Dr. Jenn retires after being disabled by a wave: “I don’t want to be a leader… no more coaching ever!”

Re: We are losing soldiers in the fight. Jennifer Leigh and Recovery Road
« Reply #5 on: August 15, 2017, 06:01:47 pm »

[Buddie]

Hey everyone. Colin or mods may pull this as I’m breaking anonymity here. I’m jennifer. My site will be taken down in six months. I’m
Retired from coaching. My set back is severe. After a very lengthy time of feeling healed I’m
Back in the snake pit. I will not risk my health ever again so I must stop working with benzo clients. The stress, as you can imagine, is too great. Baylissa’s site Baylissa dot com, is still up. I talk her her every morning. She’s still helping benzo people. She’s not leaving the community. I wish I was more well and could help. But I’m not and I can’t. It was an honor and a priveledge helping so many of you. Even though I’m in a set back I continue to believe that we do heal. Some take longer. But the outcome is recovery. Hold on. Don’t give up. Be good to yourselves.

Re: We are losing soldiers in the fight. Jennifer Leigh and Recovery Road
« Reply #6 on: August 15, 2017, 06:41:54 pm »

[Buddie]

Quote from: [Buddie] on August 15, 2017, 06:01:47 pm
Hey everyone. Colin or mods may pull this as I’m breaking anonymity here. I’m jennifer. My site will be taken down in six months. I’m
Retired from coaching. My set back is severe. After a very lengthy time of feeling healed I’m
Back in the snake pit. I will not risk my health ever again so I must stop working with benzo clients. The stress, as you can imagine, is too great. Baylissa’s site Baylissa dot com, is still up. I talk her her every morning. She’s still helping benzo people. She’s not leaving the community. I wish I was more well and could help. But I’m not and I can’t. It was an honor and a priveledge helping so many of you. Even though I’m in a set back I continue to believe that we do heal. Some take longer. But the outcome is recovery. Hold on. Don’t give up. Be good to yourselves.

jen,

i will pray for you. i will pray harder than i have for anyone yet. this can’t go on for long. god has to stop this and restore you your life.

Re: We are losing soldiers in the fight. Jennifer Leigh and Recovery Road
« Reply #7 on: August 15, 2017, 07:16:18 pm »

[Buddie]

Thank you. That’s very kind of you. I’m praying too, for all
Of us. Hopefully In another few weeks or months I’ll be back on my feet. Out in my garden. I’m working on a novel to distract me. Friends are cooking for me and taking care of me. God walked me through this once before. No reason to believe God will stop and let me walk the way to complete healing on my own.

Please know that we heal. If I didn’t believe this I wouldn’t have done the work I did all these years. I’ve seen clients get well. And I saw my own healing. I went from deranged after my cold turkey to functional. I even taught a class at Stanford. Had a bad wave from doing to much, then recovered from that. The last six months before this setback were the best in many many years. But, I guess I did too much. I’ve probably got a much more fragile CNS than most due to my years of trauma before Benzo’s. I over estimated my capacity for listening to others pain and suffering. It finally took its toll on me, along with The physical extertion I put myself under. You can avoid a setback if you take care of yourself. If you are an over achiever like myself, you’ll want to really watch yourself and slow down.

When I crawl out of this setback I’m dedicated to taking life easy. I don’t want to be a leader. I don’t want to be responsible for people’s lives in any way shape or form. No more coaching ever. I just want to write. Grow flowers. Be among friends and family. Hold my grandchildren. And appreciate every sunrise I’m given. This is my wild one and precious life, no matter how shattered it feels at the moment. It is mine.

Hophead begs cult’s permission to try Remeron

losing all hope
« on: June 06, 2017, 08:23:44 am »

[Buddie]

I am losing hope to recover. Even if I am only fighting for such a short time compared to all of you.
I can handle it all, but not the insomnia.
I thought things were getting a bit better, I slept 17 hours last week. But the past 3 days I slept NOTHING. I feel relaxed, still stay awake, heart pounding, night sweats etc.
I am going to lose my job over this, my social life is already nothing for months.

