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Jen's Success Story
It Will Be A Faded Memory One Day
Hi everyone out there. I wanted to drop in and say I am doing extremely well at ten and half months out. I know that does not sound very encouraging to many of you who are not even finished with your taper or cold turkeyed, as I did. But, in all honesty, I did not think I was going to make it this far at six months out. I was till suffering with hormone problems and mental anguish/depression.
My life has really taken a turn. It is hard to accept, as I have posted before, that this happened to me. For the ones who are not familiar with my experience... I am the one who drank liquor on the weekend for a solid year after an affair I had. I tried to drink myself to death when I decided to stay in a marriage filled with silence for the sake of my children. It was the hardest decision I ever made in my life. I ended up being deeply depressed, filled with anxiety, and took myself to a psychiatrist for the first time in my life. I was having more and more panic attacks and dizzy spells. My drinking ws out of control on the weekends and I no longer cared about life or its possibilities. The doctor said he thought I was Bi Polar II. He made this prediagnosis after listening to me for an estimated thirty minutes of me trying to fit my entire thirty years of life up until this point. Know this...I am shy and suffer form lack of self esteem because of my childhood; but, I do not have some inherited mental illness. I would not have said that eleven months ago. But after experienceincing my brain healing I can honestly say the doctor was wrong. I have proven it by stopping the drug and allowing myself to grow in many ways, such as creatively and going to school.
However, then, I did not know I had any talents and was forced to take Klonopin for two months because I had just cracked. What I mean by that is I was unable to sleep and could not for any amount of money deter my mind from thinking of the mistakes I had made up until that point. I left the job where the affair took place and decided to stop taking the pills.
Within three weeks I was bumping into the walls and paraniod at the sight of knives and could not watch television. Everything disturbed me to the point where I stayed in the quiet of my room. I was not aware of my increased tolerance to the drug at the time. Now that I think about it I should have known being that I was alway hypersensitive to medications. After three weeks of symptoms that led me into shaking and sweating I called a dear friend of mine to come help me. She took me to a new doctor after finding my pills and having me take them. I did and felt instantly better. It still never dawned on me that I was addicted to the drug because I had only taken it for a little under two months.
I was not able to stabilize for more than a day. My incresed tolerance was raised by the minute and I needed more and more to feel normal. Finally the new doctor said I should try Xanax. I hallucinated that night but seemed to be able to regain my life in the next week to follow by starting to drive again without dizziness and feeling my confidence rise. That lasted only a week and I started to sweat, have nightmares and shake once again. I now know I was having a paradoxical reaction to the drug. I tried desperately to stop several times only to be thrown into panic attacks and hot flashes that would not quit. My head felt as if I had a hatchet in it. My entire central nervous system was destroyed. My legs felt like jelly. I could not eat, feel a flower, smell, see, read and comprehend, and the list goes on. I had terrible nightmares filled with murder, incest and everything I had always feared most. I would have to say the most severe symptoms were shocks in my head. They were really painful. I went completely insane and am still not sure why except the fact that I have always had blood sugar problems, and I felt very unloved at that time. So we have an emotional and physical interaction.
The stress was enormous. There is no other word for it. My brain simply went haywire, so much so that I almost took my life. If it had not been for my father I would have because of the psychosis I experienced.
I felt truly violated by my doctor for making addiction sound like such a light matter to deal with when I asked before I agreed to take the drug. I tried to convey some of the things I had experienced over the years. I really wanted someone to talk to in order to work out the issues. One thing I do have to say in his favor is I made light of my drinking. I did not realize how the alcohol had affected my system and my pride made me make light of the fact that I had been. Nor do I think he knew how sensitive I was to medication (I hallucinate with codeine). He just did not realize what mental state I was in, being that I had tried to play things off in a light manner myself. But, I really feel doctors have to know this is hard for people to admit they have some problems. It is so sad that in this world we have to pay individuals to listen to our woes when we should all take the time to help one another by just listening.
So, as time went on I dismissed the idea of suing because it gave me no reprieve, in all honesty. It was not, as I like to say, a win-win situation.
I had all of the symptoms after I completely stopped Xanax after taking them for seventeen days. I could not drive and my independence was completely null and void. I was forced to stay with my parents and leave my husband because I needed help with my children. I have two. This was very difficult for me because my mother was cruel in many ways and the visit reminded me of my childhood which was very disturbing. But, all in all, I made it work until I could drive on my own which was two months after I stopped taking the pills. I was not really ready to drive then but I forced myself because my children were ready to come to their home. And my husband was threatening to take them from me. So, there was really no choice to be made. I often wonder if he would have known how ill I was if he had taken off to care for me. I try not to think about it too much.
