Tales of Big Pharma: Woman 25 months off drugs claims she can’t enter Starbucks without falling over, psychiatric survivor forced to use walking poles

  • 0:25 – Too much drama in the cult
  • 1:25 – Detect a little resentment toward people who can function normally and have not been totally sucked in by the Oprah-style pity party
  • 3:17 – Knows a handful of people who can’t set foot in a public building (this is called agoraphobia and people suffering from it need medication to be able to function – it is not the product of a Big Pharma conspiracy)
  • 3:25 – She’s believes she will get a seizure in public places (I am not a doctor but someone off medications for 25 months who has this sort of phobia might need the help of a professional i.e. a psychiatrist)
  • 3:41 – Language used in cult must be dogmatic, no dissension tolerated – positive comments only
  • 3:51 – Some in cult can barely lift their bodies out of bed (hope they have bedpans)
  • 4:10 – Admits she’s angry at people who are able to work through drug withdrawal
  • 4:35 – Starts talking like a kindergarten teacher: “Everyone must use proper language or no cookies at  nap time”
  • 4:39 – Big Pharma is oppressing us all
  • 5:02 – Apologizes for rambling
  • 5:11 – Explains her day: can’t leave the house on her own (likely agoraphobia, untreated because, you know, Big Pharma wants to kill all of us with benzos)
  • 5:59 – “My life is a Fun House without any fun.”
  • 6:38 – Big Pharma’s relentless assault has forced her to use hiking poles to walk around the block
  • 8:18 – Starbucks story starts
  • 8:47 – Has to sit on the floor in the shower, unable to stand
  • 8:55 – She can’t eat dinner with anyone but her mom and dad because of intrusive thoughts and “jolts”
  • 10:45 – Life is like a Sims game
  • 11:02 – She wants people in the cult to stop getting upset
  • 11:32 – “I’m sorry I rambled for nearly 12 minutes.”
  • 11:38 – 25 months off drugs and not doing well
  • 11:45 – Merry Christmas, or whatever you celebrate (Gaia), to all the psychiatric survivors out there
LUNATIC PARADE

Professional victims at Benzo Buddies toss pity party, want special treatment for abusing tranquilizers

When do we get OUR ice bucket challenge?
« on: September 23, 2014, 04:58:48 pm »

Brain-Fog

I’m just curious as to when anxiety & depression get their own awareness media gimmick, as opposed to some organization that only affects 0.01% of the population.

Re: When do we get OUR ice bucket challenge?
« Reply #1 on: September 23, 2014, 09:34:28 pm »

Diaz-Pam

We need a good publicist…..

Re: When do we get OUR ice bucket challenge?
« Reply #2 on: September 24, 2014, 06:20:40 pm »

Luigithepug

Sadly, there has been and always will be a massive mental health stigma. There’s no ‘schizophrenia awareness’ because people are scared of it and don’t want to talk about it. Same thing with bipolar, anxiety, depression, etc. But physical illnesses, like ALS, will get attention.

Re: When do we get OUR ice bucket challenge?
« Reply #3 on: September 24, 2014, 08:31:06 pm »

lookingforward

Quote from: Luigithepug on September 24, 2014, 06:20:40 pm
Sadly, there has been and always will be a massive mental health stigma. There’s no ‘schizophrenia awareness’ because people are scared of it and don’t want to talk about it. Same thing with bipolar, anxiety, depression, etc. But physical illnesses, like ALS, will get attention.

We have a lot of mental health awareness campaigns in the UK.

It is much less stigmatised than it used to be. Many media personalities suffer from depression and that helps a lot.

Soap opera storylines also help.

Physically disabled people used to be marginalised to a great extent and that has changed a lot.

Is the US really so bad?

LF

Re: When do we get OUR ice bucket challenge?
« Reply #4 on: September 24, 2014, 08:36:08 pm »

Luigithepug

Quote from: lookingforward on September 24, 2014, 08:31:06 pm
Quote from: Luigithepug on September 24, 2014, 06:20:40 pm
Sadly, there has been and always will be a massive mental health stigma. There’s no ‘schizophrenia awareness’ because people are scared of it and don’t want to talk about it. Same thing with bipolar, anxiety, depression, etc. But physical illnesses, like ALS, will get attention.

We have a lot of mental health awareness campaigns in the UK.

It is much less stigmatised than it used to be. Many media personalities suffer from depression and that helps a lot.

Soap opera storylines also help.

Physically disabled people used to be marginalised to a great extent and that has changed a lot.

Is the US really so bad?

LF

I can only speak for my part of the country, but yes it’s pretty bad.

Re: When do we get OUR ice bucket challenge?
« Reply #5 on: September 24, 2014, 08:42:13 pm »

lookingforward

Hi Luigi

That is very sad. 

I am sure things could be better here but we have made great strides in the right direction.

LF 

lislis

7 years of being scared to eat sugar

This month will be 7 years from when my torture began
« on: September 05, 2014, 10:22:10 pm »

lislis

I have gotten better in so many unbelievable ways, however, I just can’t heal my GI. I have tried over and over and over, and I’ll get to a point that I’m pretty ok, but then I’ll eat something, and bloat again, and mental symptoms will try to come through. Then I’ll stop eating, except to survive and things will settle, then the whole circle starts over again. I knew if I was ever gong to heal that I had to address my GI issues, which I started in 2011. So for the past 3 years, I have tried everything. I can’t tolerate sugar at all, caffeine, dairy or gluten. I can eat some cheese, and ok with stupid meat and vegetables. This is torture and honestly, I don’t ever see it changing. I truly believe now that I will never be able to eat normal. Once these things are triggered, I don’t believe you can untrigger it.

