18 months since I jumped: An update on healing

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I am able to recognize my blessings each day and be grateful for all I have and have hope for continued blessings in my future!

Greetings from a highly improved me!   It has been eighteen months since I jumped (abruptly discontinued) from taking Ativan 1mg daily after tapering from taking Ativan 3mg daily. I tapered over the duration of two years. My severe detox and withdrawals period was exacerbated by the fact that I had jumped off Oxycodone 10mg only two months prior to stopping the Ativan.  I had tapered off a daily dose of 45mg-90mg over a 2 year period.   What had started in 2010 as a prescription for Percocet 5/325 one every 6 hours as needed for pain, grew until it became a monster in my life that ate all the goodness up. It was just one of the numerous medications that I was prescribed over two and a half decades.

From my records dating 2010 until the fall of 2017 I had 19 pharmaceuticals prescribed to take on a daily basis. Many of them for longer than the recommendations written in those little tiny informational packets you get sometimes with a bottle of pills. Many of them were also prescribed for things other than what they were originally created to treat. Off label uses.  My PCP (Primary Care Providor) also had recommended numerous over the counter medications and supplements as well.

 

                                                                I can smile so much easier these days 
I had been quite aware of the perils of addiction as I have personally witnessed and experienced it in my life in many forms and throughout many experiences.  My own addiction (maladaptive coping mechanism for suffering) was gambling. I knew what it felt like to not only crave something, but would go to great lengths to have that need fulfilled.

That is NOT how the medications were for me. I was dependent upon them. I took them as prescribed. I was trying to check IN to life. I was trying to find a way around the pain (both physical and emotional) so that I could participate in life. Yet the conditions continued to mount until the amount of medications my PCP prescribed became toxic! They didn’t work anymore.  In fact, some of them created a paradoxical effect, causing the exact symptom they were meant to treat.

When I recognized that the use of all these chemicals was harming me more than they were helping, I knew it was time to make radical changes in how I was managing (or letting my PCP manage) my health. I took back the reigns and sought a different path
It wasn’t really a conscious choice, embarking on the journey through the hell I have been through.  It was simply the act of starting a forward movement towards change by doing just one thing differently. Then it grew to more things differently. Things like spending a lot more time outdoors. Activities such as interacting with animals and being creative with a camera. Making very conscious choices in what I put into my body. Eliminating as much negativity as I could. Yet, there were still struggles as I didn’t know all that I would face along this journey.

No one had warned me that there was a possibility that I could have psychotic episodes coming off these medications. No one had warned me that I could reach tolerance and have paradoxical effects like a severe case of insomnia that lasted for 20 years. Only now, after being off every single medication for 40 days, am I beginning to have occasional bouts of normal sleep. No one told me about excruciating bone pain that left me curled up and rocking and crying on my mattress. No one told me of the incessant need to move, the rocking and bouncing legs and full body restlessness that was exhausting and robbed me of any rest for my ravaged body and brain. No one prepared me for how shunned I would feel and how that would further the crippling agoraphobia and paranoia so that I could not tell who I could or could not trust. This further complicated the entire process.
No one else knew how bad this would be either. I know now that there was NO one in my life anywhere close to prepared for the wild and horrifying symptoms and behaviors this would create.  It was terrifying to go through and I can imagine it was scary as hell to watch! In fact, knowing many others who have endured the hell I have, some even worse, I know that very few people in the world have been prepared to be of any assistance for someone going through this type of severe and lengthy mental and physical anguish.
That first year was a doozy! Fraught with the loss of health and home and any stability I believed I had, pretty much everything was gone in my life! Friends, family, belongings, any sense of dignity was gone.  I was robbed of all hope by the Benzodiazepine demons that lived in my head. All I did was bounce where the winds took me, trying to protect myself from me, and from others who were ill-equipped to be of any help.

Unfortunately, sometimes due to their lack of understanding or skill, those I most hoped would help were only able to add to the pain and suffering by their responses and reactions to me.   Those that truly care would have done different if they had known how.  I believe this is true for all of us suffering from this.  Yet they are the ones who just mostly stood by and watched and felt helpless. They had nothing to offer except recognizing the pain was there.  Today I can feel bad for their experience in watching all of this hell.

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This last 6 months I have turned a corner. I can feel it internally and others have commented on it externally. I have been more focused on myself and finding healing and seeking the path to wellness than ever before in my entire life.  The tools and skills and interactions and experiences I have participated in have helped me have a sense of acceptance and peace.  I truly feel more equipped to deal with whatever life may bring to me from here on forward.   More than ever before in my life I have a sense of direction and purpose.
I still have much work to do. Both of my current therapists are recommending intensive treatment for Complex PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) including modalities such as ACT (Acceptance and Commitment therapy), CBT (cognitive behavior therapy), and EMDR (Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing). Both of them say it is imperative for me to do this work for complete healing and the ability to get past the things that haunt me regardless how much I try to not let them.
I personally have taken it upon myself to learn life skills that I have found are helping me tremendously. I have adopted the practice of meditation. I meditate at least once daily, but usually twice a day. MY meditation is very much connected to my spiritual practice and prayer time. I also do Conscious breathing, utilizing a timer to just stop and breath once an hour. These skills have reduced my anxiety tremendously and are excellent for staying in the moment which is so necessary for those with PTSD.  I eat at least an 80/20 whole foods diet, primarily organic in nature and from sources as local as possible.

Since the New Year I also have been working on having the habits of movement (exercise) and drinking more water daily. I have also begun light jogging. This I am doing still with living under the fact of pain is in my life. I have nerve pain in my feet that is non-stop 24/7. I also have pretty severe back and neck pain. Yet after a 10 week-long session at a pain clinic, I have learned some wonderful new ways of looking at pain and living with it. This is why I now am more encouraged and hopeful than I have been in an extremely long time. I feel very empowered.

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Yet I still need help. I am still homeless. I still have no vehicle.  I am still awaiting a determination on my most recent filing for Social Security Disability. I still have a couple of years ahead of me doing some really difficult personal therapies. I still have limited energy and endurance.
After careful consideration, counseling with others, and making efforts to find stability and a place to live and work both where I am and where I last came from, I have decided to go back to S. Oregon.  I have more work I can do there than I have been able to find here.  I ran an ad and I have already booked 3 house-sitting gigs. I also have a couple of clients that want me to do periodic light work around their properties (gardening and housekeeping type chores). I have a friend who has offered me the use of her trailer for 11 months, and I have a couple of possibility of places to put it in exchange for helping on a person’s property either with care taking or with farm type chores.  I am willing and able to do this. It won’t be enough to get ahead, but I will have a roof over my head and some security for at least that time period.

