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Will I ever return to normal?


[fu...]

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I started using Xanax on 2018, finished a crosstapering to Valium on 2020 and failed on my first attempt with several updoses and pregabalin was added on 2021.

I currently can't comfortably read, watch TV ("frying brain" symptom) and I am agoraphobic. I still have 200mg of pregabalin to taper and 15mg of diazepam to taper, which I don't know which to taper off first.

But I wonder if after so much time on those drugs my system will be healthy again and the anxiety levels will return to a natural baseline.

I am losing hope. I am hurting my family and I can't properly live now. I wonder if the fight to quit is worth it.

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I don't have any tapering advice, but I can tell you that many here have been on a lot longer than you, and many have used longer than you and healed.  

I'm a short term user and still suffered terribly... so suffering, healing, and time of use are not always directly related.  

You will heal, and it will be worth it.  Even before that you'll get a break.  It takes forever, all this is cruel and takes longer than it should, but healing is real.  Keep at it.  

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@[fu...]

Cannot promise you the return to normal (what's normal BTW?) but can promise you will get better if you work on it. Baby steps. "It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you don't stop." as Confucius used to say. Trust the ancient Asian wisdom. It's immense.

Why do you need to be comfortable? Embrace not being comfortable. Then you should suddenly feel better. We, the OCD sufferers, want to be comfortable at all costs. You have all these obsessions and compulsions? If you didn't give in, they would eventually disappear. They are a by-product of your anxiety. Or if you progressively give in to them less and less.

The relief is temporary, the suffering never ends. What if I tell you that your anxiety levels won't return to baseline? Were they ever at a baseline? Your brain stopped producing GABA on it's own, but I cannot tell you if it ever produced enough GABA. Surely much much more when you were off benzos. 

Frying brain. I'm sorry. Look at this: "Does your brain fully recover from substance use?” I guess it"s quite an optimistic article and teaches you a bit about neuroscience of addiction.

What symptoms of the "frying brain" do you experience? Stand outside of yourself and look at this guy as an Impartial Observer. How would you help him? First, by being compassionate. Then, by action, I suppose.

No, you don't abandon the fight. As long as there is life, there is hope. And you know - thoughts are like magnets. Positive thinking attracts positive events. Well, it's physics. I even coined the term "forced optimism" in my darkest hour. Do you know the book "Learned Optimism: How to Change Your Mind And Your Life" by Martin Seligman? Oh well, we're kind of sentenced to optimism if we wanna survive.

My favorite one is "Being Happy!" by Andrew Matthews. Read it like a dozen times, a simple booklet with pictures. Sounds absurd, maybe, but what do you have to lose? Pessimism will make you only more miserable. 

We all hurt our families. It's not our fault. We are not healthy people. Self-condemnation won't get you anywhere. Self-compassion will help you survive.

Take care:hug:

Paula

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