Thursday, 26 July 2012

Tough Times Call For...Some Good Cries

I will keep this short. 

I have hit a wave and I'm in the thick of it.  It's been creeping up for a few weeks and I'm hoping I've hit the worst of it.

At 1 Year and 1 Week Benzo Free, my mental withdrawal effects have lessened to a very comfortable level.  I'm not "there" yet...but getting close!

Physically?  This week alone I have been hit with:

MAJOR nausea - dry heaving over the kitchen sink has returned

Chest Pain - the worst I've ever had and was so scary it required a "call to Mom and Dad" for support today...and a call to my husband at work...and my girlfriend Stephanie...it was not fun

Shingles-Like Pain - feels like a million little needles all over my spine and arms and it radiates to my legs/face/neck...at times my clothes hurt when they brush my skin

Nerve Pain - "Zaps" of pain all over my abdomen and ribs...it feels like bee stings all over

General Stomach Discomfort - it never feels "right"...bloating, gurgling and pains

Flu-Like Feeling - my body will ache as though I have the flu, but only comes for a hour or so, and it's not as extreme as a flu bug

Fever-Like Feeling - feel as though I'm burning up, so I take my temperature and it reads:  36.6


It has not been fun and many tears have been shed.  The past two nights have been the worst and my sleep has gone from a solid 6 hours to 2-3 hours per night.  I'm hoping for better sleep tonight.

I KNEW this could happen.  I read it all the time on the forum I visit.  Even the Pharmacist I once got my prescription from said, "You realize this can take several years to recover from?".  And yet I am shocked.  I didn't think it would continue to hit me this hard at 1 year out.  I am not really discouraged, but at the same time I'm obviously not thrilled with this.  The aches and pains have made me irritable and I LOATHE being irritable around those I love.

One step at a time...I got through another hard day today and I hope tomorrow is better...much better.  





Thursday, 19 July 2012

Happy One Year!!!

One year ago today I became FREE of Benzodiazepines.  I can remember so clearly how it felt so anti-climactic.  You take your last dose...and then what?  You know that you still have a long road ahead of you, so what is there to celebrate?  Well, one year later there is so much!  So I know of no better way to celebrate then with music and thanking those who have stood by me.

To my husband, who has rallied beside me throughout this entire experience.  You (literally) picked me up when I fell, rubbed my back after I dry-heaved, held me when I was scared and paranoid, sat and held my hand while I went to the washroom because I developed irrational fears of things such AS going to the washroom, stayed home to "take care of me" when he probably could have used a night out, helped with meals many nights, listened to me say countless times, "I think I might be dying...this isn't normal...what is happening to me?...you should just leave me because I'll never be normal...my body feelings like it's dying inside...please do something!", put our daughter to bed each and every night and gave her the confidence that, "Mommy will get better"...and most of all, you loved me and treated me like I was worth it.  You put me on a pedestal and became my #1 cheerleader.  I am forever grateful.

To my daughter...you're almost 9 and have seen so much these past 2-3 years.  My counsellor told me to not feel guilt over what I was "doing to you"...that all I was doing was teaching you something you'd never learn in a textbook.  She told me I was teaching you that Mommy could cry every day but still be viewed as strong.  She told me I was teaching you about life and how life doesn't always come easy.  You told me I was strong.  You wrote me notes and drew me pictures on a weekly basis.  You cried with me, and rubbed my back.  You put on a brave face when Mommy crumbled, but then allowed yourself to crumble when you felt the time was right.  You gave me your favourite bear countless times and told me, "I know you'll get better, Mommy". 

To my parents, who drove out rain or shine, night or day, to be with me if need be.  You watched me buckle over in pain, cry and ask, "why?".  You "spread the word" about these meds to those around you and helped open others minds.  You supported my husband and daughter when they needed it as well.  I am forever grateful for your generous help throughout this, even if it was just to sit with me while I cried.

To my friends...how lucky am I to have so many friend who "got it" as much as they could without living with it?  Many of you took phone calls from a "scared Sarah" too many times to count, drove my daughter to and from school when I could barely get out of bed, called me or wrote me to just say a simple "thinking of you", and even passed on my blog to others because you believed in me and my message.

To my family - from my brother and sister-in-law, to my Aunt, my Uncle, cousins and extended family...everyone understood the best they could and always supported me. 

And to the pharmacists who believed the pain I was in.  They reassured me this would end but that it could take months or even years to fully heal.  They took my phone calls at 8am when I was still awake in a panic after losing a night's sleep due to pains and anxiety and talked me through it.  I will never forget that.  

