Author Topic: 3.5 Year Success Update  (Read 7736 times)

[Buddie]

Re: 3.5 Year Success Update
« Reply #10 on: July 28, 2015, 01:57:03 am »
Congrats on succeeding. Your mind is 100% back? Not even the slightest problem?
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[Buddie]

Re: 3.5 Year Success Update
« Reply #11 on: July 28, 2015, 03:48:40 am »
Glad to hear you have healed!
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[Buddie]

Re: 3.5 Year Success Update
« Reply #12 on: July 28, 2015, 04:34:01 am »

Thanks for the update and congratulations and best wishes for your new family. :clap:
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]

Re: 3.5 Year Success Update
« Reply #13 on: July 28, 2015, 08:08:44 pm »
Congrats on everything! Marriage, house, the baby, total healing!!!! Our God is such a good and awesome God! I needed a great success story! I will hold this quote close to me:

"I also turned to God and my faith deepened so much during this journey. When I was weak, He was strong for me.

With God's strength alone and trusting in His plans, during withdrawal I was able to do some incredible things. I worked a full time job in non-profit doing something I could be passionate about, I planned a wedding and was married and built a house. I knew when God would open a door for me during withdrawal that He wanted me to walk through it and learn to have a daily dependence on His strength to help me follow the paths He laid out for me, even when they seemed impossible. However, I did struggle during this time wanting to feel joy and happiness for these major life events, but instead feeling numb and depressed. This did teach me that feelings can not always be trusted. Our emotions can waver both during withdrawal and outside of it, but we cannot allow our feelings to control our lives."


Thank you, thank you and thank you!!! God bless!  :angel:
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]

Re: 3.5 Year Success Update
« Reply #14 on: August 01, 2015, 03:17:11 am »
Thank you so very much, [...], for taking the time to write your beautiful story, and congratulations on your lovely baby girl!!!  :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]

Re: 3.5 Year Success Update
« Reply #15 on: August 01, 2015, 05:19:29 am »
I so agree...our faith is developed and deepened in the darkest of times. It's just how God works. Count it all good... :thumbsup:
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]

Re: 3.5 Year Success Update
« Reply #16 on: November 22, 2017, 09:43:15 am »
Bumping this story, as it shows so beautifully that we can move forward and heal fully, despite major setbacks and life transitions (moving house, unexpected pregnancy, etc.) during withdrawal...the power of trust, faith, and letting go... I needed to read this today. So grateful.

Lara  :thumbsup: :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]

Re: 3.5 Year Success Update
« Reply #17 on: November 23, 2017, 05:06:08 pm »
Thanks for posting this!  :thumbsup:

I guess I'll stay clear from the booze for a considerable time once this is over.
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]

Re: 3.5 Year Success Update
« Reply #18 on: December 22, 2019, 08:59:06 am »
Hi Buddies!

It has been weighing on me for awhile to come back and post a success update, especially since I had some setbacks and major life changes take place  :).

This is a little long, but I thought it was crucial to share every aspect of the journey to spread some hope through all the ups and downs of recovery!

Benzo Withdrawal:

I was halfway through law school and studying for finals. I could not get my mind to shut off to get sleep at night so I tried taking Benadryl and ended up with an adverse reaction resulting in my first panic attack. I was freaked out and went to a doctor who prescribed me klonopin to take for the week of exams. I gladly took the K for one week and stopped, feeling completely fine. Two weeks later I began to experience terrible anxiety and panic attacks again out of the blue (which I now know was probably from withdrawing from the klonopin and some celebratory post-exam drinking). I did not know what was happening to me, so I went back on the klonopin. I felt horrible the whole time I was on it (for about another month) and literally morphed into a shell of my former self mentally and physically seemingly overnight. The not so wise doctor I went to kept increasing my dose of klonopin over this month to 1.5 mg. I had to medically withdrawal from law school and move home. By the grace of God I found a benzo-wise doctor who helped me with a slow and gradual taper over the next 10 months. I was benzo free in November of 2011  :thumbsup:.

I was not prepared at all for how long post-withdrawal recovery could take even after what seemed like such a long taper for a short term user. The main symptoms I experienced were insomnia, high anxiety, heart palpitations, shortness of breath, head pressure, depression, and dp/dr. I felt I was sucked into a deep hole of despair, and I would never be able to climb out. Everyday felt like ground hogs day and I felt like a broken record with family and friends. All I wanted was to be "normal" again, but I was fearful I would never recover. Reading the success stories was crucial to helping me maintain hope. I also turned to God and my faith deepened so much during this journey. When I was weak, He was strong for me.

With God's strength alone and trusting in His plans, during withdrawal I was able to do some incredible things. I worked a full time job in non-profit doing something I could be passionate about, I planned a wedding and was married and built a house. I knew when God would open a door for me during withdrawal that He wanted me to walk through it and learn to have a daily dependence on His strength to help me follow the paths He laid out for me, even when they seemed impossible. However, I did struggle during this time wanting to feel joy and happiness for these major life events, but instead feeling numb and depressed. This did teach me that feelings can not always be trusted. Our emotions can waver both during withdrawal and outside of it, but we cannot allow our feelings to control our lives.

