Jump to content

Hope Hope Hope! 5 months off!!


Recommended Posts

Hi Everyone!


I wanted to lift up some BIG hope for those of you tapering or those that just jumped.  I am not writing a success story yet, as I'm not out of the woods and have some lingering symptoms, but I have SOME success to report!


First of all, I had a ROUGH time post-jump.  To say that is an understatement.  Nuff said.


At 3 months off - if one could imagine it, it got worse.  I had crippling depression, horrible inner vibrations, could not sleep, and just so many awful things that I can barely remember it - I can only remember visual images of the worst of times, but most of it is like a bad dream.  It was during this time I dug in and decided to take Remeron to sleep - 11mg (3/4 of a pill) - and that helped me on sleep. It was also at this time (about 6 weeks ago) that I decided to start eating VERY healthy.  I created a huge post on here about my nutrition plan.  Basically, it was high doses of omegas, along with salmon everyday, lots of protein, vegetables EVERY day, and low wheat. 


Three weeks ago, I started intuitively feeling I might be able to cut the Remeron down.  I was feeling more tired on it during the day and I thought that maybe GABA was starting to calm me more and I didn't need so much.  In 3 weeks, I'm off Remeron.  I cried a LOT every day while it was coming out of my system, but all that crying creates the body's OWN serotonin - so, I thought, "Bring it on!"  And it worked.  I cried and cried and cried and needed less and less Remeron.


In the past 2 weeks, I started running 2 miles and walking 1 mile a day.  In the place of Remeron, I wanted to be sure I exercise to promote deep sleep as much as possible. I was still eating healthy - and just feeling GREAT.



Now - in the past 2 weeks, the inner vibrations seem to be gone.  The morning nausea is gone. I'm no longer waking up prematurely.  I sleep about 7-8 hours, which is pretty typical for me.  I do take melatonin still (3mg) but I'm happy to keep that for now.

The depression is GONE.  The anxiety is gone. The agoraphobia that was SO bad is gone.  I can drink coffee without it revving my symptoms.  I still have some sensitivity to light, but that is also slowly fading.  The intrusive thoughts are leaving.  The fog has lifted.  I'm living in the "now" now. 


I still have some tinnitus, but I don't usually notice it - it's not loud.  I still have some times where I just feel "off" a bit or cry here and there - but I feel that my brain is pushing hard to get the endorphins it needs and to make the chemistr balance out. The autonomic nervous system will cry to relieve stress, which is what the body needs to do to achieve balance, and so I HONOR the crying when it is time for it - and allow my body to grieve.


Just 3 weeks ago, the intrusive thoughts and fog were AWFUL.  As I unitentionally worked through the memories of times in my life, I cried and cried, allowing my brain and psyche to reprocess all the "parts of the whole that are me". One of the buddies - "off and running" told me to allow that grieving to happen - and that my psyche needed it .She could not have been more RIGHT. 


As I worked through the memories, I cried for the self I was, and the person who has endured all of this, and the time in between when I was on benzos and living in this fog without even knowing it.  I cried and cried and let out all the grief.  Where have I been for two years while on benzos?  I don't know - somehow I lost my connection with myself.  I am regaining it .


I started researching "ways to increase serotonin naturally" on the web.  And I did those things.  Ate RIGHT, took omegas, exercised to promote restful sleep and and increase in serotonin.  I picked up my guitar and starting playing and singing again. And imagine my surprise when songs from my FAR past (college) came into memory.  I had FORGOTTEN about that self. I was unconscious of my whole self while on benzos - and here were pieces coming back. Oh ! It was such a shock that I cried all the more, but I played and sang and cried and it all started flowing back.


Now - 5 months off - I am not in the fog. I am regaining memory - of here, then, yesterday, last week, and last month.  I can put things into perspective again. I can organize things. I can think.  And if/when this slips a bit, I notice the need to cry - and honor it - and typically, in 15-20 minutes, I regain my abilities.  My brain is still working hard to regain balance, but I KNOW now that it happens. 


If you would have told me 2 months ago, when I was in the throes of 3-month challenges that I'd be THIS well at 5 months, I doubt if I would EVER have believed it.  But it's true. 2 months ago is now like a distant memory.


I do think the things i did that helped were:

----the Remeron (15mg or less) to sleep every night.  YES. I gained about 7 pounds.  I am now losing it.  But oh, what I have GAINED through the sleep I needed.