I am a lucky woman.  I don't know how people get through this without support, but I know it's possible.  Because even with support, you feel completely alone.  I remember when I began this journey I thought I'd be permanently damaged or I'd live with PTSD, fearing that I'd never be "normal" again.  But one year later?

I am getting there.  Slowly but surely, I can see many signs I am hugely improving.  LONG gone are the urges to self-harm.  Gone (I hope) are the panic attacks, gone are the body jolts and ticks in my arms and legs, and (mostly) gone is the anxiety.  Sure I still have some fears and a slew of physical symptoms that wear me out some days...but I have motivation again.  I can wake up with a plan and often follow through with it.  I wake up HAPPY - this has not happened on years and I can now clearly see how the medication I was on fatigued me beyond belief.

So many good things have come out of this experience and I prefer to look at the positive side of it (of course I'm human and do have my days where it's a little doom and gloom).  Because of this experience, I changed the way I view my body inside and out.  I eat extremely healthy and my daughter now asks for "pasta with fresh tomato sauce and basil" instead of "Mac and Cheese".  We haven't touched fast food in many many months (2 years for me!).  Gone is the pop and now water is all you'll see in our fridge.  Yes, we still have fun...I LOVE chocolate and cookies and still indulge daily...yes, my hubby enjoys his beer on the weekend...and of course our daughter is ALLOWED the "Mac and Cheese" if requested...but most days it's a healthy balanced diet - and by "diet" I mean a "way of life".

I cut out meat (only fish) and dairy (only yogurt and Kefir).  I won't touch store bought sauces and instead make my own.  MSG has been a very difficult thing for me and it's hidden in so many prepackaged foods.  Yes, I am now that "special friend" at the potlucks and bbq's as I normally won't touch most of the food.  But I AM okay with that.  I eat before I go and I try to make a salad or appetizer I know I can touch.  At first it was a bit embarrassing - and at times it still can be - but most people are receptive.

Whew!  I could go on and on.  But instead I'll now leave you with 2 songs...one that depicted how I felt a year or two ago:



And one - also by Sia - that is a bit more celebratory:



WOO HOO!!!  HAPPY ONE YEAR TO ME!!!

Sunday, 15 July 2012

Unrelenting Nausea...Again

It's 7:55pm and we just had a great day.  It's Sunday.  We stayed in our pj's till 3pm.  Then we went to the beach with our daughter and 2 of her good friends - fun times were had by all.  I came home hungry.  My appetite has been almost non-existent this past week so it was nice to feel hunger.  After a quick shower, I reheated a bowl of my whole wheat pasta with homemade tomato and basil sauce.  Delicious.  And now I feel like being sick.  This is how my week has been. 

I am frustrated.

More than frustrated.

I just had a good 10 minute DEEP cry - many Kleenex were used.

I am trying to tell myself, "Sarah, this won't last...it never does...you might not have any nausea tomorrow or the day after".  But this has been going on for 2 weeks now...not to mention the 1-2 years of nausea prior to today.  I think I've had a day break here or there, but all and all I've been hit with nausea most days. 

Frustrated doesn't even really begin to touch how I feel right now.  I wish I could scream once - very loudly - and it would all end.  All the withdrawal symptoms that take forever to diminish completely would just go away like a puff of smoke in the air. 

I don't think it's going to be that easy.

I'm really hoping year 2 is "the year".  The year I can say good-bye to all of this and really begin to embrace life.  Things have been looking up for quite some time...I just hope there aren't too many more setbacks. 

I just read a kind response I received on a forum I visit for Benzo withdrawal support.  There, the person was celebrating their "2 years free".  I was told by this member that it wasn't until 18 months off that he felt real improvement...and this was a man that took benzos for only 8 weeks...8 weeks on them, 12 weeks to taper off of them...but 2 years of sickness, pain and mental block once off of them.  But it did all go away eventually...the nausea, the pains, the fear - all of it.  His response could not have come at a better time.  It made me cry more.  And he gave me hope once again.  



Thursday, 12 July 2012

And For Tonight's Dinner...

This has become a favourite in our home.  We had it one day at my mom and dad's and my daughter gobbled up her bowl, then looked at me and asked, "Can you make this for OUR dinner, Mommy?!"

So here it is...it's simple, fresh, healthy and SO delicious.  We eat it at least a couple times a month.