I am actually considering finally getting a scope done. I just hope I don’t add more torture, but perhaps I should. I had one 7 years ago, when the heaviness on my chest started, and since I cut out all sugar even fruit, the heaviness stays away for the most part. I know a lot of us have a scope, which doesn’t usually show anything, and I just didn’t want to go through the risk of anesthesia, plus I completely hate doctors and don’t trust a single one of them. And, lets add that no one is knowledgable to handle benzo damage, and I know I will loose my patience if one more doctor tells me that I don’t know what I’m talking about. I do believe though that I will concede and schedule a scope and go through all that fear, and perhaps have a reaction, but I just can’t stand this, year after year, I try to stay hopefull, but what the heck!

Sorry to rant and rave. Wish I had happier thoughts, perhaps another day. Has anyone gotten a handle on this GI crap?
« Last Edit: September 05, 2014, 10:40:25 pm by lislis »

Re: This month will be 7 years from when my torture began
« Reply #1 on: September 05, 2014, 10:25:23 pm »

jaso19

Quote from: lislis on September 05, 2014, 10:22:10 pm
I have gotten better in so many unbelievable ways, however, I just can’t heal my GI. I have tried over and over and over, and I’ll get to a point that I’m pretty ok, but then I’ll eat something, and bloat again, and mental symptoms will try to come through. Then I’ll stop eating, except to survive and things will settle, then the whole circle starts over again. I knew if I was ever gong to heal that I had to address my GI issues, which I started in 2011. So for the past 3 years, I have tried everything. I can’t tolerate sugar at all, caffeine, dairy or gluten. I can eat some cheese, and ok with stupid meat and vegetables. This is torture and honestly, I don’t ever see it changing. I truly believe now that I will never be able to eat normal. Once these things are triggered, I don’t believe you can untrigger it.

I am actually considering finally getting a scope done. I just hope I don’t add more torture, but perhaps I should. I had one 7 years ago, when the heaviness on my chest started, and since I cut out all sugar even fruit, the heaviness stays away for the most part. I know a lot of us have a scope, which doesn’t usually show anything, and I just didn’t want to go through the risk of anesthesia, plus I completely hate doctors and don’t a single one of them. And, lets add that no one is knowledgable to handle benzo damage, and I know I will loose my patience if one more doctor tells me that I don’t know what I’m talking about. I do believe though that I will concede and schedule a scope and go through all that fear, and perhaps have a reaction, but I just can’t stand this, year after year, I try to stay hopefull, but what the heck!

Sorry to rant and rave. Which I had happier thoughts, perhaps another day. Has anyone gotten a handle on this GI crap?

Hey girl Its been so long ..

Im so sorry to hear what your going through. I dont have GI issues and I know that must be so hard .. I just wanted to say hello and let you know Im hoping you get this figured out so soon.

~Jenny

Re: This month will be 7 years from when my torture began
« Reply #2 on: September 05, 2014, 10:41:11 pm »

lislis

Thank you so much for your kind words! I hope you are doing well!

Re: This month will be 7 years from when my torture began
« Reply #3 on: September 05, 2014, 10:45:31 pm »

jenny21

Hi lislis– did the heaviness in your chest go away when you stopped eating sugar?? I have this sx , so any imput is appreciated. Sorry about your tummy troubles, I have them too and it is quite frustrating. Take care, jenny

Re: This month will be 7 years from when my torture began
« Reply #4 on: September 05, 2014, 11:08:26 pm »

lislis

Hi Jenny, About a month after I started withdrawal I woke up with a heavy chest and it lasted for over 2 years. Sometimes I would have a break, but it was only when I noticed that I felt worse when I ate sugar and stopped eating sugar that the heaviness went away. After time passed I got cocky and tried some sugar and the heaviness came back. That was a great piece of the puzzle for me. Unfortunately I don’t learn and several other times I tried sugar again and the heaviness each time came back. The other problem was that each time I tried sugar again, I would crash and become more intolerant to more foods. I wish I would have realized that sugar was apparently my trigger. I’ve maid a mess of my GI not knowing how to care for myself. The Ashton Manual tells you that you may experience GI symptoms, but doesn’t at all tell you why this is happening and how to avoid making it worse!!!!

I wish you the best on your GI quest!

Re: This month will be 7 years from when my torture began
« Reply #5 on: September 06, 2014, 12:31:12 am »

prettydaisys

i don’t know if we have already talked about this or not but Geraldine Burns said that same exact thing that you did when she was over ten years out. that she would never heal unless she healed her GI issues. i know she has a lot of things/supplements/modalities that she did to heal her gut. have you spoken to her?

i have her email address if you would like to? maybe she can help. but she did say the exact same thing that you did at a longer time out.