---- the eating plan made a HUGE difference.  "FOOD is medicine" is what Cindy told me...After meeting Cindy Samora, who healed from a 20-year run with vailum in 5 months through healthy eating, I decided to mirror my plan after hers. She wrote about it on the Internet and I copied it.  I didn't notice a change right away, but after about 6 weeks of eating like this, I am REALLY noticing. I don't know if this is coincidence and I woudl have healed this much anyhow, but I have read that to resynthesize neuronal parts, we need proteins and vitamins from food sources. I ate this way on purpose and drank a ton of water.  I BELIEVE it helped. It also helped with serotonin, which helped with sleep.  ALL of it contributes together towards GABA healing. The whole brain and nervous system has to heal.  I believe that this is what I COULD do towards it, for lack of anything else.

---- For me, the exercise, when I could tolerate it, was a huge boon. It helped my mood overall and is helping me sleep. Mind you, I started out with just light walking and pushed to even do that. But over time, I am back to running. I find it helps release the tension that naturally builds from this experience, and promotes deep stage sleep.

---- WATER.  When I was tired or felt heavy, I reached for water.  I've read that a lot of exhaustion is from dehydration  - and so I would keep a sipper of water near me all day and drink between 6-8 cups.  I believe it helped to carry away waste in the CNS and allowed the body to process all of that good food and re-allocate resources where it needed them. 

----Prayer.  I read the book of Job in the bible- A LOT.  It helped me see that suffering happens, and we don't always know why, but that we are not alone, and that the answers aren't always as important as a loving God.

---- I visioned all of these things making me well.  I could "see" the food and water and sleep helping me.

---- I wrote to other buddies on here that were supportive and positive and had healed more than I have.  I read their reassurances to me over and over.

---- I met some facebook friends in a benzo group and wrote to those ahead of me that had a positive outlook and would only steer me towards reassurance.  "Accentuate the positive" says Bliss John.  I dont' know how much this helped actual GABA heal, but it helped propel me to continue to eat healthy and DO the things that HAVE contributed to the GABA.

---- Called and spoke with family and cried when I needed reassurance.

---- Cried and cried. :)

---- I didn't push myself to do things I couldn't do.  I was too agoraphobic to go out. So, I didn't.  I hated that I felt this way but I couldn't manage being out when I couldn't handle the stress. So - I stayed home.  It was awful to see my husband and kids leaving to go to Disney without me, but it was for the best. And now, that time has passed and I"m going to Disney too.:)


I'm not out of the woods - not totally healed -but SO much has improved. I had to share.

I really can't overstate the "food is medicine" concept.  If one little pill could do so much damage, I believe the right nutrition can undo it.  The body is a biochemical machine.  I figured, give it high octane and let's see what it can do.... It's working. Or - some combination of things is working.


I love you all.  I have come a LONG way since I was the person at one week post jump who couldn't keep food or water down and couldn't sleep AT ALL.  I am now sleeping, eating, laughing, and living again. 


I was SO bad at 3 months off.  I just want anyone reading this to know it can change. Months 3-4 were my worst.  It's gotten SO much better.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi parker!  If you don't mind me asking, did you deal with terror/doom feelings and anger? If so, did it get better too?
Link to comment
Share on other sites

WoooHooo Parker!!!


What a great post of encouragement for everyone, thanks.  I posted something similar on my blog a couple of weeks ago.  I think you are ahead of me though, because I still have some physical sxs like the vibrations going on, but I am so much better than I have been for years.


I agree with you wholeheartedly about getting all my needs through foods and I am also back to an exercise program.


Keep checking in and offering more and more hope to all our buddies here.




pianogirl  :smitten:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

wow! Thank you for posting this, as I am having a bad spell with massive dizziness and no sleep and now have to go to work, hea dspinning like a top. Thanks for telling us all this, I an going to try to eat better and I already exercise so cool!
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you SO much for posting this positive message!  It gives me so much hope.  I am just over 6 months off and the last 2-3 months have been the worst.  Yesterday was quite literally the worst day of my life.  It is nothing short of a miracle that I made it to today.  I am so ready to give up because life just doesn't seem worth living in this state and I can't see the light at the end of the tunnel.  However, you have helped remind me that this is a temporary journey and that things can improve relatively quickly.  I am so happy for you!! I hope things just continue to improve for you in the coming months.  :)



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks, guys.  Mmir  - that is an excellent question because the feelings you describe of terror, fear, and for me,  confusion mixed with rage - were SO hard.  The rage was horrible because I felt like I shouldn't be near anyone in this state. And my natural nature is to be an outgoing, extroverted people person, so to be agoraphobic was unreal.


Mmir- the only way I could cope was to distract, cry, or call family and cry. To distract, I watched a LOT of tv and played a LOT of word games on the ipad. I won all the levels of Word Whomp twice over in these 5 months, which is ridiculous. If I logged the hours of gameplay, I'd be somewhere in "savant" mode.  TV and word games were pretty much my only way to pass the time. When the symptoms got to be way too hard, I cried  - which was every single day at some point in the day.