Simple Pasta with Fresh Tomatoes, Garlic and Basil

Tomatoes (I'm using Hot House for tonight's dinner...use as many as needed for your family)
Garlic cloves, crushed - approx. 3-5
Basil, chopped - a good 1/4 cup or so
Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper to taste

* Optional:  chopped onion

Prepare a bowl of ice water and keep off to the side.  Then bring a full pot of water to a boil.  Wash tomatoes well and cut a small "X" in the bottom of each tomato.  Boil the tomatoes till the skin begins to fall off - normally 30-60 seconds.  Take out of boiling water and transfer into bowl of ice water.  After the tomatoes have cooled down, you can easily peel your tomatoes.  I'd wait a good 5 minutes before peeling them as they can be quite hot.

From here, I crush the tomatoes into another pot by hand.  Once crushed, I set aside on the stove on a low temperature so they begin to cook.

In a separate pan, I heat up olive oil.  Then add my crushed garlic and lightly cook it - today I am also going to try something different and add a drizzle of balsamic vinegar (thanks to Canadian Living magazine for the idea).

I then transfer the garlic to the tomatoes...you could also add chopped onion to the garlic mix (which I did today - a whole red onion chopped) and caramelize it before adding to the tomatoes for extra flavour. 

I then bring the heat up and wait till the tomatoes begin to bubble slightly, stirring often.  I wash and finely chop my basil and add it as well as the salt and pepper.  I like to keep this on low for awhile to bring out all the flavours.

Then toss the sauce with a cooked pasta of your choice (we've used Spaghetti, Fettuccine and Penne...all winners).  I cook my pasta till it is still a bit firm since this particular sauce is quite runny and the pasta will absorb much of the liquid.

My daughter and husband sprinkle some Parmesan Cheese onto theirs...I prefer Nutritional Yeast which gives it a nutty/cheesy flavour but is not a dairy product and has many health benefits.

It was a winner once again.  My daughter's bowl was almost clean when finished.  And my husband's new khaki man capris are proof he gobbled up his meal...he's presently washing off tomato splatter.  A sign of a good meal, I'd say.

 My Basil Plant
 The tomatoes have a cold bath
 Fresh Basil, ready for cutting
 All the ingredients simmering...house smells amazing
 Delicious!  My husbands plate, before devouring it
 And I prefer mine in my favourite big bowl, with Nutritional Yeast on top

Monday, 9 July 2012

Music

I love music.  Music of all kinds...and yet this song with some of the most perfect lyrics to explain these past few years has somehow slipped past me.  But here it is:  Morrisey's, "Something is Squeezing My Skull".  It's kind of a "tongue-in-cheek" way to reflect on my experience with Benzo Withdrawal.



And the lyrics:

I'm doing very well
I can blackout the present and the past now
I know by now you think I should have straightened myself out
Thank you, drop dead.

Oh, something is squeezing my skull
Something I can barely describe
There is no love in modern life

I'm doing very well
It's a miracle I've even made it this far
The motion of taxis excites me
When you peel it back and bite me

Oh, something is squeezing my skull
Something I can barely describe
There is no hope in modern life

Oh, something is squeezing my skull
Something I can't fight
No true friends in modern life

Diazepam as valium...temazepam...lithium

HRT...ECT...How long must I stay on this stuff?

Don't give me any more
Don't give me any more
Don't give me any more
Don't give me any more

Please don't give me anymore
Don't give me anymore
Don't give me anymore

You swore you would not give me anymore
Don't give me anymore
Don't give me anymore
Don't give me anymore

Well, Hello 1am...How Do You Do?

I would LOVE to cry and pace the house right now.  It's just about 1am and I should be fast asleep.  This past week has been very busy with my husband off for vacation.  We have done so much each day - all fun things - but I think I'm worn out.  Tomorrow he goes back to work, and I always hate "those days".  Like SO many people, I often suffer from the "Sunday night blues".  And Sunday night blues are even worse after having a full week with my hubby and daughter.

So here I am.  My stomach is gurgling.  I have nervous bowels.  I feel the adrenaline running from my scalp, down the back of my neck - making it feel hot, and then it begins to hit my arms, fingers and legs with little prickles.  My legs are shaking.  My hands shake as well and as I type this I have to take mini breaks to "shake out the shakes" - if that's possible.  My heart feels like it's racing.  My legs are cold and my intestines are twisting with nerves.  I just want to cry.  I want to wake up my husband and sob in his arms.  Sometimes a good cry makes this all go away.  But he works in the morning and I don't want to wake him his first night before a work week.

