Author Topic: I believed I would never heal...I was WRONG!  (Read 4522 times)

[Buddie]

I believed I would never heal...I was WRONG!
« on: April 11, 2022, 03:10:08 am »
The biggest regret of my life began when I started taking Xanax to combat a fairly mild case of insomnia. Looking back Iím appalled any doctor would prescribe something so harsh, instead of melatonin or just some camomile tea. But I followed the doctors orders and took the pills, 1mg at night for around 8 months, when the negative effects on my health became too severe to ignore.
I was having interdose withdrawals, I was nauseous all the time, my anxiety was increasing, I just knew the pills were bad for me.
I was advised to taper rather than cold turkey, however the doctors taper schedule was way too fast, around 6 weeks when it probably should have been 6 months or more. But I didnít know then.

The taper was rough but when I jumped off thatís when my world completely turned upside down. I had every symptom in the book, except seizures. In the first 2 weeks I hallucinated spiders and rats in my room, I couldnít eat, I couldnít sleep, my heart pounded a million miles a minute, I felt breathless, my skin [...], my vision was blurry, I was so dizzy I couldnít walk without holding on to something etc, etc, etc.
Of course then there were the mental symptoms, a dark hole of depression that felt like it was the end of the world, utter and complete despair. Then the constant, and I mean non-stop, panic, like Iíd been thrown out of a plane with no parachute. And I couldnít calm myself down, talk myself down, nothing worked.

Itís actually hard to remember those early days with any clarity, now it all seems like a blur, like it happened to someone else. I had severe DP/DR at the time, so nothing felt real, I didnít feel like I was really there, as though my life was a movie, and although I could see it, I couldnít reach out and touch it or connect with it.
The hallucinations faded pretty quickly, and the nausea eased so I could at least tolerate a few foods, but everything else just dragged on and on.
Somethings even seemed to get worse as time progressed, like fatigue.

At first I was sure by 4 weeks off I would be seeing improvement, but 4 weeks came and went with no change whatsoever. So I moved the goal posts a little. By 4 months Iím certain to be near the finish line, but yet again I was disappointed. Okay 6 months...No, 10 months..No, 18 months...No.

By second year I was really starting to lose hope. I didnít seem to be getting better at all. I spent almost all my time laying on the couch or bed,even walking to my letter box left me shaking, dizzy and ready to collapse. Before this I was very athletic and sporty and I simply couldnít believe how useless my body had become. I tried to eat healthy, I couldnít take most supplements without triggering an avalanche of symptoms, but I did the best I could to get nourishment from foods.
Why was I so weak? Why was I always in pain? Was this all from benzos or did I have a mysterious illness? I did get a thorough check up, including a brain scan and tests for everything from auto immune diseases to infectious illness, and nothing abnormal was found. I read many other protracted peopleís stories and related to so much of it. I thought my problems probably were from benzos, but I had no idea if and when it would end.
If I had to pin point a time when I started to turn a corner and see meaningful improvements I would say 30 months (2.5 years). I started to have windows that lasted more than a day and during that time I started to feel like my old self again. While back then the windows came to an end, my baseline was overall better and I was more functional. I was able to work part time and started going to the gym again. I couldnít push myself too hard at first and had to slow down when waves hit, but I was never completely hopeless and bed bound for extended periods like I had been before. My mind started feeling clear and focused again and my anxiety eased (somewhat).

This period of healing was slow and tended to ebb and flow a bit, but I could finally see that I was actually getting better. The recovery was so gradual it was sometimes hard to detect, but when I looked back I realised, hey, I donít have head pressure anymore, I donít have brain zaps or dizziness or intrusive thoughts about death anymore.
The most persistent symptoms were fatigue and tinnitus. While I did still have some anxiety, it improved noticeably and since I had that pre benzos Iím not sure how much of the remaining low key anxiety was even withdrawal at all.

Now today, Iím 58 months off, Iíll be 5 years in 2 months time, and let me tell you Iím doing great. Iím 98% back to my old self. I occasionally have some background tinnitus, but after the hell ive lived through, if thatís all I have to deal with Iím FINE.
Iím happy, Iím hopeful, Iím healthy and Iím living my life. I have lots of energy and exercise all the time. Iím working full time. I donít have any remaining food or supplement sensitivities. Things are back to normal.

I remember in the early days I felt completely dead inside, I felt like I couldnít feel love or connection with anyone. That was absolute mental hell and made me feel like I wasnít even human. Now I feel empathetic and warm towards others others. The difference is like day and night.
I was convinced that my case was different and that I was stuck in that torture for life. I was so wrong, and if you believe that you are wrong too. There is absolutely the possibility of a happy life ahead of you no matter how bad you feel now. Please keep hope alive.
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: I believed I would never heal...I was WRONG!
« Reply #1 on: April 11, 2022, 03:20:49 am »
congrats on your efforts.. thats hope,  thanks for sharing gal..  how you kept your strength for that? amazing...
« Last Edit: April 11, 2022, 03:28:00 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]

Re: I believed I would never heal...I was WRONG!
« Reply #2 on: April 11, 2022, 03:36:26 am »
 :yippee: This makes me so happy. I'm glad for you. You deserve to finally live your 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]

Re: I believed I would never heal...I was WRONG!
« Reply #3 on: April 11, 2022, 05:27:46 am »
Congratulations! Thank you for sharing. These protracted success stories help so much!
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: I believed I would never heal...I was WRONG!
« Reply #4 on: April 11, 2022, 11:44:26 am »
Congratulations [...]...I too took Xanax under the advice of a doctor for some bouts of mild to moderate insomnia...big mistake!

I echo what you are saying about believing you have a "unique" withdrawal that no one else had and you'll never heal as I did the exact same thing!

So glad to learn you are 98% back to your old self and enjoying life!  :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: I believed I would never heal...I was WRONG!
« Reply #5 on: April 11, 2022, 01:40:50 pm »
Thank you so much for posting this and giving us all hope.  So glad you are recovered.  Sounds like you went through hell and 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]

Re: I believed I would never heal...I was WRONG!
« Reply #6 on: April 11, 2022, 03:37:10 pm »
thank you so much for these words I could relate to every one of them thank you again the time you took to write this means a lot to me
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: I believed I would never heal...I was WRONG!
« Reply #7 on: April 11, 2022, 04:06:22 pm »
Glad you made it out the other side. Roughly how long did it take you to fully recover. Iím feeling pretty hopeless at moment, doubting I will recover. Iím 38 months off zopiclone, had really bad mental symptoms, intrusive thoughts last couple years. No windows. Just need bit hope long term symptoms arenít permanent.
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: I believed I would never heal...I was WRONG!
« Reply #8 on: April 11, 2022, 08:19:57 pm »
Congratulations,
Such a long hard battle you fought. You deserve every bit of happiness you can get.
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: I believed I would never heal...I was WRONG!
« Reply #9 on: April 11, 2022, 08:43:09 pm »
Thank you [...], what a great success story!  We're grateful to you for writing your story, you know how much we all need to know recovery is possible.   :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.