My vision now is so much better than before. I can now feel emotions and I no longer feel fear as I did. Fear was the only emotion I could feel for a very long time. All of my senses have come back. I now am able to rely on my own judgement about situations. For so long I wondered if my feeling were real or not. I could not make a decision about anything. I would say that I could not do that for almost nine months. It is a terrible feeling to not know if your feelings are real or if they are just benzo related. The uncertainty of everything was in full swing.
Let me just say and give you all some hope that your brain does heal, and it has been the most elating thing I have ever experienced in my whole life. I seriously doubted whether it would or not for entirely too long. I would just sit in my bed and wait for the next shock to occur. I did not know at the time that it was a wonderful thing that my brain was healing itself. We are truly wonderfully made is all I have to say about that.
I did several things to help myself balance in the fifth month. One was to purchase some natural progesterone cream by Life Flo called Progesta Care. It helped me sleep. It took me about four months to really see a huge difference. I felt good about it because it was natural. I would not have traded it for the world. I did plenty of research that led me to this decision of taking a hormone. I needed it desperately because my blood sugar was so off and I felt if I could just place one piece of the puzzle then it was well worth it. It proved to be so for me.
I also learned to set boundaries and say no to things I knew I could not do as far as volunteering my time. I disassociated myself completely from ones who were not good for me. I read like there was no tomorrow. I can honestly say I am a self help book buff and revel in finding out why humans react the way they do. I have found that there is most always a reason. I am not denying that some do have a severe chemical imbalances. But, I believe that many other things should be looked into first such as food allergies and blood sugar problems, or even childhood abuse, before prescribing something that will do nothing but cover up emotional scars that will certainly come out later in life through addiction as it did in me. It's just not worth it.
My heart goes out to all of you. I cannot tell you how many women I have met in these past eleven months that have been put on some kind of antidepressant or benzo because people just do not know how to help one another. It is devestating to know a friend will become addicted as I did. I want to warn everyone. But, I have come to realize that they have to grow as I did, and there is nothing I can really do to help them except share my experience.
If there is one thing I wish all of you would listen to without questioning then it is just this...you will get better. It may be a year before you see results. But, I promise that if I can heal and regain my life, you can too. I have realized however that my marriage is a huge reason for my misery. You will find when you get to where I am that things suddenly become clearer. I know I must leave if things do not change in the near future. But, I also know it has to be the right time being that I have children and no way to care for them on my own just yet. I now accept that I cannot change a miserable person. Life is too precious to throw away on someone who destroys your character and sense of self. I have been striving to lose the lbs I gained during all of this. I have gained twenty. It did nothing for my self esteem. But, I know I can lose it because my body is really starting to balance itself out. I can just feel it.
I have regained my courage and no longer think of myself as a helpless or powerless person. I allow myself to dream and enjoy the things I used to without asking permission from anyone. I no longer obsess over whether my house is spotless, or if I have said the right thing to this one or that one.
If you take good care of yourself and believe that you will make it you most certainly will. Life has proven to be a joyous experience for me here lately. For example, I made the most beautiful hammock this past week and set up windchimes so I have a place to read. I would not have ever dreamed of myself lying there carefree reading an escape romance novel eleven months ago. But, it has turned out to be a reality. I know many of you cannot see that right now. I know the feeling. My body ached so bad for entirely too long. I shook and convulsed to where I thought no one could possibly understand what I endured. I can truly say I understand why people commit suicide from withdrawals. I wish I could go to each of them and tell them that it would have passed as everything does. I myself did not understand when I was going through it. But, I had a will like I never thought I had within me. And there was no one around me that really understood. I hung on to this group like it was my lifeline. It was so important to me, and no one in my family supported me in talking to anyone else who had experienced it. They were cruel and passed judgement. I forged ahead however and snuck because I knew it was what I needed at the time.
So, I say that to say this... Do what you have to do to survive this withdrawal. Ask all the questions you want to help you get through the next day. Know that one day it will be a faded memory that will be tucked away in your renewed healthy mind that will make you stronger in the end. Much love to you all.
Jen - eleven months free of all substances and loving life again.
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