Author Topic: Scar tissue is stronger than regular tissue. Realize the strength, move on.  (Read 6597 times)

[Buddie]

Quote
I am a little better when I get sleep, but sleep is very challenging. Did you previously answer questions about how you are sleeping?
Just curious.

[...], hey.

Thanks again for writing, and you are very welcome. I hope you are hanging in there.  :thumbsup:

Sleep is so vital for healing, and for some of us, so hard to come by when were are in withdrawal. Early in withdrawal, sleep disintegrated into absolutely nothing for me. When I jumped after a way-to-fast-taper, I was literally getting about an hour of sleep per [...]. And this wasn't a straight hour - this was an hour collectively accumulated in desperate fragments. And not even so much my desperation, but my body's desperation. My body would literally just shutdown from the exhaustion.

It was a very slow climb back to better sleep. I suffered insomnia for many months. The first three months were the absolute worst and then the gradual improvement began. As my sleep got better, I do think the healing also improved. I refused to partake in any sleep aid aside from magnesium. And I was taking Mirtazapine which has been known to help sleep, but the doctors had jacked me so high on it, it was still activating in the early days and did not have its sleep-inducing effects.

People have talked about this elsewhere, but I really needed to practice very stringent sleep hygiene. I would take my magnesium and then I would just sit. I couldn't read at that point, my eyes and mind would not allow me to read, but if you can read, reading is great for making those eyelids droop. Reading something of a somewhat peaceful nature would be preferable. I did not watch TV or movies, screen time within two hours of bed was a big no-no. I kept my sleeping space for sleep only. And if I laid there for 20 minutes and sleep was not coming, I would get up and sit again, or do something, until I felt tired once more and I would try again.

Sleep is vital for so many reasons. I sleep less now than I did before withdrawal. I find can function at my peak with 5-6hrs of good, restorative sleep. And it is natural, unaided sleep. Sleep does come back, but it is progressive improvement and takes time. I wish you many hours deep, restorative sleep soon.

Hang in there my friend,

Dave
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]

Quote
I am a little better when I get sleep, but sleep is very challenging. Did you previously answer questions about how you are sleeping?
Just curious.

[...], hey.

Thanks again for writing, and you are very welcome. I hope you are hanging in there.  :thumbsup:

Sleep is so vital for healing, and for some of us, so hard to come by when were are in withdrawal. Early in withdrawal, sleep disintegrated into absolutely nothing for me. When I jumped after a way-to-fast-taper, I was literally getting about an hour of sleep per [...]. And this wasn't a straight hour - this was an hour collectively accumulated in desperate fragments. And not even so much my desperation, but my body's desperation. My body would literally just shutdown from the exhaustion.

It was a very slow climb back to better sleep. I suffered insomnia for many months. The first three months were the absolute worst and then the gradual improvement began. As my sleep got better, I do think the healing also improved. I refused to partake in any sleep aid aside from magnesium. And I was taking Mirtazapine which has been known to help sleep, but the doctors had jacked me so high on it, it was still activating in the early days and did not have its sleep-inducing effects.

People have talked about this elsewhere, but I really needed to practice very stringent sleep hygiene. I would take my magnesium and then I would just sit. I couldn't read at that point, my eyes and mind would not allow me to read, but if you can read, reading is great for making those eyelids droop. Reading something of a somewhat peaceful nature would be preferable. I did not watch TV or movies, screen time within two hours of bed was a big no-no. I kept my sleeping space for sleep only. And if I laid there for 20 minutes and sleep was not coming, I would get up and sit again, or do something, until I felt tired once more and I would try again.

Sleep is vital for so many reasons. I sleep less now than I did before withdrawal. I find can function at my peak with 5-6hrs of good, restorative sleep. And it is natural, unaided sleep. Sleep does come back, but it is progressive improvement and takes time. I wish you many hours deep, restorative sleep soon.

Hang in there my friend,

Dave

Hi Dave,

I definitely identify with only getting a non-consecutive hour of sleep a [...]! For me that lasted over a year and I thought I would die from it. I only died on the inside, I guess. Sleep only presented itself in "desperate fragments" for me as well. Beautifully worded.

Sleep is still a struggle for me and this past week I have only been able to sleep around three hours. It is making my head feel tight and pressurized and my thoughts are discombobulated and cloudy.

Having a rough week. Thank you for your words of comfort. I also want to commend you on your wonderful style of writing. Thank you for writing back!

[...]
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 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

Thank you for this... I need it
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 posting your story. Made me cry as I'm hurting today - need these stories so much.
Strength for another day.

Katrina
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]

[...], Katrina,

Thank you both for taking the time to read the success story, it means a lot.

Please keep hanging in there, pushing through as best you can. There is much hope to be had.

I often found that my darkest hours, days, or weeks were followed by much brighter periods - even though only fleeting at first. And it was cyclical in this way until the cycle was broken.

I wish you both, and everyone, abundant health and healing.

Dave
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]

Hi Dave again,
isn't it paradoxial i get crippling anx. that i didnt had in the acute. is it? you know i hold my dose and just make tiny reductions in these days. i mean these reductions can't be the reason of this cruel anxiety. when i was in the acute the anx. that i felt was mostly related to breathing. you already know whole my process. but this anxiety that i feel in these days are completely related to nerves so that [...] feel mostly my face nerves endings are stimulated. Did you live such things after months of discontinue a drug? this makes me very nervous. i hope i am in a strong wave that will pass after a short time. i think the anxiety(also the anx. you define in mirt section) that it is felt after cuts is a piece of cake compared to this wd anx. waiting on a stable dose id really frustrating. so i am making trials in these days. last week i tried 7 % reduction for one day, but then i immediately regretted and went back on tiny reductions again. even these % trial made my body unbalanced so that i got some discomfort like bloating, ache and additional anx. so what about the tiny reductions which most people did until 3 mg?i think i follow this way like Ering Green and Jack on this forum did.
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]

Dave , you are the best ! THANK YOU
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]

Dave , you are the best ! THANK YOU

[...], thanks for the kind words, sir. That means a ton. stay safe and hang in there.

Dave
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 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

Hi Dave. i wonder if we talked on another site. maybe your name had numbers with it? dave****anyway. glad to see you are doing so well. im new to BB so i dont even know if i respinded correctly
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.