Re: This month will be 7 years from when my torture began
« Reply #6 on: September 06, 2014, 12:59:55 am »

Clark

Quote from: lislis on September 05, 2014, 10:22:10 pm
I truly believe now that I will never be able to eat normal. Once these things are triggered, I don’t believe you can untrigger it.

This isn’t true. 2 things, actually. I’m a nutritionist and have worked with GI doctors throughout the world (Yeah, as an inpatient at a mental asylum – Editor) so I have a good knowledge base of this.

1) it’s pretty well known now that eating ketogenic (high fat, low carb) Is the healthiest way to eat. Paleo style. If this was everyone’s normal and not the horrendous diet that most people eat we would be healthier as a whole.

2) It takes 1 year to heal your gut from food sensitivities and allergies, be it acquired or genetic. This means 1 year of not even the slightest amount of that thing, that’s why most people fail at recovering from food sensitivities. Once you acquire an allergy it means that your body sees it as an intruder and the immune system attacks it- hence all the unpleasant symptoms that follow. Your immune system designates white blood cells for that particular nutrient that will attack every time it is detected. Now, if you go one year without taking in ANY of it, your body will recycle those white blood cells and hopefully the allergy, or immune reaction, will be gone.

Lets use dairy for instance. Say you go 9 months without 1 gram of dairy at all and your feeling much better. Then, one day you eat a small piece of cheese, or a soup with some cream in the broth. You may have just started your year all over again because you re-activated those white blood cells.

Its difficult to do, but avoiding these things will make you healthier anyway and if you can stick it out for that whole year you should be able to recover from that sensitivity.

Re: This month will be 7 years from when my torture began
« Reply #7 on: September 06, 2014, 11:29:38 am »

lislis

Thank you guys! I totally agree about avoiding symptom causing foods. I need to practice what I preach. You are right. I start to feel better and then get cocky and eat things. The first time I may have no reaction, so I eat more and more and then wham! Then there is always that underlying part that there is something wrong that I am just blaming on OCD.

I appreciate all of your help guys! I believe I had Geraldine’s email, but if you could provide it again, that would be great!

Take care!

Re: This month will be 7 years from when my torture began
« Reply #8 on: September 06, 2014, 02:08:32 pm »

Caddo

I woke up today feeling like I drank a twelve pack last night, barely able to function, which is how I feel three or four times a week. This is what food intolerances do to me, and I also don’t think it will ever stop. I’ve had very little improvement in this bw symptom since it began, so it’s hard to see why it ever would stop. I can’t even do low carb because I’m hypoglycemic, plus I don’t tolerate the added fat that is needed to replace carbs. I don’t tolerate any supplements at all, so no probiotics, herbs, or vitamins. Fermented foods are also out. Last summer I stumbled upon something that was helping me a ton, and allowing me to eat many more things, but eventually I became intolerant to that as well. I don’t know how much more I can take. It’s hard to have any hope when it’s so obvious that I will be dealing with this for many more years, if not forever. Sometimes I wish I could hurry up and die, because I can’t have a life. I read that gelatin can be good for healing the digestive system, so I’m going to try that, although I’m sure I won’t tolerate it either. Besides, I think this has more to do with my nervous system, but what do I have to lose. If that doesn’t work I will probably try to fast, but with my hypoglycemia I doubt I’ll get very far.

Re: This month will be 7 years from when my torture began
« Reply #9 on: September 06, 2014, 02:15:32 pm »

lislis

Caddo, very well stated and believe when I say, I am so sorry, because I know exactly what you are feeling. You made a great point that we try things and then become intolerant to the new stuff. I am exactly the same way. I used to get bad hypoglycemic feelings, but I haven’t for a long time, except for this past week, which I believe came from trying fermented foods. I bought gelatin on Amazon, but was too afraid to try it, and I threw it away. I am going to try to make bone broth now, which will have natural gelatin. Let’s see how that goes! I eat a lot of raw garlic I guess to help fungus, and if I have bacteria overgrowth and maybe because I can, lol. I have a small food list. I wonder if this will ever work itself out. But I also agree, I fear I have many years ahead of me in this unless, well you know.

I pray for you too. Let me know if you found a cure, and I’ll do the same . . . . . aaaahhhhh!

Münchausen

Münchausen syndrome: Benzo Buddies members want to be sick

Münchausen syndrome, is a psychiatric factitious disorder wherein those affected feign disease, illness, or psychological trauma to draw attention, sympathy, or reassurance to themselves. It is also sometimes known as hospital addiction syndrome, thick chart syndrome, or hospital hopper syndrome. True Münchausen syndrome fits within the subclass of factitious disorder with predominantly physical signs and symptoms, but they also have a history of recurrent hospitalization, travelling, and dramatic, untrue, and extremely improbable tales of their past experiences. Officially, Münchausen syndrome has been renamed “Factitious Disorder”, with specificity either as “Imposed on Self” or “Imposed on Another” (formerly “by Proxy”).

Münchausen syndrome / factitious disorder is related to Münchausen syndrome by proxy (MSbP/MSP), which refers to the abuse of another person, typically a child, in order to seek attention or sympathy for the abuser. It is an obsessive want to create symptoms for the victim in order to obtain repeated medication or even operations.

