Irishwill2015

☼ Irishwill 2015 Extremely positive and long overdue update

140 posts in this topic

 

Free spirit,

 

I wish you the best and I hope you know people do get better, it doesn't happen over night but people do get better when they do the right things.

 

Irish

 

 

I very much agree that healing happens, and that we need to fully participate by finding and doing the right things. A number of years ago, I recovered from a brain injury by going back to school shortly after my MVA. It was very difficult, as I had a lot of the same issues as WD, combined with PTSD. When I finally got in to see a neurologist, he told me I'd done the best thing I could do, by challenging my brain.

 

I haven't felt through wd that sitting and waiting was even a remote option for me. I've had some days where I was too ill to do a lot, but I've always tried to do something. Even very small achievements are something to build on...I started off riding my indoor bike 10 minutes a day, 3 or 4 days a week. I'm up to riding 2 or 2 1/2 hours outside now..and that happened over about 8 months. I'm doing my best to build a life while I'm healing, not waiting to do it when healing is complete.

 

Again, thanks for your inspiration and for staying around to carry on the conversation. I know sometimes when you leave something behind, you have zero desire to revisit it...I hope in some way, that this part helps you on your journey too.

 

 

It is my privilege and honor to stick around. I didn't think I would stick around more than a week because I didn't realize how beneficial I could be for people and people here could be for me, a lot more the latter as well. The people here are amazing and I love hearing everyone's stories.

 

I remember when I needed someone to tell me it was going to be ok and even then I thought I would be the doomed case. At times, I couldn't see a future for myself that didn't include extreme pain and misery-which obviously would make one question living at all.

 

So yes, this has helped me on my journey. I have found I love helping people and that caring is never a sign of weakness, only strength.

 

I am not immune to needing love and support, despite how self reliant I have seemingly become. I rarely accept any support from family who do know about what happened to me, I tell them that I appreciate what they did, but it is my time to help them. It is amazing how much comfort we can find in complete strangers even when compared to close family members. There is something to be said about anyone who has gone through something this horrific. We see the world differently, through a lens of true appreciation.

 

I could easily see how some people could become soured by this experience, but why? Why let this take away any more of your life? I don't see me helping as WD taking away my valuable time now, I see it as increasing my worth to people who need the support. In a way, I feel incredibly lucky to be here, allowed to help others through the worst time of their life, to sit here and let them know it will be ok because I went through it, I suffered, I cried, I crawled, and I am here on the other side so god damn happy I am alive.

 

So you are welcome but I want you and just about everyone I have come into contact with how very lucky and happy I am to have your feedback and your input. Ideally, I would like to find a better solution to this than just waiting and time. If we can't cure WD I want to at least shorten it by crowdsourcing ideas and methodologies. I like challenging conventional notions in a responsible way.

 

I think we can learn a lot from each other and I hope more people who have beaten WD come back and know it is ok to proclaim victory, you don't have to look over your shoulder for the next wave.

 

Irish

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I am learning how resilient humans (i) are. Yes, like you, I am grateful for my because I am discovernight strengths I didn't know I had and also finding out my authentic self. It's an incredible journey. I'm basically homeless through this so I'm rebuilding my life, but this time without being drugged!! The gift I wanted to give myself was to become freed from the psych system. I finally am, so every bit of inhumane circumstance and pain I've felt and still feeling is worth this gift!

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Free spirit,

 

I wish you the best and I hope you know people do get better, it doesn't happen over night but people do get better when they do the right things.

 

Irish

..I started off riding my indoor bike 10 minutes a day, 3 or 4 days a week. I'm up to riding 2 or 2 1/2 hours outside now..and that happened over about 8 months.

 

Free,

 

Do you have any recommendations for people starting to work out again?

 

I actually got back into a very rigorous workout regimen about 1.5 years in. I was just going to the gym, no work, school. I stopped working out a year ago. Now I am trying to get back into it but find I get somewhat sick and feel out of it after working out.

 

Do you have any input on what worked for you, I would love to ride for 2 hours!

