The Rest Of The Story…

Where did I leave off? (Sorry it’s taken me awhile to get back to the story.)
12-18 months off wasn’t a walk in the park but it got a bit easier.

I called Don and Bliss a lot for reassurance that it was really going to end, as it kept hanging on and hanging on and hanging on. The mental symptoms of withdrawal were getting better, but the body stuff was still relentless. I still had burning spine, tingles, burning tongue, head pressure, ringing ears, dizzy spells, muscle twitches, muscle pain, bone pain, joint pain, back of head pain, vision problems, feeling as if I had the flu, terrible weakness and fatigue, chest pain, rib pain, gastro problems… and more. I was a sick puppy.

Besides the intrusive thoughts and death obsession, my two worst symptoms were the internal sensation that time was going very, very, very, very fast, and the random flashes of fear that descended out of nowhere over me. I don’t know how to describe the “going fast” sensation. It happened when I got excited over something. It was as if even happiness was too much for my CNS to cope with. Now that my receptors are mostly healed, I don’t have that sensation anymore. My body can better tolerate joy (thank God!). The fear flashes would come out of the blue, or when I heard about someone being ill or dying. That has gone away as well.

When I called to talk to Don, he reassured me that we do heal. He was much farther along and healing faster than I was. It was at times unsettling to compare my healing to his. (I knew I shouldn’t, but I did.)

It’s hard to keep going on faith, month after month, after month. But what else can we do? I got good at simply holding on. I also got somewhat skilled at letting go and letting God. That’s not to say I didn’t give him a piece of my mind now and then, but for the most part, I was learning how to have faith.

The 18-24 month span found things getting less intense. Same symptoms, (an old “early off” symptom thrown in now and then to keep me on my toes) but there were also hours during the day where I could be *almost* normal. I gained more hope. I tried working a few times during this time frame, but I was still too damaged to do more than a few odd jobs to bring in enough money to keep me afloat.

Not working was one of the hardest things for me to cope with. I felt so utterly useless. All I could do was garden. Looking back, I see that God used my garden to reach a lot of people. (I hadn’t been as unproductive as I thought!) I bet when you heal more and you look back, you are going to see ways that God (the universe, call it what you like) was there guiding you and using you for good.

You aren’t “wasting” time in withdrawal. ( I know I sure as sugar didn’t!) My suffering in withdrawal was like that of a caterpillar, trapped in a silken prison, morphing… not knowing what is coming next… and then one day, the caterpillar understands his time in the cocoon was so that he could turn into a magnificent butterfly!

I’ve been completely transformed by my withdrawal experience. My life is so much richer and fuller for having suffered and come out on the other side. My hunch is you will find that in the end, you are a much different person too, in a good way, if you keep your heart open. 

I will be 36 months, three years free, next month. I still have body symptoms but they are mild most days. I don’t let them stop me anymore. I have a full, rich, happy life. I am so busy writing new books and sharing the lessons God gave me while I tended to my garden, that I don’t think much about withdrawal. BTW, My old anxiety did not return. Nor do I feel I have PTSD from the withdrawal experience. When I do have negative thoughts, (I’m human, we all have them!) I know that it is just my mind and that my thoughts are not who I am. The ME that is observing my thoughts is the real me. I don’t let my thoughts disturb my peace and serenity. I don’t dwell on the past, nor do I look ahead into the future. I have gotten fairly skilled at living in the present moment, with all of its amazing power. This present moment is where I can access God.

If you are wondering if it ever really ends, wonder no more. I believe it does. I can’t believe how quiet my mind is these days. It is even more quiet than when the doctor gave me klonopin decades ago.

Every day I see huge increases in my awareness and my peace and serenity.
So many wonderful things are happening in my life, I lose track of all of the blessings. God has plans for me and I am doing my best to step up to the plate and be willing to be of service.

If you can’t access God right now in withdrawal, or the thought of God fills you with fear, I HAD THAT TOO! It’s ALL gone now. Your’s will go away too I suspect. Give it time.

If you read back into the early years when I started this blog, (Notice the many months of ZERO posts? I was too sick!) you get the picture of just how sick I was. It does get better. 

Believe in your benzo buddies who reassure you that your crazy symptoms are just withdrawal and that one day, they will fade away.

If you want a daily lift for you spirits, you can visit soulreminders.com. I write one every day. to remind myself to stay open and awake to God’s good grace now that I am back among the living!

