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I have read for a while, but I have not posted until today. I’d like to tell you a little bit about my story and please if anyone can give me some assistance and it’s allowed on this forum please do. I need it today of all days, I didn’t think I was going to make it through last night. I am a 67-year-old female and a cancer survivor 12 years ago. Colorectal cancer. So my vitamin and mineral deficiencies, etc. electrolytes etc. are always off-balance. I am alone I have no support system. I have a beautiful Shiba Inu service dog that I live for a without her I don’t know. .
 I am a 67-year-old female and a cancer survivor 12 years ago. Colorectal cancer. I have a beautiful Shiba Inu service dog that I live for and without her I don’t know what I would do . I just found out about the progesterone and I tried not taking mine one night even though I left the estrogen patch on, and I slept good then the next night I took the progesterone, and I had the night from hell again at 4 AM, so I know that the progesterone must hit those  GABA things in the brain about that time. I stopped for two nights, and now I’m scared because last night was bad and I guess I have to start taking the progesterone again. But that’s not really what I’m writing about. I’m sorry I’m flaky. I used to call it Chemo brain now I can also call it benzo Brain. I believe I have been in tolerance for a few years since I fell off a ladder and was a medivacced unconscious for surgery and they reduced the dose by 50%. I didn’t realize that till a few days later and thought I would just leave it there because I am I was going to taper. Because of the dementia scares, etc.. Then Covid came, and I never did taper but I believe I’ve been in tolerance for a few years.. I’ve just gotten sicker and sicker each day, but I keep taking the same amount because I was waiting to find help help me with a taper. I went to a clinic I know we aren’t supposed to do it, but this clinic said that they use the Ashton method. Webpage and everything  was completely 100% Ashton method. I went there last month a little over 30 days ago and they took me down 4 mg in three or four days. I came in on 15 mg of Valium a day. I left a week later on 11 mg a day and I had tremors and I shook and now it’s really caught up with me and I don’t know what to do because in the middle of the night I wake up and I think my brain is going to explode and I take a hydroxyzine and I drink kefir for the Belly and I put an ice pack on my head and I pray for my life, sometimes I take one Tylenol. I know they took me down too much of a dose but since I was already intolerance and was so sick, it doesn’t make sense to go up now does it? I found a psychiatrist who said they’ll work the Ashton method with me, but she’s looking into it. I’m not so sure she’ll stick with me because it might be more than she bargained for. She’s going to call me back today for a zoom meeting. It will be our third but we don’t have anything in about in writing yet so I don’t know if we’re committed or not and I’m still taking the poison 11 mg a day and it’s making me sicker and sicker. I feel like when I drink water. It goes right through me. I feel like my central nervous system makes my urinary tract on speed or some thing. Sometimes my tolerance for noise or things like that is off the charts and sometimes I’m OK. It’s almost like one day. I’m OK on one day. I’m not one day. I’m OK and one day I’m not. And I’m not bipolar, but it feels that way it must just be the brain trying to heal and then you give it more poison . Does that make sense? Can someone tell me if I’m on the right track should I start reducing this dose myself?. And the math is very confusing for me. Please tell me if this is all normal. And what about the progesterone? Am I in danger cold turkey stopping that I’m 67 I took it because I took the estrogen patch for some radiation damage. Near my UTI area and it keeps everything all fine with the estrogen so that’s why I take the progesterone because I still have a cervix apparently. I’m sorry this is so much information. I used voice text. I hope it’s all readable. I feel like I’m going to die. And I wonder why I fought so hard for 12 years to live and I’m worried about my little dog because I’m in a state where I don’t know anyone and I don’t have a support system, because my family are all narcissistic abusers. Please give me some advice. I’ve called every provider in every state on the BIC provider page and no one can help me. Because I’m not in their state. Is this what I’m supposed to do or am I supposed to be reducing this dose and stop poisoning myself and I’ve been poisoning myself for years this can’t keep going on. Thank you for any advice you can give me. God bless everyone of you, Joni. 

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[Br...]

Hello @JSM and welcome to BenzoBuddies!  

I wanted to go ahead and get your registered so you can start exploring the site, asking questions and other members cans see your post.  Now I'll take a few moments to read over your post and see what ideas I can offer.  

We're glad you found us.