Sure, I can still try remeron, but I feel I am masking the problem only by taking medication. And what if I take it for a while and have to cut back on that eventually, then I get rebound insomnia from that too? And I just really get depressed if I gain weight. I already gained a lot past years. My weight is healthy now, but I don’t want any more.

I need to get to work (interacting with a lot of people and making decisions). I took some time off, but it didn’t help with the insomnia at all.

I lost all hope for a good (normal) life.

Sorry, to complain, but I am crying my eyes out here….

BENZO BUDDIES PITY PARTY

Am I just lazy?
« on: May 21, 2017, 02:56:23 pm »

[Buddie]

Yesterday I got out and cut the grass and felt bad. Today I have the don’t wants. So much to do. Whoa is me.

Re: Am I just lazy?
« Reply #1 on: May 21, 2017, 03:23:38 pm »

[Buddie]

I feel so down. Anything I see depresses me. I wish I had someone to talk to. Nothing are no one to get motivated for. I just sit here and post. It feels like a big weight on top of me.

Re: Am I just lazy?
« Reply #2 on: May 21, 2017, 04:10:42 pm »

[Buddie]

Well you’ve already done more than I have in a year I bet lol. I am normally outside from morning to dark last two summers, nope and I am not seeing much being dif so far this summer.

K sucked the life out of me and I don’t do shit all day.

You’re not lazy I asked the same thing one day, you can’t just change like that.. its the w/d. You will be back to normal one day just keep hanging on.

BENZO FREE AND LOVING IT? NOT EXACTLY.

Healed after 12 years!
« on: April 13, 2017, 05:51:33 pm »

[Buddie]

I’m coming up on 12 years benzo free. On may 5, 2005 I was cold turkeyed in the hospital. It was the most horrific and unforeseen event in my life and it has changed me as a human being forever. Slowly, very slowly over 1-5 benzo free years my symptoms waxed and waned until at 5 years benzo free my life was about 80% of what I was pre-benzo. Life was good but not great for a few months. The unrelenting horror, mental anguish and general displeasure for life had abated but the physical symptoms were still alive and well… just milder and I expected them to all abate as well as time marched on.

At almost 6 years benzo free the flood gates reopened again and I was cast back into what I would call acute benzo withdrawal! It was just as bad as the beginning if not worse… as a matter of fact a lot worse! All the progress I made was suddenly gone and I was left a 40 year old man with a wife and two kids, a beautiful home crying on the floor with no hope for a future. It nearly broke me as a human being and I was ready to give up.

Luckily I had tremendous support from the person I had been with my whole life…My loving wife. She knew me since high school and knew that this was not the man she married. Luckily she believed in me because I didn’t and at 6 years I didn’t think recovery was possible. I thought I had permanent brain damage from the ativan and I would never recover.

My wife got busy and contacted many people on my behalf.  Una Corbett, Barry Haslam, Baylissa Frederick (Bliss), and even to professor Ashton herself! They ‘ALL’ said to my amazement ‘HE WILL RECOVER’ and ‘THIS SOMETIMES HAPPENS’. She even made an account here to talk to people on my behalf (I was too unwell to post then). I’m Mr. B by the way!

The symptoms were very hard up until 11 years benzo free and right now at almost 12 years benzo free my life is brilliant!!!  I can see the light again and feel love, joy, and happiness. I’m 47 years old and have a new lease on life and you will too. Please people believe in recovery…BELIEVE!!!

It happens for ‘EVERYBODY’ given time and staying off  benzos and ‘ALL’ chemical crap!

Mr. B

Going off doctor-prescribed medication brings back paranoia

Paranoia and insomnia
« on: February 15, 2017, 04:23:51 pm »

[Buddie]

How am I supposed to ever sleep again if I have paranoia that people want to kill me all night long…I’m 6 full months out of a cold turkey (my doctor did to me) and paranoia has been my biggest problem. Half the time I came even tell if the crazy shit I’m thinking is true or false. My body only feels terror and fear which makes it impossible for me to sleep. I’ve tried everything…music… mediation…the paranoia is just too scary!

