Author Topic: Scar tissue is stronger than regular tissue. Realize the strength, move on.  (Read 3951 times)

[Buddie]

Hello Buddies,

At the urging of another member on this site, I am going to write my success story in hopes that in some way it will help you on your own journeys. I know when I started on the site, success stories were very important for me to read, even if I did not believe in the least that I would ever see the day I'd write one myself.

To briefly recap my own misadventures that initially led me to this site, I'd been on psychiatric medications for over 30 years. My parents had started me on them when I was about 6 years old. Drugs that are now considered barbaric and are largely not prescribed anymore were swallowed in an attempt to break me of inherent shyness, lack of performance in school, and anxiety. In the early 90s as a teenager, I was first prescribed Ativan with unlimited refills and no understanding whatsoever of the implications of long-term use. I'd successfully stopped taking Ativan in what was a near cold-turkey in 2004. In 2008 when anxiety again presented me with some issues, my Dr. prescribed Xanax at .25 mg to take "as needed." I kept the dosage at .25 mg and took this generally 3 to 5 times per week. When my anxiety got worse in February 2012, the Dr. decided to put me on a steady dose of Ativan. 2 to 2.5 mg daily to be taken w/ the Xanax and the Mirtazapine I'd been taking since 1997. I very rapidly developed a tolerance to the Ativan and Xanax and realizing what had happened, I decided to taper despite my Dr.'s idea that I should simply increase the dose because it was "obvious my anxiety was getting worse and I required a stronger dose." My doctor did not believe in withdrawal syndrome. When I indicated I would not increase the dose and would be quitting, the Dr. told me there was no need to taper. Just told me to stop or if anything, take two weeks at half the doses and then stop. I ended up doing a fairly fast taper and was off of the benzos in 6 weeks. My last dose of any benzo was June 21, 2012.

What happened after that was nearly fatal. I was hospitalized 2 days after my last dose. After my first release from the hospital, I'd be hospitalized a second time within a month. And in the hospital, the doctors wanted me to go right back onto the Benzos. Again, the doctors inside the hospital had know knowledge of withdrawal syndrome. As I had self-admitted to the hospital both times, I was able to decline more benzos, but tried a whole medicine cabinet full of other pharmaceuticals. Let me explain why I chose to try all of these other drugs.

My worst symptom was one that doesn't often get much mention. I think this is for a few reasons. I think people are ashamed and embarrassed to talk about it. And I think in a forum setting, there are liability concerns. This is understandable, but does little to quell the fears of those who experience the symptom I will now discuss.



Nothing the hospital did for me helped at all. If anything, some of the other drugs made things worse and I never stayed on any of them. And most of the advice I received led me to believe that in my then mid-30s, I quite suddenly gone insane. One open-minded psychiatrist helped me understand that intrusive thoughts are a part of human nature. We all have them, and often, but we are usually able to dismiss them so they don't become repetitive and therefore a problem. Withdrawal made them a repetitive problem. The other thing the psychiatrist helped me understand was that as long as I was terrified, mortified, and horrified by the thoughts, I was unlikely to act on them. True psychopaths have little-to-no remorse or shame for the thoughts they have, and therefore are not disturbed by them in the least. I was disturbed by them to no end. They were my torture.


I will list some of the other symptoms I had shortly. But before I do, I will say that my healing came in waxing and waning windows and waves. First, these windows and waves were literally by the moment. Then they stretched to better days. Then better months. And then all of the symptoms finally went away. This was over the course of 3 very long years. After Benzo withdrawal seemed to have passed, I then slowly, slowly, SLOWLY, tapered off the Mirtazapine and am now, completely drug free.

Other symptoms I endured:


-Benzo belly/Intense Stomach Cramping/loss of appetite
-Severe weight loss from 175lbs down to 125lbs in less than 3 months
-Woke up daily for nearly a year vomiting and crying
-Depression and Anxiety
-Went through a period of not being able to cry at all
-Vision problems, eye straining, distorted vision reflexes
-Uncontrollable muscle twitching that resembled a horse trying to shake a fly off its coat
-Akathisia and restless legs
-Tinnitus
-Nocturnal emissions (wet dreams)
-Dizziness, shortness of breath, and chest pains
-Elevated pulse and blood pressure
-Severe constipation
-And many, many, many more.

Drugs and supplements tried during withdrawal:

-Seroquel - Made things worse
-Risperidone - Made things worse
-Prozac - made things super-worse
-Gabapentin - Didn't help, but wasn't agitating - some increase in depression
-Mirtazapine - Was already on it, used for the duration of withdrawal and then slowly, slowly tapered
-Gaba - Didn't help, didn't hurt
-[...] Oil - Very helpful early
-Magnessium Glycinate - Very helpful early
-L-Theanine/Gaba - Didn't help, didn't hurt
-I'm probably forgetting some.