Brighterday

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Posted (edited)

Thank you, I didn’t expect to have the dose dropped so deep on the first time a month ago. They sort of did it sneaky. They tried to do one more milligram, and I caught them and wouldn’t let them do it. Personally, I think it was criminal and they should lose their licenses but it’s not up to me. What I’m worried about is that I have been in tolerance for so long. I’ve been through all this the apathy, the fog, the dry eyes, the bright lights for a few years on that dose of 15 mg a day now they’ve got me down to 11 in like a three day. Period a month ago. Updose won’t help me now it wouldn’t help me then right?  But right now no one’s reducing it either. It’s been just about a month am I supposed to wait longer? Do I Wait for a while and hope the symptoms subside? But they might not subside right? This might be as good as it gets for the rest of my life right? I’m not trying to be negative. I just really want the facts I fought really hard to come through cancer And I just can’t believe this is what this is now but I guess I better open up my eyes and recognize it really is and figure out the best way to get to the other side. And I don’t trust many in the medical field. I trust all of you more than them  so I’m really in a jam I’m going to get a bracelet that says I’m allergic to benzos please anyone who has any advice do you start an Ashton taper from this rough of a spot? Was it just bad luck on my part and that’s how it’s going to go now? It’s also new to me and I’m so scared because it’s been prescription. Use only no recreational use  And over 40 years worth but the most there ever was was 10 mg twice a day of Valium. So at least I don’t have to worry about a whole bunch of other things in the mix right I mean there’s something good yes?

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[Br...]

Hello @[...] - I'm sorry you've been through such a hard time.  

To start off, I have a couple of questions that will help everyone here have a better idea of what would be the best approach for you.  Would you please say more about why you think you may have been in tolerance for years? Have you ever started and stopped the Valium? Please tell us more about the symptoms you've been having since you went to a detox clinic - was it last month?  Are the symptoms different from what you were experiencing before you went to the clinic?

I personally don't know about the effects of progesterone during but BIC's website page on Medications and Supplements of Concern mentions progesterone.  

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24 minutes ago, [[B...] said:

Hello @[...] - I'm sorry you've been through such a hard time.  

To start off, I have a couple of questions that will help everyone here have a better idea of what would be the best approach for you.  Would you please say more about why you think you may have been in tolerance for years? Have you ever started and stopped the Valium? Please tell us more about the symptoms you've been having since you went to a detox clinic - was it last month?  Are the symptoms different from what you were experiencing before you went to the clinic?

I personally don't know about the effects of progesterone during but BIC's website page on Medications and Supplements of Concern mentions progesterone.  

Yes, I fell off a ladder about a year before Covid and was a medivacced unconscious to Seattle’s Harborview for orthopedic surgery as I broke my knee and ankle and since they were going to use a Benzos an oxy’s they cut my 10 milligram Valium, twice a day and half well I was unconscious for a few days and I found out about a week later. I’ve been on different varieties here and there, but always prescription use only and nothing in large amounts. Nothing with alcohol or other drugs, or anything like that. When I woke up, I just knew I didn’t feel right and I read the discharge papers a few days later after they put my knee and ankle back to I never asked anyone to bring it back up and I would taper and then everything else just happened. So I have one solid taper under my belt and I did it myself and I don’t know if I did it right weird thing happened and it’s too long of a story to go into here because I don’t want it to get more complicated than it needs to be but someone gave me some pot candy and I don’t do edibles and I ate the whole container full because I didn’t know and I had a weird experience and I never want an experience like that again and so I keep thinking that happened from my taper, but it really happen for me eating all of those candies at one sitting . I truly check myself into the psych ward. I thought I had a stroke I didn’t know what happened to me, but I thought we were in the middle of World War III that’s for sure.. Never had done a psychedelic in my life never want to again.. So I just felt all over crappy. My eyes were dry I couldn’t sleep. I had this apathy that just didn’t have words to explain it some days I could do what I had to do anything I lost about 40 pounds in a month an aged about 10 years to. I kept going to the ER is begging them to help me with this off at, but they insisted it was not this drug that my body had already reached homeostasis by ladder, and that this drug was not doing anything of the sort to me. So that’s why I think I was intolerance because when I took it, I never felt it again I never felt that door so I felt it was too low to be therapeutic I guess. And again I was dealing with some pretty heavy life situations at the time and never got around to doing that taper thinking 5 mg was harmless twice a day. I went to a PTSD inpatient clinic and they raised it to 7 1/2 twice a day, and when I didn’t feel the rays I knew something was not right. That’s why I think up dosing probably makes no sense right now does it? And do I just taper from this point? And is there anything that can take this discomfort away? That isn’t another poison? Because I don’t think I can do this. I’m old and I’m tired and I’m beat up. Thank you everyone God bless you all.