In Münchausen syndrome / factitious disorder, the affected person exaggerates or creates symptoms of illnesses in themselves to gain examination, treatment, attention, sympathy, and/or comfort from medical personnel. In some extreme cases, people suffering from Münchausen syndrome / factitious disorder are highly knowledgeable about the practice of medicine and are able to produce symptoms that result in lengthy and costly medical analysis, prolonged hospital stay and unnecessary operations. The role of “patient” is a familiar and comforting one, and it fills a psychological need in people with this syndrome. This disorder is distinct from hypochondriasis and other somatoform disorders in that those with the latter do not intentionally produce their somatic symptoms.

Münchausen syndrome / factitious disorder signs and symptoms may include:

  • Clever and convincing medical problems
  • Frequent hospitalizations
  • Vague or inconsistent symptoms
  • Conditions that get worse for no apparent reason
  • Conditions that don’t respond as expected to standard therapies
  • Eagerness to have frequent testing or risky operations
  • Extensive knowledge of medical terms and diseases
  • Seeking treatment from many different doctors or hospitals, which may include using a fake name
  • Having few visitors when hospitalized
  • Reluctance to allow health professionals to talk to family or friends or to other health care providers
  • Arguing with hospital staff
  • Frequent requests for pain relievers or other medications

How those with factitious disorder fake illness

Because people with factitious disorder become experts at faking symptoms and diseases or inflicting real injuries upon themselves, it may be hard for medical professionals and loved ones to know if illnesses are real or not.

People with Münchausen syndrome / factitious disorder make up symptoms or cause illness in several ways, such as:

  • Exaggerating existing symptoms. Even when an actual medical condition exists, they may exaggerate symptoms to appear sicker or more impaired than is true.
  • Making up histories. They may give loved ones, health care providers or support groups a false medical history, such as claiming to have had cancer or AIDS. Or they may falsify medical records to indicate an illness.
  • Faking symptoms. They may fake symptoms, such as stomach pain, seizures or passing out.
  • Causing self-harm. They may make themselves sick, for example, by injecting themselves with bacteria, milk, gasoline or feces. They may injure, cut or burn themselves. They may take medications, such as blood thinners or diabetes drugs, to mimic diseases. They may also interfere with wound healing, such as reopening or infecting cuts.
  • Tampering. They may manipulate medical instruments to skew results, such as heating up thermometers. Or they may tamper with lab tests, such as contaminating their urine samples with blood or other substances.

People with factitious disorder are willing to risk their lives to be seen as sick. They frequently have other mental disorders as well. As a result, they face many possible complications, including:

  • Injury or death from self-inflicted medical conditions
  • Severe health problems from unnecessary surgery or other procedures
  • Loss of organs or limbs from unnecessary surgery
  • Alcohol or other substance abuse
  • Significant problems in daily life, relationships and work

A health care provider may suspect factitious disorder when:

  • The person’s medical history doesn’t make sense
  • No believable reason exists for the presence of an illness or injury
  • The illness does not follow the usual course
  • There is a lack of healing for no apparent reason, despite appropriate treatment
  • There are contradictory or inconsistent symptoms or lab test results
  • The person is caught in the act of lying or causing his or her injury

To help determine if someone has factitious disorder, mental health providers conduct a detailed interview and run tests for possible physical problems.

To be diagnosed with factitious disorder, a person must meet the criteria in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), published by the American Psychiatric Association. The DSM criteria for factitious disorder (previously, when severe, called Munchausen syndrome) include:

  • Making up physical or psychological signs or symptoms or causing injury or disease with the deliberate intention to deceive
  • Pretending to be sick or injured or to be having problems functioning
  • Continuing with the deception, even without receiving any visible benefit or reward
  • Behavior is not better explained by another mental disorder, such as a delusional disorder or another psychotic disorder

The DSM criteria for factitious disorder imposed on another (previously called Munchausen syndrome by proxy) include:

  • Making up physical or psychological signs or symptoms or causing injury or disease in another person with the intention to deceive
  • Presenting another person to others as sick, injured or having problems functioning
  • Continuing with the deception, even without receiving any visible benefit or reward
  • Behavior is not better explained by another mental disorder

See also

abilify works for me..
« on: September 26, 2014, 04:13:03 pm »

edenhazard

Hello ,
after 16months off benzo’s I still have some symptoms. I’m allot better, I will start to work pretty soon.
But I am still pretty depressed and have some psychotic like symptoms wich I did not had before benzo’s (paranoia/anxiety). I’m 100% sure its still due the healing gaba receptors.
Now the psychiatrist told me I should be healed 2 months after I quit valium wich I used for 1 year. I pretty lolled inside.
I told him about this forum and he told me this ‘everything on the internet is bullshit’.
I wonder why a smart man with a porch / jaguar and villa told me this..
He gave me abilify.
I refuse to take it everyday because it makes me like a vegetable. I only take 1-2mg every 3-7 days. And it does work for depression.
I dont have any side effects but I’m scared of it.

question:
Does my mind still heal while using abilify? Is abilify withdrawal on the same lvl as benzo’s?

I really dont want to take it but it works and its helping my life pretty good atm.
After a long long time I’m getting my life back on track.

Re: abilify works for me..
« Reply #1 on: September 26, 2014, 04:16:06 pm »

Challis99

Senior Moderator

I don’t think the Abilify will hurt or hinder healing. As far as whether or not to take it, if it’s working for you and helping you get through this withdrawal, I would go with it for now. You can always taper off of it later. We’re expert taperers after this, aren’t we.

