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The long,dark journey


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The Benzo road is a long, dark,frightening one. I am alone, walking on that empty stretch right now. I have been taking small steps these last 8 months, even longer, as my severe side effects began in February last year, though I was still on the drug. Hesitatingly I place one foot in front of the other. I am terrified I will fall as I can't see what's ahead. The faint light that flickers occasionally dims and darkness descends again. I look back and it's pitch black. I can see nothing. What is behind me is my 20 odd years which I have lost to Valium dependence. Those were the years I existed not lived. The battling I had with gigantic waves of turbulence and fear every moment of my life not knowing it was because I was an addict. The more whirlpools I encountered in my life. The more Valiums I took thinking this was my solace, my companion, my friend. It numbed me from my unemotional, abusive ex husband, it helped me not to break down with grief when my brother I was caring for died of cancer. It shielded me from confronting my own mortality when I had cancer. Little did I know this little pill was destroying the core of my very existence.

 

My family shunned me. My brother thinks I am insane and dangerous. My friends avoid me. Who wants to know someone whose behavior is erratic?  My two sons think I am a dysfunctional mother they can't rely on. My husband tries to understand me but at the start he didn't. When I first had an attack and threw things he hit me. He even barricaded the bedroom once in the night and wouldn't let me in. I have tried to kill myself several times because living was hell. I just wanted to end this torment that mocked at me. I have been to over 15 odd psychiatrists and they all gave me that look that said I was deranged. I ended up with one psychotic prescription after another. Valium was slowly poisoning me and no one told me it was a benzo withdrawal. I would scream, cry. roll on the floor, hit myself, throw things, bang my head repeatedly on the wall until I was broken, exhausted, crumpled. When I was in a mood I could remember things my husband said about his past, he was a very liberal person, and sentences would get stuck in my head until I was crazy with hysteria. It was as if I was possessed.

 

Three months ago I had 25 rounds of radiation for a local recurrence. Maybe my body was trying to give up the will to live. My fight is a lonely one. I feel depressed a lot lately. I cry most of the time. My window sometimes opens a little and I catch glimpses of the blue sky, a ray of shimmering sunshine and then it suddenly closes and I am plunged into darkness again. I have been robbed of happiness, lost the vitality of life, missed out on many meaningful things which will never come back again and I weep.

 

I read your letters and I derive immense strength from them. It's a relief to know I am not alone. I am determined to put my foot in front of each other and walk. No matter how long it takes or how hard. Maybe there will be days when its to dark and frightening for me to move, but I will wait till the light returns and resume my journey.

 

My thanks to you for being my inspiration. Hugs and love.  :hug:

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Through all your pain and suffering over the years you have managed to think positive and now your taken the necessary steps in order to have a better happier future! You are definitely a strong woman!!! :thumbsup:
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The body wants to heal itself. As long as you are putting one foot in front of the other, you'll keep moving forward, and eventually things will clear, brighten, improve.

 

I too lacked motivation, enthusiasm for life, etc. Every day was a challenge to simply cope. It was very lonely. The forum was a great comfort but also had stories that terrified me. My friends stood by, not able to understand. My husband is a rock, fortunately. I threw such a hissy when he suggested that I let the withdrawal get the best of me, he went back to simply standing by quietly. What few family I told were like my friends, supportive but unable to really understand. Benzo withdrawal is very isolating.

 

Hope is the essential ingredient, and you have it. Once you are better and feeling good again, I'm hoping your children will take inspiration from what you achieved.

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