quite fresh. I was on benzos for almost 3 months, taking them every night. It began with less than .25mg of Alprazolam, and progressed to 2.5mg by the end. Before I quit C/T, I knew I had a dependence and addiction problem on my hands. This didn't surprise me, considering I have always had a highly addictive personality.

 

I found benzobuddies before I even considered withdrawing or tapering. Unfortunately, or, alternatively, fortunately, for me, I had no idea I would have no opportunity to taper under a physician's "careful" eye. Before I even quit, I was having pronounced psychiatric problems which I had never had before I picked up a benzo habit. And I've done psychedelic drugs, and I've experienced the "dark side of the moon", so to speak - but the psychiatric problems I was having were unlike anything I've experienced before. Every waking day would just be a countdown until the nighttime where I would take my "medicine" and finally be able to rest about 5 or 6 hours. I had a fixation with sleep, which bordered on obsession, which isn't that uncommon when you are an insomniac. The psych doctors told me I have anxiety, depression, possible other mood disorders. At the time, I considered them, but I had no idea that these abnormalities may have something to do with benzos, which I considered myself fairly educated on.

 

My knowledge of benzos became useless, however, when I was met with the promise of withdrawal. I'd no idea that benzo W/D could be so severe and agonizing as it was. I took my last dose on February 14, I believe. So it has been almost 2 months. You know, I expected to not be able to sleep at all, but I was surprised that this was one of the most underwhelming symptoms of benzo W/D. Again, everyone is different so I should've expected some differences in my W/D.

 

The most profound W/D symptoms lasted the first 2 weeks:

- Tinnitus

- Severe nausea

- Just severe GI issues in general

- Emotional sensitivity

- Painful menstruation

- Lack of appetite

- Insomnia

- Muscle twitching/tremors

- Light sensitivity

- Noise sensitivity

- Depression

- Irrational anger at doctors (or rational, depending on how you view Big Pharma)

 

After a month, it was:

- Lingering tinnitus

- Some mild insomnia

- Inability to tolerate caffeine or anything stimulating

 

I had to work during my W/D. That was awful, and I found it painful to have to make eye contact with people at my job. I also could not learn or read anything, as my brain was only 50% there - on robot mode, it seemed. Surprisingly, the anxiety and severe sleep issues I expected were absent. Or, more like, they were less severe than the physical problems associated with benzo W/D.

 

I didn't expect to heal for a long time, but I did. I owe that mostly to keeping a rigid sleep schedule, accepting that some nights sleep will be more difficult to find, and finding spirituality again (I am a Gnostic Christian). In addition to these rather "cliche" things, I also was determined to know more about pharmacology than doctors, so I began obsessively studying it. I became so interested in the field that I may even pursue it as a career one day.

 

As a Gnostic, I come up with many parables concerning the foul, material universe and this mortal body that I consider my spirit trapped inside for the time being. One such parable is the cube. On an average day, the cube is bound less tightly together than on an abnormally negative day. When I was on benzos, the cube was bound so tightly that I felt suffocated. Now, after healing almost completely, the cube is becoming loose again. But my battle with the cube is not going to be over for a very long time. I have known for a long time that the cube can't be climbed out of, it must be unfolded completely. And what is an unfolded cube? A cross.

 

It is my hope that this story, to whomever may read it, will inspire you. As of two weeks ago, I turned 20. I have learned my lesson not to underestimate substance quite early in my life.

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Your story is so typical, and thank you for sharing it with us.

I feel your reaction to benzos was sort of extreme, but because you stopped tkaing them SO soon, you will be just fine. And I am so glad to did go off them. For some reason, some people are super sensitive to these drugs.

I invite you to visit my current Blog. Eastcoasts Trip. In it I tried to describe my own journey back to health. I have a feeling it would speak to you.

For many, this strange, long trip IS extremely difficult.  IF we had known how bad it can be.......but we didnt. I am a nurse, an RN of 36 plus years and never once did I hear that getting off benzos could be that awful. I worked in a detox place and no one told me any of this....but now I do know. I look back and know that some of my patients hid their wd symptoms because they were so afraid to be truthful. We all think that if medical professionals think we are "crazy", we might be "put away" on a psych ward. Despite all the laws preventing that! In this day and age you cannot be "committed" for a psychiatric problem. But benzo people just dont get that.