What is on my mind?  Anything and everything.  I'm obsessed with getting sick tonight.  It's been on my mind since reading a "recall" list about shelled peas.  We ate snow peas tonight...so am I going to get sick?  Again, the questionable peas are shelled...and from a particular market in another city.  My peas were snow peas, bagged and bought in a grocery store.  They are different...but are they?  My mind has raced since.  But it's been racing since yesterday because yesterday was a "record bad day".

Yesterday.

I woke up feeling fine.  Ate breakfast, and there it began.  If I'm going to have a bad day, I either know the moment I wake up, or most often after breakfast.  It's as though that burst of calories gets things going and I begin to "suffer".  I used to be scared of breakfast because nine times out of ten I'd feel worse after.  I don't fear it anymore.  And it's no longer nine times out of ten...more like 50/50.

My legs began to ache.  A deep ache reminiscent of growing pains, only deeper.  My bones and muscles felt so sore and I rubbed them over and over again trying to rub away the pain.  I walked, then sat, then walked again.  Nothing helped.  The pain got so intense that I just wanted to curl up and cry.  I suggested we go out and shop at a mall.  The distraction might help.  My husband and daughter were both in agreement so off we went.  That drive felt like the longest 20 minutes ever.  The music played over the radio and I tried to sing the words in my head and out loud to help me forget what I felt inside.  So what was I feeling?  My stomach was turning, my legs shook and my feet felt restless, my head spun and nothing outside the car looked clear to me...I was scared.  I took a deep breath every now and then hoping to breath it away.  Nothing.  When my husband parked the car I took one more deep breath and in my head said, "you can do this Sarah...look at what you've overcome this past year...this moment is NOTHING compared to that...lets go!".  Out the car I got...and oh my goodness I thought I'd lose it.  The pavement felt like it moved under my feet.  I was either going to dry heave in the parking lot, faint or maybe both.  I held on to the car for dear life and almost began to cry.

I held it together and we proceeded into the mall.  It was not going away.  My legs ached more than ever and I literally felt like I was going to begin to run in the mall like a chicken with its head cut off.  In my mind I said, "Oh dear...this is it...this is the day you are officially going to lose it...you are about to make a fool out of yourself...here I go...my body is going to give up and faint any moment now, just wait for it...".  But nothing.  I looked at my husband with desperate eyes and said, "This is bad...I don't get it...if feels like the old days".  The "old days" being the days I tapered from Benzos.  The worst days.  I was back in the thick of it only this time I was almost a full year OFF these damn meds!

All while this happened in my head, my daughter happily skipped along in the mall.  She looked back every now and then to smile at us.  In one store, she and I went into a change room together and while I tried on some shorts I said, "Well, Mommy does not feel very good right now...I just need to tell you that because it might make me feel better to say it".  She looked up at me and said, "Is this because of those pills?".  "Yes", I replied, "It can still hit me sometimes until I'm fully better...so lets hope these yucky feelings go away soon".  She smiled reassuringly.  It helped for about 2 minutes.  But then it all returned.

We made some purchases and drove home.  We stopped at a "tourist stop" for 20 minutes along the way and took some photos...then off to the grocery store.  In the meantime our friends called to say they were going to stop by to check out our newly renovated basement.  "Ok!", I said....inside I thought, "But I can't do this...I'm going to lose it in front of them!".  The friends stopped by and we had a great visit...lots of laughs as always.  Did I lose it?  Nope.  Did I feel like I might...yep.

Then came the unexpected company (a neighbour) at the door asking us, "Are you still coming to the neighbour's bonfire party tonight?".  As I smiled and said, "Oh right!  I almost forgot...yes, we'll be there!"...what I really thought was, "CRAP!  Seriously?  Tonight?  I forgot!!!...Why tonight?!  I need to stay home and let myself lose it if need be!!!".

So off we went to the bonfire party.  I stood beside my husband and whispered in his ear, "I don't know if I can do this...this is horrible...I can't believe I feel this bad again".  He rubbed my back.  I went home a few times...any excuse to leave for a minute or two and I took it.  Then during one of my visits back home I had this surge of adrenaline and little zaps of pain in my body.  I felt like my brain "zapped" and then suddenly, it was all gone.  The aches and pain, the anxiety, the feeling of "losing it" was all gone. 
I joined my husband back at the party and was able to RELAX and enjoy it for the remainder of the night.  We came home just after 11pm and I was able to RELAX and watch some TV before bed.  Then although I had some bed time anxiety, it quickly left and I slept close to a solid 8 hours.

