Further Updates from March 2018
I’m now looking at various theories, techniques and so on to try and help me conquer my residual anxiety. After forty years of being ‘calmed’ unnaturally by Benzos I have to retrain my GABA receptors to do this for themselves as they
now have to stand alone, unaided. Anxiety remains my worst and only symptom so this is essential for me to conquer before I can finally be myself again.
I’ve read a lot but don’t want to make a list of all this rather just take what I’ve learnt that’s benefited me and helped me along my final stages of this journey.
We are amazing human beings created from nothing and eventually to return to nothing. But is this really nothing or did we exist in some way before we were born and given consciousness? The most revealing and repetitive answer to this in all I’ve read and listened to on YouTube is that we all came from energy and we all return to that energy. Along the way we assimilate a multitude of habits, thoughts, beliefs, coping systems and so on that make up who we think we are and who others think we are. We are born with no preconceived thoughts we are just a blank canvas of innate intelligence waiting to be painted on through life experiences. Whatever picture goes on to that canvas that innate intelligence or wisdom remains deep inside us and cannot be lost. It gets covered up and may lie buried for a lifetime but it’s still there, guiding us even though we may not know this. It’s locating that inner wisdom that can enhance our lives and overcome what happens outside us in our world. The severity of withdrawal from prescription Benzos has forced me to look into a more spiritual existence.
I’ve called this Blog ‘Checking In’ because this is how I’ve chosen to combine the various techniques and understandings to help me slowly locate that inner wisdom and overcome my anxiety. There are many physical practices that we can learn such as the Emotional Freedom Technique or Tapping, Gupta therapy, deep breathing, Yoga, HeartMath and so on but none of these ever helped me to do more than perhaps overcome any hell in the moment, they didn’t last. It's necessary to go beyond these more superficial practices to something that doesn’t require learning anything at all, it just requires that we remain in the thinking and follow the conversations where it’s outlined in books and videos. In fact we just need to listen. This is called the ‘Inside Out Understanding’. We should live our lives from the inside out and not from the outside in. If we just live from the outside we may become materialistic, strive for recognition, and constantly overstressed by life events that challenge us. If we acknowledge that its our thoughts creating our experiences we start to realise the importance of something deeper within ourselves. What happens to us on the outside is reacted to by our thoughts which create our emotions and feelings and even who we are in this world. Therefore every so often, throughout my day, I check in to myself and to what is going on in my body....where it is in space, what position am I in, what am I feeling, what are my thoughts and watching my breathing as I do this. I will write more next time but it takes awhile to understand all this and I know I haven’t yet and this may be muddled but it’s a start for me and helping me deal with any stress as it appears in my life. I will also list helpful books and websites. Thanks for reading my ramblings!
I apologise for such a long delay in writing but my devices were hacked. I have now retrieved some of my data but please be aware that the beatingbenzos email address is no longer available and contact can only be made through my Facebook group Beating Benzos. If you've not received a reply to an email then this is the reason.
I'm now a long way from the start of my journey at 67 months off. In spite of recent stresses in my life and bad overreaction of my nervous system there's no doubt that I'm a lot better. My aim at this point is to help my nervous system fully heal and retrain it to remain calm in the face of turmoil in my life. I believe after decades of my CNS being under the control of Benzos I've failed to develop the coping techniques as I've aged so I'm left in a very 'raw' state. I'm doing my best to help it fully heal rather than waiting around and letting even more time pass. This doesn't involve any special techniques, supplements, diets or therapists, it merely involves me and my belief in myself. I'm going to write more about this another day but just wanted to let you know I'm still here and doing well. My Love 🤗
After writing of my recovery a few months ago and then being plunged into a setback due to an antibiotic I wanted to write something more uplifting today. Sadly, reading through one or two posts in the few Facebook groups I belong to, I see the utter hopelessness of people in Benzo withdrawal and the desperation that comes across time and time again. It does make me wonder if actually reading through these posts can influence our own fragile minds and worsen symptoms. I know how hard it is to remain positive in the face of a relentless nightmare but on the other hand perhaps avoiding the pain of others is necessary to help ourselves. We must put ourselves first in recovery and try not to be influenced by the ‘what ifs’ and ‘whys’ that circulate all the time. This post is one of my awakening to the truth of what’s helped me over time, much of which I’ve written about before.
It’s natural to ask questions and seek answers and it’s natural to seek help through the experiences of others but the one problem with the Benzo syndrome is that there are no sure fire answers apart from ‘time heals everyone’. Now, I’m not one for saying ‘Everybody Heals’ because just like one or two others I have no proof that everybody heals because there’s been no quantitative research into this. As far as I’m aware people heal from benzos if they don’t add further drugs, try to remain clear of supplements and follow their own instincts. At the root of all this is that they must put themselves first. Do what is best for them and don’t be too influenced by what has proved best for a Benzo friend. In other words our bodies and our lives are ours alone and nobody has the same experiences or the same body.
