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9 years free from all psych meds - life is sweet.


[ON...]

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Hi everyone!

 

I haven't been on this site in years but today I got a notification on my email that someone had sent me a message on here. It immediately took me back to where I used to be and where I am now in my life and it brought tears to my eyes. I remember desperately searching for answers on this site. This site saved my life, I was attempting to kill myself because of the devastating mental and physical symptoms I was experiencing. This site was my first glimmer of hope that this wasn't uncommon and that if I remained abstinent, I had a chance at living again.

 

My withdrawal was horrific and it lasted years. I am a 29 year old male. Around August of 2012 my life forever changed. I was serving out a 4 month jail sentence as consequences from my drinking habits at the time when I awoke in my jail cell and felt like I had been poisoned. It felt like someone dumped acid all over my brain and body, my heart was pounding, vision blurry and the most horrendous sense of impending doom and terror through my mind. The jail nurse checked me out and said it was “just anxiety”. I was pissed, I knew something was terribly wrong with me.

From that day forward, my health has never been the same, I spent the next 3 months in jail in an observatory jail cell that hadn’t been cleaned in what seemed years, sleeping on the floor and sharing it with another person who was in full blown psychosis. I had adrenaline pumping through my body 24/7, I had tremors, muscle jerks, water on my skin felt like knives and it constantly felt on fire, if I could ever sleep I would wake up and it felt like someone lit a match in my brain, constant feeling of suffocation and inadequate breathing, I jumped every time doors slammed, I couldn’t digest anything, and mentally I thought had gone insane and was convinced the jail was poisoning me. I rocked back and forth staring at the wall for those remaining months, each moment feeling like an eternity in a living breathing purgatory. The jail cell was not keeping me imprisoned, my body was.

Upon release, I went to a psychiatrist not knowing what was going on with me and praying and hoping it was “just anxiety”. I left the doctors with several new diagnoses and 4 medications, including six times the amount of klonopin (benzodiazepine) I was on prior to jail when they cold turkey me off the meds. The meds had zero effect on my symptoms. The following 4 months I attempted to drink myself to death, and even after a fifth of alcohol I was still having panic attacks. This period of time I was frequently coming home bloody after fights or falling down, i ended up in a psychiatric hospital a couple times for trying to jump out of a moving vehicle and constant suicidal urges. Each morning I would have to drink immediately upon awakening, although I could never get relief.

I got arrested and have been sober from alcohol and all drugs including psychiatric meds since January 23rd 2014 after a high speed chase that ended with me wrapping a friends car around a pole. Luckily, a little prior to this arrest I had started researching these bizarre symptoms I was experiencing and came across The Ashton manual and benzobuddies.org. Dr. Heather Ashton is a doctor who dedicated her entire work to this phenomena called “protracted benzodiazepine withdrawal” that leaves lives destroyed by the damaging and potentially permanent effects benzodiazepines and other psych meds have on the nervous system. The symptoms I was experiencing and the thorough research and testimonies of others confirmed to me that this was the cause for my 5 page list of debilitating mental and physical symptoms I was experiencing. What stood out to me the most was people that never touched a drug or alcohol in their life were left bedridden with the same symptoms I was experiencing because they took these meds for an off label use like tinnitus or insomnia.

I was cold turkeyed again in jail my last arrest but I knew that the only way out of this was complete abstinence and allowing my body to heal, my damaged nervous system could not tolerate these no longer. My first 3 years of sobriety I was deathly ill and bedridden for the majority of the time, each moment a living hell. At my worst, I am 5 foot 10 inches and I was 97 pounds and completely debilitated.

Today I travel, ride motorcycles, I dance, I've been very successful in sales, and I have amazing friends and family by my side. I have learned so much to know with attention and self care the possibilities are endless.  From jails, psych wards, coming to in strange places, paranoia, terror, bewilderment, frustration and despair to facing death with chronic illness to grieving countless deaths of loved ones to mended relationships and breaking others to destructive habits and learning healthy ones, to forming and destroying beliefs, to losing and finding myself over and over again, by the grace of God, self determination and the power of a strong support system there isnt a challenge too great, a burden too insurmountable nor a cross too heavy to bear. You, I, We, Us can all find freedom and strength through adversity, its within and untouchable, that even death itself cant defeat. Now is always a good time to look within. Now is always a good time to reach out to someone. Now. Thank you. Do not give up. Love you.