I would like to know how you are doing. Your story interests me. I have this sense you are lonely and not sure how to proceed from here.

east

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Happy for you and your recovery! It is lucky for you that you learned the severity of these addictive drugs young in life while you are young enough to get past it and have a long fruitful life. Many on here are much older and have the struggle of overcoming age and physical limitations....good luck in your journey! :thumbsup:

 

B strong

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Congratulations to you!  I'm so glad that you saw the dangers of continuing to take benzos. You are very young and now can live life without being tethered to a benzo prescription.

 

pianogirl  :smitten:

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Thanks for sharing.  I’m getting close to the two month mark myself and I hope to share a success story soon.

 

You are so right about keeping a rigid sleep schedule.  I was recently asked to work late into the night but I refused and said I cannot use electronic devices after 8PM. 

 

Last night I was up quite a bit, but the night before I slept like a baby...go figure.

 

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Your story is so typical, and thank you for sharing it with us.

I feel your reaction to benzos was sort of extreme, but because you stopped tkaing them SO soon, you will be just fine. And I am so glad to did go off them. For some reason, some people are super sensitive to these drugs.

I invite you to visit my current Blog. Eastcoasts Trip. In it I tried to describe my own journey back to health. I have a feeling it would speak to you.

For many, this strange, long trip IS extremely difficult.  IF we had known how bad it can be.......but we didnt. I am a nurse, an RN of 36 plus years and never once did I hear that getting off benzos could be that awful. I worked in a detox place and no one told me any of this....but now I do know. I look back and know that some of my patients hid their wd symptoms because they were so afraid to be truthful. We all think that if medical professionals think we are "crazy", we might be "put away" on a psych ward. Despite all the laws preventing that! In this day and age you cannot be "committed" for a psychiatric problem. But benzo people just dont get that.

I would like to know how you are doing. Your story interests me. I have this sense you are lonely and not sure how to proceed from here.

east

 

Do you mind giving me the link to your blog? And thank you for your kind words, I appreciate them wholly. I am not quite as lonely as I was in the beginning, however I wanted to come back so I could show my gratitude towards you and the others. I hope to stick around here to hopefully give helpful words.

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The most difficult part of my W/D were the uncomfortable physical symptoms which were so overwhelming that I could barely pay any heed to the insomnia or mental pain. However, that is not to say I did not have crying spells. I had a lot of those. I was under the impression I possessed a severe psychiatric problem, but after stopping benzos entirely, I realized that it was the benzos all along. Now, I am back to my normal (or abnormal), eccentric self.

 

I am writing short stories again, nose-deep in my studies, and on the way to total satisfaction. Of course, there are still changes that need to be made in my life. I am endlessly optimistic about my total recovery. My benzo W/D couldn't have been during a better time of the year. Now is the time of rebirth and purity - the spring - and like a snake, I shed my old skin which carried with it particles of addiction and dependency, and don my new skin which will provide me with hope and purification.

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Yes!  Time to be reborn.  I’m glad I jumped when I did.  Working from home during this Covid crisis has been wonderful for my recovery.  My stress levels are down considerably. 

 

I agree, the benzos solve nothing.  They were causing a lot of my anxiety too.  Now that I am off of them I’m much calmer.

 

 

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Congratulations, I'm sure it feels amazing to be able to break free.

 

Its unfortunate that many of us take so damn long to heal.

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Virek

 

Sorry to hear that.  From your signature it looks like you are having issues tapering.  Maybe just hold where you are for now. 

 

I have to ask.  Have you dealt with the issues that caused you to start taking benzos in the first place?  If not, then focus on that.  For me it was anxiety, depression, and claustrophobia. Cognitive Behavioral therapy worked for me—after finally finding the right therapist— but it may not be right for you. 

 

I think the key to my success was that I dealt with those issues and developed new ways of coping with them without relying on pills.  After all, our problems don’t just magically go away after coming off benzos. 

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