To start I'm going to post the link to the most recent update of the Ashton Manual as I believe it can put a lot of misconceptions into place..... http://www.benzo.org.uk/ashsupp11.htm#supp2 .
I'm two years out, I'm much better both physically and mentally but there are still symptoms hanging around and making an appearance as minor waves. I've called this the 'rippling effect'. one minute I can feel normal then I suddenly find myself suffering cog fog and anxiety or perhaps stiffness and back pain.
They rarely make an appearance together.
It seems that major healing has happened and probably relates back to the really bad wave at nearly 22 months out when, for six weeks, I suffered a relapse similar to the acute phase at the end of my second month. This has passed and I've been rippling ever since with a deeper trough on occasions but only for a short while. I'm still very sensitive and anxiety can envelope me with no obvious cause. It passes if I just relax into it and don't fight it or become demoralised by it. I still find I'm lacking in motivation and rather lazy or reluctant to make any major effort to do things. I hope this lethargy will pass with more time. I also feel unable to face large, social gatherings.
I think the Ashton update I've posted says it all. There could be structural brain damage but this is unlikely. I'm choosing to believe that this hasn't happened for me and I can return to full health with more time. My GABA receptors may have been decreased in number by the drugs but again I believe that the brain is such a wonderful core processor that it can make up for this in some other way. Glutamate can be consciously calmed if the remaining GABA is operating at full strength because I now understand the need for acceptance, as well as other relaxing therapies such as deep breathing and positive thinking.
For the moment no supplements or drugs, a good diet and plenty of rest with gentle exercise will remain important for my full recovery. I am getting better and the rippling is proving this as my brain and body make the final tweaks that will eventually bring me back to the real me. It may take more time but nothing worthwhile is easy and the lessons learnt along the way are certainly life changing.
My thanks again to all those that have contacted me. I value your comments so much and they will go a long way towards helping others once I've thrown off my last vestiges of withdrawal. Lots and lots of luck to all those of you out there who are battling this beast but making it through. Please be proud, very proud, of yourselves.
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