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I have been offered a trailer like this to use for about 11 months if I can get a secure place to park it! High living for a modest gal like me!

What I need more than anything right now is a vehicle and maybe the first 6 months of insurance paid.  Or even the first 3 months. Then I can get to the house sitting jobs and the clients who have other chores to do. Then I can earn a few pesos each month. My goal is $600, which is 30 hours a month. I will most likely have to do that many hours again where ever I end up parking the trailer in exchange for rent.  That works out to about fifteen hours weekly of being up and moving and doing some sort of physical activity.  15 hours a week is about all I can do without being where I can lie down and rest intermittently.
I know I will keep improving as I continue to do the habits I’ve created and use the tools I have obtained. I know my energy will increase as I continue to lower the stress of dealing with PTSD through the time invested in treatment and as my body continues to heal from the damages done by the medications I took for too long!


I also am involved with Vocational Rehabilitation.   They are going to help me pursue the reinstatement of my nursing license. It is my short-term goal to utilize my nursing license in creating a health and wellness mentor and coaching business. I believe I have a vast amount of knowledge and experience that can be used to help many others who live with physical and emotional pain. I believe my new-found enthusiasm and gratitude for a new opportunity can encourage and inspire others to pursue their truest selves! I have been a helper and have had a healing nature throughout my life. Now that my true self (not drugged by pharmaceuticals) is re-emerging stronger than ever, I trust that God and the Universe will allow my best self to help others possibly find their way out of suffering too!

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Participating in an online Health and Wellness coaching program. It is self directed and self paced. Perfect for me right now. As well as it is FREE!!!

I am so grateful I am still here on earth and alive. I am so grateful the benzodiazepine (and other pharmaceutical) demons did not completely destroy me. It felt like I was destroyed at times, yet here I am smiling and grateful and caring for myself….and others!

After such a dark and seemingly endless foray into the depths of psychological pain so deep I felt life wasn’t worth living, I now have hope!!!  I also am able to develop goals.  It is the first time in many years I have felt capable of even thinking of having a goal, let alone taking the necessary steps to get there.  One of my goals is to  jog/run in a 5K event the weekend of my 56th birthday.   My new walking habit inspired that goal.  I have never enjoyed running or jogging, even as a child.  Yet now, when pushing through the chronic pain, I find that I reach a point of some real clean current pain and it is a desirable experience.  Pushing past the pain to get going is worth it.  The daily steps I am taking are to keep me focused and to build my skill and strength level to reach that place of being able to complete the race.  After the race,  if I still feel it is something that is adding value to my health and life and wellness, I may try for a 10K.  It is a measurable success.  There are other goals as well so each day I purposefully do actions to bring me closer to the prize…..WELLNESS and HEALING!

I also have a great aspiration to help others like me!!! I have a big dream of someday creating a healing place (long term inpatient facility) for those like me who have suffered in their lives with DIS-ease of any kind.   People wanting to come off pharmaceuticals that have become toxic to them, especially opiates and benzodiazepines; those who suffer the consequences of addiction; those who have emotional pain that requires that they be loved on and guided and encouraged to health! I envision a place of many woods and streams and much beauty where people can rest their tired minds and bodies and take a few deep breaths for a period of time. I see gardens and animals, some of them providing companionship, others there for their food source to provide healthy nutritious meals. It will be a place where there is patience and tolerance and gentle trauma-informed guidance. People will have a time and place to explore their suffering and learn skills for finding peace and acceptance of what is.  I dream of it being a place they will also find a sense of purpose and the ability to create goals and plans for achieving them. It is a big dream. It will require a big tribe to create it. That will be a huge focus on the next portion of my journey. Creating a healing caring loving tribe that can share this vision! 🙂
oh….btw….it feels great to be able to write a bit! That is one skill that has suffered during this time and it is another sign of my healing!

God slowed me down again today! A walk to the creek was my goal!

Today was also a pain day but I am up and dressed, I did my exercises and I’m getting ready to go walk a mile or more, and even job part of it! Cannabis, getting off pharmaceuticals, and tenacity have got me to today. i am so grateful.

Ms. Ladybug and her Layers

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Only a few people in the world have seen me have a morning like I did today.  A morning where the simple act of sitting upright at the edge of the bed requires  so much effort and causes so much pain that it takes me a minute to realize I am in tears.  Today was one of those days where sitting at the edge of the bed, crying, and looking at the toilet that is 15 feet away and needing to get there NOW was cause for sobs.  It would be so easy to tell you all the things I couldn’t do today.  I could give you a list of things that I wished I could do, have plans to do, am interested in doing, and then tell you that I can’t do them because of this limiting pain.  Instead, I am going to share with you what I DID do!

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Self love is selfish

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The river runs fast and with power, 

carrying with it all the debris of the things gone wrong with it – away!

Though dark and gray the afternoon sky

There is a fresh new hope building,

as I know that after the darkness light follows!

Today was a long, enlightening, fulfilling day.  The entire day was filled with doing things to take care of myself.  The entire day.  I went to the dentist to get my teeth cleaned, I prepared and enjoyed healthy foods, I went to Pain Clinic (which is 3 hours of intense therapy) and then had my first visit with the psychologist and my first EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing) session.  I also came home and did an online  SMART Recovery meeting.  All for me.

For the last year or so pretty much everything I have done has been an concentrated effort to love myself and take care of myself.  Many view selfishness as a negative thing.  I know I used to.  Today,  I know that to love myself is the only way I am going to heal, and that is the only way I am going to have the life I deserve and desire.

It feels good.  I don’t do it perfectly.  I have probably said and done many things in ways that were less than ideal during this time.  Yet, I am evaluating it all and making every attempt to learn from it.

So what things are included in my selfish life?  What are the activities of self love?

