Author Topic: Mentoring - those who are well (or better) reassuring those who struggle.  (Read 87966 times)

[Buddie]

[...], I get that you were born or became a feisty little s**t  :laugh: and I think that is the quality that most got you through.

I puzzle over what it is that makes some people tough and some people not so tough. After a while the being strong thing gets [...] thin without some real inner motivation. I honestly think it comes down to finding meaning in life, finding our meaning in life. So for a time, your meaning was supporting your daughter, your [...]'s boyfriend, your brothers, your students. What happened when that support wasn't as immediately needed?

I'm especially interested in this topic. As you know, I do support work in the prison system and it gives me great joy to help a little. Actually I think it is one of the main things that made me get better. I've decided that service is my venue in life. It is what makes me alive.

Every month, I see another woman signing over her parental rights for the good of her children. That's what they say anyway. But I know them well enough to know the main reason is that they have simply lost their spirit to [...]. Of course there is almost always trauma in the background. So I understand in ways. [...], I'm [...] perplexed about how some people stand up out of the mud like you did and how some people can't.

I guess these questions are never answered. I, for one, am grateful you stood up. You give us all courage and [...].  :smitten:
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[Buddie]


I don't know, OneDay. Parker and Perserverance are our "why" experts. I suspect it has to do with a disregulation in the HPA axis and that it will eventually regulate.

Here is the best information on BB about the topic.

http://www.benzobuddies.org/forum/index.php?topic=44373.msg1610268#msg1610268

Medicine doesn't have many answers for us, but please don't hesitate to pursue with a doctor.

I gained a ton of weight during my taper. It came off. It was slow but it did.

What does your inner voice say, OneDay?

Ok thank you, my inner voice is scared shitless and I've had every medical test known to man done and I'm supposedly "healthy" so the fear is I'm never gonna crawl out of this. I don't know too many success stories of people worse at 15 and then healed, maybe you do?
Suggestions, opinions and/or advice provided by the author of this post should not be regarded as medical advice; nor should it substitute for professional medical care. Consult your doctor before making any changes to your medication. Please read our Community Policy Documents board for further information.

[Buddie]

[...], I get that you were born or became a feisty little s**t  :laugh: and I think that is the quality that most got you through.

I puzzle over what it is that makes some people tough and some people not so tough. After a while the being strong thing gets [...] thin without some real inner motivation. I honestly think it comes down to finding meaning in life, finding our meaning in life. So for a time, your meaning was supporting your daughter, your [...]'s boyfriend, your brothers, your students. What happened when that support wasn't as immediately needed?

I'm especially interested in this topic. As you know, I do support work in the prison system and it gives me great joy to help a little. Actually I think it is one of the main things that made me get better. I've decided that service is my venue in life. It is what makes me alive.

Every month, I see another woman signing over her parental rights for the good of her children. That's what they say anyway. But I know them well enough to know the main reason is that they have simply lost their spirit to [...]. Of course there is almost always trauma in the background. So I understand in ways. [...], I'm [...] perplexed about how some people stand up out of the mud like you did and how some people can't.

I guess these questions are never answered. I, for one, am grateful you stood up. You give us all courage and [...].  :smitten:

My [...] was not a cuddly, warm, nurturing type, but she was determined to instill independence and moral strength in her kids.  I lived on her strength for a long time after her death.  I felt her pushing me to go on day after day and I did that until I could get back on my own feet. 

I derived strength in having to take care of things for her.  I was her medical power of attorney and the executor of her will, so I had an overwhelming amount of 'stuff' to do for a long time…wrapping up her life and yet carrying on with mine.

When my [...]'s companion passed away, when the murder trials and the legal issues were over with, when my brothers started to come up for air, when my daughter went off to college… I was better by then as time is the healer of grief, as it is the healer of withdrawal.

I don't see myself as particularly strong.  When I read some of the stories of pain, suffering and struggle here on the forum, I am humbled.
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[Buddie]

I know at least one, OneDay. [...]. I sent her a message. I [...] she gets it and comes around here. She was also a CT and, honestly, there were times I thought she would not make it. She did. She loves life. She is too busy to be here, which is the best thing.

Let's see what she says. I think she will come by.  :thumbsup:
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[Buddie]

[...] your [...]'s fortitude served you so well. She give us the gift of you even after her death.

I think you hit the nail on the head when you said time is the healer. It's the same for the people here, going through benzo hell. The passage of time is the main healer. It's SO damned hard to see that when you're in the middle of it.
 :smitten:
Suggestions, opinions and/or advice provided by the author of this post should not be regarded as medical advice; nor should it substitute for professional medical care. Consult your doctor before making any changes to your medication. Please read our Community Policy Documents board for further information.

[Buddie]

I'm moving some of my last progress log post here for encouragement....

30 months after taper...

I no longer count days and only note it in months because it shows up as a monthly repeating event on my calendar. Sometimes I feel hesitant to come here and write. So many people continue to suffer and it feels like a I dishonor them by saying I feel well. It is not my intention. [...], telling the truth remains my unshakable intention.