FORTY DRUG NIGHTMARE

Doctors put me on 40 different meds for bipolar and depression
« on: June 02, 2016, 05:30:28 am »

[Buddie]

Source: https://medium.com/invisible-illness/doctors-put-me-on-40-different-meds-for-bipolar-and-depression-it-almost-killed-me-c5e4fbea2816#.7kfi3px5m

Tears were flooding down my face. Textbooks, highlighters, and my laptop were strewn across the bed, along with my crumpled body. I sobbed into my pillow, in hopes that it would all go away. Deep, low depressive swings had once again returned to my life. Despite my outward appearance as a highly motivated 21-year-old college student, my energy was sapped. It was getting harder to concentrate, harder to get out of bed, harder to get through the day without weeping.

My psychiatrist had been changing my medication in hopes of finding an anti-depressant combination that would help me to feel like my passionate self again. It wasn’t working. That night I called my friends and family crying. I needed to vent and release some of my pent-up sorrow. I needed to connect with people who would understand. I needed loved ones to help me hold a bit of the gut-wrenching, depressive pain that flowed through every inch of my body. After I hung up, I felt a bit better. I set my alarm for an early morning wake-up to get in some studying before finals the next day. I hazily drifted off to sleep, salty tears drying on my cheek.

A couple of hours later, my heart erupted with panic as two armed police officers burst into my tiny dorm room. I was half-naked, shaking my head in terror as one cop ripped open drawer after drawer, barking “Where are your pills?” Another police officer got in my face and demanded an answer to the question, “Are you going to kill yourself?”

One of the police officers shoved a phone in my ear. On the other end was a psychiatrist I’d never spoken with before. With terror in my voice, I told him I wasn’t going to kill myself, that I was just letting off some steam. I pleaded and begged with him to tell the officers to leave — not to handcuff me and take me to the psychiatric ward that night.

I was lucky. Something I said convinced the doctor I didn’t need to be placed on a mandatory involuntary hold in a mental hospital. But if the color of my skin wasn’t white, or if I wasn’t cisgender, or at an affluent college, I may not have been so lucky. People of color face disproportionate risk of violence in police encounters — and police are the first responders in mental health crises.

I didn’t make it to my finals the next day. I had stayed up most of the night, trembling with fear, so when the sun finally rose, I took a long, warm shower. Sitting on the bathroom floor, back pressed against the wall, fingers shaking, I dialed the number of my psychiatrist. I wasn’t sobbing this time. My tone was distant and my gaze was glassy and vacant. She convinced me to check myself into the psychiatric ward. In a haze, I slowly packed items into a bag and a man I’d never met before dropped me off for my first psychiatric ward visit.

Within an hour of checking into the hospital, I knew I needed to leave. The air was thick with pain. People wandered the fluorescent lit halls. Like mine, their eyes were vacuous. When someone erupted in an expression of intense emotion, doctors swiftly followed the outburst with sedatives. There was no wellness here. After several hours, I packed my bag, walked up to the front desk and told the secretary:

“I’d like to check out.”

“You can’t leave.”

“… I came here voluntarily.”

If you walk through those doors, we’ll place a mandatory involuntary hold on you and put you in there,” she motioned toward the ward next to mine, where I would’ve been taken last night.

My breath grew heavier and my eyes darted back and forth. I was trapped. Still reeling from the previous evening, my heart was beating out of my chest. I slowly curled in a fetal position on the hospital floor. I was having a panic attack. Two doctors in white coats and clipboards hovered over me. After a few minutes, they medicated me and I drifted into sleep.

I had never been suicidal before being locked in a mental hospital.

Much of my stay there was a blur of medications. I laid on my back in a cold bed for days, for the first time wanting to die. I shuffled off to group therapy in my gray hospital socks, listened to the screams of my neighbors, peered into the ward next door, and obliged when student doctors and clergy came into my room and asked if I wanted to pray or take long surveys about my mental health. I took the surveys but declined the prayers.

Sometime during my stay doctors etched the diagnosis “Bipolar Disorder” onto my chart. My brow furrowed with confusion. I had managed intense OCD and anxiety since I was in elementary school, and yes, over the last several years, I had waves of depression, but otherwise I was high-functioning: I took the maximum course load, got straight A’s, worked multiple jobs, led several campus organizations, and performed in numerous plays simultaneously. I thrived off the adrenaline of being busy. I crackled with ideas and buzzed with creativity. My energy and passion were my greatest assets, how could that be an illness?