  1.  Caring for my body by being mindful of what I put it in.  Plenty of hydration, the best food I can get with the resources I have available, resting, being mindful of anything that isn’t food or water and is it going to cause any damage.  It takes time and energy to create healthy foods to eat.
  2. Meditating has been a lifesaver.  I spend at least 10 minutes in the morning and fall asleep each night while meditating.  I purposefully choose to meditate to sleeping meditations due to a long history of insomnia.
  3. Getting fresh air has helped in so many ways.  Getting out, even if only for a 5 or 10 minute sojourn to the front porch connects me with nature.  Nature is a natural anti-depressant.
  4. Exercise.  See above.  Getting in touch with building my body back to health and connecting with the knowledge that I have a part in my health gets my mind straight.  I have begun walking 4 out of 5 days for at least one mile distance.  However long that takes is how long it takes.  I also have been doing an exercise program for 10 days now.  It also is 4 out of 5 days taking approximately 15 minutes.
  5. Mental health therapy is allowing me to process some extremely difficult situations, thought patterns and coping mechanisms as well as teaching me new tools to manage physical and emotional pain.  I currently have 2 therapists and am getting filled up with new understanding.
  6. Community.  Finding folks to hang out with and then spending time with them takes courage and time and energy.  I need to connect with others who can show me that I am not alone, that can help me with things that I can’t manage on my own and bring me a sense of belonging.
  7. Reading and learning.  I spend 30 minutes a day at the minimum to learn about something I am interested in and that will improve my lot in life or the life of another.
  8. Being of service.  Ha ha.  How is that selfish?  It is selfish in that it gives me so much joy and satisfaction that the more I do, the more I want to do.  Sharing encouraging words, finding the answer to a health question, giving support to someone struggling make me feel a part of.
  9. GRATITUDE:  Spending time each day being grateful for what is in my life at the moment is so selfish.  It is realizing what has been provided for ME!

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A public service announcement for Oregon gamblers.

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If you or a loved one suffers with compulsive gambling, there is HOPE and HELP!!! For both you and the gambler. Both inpatient and outpatient treatment is free in Oregon.

I am posting this as a public service. Gambling is a serious public health concern. A recent study says that 1 in 37 adults in Oregon are compulsive gambler’s. http://nbc16.com/news/local/study-1-in-37-oregon-adults-are-problem-gamblers
Genetics, psychological risks and social risk factors such as single parent home or poverty are predisposing factors. Time, money and location makes it easy.  http://nbc16.com/news/local/study-1-in-37-oregon-adults-are-problem-gamblers

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My favorite community has had gambling brought to it. I am concerned for my friends.

Gamblers have the HIGHEST suicide rate of all addictions. https://800gambler.org/quick-facts-gambling-suicide/

The statistics are probably lower than what is the real truth.  Many suicides are listed for different causes other than gambling despite the fact a person had a compulsion to gamble. Also the research is limited.  http://lanieshope.org/gambling-addiction-suicide

Reach out and get the help you deserve if you have a problem.
National Problem Gambling Help line: 800-522-4700
Gamblers Anonymous Oregon and Washington: 855-2CALLGA (855-222-5542)
Oregon Problem Gambling Hotline: 1-877-MYLIMIT (1-877-695-4648)
Voices of Problem Gambling: http://vpgr.net/
Smart Recovery: http://www.smartrecovery.org/addiction/gambling_addiction.html
For the family there is Gam-anon: https://www.gam-anon.org/
Oregon Council on Problem Gambling: http://www.ncpgambling.org/state/oregon/ and http://oregoncpg.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/OCPG-HANDBOOK_REV_OPT-8-14-17.pdf

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Anyone that needs direction to services may contact me through my blog https://nobetz.wordpress.com/ or my community Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/MsLadybugAndHerLayers/.  You do NOT need to face the storm alone!

7 tips for managing symptoms while coming off mind altering pharmaceuticals

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This is a list of a few positive helps I’ve noticed that seem to be helping myself and others. Observing those in the groups that are coming off various medications, including Benzodiazepines, Opiates, anti-depressants and anti-psychotic has helped me learn. These observations are not scientific in nature and I have nothing to back them up except from what I’ve observed and experienced myself.
This list is not comprehensive in nature. Each individual observed may have been doing one or many of the listed actions in helping themselves manage their symptoms through detox and withdrawal.
These are the actions that folks are taking that seem to help them MANAGE their symptoms better. WE are unable to control them and time is a big factor. This list is things you can do NOW to help yourselves.

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1. Get outdoors!!! Even if it’s only to sit on your front porch and feel the sunbeams on your face or smell the fresh rain that just dropped or to shiver in the snow. Increase the duration over time. Maybe after successfully sitting on the porch for a week, you can walk to the mailbox the next week and then complete the activity by still sitting on the porch for 5 minutes. My personal experience with this was that, over time, I went further and further and felt so much better each time I got out to walk! Fresh air is crucial and this activity will also give you a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction.

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2. Exercise. As noted above, it starts small. Walking back and forth to the mailbox. Then walk to the end of the block and back. Then around the block. You get the idea. Mild exercise is excellent for boosting mood and for helping break the trail of lies our mind tells us that we are too sick. Yes, we are sick, but nearly every person is capable of doing something to stretch and strengthen their body! I personally have been trying Yoga and Qi-Gong and find them very helpful for me.

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3. Eat clean and stay away from sugars, gluten (I eliminated all grains), processed foods and many are sensitive to dairy. I personally eat a diet consisting of local and organicially grown meats and eggs and vegetables. When folks say they can’t afford to eat organic I remind them, I don’t do Starbucks, sodas, fast food, and I have no vices. Food is fuel for my body and it ranks high on the budget. Eat nutrient dense foods and you will feel better. Check out the book “It starts with Food”.

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4. Find a support group or a supportive group of folks you can talk with and be authentic with. This is probably the hardest, as our minds tell us we aren’t worth anything and we feel so brain damaged. Yet, those who are most functional have peeps! I go to a variety of support groups and have found a family that way. I highly recommend Refuge Recovery. It is a Buddhist based recovery program for ANYONE who is suffering. While many of us do not in any way fit the description of addict, we were dependent on our medication and not having it anymore creates huge anxiety within us. These supportive groups can be a place to learn coping mechanisms and learn tools at managing emotions.

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5. Don’t take supplements or OTC remedies. Each pharmaceutical that is touted to help one symptom has at least 2 if not more toxic potentials. I personally am not completely against all pharmaceuticals, but reaching for one every time something doesn’t feel good is not a healthy solution.

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6. Learn coping mechanisms. Regardless the reason you were started on one of the medications I listed above, it has left you with a state of anxiety and various other symptoms. Those who are practicing meditation, working with a therapist, reading books on emotional regulation or some sort of personal responsibility for managing their emotions seem to fair better over time. While it may not eliminate the symptoms, it will alleviate them.

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7. Find acceptance for the situation and have patience. The days and weeks will pass (for some months and years) but we can’t change that. Accepting it lessens the fight. There is much to be said for time. It does heal so much.