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I’m sorry I didn’t answer all your questions and please forgive this voice text. I started getting trimmers after last month. My sleep is worse. I have agoraphobia now and my panic attacks are more frequent and I hear loud noises in my head sometimes and I’m just not myself at all I can barely function.

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[Br...]

Thank you for providing more history and describing your current symptoms.  The sleep issues, more frequent panic attacks and loud noises in your head are symptoms that are common in benzo withdrawal.  It sounds like you were in the detox clinic about a month ago - is that right?  It makes sense that these symptoms have increased since you were there.  It may take some time for those symptoms to settle down.  If it were me, I would give it time for your system to settle before you consider tapering any further.  I wouldn't make any dose changes for another few weeks at least.  

I don't have an answer for you about the progesterone. I suggest you do a Search on this site.

I'm sorry you had that terrible experience with edibles.  How long ago was that?

You've had a lot going on so it's hard to know for certain whether you're in tolerance.   When were you in the inpatient PTSD clinic and they increased your dose?  Was that recent?

 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, [[B...] said:

Thank you for providing more history and describing your current symptoms.  The sleep issues, more frequent panic attacks and loud noises in your head are symptoms that are common in benzo withdrawal.  It sounds like you were in the detox clinic about a month ago - is that right?  It makes sense that these symptoms have increased since you were there.  It may take some time for those symptoms to settle down.  If it were me, I would give it time for your system to settle before you consider tapering any further.  I wouldn't make any dose changes for another few weeks at least.  

I don't have an answer for you about the progesterone. I suggest you do a Search on this site.

I'm sorry you had that terrible experience with edibles.  How long ago was that?

You've had a lot going on so it's hard to know for certain whether you're in tolerance.   When were you in the inpatient PTSD clinic and they increased your dose?  Was that recent?

They increased my dose around last October, 2023. The first dose I took a long nap for about an hour and from then on I never felt the 2 1/2 mg per dose adjustment or 5 mg per day.. That’s when I knew something was wrong for sure. I knew it at five mg. But when they raised it and nothing really happened. I really knew something. I had been in a weather tragedy in southern Arizona, where a hail storm blew the roof of a condo. I just bought while I was standing in. I spent a year living in motels, hanging onto my insurance money while everyone was  trying to tell me they could rebuild a condo in southeast Az but it took a year and took every effort and every ounce of every being of my heart and soul and mind and body part when they finally that’s when the benzo stopped working that I was on overload and I have a serious case of PTSD going on prior to that, but we know this is not the medicine for PTSD and I really don’t want to poison in my brain with anything  else after chemotherapy and radiation have already done a number on it 12 years ago and then there’s been all the Benzos quite a few surgeries lots of anesthesia, and they even threw in some Oxus for good measure. Thank you. I hope that helps. Basically I’ve steadily been an Benzos 40 to 50 years. Not recreationally no alcohol for over 40 years no edibles except that one time by etc. not trying to act, lily white or anything, just wanting to give you the facts. Please someone will this settle down or is this with the rest of my life is going to look like? Thank you

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I am sorry my voice text is a mess and so am I. I know you’ll make sense of that. Please forgive me. It was supposed to say they threw in some Oxsee’s for good measure for two years on top of the Benzos and I can quit the oxy’s without a blink of an eye, and I don’t understand.

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[Br...]

Hi @[...] - You've been through so much.  It's no wonder your central nervous system has been rattled.  Benzos are notoriously challenging for many of us to get off.  But even though it can be a rough path for a while, our brain and body is capable of healing and recovering.

I want you to know that many of our members have been older when going through this and gone on to recover.  I was in my mid 60s when I was put through a fast taper after 20 years of taking benzos.  It wasn't easy but I healed and recovered. The support I got here at BB made a huge difference.   I hope you'll read Success Stories - you'll see many accounts by members who went through a hard withdrawal and came out the other side to recovery.  

As I mentioned above, if I were you I would stay with your current dose for at least a few weeks without making any changes and give your body a chance to settle down after the detox clinic.  I believe it would be best to take the best care of yourself you can and see how you feel in a couple weeks. Keep talking to us and letting us know how you're doing.  We can help you with ideas about coping with your current symptoms.  From what we see at BB, the most important factor in healing is the passage of time while you continue being gentle with your system, not rushing things.  How does this sound to you?

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Posted (edited)

Thank you, I know eating protein and eating healthy is a good start and I am somewhat good about that. I don’t eat sugar I don’t do caffeine I don’t drink so I’m already that much ahead of the game. I need to start drinking more water, I’m taking a few supplements, but not very many because I’m worried about them also. I have Vistaril to help sleep at night, but Sleep is nonexistent and has been for me for 12 I years and I thought it was from cancer treatment. I’m a Purple Heart Mom, my son is ahead injured Marine, who is drinking and drugging himself to death over survivors guilt he is soul Survivor when for others were lost. I lost My sister to domestic violence recently on top of a few other things and so I am a complete train wreck. It’s so hard to believe this is my life after trusted the doctor, or  tried to, but I just don’t and I never have really trusted them. and I wish I had been a bit more cautious about them when my first anxiety attacks hit. People say I’m strong, and I’ve got through so many things, but you get beat up along the way. And sometimes you don’t have the fight in you that you used to have. One good thing is, I didn’t come off huge doses. Anything like that it’s just the length of time was a lifetime. Thank you.

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[Br...]

It sounds like you've had more than your share of heartache.  I'm so sorry.

Things like avoiding alcohol and at least minimizing sugar and caffeine help when you have intense withdrawal symptoms.  I agree it puts you ahead of the game!  I found avoiding those things helped keep my raging anxiety a bit more manageable.  It can look like a mountain to climb but it can help to just pay attention to the small steps you're taking in this hour or this day.  The best self care you can manage and distracting yourself from your symptoms - I'm convinced these things are our best tools for getting through this.  That and the support you get from others here who understand what you're going through. 

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[La...]

Hello Joni. I just wanted to send you a welcome and virtual hug. I’m sorry about what you’re going through. This site is very helpful with getting a taper plan if that’s what you want to do. I’m sure it is very difficult going through this alone…I can relate. I’m glad you have your sweet dog to keep you company. If you have any friends or church members that can support you, that would be ideal to give them a call. I hope you can get to better days soon. Please take care. 
hugs 🤗 

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[Ca...]

Hi, Joni

Do you have a doctor or nurse practitioner that can prescribe the valium for you? There is a practice that prescribes in multiple states...www.taperclinic.com

I think they are expensive

If you have a prescriber then you just need a taper schedule. There are many different views on how fast to taper.

I never had any luck with updosing and then tapering. I was still in tolerance withdrawal.

You have been through quite a bit and being 69 with other health issues, I understand your fear that this will be it to the end.  Maybe not. Other people older than you have come off and recovered.

You'll get a lot of feedback here. 

Carol

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I am a complete mess today. They took the dose down a little over a month ago by 26.6% in four days and that was way too much. But I thought I had gotten over that. If I’ve been in tolerance, then I didn’t get over anything. Period I don’t want to talk too much about this today because I’m too shook up but why do I wake up at two and four every morning and at 4 AM I am a total complete mess. I usually have to ice my head ice to my stomach, hold the Bible to my chest and pray For my life because I feel like I’m dying. What is that? Is that some thing I get to look forward to every day now? I thought I had one good night this week maybe I did do you get one good one and six bad ones or one good one and 10 bad ones , it makes you think that up dosing will help this but I don’t want an update and I don’t wanna cross over benzo prescription. I just want some sleep without panic and anxiety and chest thumping and head throbbing like my brain doesn’t fit in my skull anymore and the sense of doom  And the trembling. Are those all normal things just from reducing that dose 26%? Or is there more you need to tell me and can you tell me without scaring me because I am really scared. I tried to take a magnesium glycinate yesterday I have a psychiatrist who is trying to work with me, but she doesn’t know yet about Ashton but she’s trying to learn it real quick , she wants me to take a magnesium glycinate once or twice a day and I took a drink called relax Max that used to work good for me and I don’t know if that gaba in it caused me problems or what but that relax drink might’ve done some thing to me yesterday or the magnesium. Now I’m totally paranoid about taking anything . I tried to eat better yesterday and I am a colorectal cancer survivor so need I say more food doesn’t agree with me anyways and now I have this on top of it but I tried to eat better and I realized I can’t eat sugar at all now after this, I could eat a little bit of sugar but now I can’t have banana and strawberry smoothies. They’re too sweet and I’ll suffer at night or that too . Is this as good as it gets? Thank you. My skin is hot and burning this morning. Please give me some good advice thank you God bless you.

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The psychiatrist just responded to my call and said she’ll phone in some clonidine. Is that going to be helpful? Does anyone know. Or is it more poison? Thank you.

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[Rh...]

@[...]

Hi & welcome!  I know this is all so scary but you will not die.  First off, if the progesterone was helping and not causing problems I would stay on it and address it only when you’re off your benzo. 

Did the psych say she will help you taper per the Ashton Manuel?  As for clonidine, I don’t know much about it but it might help reduce anxiety???  I’m unsure, I hope someone else can answer that.

As you are already aware the detox place took you down too quickly. If I were you I would stay at the dose your on and wait to stabilize then do a gradual taper off, but only when your ready.

If you’re in the US you can get your valium compounded into liquid or make your own to make tapering easier. I did pills and liquid to taper off valium.

Please keep us up to date.

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[Ma...]

I don’t know about Clonidine (another on ‘in the mix’ make things harder and gives you another drug to taper), but I would definitely recommend a book to your psych so she can help you in a better way. It’s called: The Maudsley Deprescribing Guidelines, written by Mark Horowitz and his collegue. 
It has all the info on withdrawal and tapering and offers 3 taperingschedules per medicine (benzo, z-drugs, antidepressants).

It is the one book every psych needs to have read when offering taperinghelp.

And also want to say: your symptoms are harsh, this process is mindblowing in a negative way. But: you feel like dying, but the symptoms are not causing you to die. The symptoms are signs that you brain is sick and sensitive and trying hard to find a new balance. Your brain is trying to rearrange at top speed. And that causes a lot of suffering. The most important thing is: this will get better. It just may take time. And sometimes progression isn’t noticeable in days, but weeks or months.

What is being said above is true: stabilize for another few weeks of more, until you feel like you have reached a new sort of ‘baseline’ (‘withdrawal normalcy’).

And then proceed with a taper and start with a very small reduction like 5% to see how your system reacts.
Methods are outlined on this forum and when that time comes, people can help you figure it out.

And for now: know that things will get better, your symptoms are caused by you’re brain and it is not going to kill you. It’s hard, sometimes you will feel you can’t cope, but you can! We’re with you, been through the same rollercoaster or currently experiencing the same. 
Sending you healing vibes and strenght!!

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@[Ma...] you’re very kind to respond with that info. Thank you. I just got a phone call from a doctor. I had reached out to on the East Coast because I called every doctor on the BIC. Page that might be able to help me the other day. She was kind enough to get back and she’s willing to help me at my expense, if my prescriber is willing to jump in on the last 10 tenets of the phone call we could get some thing moving because right now I’m just poisoning myself at the rate I have been for a long long time plus that last 26.6%. You know cancer takes its toll too and I’m not who I used to be. to be honest as possible. I am terrified today. Usually the ice packs on the head and the ice packs on the stomach because you know gastritis comes along with all of this and I believe the vagal nerve is involved with all of this and we’re all just a big mess from trauma to begin with. But last night my ice methods and my hydroxyzine and my Tylenol and my Pepto-Bismol didn’t help anything and I haven’t been to sleep and I’m thinking I should stay up so that I might stand a better chance of sleeping tonight. Period these tired, red bloodshot eyes are becoming the norm and I’m so tired of feeling like death warmed over.. The reason I am so afraid is I’ve been in this tolerance for a few years and didn’t realize it and I’m worried it’s doing damage to me that I won’t be able to undo.. I did turn down a Clonidine prescription just now because all I could see was it was something else that needs tapered my bio, identical, hormones and they tell me I have to taper those two and I’m ready to throw them out, the window, but I know better than that. Why does this start up at 4 AM every night on the clock? Does anyone know I dosed twice a day five and a 2 milligrams the Valium, 9 AM in the morning at 9 PM at night . Sometimes I am really good at nine at night and almost forget to take it and then other times it’s all I can think about, and it makes no sense. But the sense that you’re going to die because you’re alone and no one here to help you and you’re going to leave your service dog alone in your home I just don’t know what to do during those moments because I refuse to call an ambulance and go let them give me more poisons. Thank you and any advice and assurance that I’m not dying is appreciated.

