Author Topic: Fakeit's Success Story - Time is the ultimate healer  (Read 19590 times)

[Buddie]

Fakeit's Success Story - Time is the ultimate healer
« on: April 11, 2020, 04:31:51 pm »
Hello everyone. 
It’s been a long time since I’ve been here.
I used to live here, especially here in the success story section.
Here is a link to my blog if you want to see my “back story”

http://www.benzobuddies.org/forum/index.php?topic=203028

To say that I “lived” in the success stories is an understatement.
I would check multiple times daily for new stories.
I would re-read success stories that mirrored my experience 100 times in one day.
I honestly believe I read every success story here at least 3 times. 
EVERY SINGLE ONE.

I don’t want to go into all the details of my story again here, because this is about my success, not reliving the past.  I never want to relive that again… EVER.  You can go back and look at my posts and my blog to get an idea of what I went through.  The symptoms were, at times, unbearable.  I’ll never forget on Mother’s Day – I had to go to the front of the church to get prayed on because I wanted to go home and just end it.  Wait, let me rephrase that.  I NEVER wanted to “end it”.  My brain was telling me to though. Through this whole entire ordeal, I wanted nothing more than to LIVE.  In my heart of hearts and in the deepest recesses of my soul, I could remember who I was and I knew I had to make it out of the darkness somehow.  But on that day the darkness was convincing me that I didn’t have it in me.  BUT I KNEW I DID!!  My Higher Power would NOT let me forget that I am and always have been an incredible person with SO much love to give and SO much life to live.  In those days, it was just SO buried because my brain was SO damaged from the chemicals.

In a nutshell, I was given Ativan for insomnia.  I was a very short term user.  A few months.  But when I tried to stop (cold turkey), my entire world flipped upside down!!  Everyone said “Oh, it’s such a low dose (.5), it can’t POSSIBLY be the medication that’s making you feel that way.
I was told I was “depressed” and suffering a huge depressive episode.
Sooooo, enter the anti-depressant (Lexapro).
I was instructed to “continue taking the .5 Ativan “until the Lexapro kicks in”.
HUGE mistake!! 
Ultimately, I took my last Ativan on February 10, 2018. A few months use.  I never took more than .5 in one day.  Sometimes I only took it every other day or every third day.
I took the Lexapro until July 10, 2018.  Again, only months, not years.

The anti-depressant TRULY made things worse for me.
I didn’t know which way was up.

I had to make the decision for myself to stop ALL medications. My gut told me that if I stopped all the medication, I would somehow find my “base line” and then I could figure things out from there.  Finding BenzoBuddies truly contributed to this decision.  I don’t even want to THINK about where I might be right now (on how many medications, etc.) had I not found this website and realized the answer was NO medication.

I wish I could, by memory, tell you month by month how things got worse then better.  But again, you’ll have to go through my blog.  I remember at one point I thought the Lexapro was helping me.

It’s all just truly a blur.

But what I CAN say is that now, over 2 years since my last Ativan and almost 2 years since my last AntiDepressant, I am SO SO SO SO SO much better!!

I went to SO many doctors.  I tried SO many supplements, meditations, books, activities, you name it.
If someone came to me today and said "what prescription would you write for me to heal me?". I would write a prescription for TIME.

Time is the ultimate healer.

I still look back in awe at having survived it.

I know with absolute certainty that I would NOT have survived it if it wasn’t for the handful of people who stood by my side; never wavering in their belief in me. Yes, I had some family members that tried to help and understand.  One or two even believed that it was the medication that messed me up so bad.  A few of them were ADAMANT that I continue to TAKE the medication (because they themselves take Benzos and antidepressants and it helps them).  I don’t blame any of them for their personal views or beliefs.  Everything they said and did was out of love and concern and their wish for me to get better.  If there’s one thing this experience has taught me it’s DON’T JUDGE.  And until you’ve experienced something yourself, and even THEN – what works for you doesn’t necessarily work for everybody.  Everybody is different!  Everybody’s brain is different.  If ANYBODY on this forum decides to try Anti-Depressants or other medication to help them through – that’s THEIR choice.  It’s not MY place to try to convince them otherwise.  All I can do is share my experience and what worked for me.  I know a lot of people that truly need to take medication to help them through life.  These are people I love and respect.  Never again will I look at someone who suffers from depression and anxiety and assume I know what would work for them.

Because of what I looked for in success stories, I will try to describe some of my major symptoms.

