Self-pitying cult member’s story ends with sappy plea to make Colin the next King of England

Beyond Success Stories
« on: September 12, 2019, 01:03:20 am »

Quietquiet

Hey Folks,

I’ll post this here because it seems the least inappropriate place to do so. I’m actually surprised there isn’t a dedicated section for people who want to pursue action related to questions of justice, advocacy, pushing for research, how to sue practitioners/manufacturers, etc. There absolutely should be. Other sites/organizations may be a better fit to implement action, but BB seems an ideal place to, at minimum, discuss these issues in our own informed, freewheeling, even chaotic manner. I’m pretty new to all this, so I don’t want this to be taken as a criticism of BB. I value this place immensely.

There is a lot of anger and some triggering language below, so if you are not up for that then I wouldn’t read much further. It’s also kind of long.

-Beyond Success Stories-

Everyone appreciates Success Stories. They really do help and I know they have brought many people through some rough patches. At the same time, what I’ve noticed is the air that some of them present, as though writing their story is the last great service that the author is going to provide to those left behind. A final parting gift. And we are very grateful for this gift. I am absolutely, honestly grateful. But BB is a kind of closed community. So that message does not spread very far.

When I want people to understand what I am going through, I tell them to go to BB and read a Success Story, because I think every single person on earth would find it shocking the amount of pain involved in what we call ‘success.’ Ideas like: “withdrawal symptoms may persist for weeks, months or years,” just don’t register with people. Does that mean you have a headache? Some fatigue? You miss taking the drug? No, it means I was force-marched through hell, and I have lost everything dear to me along the way. How’s that for a possible side effect?

I wish every success story was sent by its author to the editorial page of their local paper. To every national paper. To every international paper. They may not run them, but eventually they will read them, and those people have a vast influence. And you don’t need to have achieved ‘success’ to write a letter. I wish there was a collection of them available on Amazon — there is for every other aflicted group, and people read them.

I know some people stick around to offer aid and support, and some people go off and work on these issues in the world in the ways that they can. Thank you so much for doing that. It takes great strength of character. Admins and BIC do such powerful work.

But the overwhelming feeling I get from reading success stories is that people are trying really, really hard to forget about their experience. And that makes total sense. It’s a deep trauma; who wouldn’t want to forget? I’m sure if I ever heal, I’ll want to as well. Some people may not be able to have anything to do with work involving benzo advocacy after the trauma. That is totally understandable. Live your life. You’ve damn well earned it.

But how long has this board been active, 15 years? 15 years of people healing through the solidarity of their fellow sufferers, and still new people keep showing up. New people who have to go through hell because they weren’t told the truth.

This is, of course, not the fault of those who have healed and moved on. And no one should have to live their life in service to a cause they no longer feel connected to. But it is hard to claim to care in any meaningful manner when we willingly turn away from those who are suffering in the way that we suffered. We need to at least be honest about that with ourselves.

Because I know that if even one person had told me of the dangers of benzos I wouldn’t have taken a single damn pill (the potential dangers of the drug is on the package insert of every benzodiazepine – editor). I know this because someone told me about the dangers of a couple of harsh ssris, and when I was offered them, I rejected them. And I also know this because of the street drugs I was warned of and didn’t take. No symptom list can communicate what benzo suffering is like; it takes a survivor.

I’ve read stories where people go back to confront their doctors and then walk away because they just can’t find the words. And I think, who is that doctor going to injure next? Please, please find the words.

They don’t believe us when we are symptomatic because those who are mentally unwell are imminently dismissible. It is much harder to argue with a ‘healthy’ person. Especially one who is going to report you. Especially one who is threatening to sue you. Especially one who will tell every person they know what their trusted doctor did to them if they do not rethink their actions and policies. Phones and email work wonderfully well if you are worried your anger will overwhelm you. Demand a response.

My understanding is that there is no real research being conducted into what has happened to us, nor into ways to help us in our struggle. People have been taking these drugs for 50+ years and they still don’t really know what the longterm effects are in any real way. That is unacceptable, and as far as I know, not true of any other drug of ‘abuse.’ There is a trail of corpses and broken lives all along those decades.

I don’t want to have anyone going through this to feel any extra burden right now. You’ve got enough on your plate. But I see so many threads about whether some vitamin will help, or people passionately debating whether or not to use some supplement. Both of those are important for people to look into when they are suffering. But…

I just wish I saw the same passion being directed at finding ways to convince our elected officials, or the people that run the various departments and institutes of health, or research bodies, or news organizations, or watchdog groups, or our own providers, to at least TRY to do something about this. One ironic thing about victims is that we actually have IMMENSE power, because we KNOW, and we have STORIES. And people believe in stories, and they understand something about pain, and they care when they hear about people suffering. They do, they really, really do care.