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1 hour ago, [[C...] said:

Why does your doctor want you taking this? It could most definitely be complicating things for you, as it greatly affects GABA. You don't need more GABA...Because of benzos, your GABA receptors are already overwhelmed and compromised. They will recover with tapering and time...not by adding magnesium glycinate!

 

Thank you, @[Ch...]I think the magnesium glycinate did some thing to me the other night and threw me off really bad, and she wants me to take to a day. She tried to get me on lithium orotate the other day, the supplement, not the Lamictal, but the lithium supplement, and I tried to take partial of one, and after the cancer I had it didn’t agree with me, and so that was a real big fail for the day, but I don’t think I’m going to stick with her after all I just got a phone call from someone who wants to help me who is involved in the benzo information coalition and she can help me from out of state as long as the person I’m working with doesn’t have a problem with a one time consult on the phone and the person that told me to take the magnesium seems to have a problem with that and it’s my life it’s my body it’s my brain and it’s my taper and so I think I’m going to let the other one go today and I’ve already been talking on the phone to another one that is not too full of herself to let a consultant from the BIC  join us for a phone call. Thank you. 

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1 hour ago, [[B...] said:

Take B12 and thiamine it helps a little, I was where you are, I had to have about 20 bags of i.v fluid from dehydration, drink mineral water take magnesium daily is what I did. 8 months later, and if it weren't for me having tinnitus and being dizzy I would feel normal, I'm titrating 1 mg of clonzapam and I am on day 76 . I go to the gym, but yea the first 6 months I can't believe I didn't die, Christ has a purpose for us, someone in our lives one day will need our help, and we will know what to do to help them . We will be there and make sure they make it. Stay strong for someone else you know and love 

Thank you @[Be...]

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6 hours ago, [[M...] said:

I don’t know about Clonidine (another on ‘in the mix’ make things harder and gives you another drug to taper), but I would definitely recommend a book to your psych so she can help you in a better way. It’s called: The Maudsley Deprescribing Guidelines, written by Mark Horowitz and his collegue. 
It has all the info on withdrawal and tapering and offers 3 taperingschedules per medicine (benzo, z-drugs, antidepressants).

It is the one book every psych needs to have read when offering taperinghelp.

And also want to say: your symptoms are harsh, this process is mindblowing in a negative way. But: you feel like dying, but the symptoms are not causing you to die. The symptoms are signs that you brain is sick and sensitive and trying hard to find a new balance. Your brain is trying to rearrange at top speed. And that causes a lot of suffering. The most important thing is: this will get better. It just may take time. And sometimes progression isn’t noticeable in days, but weeks or months.

What is being said above is true: stabilize for another few weeks of more, until you feel like you have reached a new sort of ‘baseline’ (‘withdrawal normalcy’).

And then proceed with a taper and start with a very small reduction like 5% to see how your system reacts.
Methods are outlined on this forum and when that time comes, people can help you figure it out.

And for now: know that things will get better, your symptoms are caused by you’re brain and it is not going to kill you. It’s hard, sometimes you will feel you can’t cope, but you can! We’re with you, been through the same rollercoaster or currently experiencing the same. 
Sending you healing vibes and strenght!!

@[Ma...] thank you for the kind words. I have felt so bad for so long. I just thought I was getting old and it was cancer fall out and broken bones from falling off the ladder. I had no idea I fell off the ladder from the Benzos, and that I have been in tolerance for years. I just kept thinking it was what getting old felt like and I couldn’t believe that I couldn’t multitask I can’t function. I have no patience. My eyes are so dry I can hardly see and should barely be driving my car but today I’m hoping that one day soon will all be skipping down the street singing to ourselves that song  “I’m walking on sunshine whoa I’m walking on sunshine whoa and don’t it feel good?” thanks again, Joni

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