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I used to say I was “celebrating” the time away from my last benzo dose. I’m happy to be benzo free, but I am not celebrating. I seem to be stuck in trough of symptoms that refuse to budge. I do all I can to keep my head above water emotionally, but some days it takes every ounce of strength and surrender to do so.

THE LIST (in no apparent order):

Ears ringing
Burning skin
Body tingles mostly 24/7 and painful at times
Feeling like I’m being crushed
Head pressure
Ear pressure
Feeling boaty
Feeling pulled down
Severe muscle pain that travels all over body
Bone pain that travels
Joint that pain travels
Woozy/dizzy sensations
Food sensitivities
Exercise intolerance
Obsessive thoughts/looping thoughts
Intrusive thoughts
Extreme fatigue
Cog Fog
Mood swings
Anxiety/depression
Nerve pain
Electric zaps
Chest pain
Back of head pain
Inflamed breast bone
Intense itching, often occurs in the middle of the night
Benzo belly
Painful hands/stiff/dropping things
Hot flashes
Weakness
Crappy sleep/wake tired (not getting more than 2 hours back to back. about 5-6 hours total)
Fear/startle response
Burning spine
Lower back ache
Tension and pain in buttocks/hips
Low motivation
Can’t handle good or bad stress very well

I have improved quite a bit since my first year off, and for that I am grateful. However, the days are still hard to navigate sometimes. I still spend most of my days on my couch or in the garden as I can’t walk or drive very far.

Some afternoons I get a bit of a window and think that I am on the last leg of this healing journey. But then I go to bed and wake back up in the thick of it. It is very hard to face this day after day after day.

I am eating healthy, resting, not stressing too much, walking, gardening, hanging out with people I love, and getting as much sleep as my brain will allow. I am taking good care of myself.

With my whole heart I want to wake up one day and not have ANY of these symptoms. Or, at least wake up and 99% of them be gone. I realize I may always have tinnitus. The damage to the tiny nerves that cause it may not heal. That’s ok. I’ll live with it. But I sure hope the body stuff goes away. I have NO evidence to support thinking that it will, so I go on faith, the belief in things unseen.

That’s where it stands at 39 months out. I am a bit overwhelmed with how long it can take to recover from the damage done. When I started this journey in October 2010, I thought I would taper offer off and life would be better. I can honestly say that life isn’t better (not yet). I am still not as functional as I was even in tolerance. But the hope is that I recover and life does get better.

The best benzo advice I can give to anyone is: NEVER take one!

That’s all I have for today. Wish I could say I am healed. I am not. Still a long ways to go. or so it seems.

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