I have been in a place of near magic lately. Somewhere I read an account of someone having a spiritual experience and he called it a thin place as in the space between being human and being spiritual is gossamer thin. I remember a couple of years ago when I entered therapy Dr. BB asked me what my goals were and I said I wanted to love life before I died. Well, I do. Love life. It's the oddest thing. It has practically no connection to events or things. It is about people and relationships and how I feel in the world. I feel an ease inside my skin that I think I have not felt since pre-adolescence. Things feel right and on purpose.

Today I walked my neighborhood mile twice just because it felt so great to do it. It felt great physically, mentally and emotionally.  I feel  healthy and flexible and alive. Yesterday I was stuck in traffic and I didn't care. I felt interested in the mechanics of it and completely removed from the inconvenience. I feel patient and present. I do not remember being any happier in my life.

Maybe life brings us all to our knees in order to heal us. My knee bending episode happened to be benzo illness. At least one of them. Without it, I'm not sure I would have stopped my headlong dash that was largely unconscious in its direction. I was living life happily most of the time, but it was missing a level of awareness that I now have. Maybe age itself would have brought that awareness, but I doubt it.

The big things that are different for me are that I have come to expect and accept loss as a normal part of life, including my own decline and death; I feel safe in the world for the first time ever; I feel like I am not alone, and I feel like there is purpose in things that happen. I feel like the world is bright for me according to my perception at the time, and lately I have been given these gifts of seeing those thin places and feeling so [...].

Sometimes the tinnitus is very faint. Sometimes it is a low whine. Sometimes it's a hiss. It's only on the right side. That's where I often get a headache, right in that space between my ear and my eye. It's there right now, the hiss and the headache. These things keep me grounded and I do not resent them. They remind me. They remind me of where I used to be and I feel such profound gratitude that I want to whisper so as not to disturb fate and draw attention to myself.

I am at the oasis. I wish I could come back and bring water to all of you who are [...] traveling. I wish I could come back and walk a few miles for you, carry you, even. I wish I could walk along side you and murmur low words of [...] and encouragement that it does get so much better, that the colors are brighter and the air is sweeter and sometimes even this 60 year old body wants to skip or run or dance or throw itself on its backside in the grass and find shapes in the clouds and giggle with awe. There is ease ahead. There is [...].

This is the most beautiful, meaningful post I have ever read. I don't know what inspired you to write it, but I am printing it and hanging it up. You are a gifted writer, and you have moved me deeply. Thank you for this.

Snow  :smitten:
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[Buddie]

The book by Viktor Frankl comes to mind, "Man's Search For Meaning"
Please read this if you haven't. 

[...], I sing and play [...] at nursing homes...well, I stopped recently through this plight of sorrow and hardship. But you remind me of how service is everything.

[...], I had a strong [...] too. Although I only had her until age 11, I think it is what has kept me alive. I can relate to this. Unfortunately,  no one advocated or believed in me as she did. My sisters were 28 and 23 when she died and didn't step in. My father fell apart.

Been on my own since a kid. Made terrible,  irreparable life choices along the way.

Gotta pick up the pieces and [...] to start over at 55. I suppose it's never too late.

You all give me lots of strength for which I am quite grateful.
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[Buddie]

Here's the main EMDR link, [...].

http://www.emdr.com/client-stories/61-my-story--sexual-abuse-sexual-addiction-recovery-and-[...].html

It has been amazingly effective for PTSD in military trauma, accident, horrific loss, sexual trauma, even that hard-to-reach childhood sexual trauma. Let me be clear by saying it is a therapeutic technique and it does not replace therapy. These things [...] need to be processed. What it does is takes the punch out of the emotion of it once it is out in the open.

You, maybe more than all of us put together understand loss and horror, [...]. You are a pillar of resiliency. I [...] you will feel moved to tell us your story here, but if you can't, then I understand.
 :smitten:



Sure, [...].  Just the thought has the faucets going…too close to [...]'s Day.  Let me just repost my blog entry about it instead:

I was prescribed Temazepam (generic for Restoril) at age 30 and it worked for the insomnia that started in my late twenties. 

Fast forward twenty years to age 50 ([...] taking Temazepam) when I saw my doctor for job stress and was prescribed .25 Xanax as needed.  I didn't question the doctor's recommendation, and [...] remember the instant relief taking just half a tablet...a miracle. 

As the years went by, the dose crept up slowly as I became tolerant.  I [...] didn't question it.  My sleep problems were diagnosed in a sleep study as RLS (restless legs syndrome) and I was prescribed the correct medication, so I went off the Temazepam. 

Enter marital problems, separation, divorce, court, attorney letters and bills (just seeing an envelope with his letterhead was stressful), mediation and a custody battle...as ugly as it gets.  Up went the Xanax dose again.  I didn't question it.

