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life is beautiful & worth the fight back


[si...]

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[si...]

It's been almost 4 years since I've posted on benzobuddies.  I needed to come back and offer hope to those in need.  The light at the end of this tortuous tunnel is real.  And it's within your reach too.  Hope & patience, I discovered, are essential elements to recovery.  Do not lose those.  But, if you do, find ways to regain them as you move through the bumpy road back to life.  My life is richer than ever before.  I now deeply appreciate things I took for granted.

 

I'd been drugged by the psychiatrist who was supposed to help me navigate a family crisis.  I trusted him to help, when in fact, all he did was give me a chemical lobotomy and gaslight me into thinking it was my own brain deceiving me when things went further awry.  Just as the majority of you, I was left on my own to find my way back to normalcy. 

 

1mg Ativan was my beast.  When I first tried to taper, I went too fast.  In terrorizing clarity I recall standing in the garage with my husband completely distraught & hysterical.  It felt like my soul had been sucked out of my body - just like the Dementor's kiss, as described in Harry Potter.  Suicidal thoughts consumed me, which frightened the hell out me because I'd never before felt anything like that.  Thank god my husband just hugged me and told me it was going to be ok.  We would get through this, if I could just hang on.  Between my supportive family & you guys, I've made it to the other side.  I am healed.  Life is beautiful.  Do not give up.  You are worth fighting for!

 

What worked for me:  To slow down my taper, I learned to DMLT from builder.  I tapered according to symptoms.  Because Ativan has such a short half life, I broke up my doses into 4x/day.  I cleaned up my diet - no processed foods, no alcohol, no sugar, no caffiene, low-carb, lots of healthy whole foods.  No drugs, other than Ativan to taper.  Since I took Ativan to sleep, I really implemented good sleep hygiene practices which helped tremendously.  Exercising - in moderation and outside (when possible) kept me as sane as I could be at that time.  Practicing meditative breathing helped calm my erratic central nervous system. Ashtanga yoga.  Removing toxic people from my life gave me space to heal.  Minimizing stress as much as possible helps so much too.  And always, give back to others, when you can.  Those are the things that immediately come to mind.  I'm sure there's more. 

 

Looking back at my recovery, it forced me to deal with life on it's terms.  Going through the highs and lows completely conscious has allowed me to grow and thrive.  I won't ever again give my agency over to drugs or to doctors.  They are both false saviors.  I need to be responsible.  I lean on those I love and who I know love me back.  All these good habits continue to be an integral part of my life to this day.

 

Thank god I discovered benzobuddies.  You made me feel welcome and not alone.  You validated my crisis as real and not some figment of my imagination.  You all guided and loved me through the worst of it.  I did my best to give back during my tenure here.  Words alone can't express how much this site is responsible for my recovery.  Tears of gratitude are streaming down my face right now.  I'm forever indebted to those buddies who reached out a helping hand, consoled, comforted and accepted all my brokenness so I could work through it and heal.  While you're here, try and be one of those buddies.  You may save someone's life.  Thank you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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[De...]
Thank you for offering hope! I have a hard time finding and holding on to it.
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[si...]

Ah, thanks for the welcome back  :smitten: jelly baby!

 

Hang in there, Determinedtoheal22!  So much of the healing is time-dependent, in my experience.  It's like enduring the most horrible ultra-marathon.  I felt hopeless more times than I can remember.  Every time I slipped into that hopeless abyss, I'd force myself to grab hope back. 

 

And it's important to note that symptoms for so many of us don't magically disappear once you're done tapering the benzo. It took my CNS more time to heal.  But healing did happen progressively over time, by taking good care of myself.

 

Oh, what also helped my healing is avoiding social media & the news.  I found both to be traumatizing to my injured brain.  HTH.

 

xo,

sierra

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[Ex...]

Thank you so much for sharing your story with us.

 

I have some questions and I hope you can help me.

 

1. Did I understand this correctly ? You took Ativan for 4 months from September 2018 - December 2018 and had "protracted withdrawal" for 47 months ?

 

2. You published the success story today. Are you cured since today or already for some time ?

 

3. What symptoms did you have during these 47 months ?

 

4. Did some symptoms become weaker at certain months ? Was it a gradual recovery or did you get up after 47 months and all symptoms disappeared ?

 

5. Did you take any medication during the 47 months ?

 

6. Did you work during the 47 months ?

 

7. Do you feel exactly the same now as before using Ativan or even better ?

 

->

 

I am at month 39 and for me numbers (months) are very important. I am always happy when I find a success story that lasted longer than my current number (month 39). There I have hope and I can set a goal.

 

Thanks and greetings

 

Experiment1996

 

 

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[si...]

Hi Experiemnt1996,

 

I'll try and answer your questions to the best of my ability. 

 

I'd consider myself healed within 2019, although I'm just now coming back to tell my success story.  However, I think certain sensitivities persist and I have become more capable at managing them (i.e. sleep, noise, crowded spaces).  I no longer drink alcohol either because even small amounts have a debilitating affect on my the next day (even just a single glass of wine!).

