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My crazy story


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I’m going to make this short but I don’t think thats possible .  I had a stressful year last year.  For about 3 months starting in late August I took herbal calming aids - ashwagandha, and a supplement that combined holy basil, relora, l Theanine, and gaba.  Also did a little bit of social drinking on the weekends(2 drinksbmax usually).  Years ago, I had gone through alcohol withdrawal after a spring break trip(kindling?).

 

I used the ashwagandha most days except for when I’d forget, and the other combos supplement on more difficult days. 

I went on vacation in late November 2021 for a few days only bringing a couple herb pills with me, and returned l home.  Kinda forgot about taking anything- and after about 4-5 days of not taking any, I woke up in the middle of the night in a crazy panic.  I had shaking, body temperature felt all over the place, intolerance to cold, sweating, etc.  it lasted for 3 weeks and I went to the ER in the first week because I had not slept at all in 3 days.  They gave me about 12 pills of 0.5mg xanax and I didn’t know any better so I took them, never took a bento before - they helped me sleep but only for a few hours each time.  So I touched it out and used them only at night to get a tiny bit of sleep.  Found this site and freaked out about xanax And decided to just quit since it hadn’t even been 2 weeks.  After the xanax was gone, had 2 days of the darkest depression I’ve ever felt- but then things slowly got better day by day.  I almost felt like myself again at the end of December!  Thought I was completely done with the nightmare!  - well, 3 weeks later, I got Covid.  Turned into a return of all the anxiety and withdrawal ish symptoms, but mixed with Covid like shortness of breath and chest pain, etc.  went to the ER twice in that month, had bronchitis but nothing else was found wrong.  After a month, again, felt better slowly but surely.  Had another 2 weeks of feeling like myself, then went and did a lot of physical activity for the first time since December.  It was February by this point.  I felt great during the exercise, but in the 2 days after felt worse amd worse until the 3rd day woke up with the early morning adrenaline rush once again, and I was back in it.  I’ve had a couple more windows since then, but haven’t had one since march.  I worked with a naturopath in the UK online and tried a bunch of supplements to feel better and try to boost BDNF to hurry the process of up regulating receptors.  I even took St. John’s wort for a few weeks to try and help the depression, and it actually worked like a charm after a week or so. However, on week 4, it just completely stopped working(if it was even the thing helping), so I got frustrated and discouraged and quit taking it.  Anyway,  I’m at the point now where I’m questioning everything and don’t know if I’m going through protracted benzodiazepine-like withdrawal from the herbs/xanax in December, or if I’m going through ‘long Covid’.  I also wonder how much of this is just my fear of not knowing what is wrong perpetuating every symptom.  My intuition, which isn’t very good right now, says it could be everything.  I’m just so mad at myself because I feel like I accidentally put myself into the worst and scariest period of my entire life.  I wish I had known better.  Looking for any words of encouragement or advice. guidance- I’m not taking any supplements as of now except for phosphatidlserine and occasionally dlpa, which does seem to help with both cortisol levels for the former and depression symptoms the latter.

 

Here are my current symptoms, they come and go and wax and wane in intensity.

 

Anxiety - from almost panic attack intensity down to a forever sense of malaise and unease (although I luckily never reach that panic attack level).  This is worse in the morning and gradually starts to lessen by late afternoon going into evening.  Night time is my favorite because I feel calmest.  It sucks though because I know I have to go to bed early to maximize my sleep and recovery, but part of me wants to stay up just to prolong the feeling of being the most calm and normal that I do during the day. 

 

Depression- this I think may be my most hated - but it’s a close tie with the 24/7 anxiety.  This isn’t always present, but when it washes over me unexpectedly, it’s the most horrible feeling I’ve ever felt.  Just feels like life is meaningless, there’s no hope, and an underlying urge to cry hysterically.  Mentally I know it’s not meaningless, but it’s like a feeling in my chest and stomach and a dread that takes over. It’s not constant- and sometimes I’ll have windows of a few minutes where I’ll be able to feel joy or love.  I even had a full half of a day where I felt 80% better last week- and that day I spent hanging out with friends and playing beer pong(did not drink though).  Those moments are the most incredible moments ever, just being able to be in the moment and feel calmer, and enjoy life- they are the moments that keep me having hope.  And they are totally unplanned and unexpected. 