Re: abilify works for me..
« Reply #2 on: September 26, 2014, 04:48:19 pm »

Luigithepug

Quote from: edenhazard on September 26, 2014, 04:13:03 pm
I told him about this forum and he told me this ‘everything on the internet is bullshit’.

said every doctor ever.

Re: abilify works for me..
« Reply #3 on: September 26, 2014, 04:52:20 pm »

edenhazard

The best part of the story is that my parents now believe I’m psychotic and thinks it can be permanent :’).
They dont believe in benzo withdrawal.

Thug life.

Re: abilify works for me..
« Reply #4 on: September 26, 2014, 05:00:19 pm »

Challis99

Senior Moderator

Quote from: edenhazard on September 26, 2014, 04:52:20 pm
The best part of the story is that my parents now believe I’m psychotic and thinks it can be permanent :’).
They dont believe in benzo withdrawal.

Thug life.

My daughter is a nurse and thought I had early onset Alzheimer’s. She didn’t see me very often when I was in acute withdrawal and when she did visit, I tried my hardest to appear normal so it wouldn’t upset her. I’ve talked to her about it more openly now that I’m obviously functioning normally again, but she still doesn’t ‘get it’. I hope that someday she may be better educated in benzodiazepine withdrawal…not by her own personal experience but by job training…

Re: abilify works for me..
« Reply #5 on: September 26, 2014, 05:08:37 pm »

WiseWomanWithIssueS

While Abilify is considered an atypical antipsychotic, it’s also considered a major tranquelizer. To my knowledge it does not work on gaba, like benzos do so that shouldn’t impact you. I don’t believe that abilify is helping you because you have any psychotic tendancies. I think it helps you because it quiets down the glutamate some. The doctor is an idiot. Do what works. Ideally, when symptoms start to quiet down, you will be able to taper off this med.

Best,

WWWI

Re: abilify works for me..
« Reply #6 on: September 26, 2014, 05:19:52 pm »

Luigithepug

Quote from: edenhazard on September 26, 2014, 04:52:20 pm
The best part of the story is that my parents now believe I’m psychotic and thinks it can be permanent :’).
They dont believe in benzo withdrawal.

Thug life.

rofl.

Abilify is an anti-psychotic AND an anti-depressant. It’s quieting down your anxiety because it’s blocking your dopamine/norepinephrine (this leads to the vegetable feelings) and making you happier because it’s giving you more serotonin.

Re: abilify works for me..
« Reply #7 on: September 26, 2014, 05:25:41 pm »

eastcoast62

Moderator

Challis, don’t wait on your nurse daughter being taught about this! They aren’t. I have been a nurse a long time, and am in contact with a few student nurses and they are just as ignorant as I was.

Edenhazard, if Abilify is helping, take it. You will get off it when the time is right. And try not to worry about what your parents think – they have no experience with things like this. Just smile, and keep on going. Im glad your depression is a little better – that’s huge.
east

Re: abilify works for me..
« Reply #8 on: September 26, 2014, 05:31:38 pm »

edenhazard

Quote from: Luigithepug on September 26, 2014, 05:19:52 pm
Quote from: edenhazard on September 26, 2014, 04:52:20 pm
The best part of the story is that my parents now believe I’m psychotic and thinks it can be permanent :’).
They dont believe in benzo withdrawal.

Thug life.

rofl.

Abilify is an anti-psychotic AND an anti-depressant. It’s quieting down your anxiety because it’s blocking your dopamine/norepinephrine (this leads to the vegetable feelings) and making you happier because it’s giving you more serotonin.

But in really low dose it defiantly helps lowering the anxiety lvls! No vegetable feeling at all.
It almost works so well I’m afraid of it.
The only things that work like benzo’s is the devil.

Re: abilify works for me..
« Reply #9 on: September 26, 2014, 05:55:03 pm »

eastcoast62

Moderator

Just be careful that you don’t find yourself increasing the dose much over time. And, be sure you look up its side effects.
east

Acidhead told to change name of secret Facebook druggie group to “I’m addicted and in denial”

VICTIMS? HARDLY.

Listen to the irrational rage of angry drug addicts. The below professional victims blame everyone but themselves for their drug abuse problems. Let me remind readers that no one forced these people to take a single pill (unless they were forcibly admitted to mental hospitals and given drugs against their will). Like the rest of us, they were able to research the potential side effects of medications before taking them and decide whether it was worth it. They alone had the responsibility to research what was prescribed to them. If they didn’t look into the drugs they were prescribed they have no one to blame but themselves. They need to direct their anger at themselves and not at doctors or pharmaceutical companies. I am not a doctor but it seems as if many of them have an actual need to be on medication.

Rebecca Love Gerondale Those effers never gave me anything but grief anyway… Why I ever stayed on them I will never understand. A strange life indeed.

The Benzodiazepine Project You most likely had “medication spellbinding”. If you haven’t read that paper by Dr. Breggin, you should. It really helps to understand HOW and WHY.

Rebecca Love Gerondale I will for sure… The thing that is so idiotic to me is I never felt better on them for even a day, I just didn’t feel worse and at the time that really meant something to me. Six years later…

Rebecca Love Gerondale Sometimes it’s really hard to have grace for myself. I’m so angry today.

