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A VERY Bad Day


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Tomorrow, I will have to wake up early to attend an orientation to teach a part time college course. I have been dreading this day and the two weeks of orientation with "homework" that will follow. My mom tells me that I am lucky that it is online and my sister says, "Well, you don't have to get up and look presentable. Turn the camera off." They don't get it. They don't get that I can't pull myself out of bed until 10:30 am. I am not even asleep that whole time, but I am delaying the start of the day. They don't get that I have nausea and this knot in my stomach (someone on here compared it to a knot that would rival a tree trunk and I love that description) from about 6:00 am to 10:30 am. They don't get that sometimes I can't comfortably sit up and I feel week. They don't get that I can't focus and too much screen time gives me a headache and increases my symptoms. They don't understand akathesia, severe depression, anxiety in the stomach, this feeling that my head is no longer connected to my body. This feeling of loss of control. Like, I cannot control that I am not ready for work. I am afraid I won't be able to handle all of the information being thrown at me. I haven't even written the syllabus for the course!

 

I didn't eat breakfast this morning and it is 12:29 here and I haven't eaten lunch. I have no appetite and the thought of eating makes me feel like throwing up. I know that my mother is trying to be helpful but it irks me when I am trying to explain how I feel ill, she interrupts and tries to finish my sentence. No, you have never experienced this before. Let me fully explain it to you otherwise it just sounds like a headache. I was trying to explain to her when the window turned into a wave last night. I was somewhat hungry, so I made a sandwich (same thing I eat everyday twice a day) and during my third bite, this feeling of nausea overcame me accompanied by extreme panic and this heighten feeling in my head. I got so scared that it was going to turn into akathesia (this is one of the worst symptoms). I wondered if I was experiencing mental akathesia. My head felt so off and like overly stimulated. No actual thoughts. I wouldn't even describe it as wired or looping thoughts. I quickly stopped eating and tried to keep myself busy. I washed my plate and made the bed (for some reason I prefer to make the bed at night..before I sleep in it again. Weird, I know).

 

I don't know what I am going to do. If I back out of the college course, I can kiss any opportunity teaching college level in our city goodbye. If I back out of teaching 8th grade, I will be fined and have my certificate revoked for up to 10 years. Teaching 8th grade scares me the most. I teach two contents and one of the departments is high maintenance. Although I love my 8th graders, let's be honest. That is not the ideal job when you are sick. It isn't just delivering lessons, I have to deal with discipline and this upcoming class is said to be pretty ill behaved and they ended last year during a pandemic and are starting this year during a pandemic. I don't know if I have the energy to do all of the safety procedures like telling kids to wear their mask, keeping them at a safe distance, and so on.

 

Lastly, after viewing this site and Reddit, how can a DOCTOR claim to say that they do not know of the dangers of these drugs?! I was withdrawing from Lamictal and the doctor assured me that I was not. I thought I was going crazy and I had this horrific stomach pain that even the GI couldn't give a clear answer for. The only thing that helped the pain and put me to sleep for 2 hours was Ambien. After 8 months of no relief, I just kept using the Ambien to help and to get me to work. I wish the doctor had been knowledgeable enough to not have prescribed the Ambien or to have at least told me that if we quit all medications and waited it out, it would get better. Now I am in a world of trouble and I am losing my faith on most days...

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I can see you've got a lot on your plate and you're frustrated that no one around you understands what you're going through.  I have no idea how you're going to make it through this but I have confidence you will.  You're not going to be your best and you're going to be functioning well below your usual excellence but I see strength.  You write incredibly well considering the cognitive deficit you're experiencing so I trust that you're going to be able to fake your way through this. 

 

I worked full time while recovering from my cold turkey and I faked it each and every day.  I struggled so much that I took notes about everything and took my work home with me because I couldn't accomplish it in an 8 hour day.  Somehow, someway you're going to find your way through this because the rest of your life depends on it.  You don't have the luxury of stepping out of your life to recover, you have to fight for your life because you need to have a life to return to when you've recovered.

 

I'm so very sorry you're facing this but you're not alone.  As I was reading your post I wondered if there are other teachers who are members, I wondered if you'd be interested in started a thread in support groups for those who are facing teaching in the time of COVID while recovering from benzo's.

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I can see you've got a lot on your plate and you're frustrated that no one around you understands what you're going through.  I have no idea how you're going to make it through this but I have confidence you will.  You're not going to be your best and you're going to be functioning well below your usual excellence but I see strength.  You write incredibly well considering the cognitive deficit you're experiencing so I trust that you're going to be able to fake your way through this. 

 

I worked full time while recovering from my cold turkey and I faked it each and every day.  I struggled so much that I took notes about everything and took my work home with me because I couldn't accomplish it in an 8 hour day.  Somehow, someway you're going to find your way through this because the rest of your life depends on it.  You don't have the luxury of stepping out of your life to recover, you have to fight for your life because you need to have a life to return to when you've recovered.

 

I'm so very sorry you're facing this but you're not alone.  As I was reading your post I wondered if there are other teachers who are members, I wondered if you'd be interested in started a thread in support groups for those who are facing teaching in the time of COVID while recovering from benzo's.

 

Pamster, thank you for your support and taking the time to read through the entire post. I think that starting a teaching support group is an excellent idea. Thank you!