I truly hope for each that these tips are encouraging. They are things you can DO to make yourself feel better. They are things that YOU can do for YOU! We must be kind to ourselves through this process. We didn’t ask for it, but we still have to learn to maneuver it. We can’t control it either, but we can manage some of the symptoms. That is what this list is for, some management tools that I have seen helping those who are healing and moving forward.
Peace and Namaste

 

Many Bridges of Recovery

 

 

September is National Recovery Month. It is a month to focus on mental health and addictions. It is a time to celebrate those who recover and to remember those who have lost their lives due to their conditions. This year’s theme as designated by SAMSHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) was “Join the Voice for Recovery: Strengthen Families and Communities”.


My kickoff for the month was the  Vancouver/Portland Hands Across the Bridge.  These events are to raise awareness for and celebrate people in recovery. The Portland event tallied a collective experience of over 4000 years of recovery. That is a LOT of people making the decision to do the next right thing day after day!


I also went to the Hands Across the Bridge-Marion and Polk County  2017 event. There weren’t as many participants yet it was well attended. There was food and music and many local support services. The participants walked up on the bridge and dropped flowers into the Willamette River as a symbol of our recovery and also in memory of our fellow friends in recovery who have left the earth.

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In Oregon we also have Problem Gambling Awareness Day. It was on September 29th in honor of Bobby Hafemann. Bobby ended his life due to the loneliness and hopelessness he struggled with because of his problem gambling 22 years ago. Many are unaware that gamblers have the highest statistics for completed suicides of any other addiction. The message for all gamblers is that there is HOPE and HELP. Treatment works. This years campaign is “Take a Break”. Signage encourages gamblers to take a break for just one day and if you aren’t able to stop for just a day, that could be a sign that maybe there is a problem. Pick up the phone and reach out, help is available for all Oregonians.

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September is also National Suicide Awareness month. There are numerous events around the Nation. Portland and Salem hold their Out of the Darkness community walk to bring awareness to Suicide Prevention in the first weeks of October.   Veterans are promoting the message of “Be There” for their annual suicide prevention and awareness campaign. 22 Veterans a day ending their own lives is too many.

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I myself have struggled with suicidal ideation as a symptom of withdrawals from opiates and benzodiazepines and also as symptom in my battle with gambling. Knowing the statistics for gamblers and for those coming off benzodiazepines I feel pretty blessed to still be upright and breathing. I am grateful that my natural intrinsic will to survive has been stronger than my occasional thoughts of being overwhelmed with life. Yet I know that doesn’t always work in the long term unless one learns how to manage life better. The symptoms of the disease can be treated while death is permanent. Suicide is not a solution and it can be prevented. Pick up the phone and call the National Suicide Prevention line. Be there for a friend. Participate in one of the activities in your local area to bring awareness to suicide being a preventable condition!


The month ended with the 4th Annual Bridgeway Recovery 2017 Run/Walk for Recovery event held in Salem, Oregon. This event is to raise awareness and help end the stigma for those suffering with a mental health disorder or an addiction. Bridgeway wants to help connect those that need help with the help they deserve. They realize how difficult reaching out can be due to the stigma associated with these problems. The shame that most people feel can prevent them from seeking help until their lives are in critical danger. There is hope and change is possible. Recovery does happen when you get treatment and utilize the tools available.

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Bridgeway Services is a new style of recovery services.  They are a Patient-Centered Primary Care Home (PCPCH).  They provide counseling, detoxification from drugs and alcohol, inpatient treatment and regular medical care as part of a holistic method of treating those struggling with their mental health and substance abuse disorders. They provide a trauma informed care approach, which is having the understanding that most all patients are having a response to previous trauma.

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Each of these events was a challenge for me to participate in due to my social anxiety. Left to my own devices and decisions, I would not have gone. I was encouraged to face my fear knowing there were others there to help me and I had tools to use. I am at in-patient treatment and my treatment team said immersion is a powerful tool. I was allowed my camera. It was a tool to keep me stay grounded. It helps me focus when overwhelmed with sensations from being around so many people and so much traffic.

 

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Dialectical view…..

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There but for the grace of God go I

What you see here is the result of my ability to use my tools and function and gain some self-esteem. By having access to my camera I was able to engage with people while using a tool which allowed me to stay in my own personal space. I also had the time of finding the settings and focusing for my shots.  I also engaged in a bit of exercise and enjoyed fresh air and had a few interactions with animals and nature. All these activities were mindfully noticed and utilized to assist me in staying in the moment. Some of this I have learned over time, and some of it is new skills I’ve learned since being in treatment.

 

 


I hope you see some of the themes I noticed from these activities. They are signs of recovery that are obvious and obscure. For one thing…there are many people in large groups. The struggle with mental illness and addiction is quite lonely. Getting among others and having a good time while doing it is a sure sign of recovery. Being out in public and not having shame to be associated with things such as addiction, mental health disorders, prior felonies is powerful and shows strength.

 

 

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How about evidence of families? That too is an area that often is surrounded with challenges for this population. Yet there were many moms and dads with their kids and even a few grandmas and grandpas too. Signs that said “Recovery is getting my dad back”.


Then there are the bridges. So many bridges! Recovery means having a lot of courage and stamina to leave old ways and old behaviors in search of a new path. For many people it means feeling like being on a different planet because of all they’ve lost and where they landed. Yet here these folks are out in the hundreds to hold hands or run or walk across a bridge to shake off the old and embrace the new. They are smiling. They are challenging themselves. They are pushing themselves when they are uncomfortable. I was so proud of all these people and I thanked them over and over and over. As each one passed me and I took their smiling face reddened photos I felt their courage and their hope. They were doing it. They were winning, just by being there! They were the winners, each one of them.

Recovery and Mental Health Awareness and Suicide Awareness aren’t to be recognized only in September. It is a daily thing. One day at a time. Stop the stigma. Have an awareness and become educated about mental illness and substance abuse disorder and learn how to be of help. A simple kindness and a nudge in the right direction can really make a difference.  Recovery is a lifelong journey.  It requires learning tools on a daily basis to live with things I can’t change throughout my life.  I will always be learning new skills. Sometimes I need a little more help, some new tools, a better understanding of my condition. That’s why I am at treatment. To get what I need. Thanks Bridgeway!

2017 Worldwide Benzo Awareness Day

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On July 11, 2017 thousands and thousands of people worldwide are joining forces to educate the public and bring awareness of this iatragenic illness called Benzodiazepine Withdrawal Syndrome.  I hope you learn something from my story posted on YouTube. 2017 #WBAD ~ My story. My only desire in sharing is to help someone possibly not have to go through the terror and horror I did when I ended my  as prescribed dose too abruptly.  I do not recommend doing what I did.

Rising above and getting past it

Sometimes you just have to accept….so you can rise above!