One thing that I will say helped TREMENDOUSLY - and I say this with a whole-hearted feeling that it helped me make a massive leap in healing - was that Remeron.  Only 15mg of Remeron had me feeling like I was laying on a balmy beach in about 5 days after starting it.  I knew I couldn't use it long term because I did gain weight on it.  But I think it normalized my serotonin and made me VERY sleepy ( I took it at night). I slept about 10 hours on 15mg.  And so I just bit the bullet and took it.  I had a gut intuition that the sleep was what made it possible for me to heal GABA.  I just had a gut feelign that if I was sleeping 10 hours on Remeron versus only 5 hours without it (and waking up early and feeling sick) - then I was going to heal TWICE as fast if I was getting twice the sleep.  I feel VERY strongly about this.  As it turned out, GABA unregulated a TON during those Remeron sleep fests.  And then, one day, I just started feeling too tired on the Remeron by day - and then I knew it was time to start to cut it down.  I went down and stayed at 11mg for a month. I tried to cut that down but in a week, I was having a hard time again, so I went back to 11 and stayed for another few weeks.  Again - this whole time, I'm sleeping at least 8 hours a night (which I would NOT have been doing otherwise). And then in a few weeks, I tried cutting from 11 again and this time, I was fine. I cut to 7.5 for a week, then 3.75 for a week - then half of that for a few days, then nothing.  I think I slept TWICE as much as I would have without the Remeron. Sleep is what allowed me to eat normally and eat healthy and process everything.  I can't say enough about this strategy.People often say "There is nothing that will help but time." But I dont' believe this. I believe that to use an adjunctive med for sleep - and then to do due diligence and sleep as LONG as you can - and to eat as healthy as possible  - strategically - --- I believe we CAN heal faster.  Yes - it still takes time to occur - but maybe not as much time if we're healing while we are resting.  Once I got to a place where I coudl sleep on my own without meds, I didn't need the Remeron anymore.  I needed the Remeron to sleep - in order to upregulate GABA - so that I could finally sleep on my own. I believe this is why benzo recovery takes so long - we need sleep to make GABA, but we can't sleep WITHOUT gaba. So we stutter start through recovery with barely enough sleep to make GABA - in a circle. But if we fix the SLEEP part with a med that helps us sleep safely - and then we eat right - and we rest as much as possible - perhaps the GABA upregulation can happen MUCH faster...THIS is what I think may be happening for me.  I can't prove that, but I'm very analytical and scientific in my approach to things (I have a M.S. in a neuroscience field).  I do NOT know if Remeron works for everyone, but it did NOT rev my symptoms. It made me sleep - it's a very soporific med, so that it makes EVERYONE tired. I took it at 8pm and slept diligently from 9pm- 7am like it was my job. No nighttime TV.  No staying up. I slept like you would if you were recovery from a major illness - because - I was.


This brings me back to the bad feelings you asked about.  The only way to cope is to distract - or - as in my case - to sleep it away!  I hated being on the Remeron - gaining weight etc.  But - I just slept and slept -and when I was awake, I was exhausted. I had my husband pick up my food at the grocery store - and just ate food, cried, and slept a lot - with TV and games in between. It wasn't fun. I just was diligent about it.  I DID eat cookies and chocolate here and there, too -but I mostly fed my body the very things I knew it needed to resynthesize GABA receptors..


Again - I can't say enough about sleep, rest, and nutrition. It's the only way I feel I am healing from this. 


Here is the original link to my nutrition plan -I started eating this way about 5-6 weeks ago - and it is making the difference! I outlined everything I do here - and below this, in a response to another buddy, I put my recipe for the soup I make. I make it once a week and then eat it all week out of the frig.



Sorry Mmir - I know you didn't ask about all of this, but the best I can mention is that I passed the time just in any way that I coud to be comfortable, even though I wasn't really. I cried a lot and watched a lot of feel good TV. And then I took that Remeron and just passed 10 hours sleeping. Not only was I healing, but I was "unconscious" during this time and didn't have to suffer.  Kinda a double whammy.


I am reaching out to give you a big hug right now.  :smitten:



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks parker for all your tips! Aside from taking psych meds I am doing everything else right. I can sleep 8-11 hours naturally and eat extremely healtht. No sugar, caffeine, alcohol, dairy, gluten.


Unfortunately having adverse reactions to 14 psych meds over a 6 month period is what brought me here...so I am sure drug #15 would kill me :(


I will take a look at the nutrition plan link to see how I can further improve my diet.


Thank you and God bless.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You are so fortunate you can sleep on your own!! :) Yes- then do your best to change to nutritous eating - really use it as a strategy. I can't tell you how much I feel the omegas with VItamin D are helping, too.  It's just a matter of time.  We will all get there.


Link to comment
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Create New...