After our wedding (16 months benzo free) I had a glorious 5 month stretch where I felt completely healed. During this time I finished building our house, moved into it and switched to a new job!

Setback:

I felt that I could finally close the door on this chapter in my life. After 5 months of feeling like my old self, I started my new job and a week later went on a week long vacation with friends. During this vacation, I thought I could indulge in some pina coladas and try drinking again. A few days after the trip some old symptoms started to appear. I tried to ignore them and brush them off, but unfortunately they became stronger and stronger. I had the insomnia come back, the high anxiety, the depression... they did not come back to the same level of intensity as they were initially after withdrawal, however they still made me feel completely defeated. I couldn't believe how quickly I retreated back into survival mode completely forgetting my 5 months of healing and thinking again I would never come through this.

This setback shook my confidence big time as I thought once the benzo recovery ended, I would never have to revisit it again. I now think it was a combination of the stress of so many life changes and the alcohol (too much too soon) that caused this setback. I hoped it would only be a couple months at the most, but unfortunately this setback dragged on for another year with waves and windows that way too slowly lessened in intensity as the year went on.

Surprise Pregnancy:

I was finally starting to feel like myself again after a year of being in a setback last summer (July 2014). I had now been married for almost a year and a half, and I started to think about when we should start a family. However, the last setback had shaken my confidence to the core and now I was afraid that getting pregnant and having a baby may cause another setback. I could no longer trust in my recovery. What would the crazy pregnancy hormones do to me? How would I handle the medications I could be given during childbirth? What about postpartum depression? I prayed to God for clarity, but just felt gripped by fear every time I would try to think about it. I thought for sure I would never have the confidence to move forward with having a family and this devastated me.

Well, once again God had other plans for me. After a couple months of thinking about this, my husband and I had our first ever "oops" night in August. I immediately felt this was not just any "oops." Sure enough three weeks later I took a pregnancy test and it came back positive! I felt fear wash over me, as I realized this could potentially throw me into another setback again and it was out of my control. However, deep within me I knew this was God's plan and timing and I clung to this. Those first couple months of pregnancy the hormones did throw me for a bit of a loop. I was feeling more anxious and was not sleeping well. These feelings should be very normal for a surprise pregnancy and the typical first trimester woes. I think going through withdrawal and then the setback left me with a little PTSD however. Anytime I feel "normal" intense emotions that remind me of withdrawal I can start to think of all I have been through and panic that I may go backwards.

After I settled into the pregnancy the intense emotions subsided and I continued to feel more and more recovered with each passing day. Once again though the fear crept in about handling any medications given during childbirth (I have not taken any medicine at all since the benzo). I decided I would try to do childbirth all natural and I prepared for this with hypnobirthing audio tapes and hiring a doula.

Of course childbirth didn't go according to my plans (and God probably just laughs when I try so hard to make them). I ended up with a very long labor where I needed Pitocin, antibiotics and an epidural. I handled all of these medications and the stress of an intense labor very well and had absolutely no effects from them afterwards. I now know God wanted to take away some of the fear by showing me I could do this!  ;D

Some fear about postpartum depression and how my body would handle the hormones dropping after pregnancy also plagued me. I am happy to report I have a beautiful, healthy three month old baby girl. My body survived pregnancy and childbirth with no major setback.

Closing Thoughts:

I truly think with more and more time our bodies continue to heal and get stronger. Things we may not have been able to tolerate early on, we can tolerate much better as more time passes. I think faith in our Creator is crucial for getting through this arduous journey and for being able to still find beauty and purpose in the midst of the deep despair and pain. God can use all of our trials on earth for a greater purpose if we let Him. He does not promise us a life without troubles, but He can be the strength we need to get through them.

I still will not have alcohol or caffeine, and still do try to avoid medications aside from an occasional Tylenol (on a sidenote I also tolerated the prenatal vitamins and omega-3 pills very well). I hope some day many years down the road I can possibly try alcohol again, but I am not sure if that will ever happen.

I do think I still have some PTSD from this experience whenever intense emotions arise from life circumstances. Even though the emotions are nowhere near the degree I felt them in withdrawal, feeling intense anxiety or sadness, or having multiple sleepless nights can still trigger some level of fear within me. I just pray with the passing of more time, the slight PTSD continues to fade.

Bottom line, even with setbacks and major life transitions taking place during withdrawal, you can continue to heal and this will become more and more of a distant memory. Please cling to this hope and continue to take things one day at a time! Prayers and Blessings to all of you still in the throes of withdrawal.  :angel:


I'm hanging on to this for dear life.... I hope I can be normal some day so I enjoy and cherish my life. So many things we took for granted. The ability to wake up and be normal. Having a normal functioning brain being able to live in peace. These things are priceless. I'll never take these for granted once I make it through this dark tunnel of mental horror.
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]

Re: 3.5 Year Success Update
« Reply #19 on: January 23, 2022, 08:02:10 am »
Bump to this amazing story of surviving and then thriving even after setbacks and stressors :smitten:
We long-haulers with complex histories need hopeful stories like these!
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.