Author Topic: No longer living in K-Hell...24 months off as of today!!  (Read 8950 times)

[Buddie]

No longer living in K-Hell...24 months off as of today!!
« on: April 06, 2013, 02:47:01 am »
Hello everyone. I want to start my post off by saying thank you to each and every person associated with this site from the person who created it to the administrators and most of all the members who get on here each and every day sharing their experiences.

My life was forever changed on September 14, 2007. I was 30 years old with a great career as a firefighter, I had a thriving contracting business, a wonderful family with two kids and I was in the best shape of my life training as an amateur boxer. One night on a routine fire call I once again cheated death as I had done several time in my career but something about this experience was different. Long story short we forced entry into a home thinking the homeowner was in medical distress and instead he was standing in the kitchen with a 9mm and fired off several rounds. It all happened so quickly that I was like a deer frozen in the head lights. I saw the flash from the barrel of the gun and I closed my eyes and told myself I was dead. As the bullets whizzed by and then stopped I realized I was still here and I backed out of the house.

I have had several close call in my career and at the time I did not think anything of it other than "hey I got lucky again".

2 nights later I woke up in the middle of the night soaking wet in my own sweat and gasping for breath and I jumped up out of the bed and I felt as if I was dying. I had no idea what was happening to me. Over the next several days I had several major panic attacks and ended up at the E.R. After several visits to the E.R. I was sent to a family doctor where every test imaginable was performed on me. I was told that I had a severe anxiety/panic disorder based on a medical condition that they were going to find. After ativan, xannax, valium failed I was finally put on Klonopin.

In the beginning it was a miracle drug. For the first time in 2 months I went through the day and night without any attacks and felt pretty good other than being a little tired. But it was short lived. Within a few months I was back at the doc with panic attacks and anxiety worse than before and all of a sudden there were other symptoms.

This trend continued for the next 3 years. I had no idea what was going on with me. I was in a state of panic, I was having symptom after symptom showing up with no explanation of what was wrong with me. The pattern was there but as we all know once your in this downward spiral it is really hard to see. By October of 2010 I was taking up to several mg of Klonopin a day plus Cymbalta, Nuerotin, Betal Blockers, Advair, pain killers, adderall, nexium, for all of the other symptoms of this mysterious illness that I had. I was a train wreck. My career as a firefighter was going down the drain. I had run my business bankrupt, my wife and kids were gong I was on the verge of losing it all.

A close friend finally asked what was going on and I told her what I was going through and taking. She told me the story of a friend who had a similar experience and simply asked me to research Klonopin and see if that maybe the root of the problem.

I was astonished when I started researching the drug. I found the Ashton Manaul and it sounded like someone had put my life down on paper. I printed off all of the information and went to my doctor. He dismissed all of the information saying that it was outdated information that I should not believe what I read on the internet and that my problems were not being caused by the drug but by my medical condition. I told him that I wanted to come off of everything and start fresh and see if it made a difference. He said that it was not in my best interest and I left the doctors office that day and I have never been back.

I went home and reading through the Ashton Manual I decided to do a rapid detox and be done. Now keep in mind I knew nothing of this site at the time I made this decision but at the end of the day my personality type is get it over and be done with it. I dumped every medication down the drain with the exception of the klonopin. I dropped .5 mg every week for 8 weeks.

I cannot begin to describe the physical and mental hell that I was in for those 2 months. I would drop the .5mg at night and the next 7 days I was wrapped up in a blanket on my couch trying to hang on to my sanity and my life and I repeated this process for 8 weeks.

2 weeks after I dropped my last pill something amazing happened. I felt fine. I was a little bit out of it but compared to the way I was feeling the last 10 weeks I was a new man. For the next three weeks I was great. I was having bad nightmares and I felt kind of like a zombie but I was okay.

Then out of the blue and all of a sudden I was hit hard with panic attacks, my mouth tasted like metal, my tongue was white and patchy, my teeth felt loose, the ringing in my ears was horrid, the pain in my body was unbearable, derealization, depersonalization, my pulse would fluctuate between 140 to 180 at rest, my bp was through the roof, loud voices in my head I was freaking out.