I wish you all the speediest recoveries. Thank you all for your continued support and for walking this road with me. I feel your love and your prayers every day. I hope you can feel mine.  (I’ll keep posting here to reassure new readers that we do heal.)
Warm regards,
Jennifer

 

 

 

Benzo Summit Update

Although we lost our chance to host the summit at the Mercy Center, the summit is still on for this August 15th through the 17th.

I am securing another venue. If all else fails, we will hold it in my garden. (Which would actually be a lovely spot. It was (is) such a constant source of support in my recovery!)

Here is the info:

Friday August 15th 6-8 PM  Meet and greet
Saturday August 16th, 9-4 PM Roundtable discussion/sharing of our stories/creating agenda to change the use of benzos
Sunday August 17th 9-12 Closing ceremony/next steps for moving forward

There is no cost for the summit unless we have to pay for a meeting room.
(I am not making any money off of hosting it.)

Place to be determined soon. I’m working on it!

Light and love to you all. Keep holding on. It gets better.

Jennifer

Ditch Courage And Confidence. Grab These Instead.

When I was swimming through wet cement, you know, the first 18 months in benzo withdrawal, I thought I had to summons my courage and be confident. God knows I tried and tried and tried to feel both of those things. Mostly I just felt scared, alone, and utterly hopeless. My family kept telling me I was brave. But I sure as sugar didn’t feel brave. Looking back I can see now that courage had very little to do with my recovery. Neither did confidence. Heck, I wasn’t confident that I could spell my name right, let alone navigate through such a horrifying health/mental/spiritual crisis like benzo withdrawal.

The two things that I relied on everyday were determinationn and commitment. They were much easier to manifest than courage and confidence; all I had to do was wake up and promise I would not kill myself, and that I would not take anything that worked on my GABA receptors. I was determined to see my situation through to the very end, no matter what that meant. 

Sure, there were times I would text Mary or Sherry, my fingers flying a mile a minute, screaming  “I can’t take this shit anymore! I want something to make it go away!!” It’s okay to give voice to our frustrations. It didn’t matter how much I talked about throwing in the towel. The reality was that I was determined and committed to my journey, even when I was in a melt down (which was often, the first 18 months).

I was determined Benzo withdrawal was NOT going to win. Even if I NEVER heal anymore than I am right this moment, withdrawal doesn’t get to win. I am determined to be of service to others and to bring value to the world in my own small measure. I am committed to living a life of purpose and deep satisfaction, gratitude and serenity. (So far, so good.)

I took a break from writing today and took a long walk through my neighborhood. I saw this tree. I couldn’t decide which was more determined, the tree or the sidewalk? Both seemed committed to their space. And that may be how it goes for me for a bit longer: withdrawal body pain and I living side by side, each accommodating the other in our own way.

All I know is I keep going.

I keep waking up asking God what he wants me to do today. And I put one determined foot in front of the other, and I stay committed to doing the next right thing.

Onward!

photo

Swimming Through Wet Cement. The 6-12 Months Journey.

For those of you jumping into this blog for the first time, I’ve been recounting my recovery timeline. I am now 34 months free and healed of the mental/emotional symptoms, still battling the physical waves.

And the story goes……

I got home from Sierra Tucson thinking that I “should” be healed. I wanted needed it all to be over. It had been a grueling nightmare of terror, anxiety, pain, emotional and spiritual turmoil. But of course it wasn’t over. In some strange ways, it was just beginning.

The first few months after the cold turkey were indescribably unbearable. BUT, I KNEW it was withdrawal. As frightening as it all was, I kept telling myself, “It’s just withdrawal. It will go away.”  But after six months, the weasel voice of worry crept in and whispered,”This is you un-medicated. You’ll live like this the rest of your life.” Not only did I have to battle the symptoms of benzo withdrawal, now I had to battle the hopelessness that settled down around me.

The mornings were by far, the worst time of the day. I’d wake and feel decent for about 30 seconds, then the tingles started. Next someone poured lighter fluid down my spine and tossed a match to it. My teeth hurt. Back of head felt as if it would explode from internal pressure, my bones ached, muscles twitched, pulled, spasmed and burned, bugs crawled under my skin, bees stung me, jaw throbbed, I broke out in blisters, ears rang like screeching tea kettles, my eyes burned and looked like I as a junkie, my hands tingled and had too much energy in them they felt like they would explode, my belly inflated and throbbed, and I was dizzy, weak, woozy, and felt as if I was being pulled down. I had a constant sense of motion. And a few other things…

Hard to wake up day after day to that severe degree of illness. Not knowing when (if ever) it would end. At 6-12 months off I still had panic, the death obsession, strange fears, intense moments of terror that would wash over me, visual disturbances that were very creepy and auditory problems. I did drive on the freeway some, but the DR was scary. It made my depth perception very challenging. My life was very small. I traveled only a few blocks. Most days, walking more than half a block was too difficult. I was too dizzy and had too much head pressure. I can’t tell you how many times I wanted to give up. It was like trying to swim through wet cement.

