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.