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hiding your brain injury


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for those of you that work, or even just partake in life... do you feel like you have to hide your brain injury? I do
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I did hide what I was going through. I worked throughout the process, teaching.  For me, it was better to have some time where I wasn't thinking about withdrawal symptoms and recovery. Teaching allowed me to do this.  I also did not share my experience with many of my friends. One friend was going through a very difficult cancer diagnosis.  I knew what I was going through paled in comparison to her struggle. 

 

pianogirl  :smitten:

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Yes, and I have been working the entire time. I worked through the taper, and I am working now in protracted withdrawal. I’m absolutely paranoid and agoraphobic at this point, and feel like I’m constantly trying to make sure that people can’t tell I’m in withdrawal. It causes awful anxiety. I just started a new job and I’m having a really hard time because I feel like I’m constantly trying to hide it, and that people can tell. Makes it hard to focus on my work but I’m able to be successful at it but it’s like I’m working extra hard all the time because I’m also trying to appeal “normal”.
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Yes.  Crooked smile plastered on my face, as my mind and body twisted in silence. And if I were to tell, no-one would understand at anyrate.  Onwards. 
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Kanoba,

Most definitely. It puts alot fear and anxiety on me to not show any physical and mental symptoms I'm going through during work. Examples like I have to avoid long or just conversating with coworkers, I have watch myself not to overdue any physical activities which isn't even that much, I have to hide in certain areas to be alone during my bad headaches, dizziness, dp/dr. When I get small projects my anxiety starts to rev up, more so if someone will be helping me. I start to get increase heartrate, tight stomach, throat, can't breathe, weak, dizziness, have to leave to calm down. I get up every morning feeling different extremely. I'm just getting through my day surviving 😪.

 

Mark

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Yes.  Crooked smile plastered on my face, as my mind and body twisted in silence. And if I were to tell, no-one would understand at anyrate.  Onwards.

 

Deadwood.

 

Thank you for sharing. I see your strength in your writing and wish you days ahead when you no longer have to hide this Bc it is healed and or you can talk about it.  Kanoba

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Yes, and I have been working the entire time. I worked through the taper, and I am working now in protracted withdrawal. I’m absolutely paranoid and agoraphobic at this point, and feel like I’m constantly trying to make sure that people can’t tell I’m in withdrawal. It causes awful anxiety. I just started a new job and I’m having a really hard time because I feel like I’m constantly trying to hide it, and that people can tell. Makes it hard to focus on my work but I’m able to be successful at it but it’s like I’m working extra hard all the time because I’m also trying to appeal “normal”.

 

Fools.

 

I hear ya. I believe you and I have what it takes to get through this. I’m always here to bend an ear. People are too busy with their own selves I bet they don’t even notice it in you. Kanoba

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Kanoba,

Most definitely. It puts alot fear and anxiety on me to not show any physical and mental symptoms I'm going through during work. Examples like I have to avoid long or just conversating with coworkers, I have watch myself not to overdue any physical activities which isn't even that much, I have to hide in certain areas to be alone during my bad headaches, dizziness, dp/dr. When I get small projects my anxiety starts to rev up, more so if someone will be helping me. I start to get increase heartrate, tight stomach, throat, can't breathe, weak, dizziness, have to leave to calm down. I get up every morning feeling different extremely. I'm just getting through my day surviving 😪.

 

Mark

 

Mark

 

I draw such strength from buddies like you. Thank you for responding. It sounds like you have your neschanisms in place to cope. Also, it sounds as though you deserve utmost healing. Kanoba

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I have had to fake it and hide it since day one.  I don’t discuss it with anyone but my benzo therapist.  The ocd constant needing reassurance and obsessive searching for validation has eased considerably over time.  Plus constantly talking about it only feeds the ocd and nobody wants to hear it 24-7.  I still am hiding it and have no choice.  Life goes on.  I have a sick kid and her care comes first.  The sx were painful and inhumane but there was no other choice and nobody to help me. It has gotten easier.  How do I do it?  I just do.  I distract with anything I can. Paint, color, word search, puzzles, cleaning, gardening and lots of walking. You can do it if I can.  You are healing and will recover.

 

Peace

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Kanoba,

 

My close friends know, and try to understand. At work, I don't share about it. It's incredibly hard for people to understand. When I do talk about it, I'm careful about using the word "withdrawal" because people then think you are an addict. There is nothing shameful about having an addiction, but it's hard to explain to folks that this kind of withdrawal isn't the same, and that the supports that folks use for addiction are not the same supports we need. So I will often say I was injured by a drug and have suffered neurological effects that will hopefully resolve over time.

 

On the bright (?) side, I was glad to read on this thread that many of us have continued to work despite our symptoms, and I think it's a great testament to our strength. Also, we are probably the lucky ones.

 

Openroad

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I have always been pretty vocal on what these drugs did to my health....and usually I unwaveringly express how they have affected my mind/memory. Personally, I think it wouldn't be at all surprising, to find out that there are more people than not who are on some form of psych drug, be it for insomnia/anxiety/or any number of reasons.

 

They may just choose to remain silent, because they, or someone they know, are benefitting by being on them. There was a time when I, no doubt, fit that very profile. Now, I more often than not will inadvertently/indirectly try to warn people. It ultimately comes down to ones choice on whether to take these drugs, or to avoid them and recognize them for their long-term destructive potential. The information on this subject is available, if someone wants to read about it.