I’m now 5 years 6 months off being prescribed benzos, sometimes more than one, for over 40 years. For some of you that is a lifetime. I also cold turkeyed which is never a good idea. Once I realised why I was so ill (tolerance) I just couldn’t put another pill into my mouth. It was a bad idea and my withdrawal has been utter, unmitigated hell year after year. Look back to Blog Posts/7 and my Recovery Story. However, it’s changing, the setback is ending and hopefully recovery is returning. My symptoms are different, the anxiety has gone and the future is looking brighter. I’m not saying more at present because I know how quickly things can turn around. I want to just list concisely some of the things that I’ve learnt on this journey and what may be of help to anybody else suffering a long recovery.......
- Don’t read the numerous sad and desperate stories out there.
- Try not to focus and write about all the individual symptoms you may experience, just get reassurance that they are caused by benzos and preferably medical reassurance (perhaps pie in the sky!).
- Read as many success stories as you can and talk to recovered people.
- Know and understand that recovery from long term use of benzodiazepines can take six years or longer before the body fully readjusts to a drug free life. Don’t let this scare you but inform you when suffering many months off.
- Always put yourself first and do what is right for you and not what others think is right for you.
- Don’t push too hard, remember your brain and body are exhausted through this and more than anything need rest and gentle exercise not mammoth gym sessions which will rev up symptoms and lengthen withdrawal.
- Take time to rest and meditate every day and listen and read about spiritual evidence for helping yourself. This has been one of my biggest crutches in these final stages. There’s so much out there that points to our healing from within and not seeking cures in the outside world. (Ask me for more info if you like).
- Steer clear of supplements, vitamin injections, herbs, drugs, crazy diets, fasting, miracle cures and any other money making scam of which there are tens of thousands. You are your own healing.
- Above all trust yourself and stop looking for answers as they don’t exist. Once you relax and allow everything to wash over you without a major reaction your central nervous system will start to calm. It’s the constant looking that tends to provide the negative thoughts that we react to. I know keeping positive is futile but keeping a clear, open mind uncluttered by the whys and what ifs is going to help.
- Keep to a few trusted friends to support you and who will not pull you down into their own inferno. Talk openly and supportively to each other and be absolutely honest. Honesty and trust in each other are paramount.
There’s lots more but that’s a start and I will add more over the next few weeks. This process is unbelievably awful, a gigantic Tsunami out of all proportion to anything anyone has ever experienced before BUT it’s going to elevate you to a much higher level. You will be a thoughtful, loving, caring human being and the most amazing friend and partner. Love will colour everything you do and say. You will be invincible.
In addition to a previous post on Acceptand in Blog Posts/7 ....... The hardest part of all this is to keep accepting even when recovery is taking years and years. This is a post I wrote on the Facebook group today in response to a member seeking answers for his long recovery.
I believe, and please take this in friendship, when you stop looking for answers you will start recovering. The constant search that many people undertake to try and find those elusive answers to an unsolvable problem only serves to increase the misery. Sadly there is nothing proven and everything has the potential to cause setbacks according to your own make up. You can test every system in the body, every vitamin deficiency, scan every organ and still end up no better off but with just a lot of added stress from the investigations plus even some low readings that make you think you must take this that and the other only to find you’re in a worse state when you do.
I’m not trying to deter you from trying because it’s human nature to believe that there must be something to help us when so ill. Benzo withdrawal crashes the very foundations of our understanding even our lives to find we’re all alone in this and nobody and nothing can help us. It’s scary but it’s also bringing us through a huge learning curve so we can never be the same again. Once we learn to rely on that innate wisdom deep within ourselves and let the healing happen in ways that are right for us then the miracle of resilience and finally full recovery step in. True acceptance and surrender are hard to do but they have proved to be the only way for me and for others to finally start to see the light. Love 💙
I continue to recover after the antibiotic setback. It’s now four months and I still live day to day doing my best to accept whatever each day brings without resistance and with true faith in myself that ‘All will be well’ eventually.
I’m sorry I’ve tended to let my website and Blog lapse. This is mainly because I’ve suffered a severe setback from an antibiotic taken before Christmas. I’m soldiering on but I have new symptoms and I’ve been unable to function on many days. I’m not writing more as this is just a quick update after so long and I want to send love to everyone who has followed me through this and given me support.
I have bad pain in my teeth but the cause can’t be found. It seems it’s likely to be something to do with the nerves in my teeth and disruption of the pain pathways in the brain. The antibiotic was taken for a suspected abscess which it turned out I didn’t have. Not a lot I can do but see if it passes and possibly have teeth out but I’m reluctant to do this. I’d be interested to hear from anybody else who has suffered from such pain during their recovery.
I will be back when I have more positive news as I think so much has been said on previous posts which I don’t want to repeat.