They just have to be told those stories enough times and in the right ways. There are some damn good story tellers and experts on this site. Put Fliprain on Dr. Phil. Have […] chair the Benzo Withdrawal Symposium happening in Tucson on the 16th. Make Colin the next King of England. Whatever it takes.

In my darkest moments (and maybe stop reading here even if you have read through the rest, because it is dark) I feel like a person who is chained to the wall of a dungeon with a bunch of other prisoners, being tortured by a psychopath. And every once in a while, a person claws their way out of the darkness and into the light. Into freedom. They escape the dungeon and the torture.

Imagine you are that person who escapes. What is your responsibility to those back in the dungeon, still chained to the walls, with the drills and the saws?

Maybe it’s enough to be free. Maybe you don’t have to do anything. But maybe you can raise Holy Hell. I don’t know. I’m still in the dungeon.

What I want is for us to find out the truth of what is happening to us, and for us to have a lot more help, and maybe eventually to take some action so I don’t feel so absolutely powerless. And above all I want to know that there will one day be a final person to sign up to this forum. And that person will be met with all the knowledge they need, and after they have quickly healed, Colin can close this board down and turn it into a memorial for all the anguish and all the courage that it is a testament to. Or just delete it, because maybe by then we all really could begin to forget, in the fullness of a great victory over such agony and despair.

So this is a desperate rant because I am in pain; I am holding on by my fingernails; I’m afraid of what is going to happen to me. And if I offended anyone then I’m sorry, really I am, unless it makes you do something that helps us. Because a whole lot of stuff in this world was changed because one person got righteously pissed, or just did the hard work. How many people are alive because one doctor in Newcastle opened a clinic and wrote a manual on withdrawal? And why has there been no one since?

Why don’t we have physical places for people to go to in order to recover long-term? Why aren’t there institutes devoted to research? Why isn’t there any real funding? Yes, there are answers to those questions, but those answers are unacceptable. Those places and institutions exist for many other forms of treatment that people need, and often for conditions that impact far fewer people for far less time. We can’t even go to drug treatment centers because THEY MAKE US WORSE. That is insane.

I would feel a lot better if there was more discussion around here about the power we DO have. About the studies we think SHOULD happen, and how they should be conducted, and who we can contact and educate and badger and cajole into taking them on. About the ways we CAN change the minds of those who can immediately do something about this. Because I do know this, we COULD be helped, and quickly. Not necessarily healed, but helped.

Who are the experts on benzo withdrawal? We are. But there are people in the world who know things that we could benefit from. If there is one thing I know about the members of this forum it’s that you can type all damn day long and you do not give up.

Maybe this has all been said before and dismissed for good reasons. If so it’s time to reconsider. I just know I can’t read another post about whether or not I am to blame for increasing my symptoms because I ate some garlic.

Our lives were stolen from us. Stolen. That is a crime. It cannot be allowed to stand and it must not be allowed to continue. The only justice in the world is the justice that you insist on when you have the strength to do so. And sometimes even when you don’t.

My best,

quiet

Benzo Buddies member goes back on benzos after brutal Ashton taper fails and is doing great!

a lifetime of decisions, and a long weird path back towards reinstatement
« on: July 17, 2019, 06:37:35 pm »

[Buddie]

Hello,

I had initially kept this post to a handful of staff members, but was encouraged to feel free to make a more public post.

Put simply, I am back on benzodiazepines after an extended period off, and while I have deep reservations about this, after eight months it does not yet seem to have been a mistake.

Abbreviated backstory: I was on benzos for a number of years in late adolescence / early adulthood for anxiety based reasons. I had mild tinnitus at that time (possibly attributable to many things, including a distant history of childhood ear infections). Tapering was brutal and took me 14 months, and I wrapped that up sometime in 2005. I don’t recall tinnitus ever being a problem, except briefly during parts of the taper.

In 2010, an acoustic trauma did some significant damage to my auditory system, the tinnitus turned into a wailing monster, and I used benzos again for about a year before tapering again. I spent 2011-2015 basically miserable, highly functional but chronically consumed with the violent, often painful, extremely high pitched noise in my skull. I tried all kinds of things; if there is a supplement, drug, medical practice, massage practice, alternative medicine practice that someone on Google says helped their tinnitus, I probably tried it. I also tried doing “nothing”; I learned to meditate. I learned to sleep with earplugs in spite of the noise. I spent a lot of money; I spent $10,000 to be a lab rat in one clinical trial alone (lots of travel involved).