What helped the most was TOTAL acceptance and TOTAL surrender. Those are not actions, they are not something that you DO, they are STATES. They are something that you FEEL. I also gardened. As if my life depended on it. (It did.) By now, if you’ve read a few of my posts, you know that my front yard garden became a haven for the neighborhood. I put out dog biscuits and water for the pooches being walked. I hung a tin framed chalk board and wrote inspirational statements. Soon people from all over were stopping by. I created an amazing, loving community. They all helped me hold on. I love them all so much.

In some ways, the journey of recovery TRULY began in those months. For that was when my withdrawal became REAL. (Trust me, it had been horrific all along, but now, the reality of it hit home.) I could no longer live in the fantasy or denial that I was going to be healed soon, or that I would escape the financial ruin withdrawal can create. I had to let go and let God. I was not in control. Clearly.

6-12 months out was the hardest for me in many ways. The severe cold turkey symptoms were gone, but in their place rushed in the pain, the ongoing head pressure, etc… and it stayed and stayed and stayed. (I woke at 4 a.m. this morning due to head pressure and body pain. It hasn’t left completely.) 6-12 months off was when I knew I had to put on my big girl panties and face life on life’s terms. There was no cocktail, no pill, no man, no money, no nothing, that was going to save me. There was just me and God, and ME was pretty fucked up, so basically, there was God. :) But being in withdrawal, God was a scary notion to me. So I FELT alone, even though I WAS NOT alone. I didn’t get over my fear of God and eternity until around 18+ months off.

By the 6-12 month mark, my family and friends were burnt out. Everyone was tired of benzo withdrawal. I needed a lot of support still, but people were too worn out to give me what I needed. It made the months very dark indeed. But I got up every day and faced whatever I had to face. I felt whatever scary thing I had to feel. I pushed myself out the door and into life. I retreated to my couch or bed when it got unbearable. I cried. I cursed. I laughed. I screamed. I kicked. I danced. I prayed. …. I just held on. Day after day after day after day after day.

That’s how you do it. That’s how you get to the other side and recover. You hold on. You don’t kill yourself. You don’t reinstate or add other meds (or booze) that hit GABA receptors. You swim through the cement as best as you can.

This is my 5th Mothers Day in recovery from benzo withdrawal. I am hopeful that next Mother’s Day I wont have even ONE symptom left. I guess I’ll find out next year. :)

Enjoy this beautiful day.

 

 

 

Not So Fast There Pardner…

34 months out. It’s been getting deliciously better. Bit by slow bit.

But the beast is a tenacious one. Doesn’t like losing the battle. It keeps getting up from the mat and staggering around, throwing wild punches. I got clobbered by one this morning.

Yup, you guessed it. Wetsuit time. (Sigh.) Gonna have to ride this wave.

It started yesterday morning. But I pushed through it. Was in a business meeting most of the day. Able to sit and ignore the symptoms. Was in a second meeting late into the night. Again, no problemo. Ignore, Ignore, ignore.

But this morning, after I blogged, made a fresh raw orange, apple, beet and ginger juice and sipped it down, the beast whispered, “Not so fast there pardner…” and WHAM, blanketed me with all my usual crap. I am pushing through it as I always do. But I gotta say, that taking a shower this morning was a challenge. So very weak. Head pressure. Tingles. I know one day it will end, and the beast will be rendered mute (and kicked to the curb!).

If you are like me (hopefully not!) and in protracted withdrawal, keep your chin up. Don’t lose faith. It’s gonna come to an end one of these days. I am grateful that I am getting longer and longer periods of time in between the shitty stuff.

I was JK about the wetsuit. Ya’ll know me by now. I pulled on my overalls. Its garden time! That’s the way I ride the waves the best. The work I was slated to do this morning can wait. It’s extreme self-care time today. I’m going to go sow some seeds for summer flowers.