Whoopsie Doodle It’s okay to be angry Rebecca. Allow it to be there and express it somehow to release it. There is probably more where that comes from. It’s part of the healing process.

Rebecca Love Gerondale Yup. It’s nothing new and definitely has been a part of this. It makes sense. I’m pretty good and just letting the feelings be there knowing they constantly shift and flow. Thank you for the kindness.

Out, loud and proud

Bedridden Benzo Buddies degenerate comes out of benzo closet with soft core porn story praising psychosis

"what do I tell other people?" 
I read this piece on benzo withdrawal to a crowd
« on: August 11, 2013, 04:56:40 pm »

[Name hidden]

A common question that I have seen here over the years is “what do I tell other people?”, generally due to a cross between the impossibility of explaining the experience and the stigma that benzos frequently invoke of either or both mental/emotional illness and drug abuse.

I long ago switched from dropping the name/family of the drug, and just explain that I was prescribed a medication that caused serious neurological side effects, which is the short version of what is pasted below. On Wednesday, I read a piece that I wrote to an audience of about 60 about the experience of being invisibly disabled that was extremely well received.

Just to give the background on the writing assignment and the audience, this is a monthly queer open mic (well, open with prior sign up) that gives a one word topic to participants every month to present on in a 7-10 minute time slot. The topic for this piece was “FANTASY”, so what do I fantasize about? Not being disabled, of course, and all of the things that I am going to do when I am better.

Basically, the first half of this piece is where I specifically am talking about illness and it is more serious, and the second half is where I am talking about the things I would like to do and was fairly specifically geared towards a GLBTQ audience. I had mixed thoughts about including the second half, here, for a non-primarily GLBTQ audience, but then I figured “what the hell?”. If that isn’t you, you can either stop reading it at that point, or otherwise keep reading it and learn about a slice of life you otherwise have no access to. If that’s a foreign world to you, the only thing that you need to know going into this piece is that unfortunately, a lot of queers are not only rejected by the straight world for being queer, they then get very painfully double rejected by people in the gay scene who have internalized the straight world values (ie, “you’re too butch/effeminate”, etc.), as I do refer to that phenomenon.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The last few years have contained some extremely negative and some extremely positive experiences for me, and both the bad and the good have leant themselves to a great deal of fantasy. But in order to fully describe my fantasies, I must first explain my reality for contrast.

My current reality is that I am badly, if almost totally invisibly, disabled.

My illness was caused in the course of horribly f*cking up on every level possible the diagnosis and treatment of another serious health condition, being advanced auto-immune thyroid disease, which was very dangerously advanced by the time they finally caught it, and even more so by the time they finally properly treated it. Ironically the thyroid disease is now totally managed and no longer effects my life at all, however the severe side effects of a medication that was totally inappropriate for my condition, and was even then not prescribed within standard guidelines, have still left me devastated with a host of severe neurological side effects and physical pain three years later.

One fantasy that I have is being able to explain what I am going through to other people. I feel like when you tell people that you are disabled and they don’t see a wheelchair that there is a great deal of silent “but you don’t look sick” cynicism like I am exaggerating or bellyaching as opposed to people with *real* disabilities because most people do not know what either serious suffering or serious illness actually look like.

To an extent, I can get that. I don’t know how someone could look at me and in a glance know that I have spent most of the last three years, including right now, operating somewhere between being mostly bedbound and mostly housebound, or that when they are seeing me that most of the time I am only out with the assistance of friends who are invisibly around me looking out for my interests. There is no way to look at me and to know when I am in one of my long stretches where I am struggling just to bathe and feed myself, or when I am struggling even just to make it from my bed to the bathroom when I have to pee.

There is no way to realize that when you’re seeing me out, that that is literally one of the only times I will even leave my house at all that month and that I am completely dependent on others to bring me groceries because I can’t walk a block and a half to the store. When I am having a good enough day to actually escape my house and people see me out, what they don’t see is all of the times that I couldn’t make it out even with assistance, or how badly I am silently struggling just to be present in front of them at that moment, and they especially do not see the very high price that I will physically pay for having gone out for days after, or sometimes for far much longer.

I think that for people who have not experienced or been around serious illness, their only point of reference for what illness looks like is their own experiences with a flu or high fever. When you are an otherwise healthy person dealing with a temporary illness, you can afford to check yourself out of life and to wallow on a couch or in a bed for a week or two. But when you are dealing with an illness that stretches from months into years, and especially when it involves such profound physical suffering, you start to realize that no matter how much pain you are grappling with or how physically weak you are, absolutely anything is better than staring at your four walls with nothing to think about other pain.

When I go out, I only go to high pay off events because the only way to cope with what I am going through is to either throw myself into giving a performance, watching an interesting performance, or throwing myself into an interesting conversation with an interesting person. Except for occasionally euphemistically mentioning that I’m “not feeling well”, which even then I only mention to people I feel comfortable sharing that much with, I will discuss anything and everything except for being sick and the actual nitty gritty of my symptoms because I am desperately trying to focus on absolutely anything other than what is going on with my body. But for once, I would like to live my fantasy of saying out loud what I have been going through for the last three years.