I could not watch television. I remember for the first couple months the only thing I could watch on television was the winter Olympics.  Even then, I couldn’t even watch ANY event where a person might get hurt (like downhill skiing).  I couldn’t watch the news, game shows, nothing.  If I did turn on like “The Price is Right”, everything just seemed “off”.  I’d look at the audience and think “how are they all acting normal?”.  They’d announce a prize like a trip to Belize and I’d think “who would want to go to Belize???”.

I would almost have a nervous breakdown if I saw a commercial for ANY kind of prescription medication.

I couldn't work. I couldn't eat.  I couldn't plan a vacation.  I couldn't grocery shop.  I couldn't plan one day ahead.  My daughter would ask "can friends come over Friday night" and my mind would FREAK OUT - I would think "I might be dead by then!".  I just couldn't put pieces of time together.  I couldn't think of the past and I couldn't think of the future. 

People told me these were symptom of depressions; which I can see why they’d say that (not interested in things you used to be interested in).  But the thing was, I WANTED to WANT to go on trips.  I WANTED to WANT to book a vacation.  I’m not sure if I’m explaining that well.  It’s like, I knew I WANTED to live and enjoy these things again.  I hadn’t LOST interest in these things . . . my brain just couldn’t fathom DOING them.  Like work.  It was impossible to sit down and check e-mail.  Not because I didn’t WANT to do it, but because my brain couldn’t function TO do it.  I WANTED to fix my family a big fancy meal… my brain just couldn’t wrap itself around the idea.

I went through the phase(s) of things being worse in the morning and better at night.
Rainy days felt horrible.
Talking on the phone was difficult.
Hearing sirens in the distance FREAKED me out.

I could not close my eyes in the shower without freaking out.  I had to have a radio with music or an audible playing while I showered.

Oh my gosh, the paranoia was the WORST!

I remember calling a fellow BenzoBuddy from the movie theater once asking “do you just feel like you’re going INSANE when you’re in the movie theater trying to watch a movie?”  His answer was “always!”.

My family does family movie night every Friday night and I remember always having to convince them to see the most lighthearted genre of movie with no sci-fi, definitely no horror, no “twisted” plot, etc.  I remember so many times just laying in the reclining seat in the theater staring at my feet not even able to watch the movie.  But staying home alone was NOT an option!  No matter where they went, I wanted to be with my family.

I could not be alone.  I hated being alone.

Naps were toxic.  I remember missing my Sunday afternoon naps SOOO much!!
I still don't nap much, but that's just because now if I nap I don't sleep as good at night and I'm sleeping pretty well at night and don't want to ruin it.

Month after month after month after month of waking up with the “groundhog day” feeling.  Opening my eyes and realizing I was still in withdrawal and wondering if it would ever end.

That GOD AWFUL fear of it being permanent.  Yes I had it.  Yes, I was convinced that my life would never be the same again.

Please, trust me when I tell you, it’s a LONG process.  It’s a SLOW process.

But you heal.

Ever so slowly.  Ever so gradually.  Life begins to glow again.  Love returns.  Anger fades.  Anxiety lessens.

That feeling of being “comfy cozy” laying on the couch watching a favorite movie returns.

There are moments of absolute pure bliss when the realization strikes that you haven’t “thought about it” in a few HOURS.

The joy when you suddenly hear yourself laughing and you FEEL it, not just hear it.
When you find yourself singing in the car to a song - when months ago you couldn't even turn the car radio on because it "bothered" you.

I truly thought back in the day that if I ever got to write a success story it would be filled with a recollection of all the horrible symptoms . . . Yes, I had insomnia, ear ringing, depression, anxiety, body aches, paranoia, anger, all of those things.  But I want to emphasize what is in your future:  JOY, HAPPINESS, HEALING!!! 

Okay wait, I will share one more bad memory, just to solidify how horrible my experience was.  I used to have to drive my teenager to a “Renaissance Fair” that she was participating in.  Not only could I not walk through the event (it totally creeped me out!) but when I would pick her back up and we had to drive home in the dark, I had to keep my focus straight ahead on the road, because if I looked to either side I thought the houses on the side of the road were haunted and that demons were going to jump out of the woods!!  This is how my brain worked for a LONG time!  I don’t know how I survived Halloween.  I truly don’t!!

I want to discuss the importance of finding support through this.  Family, friends, etc. are good – but they truly do get tired of hearing about it over time.  I reached a point where I just stopped talking to my husband, family, etc. about it.  I know they were sick of hearing me talk about it, and to be honest, I got tired of feeling like a burden to them.