The beast can mess with me all it wants. I am not giving in nor giving up. Like any bully, eventually, it will give up. The trick is to ignore it. So I shall.

Toodles!

 

 

The Saga Continues…

Six months free. That’s the first of the timeline you hear about for recovery, 6-18 months. I had hoped I would be one of the lucky ones that bounced back quickly. Nah. Not that lucky.

I was at Sierra Tucson, buying time. My withdrawal symptoms had gotten so intense I needed a safe place to stay. (Living alone in withdrawal is a challenge.) Every day was a horrendous ordeal to survive.

We woke at 6 to go to breakfast. Not that I had been sleeping much. Standing in the heat of the shower I could hardly stand being in my skin. The anxiety ripped through my body like knives. It actually hurt. My looping thought was “I have to die one day.” Over and over and over and over and over and over all day, every day. The fear that came with the thought was unbearable. I was trapped in a world of terror and pain.

The full body tingles felt like bees stinging me, head to toe. My muscles twitched and jumped like I was a marionette being jerked around by the strings. My skin burned like I had been dropped into a vat of boiling oil. My bones ached and my muscles throbbed. Every past trauma I had ever lived through came back to haunt me with memories and flashbacks. I was terrified I was broken forever.

I walked around the campus when I wasn’t in class, dragging my looping thoughts around with me. Everything was death. Everything.

Nights were the hardest. I’d fall asleep around 11 pm only to awaken in a total panic forty-five minutes later. My heart would race and I would struggle to catch my breath. The pressure and pain in my chest and arms was severe. Had I not been in withdrawal, I would have thought I was having a heart attack many times throughout the night. (I was rushed via ambulance to the ER one night.) That was my sleeping pattern. I woke every forty-five minutes or so to extreme symptoms. It was exhausting. (And terrifying.)

I bought a big stuffed tiger and carried it around with me. I know I looked ridiculous but it helped center me. (As much as anyone can feel “centered” in withdrawal.) I grieved the loss of who I once was: smart, ambitious, driven, creative…. now I was reduced to a terrified bag of bones.

When it came time to leave, I rented a car and drove from Arizona to California to surprise my daughter who was living in San Diego at the time. I drove through a rainstorm almost the entire way. I look back and I can’t believe I was able to drive that far! I was terrified the entire time, but kept moving. I sang to the radio. I prayed out loud. I cried. I cursed. But I got to San Diego in one piece.

I got back to San Fran via Amtrack. I remember standing in line to board the train with that awful morning anxiety coursing through my veins and feeling cut off from the world. I watched people reading the paper, talking, and laughing. How I ached to be a part of life again. To be able to just exist without thinking and observing myself. Without feeling terror, or obsessing about death. (I was not like that pre-benzo. My death obsession with purely a withdrawal symptom.) I boarded the train and headed back to my house, the house that held all of the memories of my acute illness in withdrawal and my cold turkey.

When I got home, I fell across my bed, overwhelmed. I had spent six weeks in Arizona, hoping to return “cured.” I was not. I was still deep in the belly of the beast, and it had no inclination to let me go. Not just yet.

I woke the next morning to a depression unlike anything I have ever experienced before.

More…..

 

Today.

Today I will have a heart and soul that is grateful, even with a damaged brain and body.

Today I will find ( at least!) one small way to be of service to others.

Today I will not complain. Not to my friends, family, coworkers, or even strangers. Not even silently to myself.

Today I will sing. Today I will experience magic and miracles.

Today I will revel in the mystery that is life.
Today I will let God lead the way.
Today I will truly be alive.

 

Timeline Part Three. Whoa.

Since I threw myself into the deep waters yesterday, writing about my time in detox, I might as well keep swimming. Warning! If you are extremely sensitive right now, you may want to skip this (and future) post about my recovery timeline. I want to be helpful, not hurtful.

I honestly can’t remember the exact timeline of when symptoms started. The first 12 months off were, hmmmm…[what’s a professional, articulate way to described fucked up?] horrific. Beyond imagination. No kidding. No exaggeration.

