Somethings Happening Here…

what it is ain’t exactly clear. (I used to love that song. If you don’t know it, go here:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bjSpO2B6G4s)

Something really IS happening here. I’m holding on for dear life, crossing myself, and putting garlic around my bed to ward off werewolves. I have NO idea what to expect in this crazy efffffffed up world of benzo recovery.

Here’s the latest: depression lifted like someone turned on (or off?) a switch. I mean, just like THAT. BOOM! Clear thoughts. I felt like ME. Sassy, creative, silly, zany…. ME… BUT..  since I am in benzo recovery ( I am tired of the word withdrawal. I’ve withdrawn already, now I’m recovering from the poison, thank you very much) nothing is quite what it seems. I’m ME, with a clear mind and a sense of happy and hope, but with an electrical current of 220 running through me like I’m the White House Christmas tree that needs to be lit up. Man, it’s just awful. It isn’t anxiety in the normal sense of the word, but it IS anxiety. Chemical anxiety. On top of that, I had severe tingling head to toe, burning skin that made me want to jump in a cold tub and never get out, even after I had pruned till I looked a million years old.

You got the picture?  Me, my essence, my spark, my soul… poked her head out, and took a look around all the while my body was back in it thick as thieves. Oh, and how can I forget, I also had the severe crushing sensation. I also had some strange muscle zap, that went through my chest that made me literally sit straight up and gasp it hurt so much.

It’s a crazy, crazy, crazy thing, this benzo recovery. A week ago I battled the blackest depression. Obsessed about death. Today, I had times of clear thinking and happy. I’m in here, people. I am trying OH SO HARD to get out and to stay out!

If any of you are battling a severe wave a long ways out from your last pill, hold on. I am proof that it can get better. I’m not out of the woods by a long shot, but at least my brain cleared up enough for me to get a sweet taste of who I used to be. Now if my body could only get the memo to lighten up a bit…

I feel like a yo-yo, up, down, sideways.
I burn so much right now that I am dreading going to bed. Will I wake at my usual 3 am time with the usual crap? Will tomorrow be any better? Worse? I guess I have to be brave enough to go to sleep to find out. ( I had dinner at my daughter’s house and I tucked her into bed before I left. Literally. It was precious. I was SO jealous, knowing that she sank into bed in that good tired way and that she will wake up tomorrow and get up and go about her day like normal people do. Like I used to do. SIgh.)

Nighty night my dear friends. I love you all so much. Let’s keep supporting each other on this lonely and frightening journey.

Midnight Musings

I’ve worked all evening on a new website for my friend’s business. It kept my mind busy. Good. I need that. Wish I could wake up with this much calm and quiet in my mind and body. But if tomorrow is anything like the (guesstimate) 3,593 days I’ve spent either trying to get off my benzo or recovering from the damage it did to my brain and body, it will be a challenge to navigate. I’ve gotten pretty good at coping with the burning, tingles, twitching, bone pain, muscle pain, spasms, ears screeching, funky vision, jaw pain, crushing feeling, mind-blowing fatigue, weakness, jelly legs, head pressure (you’re getting the idea I’m still fucked up, right? Right.) intrusive thoughts, intrusive memories, looping thoughts, and just all the other crazy silliness that goes with this whole syndrome. Oh, wait, did I forget the high anxiety? How can I forget that little darling? :)

What I know at this point is I still have healing to do. That being said, I have made changes in my life to better speed that process along. (Ok, not sure I can make it go faster, but I can sure make it easier for healing to happen.)

1. I don’t wear make up any more.

I know, you’re thinking, “Wha??? So big deal. What’s that got to do with healing?” For me? Plenty. I used to be SO wrapped up in how I looked. Not having a strong sense of my own self-worth, I hid behind a face that I was told was “pretty.” I remember years ago when my savings account was taking a hit (remember when the stock market went into freefall in ’08?) and I actually used to worry if I would have enough money to get botox and fillers. I kid you not. I wasn’t worried about my retirement plan, I was worried about my wrinkles! God forbid that I lost my looks. (I just giggled as I wrote that. It seems so amazingly shallow and silly. But it was where I was at at the time.) For me to go without makeup is a HUGE step in my healing my soul.

2. I don’t wear contacts anymore. I wear big funky glasses.

I could just copy and paste the above paragraph here. You get the idea… I am healing my infantile need to be special, pretty, etc.

3. I cut my hair Mia Farrow pixie short.

Yup. I asked my hairdresser (her name is Karma, soooo perfect for me!) to cut, cut, and cut some more. It’s super easy. Wash, condition, towel dry and finger comb it into place, put on my glasses (and clothes of course!) and I’m out the door. Now, once out, I have no idea where to go as I am so sick again, but by God, I am out the door.

4. I filter everything I do with one simple question: “Is it simple?”

Everything has to be simple for me to heal. I can’t do drama. I can’t do complicated. I need simple. I have backed away from teaching at Stanford again, attempting to consult at Google, coach anyone for any reason, or take on any job that demands more than my brain can handle. What I can handle is writing. I am now writing for others. I can do it curled on my couch, or out in the garden. Easy peasy.  I cook and eat simple. I dress simple. I even cleaned out every drawer and closet (not kidding, every single one!) and got rid of a mountain of crap I didn’t need, didn’t use, didn’t wear, didn’t like. My home is so airy and light, I love it. Simple.

5. Hold on to hope.

Almost every email I send to Don has some version of “I’ll never heal.. waaaa! Waaaa! Waaaaaaaaaaaa! in it. I admit. I lost hope. Totally. I’m only now getting it back in bits and pieces. I realize I have to stop writing or talking negative and get my brain back into positive mode. As long as I have life, there is hope!

6. Pray and mean it.

Don told me about a prayer he sent up to his creator. I said a similar prayer. I prayed that my creator would MAKE me surrender to his/her/its will for me. I don’t seem to have the bandwidth or enough courage, so my creator is going to have to do it for me. Sometimes I get scared to think what I am going to face, but I know, it will be ok. (Remind me to write a post about Kenny’s visit from heaven. it’s a goosebumps maker!)

7. Rinse, repeat.

Since I am a restless, irritable and discontented lass, (if those words ring out to you, you’ll get that I like Bill W. A lot!) and I muck things up because I want what I want, when I want it and how I want it. I have a hard time giving up control. I’ll most likely have to keep working at these things over and over. That’s ok. It’s not a race. It’s a life. It’s my life. And I am trying damn hard to make it meaningful, rich and full even on the days when I have so much fear and pain, and all I can do is cry on the couch. I may be sick but I still matter. Just as you still matter.

8. Last but not least, love.

I want to learn how to love me better. I want to learn to love even this time of my life. Instead of hating it, I want to love it, just like the way I love my four children. I am tired of all of the negative energy in my life, caused by my fear, my illness, my weakness, my lack of faith, my need to control…. etc…… LOVE cures all. I believe it can cure my brain damage if I give it a chance.

It’s after 1 a.m. Time to call it a day. I’m going to predict that tomorrow is a better day than today. How’s that for a positive thought? :)

To infinity and beyond!

 

You’ve Got To Be Kidding Me.

When the big quake of ’89 shook San Francisco, I was in the hospital almost 8 months pregnant with my twins. It had been a high risk pregnancy as my water had broken at 18 weeks. I spent months bedridden, doing my best to be a good mother to my 2 and 3-year-old running around the house. We were adding on a second story to make more room for our growing family and the constant construction didn’t help my stress level.

My doctor put me in the hospital for observation as I was spilling protein, a sign that I was developing pre-eclampsia. It was a quiet afternoon, like thousands of others before it. The A’s and the Giant’s were facing off at Candlestick for the Worlds Series. Suddenly, life as we all knew it shattered with the ground shaking. I hate remembering the fear I felt standing in the hospital doorway, holding on to the bucking building as best as I could. I knew in my heart that my twins and I  were doing to die. I had struggled so hard to get them to a viable gestation and now, we three would perish.

I’m writing this blog almost 25 years later, so we didn’t become victims to the earthquake. At least not with our lives. But I became a victim with fear. I had a wicked case of PTSD. Two weeks after the quake, the twins were born and I put myself into therapy. Immediately all of my past traumas came pouring out of me like a river intent on destroying the dam that holds it back. I had a hard time coping with the feelings. A few years later, when I decided to leave my emotionally abusive marriage, the panic attacks became too much to bear. A visit to the doctor remedied that. Enter Klonopin into my life.

And here I am, 38 months out yesterday, doing my best to heal a damaged CNS. It’s been up and down and sideways. I was getting better last spring. The morning anxiety was much better and the intrusive thoughts and doom and gloom was lifting. I thought I may have a chance at a decent, drug free life. But I pushed too much. My system still needed time to settle down. I got hit with a major wave in June. A lot of my old symptoms came back. I was devastated.