 

Random Burning(not really painful) sensations in joints and muscles (usually hip/psoas muscle area or chest) along with pins and needles in my arms on occasion.  Usually only pops up when I’m extra stressed and not coping. 

 

Every single morning waking up at 3 or 4am with a rush of cortisol or adrenaline, don’t know which.  Sometimes I can fall back asleep, but it seems after every sleep cycle of an hour and a half, I wake up.  Usually max sleep time is 7 hours but that’s if I go to bed at 9- wake up at 1am, fall back asleep at 1:30, wake up at 3, then 5.  Etc.  I know I am actually lucky that I can sleep, because the few weeks in December when this started, there was no hope of sleep.

 

 

cold shivers-  I am intolerant of cold temperatures and can shiver when it’s not even that cold.

 

Muscle tension- something I’ve been working on- my shoulders are always up by my neck and I have to remind myself to breathe and relax them like a hundred times a day.  Same with some jaw tension, and even my hand will be squeezing without me noticing it sometimes.  Definitely need to do progressive relaxation way more. 

 

Stomach pain/nausea ish feeling- usually accompanies the adrenaline in the morning- fades in a couple hours

 

Brain fog/headache - thinking in a haze - luckily this came for a long while but seems to have subsided quite a bit

Vision/eye strain - my vision seems to be worse at times, especially when I had the brain fog. 

 

Sensitivity to screens- I work in IT so this sucks, blue light gives me headaches, when before I could game for hours and be fine.  I got some amber tinted blue light blocking glasses for use at work and at night and it has helped a bunch.

 

That’s all that I can think of right now!  Sorry for all the rambling, this was kind of like therapy for me in a way writing this shit out. 

 

I only have a couple supplement questions.  Am I hindering myself in the big picture by taking DLPA or Phosphatidlserine? 

Also, is magnesium(I have citrate) good/safe or not?  I keep seeing conflicting stuff and I’ve taken it sporadically at times throughout all of this, along with epsom salt baths.

 

 

Any other perspectives? 

 

Part of me wanted to not post it this, because at times I tend to do better when I try to pretend nothing is wrong, and that includes staying off any benzodiazepine/long Covid resource online that are sometimes guilty stirring up worse fear.  I have lurked here for a while but never have posted anything.  Today I was feeling extra in need of some companionship from other people, so just decided to post for once.  Thanks for reading my story, whoever put in the time. 

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Hi StopNegativeThougths!

 

Welcome to BenzoBuddies!

 

I think it must be fate that you and I are meeting because I have personal experience with benzo withdrawal and long Covid myself. I am so sorry you are going through such a difficult time, I know how hard it is. The most difficult part is trying to make sense of it. I will try and guide you through some of it but please realise this is not a diagnosis. We are not qualified to diagnose people with medical conditions.

 

We do know that some people get physical dependence on benzo’s very quickly. It sounds to me like you were doing pretty well after stopping your benzo’s. From my understanding things got really rough after your Covid infection. This could be a combination of benzo withdrawal and/or lingering Covid symptoms. Unfortunately we just don’t know. I personally think you might also have lingering Covid symptoms. Covid symptoms are very similar to withdrawal symptoms. If it’s any consolation, I got Covid in January and my long Covid symptoms are getting much better and tolerable. Either way, whether it’s withdrawal, Covid or a combination, I’m sure you’ll get the support you need from this amazing community.

 

I’ll give you some links to get you started:

 

The Ashton Manual

 

Post-withdrawal Recovery Support

 

Please look around and start posting when you're ready!

 

 

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