 

For example, if I don't get good sleep, I really can't handle social interactions well to this day or tinnitus will flair.  That's why I've developed coping mechanisms, like good sleep hygiene, and follow them religiously. 

 

Healing wasn't perfectly linear.  I didn't take any medications.  I took some time off, then had to work, but did a lot of work from home as company would accommodate it. 

 

Perhaps the Ativan sensitized my brain a bit.  It's hard to objectively say if I feel the same today as before I took Ativan.  My entire experience with this brain injury was life changing.  I have an entirely different outlook on life.

 

I hope I answered some of your questions.  I wish you well.

 

xo,

sierra  :smitten:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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[se...]

Hi Experiemnt1996,

 

I'll try and answer your questions to the best of my ability. 

 

I'd consider myself healed within 2019, although I'm just now coming back to tell my success story.  However, I think certain sensitivities persist and I have become more capable at managing them (i.e. sleep, noise, crowded spaces).  I no longer drink alcohol either because even small amounts have a debilitating affect on my the next day (even just a single glass of wine!).

 

For example, if I don't get good sleep, I really can't handle social interactions well to this day or tinnitus will flair.  That's why I've developed coping mechanisms, like good sleep hygiene, and follow them religiously. 

 

Healing wasn't perfectly linear.  I didn't take any medications.  I took some time off, then had to work, but did a lot of work from home as company would accommodate it. 

 

Perhaps the Ativan sensitized my brain a bit.  It's hard to objectively say if I feel the same today as before I took Ativan.  My entire experience with this brain injury was life changing.  I have an entirely different outlook on life.

 

I hope I answered some of your questions.  I wish you well.

 

xo,

sierra  :smitten:

 

In what ways do you feel different? In what ways do you feel the same? Please be open with us and go into detail. It helps a lot.

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[La...]
That was a beautiful post, sierra7. Congratulations to you on making it to the other side! I wish you all the best.
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[Pa...]
Its so kind of you to come back to offer hope, thank you.  I can see you gave yourself a chance at the best possible outcome by avoiding what hurt and embracing what helped, thank you for sharing your success.  I agree, life is beautiful and well worth the fight back.  :thumbsup:
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[ka...]
Great read. Well written. You’re a deserving warrior. I saw myself in your story. That is a gift from you to me. Thank you.
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[si...]

It's so good to "see' you both again, Lapis2 & Pamster!!!  Thank you for the well wishes.  You both are the true angels for being such positive forces of healing over the years for so many buddies! 

 

Hi kanoba - It warms my heart that you saw yourself in my story & you found it helpful.  I believe each and everyone of us are deserving warriors, navigating our way out of this hellish landscape to a better place.  It truly is attainable.  Patience & perserverence are key.

 

Hi semmieboy - Great questions and ones I really had to ponder because it's challenging getting back into my 'before' brain: and contrasting that to today -  "In what ways do you feel different? In what ways do you feel the same?"  I'll kind of take some interpretive license with your questions, if that's ok.

 

I no longer blindly trust authorities, like doctors.  I now know their education is largely controlled by pharmaceutical companies who's fiduciary responsibility is to make profits for their shareholders.  During my healing, I went down that rabibt hole of research and felt completely violated. 

 

Today, I no longer take good health for granted.  I know I need to be the one responsible for my well-being.  That cannot be outsourced.  Good health, both mental & physical, is an inside job and long term project.  I've adopted really good habits to keep me healthy as a result of this experience.  I'm probably in better health today, than before. 

 

As I said previously, sensitivities persist, however.  They're things like feeling down if I don't exercise or get outdoors that day,  feeling shaky if I don't eat enough healthy protein, maintaining & proactively working on positive relationships.  Then again, maybe these things existed before too, but I just wasn't conscious of them the way I am today.  Socrates said, "The unexamined life is not worth living" and when Buddha was asked who he was by a man struck by his peaceful aura, he replied, "I am awake."  Those are my guides.  They do not come from being passive, but take intentional focus.  I'm so much happier and comfortable in my own skin than I was before.

 

I hope that helps answer your questions.  Life is not perfect, but there is so much beauty to be found. 

 

Love you all,

sierra

 

 

 

 

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  • 6 months later...
  • 2 weeks later...

Only about 4 months.  That's how destructive benzos are.  IMO, they should be illegal.

xo,

sierra

 

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@[si...] thank you so much for coming back and offering support and a big dose of "Hope" everyone needs to read your post, and take that inspiration and accept that it is going to take all the time it takes, but it is so worth it. I think you will save someone with your words and I know that you are so happy to be off. Thanks again. Stay Strong. 💖Peace and Healing.

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@[si...] Thank you so much for coming back to share your powerful story.  I know many of us who have traveled this path can relate and recognize the truth in every word.  Your story is an invaluable gift to everyone here who is struggling.  Thank you :smitten:

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