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Thank you so much for taking the time to tell your story. I'm so happy you made it through this. And even after such a long time you recovered. Well done for turning your life around!
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Your story is really crazy. Congrats man.

 

But there is something that I don't understand.

 

At which month were you 100 % healed ?

 

You wrote that you were bedridden for 3 years. What happened in the next months / years ?

 

Can you give more information about your whole process ?

 

Thanks and congrats again.

 

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Thanks guys!

 

For clarification, 3.5 years off was when i started really getting my health back. I was extremely emaciated at the time but i started eating more meat and I was feeling really good; biking, skateboarding, sauna etc I was full of energy because i hadn't felt good in my body in forever, id bike for hours some days grinning from ear to ear 🤣

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..to forming and destroying beliefs, to losing and finding myself over and over again, by the grace of God, self determination and the power of a strong support system there isnt a challenge too great, a burden too insurmountable nor a cross too heavy to bear. You, I, We, Us can all find freedom and strength through adversity, its within and untouchable, that even death itself cant defeat. Now is always a good time to look within. Now is always a good time to reach out to someone. Now. Thank you. Do not give up. Love you.

 

Thank you for sharing your amazing story of perseverance and strength. The words you wrote at the end are such valuable insight. It has given me hope today, since I am also bedbound still (2,5 years). You are a true warrior of the spirit and I wish you many blessings.

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This is a great success story. I’m always amazed as the strength people have — sometimes I think knowing others made it through something like this is the only reason I make it to tmrw. Courage. Hope. Perseverance.
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Thanks guys!

 

For clarification, 3.5 years off was when i started really getting my health back. I was extremely emaciated at the time but i started eating more meat and I was feeling really good; biking, skateboarding, sauna etc I was full of energy because i hadn't felt good in my body in forever, id bike for hours some days grinning from ear to ear 🤣

 

Did you take any medications, vitamins or supplements to support you during this time?

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Thank you for sharing your story.  I seem to be stuck in "mental anguish".  I can observe logically I am doing what I need to be doing right now.  I struggle with worry about longer term future.  Your story gives me a little hope.  Thank you
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Wow! Thank you so much for this story. That was quite a journey for you! I'm so glad you are healed and living your young life!  Thanks for thinking to post encouragement for us.
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Thanks guys!

 

For clarification, 3.5 years off was when i started really getting my health back. I was extremely emaciated at the time but i started eating more meat and I was feeling really good; biking, skateboarding, sauna etc I was full of energy because i hadn't felt good in my body in forever, id bike for hours some days grinning from ear to ear 🤣

 

I apologize if I am being pushy but my question is still not answered.

 

When were you 100% cured (without symptoms)?

 

You published a 9 year post and write that it got better after 3.5 years.

 

Why did you wait so long to post your success story ?

 

For many people here, numbers are very important.

 

I'm at month 38 and still have no motivation to do anything productive. I don't work.

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Thank you so much for posting your story. It gives me encouragement. I'm almost 33 months out and things are still really bad and I'm struggling. So this does give me hope. At the 3 year mark were you doing any better? Hugs!

 

LiveLife

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  • 3 weeks later...

Thank you so much for your story. I know how you feel to be that sick as most of us do here.

Question: you mentioned dealing with chronic illness. Would you mind sharing that experience and what that did to your benzo symptoms?

 

 

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  • 3 months later...

Thank you for your story. It is so hard to find success stories from polydrugged people. I CT off 3 meds at the same time and always scared that my system will never be right. So thank you for giving me hope.

 

I realized that my doc was just prescribing for fun. I dropped her and thus CT 2 antidepressants and 1 benzo. All of them I took responsibly for 3 years.

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Thank you for sharing your story.  It does give me hope, no matter how small that hope may feel, love and support from those who give it by sharing is very much a lifeline.

 

If you can make it, so can I..no matter what damn stressors life is piling on top of me just after 47 days off.  People are angry with me for not getting better and friends just want to hear positive things, so they are running the other way.

 

I hope I make it through this.  It scares me to think I will have to go through years before I get well.  But I could be wrong about that, so that is what keep me going.

 

Hugs.