The diagnosis was the first time I really tried to understand myself in the context of pathology. Someone who barely knew me combed through my traits and behaviors and labeled it as a disease. Bipolar Disorder. Grappling with this new way of understanding my identity, I felt my brain begin to slow with each fistful of pills I dutifully swallowed. I wasn’t on merely a drug or two — I was on four or five and counting. Antipsychotics, mood stabilizers, antidepressants, sleep drugs, anxiety pills, each addressing a side effect brought on by the last one. My energy, passion, and strong-will began to fade away as apathy and lethargy settled in. I said “yes” more. I didn’t really care what happened.

The psychiatric ward released me to a halfway house for people with mental health challenges. The doctors at the house sat my worried parents down and told them that I was ill. That my academic and personal accomplishments were not something to be proud of: They were a product of my bipolar mania. The doctors’ answer? An expensive combination of pills that would help me be happy, stable, and “normal.”

After awhile I somehow managed to get back into the swing of school. On the surface it appeared like I was thriving, but people close to me knew I was very unwell. My health declined rapidly. The medications made it almost impossible to wake up for class in the morning. My father, recently laid off from his job at a car dealership after being diagnosed with cancer, drove 45 minutes to my school everyday to wake me up and drive me across campus to class.

My once sharp memory dissipated. I used to be an actress, performing in multiple shows at a time, easily remembering every single line. Creativity was a core part of my identity and wellness. Now I would read one line over and over again, unable to retain a word. I did my last performance with a script in hand. Each time I left the stage, I vomited profusely before coming back on again — another side effect of the medications. Eventually, I stopped performing altogether.

Over time, I developed dependence on the anti-anxiety drug ativan, which I was prescribed to take every day, multiple times a day. On top of my other medications, my doctor prescribed me 20mg adderall to help get me up the morning, followed by 2mg ativan to reduce the teeth-chattering anxiety brought on by the morning’s strong upper. Then I would take another adderall mid-day to bring me up, followed by another dose of ativan. When panic attacks hit — which they frequently did — I would take multiple ativan at a time. Once, I collapsed on the floor of a campus building. A woman working at the front desk found me passed out cold on the floor and called my partner to pick me up.

“I’m just really tired,” I told her.

I gained 125 pounds and was diagnosed with sleep apnea. I started taking a daily hormone to treat a thyroid disorder, which I developed from my mood stabilizer lithium. (The damage from lithium was permanent, I still need to use the thyroid hormone to this day.) I started experiencing severe, incapacitating migraines where I would need to lay in complete darkness for days at a time, vomiting relentlessly, occasionally making a trip to the ER. Migraine preventatives and painkillers were just another addition to my daily fistful of medications.

I barely survived those two years, but still somehow managed to graduate with two degrees, honors, and a Fulbright Scholarship. I even received several academic awards that came with monetary prizes. But my money was gone in the next several months, every cent going to out-of-pocket medication expenses. Lithium alone was $300 a month.

My family didn’t have a lot of money, but we made ends meet. I was better off than most. When I didn’t have an income or home, I stayed with my supportive parents in a safe place. Unfortunately, many marginalized people with mental health challenges don’t have access to this kind of luxury; for many, comprehensive mental health treatment is prohibitively expensive. My family went into debt to pay for medications and treatment because my doctors told me I was sick and needed them. We complied without question.

I never went on my Fulbright scholarship. As my medication count climbed, I slowed to a halt. I stopped being able to drive. Despite my costly treatments, panic and depression still overwhelmed me. I was unable to function. I didn’t feel anything anymore.

Over a five-year period, I was on more than 40 medications. The side effects brought me to the edge of my physical and emotional limits. My body broke out in hives and red bumps. One medication made it difficult to take deep breaths for several weeks. I was either up all night wired in panic or sleeping for 12+ hours. I ate everything I could find or I didn’t eat for days, the thought of food making me feel sick. I was horny all the time and then I didn’t want to be touched.