I’ve been babying myself, spending a lot of time curled on my couch resting. I don’t do a lot that will upset my system. I avoid people, places and things that are too stimulating for me. I was just starting to turn a few corners in the afternoons and evenings at least, In fact, yesterday, my 38 month off anniversary, I had one of the best evenings I have had in a very long time. I kept my mind busy and I was able to relax in my body more than I have been able to for many months. I had almost zero tinglings, twitching, burning, etc. It was heaven!

I went to bed and wrote a quick prayer and thank you to God, saying thanks for a good night. I prayed that I could wake up the next day with little anxiety. I went to sleep so hopeful! After almost 4 years of being benzo sick (counting taper) I am SO ready for a good night’s sleep and to wake up calm and happy to start the day.

I woke up at my usual time, close to three thirty, to some mild tingles. I was assessing how I felt when the house started shaking and the earth roared. Quake! My mind raced back to ’89. The shaking gained momentum and it went on and on and on and on….

My benzo sx started up immediately. Burning skin, tingles, hot sweats, flushes, jaw pain, etc. etc. my old anxiety was always a racing heart and shaky legs. Now its colored with benzo sx from a damaged CNS. I lay in bed, terrified and thought, “Really? You’ve got to be kidding me!” I had ONE decent afternoon and evening and was hoping against hope to cobble a few more together. Doesn’t look like that will be happening today.

I went out in the garden and sat in the rocking chair. I looked at the stars. I prayed. I did my best to calm down. I heard neighbors up and about, but didn’t talk to anyone. I texted with my children. My daughter was in Napa, staying with girlfriends. The house she was in sustained damage inside and forced them to seek shelter at a neighbors. She called me in tears. I understood all too well the fear of the ground below you shaking so violently.

I finally went into the house and crawled back into bed. My body was on fire from head to toe. I slept fitfully a few more hours then woke up to face another day of benzo recovery. And I suppose, I am facing my own emotional recovery from the quake that was the start of my nervous approach to life. I have run some errands this morning with shaky legs, rumination thoughts about death, life, whats the point etc.. and I am doing my best to cope with the increased burning, tingling, dizziness and weakness.

The immature side of me wants to pout and get angry with God. But the mature side of me sees this as an opportunity to heal and grow. I am doing my best to float above the anxiety as I know I am safe right here, right now. I am doing my best to ignore the catastrophic thoughts and understand they are generated from a brain that has too little GABA available presently to keep things calm.

I have never liked living in the Bay Area. It has never felt like home. Home is in the Rocky Mountains. If my four children were not here, I’d be long gone. I’ve got to come to grips with the fact that we live on shaky ground. ( I had finally gotten to the point where I could drive over the bridge and overpasses without thinking about them collapsing in a quake!)  But it’s not just the ground shaking that I dislike. It’s the fast paced, tech focused, highly expensive lifestyle that everyone is so caught up in. It makes for healing from the damage done by benzos a challenge. I’d prefer to be living in a log cabin tucked on the hillside of a mountain, watching the leaves turn as the seasons change.

I can’t believe I am facing one of my biggest past traumas, just as I was feeling as if things were going to settle down. God has a mighty strange sense of humor.

I pray for everyone who was injured or had property damage. I pray for those whose nerves are strained. I hope no one develops PTSD from this quake. Anxiety is the biggest thief. It takes away the joy of living. I’m ready to kick its ass to the curb and grab some joy. If only I can get my CNS to go along with that plan! I am doing my best. Breathing slow, resting, changing my thoughts, and doing all I can to hold on to the hope that one day, my brain and body will recover from almost 2 decades of prescribed medication.

This too shall pass. I just wish to God it would hurry the f%#@ up and go already!

 

 

Don’s Prayer And Then Some…

I am posting this without talking to Don. I am sure he will jump in and give some feedback, perhaps edit it. I lifted his words from his latest post. I need to pray them every, many times over.

(Don’t words) Dear My Creator,
If I am going to survive this, you will have to do it all – every bit of it. I have nothing. Nothing. If I survive, I will never be able to say I exerted any part of my own self-will or power – not even the slightest amount.

(my words)
I surrender to the process of healing. I surrender to the process of going back out into the world and putting my life back together as you want the pieces to be placed.

I give you everything in my heart and soul, as I am powerless over this illness and recovery. I put my life into your hands and I ask that you create out of me and my life, something that is pleasing to you. I am wet clay, shivering, frightened, and weak, but I am here, showing up, saying, “I give you all of me. Shape me. Mold me into that which is pleasing to you.”