Most of the time, I prayed for death. “Stop my heart, willya Big Guy?” But at the same time I prayed for death, I was terrified of it. TERRIFIED. I thought about it ALL day, every day. I woke up to hellish terror every morning, my first thought being, “I have to die one day.” I had a horrible case of benzo withdrawal intrusive thoughts, and looping thoughts. My benzo buddy Mary and I called my death thoughts, Grim Reaper. She would text me every morning, How Are You? How is GR? I’d text back, I’m fucked up, GR loud and clear. There are no words I can use to paint how completely terrified I was, every second, of every day. I told a friend it was like being on acid while a nasty man in a black hood shoves you in front of a wall, with you staring at a firing squad. It was that kind of fear, only more so. It was so completely irrational. But that is what happens to our thoughts and feelings when we don’t have enough GABA receptors working. Mine had been fried after almost 2 decades on that poison. (Thanks Doc!)

My first year off was marked by my death obsession, panic attacks that were much worse than my original ones ( I don’t have ANY panic anymore, and no anxiety really to speak of) and the physical symptoms. I was bedridden a lot the first few months off.

Around three months off I decided to start gardening. (This saved and changed my life. Strongly recommend it.) I drove to the hardware store, shaking, terrified, weak, dizzy, burning… sick as shit… and bought lumber and hardware to build raised beds. The clerk helping me was polite and friendly, but I couldn’t look him in the face because his face turned into something monstrously scary when I did. I was shaking, freaking out, and felt like I would faint, but I bought the supplies and got home. (Thankfully the store is just a mile or so away!) I hammered together the beds, my heart pounding, shaking, racing looping thoughts about death and dying, knees weak, spine on fire, eyes hurting, every muscle screaming in pain, my bones burning and aching, and the terror, dread, fear….blanketed over me, with no way out from under it. But I got the beds built!

I tore out the side yards and planted. I tore out areas of grass in the front yard and planted. I put up a three-foot black French gothic fence. Hung a tin framed chalk board on it and wrote inspirational messages for people (and for myself.) I put out dog treats and water, peanuts for the squirrels, and three types of bird feeders. I hunkered down for the healing process. I knew in my heart I would be well and back to work in six months. My doctor assured me that none of his benzo withdrawal patients took more than six months to heal. I needed to believe his lie.

The horror show continued everyday. I cried. A LOT. I would lie naked on the floor in my bathroom, sobbing, begging God to help me. Yet terrified of the thought of God. I washed dishes one day and the thought of eternity filled me with terror and panic. It was crazy. Just crazy. I still can’t believe that a drug that can do these things to someone can be legal. At three months I started getting more body symptoms. More pain. More muscle problems. I couldn’t be out in public very much. My life got very small. Before I got sick in withdrawal, I had traveled to Europe and within the US for my work. Now, I could hardly drive on the freeway. I stayed within a very small radius of my house. For years.

At four months off, I decided I was getting better. I rented an office space and focused on getting it ready. I was incredibly sick, but determined to earn a living. I was running out of money. Fast. But another phase of recovery was happening. The terror and anxiety I felt was ramping up. How that could even happen, was beyond me. But it did. My past trauma keep popping into my memory, along with horrible judgemental thoughts about my self. Add that to the death obsession and it was a pretty grueling time. I was so exhausted from it all, I landed in the ER at Stanford. My son took me. My children had no idea what to do with me. ( I don’t blame them. I was really out there in withdrawal world.) The Stanford doctor suggested that I “ask my team if I should reinstate the benzo.” I didn’t know who she meant. She explained, “your kids.” I was speechless. This was the best medical advice from a STANFORD DOCTOR? Ask my children? They knew NOTHING about benzo withdrawal and NEITHER DID THE STANFORD PSYCHIATRIST. I remember feeling totally and utterly alone in my battle to heal. It was a very dark time.

I decided to fly to Arizona and stay at Sierra Tucson so I could be safe. I wouldn’t have to face the days and nights alone. It was a good decision. It bought me time. I stayed for six weeks. Being around people helped. The classes on trauma didnt’ help at all, they only revved up my symptoms. And of course, no doctor there knew much about benzo withdrawal, but they were at least willing to read the Ashton manual and other stories on the internet.

I don’t really know how I survived the first six months off. I was so sick, mentally and physically. I live alone and it was hard to face the days and nights by myself. My kids did their best to help, but of course they burned out and stopped coming by very often. My friends dropped me like a hot potato. The life I used to know was gone. Forever. (The good news is that I have a new life now. And it’s shaping up to be a good life!)

More….. later.

My Withdrawal Timeline Part Two

Notice quite a few days went by since my last post? I’ve been busy, for sure, but I also didn’t want to revisit part two of my withdrawal story. Way too gruesome. However, I made a promise to my readers to share my story. So here I go, sharing another chunk of time in the saga.

