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!

 

 

What could I have done different?

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I wonder if there were things I could have done different, or if everything else that has happened would have happened regardless of what I have done. Things like reminding my loved ones that I have been slowly detoxing off meds for 2 years, and to please have a little more patience and understanding with me if I am more anxious. Would it have made a difference? Would they view the events as they unfolded a little differently? Or would the ugliness of my outbursts be just as scary?

I can’t undo anything that was done, so what do I do to atone for my actions? From hundreds if not thousands of miles away from one another? Especially now when many are either frightened or angry or disappointed or disgusted in me, or all of them?

A perfect storm happened and I got caught in the middle and I lost it and now I’m the bad guy. That is what it feels like. Among other things.

Of course….my feelings are all on edge. No sleep again for a few days, heart hurting, feeling alone because I pushed everyone away and now they are staying away. It is so hard to hold on to hope.

Because of me trying to get better, by getting off the damned pills, I may well have lost some of the things I thought I wanted most in my life. I mean how do you atone for throwing hatred around? How to you atone for name calling and threats and all the things I did? How will I ever be able to forgive myself??? I don’t know. I have so many questions and no answers and no one is talking and so it’s just the old tapes running and running and running.

“It’s all you fault”. I heard that so many times in some of the worst situations when I was a kid. Or, “quit wearing your heart on your sleeve, quit your ballayhooing”. Or, if you would have tried harder you could have got the award “(of course no one told me about the rewards offered until after the fact). How about “keep crying and I’ll give you something to cry about”.

So now that I’ve misbehaved, acted out in fear and anxiety with a fight/flight response brought on by multiple stressors as well as going through detox, all those old tapes play because I have nothing new to replace them with. What has happened my whole life is how it is today. I am alone. I wonder if it would be different if there ever was a time when things were so hard that if someone would have held my hand and said I will love you through this because you are worth it, maybe some things would have been different. Oh how I wish so much was different.  I am really struggling with so many emotions.

So what am I doing in the meantime to fill the time?  Today I found a tire for the lawnmower for FREE!!!!  Now that is something to be grateful for because online they were about $25.00 and a wait of a week or so.  The weeds were driving me nuts.  So, I went and picked up the tire, changed out the bearing (it was the wrong size but I fixed it), and mowed the lawn.  Of course I also tended to all the flowers, doing my daily dead-heading.  I paid attention to the new blossoms and what is doing well and what is struggling.  Some of the strugglers…I just keep watering and fertilizing and hope they survive.  It’s all I can do, right?

I also spent some time making myself look pretty, just because.  I am typically not a makeup foo foo type of gal, but I CAN do it!

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I”m going to live through this, I know that.  But what is the cost going to be?  What will the tally be a year from now?  How about a week from now?  How long will it take for others?    Dear God I wish I had some answers or some better understanding.  I’m really doing my best.  But you know that…even if no one else does.

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P.A.W.S.

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If you want to try out a really good time, give going through PAWS (Post Acute Withdrawal Syndrome) a try.  After a nearly 20 year opiate use that grew and grew to the all time highest of 60-90mg of oxycodone daily about 2 years ago, I have completely detoxed myself off and have now had NONE since May 10.  Woohooo…..Yipppeeee….isn’t that awesome????

No.  It sucks.  It hurts. I hurt.  I hurt me and I hurt others.  I feel like my pain is the only real thing in my life.  Not physical pain but emotional.  Raw anger unlike any I’ve known in life.  It’s amazing what anger can do for physical pain.  The endorphins and all the chemicals that get released being in a constant state of flight or fight mode really make physical pain so reduced.  To the point that I can hurt myself pretty severely and not even hardly feel it when I get the anger to a heightened point.  That’s not fun.

What has me even more concerned is that I have one more highly addictive drug, Xanax, and I only have about 12 tablets left.  Which means this is going to probably get worse.  I have been on this anxiety medication since the early 1990’s when it was prescribed first for anxiety attacks then, for the last 4 years, it has been what has been given for sleep.  This is the best our health plan in Oregon can do.  Actual sleeping aids with less horrible addictive traits are not allowed on the formulary.

The only thing I have been using over the last 18 months to detox myself off all these toxic drugs the physicians kept giving me was medical marijuana, primarily RSO (Rick Simpson’s Oil).  Unfortunately I ran out of that and am trying to keep up with eating home made canna coconut oil and smoking (which I really would rather not smoke…it hurts my lungs).  But, without income and with it still being a Schedule 1 drug, there is no outside help to keep up with what helps the most.

You may wonder (or  not) what is happening in my brain from a scientific view?  Maybe I can explain in a basic way.   Essentially all the receptors that my brain has been creating for 20 years for the responses from taking a pain pill or two are not getting anything to keep them filled.  They are empty.  And they are FREAKING OUT!!!  From my recent readings on this, it could take months to years for my brain to get better, if it ever will completely.

When I detoxed from gambling, I was more a crumpled mess of pain and emotional lows.  My experiences thus far with PAWS after opiate addiction is much different.  While I do  have sleep interruption and at times physical pain, stomach upset, poor thinking, the worst of it all is the anger.  I am breaking my own heart from disappointment.

“Go to the hospital”, you say.  What will they do there?  What they did for the last 20 years.  Pump me full of meds and in a couple weeks let me out and say “you are healed”.  No thank you.  I will find a way to get OFF the rest of these meds and find what I can utilize to make me be okay without them.  The medical profession does not have my best interest at their forefront.  They have money making.  I won’t make them money if I won’t  subscribe to continuing their pills.

I don’t think all medications are bad.  I still am on an antidepressant and will most likely take it indefinately.  But chronic pain and anxiety drugs that make me feel  this bad when I can’t or don’t have them…no thank you.  I refuse to be reliant on anything someone can give or take at a whim.

I have made promises that I will LIVE through this.  I will.  It might not look pretty, but I’ll still be breathing on the other side.  I just am at a complete loss what the next months to year or longer might look like.  Always a journey, that’s my life.   In the mean time, I think seeing a few sights and allowing myself to only be concerned about me for awhile is going to be the best healing path.  Time to work through a few more bucket list items.