Benzo withdrawal and the excruciating road to recovery is well worse than the lowest, hottest depths of hell.
Actually if there was a hell, I’d probably choose to go there.
Okay, I understand prescribing a XaniBar for a short time because it is necessary to quash
the extreme anxiety tentacles vice gripping the brain.
I am Manic Depressive (not BiPolar, I despise the modernized, sensationalized term).
I understand that my illness is precarious, and all the uncertainty that is attached.
I understand that Lithium, the ‘gold standard’ drug is my best bet to stay alive.
I take it faithfully, like a daily chore you do not because you like it but simply because it’s part of your routine.
Everyday for the last 13 years I swallow my pride.
I’m not sure when Xanax became the necessity, after a traumatic event, suicidal tendencies, or the full-blown psychotic breakdown.
Does it even matter? I needed it to survive. Trouble is, it wasn’t enough. I needed more, to raise the dose to function, get through the day without doing something drastic.
I admit it, suicide is never far from my broken, tortured, chaotic mind. I am not sure why I’m still here, it’s a crapshoot.
Back to the Benzos.
How could I know back then what Benzo addiction and eventual withdrawal would do to my already damaged mind?
I am an addict. Not by choice, not by my hands.
I have lost a year or more (who’s counting) clawing my way out, chills, hallucinations, tremors, blurred vision, extreme temperature fluctuations, 94 degrees is a scary place to be trapped inside, nausea, headaches, dizziness, muscle aches, pain I have never experienced. Seasick waves, hyper sensitivity.
If you touch me I might punch you out.
I am at the benzo taper half-mark. I’ve missed so much. Trips to Cali, the beach, NY, hell just being present. Some days a trip to the nature trail with the dog is a huge accomplishment.
I am resilient. I am determined. I am not afraid to admit I’m paralyzed by fear. I blame the doctors, God, whomever is in close proximity. There is no blame, really. Bad shit happens.
I fill my arsenal with things that help with my recovery. Essential oils, strict diet, exercise, epsom salt baths, writing, watching movies, my dog. I try hard not to beat myself up. Rest, when necessary.
If your doctor writes a script for Xanax to ‘take the edge off,’ tell him to shove it and go for a walk, seek alternative treatment, try if you can to SPRINT in the other direction. If you can.
My brain is healing. I catch a glimpse of my old, new and improved self. GABA is my new favorite word.
To everyone out there fighting, dealing with impossible challenges, breathe in 7 seconds and then breathe out 10.
Do it, again and again until your skin doesn’t crawl.
And if you meet someone who’s a little off-color, be kind.
You don’t know what hoops they’re jumping through.
Benzo Withdrawal LINKS: