Update: September 2016 — I felt like revisiting this post from a while back. As I re-enter my body the shock continues. The good part is I am finally able to feel and deeply process that shock. It’s taken over 6 years of being drug free to get to this point, but I am here. Entering the body in a big way. Being reborn, quite literally. (re-entering the body is part of healing from the extreme trauma that is the nervous system/brain injury from psychiatric drug iatrogenesis) I am grateful for everything now as I become more and more aware of what is happening. I’ve healed a great deal more since the writing of this post. I share it for those who are in various stages of this healing process. (basically the fight or flight response that has been in high gear for over a decade is remitting. I’m left with this body, shocked) it’s somehow as beautiful as it is difficult)
This link is important to know about for many chronic conditions. — I have lived experience of this reality. I know it. Immune system and nervous system are totally linked…I can feel it. — Folks in the chronic illness circles are all saying the same thing as well…we feel it…and those of us with protracted psychiatric drug withdrawal issues are also impacted…This is not news to us. Still, it’s important information for the scientific and medical communities. … [click on title for the rest of the post]
A lot of people with protracted withdrawal issues are likely to have some sort of auto-immunity issue. It’s worth learning about auto-immune disease if you have chronic illness of any kind since mainstream doctors don’t even look for it quite often. This is a free online conference of sorts…it looks like a great way to get to know about this stuff if you don’t already. My healing protocols take into account auto-immune issues and much of what will be taught in this course informs my own healing process. IT’S FREE
There are some good doctors involved in this. Including one’s from whom I’ve learned a lot in my process. Beyond that I don’t really know more about this program than what I’m sharing. (just as a small disclaimer) I receive nothing for this post and share it only because I think it would be great for everyone to understand more about chronic illness and autoimmune disease. Both are far more common than most people realize and there are a lot of people who are sub-chronic in that with one more trigger they could get sick. We all need to tend to our health, always. … [click on title for the rest of the post]
I have a friend who studies the neurology of awakening to the nature of reality and consciousness. He often has said to me that the brain remembers the good stuff. This is another way of thinking of neuroplasticity. If we get to a place where we accept and are okay with things just as they are, our brain likes that…it remembers and does all it can to get back there. In this way we can trust that if we do things to help us accept and find goodness in life, even now, in the darkness, our brain will, in effect continue to conspire to get to those glimmers of hope and joy we sometimes see and feel. … [click on title for the rest of the post]
Last week Matt Samet posted about a setback he’s recently had. The withdrawal ugliness which had largely abated came crashing back after several years of wellness. I made some comments about that in a post that linked to his.
What I didn’t say is that I’ve had my own setback recently too. Setbacks for me remain routine and normal…they are part of the excruciatingly non-linear process of recovery. I’ve not yet experienced anything resembling full functionality, but I do have periods of time where I start to imagine what that might be like again as I’m able to do a bit more than usual. So, these setbacks, while becoming less intense in many ways are always hugely discouraging still. … [click on title to read and view more]
A long time friend/reader who is still in the worst ugly phase of protracted withdrawal sent me a note the other day. In it he was talking about how he could not come to terms with everything he’d lost. He cannot stop grieving. He feels cheated. He had been an athlete and competent parent and a successful professional in his field. He was prescribed a benzodiazepine for a first time incident with acute anxiety (had no history of prior psychiatric issues or treatment). He took said benzo for only 2 months and he was one of the not unheard of number of folks who react as if they’ve been on meds for decades, like me, when he discontinued it. He’s been ill for 5 years now and is unable to work, parent in a meaningful way or exercise. I understand his sense of loss. It is nothing short of completely devastating. I still struggle with not being able to do many things people generally take for granted as well. I still am learning what I shared with him. … [click on title for the rest of the post]
I introduce the work of Dan Neuffer in another post. He’s done a brilliant job documenting and explaining how the autonomic nervous system appears to be of foundational concern for CFS, ME and fibromyalgia. I made the link that it’s clear that protracted psychiatric withdrawal syndromes, too, also fall into his theory very neatly. It’s worth reading the initial post and viewing Dan’s videos that are in that post. His book is excellent too and anyone wanting a deeper understanding of the issues should read it. I’ve not seen anyone else pull together so many of the issues I think about and talk about on this blog in one dynamic whole. What a joy to find it. He understands deeply how everything matters. This holistic understanding of our natures and particularly this illness, is the cornerstone to how I’m healing. I share my healing story in the article on Mad in America here: Everything Matters: a Memoir From Before, During and After Psychiatric Drugs … [click on title for the rest of the post]
Triggers and initial etiologies may vary, but eventually all these syndromes have a whole lot in common. …
Some of us have been on the front lines figuring out this stuff years before anyone was publicly acknowledging it. I am sharing this info and collection in response to the two recent @nytimes articles.
I see in retrospect that some core, vital part of me was always there during the drugged years, learning and remembering much that would help me in these years of coming off meds and now being med free. I no longer believe that I “lost” my life to drugs. This is, as Mary Oliver, puts it, my “one wild and precious life.”