I have not had an alcoholic beverage since withdrawal began in 2012. I use no recreational drugs. I do drink coffee. [...] no longer do intense cardiovascular activity as I find it too stimulating, but do light cardio and very heavy weight lifting.

Anyway, this is getting wordy, but this is my story, Buddies. As so many of us do, I went through the deepest, darkest, most terrifying pits of hell. And on some level, I feel like big portions of me died off in the process. But far from that being a bad thing, I think it was a second chance at life, or at least a “reset button.” In my mid-40s now, I take nothing for granted - nothing. Every symptom I had in withdrawal is gone. Did you hear that? What came with withdrawal, left with withdrawal. It is all gone, a distant memory in my rearview. And I am in better physical shape and better emotional shape than I have ever been in my entire life. Is my life perfect? No, whose is. But my life is great. It is likely the drugs I was on from early childhood onward were creating and/or exacerbating the symptoms that I continued to treat. And in being off all drugs, I feel I am finally getting to know who I am as a human - unclouded. I am thankful for this. And while I wouldn't wish withdrawal on my worst enemy, nor would I ever wish to endure what I went through again, [...]'t say that I am completely ungrateful for the hard-won lessons the torment and anguish taught me.

I promise you I did not think I would survive. I promise you I thought I was the one who was broken forever – the outlier who was too damaged to ever heal. I promise you I could see no light at the end of that very long tunnel. But I am here today, stronger than I have ever been in my life, happier than I have ever been in my life, and I have absolutely no doubt that you can make it there too.

Thank you to the BenzoBuddies site. Thank you to users Parker and Maranatha who gave me a lot of much needed support, reassurance, guidance, and inspiration early on through their posts and PMs.

Hang in there, buddies. I am absolutely no one from nowhere. There is nothing unique or special about me. If [...] make it through what I endured, I have no doubt that you can make it through what you are enduring.

In solidarity,

Dave

edit: disallowed content removed
« Last Edit: July 30, 2019, 12:49:12 am 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]

Thank you so very  much for posting this and congratulations on your healing and success. Reading things like this helps me to have hope that one day I will be okay.
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]

Thank you for writing this. I've been dealing with the disturbing intrusive thoughts and impulses for a long time now and nobody will talk about them on this forum. I've had thoughts of wanting to swallow my wedding ring and taking a razor blade to my achilles tendons. All sorts of stuff. I won't get into the thoughts and feelings I've had towards others. It's the most disturbing symptom that doesn't seem to have an end in sight for me. All I know is I've moved away from feeling suicidal to feeling rage/anger and that's where the intrusive thoughts are going to now.
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]

nowpower thank you for a well written success story. It gives us all hope. I wish you the very best in life.
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]

 Amazing success story. Thank you for coming back and 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]

Thank you for writing this. I've been dealing with the disturbing intrusive thoughts and impulses for a long time now and nobody will talk about them on this forum. I've had thoughts of wanting to swallow my wedding ring and taking a razor blade to my achilles tendons. All sorts of stuff. I won't get into the thoughts and feelings I've had towards others. It's the most disturbing symptom that doesn't seem to have an end in sight for me. All I know is I've moved away from feeling suicidal to feeling rage/anger and that's where the intrusive thoughts are going to now.

I literally read this success story and thought of you and how desperate you’ve been to find someone who can relate. This makes my heart happy. I hope this gives you some hope for the future!! This drug is so powerful but people do heal!!!  Well wishes!
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]

Hello dear mirt survivor!!! You are my model! We have talked on s.a. a few times!!! Thank you so much!!! So glad you are free!!!
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]

thank you for writing this story and congratulations for your success, I hope you will have many many amazing days!
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]

Thank you for writing this. I've been dealing with the disturbing intrusive thoughts and impulses for a long time now and nobody will talk about them on this forum. I've had thoughts of wanting to swallow my wedding ring and taking a razor blade to my achilles tendons. All sorts of stuff. I won't get into the thoughts and feelings I've had towards others. It's the most disturbing symptom that doesn't seem to have an end in sight for me. All I know is I've moved away from feeling suicidal to feeling rage/anger and that's where the intrusive thoughts are going to now.

I literally read this success story and thought of you and how desperate you’ve been to find someone who can relate. This makes my heart happy. I hope this gives you some hope for the future!! This drug is so powerful but people do heal!!!  Well wishes!

Thank you. The thing about it is none of the other symptoms really matter when you are dealing with anger and intrusive thoughts. The physical stuff like neuropathy don't matter to me in the slightest. I almost welcome the manageable physical stuff because it shows I'm still in withdrawal. The angry and weird intrusive thoughts are all consuming.
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]

Outstanding success story! I've followed your posts on the mirt thread since I'll be tapering it soon. When I was polydrugged with ambien, trazodone and mirt I was so out of it that I thought your name was non-power. It took me a while to realize that it was [...]. Now you have the power to have a great life. :thumbsup:

I have a question. Did you have any teeth/gum stuff when you were taking mirt?

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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.