You had to do it.
You had to announce that you were beginning to feel more "normal" again.
You knew in the past, when you'd announce a milestone, the ugly reappeared.
And now here you are.
It's 2:34am. And guess where I am? I'm on the sofa. I am a ball full of nerves, fear and tears. For the past few days, my anxiety level has increased. It's now to the point where I cannot sleep. My heart is racing...my stomach is turning and gurgling...my head is pounding...my insides are rattling...and when I lay in bed, I can hear my heart pound in my head so loudly it begins to resemble a drum in the not-so-far-distance. Tonight is a bad night.
How is it that EVERY single time I announce something positive, it returns only hours later?
"I think the nausea is finally beginning to disappear".
The next morning I wake up with the dry heaves.
"I have noticed that I have next-to-no anxiety nowadays".
The following week the anxiety creeps up on me like a monster...hiding behind my back and whispering in my ear, "I'm not ready to leave you yet...".
I can't believe I'm doing this to myself. I know I'm not. But I do know that I have to constantly remind myself of these 3 words: Expect The Unexpected. My husband says it to me all the time, and although at times I want to roll my eyes - well, I DO roll my eyes - I know very well that the healing process from Benzodiazepines can be so unpredictable at times that all you CAN do is...expect the unexpected.
I am fast approaching 11 months free of Benzos, and yes, I am making HUGE progress. I have gained incredible strength and security through this journey. I am a better person for it. But on a night like tonight, I wish it didn't have to be so difficult or unpredictable. My biggest fear all along has been that I will finally feel "healed", only to get slammed once again with every side effect possible. It's happened to others. I've read about it time and time again and I'm fully aware that this journey can take up to 2 years, if not more, before I am fully healed. And that can mean feeling very good for a great length of time, only to get hit again with an abundance of unpleasant withdrawal side effects.
What I wish I could say and fully believe is: "I accept this wave and open my arms to it...knowing that my body is doing what it needs to do to fully heal...I welcome these unpleasant feelings as they are signs my body is working hard to become stronger than ever before...My central nervous system is intricate and it takes time and patience to heal".
What I really say to myself on a night like tonight? "Seriously?! Please please please make my heart stop pounding. I am DONE with this! I just want to cry and let the tears take it all away. I want my head to stop pounding because it creates fear...I think I'm going to die if it doesn't stop. It's been more than 10 months...shouldn't this be over by now? How will I function tomorrow if I don't sleep tonight? My eyes burn but I can't sleep. My stomach turns but deep down I know I'm not sick. Why won't it stop even when I tell myself I am okay?".
And so here I sit at 3:17am. I'm exhausted and just want to sleep. Even as I close my eyes while sitting here, my head begins to pound...as if it's saying, "uh uh uhhhhh...you want to sleep? I don't think so...". I close my eyes and my body begins to tremble inside. It's as though someone is shaking the couch. And it's as though my body is doing everything possible to keep me from sleeping. Hence the reason people who live through Benzo Withdrawal, compare it to torture at times. You want to sleep. You are sick tired. But your body won't allow it to happen...it's like a cruel joke.
Fast approaching 11 months...and getting close to 1 year free. A HUGE accomplishment. Tonight is yet another bump in the road. It's never stopped me before...and tomorrow could very well be a great day.