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Maybe I need to start pushing myself


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As some of you may know I have been feeling quite a bit better lately. The worst of my symptoms have subsided but I am still experiencing some minor waves of anxiety, a little agoraphobia, lack of motivation, and impaired cognitive function. Basically I don't even notice that anything is wrong until I step out of the house and interact with other people. This has kept me cooped up in my condo despite having felt better for a few weeks now. I seem to be avoiding interaction and I think it might be holding me back at this stage in the game. I have read that some people have to go through an adjustment period even after they are healed in order for their brain to re-learn coping skills due to the fact that the brain constantly has to learn and adapt, but this re-learning process is shut off when you are taking benzos.

 

I stopped by the mall again today. Haven't been clothes shopping in a long time so I thought I might see if I could find some good deals. I was a little anxious, but at the same time it felt like the real me wanted to push through that last layer of fog that has been holding me back for so long. That feeling was enough to push the anxiety aside making me want to walk through the rest of the mall even though I didn't need to go to any other stores.

 

At this point I think I need to start pushing myself. The benzo WD has loosened its grip enough that I might be able to help things along by exposing myself to "life", even if I am not 100% comfortable with doing so. I probably average about 22 hours per day at home ALONE. Time to get out there and see if I can help get the pleasure and reward juices flowing again so I can eventually start to once again lead a normal life.

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Hey,

I'm experiencing a LOT of this right now too. I'll go through most of the day thinking I feel fine while I'm in the house, but as soon as I get out and interact with people... I just suck at it! I really can't do it.

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Yeah. You went too fast. The agoraphobia's probably the worst of the w/d taper symptom set. (Last C/T, I ventured into a safe-seeming situation--shopping in a small town, w/ my ma at my side--and got the head shakes really bad. THEN, a saleslady observed that I looked as though I was about to sneeze. I fixated on her comment, w/ the image of a person about to sneeze stuck in my head for not a short while. Thought that if I had to walk around w/ that expression, I was surely doomed.)

 

A shopping mall contains all the elements that someone in w/d or on a taper might best avoid: bright lights, loud noises, and ppl. You seem pretty smart, so I hope I don't come across as pedantic here--just drawing on my own experience AND that which I learned as a float nurse on a psych unit many eons ago. So, if you can set up your surrounds and daily activities in a way that downregulates  ::) aversive stimuli, and arrange to have your necessities in place for awhile, you might be able to manipulate and perhaps synchronise those variables to approximate some degree of accord w/ your symptoms.

 

Rebound anxiety is a physical entity. But you know that.

 

You likely won't die in public, but you sure will wish you would. :D

 

jd

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FG--I totally understand what you mean.  I have lived for too long with that sensation of heaviness and anxiety about going out.  If you are feeling better, I would encourage you to get into situations where you are not just mindlessly doing something like shopping, but where you are interacting with people and talking.  For me, that is the best thing because it makes me feel real and healthy to talk to people who have no clue what is going on with me.  I feel somewhat back to normal when I chat with people who are walking past my house.  Even if I was able to shop at this point, I'd be talking to all of the store employees and other shoppers!

 

You're doing great!  Congratulations!

 

Love,

Mary

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I feel as though I need to push myself as well FloridaGuy.  I had to start slow.  First 6 weeks off I did absolutely nothing.  Next 6 weeks I tried to incorporate getting outside and "experiencing" the world again.  I'm not talking anything heavy, just walking, cutting grass (riding lawn mower  :)), watching my kids play, etc.  Now that I am 3 months off, I try and not hold myself back from any situation.  I'm back at work, I work out at lunch, play tennis, play golf, etc.  I still get the waves of anxiety, but if I push through it, it gets better.  Tomorrow, I am surprising my daughter and taking her to Six Flags.  I am sure it is going to be more on the anxious side because of the crowds, the rides, etc.  But her joy outweighs my pain, and in the end that is what matters.  We have to push ourselves, not only for ourselves, but for those around us as well.  We owe it to ourselves and them!
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I have spent the past 6 months basically cut off from the world. Before that when I was in tolerance WD it wasn't quite as bad but it has still been a long downward spiral.

 

My mind and body now seem to be at a crossroads. When I put myself into a stimulating environment like the mall I can feel the benzo brain struggling with the real me, fighting to try to keep me from enjoying life but these days it is starting to lose the battle. As I am walking into the "fire" I feel a little anxiety welling up, but once I am surrounded by people, sights, smells, etc. the real me takes over and I feel like a little kid again, nervous, but also fascinated and curious about the world around me.

 

As long as the real me is able to keep the benzo brain in check I think it is important that I try to make an effort to get myself re-accustomed to doing the things that normal people do. I would hope that when the last of the fog lifts that everything will magically come back to me better than ever but I don't want to take that chance. I already lost YEARS of my life to this drug. I'll be 40 in a few months and although I don't look or act my age I know I only have so many years left to do the things I want to do. Gotta make up for some lost time  :)

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About three weeks ago my w/d got very intense and it left a scar that caused some agoraphobia.  I have stayed home and in town since then and have cleared my calendar.  However, I questioned if this was the right thing to do so I am now scheduling trips, meetings and social occasions again.  I am nervous about this but think the anticipation is worse that the event - whenever I get somewhere I feel pretty good as long as I don't feel trapped (where I don't control my ability to leave).  If I don't feel good on that day I'll cancel - it's really as simple as that!!  I am number one right now and taking care of me is most important - the world will have to cater to my needs for a change.  Get out Florida - exposure will speed your recovery.  Best, Bill 
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I am nervous about this but think the anticipation is worse that the event - whenever I get somewhere I feel pretty good as long as I don't feel trapped (where I don't control my ability to leave).  If I don't feel good on that day I'll cancel - it's really as simple as that!! 

 

Yea, the anticipation is the worst part of it. Once I put myself in the situation I am usually fine.

 

And yes, the "escape plan" is helpful. I have avoided some social events just because I knew that once I was there I couldn't just turn around and go home if I wanted to. Even though I probably would have been ok, not having a backup plan was enough to make me cancel attending an event I had planned on attending for an entire year!

 

 

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Hi Florida,

 

Glad to hear you are doing better :) I think the exposure can definiely help. I really pushed myself in 2010, and I got to the point now where I can go anywhere. I can't so a lot of things because of fatigue, but the crazy agorophobia I had vanished. Just take it easy on yourself if you have trouble with it at first. Takes patience!

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