The best way to describe a lot of what I experience is that I have all of the symptoms that you associate with a 104 degree fever while simultaneously tripping on several hits of acid, no matter how straight I’m able to play it when we chat. Not only is that not an exaggeration after three years of near daily hallucinations, visual distortions, and deeply confused and effort filled thinking, it leaves out the additional cardiac symptoms, GI symptoms, a physical inability to sleep, profound physical weakness and exhaustion that have nothing to do with sleep, vertigo, severe short and long term memory loss, involuntary muscle movements, painful muscular dysfunction, bursts of nerve pain, and migraines that have lasted weeks at a time (the record having been for eight weeks).

I fantasize about relief all of the time, but being healthy and pain free is such a foreign concept to me at this point that instead I just frame my fantasies in terms of just no longer suffering. I am projected to make a full recovery someday, and one at a time I see the list of symptoms in my progress log get shorter, but then I’m left to wonder how half of the symptoms can still kick my ass as hard or harder than when I had them all. In the past few weeks, after seven solid months of [not even struggling just to get through the day], but literally struggling just to make it from one moment into the next, I have finally upgraded from solid abject physical suffering to only just feeling like shit. I have had these reprieves before, and I feel like a cross between Pinocchio and Cinderella, because for the first time in a very long time I feel like a real person, but at the same time like the clock is ticking until my symptoms overwhelm me, again. But I fantasize that this time the pendulum doesn’t swing the other way and this bit of relief is a permanent down payment on the full recovery I’ve been promised for three long years.

So, that is the worst of what I have been dealing with, but like I said, wonderful things have happened to me during this time, as well, and they have also opened the door to many fantasies.

When I was younger, after having grown up in serious fundamentalist territory, the moment I turned 18 I ran out into the world to “find my people”, but was rudely disillusioned by the queer people that I did find through my late teens and 20’s. The message that I was resoundingly and relentlessly told by them was that in not fitting their mold I was “too weird”, that I was “making everyone else look bad”, and that I was being gay “the wrong way” because they found me to be too dirty and too gender bendy, they were weirded out by my then-work as a professional dominatrix, and because in addition to liking girls I also liked getting some dick and, even stranger still in their view, I am also deeply attracted to people who didn’t fit into their surprisingly binary views on gender.

I did not have access to the information that these are messages that many of us are told about ourselves by other queers who seem to have internalized the uninformed main stream perspective on gender and sexuality. I didn’t realize that, rather than relying on real life, these voices were just relying on straight stereotypes and models for their ideas on how to be gay correctly; just as they did not realize that in the process of trying to police the natural behavior of others out of the fear that it would only incur more abuse from the outside, that they were effectively doing the bullies work for them inside their own community.

I instead threw myself full tilt into rocknroll and punk rock where I was welcomed, loved, and accepted with open arms. But despite being accepted and loved, I still never felt like I could find anyone who was vibrating at the same wavelength as me.

That all changed when I saw [local drag queen activist and musician] perform at the beginning of last October, and in the space of a moment I went from feeling like the only person in the world such as myself to not only having found the others, but I had found the others, there were a ton of them, and they were having a huge party, and I was totally invited! I might still have felt uninvited just out of habit after having felt so unwelcomed by all things queer so late into my 30’s, except for that [said drag queen] was so expressly welcoming to me throughout the show and after. I was literally saved by the kiss of a handsome princess.

This watershed moment opened the door to the rest of my life and fills me full of fantasies of what I am going to do once I am well enough to take full advantage of it. Since the show in October, I have accomplished a few things. I have gotten on stage for (local event] Show and Tell and have delivered a personal narrative, shown a series of dirty drawings I made of the classic Universal monsters having gay sex with each other, shown flyers I made for a sex positive group I was in in college, and lectured on pieces of historic erotic art which I post daily on my facebook account. I appeared on a local access show and lectured on gay and lesbian erotic art history, and in the freest moment of my life (so far!) I was carted down the street in a pedicab for gay pride topless (and that’s without the bullshit electrical tape over my nipples) while wearing only a tutu, fairy wings, and a halo.

I am not exaggerating when I say I was barely able to get out of bed with help to do these things and my participation in all of these events nearly physically destroyed me, both while I was doing it and in the very physical that price I paid after. But I paid the price each and every time because without my health, literally all I have is my happiness and each of these things made me very happy, but in my fantasies I do these things without effort, pain, or losing ground in my recovery.

In my fantasies, I can do everything I want to do and volunteer for every call for performers. I keep myself afloat by keeping a notebook full of all of my ideas for future costumes and lip sync routines and dirty lyrics for a band I fantasize about being well enough to have.

I fantasize about my heavily impaired memory improving enough to perform the Buddy Cole monologue where he is visiting a dead friend’s grave for the Halloween edition of Show and Tell. I want to do it so that I can, in full context, deliver the most important sentence I ever heard, being the line “he was the kind of faggot that made respectable gays *so* uncomfortable”. Because I am that faggot and I am sorry that I ever let their discomfort interfere with finding my *real* people, being the drag queens, trans folk, leather people, and anyone else who was ever told by another gay that they were ruining it for everyone just for being themselves.