I couldn’t leave my room. All of my memories became jumbled and I couldn’t tell if I had made a situation up or if it had actually happened. I didn’t recognize myself anymore, physically or mentally. I couldn’t see any way out of this deep pain and numbness. I would lie on my side and stare at the dozen pill bottles on my counter and the boxes of partially used medications that I had been prescribed then taken off of. I laid awake thinking about how easy it would be to swallow every pill in the bottles and drift off into a state where I wouldn’t feel unrelenting emptiness and agony.

Soon my psychiatrist had a new diagnosis for me: Treatment Resistant Depressive. Because I had taken every psychiatric drug on the market in different combinations and still felt depressed, there was no cure for me and we had to take a more drastic measure: Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation, a cousin of electroshock therapy. My old self would have resisted. My over-medicated self was much more passive and docile. I didn’t put up a fight, I didn’t care. I felt dead already. And I would have gone through with the procedure if my insurance hadn’t denied me the service because it was too expensive.

A small voice inside of me thought: “I need to get off these medications.”

I devoted the next three years to the challenging, painstaking process of coming off my 10+ drug cocktail. I left my psychiatrist for a new one, a person I told, “I just want to get off of my meds to establish a baseline.” She reluctantly agreed. She didn’t have the vision or understanding of my mission, and I quickly found that my own research outpaced what she knew about the drugs.

Medication is a tool: Some people’s lives are saved by the right combination. Other people respond better to wellness options outside of the mainstream. Cannabis helped ease my depression, anxiety, pain, mood swings, and sleep challenges. Not only alleviating some of my mental and physical pain, cannabis centered me in gratitude and gave me some much-needed motivation and energy. I could now do short errands, drive around the block, even get to my own doctor appointments on public transportation — huge accomplishments for me. It was also the first time I was in control of my own dosing.

Tapering did not come without challenges, however. A whole new batch of withdrawal symptoms entered my life: My entire body itched, and I would scratch until I bled; I frequently woke up convulsing, my body drenched in a cold sweat; my moods were unpredictable; my anxiety, overwhelming. I menstruated everyday for months at a time. And yet, with each medication I eliminated, I became more myself again. I went to a sliding-scale community acupuncture clinic which relieved me of some of the physical and emotional pain of withdrawal. Weight started coming off. I no longer had sleep apnea. My migraines persisted but with less intensity.

As I began to read about alternative mental health frameworks, I realized that I am not sick with mental illness — I live in a sick society and have “dangerous gifts”: They need to be handled with care, but they are also my sources of passion, connectivity, creativity, and drive.

Now I identify as “neurodivergent”, a framework through which I transform what I have been taught are my weaknesses, diseases, and shameful secrets into my strengths.

Neurodivergence also recognizes that mental health challenges are deeply tied to societal oppression along lines including race, class, gender identity, and physical disability. Discriminatory barriers often make it even more difficult to access treatment. It’s hard to achieve wellness within a system that profits from our illness. But when our dangerous gifts receive the meaningful support they need, we can transform society. Our greatest challenges become our wellsprings of power.

I am not an anomaly. I am one of many people who barely survived the mental health system. Lots of folks with dangerous gifts are sitting in prison and psychiatric wards right now instead of receiving the support they need. It’s quite likely that you or someone you know has been deeply impacted by mental health challenges — even if that person hasn’t opened up about them. While each of our stories is unique, many of our experiences echo one another’s, reminding us that we are not alone.

Addict throws online pity party after being accused of laziness

Because I'm sick ,I was called a LAZY BUM!!
« on: December 16, 2016, 09:58:28 pm »

[Buddie]

I tried to post this before but I guess it didn’t go through. I was called a “Lazy Bum”. People don’t know how debilitating this ordeal is unless they go through it themselves or have a illness that keeps them from doing ordinary things. I pray I get healthy and can go back to work next year. I go to CBT and read self help books, to help with my severe anxiety.However, this W/D has made my inner ear Disease so much worse that I have vertigo,ear pressure and horrible balance everyday. I want to know who could work under those conditions. I’m not talking about minor dizziness either.Head spinning the whole nine yards. People so quick to judge us and that probably couldn’t even handle a week of this torture!!! I been going through this for almost two years. I do feel pathetic but it’s not my fault I know .The Doctor should of known better. I’m stuck suffering and being criticized for it SMDH.