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  • 4 weeks later...
  • 1 month later...
On 09/02/2023 at 14:55, [[O...] said:

Hi everyone!

I haven't been on this site in years but today I got a notification on my email that someone had sent me a message on here. It immediately took me back to where I used to be and where I am now in my life and it brought tears to my eyes. I remember desperately searching for answers on this site. This site saved my life, I was attempting to kill myself because of the devastating mental and physical symptoms I was experiencing. This site was my first glimmer of hope that this wasn't uncommon and that if I remained abstinent, I had a chance at living again.

My withdrawal was horrific and it lasted years. I am a 29 year old male. Around August of 2012 my life forever changed. I was serving out a 4 month jail sentence as consequences from my drinking habits at the time when I awoke in my jail cell and felt like I had been poisoned. It felt like someone dumped acid all over my brain and body, my heart was pounding, vision blurry and the most horrendous sense of impending doom and terror through my mind. The jail nurse checked me out and said it was “just anxiety”. I was pissed, I knew something was terribly wrong with me.

From that day forward, my health has never been the same, I spent the next 3 months in jail in an observatory jail cell that hadn’t been cleaned in what seemed years, sleeping on the floor and sharing it with another person who was in full blown psychosis. I had adrenaline pumping through my body 24/7, I had tremors, muscle jerks, water on my skin felt like knives and it constantly felt on fire, if I could ever sleep I would wake up and it felt like someone lit a match in my brain, constant feeling of suffocation and inadequate breathing, I jumped every time doors slammed, I couldn’t digest anything, and mentally I thought had gone insane and was convinced the jail was poisoning me. I rocked back and forth staring at the wall for those remaining months, each moment feeling like an eternity in a living breathing purgatory. The jail cell was not keeping me imprisoned, my body was.

Upon release, I went to a psychiatrist not knowing what was going on with me and praying and hoping it was “just anxiety”. I left the doctors with several new diagnoses and 4 medications, including six times the amount of klonopin (benzodiazepine) I was on prior to jail when they cold turkey me off the meds. The meds had zero effect on my symptoms. The following 4 months I attempted to drink myself to death, and even after a fifth of alcohol I was still having panic attacks. This period of time I was frequently coming home bloody after fights or falling down, i ended up in a psychiatric hospital a couple times for trying to jump out of a moving vehicle and constant suicidal urges. Each morning I would have to drink immediately upon awakening, although I could never get relief.

I got arrested and have been sober from alcohol and all drugs including psychiatric meds since January 23rd 2014 after a high speed chase that ended with me wrapping a friends car around a pole. Luckily, a little prior to this arrest I had started researching these bizarre symptoms I was experiencing and came across The Ashton manual and benzobuddies.org. Dr. Heather Ashton is a doctor who dedicated her entire work to this phenomena called “protracted benzodiazepine withdrawal” that leaves lives destroyed by the damaging and potentially permanent effects benzodiazepines and other psych meds have on the nervous system. The symptoms I was experiencing and the thorough research and testimonies of others confirmed to me that this was the cause for my 5 page list of debilitating mental and physical symptoms I was experiencing. What stood out to me the most was people that never touched a drug or alcohol in their life were left bedridden with the same symptoms I was experiencing because they took these meds for an off label use like tinnitus or insomnia.

I was cold turkeyed again in jail my last arrest but I knew that the only way out of this was complete abstinence and allowing my body to heal, my damaged nervous system could not tolerate these no longer. My first 3 years of sobriety I was deathly ill and bedridden for the majority of the time, each moment a living hell. At my worst, I am 5 foot 10 inches and I was 97 pounds and completely debilitated.

On 09/02/2023 at 14:55, [[O...] said:

Hi everyone!

I haven't been on this site in years but today I got a notification on my email that someone had sent me a message on here. It immediately took me back to where I used to be and where I am now in my life and it brought tears to my eyes. I remember desperately searching for answers on this site. This site saved my life, I was attempting to kill myself because of the devastating mental and physical symptoms I was experiencing. This site was my first glimmer of hope that this wasn't uncommon and that if I remained abstinent, I had a chance at living again.