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I am learning how resilient humans (i) are. Yes, like you, I am grateful for my because I am discovernight strengths I didn't know I had and also finding out my authentic self. It's an incredible journey. I'm basically homeless through this so I'm rebuilding my life, but this time without being drugged!! The gift I wanted to give myself was to become freed from the psych system. I finally am, so every bit of inhumane circumstance and pain I've felt and still feeling is worth this gift!

Great for you!

 

You will build your life up the right way and live better all for it. Congrats!

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Thank you! You too. I'm going to use this experience to help others. It's an imperative

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hello irishwill, i read all your posts, they are amazing, and i need your help. If you can read my signature i reinstated lexapro after having very bad wd symptoms. The problem is that after 1 month and a half of reinstatment, i feel nearly the same as if i didn`t reinstate. So, my question is, do you think it will be dangerous if i get off of the meds now? maybe i will suffer a lot or maybe not as taking the meds now, it is only 1 month and a half, but really i am too desperate and i feel really LOST. What do you suggest me to do?

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Free,

 

Do you have any recommendations for people starting to work out again?

 

I actually got back into a very rigorous workout regimen about 1.5 years in. I was just going to the gym, no work, school. I stopped working out a year ago. Now I am trying to get back into it but find I get somewhat sick and feel out of it after working out.

 

Do you have any input on what worked for you, I would love to ride for 2 hours!

 

Irish,

 

I'm chuckling a little..keep in mind, you're asking a 60 year old woman who was seriously overweight when she jumped off. But I'll happily share some of what seemed to work for me.

 

I had to go much slower at everything than I wanted to. I started off walking a couple of times a week and very gradually increased the amount of time and intensity. I was able to add swimming, then bought the exercise bike. For me, these are my 3 favorite forms of exercise, and that part was really important.

 

Mostly, I notice that being outside seems to produce far less of the unpleasant feelings that arise when I ride the exercise bike indoors. I enjoy myself far more being out in nature, plus my body tends to not get overheated in the same way as peddling indoors. But I found if I open the window (even in January), plus use the fan, I don't get so warm riding inside and that makes a huge difference to reducing or eliminating the sick feelings that can come with exercise.

 

I have diabetes, and don't know if any blood sugar issues arise for people who are non-diabetic...but having low blood sugar brings on the same physical feelings I've associated with WD. I know many folks exercise on an empty stomach, but there's no way I can do that. When I first started exercising, my blood sugar, even after eating, would drop into zones that were close to passing out. I also seemed to be a lot more sensitive to bs changes, where my brain would feel terrible for the rest of the day after a drop. Again, I don't know if this is true for non-diabetics..but it might be worth experimenting on having something to eat or drink before exercising.

 

I try to not have an agenda for how hard or fast I'll ride when I go out. I spend more time warming up than I ever did in the past, and sometimes, my rides are very leisurely. The most important thing for me is listening to my body, and following what feels right for that day. Right now, I'm not able to do the 25 or 30 km. all at once. I do the more strenuous (because it's uphill and on gravel) ride in the AM..and do the shorter, flatter ride either after lunch or dinner.

 

For me, the biggest enjoyment comes from being outside...and the fitness aspect is somewhat secondary. It's been challenging as a former jock to take things so slowly. I long to be able to ride my bike for most of the day...but I suspect it might be next summer before that's a reality. I like to dream though...I'm looking at bike tours and places where there are rails to trails that I might be able to do next year.

 

I think equally important is the amount of time I spend every day doing some form of relaxation practice. I find that helps to balance out the exercise, and most days, allows me to exercise without stressing my nervous system.

 

I've read a number of threads where people haven't done anything for a long while, then go out for run or to the gym and feel terrible afterwards..and then quit. I think the going slow and really listening to the body is key. For me, there's too much potential for my nervous system being overstimulated in an environment like the gym. I skip going to the pool at times for this reason..all the noise, dodging around people, etc. sometimes makes swimming not an option....which was a big part of the reason I bought the exercise bike and may add a rowing machine for the winter.

 

Have you read any of Dave's thread? (ten0275) He does weights and finds that to work well for him. I think several people on the board have found weights to be a good option too.

 

Though I've once in awhile overdone and felt lousy after exercising, it's usually been short-lived and hasn't created any big problems...just an occasional poor sleep or part of a day of having a headache or being nauseous. That just makes me try to listen better to my body or go a bit slower than I have been.

