Author Topic: When Bootstraps Arenít Enough...5yrs off & HEALED...  (Read 7704 times)

[Buddie]

When Bootstraps Arenít Enough...5yrs off & HEALED...
« on: March 23, 2018, 04:36:54 am »
With the Sunrise...Every Day is a New Day


Today Iím celebrating 5YrsFree and Iím thinking itís about damn time that I claim success!
So here goes. In ainít pretty, but Iím gonna tell it like it was, and is, todayÖ

Iím an ole yankee at heart. I live in the foot hills of the Appalachian Mountains. I love my space and my land and my independence. People tell me Iím stubborn and self-reliant, but I donít really know any other way to be. That said, my benzo journey has been a long and lonely one, and it wasnít until I joined BB that I got the support I needed. Sometimes you just canít pull yourself up by the bootstraps, ya know?

My benzo experience began 25 years ago, with Valium being prescribed for muscle spasms from an injury. I took 30-40 mgs/day for 20 years, never realizing that I had reached tolerance. In fact, the medication was causing more symptoms than it was relieving. Ugh, so easy to see now, in hindsight. Over time, because of my injury and symptoms, I had lost my job, my health insurance and my house. That sucked, but the loss of mobility was my biggest problem, as you will see.

By December of 2011, I was in dire straits. I felt I could no longer continue on this path. I decided to try one last thing, and that was to (foolishly) try a rapid taper off the benzo poison, under the guidance of my NP.  At the same time, I did a C/T off of the opiates I was given for pain. This was a disaster, to put mildly. So I reinstated at 15mgV, and took 1Ĺ years to complete a cut & hold taper that grew into a tab/liquid microtaperÖ you know the drill.

During this time I had just about every symptom imaginable, with 24/7 DP/DR being the scariest. My whole CNS was wacky, and since I lived on my own, finding myself housebound for approximately 3 years was no picnic. It was actually a huge ordeal. I could not drive, and ordered everything from Amazon. Thank god for Prime. I could not shower because of the burning. My hair fell out, it felt as if I was being stung by bees 24/7 for many many months, basically I felt like a character in Alice in Wonderland day after day....you get the picture...it goes on & on....

After my taper, I knew that life could no longer be put on hold. i just wanted to function like a "normal" person again. Through shear resiliance & determination I tried to accomplish something every single day, but my symptoms caused me to repeatedly injure myself. Because my eyes couldnít focus properly, I put a nail through my finger with a Paslode Impulse nail gun. Because of balance issues, I broke my kneecap while restoring my old truck. And because of vertigo/dizziness, I tripped in the garage and dislocated my jaw. And to this day, I still have to deal with a torn meniscus, that happened when I was framing my deck.

Additionally, along the way, I managed to poison myself even more, by agreeing to take the fluoroquinolone antibiotic Cipro, which has left me with Peripheral Neuropathy. Lovely.  :tickedoff:

OK, so thatís the bad news. The good news is that throughout all of this, I was still able to find ways to remain self reliant and independent. Once I was off of the benzo poison, I eventually  became productive again. The first thing I did after I jumped was purchase a Harley, and a Hummer. I took great pleasure in driving that bike, just like I felt prior to benzos. Riding my hog solo against the [...] made me feel alive and free again. The vibration from the fuel injected motor with custom exhaust cancelled out all of the ďinner vibrationĒ sensations I felt 24/7 from lingering withdrawal symptoms. And the Hummer made me feel safe when I was reluctant to drive days. Nothiní like heavy gauge steel for protection  ;)

Since my taper Iíve had to force myself to do things that were uncomfortable but necessary to remain self reliant. I built a 7000 sq ft garden, a 288 sq ft chicken coop with 2- 12' x30' runs, and a 32' x 18' outbuilding so I could store the rough-cut lumber I harvest from my woodlot. Iím now able to cut and split my own firewood again. I also enjoy spending time in my wood-shop creating a variety of things to use around the homestead. So even though I still struggle day to day with painful neurological issues (from the Cipro), I continue to keep myself distracted by keeping busy with the homestead.

Another thing that kept me going was humor. I had some really funny friends here on BB and we used to bombard each other with silly memes. Figured we were all stuck at home and miserable, so why not try to make each other laugh? (Uh-hem, actually I still like to do that)

After being so sick for so long I decided to go green & organic. Now I make everything from scratch including my own soaps, shampoo, toothpaste cleaning products, etc. I grow and preserve my own organic vegetables, fruits, berries & nuts and even keep chickens for their eggs. I also cleaned up my diet. No processed foods. Going low-carb & dairy free has really helped with the GI, cog-fog and concentration issues.

About eight months ago I started feeling well enough to adopt a dog. He drove me crazy when he was a puppy, but I love him to death, and heís certainly a good distraction & companion. I named him Taz because heís got energy like the Tasmanian devil.

My body has been mostly normal for quite a few months now. And although the neuropathy is still there, itís much less noticeable unless I get extremely stressed out. The improvements have been slow and steady. Sometimes sooo slow that I didnít even notice until I looked back, but still, they were happening.

There is another positive thing that came out of this whole ordeal. I met a true, genuine, real life friend. [...] has been my cornerstone. She has been a true blessing. She & her family drove a long, long way to visit with me. We had a blast. THANK-YOU my lovely friend [...]....