My withdrawal was horrific and it lasted years. I am a 29 year old male. Around August of 2012 my life forever changed. I was serving out a 4 month jail sentence as consequences from my drinking habits at the time when I awoke in my jail cell and felt like I had been poisoned. It felt like someone dumped acid all over my brain and body, my heart was pounding, vision blurry and the most horrendous sense of impending doom and terror through my mind. The jail nurse checked me out and said it was “just anxiety”. I was pissed, I knew something was terribly wrong with me.

From that day forward, my health has never been the same, I spent the next 3 months in jail in an observatory jail cell that hadn’t been cleaned in what seemed years, sleeping on the floor and sharing it with another person who was in full blown psychosis. I had adrenaline pumping through my body 24/7, I had tremors, muscle jerks, water on my skin felt like knives and it constantly felt on fire, if I could ever sleep I would wake up and it felt like someone lit a match in my brain, constant feeling of suffocation and inadequate breathing, I jumped every time doors slammed, I couldn’t digest anything, and mentally I thought had gone insane and was convinced the jail was poisoning me. I rocked back and forth staring at the wall for those remaining months, each moment feeling like an eternity in a living breathing purgatory. The jail cell was not keeping me imprisoned, my body was.

Upon release, I went to a psychiatrist not knowing what was going on with me and praying and hoping it was “just anxiety”. I left the doctors with several new diagnoses and 4 medications, including six times the amount of klonopin (benzodiazepine) I was on prior to jail when they cold turkey me off the meds. The meds had zero effect on my symptoms. The following 4 months I attempted to drink myself to death, and even after a fifth of alcohol I was still having panic attacks. This period of time I was frequently coming home bloody after fights or falling down, i ended up in a psychiatric hospital a couple times for trying to jump out of a moving vehicle and constant suicidal urges. Each morning I would have to drink immediately upon awakening, although I could never get relief.

I got arrested and have been sober from alcohol and all drugs including psychiatric meds since January 23rd 2014 after a high speed chase that ended with me wrapping a friends car around a pole. Luckily, a little prior to this arrest I had started researching these bizarre symptoms I was experiencing and came across The Ashton manual and benzobuddies.org. Dr. Heather Ashton is a doctor who dedicated her entire work to this phenomena called “protracted benzodiazepine withdrawal” that leaves lives destroyed by the damaging and potentially permanent effects benzodiazepines and other psych meds have on the nervous system. The symptoms I was experiencing and the thorough research and testimonies of others confirmed to me that this was the cause for my 5 page list of debilitating mental and physical symptoms I was experiencing. What stood out to me the most was people that never touched a drug or alcohol in their life were left bedridden with the same symptoms I was experiencing because they took these meds for an off label use like tinnitus or insomnia.

I was cold turkeyed again in jail my last arrest but I knew that the only way out of this was complete abstinence and allowing my body to heal, my damaged nervous system could not tolerate these no longer. My first 3 years of sobriety I was deathly ill and bedridden for the majority of the time, each moment a living hell. At my worst, I am 5 foot 10 inches and I was 97 pounds and completely debilitated.

Today I travel, ride motorcycles, I dance, I've been very successful in sales, and I have amazing friends and family by my side. I have learned so much to know with attention and self care the possibilities are endless.  From jails, psych wards, coming to in strange places, paranoia, terror, bewilderment, frustration and despair to facing death with chronic illness to grieving countless deaths of loved ones to mended relationships and breaking others to destructive habits and learning healthy ones, to forming and destroying beliefs, to losing and finding myself over and over again, by the grace of God, self determination and the power of a strong support system there isnt a challenge too great, a burden too insurmountable nor a cross too heavy to bear. You, I, We, Us can all find freedom and strength through adversity, its within and untouchable, that even death itself cant defeat. Now is always a good time to look within. Now is always a good time to reach out to someone. Now. Thank you. Do not give up. Love you.

You’re so strong. I really appreciate this story. Helps me and probably many others.

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On 10/02/2023 at 15:33, [[R...] said:

Did you take any medications, vitamins or supplements to support you during this time?

Amazing story have thought about writing a book?I'm a newbie so just come across your post. I need a sat Nov to find my way round namaste🙏

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On 10/02/2023 at 10:10, [[w...] said:

This is a great success story. I’m always amazed as the strength people have — sometimes I think knowing others made it through something like this is the only reason I make it to tmrw. Courage. Hope. Perseverance.

Ditto! 👍

 

Congrats @[ON...]

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