IF you are on any benzodiazepines chronically and are having side effects that are making your life miserable, I urge you to do some research and learn how to come off the medications and how to heal in time.  This class of medication is only to be used in the hospital setting for surgical procedures or for special circumstances for no more than 2 weeks.

Listed below are some excellent resources to begin your study of how these types of medications, anxiolytics and sleeping medications (Z-drugs) cause great harm and even in some cases, death by unintentional overdose or sadly by completed suicides.

Professor Heather Ashton was has been the leading medical professional on how to taper off Benzodiazepines for the last 15 years.  There are many YouTube videos about her as well as excerpts of her writings.  The most important document for those considering withdrawing off benzodiazepines is the Ashton Manuel.  Here is a link: Benzodiadiazepines: How they work and how to withdraw

Another of Pf. Ashton’s writing includes excellent descriptions of protracted withdrawals, which occur in an estimated 30% of patients who decide they no longer want the medications or their doctors have decided to withdraw them in a much too short of period of time or they have been on them much to long than they should ever be taken.  Protracted Withdrawal Symptoms from Benzodiazepines.

The Benzodiazepine Information Coalition is an excellent starting place for learning the dangers of Benzodiazepines.  It’s time to talk about Benzodiazepines.

Dr. Peter Breggin is a leading psychiatrist and the author of many books and papers about the problem with Benzodiazepines.  He has brought the plight of patients harmed by psychopharmocology into the public eye.  Here is a link to his page titled What your doctor may not know Psychiatric Drug Facts.

That is a good starting point at least.

There is much support out there if you look around and I encourage you to utilize Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram to just see how many of your medications have a support group somewhere because the side effects outweigh the benefit.

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My wish is that NO ONE ever feels like they have to go through BWS alone!

Thanks for reading and thanks for watching and I hope you show you care by sharing!

July 10, 2017 marks 9 months my body has had to work on healing without any benzodiazepines.  I am so grateful to the entire Worldwide Benzodiazepine Awareness movement.  You are saving lives! You helped save mine!

 

 

Take your medicine like a good girl.

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Pills have always been a part of my life. My mother took them like candy for as long as I can remember. Between her offering something for pain for every little owiee and my paternal grandfather always wanting to play doctor with every booboo that came along it’s actually surprising that I didn’t have a real addiction to pills. Although, I was very dependent on being able to take an ibuprofen for every ache. I’ve always had pain. It seems like I had aches and pain for as long as I can remember.
When I was just a young girl, my legs would hurt so terribly bad. I would cry to my grandma, “Grandma, please rub the green lotion on my legs, they hurt so bad”. She had liniment that she would rub on. Similar to today’s Icy Hot. It was green and smelled like euculyptus. She would sit on the couch and have me put my legs on her lap and she would rub and rub and rub the backs of them. She called them “growing pains”. I don’t know what they were but they hurt so bad.
Then, I was so fortunate to start my menstrual cycles at the tender age of 10. My very first menses was fraught with waterlogged legs and abdominal cramps. My cycle was problematic from the start. I had a 21 day menses cycle about my 3rd month. I had horrid cramps and nausea and feelings of waterlogged legs from the very first time. I felt this was so unfair, but both my grandmother and my mom had struggled with their cycles as well. My grandmother had a hysterectomy at the age of about 24. My mother had one at the age of 28. I didn’t get mine until I was 35 years old and had given birth to four babies naturally.
At the age of 12 I developed serious headaches. I also got glasses for a severe stigmatism. I don’t remember what, if anything, I took for the headaches, but I still can recall them.
At the age of 17 I started having significant abdominal pain while eating, to the point I was passing out in my class that was after the lunch period. Three days in a row I developed cold sweats and severe pain in my abdomen after lunch and would pass out. My instructor finally questioned me wondering if I was using drugs. Of course I wasn’t. I was in pain. He said I could not attend his class until I had seen a physician.
My mother found me a doctor and he promptly diagnosed me with Spastic Colon. I was prescribed a little blue pill that he said was like a muscle relaxer just for my belly. I was also told to be cautious about eating too many fats and too much processed foods. So..the beginning of being a healthy eater was instigated early from abdominal pain.