I fantasize about getting someone to show me the ropes so that I can successfully dress in drag as a drag queen for at least several numbers I would like to perform. I fantasize about being able to finally learn how to put on eye makeup symmetrically, and I fantasize that when people see me all queened out, that, if only for a moment, they say to themselves, “that guy is lucky he’s so short- it makes him that much more convincing!”.

When I was writing this piece, I fantasized about having an extra three minutes in my time slot to end on a lighter note with a sexual fantasy involving having hot lesbo sex with two drag queens, because A) I did write it out and it was totally hot, and B) it was also very funny on top of being very sexy, and I generally prefer to deliver laughs than seriousness. The fantasy will be filed away for future use, and until then I look forward to making all of my fantasies, including that one, a reality.

Re: "what do I tell other people?" 
I read this piece on benzo withdrawal to a crowd
« Reply #1 on: August 11, 2013, 05:38:06 pm »

mplsgrl

This awesome. Clear and articulate I really congratulate you on communicating this!

Coming “out” as a benzo victim!

M

Re: "what do I tell other people?" 
I read this piece on benzo withdrawal to a crowd
« Reply #2 on: August 11, 2013, 05:40:02 pm »

[Name hidden]

Wow […], fantastic story. So glad you were able to deliver this piece not for benzo awareness but because it made you happy! Sounds like we are at a similar age and doesn’t it feel great to finally get to the point of letting go of how everyone else feels about you and just living how you want to? Live for yourself first, be happy and don’t try to be a people pleaser! Spent too many of my years focused on pleasing others instead of myself. That is something I’m getting better at during this benzo w/d, so something good is coming out of all this misery and suffering. Take care, hope your fantasy comes true!

Re: "what do I tell other people?" 
I read this piece on benzo withdrawal to a crowd
« Reply #3 on: August 11, 2013, 06:00:17 pm »

[Name hidden]

I’m glad you’ve got some acceptance.

I go to Narcotics Anonymous meetings and most of the folks there are either recovering heroin/opiates, cocaine or meth addicts. When I talk about Valium, no one seems to “get it” that even though I’m now 77 days off the drug, I’m not functioning as well as they are. I explain about how it takes so long to recover from benzos and NO ONE seems to get it.

I still go to NA meetings, mostly to just be around people and get out of the house, but I’ve kind of stopped talking about how long it’s taking to feel “normal” again. I’m able to function at the meeting, so I just keep my never-ending recovery process to myself.

I truly believe that the only people who truly understand benzo recovery are folks who’ve been through the process. I don’t think many of them end of at NA (or AA, which I found even less hospitable than NA) meetings. Oh, well, I guess I’ll always be the “odd man out” at meetings…

[…]

Re: "what do I tell other people?" 
I read this piece on benzo withdrawal to a crowd
« Reply #4 on: August 11, 2013, 08:08:17 pm »

[Name hidden]

I’m surprised to hear that […] because I know a couple of people who are Rx IV drug users and they sure get it about benzos.

These are people who are not very selective about what they put into their arms but boy when it comes to klonopin they won’t touch it with a 10 foot pole.

Anyway I’m glad you go to NA, I used to go to AA and although I’m not a huge fan of the program itself I always enjoyed the camaraderie and going for meals and coffees after meetings, that was fun. I made some good friends there.

[…] that’s a great piece! My powers of concentration are a bit off due to w/d and I often have difficulty reading through something from start to finish but your words held my atttention all the way through and I think you did a really commendable job. Thank you.

Best to you both,
Chinook 

Re: "what do I tell other people?" 
I read this piece on benzo withdrawal to a crowd
« Reply #5 on: August 11, 2013, 11:43:44 pm »

[Name hidden]

Wow. I don’t know what to say. I felt so overwhelmed reading this. I somehow felt very proud and happy on your behalf.
« Last Edit: August 12, 2013, 04:47:35 am by [Name hidden] »

Re: "what do I tell other people?" 
I read this piece on benzo withdrawal to a crowd
« Reply #6 on: August 12, 2013, 03:40:51 pm »

[Name hidden]

Quote from: mplsgrl on August 11, 2013, 05:38:06 pm
This awesome. Clear and articulate I really congratulate you on communicating this!

Coming “out” as a benzo victim!

M

Hey thanks, though I actually never mentioned benzos. I weighed it out and while I used to specifically warn people about benzos in the past and am open to doing it again in the future, I feel that even if it was only a handful of times that I just really don’t have it in me to deal with any sort of both ignorant and nasty remarks about being a drug addict and being responsible for my own problems, again, while I’m dealing with such hardcore stuff, at the moment.

Re: "what do I tell other people?" 
I read this piece on benzo withdrawal to a crowd
« Reply #7 on: August 12, 2013, 08:32:38 pm »

[Name hidden]

That may be the best post I’ve ever read on here.

I loved the writing, the content, the style and – if you’ll forgive the metaphor – the sheer balls it displays.

Bravo.

Re: "what do I tell other people?" 
I read this piece on benzo withdrawal to a crowd
« Reply #8 on: August 13, 2013, 12:22:35 am »

[Name hidden]

Amazing piece, […]! So well-written and powerful. A lot of what you wrote about withdrawal speaks to me as someone who’s had CFS for years just as much as it does someone who has been through withdrawal. I hope your full recovery is just around the corner so you can get to making those fantasies come true.