I am grateful for this amazing body that knows how to heal.
I am grateful for the love in my life.
I am grateful for my life.

I ask for nothing other than to have the courage to live your will for me.

Your daughter,

Jennifer

 

No Superman Here

By Don Killian

Well, the manuscript for the novel has been written. It was completed a couple weeks ago. So, I now have more time to reflect on life. Shortly after the book-writing was completed, I reached my fourth anniversary of being benzo-free. It felt like a double celebration of sorts. I posted a healing update on Benzobuddies which I will not repeat here. There are other things to write.

In the past few weeks, I have spent a lot of time on the phone with others who are currently in withdrawal. (Some phone calls I took during the writing of the book – primarily first-time callers and a few individuals whom I’ve known for a long time and who are very special to me.) I have spent many hours messaging with others. As I looked through my email yesterday, I noticed that this blog was once again available to read and that Dr. Jenn was posting again. I didn’t immediately see the post in which the reference to Superman was made.

I rolled that around in my head much of the day and into the evening. I was going to post something last night, but I decided to listen to some 70s music instead. I wasn’t sure what to write, so I thought it best to let it “ferment” a bit longer in my brain until it was ready.

When I went to bed last evening, I was “stressing” a bit about getting the book edited. Earlier in the day, I had acknowledged that all I have experienced and all the good things that have been accomplished since I became well have not been the result of me “striving” and trying to “force” things to happen (although I have done that at times with near-disastrous consequences). When I have been able to just “step back,” allow things to happen, and simply have a ”willingness” to take part in them when it was obvious that I should do so, amazing things have taken place. Truths have been revealed and circumstances have materialized in ways that I never could have orchestrated or even imagined. All I have had to do is “wait for it to happen” and then go forward (much like withdrawal healing). (There was no going forward in my withdrawal until the “stage was set” and I had some strength to do so, but that’s another story.)

So, as I lay there in bed, I recalled that acknowledgment I had made earlier in the day. In a few moments, the name of someone in my own family who loves to read more than anything else in life popped into my head. She is my niece, and she is extremely talented. When I got out of the service in 1977, I lived with her family for the summer. She was eight or nine. We played all kinds of games. The one I recall most vividly was Connect 4. Time after time she pummeled me mercilessly. I only won one game out of dozens, and I’m pretty sure she let me win that one to show that she wasn’t completely heartless. She didn’t like to lose. Neither did Uncle Don, but Uncle Don was given no choice. When it comes to cerebral endeavors, she is probably on the top of the Killian heap. (I was just contacted by one of the characters in my story who has also agreed to help with editing. She literally saved my life.)

I have met dozens of extremely talented individuals on the withdrawal forums and blogs who would normally be quite capable of providing editing help. I have sent the manuscript to a few and have found that the opening chapters are too intense and seem to rev symptoms. I have also given it to a couple others to read and comment/edit.

Anyway, I have once again gotten sidetracked and started down another path. Time for a course adjustment.

When I was somewhere around six months or so off the Klonopin, I was extremely despondent. I had not gotten even one second of relief from the mental torture and had really not even known of anyone who got through withdrawal (except for one guy I met online who never really explained how he did it – only that it was hell). One morning, as I was pacing endlessly back and forth between our bedroom and our daughter’s old bedroom, I “came to the end of myself.” I knew that I did not have even the smallest bit of strength or fortitude left. I was completely devoid of any earthly means of surviving. I was simply done. I stopped in my daughter’s old bedroom and “put out” a statement of fact to my Creator: “If I am going to survive this, you will have to do it all – every bit of it. I have nothing. Nothing. If I survive, I will never be able to say I exerted any part of my own self-will or power – not even the slightest amount.” I was not begging to survive. I was not dealing. I was not promising. I was simply stating the truth.

As I have healed, I have seen many amazing things occur in my life and the lives of others within my sphere. I have been given the opportunity and privilege to have a part in many of those things. I wrote an entire novel in four months while doing all kinds of other life things. That is staggering to me. But it all goes back to that “statement of fact” prayer.

It is tempting to assert that I exerted my will and strength as I was in withdrawal and pulled myself through. It is equally tempting to maintain that the enormous mental and physical energy that I have obtained since I have healed is evidence of my superior power and strength. Nothing could be more false. I was as weak as a human could be. There was no lower place for me to go except the grave.

In withdrawal, there are no Supermen or Wonder Women. There is only the desperate grasping on to hope from others. During that time, the Creator renewed my strength. It was not my doing. It was my Creator’s gift to me.