I remain hopeful about the tinnitus treatments that are in the pipeline, but a little voice continued to say “I need to do something now”, as my life sort of passed before my eyes. I achieved significant professional success. I was able to relocate out the city to a pristine, quiet area in 2016. This did all make me feel better in some ways, but still the noise.

In late 2015, unrelated medical circumstances forced me to consider short-term PRN use of Valium, and, of course, I discovered that it still “worked” as far as taking my mind off the tinnitus. From early 2016 until November of last year, I used Valium PRN; when the tinnitus would become absolutely intolerable, I would take enough to knock it way back (usually 10-20mg over 24-36hrs), and then try to not do that again for 3-4 weeks. I became a parent over this time period, and I realized that the times I was the most medicated were also the times I felt the most joy and connection with my child. By July of 2018, I was agonizing over the idea of reinstatement, but I wasn’t sure.

I made a list of every possible tinnitus remedy that seemed reasonably attested which had not yet been attempted. It was a pretty short list which included some out there ideas like “cervical chiropracty” and “microdose psilocyban”. None the less, I crossed these items off my list as I tried them. Finally, in late November of last year, well supported by a medical team (including a prescribing doctor who is deeply aware of the hazards of benzos and necessity of a slow withdrawal), I elected to resume daily benzo use. After 2 weeks at 25% of the dose I’d previously been on long term, things felt very bad; more or less, I felt like I was in withdrawal, and I almost aborted the experiment then and there. One of my medical team persuaded me to at least attempt my full prior dose for some period of time; I also elected to supplement it with gabapentin based on some research into the combination for tinnitus specifically (and the general observation that gabapentin is much less scary than benzos, so if it can be used to supplement a benzo dose and reduce benzo consumption, that’s probably a win).

More or less I had a one month “honeymoon” where life seemed too good to be true, and as expected, that faded as tolerance became obvious and peripheral side effects also vanished. However, what I am left with, so far, is a life which is much more manageable. It’s hard to put numbers on things, but the tinnitus is more distant, it’s generally less disturbing when it does get my attention, and I’ve been able to make significant progress in my family life, in my professional life, and in therapy, which had been blocked by the state of utter discomfort, misery and despair that my tinnitus had thrown me into. The general observation of my spouse is that I am easier to talk to, more likely to listen to them, less likely to snap, and more likely to be sympathetic and caring in general.

To make a few things clear:
This was my choice and I would not encourage anyone else to do the same thing. No one’s circumstances are identical. For all I know, my use of benzos during developmental years caused problems that couldn’t self-fix, and if not for that I might not be in this situation at all. Likewise, if I had taken better care of my ears, or had better genetics around hearing, tinnitus and anxiety, I might not be in this situation. But, that doesn’t matter: the way things are, is the way things are.

I do not know the long term results of this (and neither do you) – I waited more than six months before posting this because I wanted to be sure a beneficial effect that outweighed my reservations about benzo use, would persist for some period of time after obvious tolerance had set in. It’s entirely possible that this will “stop working” at some point, and I will be left with my generally terrifying tinnitus on top of having to do another taper. But, it’s also possible that won’t happen (one of my family members has taken Klonopin with no loss of efficiency for more than 15 years) – and it’s further possible that some of the tinnitus treatments which are currently in the experimental or early marketing phase will turn out to be extremely effective, at which point attempting another taper might seem very rational to me.

I agonized over this decision more than you can possibly imagine over a five year period; eight months in, it’s given me eight of the best months of the last 10 years of my life. I am happy to answer any reasonable questions, but I ask that you respect my right to autonomy and decision making over my own body.