But I had friends from here.  Momof3boys – there just aren’t any words to explain what a God send you’ve been to me.  We will be friends for life and I will ALWAYS be here for you.  Hundreds and HUNDREDS of days in a row that we spent on the phone for HOURS talking each other through this.  I remember when we couldn’t even leave our houses to go check the mail!!!  Every day I would put my sneakers on and walk that path around my neighborhood with you in my ear telling me we’d get through this together; comparing symptoms – somehow finding humor in the fact that our symptoms that day mirrored each others.  YES!  YES!  We’d say.  “That’s exactly how I feel”.  Knowing we weren’t alone in our struggle; that we weren’t crazy.  We hadn’t lost our minds.  We’d be okay.  The other thing I really appreciate about our friendship is the focus on the positive. We knew we were both struggling and suffering; but we always at least tried not to wallow in the symptoms.  We always looked for a way to pull up our boot straps and FIGHT for what we wanted; healing, joy, happiness.  Yes, we'd discuss the symptoms and talk about how they made us feel, but then we'd put our heads together and think of ways to overcome it or at least TRY to overcome it.
Thank you for that.  Thank you for all of it.

There are so many people from here that helped me through this.  Some of you I don’t even remember your user names because we ended up texting and talking on the phone once I stopped coming here (it was triggering). 

“H” (I don’t remember your user name here and I don’t want to use your real name):  You rank up there with Momof3boys.  In fact, how many times did we conference all three of us in together through the worst of it??  To this day, when I get in my car and start driving, my instinct is to call you and check on you!  Friends for life Sister!!  I can’t wait until the three of us can be floating in my pool talking about how awesome life is.  Keep hanging in there.  Your healing is right around the corner!!  Stay positive! 

Boomboxboy – So many phone calls at all times of the day – just to help each other get through the next hour – to ask a question about symptoms.  That need to just “talk about it” seemed to always help.

T1D – Thank you for always being there for me to reassure that “yup, that’s normal!”.  I’d text you the craziest questions about symptoms and you’d never make me feel like I was nuts. LOL!!!  You always let me know I hadn’t lost my mind.  You gave me the ability to seriously just shrug and say “no worries” when my brain would start to run away with me.

Abcd.  You gave me the power of “acceptance”.  Learning to live with withdrawal on a daily basis for what it was; realizing it was out of my control and do the best with each day as I could.

Freida8 – Wow… I remember every day just HOPING there was a PM from you because your encouragement, understanding, and your sweet gentle soul just calmed me.  I would drink in your messages like a tonic.  They gave me SOOO much hope and faith!!!  THANK YOU for loving me when you’ve never even met me.

“M” – another one I don’t know your user name here but somehow we became phone friends and talked on a daily basis forever! I wouldn’t have survived this without your daily pep talks and positivity!!  Always positive.  Always optimistic.  You always helped me set down my fears and pick up my hopes.  I hope we remain friends for life as well. 

[...] – I don’t even remember how we first ‘met’, and I have NO clue how you put up with me for all this time. If I had $1.00 for every time I couldn’t even see the numbers on my phone so I’d have to say “Okay Google, call DBB” so it would dial your number for me.  Your voice on the other end saying “Hey Chickie” would always set my heart at ease in an instant. You’ve been a true true friend to me.  Never judging.  Always encouraging.  Thank you!!

My real life family and friends - although none of them know of this site or will ever read this - I just feel like I have to say it.  My kids, who loved me unconditionally through it all - a son who called me every single morning (and still does) to check on me.  Sisters who called me every day and had the love for me to TAKE my calls every day; always looking for reassurance and answers they struggled to find for me.  Some family and friends had NO clue what to think or how to help.  Some actually withdrew.  Did I lose friends through this?  Absolutely.  MY HUSBAND - holy cow where do I begin?  We had some really really rough times when I went through this but we're out the other side stronger than ever!!  I appreciate his unconditional love SO MUCH.  Remember, our family and friends are only human too.  They honestly have ZERO clue the pain and suffering you're enduring.  Remember that.  Withdrawal makes you think you hate your spouse or don't need friends. WITHDRAWAL LIES!!  Don't believe the lies!!

My best advice to whoever is reading this and still strugging:

Healing will happen. For me, it was really really slow.  But like so many people say – if you look back, you can truly see the progress.  Think of old symptoms you had that you suddenly realize are gone or are not as strong.

Fake it til you make it!!  My username was not a fluke.  It was God given.  Faking it and trying to live my life as normal as possible I TRULY believe helped me heal faster.  If you lie in bed with the covers over your head, it impedes healing.  It’s HARD!!  SO HARD!!  That’s where a buddy comes in . . .