This has been an incredibly spiritual experience for me – one that has defied my own human logic – one that my mind cannot comprehend or begin to evaluate with any certainty. One thing that I have learned is that there is a vast difference between “that which is me” (call it spirit or soul) and that with which I think and comprehend (call it mind or human reason). I’m not even sure they are connected in any way.

I am certain that the energy and strength that I now possess is, in some spiritual way, superhuman because it comes from a superhuman source. My withdrawal experience was a spiritual journey (although it seemed like it was only physical, mental and emotional anguish at the time). In that regard, it is available to all who make it to this side of withdrawal and even to those going through withdrawal. I had read it in many success stories. It is true.

There is nothing any more special about me than there is about anyone else. I simply healed, and the strength given to me and to others who have gotten through withdrawal (even post-acute withdrawal from alcohol) is easy to discern.

Stuck in the story.

I’m stuck in the story I tell myself: I’ll never heal, I’ll need medication all of my life, I have a broken CNS, I can’t do too much because it stresses me out, I need to avoid people, etc. etc. etc.

Bullshit.

It’s all just a story. I can make up a new story: I am fine just the way I am. I am healing. I have an opportunity to get to know the real me, see what I am made of.

I’ve been feeling so sorry for myself and so whiny and needy. Poor Don, Matt, Pam, Colleen and Bliss…they’ve answered emails and calls from me, frantic for reassurance that this wave will end, and that this is not who I will be forever. I’m keeping the drama going because I am buying into the (very) limiting story I have created in my mind.

My mind. Wow, what a piece of shit it has been lately. It is not my friend, that is for sure.
I am doing my best to ignore it and to keep doing the next right thing, no matter how shaky my legs, or how tight my chest, or how bad the electric buzz of anxiety feels in my body.

I decided today to get back on my feet and fight again. I’m lacing up my gloves, withdrawal. Watch out! I’m tired of being your bitch. :)

Onwards.

Here we go…again.

You may have seen that I am back on BB for support. A few replies to a post I had written made me feel up to opening my blog again. I do so only to share my journey.

I do not want to be anyone’s “fearless” leader or coach. I have been deeply humbled by this latest wave and realize I know no more about how to cope than you dear reader. I just hold on and I don’t kill myself. I garden. I eat well. I love my friends. And I pray. A lot. I (now) try to keep stress to a minimum. I don’t struggle to prove myself in the world with work (no more teaching at Stanford until I am totally well!) or dating, or anything else that is a stressor. I’ve chopped my hair super short today and wear glasses instead of contacts and no makeup. I am getting down the the bare bones of simple, simple, simple.

I’m back to battling the death obsession that started a few nights after I got home from the detox unit. I became terrified at the thought of death. Not that I was dying this moment, just death in general. And let me tell you, its hard to do life being afraid of the idea of death because its EVERYWHERE. In my garden, in the news, in books, magazines, on my plate when I eat…. everywhere. I still can’t bring myself to write about the early days off in too much detail. Its too painful and terrorizing. So when I started sliding (fast!) down the slope back into that shitty place of intrusive, obsessional death, death, death crap, I wanted to die. As scared as I am at the thought of nonexistence, it seemed like a better place to be in.

My body symptoms came back with a vengeance as well. Burning, nerve pain, bone pain, twitching, tingles, head pressure, dizzy, tight band around head, back of head pain, double vision, etc. Sleep got crappy again too. Night sweats, metallic taste, and of course, high, high, high anxiety and panic. Not heart racing panic, but a jolt of terror that rips your brain apart and turns your legs into jelly. I started losing weight and being nauseous. The depression that kicked in was smothering and deeply sinister.

In a nutshell, I went to hell real quick.

So here I am now, sitting in my garden, in the dark of the early night, and praying to a God I deeply need to believe exists. I am begging for the fear/terror/anxiety/panic/death thoughts/dr to go away. I can cope with the body stuff. I just want my mind back and I want it to stop torturing me.

I watch the white rolls of fog waft over the horizon, feel the breeze whisper by, smell the perfume of summer blossoms, and for a few moments, I can pretend I am back to my normal self. Happy. Sassy. Confident. Bold. Daring. A tad wild and crazy. Impulsive. I can pretend these past (almost) four years of benzo madness hadn’t occured.