I am so honored to be part of the BB team now. I want to thank Colin, [...] and the whole team for all or their support over the years. You guys all rock! Now I especially look forward to helping newcomers. Remembering how hard it was for me in the beginning to even string a sentence together, I totally get it why so many new buddies have a tough time planning their tapers. So I try to help them in any way I can.

Weíre all in this together, guys. And every time I hear of someoneís progress, I feel a little bit better myself, kind of like a ripple effect. So Iím still showing up, and hoping to help others pull themselves up by their bootstraps too, even when they think theyíre hopelessly stuck in the muck.

So onward we go - the march to [...] is a muddy one, but itís worth it!

So hang in there when you are struggling...never give up hope...If I healed so will you heal!

Many Blessings to ALL fellow BB warriors   :smitten:

[...]


« Last Edit: March 23, 2018, 08:30:29 pm by [Buddie] »
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: When Bootstraps Arenít Enough...Success can be ToughĒ
« Reply #1 on: March 23, 2018, 11:03:11 am »
My Dear [...],  :smitten: a huge congrats on your 5YrsFree, and an even BIGGER congrats on your success!  :balloon: Iím so incredibly happy for you! You are by far the most resilient and stubbornly positive person I know!

While Iíve heard pieces of your story before, Iíve never seen it shared in narrative form, and the power of your experience is taking my breath away. The obstacles you have overcomeÖwell, itís hard to find the right words, except to say that your strength is utterly amazing. :o

Youíre such a humble person, but I hope that for today at least, you can allow yourself to feel like a queen. Because in my eyes, you have what it takes to lead the way. Thank you for your courage and for your generosity in sharing.

love and hugs, :mybuddy:
[...]
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: When Bootstraps Arenít Enough...Success can be ToughĒ
« Reply #2 on: March 23, 2018, 11:16:25 am »
P.S. still blown away. And you know what keeps going through my mind?...
The image of you riding a Harley to drown out your symptoms!
Love it! :socool:
« Last Edit: March 23, 2018, 03:13:04 pm by [Buddie] »
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: When Bootstraps Arenít Enough...Success can be ToughĒ
« Reply #3 on: March 23, 2018, 12:12:42 pm »
Very inspiring and encouraging, [...]! Thank you for sharing and congratulations on your success! :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: When Bootstraps Arenít Enough...Success can be ToughĒ
« Reply #4 on: March 23, 2018, 01:47:28 pm »
Dear [...],

I loved reading your story! You are a wonderful example of a ďbenzo warrior,Ē which is a mixture of tremendous courage, mental stamina, toughness of spirit and faith. Plus, you got spunk, hon. (I want to be like you when I grow up!) We all must take on at least some of these characteristics in order to persevere through the HELL of drug W/D.
 Since there are no shortcuts ( we all find that out eventually), there is only forward, one day at a time. Like it or not, we cannot do this alone. You found help and community here.  This site is a life-giving place. It is God ordained; a place where hope reigns; a form of heaven on earth. It is a place where we come to heal.
Thanks for putting it out there. Thanks, also, for giving back. Your service to the rest of us bozos/benzos is an act of pure love.

With sincere gratitude,
[...]
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: When Bootstraps Arenít Enough...Success can be ToughĒ
« Reply #5 on: March 23, 2018, 02:18:23 pm »
Congratulations! Thank you for sharing!  Wishing you lots of joy and peace and continued healing.  I am almost there.  :-*
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: When Bootstraps Arenít Enough...5yrs off & HEALED...
« Reply #6 on: March 24, 2018, 02:28:33 am »
I find your story so inspiring.  Thanks for helping others here.
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: When Bootstraps Arenít Enough...5yrs off & HEALED...
« Reply #7 on: March 24, 2018, 10:07:09 pm »
Wow, what a long and difficult journey!  And an inspirational story, too :). I love how youíre living off the land, and have chickens, and make your own food and other things.  You are amazing.  Glad youíre doing well.  Thanks for sharing!!
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: When Bootstraps Arenít Enough...5yrs off & HEALED...
« Reply #8 on: March 24, 2018, 10:33:11 pm »
[...],

Huge HUGE congratulations to you, you warrior!  What a beautifully written and fantastic success story you have shared with us.  THANK YOU!  I'm in tears from reading it, both in empathy and joy for you!  You have truly inspired me today (yep I'm a newbie).  I'm so awestruck that you were and are strong enough to have accomplished this while living on your own, being home bound for 3 years, not giving up and here you are on the other side.  I'm also a very creative person who feels deadened by this benzo experience wondering if I will ever enjoy making art, working with wood and furniture, making music and getting back to my garden again.  You are amazing.  I love what you shared about all the creative things you do, there is so much joy that emanates through your post about what you are now doing! 

I love how you described the feel of riding your Harley!  I'm overwhelmed and brain is muddied up so it's hard to articulate just how much I wish to about your story.  Thank you for remaining active here on BB and having the goodness in your heart to be here to connect not only with your long time friends, but with us newbies. 

I'm beside myself and so sooooo happy for you!  You deserve it all!!  CONGRATULATIONS again and THANK YOU!!   :smitten: 8)

[...]

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: When Bootstraps Arenít Enough...5yrs off & HEALED...
« Reply #9 on: March 24, 2018, 11:26:02 pm »
Thank you for shining the light for those of us who follow in your footsteps.
 :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.