It was strange.

24 hours later.  It's now 1:30am.  I am on the couch typing this.  My bowels are experiencing something I had several times during my taper and the first few months off of benzos...spasms.  I feel like I could just camp out on the toilet, even though I don't have to "go".  The sensation is there, but when I sit nothing happens.  Very frustrating and it makes it hard to sleep.  I have cried 3 times and feel completely on edge.  My insides are buzzing and when I walk I feel like I might even begin to float because of the amount of nervous energy inside.  I feel like I need to go outside and run as hard and fast as I can for twenty minutes.

I hate this.  I hate this is happening again after feeling like I was getting so close.  I'm so tired of stomach pains and ovary pains each day.  I feel like this will never end...even though I say daily that it will.  My insides itch.  My eyes burn because I am so sleepy, but I'm afraid to attempt sleep because I don't want to be put through the routine again of, "well, this isn't going to work so you might as well get out of bed and sit on the couch behind the laptop to try to relax enough that you can attempt sleep again".  I know this routine well from months ago and I was getting comfortable with it bidding adieu.  But apparently these strange 1am "fear anything and everything all while experiencing unnatural body sensations" wake up calls aren't 100% gone. 

I DO know this doesn't mean I am doomed to experience this every night for the next week or two.  I know that this very well could be my LAST wake up call.  But I also know it could last a few days....or a week, or two.  It could come back tomorrow night even though I don't want it to.  That is what I am continuing to find so frustrating about healing from Benzos...you never know what the next day brings.

I thank you for reading this if you had a chance.  I'd love to call someone right now and verbalize this aloud, but at 1:45am, I resort to my blog.  That is why this blog has been so therapeutic.  So much of this hits me at night when everyone else is asleep.  When I type and create posts on this blog, I can envision all of you - whoever you are, family, friends or strangers - sitting beside me and listening to each and every word I say.  It's comforting. 

“I wanted a perfect ending. Now I've learned, the hard way, that some poems don't rhyme, and some stories don't have a clear beginning, middle, and end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what's going to happen next.
Delicious Ambiguity.”  -  Gilda Radner


Saturday, 7 July 2012

It's Been Far Too Long...


It’s been far too long since I posted last.  Part of the reason is because I am healing and living life more.  Part of the reason is because I don't want to sound like a broken record with, “My ribs hurt…I still feel nauseous…”.  And part of the reason was because I needed a break from “benzo withdrawal”.  When I enter a new blog post, it gives me relief in that I know I may be educating others or helping someone as they work through their own experience with these meds.  But it also feels like this dark cloud hanging over my shoulder each time I type.  It’s a reminder that I’m not “there” yet.  And I want to be “there” so badly.

So how am I?  Well, I am 12 days away from being 1 YEAR free of Benzodiazepines.   I am healing.  I still have physical side effects each and every day – I’d say about 70% of my day is plagued with some sort of “off” feeling, whether it’s rib pain, joint pain, nerve ending pain or nausea.  However, nowadays I deal with it better.  I don’t fear it as much.  I still get frustrated and every now and then need a good cry over it, but that constant fear doesn’t take over.  And I find that when the aches and pains DO become too much, I can sit for a moment, take a breath, and say, “Sarah, this WILL pass…it ALWAYS does…it NEVER lasts…it might be minutes or hours from now, but what you feel this very moment WILL go away”.  And 9 times out of 10, it works.  Because now I know it’s true. I believe it.

I was in the Chapters Book Store today with my husband and daughter.  My daughter was searching through the bargain books and showing me photos of wildlife, when a book caught my eye.  “The Age of Anxiety” was the title, and there were pictures of pills on the cover.  Then I saw the word “tranquilizers” and my hand quickly swept across the table to grab it.  The book tells the history of tranquilizers – how they were created, how they were “Mother’s Little Helper”, and how they destroyed lives.  There are FDA reports, Government records – you name it.  It has been known for MANY years how harmful these drugs were and continue to be – and yet thousands across North America and the UK (and elsewhere) are prescribed Benzodiazepines each year and they are prescribed the drugs improperly.  

 The book I saw...which happens to be on sale!