Get a support system in place!!  SO many mornings I would call Momof3Boys and say “I cannot get out of bed!!”  I would be bawling and could not imagine sitting up and putting my feet on the floor.  She would stay on the phone with me and, despite going through it herself, she would literally yell at me that I could do it!! 

HELP OTHERS:  Even when you are struggling harder than you ever have in life, you have it in you to help others.  If you find buddies here on BB, THEY NEED YOU just as much as you need them.  You will find healing in helping.  It reminds you that you have reserves of strength you never knew you had.  It gives you a sense of purpose when everything else seems pointless.

Take a break from the internet!!  Find something (distract distract distract).  Coming here on a daily basis (in my opinion) only feeds the issue and makes it first and foremost in your mind.  At one point, I convinced myself what I was going through was related to Menopause and it actually helped a few months go by where I didn't think so much about "withdrawal", and I focused on exercise and eating better.  I got involved in painting, gardening, organizing my house . . . all great distractions. 

PRAY:  I can’t write this whole success story and not give ALL the credit for everything I’ve typed to God, and my Savior Jesus Christ.  He placed all these people in my path.  He is the Creator of the light that refused to go out in my soul.  He is the Great Physician that put me through this journey to show me how strong I am, how loved I am, and how incredible life is.  I don’t take anything for granted now.  He is my Father who did not stop me from experiencing pain because (just like good earthly parents) he knew that fixing my problem wouldn’t teach me anything.  He knew I had to experience it, learn from it, and become the best person possible because of it.

Love and peace to you all.

Fakeit
Jeremiah 29:11
"For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord , “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."


P.S.  As of today I take a multi-vitamin daily.  Because of Covid-19 I take extra Vitamin C some days.  Through this experience I tried a lot of different supplements and stuff.  The only thing that helped (towards the end) were CBD patches.  They helped slow my racing brain down.  Ultimately, my brain stopped racing so much.  That was a big symptom towards the last few months - the inability to stop "thinking" about it.  Again, go look back at my posts.  That was a huge symptom for me.  I was obsessed.  LOL.

P.S.S.  For as long as this is, there's just so much more I could write about or more symptoms I could describe.  If you want to know if I had a symptom or what I did to help with anything, I will try to check on this post for a couple weeks or so.

Addition:
Speaking with Baylissa helped.  It gave me reassurance.  But her book was a LIFESAVER at the point in time I read it.  I would read certain chapters over and over again because they reflected what I was going through.







« Last Edit: April 28, 2020, 01:31:00 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: Fakeit's Success Story - Time is the ultimate healer
« Reply #1 on: April 11, 2020, 07:02:10 pm »
So happy for you! I have been wondering how you were doing because I was praying for you almost daily. So So happy and may God continue to bless you in all that 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]

Re: Fakeit's Success Story - Time is the ultimate healer
« Reply #2 on: April 11, 2020, 10:18:48 pm »
Congrats on your healing! I'm happy for you. I will always remember walking around my old classroom in circles while talking to you on the phone. I guess the fact that I don't have to do that anymore is some proof that I'm getting better.
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: Fakeit's Success Story - Time is the ultimate healer
« Reply #3 on: April 11, 2020, 11:06:36 pm »
Such great news , so happy for 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]

Re: Fakeit's Success Story - Time is the ultimate healer
« Reply #4 on: April 11, 2020, 11:35:42 pm »
So happy for you! I have been wondering how you were doing because I was praying for you almost daily. So So happy and may God continue to bless you in all that you do.

[...]

God heard you!! Thank you so much. I will pray for you every day. Hugs!!
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: Fakeit's Success Story - Time is the ultimate healer
« Reply #5 on: April 11, 2020, 11:37:12 pm »
Congrats on your healing! I'm happy for you. I will always remember walking around my old classroom in circles while talking to you on the phone. I guess the fact that I don't have to do that anymore is some proof that I'm getting better.