This is ultimately lead me to here. I got online and started looking up symptoms of klonopin withdrawl and this forum popped up.

I cannot begin to describe how overwhelmed I was with emotions when I began to read the thousands of post by the members on this site. It was as if I had wrote them. I never knew the there was a problem of this magnitude.

I spent hours upon hours on here reading through posts and posting my own experiences. I found out that I was probably in for a rough ride for the next couple of years dropping from a high dosage so quickly and I was. For the next 9 months there was not a single window. I lived in the 7th level of hell everyday for 9 months. I had alienated myself, lost my friends, had to leave my 13 year career as a firefighter, my family had left, I lost my house, lost my business, my life savings was gone..........the only thing that I had left in my life were you guys. No matter what time of day or when I needed you guys you were there for me. When everyone else in my life let me down you guys stood beside me and never stopped encouraging me, never stopped being there for me.

This site lead me to go to a therapist to try and deal with the underlying problem of my condition. There had to be a reason that I started having panic attacks and I needed to find a way to deal with that now that medication was no longer going to be apart of that process.

What I learned was nothing short of astonishing. Although I had several close calls in my career there was one major difference in this one compared to the others. After several sessions and telling the story over and over my therapist concluded that when I closed my eyes and told myself that I was dead, I held my breath and my brain associated dying with the feelings that I was feeling and it sent my body into flight or fight mode. Like a light bulb it clicked. Looking back on all of my panic attacks they never happened when I was doing something they happened at night or when I was just sitting around doing nothing and I would all of a sudden take a deep breath in like I had been holding my breath and I would go into panic mode. It never made sense to me before but now I had found my trigger.

Around month 13 my physical symptoms started to subside but I prematurely celebrated to early because what I had not planned on was the mental anguish, depression and how embarrassed I was going to feel for what I had been through. For the last 13 months I did not care that I had lost everything, everyone, my entire life was gone. I could have cared less and it never crossed my mind because all I wanted was to physically feel better and thats all I thought about. Once I began to feel better and I was able to think somewhat clearly again that is when the mental part hit and it hit hard.

It was a struggle to look at myself in the mirror. I would sit for hours on end just replaying in my head how I ended up here and asking why. At the time and as crazy as it sounds I wished the physical symptoms would have come back just so it would take my mind off of the mental anguish of everything.

It was a struggle everyday to get up and get back out there and start over. It was hard to accept the way that I had lost everything. I was not a junkie or shooting up drugs or chose to do this to myself. It was the single most difficult mental block to get past. Why????

I made the decision to stop getting on benzo buddies everyday and take a break and focus on getting myself in a better place. Slowly but surely the scales started to tip where things got a little easier everyday. I believe one of the most important things that I did for myself was take responsibility for what happened. For the longest time I blamed it all on the doctor, all on the pharmaceutical companies, all on everyone else and everything else without taking personal responsibility. People ask me how was it my fault for what happened to me. My whole life I never once questioned a doctor. I never once read medicine bottle instruction or followed directions worth a damn. I never knew what the drugs actually did or what I was taking. I just walked into a doctors office and blindly accepted what they said as the truth and went on about my life and never once took responsibility for my ignorance in my own health.

If I would have just taken personal responsibility for my own health and asked questions about what I was putting in my body I would have seen the effects of this drug and probably never have taken it. Ever since taking personal responsibility and knowing that I also put myself in this situation things have turned around dramatically.

I am 24 months free as of today. I would say that I am around 95% healed physically and 85% mentally. I have some lingering physical symptoms, tinnitus, sensitivity to light, the occasional phantom nerve spells but all of those things are easily manageable. As far as my mental health goes it is still tough from day to day but I know every morning I wake up and get out there is another day of healing and that much closer to a renewed life.

As I sit here and write this post I am looking back on my journey there is no doubt I would be either back on the klonopin or locked in some padded cell somewhere drooling on myself if it were not for my family of benzo buddies.

