A recovery from benzos–into severe benzo illness and out

This is taken from a post on a benzo board I go to for information and these days for hope that I will make it through this phase of acute post-withdrawal. I got permission to repost this here.

Hello everyone,

Over 14 months ago I took my last bit of Klonopin, after what essentially amounted to a cold-turkey, on January 14, 2009 to be exact. I was also by then off the FIVE other psychotropics I had been on.

The first 3-4 months that followed were just absolute, unadulterated hell; I had never been so ill in my entire life. Very, very slowly, things got a little bit better around 5-6 months off: the tremors were not as pronounced, I could sleep for a few hours a night, the muscle spasms were not as intense, the headaches not as painful, the confusion not as debilitating, I could get out of the house, and even take small walks around the block with my dog. I started to have a modicum of hope, something that had been absent from my life for quite some time.

Last September, 2009, I decided to go to France, where I am from, first of all to see my mother, whom I suspected of being unwell, and also to rest and heal. I had been on disability for the previous 2 1/2 years, could not work, and had time on my hands. Once there, I realized that my mother was I much worse shape than I had thought, and she was eventually diagnosed with Alzeimer’s disease.

I have spent these last six months in France, and just got back to the US of A this week. During that time, I was able not only to take care of my mother’s immediate needs, but to coordinate various types of assistance, medical and others, and I left France knowing that I had done the best I could and that my mother would be safe and well cared for.

I cannot even begin to tell you the changes that have taken place these last 6 months. I have NEVER felt this well, my mind is clear, the s/xs have all but disappeared, my sleep has returned, I can walk 5-6 miles effortlessly, I am free of the anxiety which used to cripple me, I am optimistic and unafraid. If this is a preview of things to come, I simply cannot wait. It is nothing short of a miracle, for I had really given up on life almost two years ago.

If I can do this, anyone can. PLEASE do not give up, I do know how difficult and overwhelming this process can be at times, but reclaiming our lives is worth a good fight, and the rewards are simply beyond words.

Love to all, and God bless.

Joel

I don’t know how people could make it through this without the support I find online. Certainly I’ve not met a doctor or anyone at all actually, in person, who is familiar with this phenomena and yet there are thousands of us online!

The fact remains that a larger percentage of folks are able to withdraw more easily, but there is no way that those of us who have severe problems should be invisible like this left to do this with only each other. I’m aware of thousands myself and that is just in the time I’ve been at this. There are many other thousands that have gone before me in the benzo groups which have now been active for more than a decade.

There are professionals who are aware of this phenomena, like Heather Ashton in the UK who has written the only professional manual worth anything at all. Also the late Dr. Reg Peart did some very good work. He came to study the phenomena, however, through his own personal encounter with it. I’ve encountered sympathetic doctors who haven’t hurt me, but most doctors will do dangerous things with us in their desire to help while not understanding the situation at all. I’m very grateful for the kind professionals who have been humble enough to learn from my experience. I wouldn’t have been able to do it without them. I hope some day people will have the option of going to doctors who already know, recognize and can help people suffering from benzo illness.

For more info on benzos look here.

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