 

I doubt there will come a day(at least not in this system of things) when I no longer am compelled to talk on this subject. It really needs to be discussed more openly/frankly....it's too serious. Still, discretion of when to talk is important if one is in a work environment!

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I was an English teacher (now librarian). My bad spiral started in the summer of 2018. I really believed I would be better by the start of the 2018-2019 school year. I wasn't even close. A few people I was close with at work knew what was going on, but I tried not to tell too many people. I'm sure word spread quickly though because that's what happens in a small town like the one I live in. Even the people I told could never understand the magnitude of my suffering. But I had lost like 20-30 pounds so many people were commenting on that.

 

At the end of that school year, I moved to my hometown and started a new job for the 2019-2020 school year. I still wasn't even close to feeling better and I did hide what I was going through the whole year. I was constantly worried about what others were thinking of me or worried I would be fired at the end of the year. By the start of the 2020-2021 school year, I was feeling a little better but still not healed. So I hid it again that year. Finally, this year, the 2021-2022 school year, I feel better and don't have to hide anything, and I'm no longer paranoid about what people think of me. In fact, I don't really care anymore at all.

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I totally agree Boombox. I should have included in my post that I don't really care what people think, as regards who I am today. These drugs really changed me and I had no control over the end product. Also, like you, I couldn't hide what was happening to me, since I too lost a significant amount of weight within a short period of time.

 

The further out I get from the last time I took a benzo, the more competent I feel about expressing what even happened/and is still happening(only not as severe). Trying to explain this hideous process is very taxing mentally. But I feel too compelled to not stay quiet about it...especially the further out I get from its' beginning.

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Kanoba,

 

My close friends know, and try to understand. At work, I don't share about it. It's incredibly hard for people to understand. When I do talk about it, I'm careful about using the word "withdrawal" because people then think you are an addict. There is nothing shameful about having an addiction, but it's hard to explain to folks that this kind of withdrawal isn't the same, and that the supports that folks use for addiction are not the same supports we need. So I will often say I was injured by a drug and have suffered neurological effects that will hopefully resolve over time.

 

On the bright (?) side, I was glad to read on this thread that many of us have continued to work despite our symptoms, and I think it's a great testament to our strength. Also, we are probably the lucky ones.

 

Openroad

 

You have been blessed w great friends.

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I have always been pretty vocal on what these drugs did to my health....and usually I unwaveringly express how they have affected my mind/memory. Personally, I think it wouldn't be at all surprising, to find out that there are more people than not who are on some form of psych drug, be it for insomnia/anxiety/or any number of reasons.

 

They may just choose to remain silent, because they, or someone they know, are benefitting by being on them. There was a time when I, no doubt, fit that very profile. Now, I more often than not will inadvertently/indirectly try to warn people. It ultimately comes down to ones choice on whether to take these drugs, or to avoid them and recognize them for their long-term destructive potential. The information on this subject is available, if someone wants to read about it.

 

I doubt there will come a day(at least not in this system of things) when I no longer am compelled to talk on this subject. It really needs to be discussed more openly/frankly....it's too serious. Still, discretion of when to talk is important if one is in a work environment!

 

BR

 

I fall in the same category as you to my family, as for my work, they don't know. One other coworker is on klonopin and seems to agree with it, I quickly told her of my experience in passing, it was so brief and she's not much of a listener I doubt it got through to her. WHen I see an opening, I'll blast off about this crap.

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I was an English teacher (now librarian). My bad spiral started in the summer of 2018. I really believed I would be better by the start of the 2018-2019 school year. I wasn't even close. A few people I was close with at work knew what was going on, but I tried not to tell too many people. I'm sure word spread quickly though because that's what happens in a small town like the one I live in. Even the people I told could never understand the magnitude of my suffering. But I had lost like 20-30 pounds so many people were commenting on that.

 

At the end of that school year, I moved to my hometown and started a new job for the 2019-2020 school year. I still wasn't even close to feeling better and I did hide what I was going through the whole year. I was constantly worried about what others were thinking of me or worried I would be fired at the end of the year. By the start of the 2020-2021 school year, I was feeling a little better but still not healed. So I hid it again that year. Finally, this year, the 2021-2022 school year, I feel better and don't have to hide anything, and I'm no longer paranoid about what people think of me. In fact, I don't really care anymore at all.

 

Boom,

 

Glad you are on the up and up. I am a high school teacher, not a good fit for benzo withdrawal.

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Yes, and I have been working the entire time. I worked through the taper, and I am working now in protracted withdrawal. I’m absolutely paranoid and agoraphobic at this point, and feel like I’m constantly trying to make sure that people can’t tell I’m in withdrawal. It causes awful anxiety. I just started a new job and I’m having a really hard time because I feel like I’m constantly trying to hide it, and that people can tell. Makes it hard to focus on my work but I’m able to be successful at it but it’s like I’m working extra hard all the time because I’m also trying to appeal “normal”.

 

Fools.

 

I hear ya. I believe you and I have what it takes to get through this. I’m always here to bend an ear. People are too busy with their own selves I bet they don’t even notice it in you. Kanoba

Thank you. Yeah maybe we should start messaging one another for support. Today was a particularly difficult day. I thought for sure people would be able to tell because I was just about to fall apart. Basically a panic attack for the entire day! It makes it really hard to think clearly, and to learn new things. It’s so messed up that we have to be going through this and trying to work like normal people. My paranoia and agoraphobia is off the chain!

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