Addict thanks Ashton and Benzo Buddies for wasting three years of her life

The Beginning of My Third Year Tapering
« on: April 05, 2019, 12:24:23 am »

[Buddie]

April 2017, I started tapering 2 mgs of Xanax, my stomach was killing me, had all the tests, all came back showing nothing, lucky enough my husband found an article discussing benzos and stomach pain and it all fell together.  I immediately cut way too much, having no knowledge of what I was doing, but I was lucky in that the next day I started researching.  I didn’t find the Ashton Manual or BB then , just enough information to go back up immediately, the word stroke scaring me to death.  Started back down, still way too fast, withdrawals really bad.  Anxiety off the roof, shaky, heart palpitations, muscle pain, and many others.  Mostly in terrible shape.  In October, after lowering about .05 xanax found Ashton Manual, got my pain Dr to help and managed to come down another.25 for a total of.75 Xanax.  Horrible withdrawals, found BB, thank goodness, and decided to crossover to Valium, which also turned into a nightmare, my body just hated it, sedated, sick, had crossover too fast, having xanax withdrawals also.  It was awful.   I made many more mistakes during the next year, this is so hard, not the same rules for anyone.  My main symptom through all of this has been bad muscle pain, still is.  I am writing this for the people who are around a year into this and think they can’t go on, you can.   I am down to 10.56 Valium from 40 mg .  I am now doing a daily liquid micro taper, much easier than cut and hold for me, and just had a three week window, I had never had one.  So if I can make all the mistakes I did and be as miserable as I have been, know you can keep on.  Keep reading all over BB to find the way for you, ask questions, learn, get advice……my best advice, taper slowly, so many of us have run into so many walls wanting to speed this process up, all the heartache, pain and time we would have saved , if we had just slowed down.  Ashton is a fast taper for most of us, it’s a good taper but cut that % down or stretch the time frame out.  You will be glad you did.  I was on Xanax for 3 years, never dreamed this could happen, am sure you didn’t either.  I hope this helps someone, I am not a great writer like so many on here, but I wanted to share, you are not alone in your mistakes, not anything wrong you have done has not been done before and those people still healed.  Good luck everyone, you CAN do this too, it won’t be easy and it is going to take a while.   🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀 […]….read the success stories, they help!

TERROR AT TESCO

I went to TESCO today!
« on: January 02, 2018, 05:19:06 pm »

[Buddie]

In the car!! By myself!!!

I haven’t been able to go there to do any shopping at all for months and the whole ‘online shopping and getting someone to get bits and pieces in between’ has become so stressful I decided that was one of the first things I was going to try and do when I felt stronger.

Last night I had a better sleep and felt half-decent after lunch so decided to have a go.  I haven’t been able to drive on the main roads outwith the housing estate but thankfully TESCO is about 10-15 minutes away from the house but still within the estate.  However even if I get there, I can’t go in the normal way because there are traffic lights and I seem to freak out if I get ‘trapped’ anywhere like a queue or a busy roundabout or lights.  And then I figured out I could maybe park in the staff car park round the back which is reached via a side street before the main entrance to TESCO and means I don’t have to negotiate any traffic lights at all so that’s what I did today.  And then did a LOT of deep breathing in order to get out of the car and make it to the front entrance!

But make it I did.  I grabbed two filled rolls, two salads and 4 yoghurts, saw an empty checkout and tried not to hyperventilate going through it.  There was a Holland and Barrett shop in the same complex so I popped in there afterwards and got some papaya and pineapple as a snack treat then stopped at the cash machine on the way back to the car to get money out as well.  Three things I would have had to ask someone to do for me normally.

And I discovered the other good thing about the staff car park is that it’s pretty quiet so I was able to give a whoop of delight when I got back to the car without any men in white coats appearing to take me somewhere padded :laugh:

And then I took the car for a 10 minute run which involved going onto one of the main roads which did produce a mild panic attack but I was able to calm myself down once I turned off into a side street.

Now that’s a big deal for me because whenever the panic has started before when I’ve done something like that, it’s always just got worse and worse and no amount of breathing exercises or calming strategies have worked in the slightest.  As you can imagine, being the driver in a car when that happens and still having to have a 20 minute journey to get back home makes that a frightening experience and results in eventual avoidance.  So the fact that I seem to now be able to become calmer while still IN the car says to me that my brain is very definitely healing and reduces the terrible fear factor somewhat.  Well it reduces it in theory ……  ;D

Once home, I popped the shopping in the fridge and took myself off for a walk to celebrate.  Possibly being the only human being on the streets, it being a very wet and windy afternoon but you know how it is – you feel better and you just want to do some ‘normal’ stuff for a change.

I was able to go much further away from the house than I normally do although timewise my walk was only 5 minutes longer than yesterday’s but it was much more of a WALK if you know what I mean.  Yesterday I was tootling around the lanes and paths very close to my house and eking out the walk to give me a decent time – today I was properly walking on the pavements at a good pace and being ‘normal’ tired rather than ‘scared’ tired.