I have always been a naturalist at heart. I had all my babies naturally via vaginal birth, with two of them being born at home. I was prescribed some pain pills after my first birth due to a significant peritinium tear. I had about 45 stitches. It hurt bad. I also had my first encounter with constipation from pain pills. It was a bit of a break from my usual of diarrhea. My mother had to give me an enema about 4 days after I got home from the hospital. It was not fun. And I was glad to be done with those pills.
There were a variety of occasions over the years that I had back injuries where I was prescribed Vicodin. I always itched terribly and became very hyperactive, not being able to sleep. I also was prescribed muscle relaxers for back injuries.
Shortly after my divorce from my children’s father in 1990, I had a panic attack. I was working my landscaping business and was actually on the street where my grandparents lived taking care of one of their neighbors hedge. She had an arborvitae hedge the entire width of her backyard and I was cleaning out the inside of it. I had been working in there…thinking and thinking and thinking. With spider webs encasing my face every so often, and pieces of trimmings falling down my shirt and making me itch, I came out of there feeling like my insides were going to explode outward. I literally dropped my tools, got in my truck and drove myself to the emergency room. I couldn’t catch my breath and I felt so anxious. I was diagnosed as having a panic attack and given a Xanax. Ahhhhh…..in 15 minutes I felt calmer than I had my entire life. A miracle! That was in 1989.
I was a single mother at the age of 27 with 3 children under the age of 6. Alone, without regular child support and minimal other support. My children weren’t blessed with doting grandparents ready to help me so I could work and maybe even have a break once in awhile. I tried finding childcare for my children, but found that to be too stressful and so took them to work with me! 3 children under the age of 7, full of energy, and they were stuck in a 1969 Ford pickup driving around town with me while I mowed lawns. Then we would go home and do homework, dinner, Cub scouts, church or whatever activity had to be attended. I was doing it all!!
I had a terrible back injury while working for the Brown Truck company in 1993. My then husband had to take over my business of lawns being mowed for a couple weeks. I was literally on the couch not moving taking Vicodin, Flexeril and Valium for the back spasms I was having. After 3 weeks of doing what the workers compensation doctor was prescribing, I finally threw all the medications down the toilet and went to my own PCP. He was shocked that I had been bedridden for weeks. It was not my style at all. He got me into physical therapy and off all the meds and I was back to work in a week. But that was the beginning of my chronic back pain.
IN 1994, after being married for only a few short months, my life started to crumble. My spouse at the time accused me of not being mindful about finances when we began the process of filing taxes. I had always had a good refund but because of us marrying, it showed I owed a bunch for taxes. I took the marriage hit because of being self employed. He didn’t understand that there was an unspoken penalty for being married and by me being self employed my taxes were higher than ever. He said it was because I was not doing things right and there started the problems. He insisted we file seperately and so I was hit with the first big bill I’d had since being a single parent.
Just prior to this tax fiasco we had gone to the coast to watch the Superbowl. We got a nice room and went to the bar at the motel and were ready to enjoy ourselves. They had a video poker machine in there and my husband had played them before. I asked him to show me how. Which he did. I really didn’t feel interested…just wanting to do what he enjoyed.
IN April I was out with the girls at a local place and I decided to put 10 bucks into a machine. I ended up playing for a long time and wining enough to treat all my friends to drinks and snacks. What fun. Until it wasn’t. Within 6 months I was writing bad checks, embezzling money and at times leaving my children alone for hours. My family was concerned. I had always been so frugal and mindful of finances. Now…I could care less. The bills were paid…barely.
I was forced into a intervention and started treatment for problem gambling. I also started seeing a shrink. He prescribed my first anti-depressant and said to use the Xanax I had been prescribed and used sparingly….more often. The cycle begins. The first AD (anti-depressant) had a side effect that wasn’t good. So they changed the AD. Then changed it again. In the first 2 years I went through about 5 AD’s.
IN 1996 an article was written in the Register Guard, my local hometown newspaper,about problem gambling. I had been interviewed, one among many. I had walked down to the local market to get cigarettes and a newspaper and there on the front page was my story. The whole entire thing. My name had been changed, but anyone who knew me, knew it was me by how I was described. I panicked. I was so embarrassed. I went home and shut all the curtains and locked all the doors and windows and thought how I could hurt myself.  My children were at my father and his wife’s home, as my husband had become tired of caring for them all the time in my absences. I put a pan of oil on the stove and was going to burn myself. I knew no one would understand how messed up my head was. Between the pills and gambling, I really had no desire to live. I ended up in the Johnson Unit (psyche unit) and I was put on Luvox and diagnosed as “Symptomatic of OCD. Now I had multiple diagnoses and was being given multiple medications.  By this time my eldest had gone to live with his father.  Not a good thing for my son in the long run.  By 1997 he was on the of Portland and an IV drug user.  More stress.
Later that year, I had my first “almost” suicide. I took about 15 Xanax and drank a bottle of wine. I can recall everything. I was driving my 1988 Oldsmobile Brougham and had gone to my Grammy’s to steal her change jar. I was desperate. My grandmother was still awake, as I had sneaked into her backyard to peek into her curtains. It was about 10pm. I had to wait until she went to bed. It was very cold and was wearing only a light Tshirt and a pair of white jeans. I kept taking the pills and drinking the wine…just wanting the pain to stop. I dozed off.
My doctor later said it had to have been a miracle that I awakened due to the frigid cold. It was about 3am and I awakened to 6 inches of new fluffy snow on the car. I snuck into the garage and got into her car and stole the change I knew was there to get cigarettes. I never went into the house because I just couldn’t bring myself to follow through. I went home and went to sleep and called my dad the next morning and told him what had occurred. He took me to my doctors and had me checked out. It really was a miracle….with 15 Xanax and a bottle of wine I should have been toast. But I wasn’t. I was forced to deal with my life.
IN April of 1997 I made my last bet on the 1st. I had counseling with a Christian Counselor, as well as a secular psychologist. I also was seeing a shrink for meds.  Luvox, Xanax and Ambien for sleep. Between the odd shifts at the Brown Truck company and the gambling dreams…I wasn’t sleeping well. Or maybe it was the Xanax I’d been taking off and on now for about 8 years. This was the year I was in the hospital 3 times. Once for my foot surgery, once for a hysterectomy and again for 4 days for pneumonia. I received pain medications as well as antibiotics, inhalers, and prednisone.
I had been having back pain while working at the Brown Truck company and saw a chiropracter as well as MD’s. I received Vicodin off and on with muscle relaxers. Just for bad flair ups. Then in 1999 I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia. I had been taking Ambien for 3 years solid now as well as I was prescribed Daypro, flexeril, Zanaflex, and I was still on the Luvox and Ambien.
I had gained quite a bit of weight during this time. In August of 2000 I went to my 20 year class reunion and had a really great time. Unfortunately I over imbibed and the next day driving the 3 hours home was rough. I felt like crap. I thought it was just a hangover…but I rarely had those and this wasn’t going away. The next day my stomach hurt worse. I was so miserable my friend took me to ER. I was diagnosed with Diverticulitis and put on Cipro and another antibiotic. I was so sick. I could barely function. All the medications and then this course of antibiotics…I just got more and more sick. My doctor was running tests right and left. Ultrasounds of my abdomen, CT scans, labs galore. I went in to get checked once again and had a little sore throat. My daughter had had mono in the spring. My doctor sighed and did a monospot….and it was positive. Not only was I dealing with Diverticulitis and all the damn meds but I was worn out with mono. My doctor was glad it was just mono, she had thought I had cancer!!! That is how sick I was that time.