Sam, my sweet cat, just brought a baby mouse and dropped it at my feet. I picked Sam up and gave the mouse a chance to scurry away. See, death is EVERYWHERE! I want my CNS to heal so I can go back to how I used to be, which is like most normal people: we have a death filter. We can think about death without falling apart. If we think we are dying, we will most likely be afraid, but the concept doesn’t make our knees go weak. Just to write those words made my burning pick up a notch.

I have high anxiety most of the day. My body hurts from it. I think some of it is my own anxiety in that I am able to get worked up quickly and I am now anxious about being anxious. I don’t know how to weed out the withdrawal anxiety from my own, but I do know this is not all me. I am triggered by the strangest things. Never had this before in my entire life. Ever.

I used to think I would heal quickly and get on with my life. Like being pregnant. It would come to an end and life would go on. I’d get my body back and the pain, suffering would be long forgotten. I was a little too optimistic. Ok, I was WAY too optimistic. I am learning that for those of us these drugs mangled, healing can take quite some time. And we may forever be a bit prone to not handling stress well. Don, who seems to have healed and turned into superman, may disagree with me. But I believe I am going to have to be very careful of how I live my life for a very long time.

I’m learning more about myself in this crazy fucked up journey. I’ve learned how to let go of a lot of shit I used to think I needed or that defined me. I am not a big people pleaser anymore and I speak my mind when I need to. I don’t try to live other’s lives for them and I sure as shit don’t want to be responsible for other’s happiness. I am on a deep journey to heal. From this crap and all the crap in my past that was done to me, or that I did to others and that I did to myself. I want to move on. I want to always live in this moment, right now. Its all I have. It’s where God is. As scary as God can be for me when I am in the clutches of wd, I know that God is the ONLY chance I have at cobbling out a life that makes sense. My own decisions based on my fragile yet overblown ego usually only create drama and stress for everyone.

I’ve rambled on enough. If you are frightened that I am back in this shit at close to 38 months off, then please don’t read future posts. I am going to be rigorously honest about my healing journey. I am not going to hide anymore. I am mentally and physically back in it. Deep. And it sucks. And at the same time, its ok. Its just life. It’s my life. It’s the only one I have. And it’s precious, even in the suffering and the fear. It’s precious.

One day, my brain will settle down. My receptors will work properly again and I will tuck this chapter of my life away. But for now, it’s still being written. God’s not done with me yet. I should know, I have prayed a thousand prayers begging for him to take me home. But I wake every morning, and the adventure begins again.

Thank you God for this life, such as it is.

As JIm Morrison Says, “This Is The End, My Beautiful Friend.”

Hey my dear benzo buddies. I am going to be making this blog private soon. I’ll see if Don wants to start his own blog, since he is recovered totally and is a much better spokesperson for recovery than I am.

If in the future I heal more and feel I am able to contribute something positive and of value to the benzo world, I will let you know.

I am not hosting the benzo summit as not enough people showed interest.

I hope to be blogging about my complete recovery one of these days. Until then, I don’t want my story on the internet any longer, for personal reasons.

If there are people you want to stay in touch with via email, you can send me your email and I will make a general email list that will be given (privately) to anyone who asks for the list.

I thank you all for your support, love and compassion all of these long, hard, dark years.
It’s been quite the journey.

Blessings,

Jennifer

All Is Quiet On The Western Front

I’d like to be able to write that all is quiet meaning my mind is calm. Sadly, that’s not the case. At all. This wave is turning into a bit of a horror show. I don’t know what to make of it all, to be honest. I was worlds better only a handful of weeks ago. I am going to do what I normally do to survive waves, and that is to garden, try not to isolate, keep practicing positive self-talk, and accept things as they are. I’ve reached out to some veterans who are months or years ahead of me for support. I am not the only one who has experienced a setback at this stage.

When things have settled down, I’ll  come back and give the details of this wave. Right now, I’d rather not write about it. It’s too painful. You may not hear from me for a while. I am going to go quiet.  I have no idea how long this wave will take to lift.

I am losing hope, and that is by far, my worst symptom. I have to remind myself that life will get sweet again. It was looking up more and more every day earlier this year. Now, I am frightened I will never have a day of no anxiety, no weird thoughts, no burning, tingling, pain, derealization, fatigue, weakness, shitty sleep… you know all the symptoms.

This shit has gone on way too long. I was in tolerance for years. Then my taper, then my cold turkey. Then straight into fucked up hell. I want out of it. Preferably, right this second.

Wish I had better news to share.
I’m headed to the garden. It’s where I am the most at peace with a brain that will not settle down, and a body on fire and tingling. I am praying for a miracle. (But God seems to be ignoring me.)

Jenn