As I’ve mentioned previously, Benzodiazepines are addictive.  It can take only weeks or even days for your body to become dependent on them.  You may not know it as you continue to take the dose prescribed by your doctor.  You may think, “well, I’M not one of those people…I take the amount I was prescribed AS prescribed, so obviously I don’t have an addictive personality”.  But your body IS addicted.  And what may come of it over time can be subtle hints.  You may develop irrational fears.  You may begin experiencing anxiety when you normally wouldn’t experience it.  You may develop IBS-like symptoms.  You may develop insomnia or strange twitches in your arms, legs or face.  It can be subtle, or it can be like a slap in the face. 

For myself, it was pretty close to a slap.  I was doing “okay”.  Living life on Clonazepam and feeling good about combating any anxiety I had with the help of those little orange and “harmless” pills, when suddenly I began having diarrhea every day.  And not just once a day.  2-4 times a day.  Then there was the nausea that would come on out of nowhere.  I’d be shovelling the snow from our driveway when I’d suddenly feel this wave and I’d run into the house – tearing off my winter coat and boots – and then making my way to the toilet to dry heave.  I became fearful of going to public places in case the diarrhea or dry heaves came on.  It spiralled out of control and before I knew it I was a complete mess.  Crying daily.  Often wishing a car would hit me as I walked back home from dropping my daughter off at school.  I’d walk into my home, shaking, cold and scared.  I’d run to the toilet to either dry heave or have diarrhea.  I’d then sit on the couch curled up in a ball wondering if I’d ever be able to get OFF the couch again.  I would sit there frozen in fear.  It was paralyzing.  Imagine sitting in your bedroom and a known serial killer walks into the room with a gun.  The gun is pointed at your head and you KNOW you are going to die.  The only thing you can do is sit there frozen.  You can’t move or he’ll shoot.  This is how I felt…only no one was beside me.  I was alone in the safety of my own home.  No one was going to harm me in any way, and yet I could not move even a finger.  My breath would halt and I’d only move my eyes back and forth.  My husband would say, “get up and walk..maybe walking will help”.  But I couldn’t.  I was literally paralyzed by fear and it was one of the worst feelings I’ve ever had. 

This was all while ON “tranquilizers”.   Medication created to help those with anxiety.  It could have been a great solution, however, these little pills can create bigger problems.  They “numb” a part of the brain that helps our body naturally relax.  They take over this part of the brain making it lazy.  So as we take away the drug, the brain doesn’t know how to relax on its own.  It forgets.  So now it has to learn – and this takes time.  And these GABA receptors (located in the brain and the part of the brain that is affected by Benzos) aren’t just in the brain, they are in the stomach.  Our stomach acts as a second brain and with the heightened anxiety, crazy panic attacks and irrational fears, can come stomach pains, IBS-like symptoms, and nausea. Not to mention body aches, nerve pain, excessive salivation, twitches, headaches, dental pain, red/dry eyes, joint pain, loss of appetite OR increased appetite, constant mucous in throat – and lets not forget the mental side effects such as paranoia, auditory hallucinations, , OCD-like tendencies, agoraphobia or phobias of any kind, panic attacks that are so extreme they belong in the movies and constant anxiety.  This is only a handful of of the possible withdrawal side effects.

I could also write a small novel on the Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal (HPA) Axis.  The HPA Axis refers to the interaction between several “organs” or glands in the brain/body.  It all controls our nervous system and regulates stress.  It also affects hormones and our digestive system…and it is greatly affected by Benzodiazepines.  So as the benzo is taken away, it too has to heal. 

Patience is the key and if you can trust that your body will do what it needs to do to heal, then it can make living with benzo withdrawal more bearable.  Not everyone will react the same.  Some people can come off of benzos with little to no issues.  Perhaps they’ll have a twitch that lasts week or so, or some mild nausea.  Whereas others wind up in the hospital doubled over in pain fearing death is on its way.  It’s a crazy experience for many and completely individualized.  But we all heal. 

It’s almost been one year and I’m getting there.  I continue to get better.  Sometimes it takes weeks to see any progress whereas other times I see little changes each day.  I have extremely supportive family and friends.  I feel I’ve been very fortunate to have all this love and support surrounding me.  Many aren’t as fortunate – finding their loved ones don’t “believe” prescribed medication could make anyone this sick.  It’s unfortunate. 

Year 2 will be even better.  I hope to fully heal this year but I’m aware it can take longer than 2 years for some.  Most people seem to heal within 18 months, so I keep that in the back of my mind.  It’s been a tiring few years and on a night like tonight where I feel particularly “off”, I can’t imagine it going on for even one more day.  But tomorrow is a new day and I will get through it like any other day.  Life continues to look more beautiful and I look forward to the future.