Extreme drama came next.  5:30 p.m. October 25, 2003.  I got a phone message that my 77 year old [...] had been hurt in a home invasion robbery in the house my parents raised us, a safe and affluent neighborhood where no one locked their doors.  She'd been taken by ambulance to Stanford Hospital with injuries. I made the 200 mile drive to Stanford by 10 p.m.  I didn't recognize my [...].  She'd been beaten and choked.  Every single bone in her face was broken, her neck was broken, her ribs were broken, bleeding from mouth, nose, eyes and ears.  When I finally went home that night to her house, my family's home for 50 years, it was to find a large pool of her blood in the middle of her white living room carpet where they [...] her.  The police had tossed a throw rug over it.

I took indefinite leave of absence from my teaching job and stayed with her in ICU as much as the nurses would allow.  She became unresponsive within days.  I had to make decisions about support.  Breathing tube, then a feeding tube, drilling holes to relieve pressure in her head, watching the nurses tie her hands to the bed to keep from pulling them out, bedsores.  She was extremely agitated, especially in the wee hours of the night.  She had regularly used benzodiazepine sleeping pills.  They were already giving her Ativan and said that would cover any issues related to the use of sleeping medication.  I [...] it did, but looking back, I wonder.

During this time, my ex-husband tried again to get custody of our daughter, though I had arranged for someone to stay with her in our home and that's where she preferred to be.  My [...]'s physician upped my Xanax and added Lexapro.  I found my [...]'s sleeping pills in her bathroom cabinet and took those until they were gone. 

After five weeks in a coma she developed pneumonia.  I made the decision to end life support per her written instructions.  I held her hand until her breathing stopped.

During her hospital stay, there was an ongoing police investigation.  TV, newspaper and radio interviews, rewards posted for information...and finally three arrests made two days after her death.  Three murder trials in the next two years required my testimony because I'd found DNA evidence in her bedroom. 

I cried more tears in a few years than most people cry in a lifetime.

I went off the Lexapro after awhile...it was rough.  I don't think I knew to taper off.  Xanax became my lifeline to sanity.  I was careful to keep some with me at all times.  I knew when my prescription needed filling and was at the pharmacy the day it was to be refilled.  I bought a fake Chapstick on eBay that hid a few days' worth of Xanax because I didn't want to keep a bottle in my purse.  I was afraid to lose even one.  I gasped if one went down the sink.  I counted them to make sure I'd make it until the next refill and breathed a sign of relief when I picked up each new refill in its orange plastic container. My physician refilled without question and without seeing me.  When I saw him for some other issue once, he said, "Xanax isn't my favorite drug.  Do you want to [...] something else?"  I said no because I thought it was working just fine for me and he never mentioned it again.  Anxiety and sorrow were constant companions and only Xanax kept me functioning. 

I retired in 2010, [...] on Xanax.  I worried that I was forever changed.  I couldn't think clearly and problem solving was noticeably more difficult. A lifelong reader, I had lost the ability to follow a plot.  I had bizarre dreams that didn't coincide with the events that actually happened.  I woke up every morning drenched in sweat and extremely anxious.  They were the first clue I had that the Xanax might actually be causing the problems I was [...] having. 

In 2011, a late refill prompted a meltdown at the pharmacy.  Tired of being controlled by my prescription, I decided to [...] to take control.  Looking back, that was a pivotal moment in my recovery.

I started experimenting with the Xanax to see if it was causing the problems I had.  I couldn't tell for sure,  so I began to cut my dose in August 2011.

Fast forward again...cutting my dose, holding, cutting, holding, quit at .25 in February 2012 on the advice of a drug counselor.  I had typical "too fast taper" w/d...BP spikes, tremor, headaches, incredible anxiety, startling at light and noise, racing heart.  I reinstated and as I taper now at a slow pace, I am feeling much better.  I am reading avidly again.  I am not anxious anymore.  I don't have bizarre dreams anymore.  My withdrawal symptoms are tolerable.

I will get there.  And I'll be fine.

I'm changed. [...]. Thank you. Oh, thank you.

Snow, the New
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[Buddie]

I keep reading stories on this web site of horrific troubles MONTHS after coming off benzos.

I have been on [...] for 43 years, and I am scared.  I have been reducing for two and one-half years, trying to keep the likelihood low that I would suffer once I am off.  But more often than not, people who have taken for years DO suffer tremendously in waves that hit months after jumping.

Should I stay on a low dose of [...]?  Maybe 2 mg.?

I am having minimal withdrawal problems so far.

Thank you for your advice.
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[Buddie]

[...]...I have been on benzos for 39 years. Glad you are not having much trouble. Dr. Ashton says some people have no trouble. My best and most important advice is to look up the Ashton Manual and really read it. It is a great wealth of information.
Marian
Suggestions, opinions and/or advice provided by the author of this post should not be regarded as medical advice; nor should it substitute for professional medical care. Consult your doctor before making any changes to your medication. Please read our Community Policy Documents board for further information.