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Benzo withdrawal and the excruciating road to recovery is well worse than the lowest, hottest depths of hell.

Actually if there was a hell, I’d probably choose to go there.

Okay, I understand prescribing a XaniBar for a short time because it is necessary to quash

the extreme anxiety tentacles vice gripping the brain.

I am Manic Depressive (not BiPolar, I despise the modernized, sensationalized term).

I understand that my illness is precarious, and all the uncertainty that is attached.

I understand that Lithium, the ‘gold standard’ drug is my best bet to stay alive.

I take it faithfully, like a daily chore you do not because you like it but simply because it’s part of your routine.

Everyday for the last 13 years I swallow my pride.

I’m not sure when Xanax became the necessity, after a traumatic event, suicidal tendencies, or the full-blown psychotic breakdown.

Does it even matter? I needed it to survive. Trouble is, it wasn’t enough. I needed more, to raise the dose to function, get through the day without doing something drastic.

I admit it, suicide is never far from my broken, tortured, chaotic mind. I am not sure why I’m still here, it’s a crapshoot.

Back to the Benzos.

How could I know back then what Benzo addiction and eventual withdrawal would do to my already damaged mind?

I am an addict. Not by choice, not by my hands.

I have lost a year or more (who’s counting) clawing my way out, chills, hallucinations, tremors, blurred vision, extreme temperature fluctuations, 94 degrees is a scary place to be trapped inside, nausea, headaches, dizziness, muscle aches, pain I have never experienced. Seasick waves, hyper sensitivity.

If you touch me I might punch you out.

I am at the benzo taper half-mark. I’ve missed so much. Trips to Cali, the beach, NY, hell just being present. Some days a trip to the nature trail with the dog is a huge accomplishment.

I am resilient. I am determined. I am not afraid to admit I’m paralyzed by fear. I blame the doctors, God, whomever is in close proximity. There is no blame, really. Bad shit happens.

I fill my arsenal with things that help with my recovery. Essential oils, strict diet, exercise, epsom salt baths, writing, watching movies, my dog. I try hard not to beat myself up. Rest, when necessary.

If your doctor writes a script for Xanax to ‘take the edge off,’ tell him to shove it and go for a walk, seek alternative treatment, try if you can to SPRINT in the other direction. If you can.

My brain is himages-1ealing. I catch a glimpse of my old, new and improved self. GABA is my new favorite word.

To everyone out there fighting, dealing with impossible challenges, breathe in 7 seconds and then breathe out 10.

Do it, again and again until your skin doesn’t crawl.

Educate yourself.

And if you meet someone who’s a little off-color, be kind.

You don’t know what hoops they’re jumping through.

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Benzo Withdrawal LINKS:

http://www.psychmedaware.org/recovery_tips.html

http://benzowithdrawalhelp.com

http://www.benzobuddies.org

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