It took me 6 weeks to get to where I wasn’t in bed all day. I have never been so sick in my life. I literally hoped to die. The only good thing about this period of time is that I became acquainted with the Harry Potter series. It was all I had in the house that I hadn’t already read, so my daughter loaned me her books. I devoured them!!! Between naps.
I was working as a CNA and attending college for pre-reqs for nursing. I was working 30 hours a week and going to school about 12 and studying like mad.
In 2001 I relapsed with gambling after 4 1/2 years. I ended up being back out for 10 years.
IN 2002 I got my LPN degree, moved to WA to live with my then boyfriend and we got married in January. DUMB DUMB DUMB. He was not a nice man and his adult children were disrespectful and rude. I ended up gambling lots while there. It was not a good time.
In 2003 I was in a bad rear end accident. I was hit at a stop sign by someone accelerating while driving at approx 55 mph. Between my neck and the now bulging discs in my lower back I was a mess for nearly 2 years. I worked…but was in chronic pain. Hence the pain pills again. Also, my son was in Iraq and I was growing gray hairs daily. One of the docs I worked with saw how stressed I was and wrote me a RX for Xanax. And I was already on pain meds. No AD’s at this time tho. I had weaned off them….about the time I relapsed. So…of course my family all thought I need meds to not gamble.
In 2006 I got a divorce and went back to Eugene/Springfield and got a job as a LPN at my old hospital. I applied for nursing school to do my second year and was accepted. I spent the next year living at my parents and going to school…and gambling. I wasn’t on much meds at that time except for about 20 percocets for every 6 months for back pain flair ups. I ate Ibuprofen like it was candy. I took benadryl nightly for sleep…and drank 2 glasses of wine nightly.
After I graduated, my gambling really escalated as my income increased. Stress was huge. I was working my ass off, with more responsibilities than ever before and still gambling and trying to live a dual life. My boyfriend at the time had no idea about my gambling. I thought maybe a move would help. So I moved to Salem. For 5 months I worked and gambled and slept. And I received the bestest gift…a grandbaby in December.
I went to treatment for gambling in Feb. 2010. I was put on Ativan 1 mg 3x a day as needed, Effexor 37.5mg daily ( I thought it was a miracle drug because I was calmer than I had been in my whole life) and also Ambien for sleep. Also sometimes benadryl for itching or sleep.
I left treatment still on these meds as well as my MD prescribed daily Percocet since my pain had increased tremendously not medicating by gambling anymore. It had acted as an analgesic and now pain levels were up high.
I was happy, had a decent relationship with my boyfriend, but sleeping was still bad. Even with the Ativan and Ambien I wouldn’t sleep lots of nights. It was hard on my boyfriend…to the point that in 2001 we broke up just because of sleeping and my stress levels.
In July of 2010, after being back to work only a few months, I injured my back. I also was having horrific diarrhea all the time. Bad enough that I was losing control of my bowels even at work. Between the pain from my back injury and that…my doctor finally said no more work. She took me off permanently due to pain and stress. The workmans comp doctor had tried putting me on oxycontin because my pain wouldn’t come down. That crap made me non functional…no way I could work, drive or even care for myself. I took it 4 days and threw them out.
In September I moved to Southern Oregon with new boyfriend as I was homeless, and was denied disability from work. I got an attorney and was fighting it. After 10 months I finally won a small settlement…about 6 months earnings is all. IN August my boyfriend kicked me out and I paid him for all that he had taken care of during the year and also had already spent quite a bit on his property and left to my own ways. I was on the Effexor and up to 75mg nightly and on daily Percocet and Ativan. I also had occasional flexeril.
My life was deteriorating. I cleaned my landlords house once every other week for 1/2 my rent. It would put me in bed for a day or two afterwards. I did odd jobs here and there to earn a little cash, but not much. I survived on about $400 a month.
I got a new boyfriend and after a couple months he was moving into an abandoned hoarders home in exchange for cleaning it he got free rent. Well…guess who did the bulk of the cleaning? This place was gross. They took a bunch of things out, but I did the bulk of the really nasty stuff…jsut as I had for the last boyfriend and his hoarder hell.
We broke up and I was in a horrid state with pain levels off the charts, never sleeping and anxious like crazy…in spite of taking loads of percocet, ambien, ativan, ibuprofen, tylenol, benadryl and still hving my glass or two of wine a night.
I finally got out of that place and was on an off grid place taking care of a property. The lady there was crazy as a loon and I only lasted 6 months. She was horrible to work for.
This was about the time I was introduced to Cannabis Oil. My doctor had recommended trying cannabis, which I had been intermittently. She suggested I try it as a daily helper. I was at 185 lbs and in bed more than I was out. I only was up about 3 hours daily and the rest of the time I was down in bed due to pain….even with all the meds.
I started off with the CO and also smoking for breakthrough. I slowly started cutting back on the pain pills. This was also when I got my RV and started living in it. I was still doing odd jobs here and there to get my propane and dog food and fuel. I was starting to be more outgoing again and becoming active in the community. I began volunteering at the local library and meeting the townsfolks.
I slowly started tapering down on the pain pills and muscle relaxers. I was still using the Ativan for sleep. I had been off the Ambien for awhile as my new insurance wouldn’t pay for it. When that had occurred years ago when my Psychiatrist prescribed them…he just gave me samples to use…for 5 YEARS!!! So now I have been off them for awhile.
In March of 2015 I was over the top about the situation with my gut. I had severe abdominal pain every time I ate, and was soiling my bed nightly with diarrhea that I couldn’t control. My Nurse Practioner was adamant it was my Irritable Bowel Syndrome and she wanted me to research herbal remedies. I quit eating for 5 days and felt better than I had in my whole life. I knew I had food allergies. I finally convinced her to test me…and alas…I was correct. I am allergic to wheat, corn, , cashews, and sesame and every tree and grass and weed in the Pacific Northwest. I also have a condition called Pollen Cross Reactivity Syndrome, where I can potentially have allergic reactions to many foods that have been cross pollinated with pollen from trees and weeds getting into other foods like melons and tomatoes and all types of things. So, even tho I am very cautious with foods, I still sometimes get hit unknowingly.
When I was diagnosed with my allergens I was finally sent to an allergist and he started me on Zyrtec 3 tablets daily. More pills. He also started me on an inhaler and a nasal spray. I also saw a gastroenterologist and had another colonoscopy done. It was clean this time.
As I became more user friendly with cannabis, I slowly cut out more and more pills. I would push through pain and wait as long as possible before taking a pain pill. I was only using Ibuprofen a little. I had got down to one pain pill daily and one Ativan for sleep. I was still using Ibuprofen and benadryl. On May 9th I took my last pain pill. I ran out and decided not to refill it. I had plenty of cannabis and was functioning at a higher level than I had in years. I also had stopped the medications from the allergist. I was doing fine with my gut as long as I kept a very CLEAN diet.
Sleep was becoming oftentimes non-existant. One day to the next to the next with little bits of sleep here and there. It was miserable. IN spite of it, and probably already not thinking well due to being on meds so long, when I ran out of Ativan on July 10th I decided not to refill it either. The show was on!!!!
So I had eliminated ALL pills except the Effexor 75mg. With the anxiety increased my NP had increased it to 100mg. One pill…okay…I will deal with that.
