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".
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
- Gilda Radner