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there are def other teachers on here...I PM with one frequently. If you start the thread I'll let her know. I'm sure it will grow from there.

backing out of 8th grade and fined is crazy - I didn't know they did that.

 

IF you had to choose to let one go..which one would you choose? As hard as it would be it sounds like maybe the college opportunity. Just wondering if less on your plate would help. I've had to "shelf" some plans/dreams for now.

I agree with Pamster...I hear a strength in your writing...can't explain it- but its there.

 

hugs... :smitten:

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there are def other teachers on here...I PM with one frequently. If you start the thread I'll let her know. I'm sure it will grow from there.

backing out of 8th grade and fined is crazy - I didn't know they did that.

 

IF you had to choose to let one go..which one would you choose? As hard as it would be it sounds like maybe the college opportunity. Just wondering if less on your plate would help. I've had to "shelf" some plans/dreams for now.

I agree with Pamster...I hear a strength in your writing...can't explain it- but its there.

 

hugs... :smitten:

 

Thank you, Trina. I would prefer to let the college opportunity go, but I feel like I should have done that a long time ago to allow them time to fill the spot. I honestly thought I would be good to go by the time work started. Also, when windows happen, it's so easy to talk myself into believing everything will be OK and I can do it.

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Very sorry for the struggle. Teaching is one of the hardest jobs out there and 8th grade...Yow. One step at a time. Can read your frustration. Understand that friends/family may not get the quickly changing symptoms because there's no frame of reference. Most healing progresses linearly; WD is a ping-pong ball sometimes. It's not fair to get this outcome from a prescribed drug. They should be more accountable.

 

Vent here, then regroup, and you can get back in the game. Administrators like Pamster and some of the long term contributors are heroes as they've gone through it and turn around to help others. You can do this.

 

I would offer a possible helper. Although it's rough to eat, you can't function on air, and blood sugar drops will bring on symptoms. If you have no appetite, try drinking ORS, Oral rehydration solution. It's not sports drink or pediolyte- it's a balance of electrolytes, bicarb, and sugar. All over the rest of the world ORS is used in place of IVs to keep people going even through cholera. Comes as dry powder you mix with water. If you go to pharmacy, they can order it for you. If you have someone who is pharmacist from another country, they'll know immediately what you're talking about. Shouldn't be horribly expensive.

 

There's even a website to mix your own.            https://rehydrate.org/solutions/homemade.htm

 

I've had two tapers; both off hospital prescribed medicines. I used supplements to help me. Everyone has an opinion, but it helped me cope. You can read on other posts.

 

Hope this is helpful. Good luck.

 

 

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I don't know what I am going to do. If I back out of the college course, I can kiss any opportunity teaching college level in our city goodbye. If I back out of teaching 8th grade, I will be fined and have my certificate revoked for up to 10 years.

Hey minty, I'm sorry you've been thrust into such a difficult situation.

 

Pam's is a brave story of soldiering through. It seems to have worked well for her. It could work well for you but it won't work for everybody. The risk would be subjecting yourself to stress for a significant amount of time only to have to abandon ship down the line anyway. Stress really does get in the way of recovery.

 

I think what I'd be doing is checking that what I've quoted you on is true. Is there someone you could talk to about this? Explain the situation and ask if anything can be done. Deferring for a year sounds extremely sensible in the situation. You can say that you know that you'll do a better job if you defer for a year and that's better for everybody. You don't want to quit now, it's your dream. Explain that. Common sense ought to prevail here. I know it doesn't mean it always will but really it should. If you're struggling with nerves, and since you're a good writer, it might help to put the problem in writing?

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hohot, thank you for that information on the drink.

 

diaz, my fear with elevating symptoms is that for some reason my withdrawals involve excruciating stomach pain. I am afraid that if I overwork myself, I will get my stomach agitated. I just had gallbladder surgery because my doctors and I did not know I was suffering from a reaction from the drugs, and then later interdose withdrawals from the benzo. The tests found gallstones leading my GI to think that was the issue. I still have stomach issues/pain but nothing compared to what I had before. I can't tell if my stomach is healing from gallbladder removal or what. The college class opportunity would be the least stressful job because it is part time and online. However, teaching 8th grade offers insurance and a paycheck. But, I explained to my mom last night that with teaching 8th grade, I may not have the luxury to just sit down when I am not feeling well. I love my job, please know that, but let's be realistic, there are classes with kids who don't care that I am not feeling well and disciplining them may send me into a panic attack. Also, our class sizes are like 30 kids. We have been warned that the upcoming class is large with behavior problems. Before knowing that my illness was benzo withdrawal, I have gone through withdrawals three times already and I am just sick of having to battle going to work. I believe that my first benzo withdrawal was in my early 20s with Xanax. Why are these doctors prescribing Xanax to be taking daily??? The creator of Xanax even said it was so addictive that no one should be given a bottle of 30. So, years later I think I may have had a reaction when I took GABA nooptropics for stress. Then, I had a reaction to magnesium and the mini birth control pill. When I got off Xanax, I was young and only took it as prescribed for about a month. This last time, I didn't understand benzos or that Ambien was even considered one for all intents and purposes, so I abused the drug to relieve me of the withdrawals from Lamictal and Buspar. I am just sick of fighting each work day.

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