Then, I started having psychotic moments, and NO SLEEP FOR 7 days in a row. I couldn’t use the CO enough or didn’t have the right strains for sleep. I was losing my shit. And…it had begun to affect my relationship with my love…the one who I thought was my person. He didn’t understand at all this angry tired cranky woman. I didn’t know her either…but I was living with her.
I was dealing with more stress than I had in years, cleaning up yet another hoarders property, dealing with being a property manager for renters who had been friends, but once in, did not keep their word about how things were going to be, and were also critical of everything I did there. Then marijuana growers were brought on. And the deals changed somewhere along the way and I wasn’t informed. All of this while going through DETOX!!! And no one would listen to me about what was going on, because I was just the crazy lady up on the hill.
I ended up having a complete psychotic break the middle of August and was going to hang myself and I busted out a bunch of windows in my boyfriends house that I was managing for him. This was after 4 days of sitting in my RV with the temperatures outside 110+, and many many people I did not know coming up and down the 3/4 mile driveway up on the hill of 50 acres. I was a bit paranoid at the time as well as everyone had been treating me very badly in my perceptions.
The police came the next day and took me to the hospital. I refused everything I was so angry. Angrier than I had ever been. No one was listening and no one cared…they all thought I was crazy and no one would be nice. They all poked me and were condemning.
They increased my Effexor to 225mg daily., started me on Mirtazapine 15mg and clonidine 0.1mg nightly. They also gave me Seroquel 50mg nightly. And benadryl, and Ambien, And Ativan….and I was still up pacing the halls at 4am…when they said I should be out like an elephant.  I was in full blown tolerance and not a single medical person picked up on it.
I got out of the hospital to find myself homeless. My boyfriend (EX) had my trailer broken into and moved down the hill without securing the inside things, destroying most of it. I was hit with horrific PTSD upon entering it. I had no tolerance for any more stress after the hospital. I stayed with a friend for a day and then I was homeless in my truck. After a week I wanted some of my belongings but my EX was being stubborn and uncaring about me getting things and his cronies wouldn’t allow me access. Well…I drank a few glasses of wine(I didn’t understand at the time why I was craving alcohol when I had never really been excessive before, but it was because my gaba receptors were all freaked out)  and then I went over there barreling through the gate and up the hill only to be met with a shotgun to my head while I was trying to get some of my things. I was so incensed by it all and out of my mind that I drove my truck into the pot field. The old man there busted in my window and was hitting me over the head with a tire iron. Now remember…I had had a nervous breakdown, a psychotic event, and was put on even MORE medications….and THEY are the ones hurting me! Go figure. I ended up getting chased away from my truck by this old dude until a neighbor told him to leave me alone. I had soiled myself in fear. I was so upset about the whole ordeal I ran into the forest for a few hours. I fell in the creek and was cold and wet. I lost my glasses. I was so tired.
I went back to the neighbors and the police were there. They gave me a “courtesy ride” to the town in a DIFFERENT county. They didn’t want to deal with me. I didn’t either.
So…now I was literally on the streets. Fortunately I had some cash as I had recieved compensation from my OMMP card. I got a motel for a couple nights and proceeded to drink and cut (this was a new thing that came about with this withdrawal situation. Not anything I had done before except once) and rant and rave and loose my mind with grief and stress and PTSD. I was undone. I wanted to die so badly. I was afraid to live anymore.
I ended up going to the ER after about 5 days. Since I had been drinking they put me in a detox and treatment place. WRONG place to be. NO ONE understood what these damn pills had done.
The doctor there, whom I only saw once via video for 5 mintues prescribed SEroquel CR 150 at 5pm daily. Great!!! Another full time drug. Right….okay….bunk!!!
When I was discharged I was homeless again. I traveled to Portland to live in a trailer in exchange for groundskeeping on a property. I slept some nights…and others I didn’t. I was grateful for the cannabis. When I had been in the hospital without it, I was in so much pain I couldn’t bear it and Ibuprofen didn’t help.
Unfortunately my new spot was not the healing environment I had hoped for and need so desperately. The property owner had issues of their own and our interactions created more anxiety as well as left me feeling like I was a piece of dirt someone was scraping off the pavement. This person had wealth and comforts I couldn’t even comprehend and they still felt it necessary to demean me and wanted me living a miminal existence with not having proper heat or water or basics for living. I was roughing it to the max and yet still getting grief for trying to stay warm while this person was cozy in their 3000 sq. foot home. I just do not get people at all I guess.
I left there after the snow melted and went to a friends in Salem. I had ran out of the Mirtazipine and Clonidine during the snow and went through detox and so I stayed off them. I also was weaning off the Effexor and Seroquel. The meds had made me gain 30 lbs. And I was not sleeping many nights again. The pills no longer work for anything!!!
That didn’t work there, so then I was couch hopping and a friend let me stay at her place for a week. While I was there, many people helped me get funds to get out of town and hopefully get some stability. So here I am now…in this old dilapidated traveling van, on another horrid hoarders property and not feeling peace at all.
I had stayed with my old landlord for a few days and I was so grateful for that break. It was clean and normal and nice and I felt relaxed for the first time in months. I’ve lost almost all the weight I had gained from the meds. It is good to be back in the valley, yet I do not feel this place is right for me. The person here is not ready to get rid of things and I can’t help hoarders who are still in saving mode. It has never worked in the past and I can already tell it isn’t going to work here. Even if she doesn’t have a big sale like she hopes in May…she will end up with all 4 storage sheds still full. Aside from that, her dogs (2 adults and one baby) are the worst I’ve ever dealt with as far as bad manners. They jump up and bark incessantly and chew up everything in site. I just don’t know quite what to do.
I need to rest. I need to heal. I need quiet and order and a place to feel safe. I already know that I can find some work….enough to take care of basic needs, but I am still unable to work enough to GET AHEAD and get another RV so I can be independent and choose where I want to be. I don’t want to continue putting myself in situations where I am working hard to clean up and care for another, while not being able to care for myself. I am still going to be doing my GoFundMe because I really NEED my own RV to heal.  I need a safe healing home. This is not it. Even with only being here 2 nights…I know.

So currently I am only taking Effexor 75mg daily and Seroquel 100mg nightly. I will be cutting on the Seroquel soon. I have lost all my weight gain and the cannabis pretty much manages all pain issues, so I am much more active than I have been in years. And, my brain has healed some, because I was able to write this!!!! My first elongated writing in months.

So can anyone tell me why they put me on so many meds that ended up making me worse, not better?  Why was I not offered alternative treatments, like physical therapy or massage, or behavior management or something that might have actually worked.  You see, the pills they gave me, opiates and benzodiazepines….they have NO curative properties.  Neither do antidepressants.  Nor do antipsychotics..  Nope.  The only thing they do is maybe treat the symptoms.  So for 27 years I have been a guinea pig for the doctors and their pills.  I have listened to the people I entrusted with my health for too long.  I am taking my life into my own hands now….for healing.

I do still have chronic pain, but it is more manageable, as long as I don’t overdo things. Finding a balance in my situation is very tough.  Today, I am still hopeful.

Thanks friends for your prayers and support. I wouldn’t have made it this far without you. Peace.