It gets better: This is what it’s like…

And to be clear — It’s not like this anymore. It’s gotten a whole lot better.
(from) MARCH 19, 2010
This is an email I wrote to a friend who asked what it was like to experience the post benzo withdrawal. I don’t write much anymore, even emails to friends and family, so I figured I’d be economical and use this on the blog.
I began the description:
Have you tripped before? I often feel like I’m having a bad trip and it’s the part in which one is coming down…strange sensations and terror…as well as semi-psychotic thought processes. … [click on title to read and view more]

It gets better: An email to close friends

The IT GETS BETTER collection is intended to help those who are currently dealing with the iatrogenic (medically caused) injury from psych meds…so that they might know that we can heal. It is also intended to help educate the masses to the realities that we face. Protracted psychiatric drug withdrawal syndrome is real. It’s also sometimes gravely disabling. The fact is it’s largely denied in the medical community. We are routinely blamed and told that the experience is psychiatric…this leads to more drugging and sometimes forced drugging with the very drugs that have harmed us. This must end. This is #7 in the IT GETS BETTER series. … [click on title to read more]

Hallucinations (it gets better!)

This might amuse some of you…or alternately relieve others as well…

When I was at the height of acute psychiatric drug withdrawal hell I once hallucinated a green fairy princess flying through my living room…she scattered green sparkly glitter as she flew…I was tickled…a high moment in the midst of the heinousness.

And just to be clear…I was well aware it was a hallucination…when one doesn’t sleep for days and weeks and months, well, one does see things that aren’t really there on occasion.

Glad such things are several years in the past now. It does get better … [click on title to read more]

It gets better: Revisiting the withdrawal symptom list

**Most of the “symptoms” from the below post are now gone. To call them symptoms is another one of the ways language cannot do justice to experience. At one time a significant number of them were so severe they would have been disabling all on their own. In conjunction with one another they created a disability so completely acute and alienating that most people, unless they’ve experienced it, cannot imagine it. … [click on title to read and view more]

It gets better: Healing sometimes goes so slowly you don’t know if it’s happening

This collection is intended to help those who are currently dealing with the iatrogenic (medically caused) injury from psych meds…so that they might know that we can heal from it all.

It is also intended to help educate the masses to the realities that we face. Protracted psychiatric drug withdrawal is real. It’s also sometimes gravely disabling. The fact is it’s largely denied in the medical community. We are routinely blamed and told that the experience is psychiatric…this leads to more drugging and sometimes forced drugging with the very drugs that have harmed us. This must end.

We have no societal support when we are coming through this heinous process either…many people have no familial or community support whatsoever. This is a dangerous reality.

Please become educated. And please pass the information along in any way that makes sense, so that those of us struck with this can get the help we need and deserve. … [click on title to read and view more]

Black Butterfly

It gets better: Living well while being sick

I still practice the philosophy I wrote about in this piece. It’s been very helpful and continues to be helpful and I wrote it when I was still gravely ill in lucid moments really. I by no means am always so equanimous about all this, but practicing being with what is, surrendering to the moment of that which is, therefore, inescapable, for me, is truly the best way through this and also clearly brings healing. It’s a paradoxical stance really. In accepting what is completely without resistance there is a flow that allows for change and healing both. Some people didn’t like this post because I talk about embracing illness to the point of accepting it may always be. This is frightening to many people. Yet it was important for me to really explore that possibility in order to deeply accept what is right now. This continues to be the case even as I continue to improve in numerous ways. … [click on title to read and view more]

It gets better: Extreme sensitivity to noise, touch, movement, commotion etc…

During these times I was unable to sit upright in bed. I was only able to walk to the bathroom and rarely to the kitchen. My muscles became totally atrophied. I was too weak to hold a toothbrush up to my mouth and therefore went a couple of years without doing what most people consider simple acts of hygiene. I wrote with the laptop propped on my knees and my head propped up a bit with a pillow. Writing was a lifeline that helped me continue. It’s been a source of great joy to find out that my keeping this blog has helped so many others.

This is not my reality anymore. I am up and out of bed. I practice yoga daily. I dance, I walk and I cookand run errands and do chores. I have not achieved perfect functioning. I still can’t make firm commitments or travel. Still I can enjoy many things in life and I’ve developed a deep appreciation for what I’ve been through and how much it has taught me. Life is a wondrous thing and simply being alive is a reason to be grateful as far as I’m concerned. … [click on title to read and view more]

It gets better: A Portrait of Poly Psychopharmacology

This is the first of the “It gets better” series. The “It gets better” collection will be a series of republished posts from when I was gravely ill from the psych drug withdrawal process and the following protracted psychiatric drug withdrawal syndrome. So many folks out there are now going through the heinous process of finding their way through psychiatric drug withdrawal syndrome and other iatrogenic injuries from psychiatric drugging. — While many find their way through after weeks or months, for others it can take years to really get out of the deep disability and darkness it creates. I’m going to start reposting my personal pieces from those difficult days, so that people can see how far I’ve come and find hope that they too might come out of that darkness and find some peace and joy again. … [click on title to read and view more]

believe and know… (IT GETS BETTER)

If I have the belief that I can do it, I shall surely acquire the capacity to do it even if I may not have it at the beginning. — Mahatma Gandhi

That is certainly how recovering from the heinousness of the iatrogenic injury of psychiatric drug withdrawal syndrome has worked for me!! — my unrelenting determination to find a way through the maze of autonomic nervous system chaos has, indeed, brought me many gifts and continued healing…and it’s not done yet! … [click on title for the rest of the post]

To those suffering acute and protracted withdrawal symptoms… (it gets better!)

When I was at the height of this illness (I had over 50 severe and disabling symptoms) I felt hateful, bitter and angry…and most of those emotions were caused by what some of us call “neuro-emotions” meaning they were grossly exaggerated because of the condition and the brain/neurological injury that so many of us are dealing with. Believe me I did not always deal with this iatrogenic injury with anything resembling grace.

So, yes, I have hope for everyone. … [click on title for the rest of the post]