I know many of you on here are in a hell that only we know exists. I know you feel as if there is no end to the pain and suffering you are feeling. I know every post you read you continue to hear...hang in there...hang on...don't give up...keep pushing forward....it will get better...Trust me when I say I know the pain you are feeling and the hell you are in and day after day you continue pushing forward and holding on and you want to give up because it's not getting better....its only getting worse.  All I can say is...HANG IN THERE...HANG ON.....DON'T GIVE UP...KEEP PUSHING FORWARD.....IT WILL GET BETTER!!!

I have never met a single benzobuddie in person but you guys are family and in some ways your are closer to me than my own family. I thank each and everyone of you that I interacted with personally for your encouragement and help in getting my to where I am today and I thank the rest of you for having the courage to share your personal lives out in the open so that we all may heal from your personal experiences.

Stay strong and keep fighting guys your day is coming...........

[...]
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: No longer living in K-Hell...24 months off as of today!!
« Reply #1 on: April 06, 2013, 03:46:01 am »
[...],

Thanks for sharing your deeply personal story.  You have a great way of expressing all that you have been through.  It is success stories like yours that keep me going!  I pray that you will once again experience all that is good and wonderful in life - you have lost so much in the "fire" of withdrawal, yet you remain optimistic and hopeful about your future.  You are amazing!  Thanks again - [...]
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: No longer living in K-Hell...24 months off as of today!!
« Reply #2 on: April 06, 2013, 05:42:15 am »
Wow, [...]!  What a story!  I am so thankful you came back and took the time to write such a detailed post about your personal experience...this is going to help SO many people.  I know the full healing will come in time to you...for some of us it just takes a bit longer (I am 20+ months off and still not healed, though getting better and better).  Congratulations on all you have overcome - amazing! 

Thinking of you and sending you BIG 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: No longer living in K-Hell...24 months off as of today!!
« Reply #3 on: April 06, 2013, 06:06:37 am »
Thank you for sharing your story [...].  I can tell you really put your heart and soul in the re-telling of it, and that must not have been easy.  So much pain we all go through, so much loss--but the good news is that in the end it all gets better (or so I am told when reading stories like yours).  I really hope you continue to improve--it looks like you have learned a lot about yourself along the way.  I look forward to the day when I can write a story of success myself.  Thank you for giving me hope that that day will come.

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: No longer living in K-Hell...24 months off as of today!!
« Reply #4 on: April 06, 2013, 06:54:23 am »
Dear [...],
Thank you for sharing your story.
I loved reading it.
SD
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: No longer living in K-Hell...24 months off as of today!!
« Reply #5 on: April 06, 2013, 02:07:12 pm »
Dear [...]
Thank you for this wonderful post it is so encouraging.
I am in the thick of it and have a lot of symptom physical pain being the worst.
 I felt disheartened at seemingly no progress and that things were getting worse and
 I came on to read a few sucess stories to help me through this hell.
Thank you for sharing your story it gave me such
hope and even though my emotions are blunted
your story really touched me and made tears come in my eyes.
Thank you and I wish you all the best for the future.
Lib
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: No longer living in K-Hell...24 months off as of today!!
« Reply #6 on: April 06, 2013, 02:20:43 pm »
Congrats [...],
This story will indeed help many.  Best wishes on full healing here soon. 

Thanks,
M
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: No longer living in K-Hell...24 months off as of today!!
« Reply #7 on: April 06, 2013, 03:47:02 pm »
Thank you so much [...],  I'm so grateful you came back and posted your success story it has given me so much hope..
I'm going to be reading it a lot.

[...]  :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: No longer living in K-Hell...24 months off as of today!!
« Reply #8 on: April 06, 2013, 08:06:52 pm »
Thank you [...] for this incredible story of courage. Your a very brave man and its only a matter of a little more time before you can claim the Victory!

[...]
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: No longer living in K-Hell...24 months off as of today!!
« Reply #9 on: April 06, 2013, 11:51:58 pm »
Wow [...].... 

One beautifully written Success Story!  Congratulations to you with your Victory! :thumbsup: :thumbsup:  The very, very best to you in your new life!~

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.