By month 8 of my taper, I knew I couldn’t do it anymore. The complete and utter exhaustion, the inability to stand up for more than a few minutes, the burning skin, formication, feeling like I was being lifted or pulled out of my body ( a very strange sensation!) bee sting sensations, muscle twitches, fear, anxiety, times of dark utter blackness of no emotion other than some fucked up depression that was unlike anything I had ever experienced in my life, IBS, insomnia, and a laundry list of other symptoms…was more than I could cope with (or so I thought.) Remember I had tapered down to .3 mgs, then back to .9 then down to .6. I called the local addiction “specialist” and asked for his help. I met him in his office. I was walking with a cane, I was so weak. He told me it would be easy to get off the last .6 mgs if I took pheno. He assured me I was on such a low dose, that I could detox at home. He said it so reassuringly, that I believed him. I wanted to believe him. Hell, I needed to believe him. I went to the pharmacy and filled the script. I took a pheno tablet that afternoon. No more benzos! Yeah!

I went to the Mercy Center and walked the labyrinth. I prayed for help and guidance. I felt I was supposed to trust the process. (What else were my other choices?) By the next day my anxiety was in full swing. My old memories of trauma from my childhood pushed their way into my brain. I was overwhelmed with emotions. By day two, I was shaking. The anxiety ramped up to something unnatural. By day three, I was deep in uncharted waters. The anxiety morphed into utter terror. My neighbor rushed me to the emergency room. I was in an altered state of reality, one I would (unfortunately) have to live in for a long time.

The doctor at the ER admitted me to the detox ward. My doctor ( he ran the detox unit) stopped in to see me. Of course he told me that he had never seen a benzo withdrawal as bad as mine. He did his best to make me feel as if i was either making it up, or a strange anomaly. I carried the stories of the benzo veterans in my heart. I knew the horror I was feeling was withdrawal. (But that certainty would be tested many times as the months dragged on into years.) In the detox unit, I was treated like an addict, forced to go to 12 step meetings and attend meetings designed for addiction treatment. I didn’t mind the 12 step meetings as I am a huge fan of them. I did resent being treated as if my benzo use was my own doing, and that I was “addicted” to them like a street drug. I NEVER abused my dose and took only as directed, yet was deemed by one of the doctors who saw me, “weak and making excuses about my drug use,” when I tried to explain about down regulated GABA receptors and healing from benzos. I must say in my ENTIRE recovery, NOT ONE DOCTOR understood benzo withdrawal. Not one. It is frightening that they can prescribe these drugs yet not know ZIP about the damage they do or how to safely get someone off and them and help them through the healing process.

I spent a week in the detox ward. I hallucinated, could hardly get out of bed some days, had burning skin, burning spine, feet tingling, tongue burning, eyes red and sore, muscle twitching, severe panic and terror, flashbacks to my growing up trauma, the sweats, the shakes, alternating with freezing cold, sounds were SO loud, I heard metal crashing and falling, (auditory hallucinations) racing thoughts, fluctuating blood pressure, bone pain, throbbing pain in my head, feeling as if my brain was fizzing in my skull, ringing ears, tooth pain, severe gas pains and bloating, (benzo belly) and I bled if I lightly scratched my skin. I was unable to watch tv as seeing people’s mouths move put me in a horrific state of terror. I curled into a ball and wanted to die. No one should have to experience what I did. No one. Nada.

My doctor sent me home after a week and told me I would bounce back quickly, because I as on such a low dose. Boy, its really a sad state of affairs when the addiction doctors don’t even know about the withdrawal from these drugs. (I later learned that he was putting people on benzo’s for pain and anxiety, can you imagine?)

One of my children picked me up and drove me home. Smells were overwhelming. Sounds way too loud. the sun burnt my skin, my eyes. When I got home, I knew I was in my home, but it felt alien to me. My whole reality was turned upside down. Every slight noise made me jump in terror. I literal chill ran down my spine. I lay on the couch for days, unable to do anything other than hold on and count the minutes passing by. My thoughts were beyond horrific. Beyond terrifying. And every pheno tablet I swallowed seemed to make it all worse.

I hated my life. I was afraid to live, afraid to die. I felt God had abandoned me, completely. I thought surely, it could not get worse. ( I was wrong.) I thought surely, I will bounce back and be back at work in a short while. (When I get things wrong, I get them really wrong! lol)

More…… to come.