Yes!! Focus on those improvements. I'm always here if you need to talk. I can't wait for the day I read your success story!
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: Fakeit's Success Story - Time is the ultimate healer
« Reply #6 on: April 11, 2020, 11:47:55 pm »
Thank you for sharing your story. That you DID heal is wonderful.
I want to ask you something. Your screen name, Fakeittilyou make it.....you might know that I am considered the "Queen" of faking it til you make it here on BB. For almost 8 years now I have ranted about this, and I did that because it WORKED so well for me. It took several years, but eventually faking it DID change how I look at my life, and how I live it.
So, I would love to know what led YOU to fake it, and how you define "faking it"??? Specifically, how did you DO this? What steps and what decisions did you make, in the process of faking it? YOUR knowledge might really help someone else.
I know it worked for me. I wold like to hear YOUR thoughts on this.
[...]
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: Fakeit's Success Story - Time is the ultimate healer
« Reply #7 on: April 12, 2020, 03:33:49 am »
Thank you for sharing your story. That you DID heal is wonderful.
I want to ask you something. Your screen name, Fakeittilyou make it.....you might know that I am considered the "Queen" of faking it til you make it here on BB. For almost 8 years now I have ranted about this, and I did that because it WORKED so well for me. It took several years, but eventually faking it DID change how I look at my life, and how I live it.
So, I would love to know what led YOU to fake it, and how you define "faking it"??? Specifically, how did you DO this? What steps and what decisions did you make, in the process of faking it? YOUR knowledge might really help someone else.
I know it worked for me. I wold like to hear YOUR thoughts on this.
[...]

[...],
Yes! I've seen you refer to "faking it" and it always made me smile! 
Looking back, I think I'd have to say it was Hubby who kept telling me "fake it til you make it".  He said so with love and compassion, based on our discussions about what I was describing to him about what I was feeling.  I just kept saying "I don't feel like myself" and "I want to get back to normal" and "I WANT to go camping" or "I WANT to go shopping" . . . " but I just can't".  It was SO hard to describe what I was experiencing and to be honest, I was scared to tell him 100% of the truth because I had an irrational fear of, if I told EVERYTHING about what I was experiencing (like thinking houses were haunted and demons were going to jump out into the road in front of my car) that even those I loved would think I needed to go to a psychiatric ward or something.  At one point hubby said something like "You can feel one thing, but how you act is all that matters".  I don't even remember the context in which he said it, but it made me realize that I had a lot more control over this "thing" than I realized.  Instead of being fearful and saying "no, I don't want to go to the movies", I could go, but then just hide my eyes (and nobody could see me doing it because it was dark) and then come out of the movie smiling and saying "wow, that was fun!".  Or I could go into the grocery store and just focus straight ahead and find what I needed and get out.  I could give the cashier a smile and tell her to have a nice day.  It was almost like, the more I got away with "faking it" (the more I could be in public or around people and they have NO clue what I was going through) the more "successful" I felt.  THAT also gave me a lot more realization that there are SO many people who are suffering but have NO choice but to go through life "faking it".  That was one of the greatest lessons I learned through this.... every person has some kind of pain behind that smile at some time or another. 

I remember driving my daughter to work or whatever and I would stop at a stop sign or red light and start snapping my fingers to the music and "dancing" like we used to do.  It felt SO weird to do it, but it made my daughter feel like her Mom was coming back and it made ME feel better to know that SHE felt better.

I would get up and shower - when it was the last thing in the world I wanted to do sometimes.  But taking a shower, doing my hair, putting on some makeup made me stay in a POSITIVE routine.  I found that if I got out of bed and just moved to the couch I felt worse.  If I didn't get some laundry done and at least go through the motions, it made me feel worse. 

For me, one of the most important parts of "faking it" was the self talk in my head.  I would constantly be saying "I'm okay, I'm okay" over and over again in my head.  I'd have to look around and know that I was in my home, I was safe.  I was in no danger.  I had food. I had shelter. I had a soft bed to sleep in.  I had people who love me in the house with me.  On the outside I appeared "fine".  But I refused to let it show unless it got REALLY bad and I'd go in my room and cry or cry in the shower or something.

Hope that explains it.  And like you said, I hope it helps someone else.  Positive thinking is SOOO important in this journey.
 

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: Fakeit's Success Story - Time is the ultimate healer
« Reply #8 on: April 12, 2020, 12:28:31 pm »
I'm so happy you are able to write your Success Story!!  Thank you so much, your words are very powerful and will give hope to others still in the process. 

I faked it as well since I taught throughout the withdrawal and recovery process. Not easy when there is a disconnect between my  brain and my fingers. Sometimes I thought my 6 year old students could play better than me.

In the end it was worth it all, being well and free of benzos!!

Congratulations to you.

[...]  :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: Fakeit's Success Story - Time is the ultimate healer
« Reply #9 on: April 12, 2020, 02:00:44 pm »
what a great post! - thanks so much for sharing your journey and recovery.
It's amazing how "faking it "does help with how one feels or perceives things about oneself.

thank you for hope!!!

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.