Which of course means I am now knackered, feel terrible and could go off to bed right this minute!! :laugh:

Still it’s nice to put a tick (for a window) in the notebook where I’m keeping track of what I take and how I feel on a daily basis instead of a cross because there’s been somewhat of an abundance of crosses lately :-\

Good start to the year eh?

“If not being on the floor shaking uncontrollably is a success, then yes I am there!”

A little confused by what people consider success
« on: August 26, 2017, 12:40:45 pm »

[Buddie]

I’m getting close to being off 3 years. I’m a lot better but can’t say that I am healed. I see some that claim to be healed at 6 months and others that say they are not symptom free even 6 years out. I won’t post a success story untill I have at least a 6 month period where I don’t even give withdrawal a thought. I still can’t make plans without considering what symptoms will pop up and when.

This proccess has without a doubt impacted the quality of my life. To say otherwise would be lying and giving the wrong impression to those looking for answers.

I have learned to live with this but it doesn’t mean that I feel better. I do have stretches of time that I feel good and don’t think about this healing process. This is an improvement from even a year ago. I am hopeful that I can see a marked improvement this tim next year. This is what keeps me going.

I am very active and at 66 I look and feel much younger. This is probably due to how I have taken care of myself throughout my life. I take some supplements, d, e, k, c, omega3, and coconut oil. I stopped multiple vitamins and herbal supplements shortly after I began my withdrawal. I think that herbal supplements can cause a lot of issues that send people to the doctor only to have him prescribe a benzo to counter their side effects. This is my theory anyway!

Here is where I am now! If not being on the floor shaking uncontrollably is a success, then yes I am there! If being able to have a conversation with someone without having moments of lightheadedness or shortness of breath or my jaws tighten, then no! I don’t leave the house without thinking that this will possibly happen sometime during my day.

I urge those that are looking for answers and comfort to not put too much importance on others experiences. It is is a good guideline but each of us will have our own timeline in this healing process. I promise that when I consider myself healed, it will be 100% and not any less.

BIG PHARMA CAUSES WOMAN TO GO ON WILD PILL SNORTING BENDER

Have just done a rapid detox
« on: May 19, 2013, 06:49:32 am »

[Name hidden]

From 100-150mg of Valium a day (plus stacks of painkillers and alcohol.)

Wow. Feeling awful. I was in there for two weeks and they dropped me down so fast. I had a couple of really bad days in the hospital but its now that I am home (stayed 2 weeks in detox) that the symptoms are really kicking in. I knew it would
Be like this as I have attempted to quit cold turkey before and couldn’t handle it so started drinking heavily and taking painkillers which just led me back to using Valium again.

I used to take a handful in the morning then bump it all day and night by snorting more.

My symptoms are :

Thee world is swimming
Feel depersonalised
Sense of unreality
Restless legs and well, restless everythjbg.
Random twitches and spasms in my body evey 20 seconds or so
Feel like everything under my skin is buzzing and sometimes burning
I have no emotions
Dilated pupils
Vertigo
Brain zaps
Headaches that I know only Valium will take away
Finding it hard to sleep and never feel restless
Constant tooth grinding for the last 5 days
Leg cramps
I get this numb, nearly like I’m going blind behind my eyes
Tremors and shaking

I’m sure there’s more.

This is awful!!!! I can’t handle it. My hubby has to go back to work tomorrow and I have to look after our 5 kids.

Re: Have just done a rapid detox
« Reply #1 on: May 19, 2013, 11:25:33 am »

[Name hidden]

Do you still have medical guidance and have you been told what to expect after those two weeks you stayed in detox?It all seems like ‘normal’ symptoms but if I were you I would seek medical help. Good luck!

Re: Have just done a rapid detox
« Reply #2 on: May 19, 2013, 12:07:18 pm »

[Name hidden]

No. I live in the country and the doctors here have said they don’t know much about Benzos. Also, I asked so many times at the hospital in the city about the coming weeks and none of them were willing to have a bar of the fact that symtoms can go on for along time after, and infact only really start at the 2 week mark sometimes.

From what I read, it is ‘normal’ but I just feel so terrible and I can’t function. I have 5 kids to look after 

Re: Have just done a rapid detox
« Reply #3 on: May 19, 2013, 02:36:40 pm »

[Name hidden]

I feel for ya […].

I came off Vicodin, alcohol, soma, ambien and finally xanax.

BUT I did them one at a time over a couple of years. The benzo
was last and definitely the hardest.

To do it all at once in 2 weeks is nothing short of sock treatment.

I only have a few minor symptoms left and doing the best I have in years.

Best wishes and hang in there.