 

I hope something in there is helpful. You could always ask Dave too...find what you love doing and that will help the whole process I think.

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Thank you Free-I think that is excellent advice and I look forward to putting it to use!

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hello irishwill, i read all your posts, they are amazing, and i need your help. If you can read my signature i reinstated lexapro after having very bad wd symptoms. The problem is that after 1 month and a half of reinstatment, i feel nearly the same as if i didn`t reinstate. So, my question is, do you think it will be dangerous if i get off of the meds now? maybe i will suffer a lot or maybe not as taking the meds now, it is only 1 month and a half, but really i am too desperate and i feel really LOST. What do you suggest me to do?

 

Raul,

 

I will answer any question regarding my experience but as far as giving advice on reinstating vs not, I think that is a personal decision and not something I could give you a correct answer on. I think there are plenty of people here who would be willing to give you their opinion on this. I believe you should evaluate your situation and go the best route for you. I wish you the best and will help with any experience questions.

 

Irish

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irish I remember you from PP. Your story is wonderful. You've come such a long way. I really love how well you articulated this one thing...about the brain finding a level even lower than death and continuing to dig down...or something like that. It just struck a chord with me, because I think human suffering is universal, and there are common threads we can all relate to with each others suffering as people. However when you enter the realm of the chemically disfigured brain, all bets are off. Its uncharted territory and suddenly we find ourselves OUTSIDE the circle of relatable suffering. Its so terrifying and isolating and we know without a doubt that our loved ones most definitely cannot understand, so we try to explain it in limited terms, with words that they will understand yet those words barely do our suffering justice. In addition to this, as you have experienced, we CAN function, for the most part, within our limits...fairly well, and we don't outwardly appear to be suffering as much as we truly are, which creates even more distance between our suffering and their understanding. I used to think, during my early days of wd, that if I could physically appear as wretched as I felt, people would either run screaming or call 911 and force me to lie down while I waited for the ambulance. It is truly a private trip to hell. I'm grateful for your story, Im sure it has given so many people hope, perhaps even hundreds who don't log in or even have an account here. I have a feeling your recovery isn't finished yet, and that your residual symptoms will continue to resolve. You've done so well!!!

I also agree that we need to push ourselves *as much as possible* (which will vary from person to person and even vary between stages of our wd experience). My situation is different, as I am a mother of two children who were only 4 and 6 when this all started for me. I don't regret a single time I dragged myself to the park, the mall, a playroom full of screaming children, a family picnic, the beach, a camping trip (and with two kids the packing and planning is enough to do a healthy mom in), or pushed myself to host a birthday party for a houseful of 7 year olds, whatever it was I felt would be too much for my nerves at the time, that I powered through (and I didn't always find I was able, sometimes I simply couldn't) I now see as a victory. I created memories for my kids (they don't know how crappy I felt) and showed wd that it couldn't take everything from me. We need to push sometimes, and there comes a point where we can tell that pushing won't harm us, it will just be very difficult, but difficult is ok. I look back and am so grateful I pushed myself (when I was able). It will empower you when you look back and see what this experience DIDN'T keep you from doing, which I think will encourage the emotional healing down the road.

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Aberdeen,

 

I remember you too of course :)

 

Wow, you put that so well. The inward feeling vs outward appearance. I felt like at times it was like holding my limp body up barely standing but having to move forward. There aren't words in our lexicon to describe the pain and suffering. I think it's because pain is and suffering is supposed to be temporary, it's not supposed to last years straight. It can be such a lonely and isolating time because others can't imagine and perhaps don't want to understand the depths of it all. I hope you are doing well...being a Mom through all this must have been beyond difficult. I wish you the best and truly do appreciate the kind words and that you think I will continue to see healing. I am extremely happy where I am not but of course feeling even better, even the idea of it makes me smile and gives me hope.

We may have lost a lot in this process but we were given the chance to still be here and redefine ourselves.

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Thank you for posting your story. You definitely went through extremely difficult times and I think it's amazing you recovered from it as well as you did. I'm almost at 4 months of Paxil 20mg withdrawal after almost 12 years of taking it, and am struggling quite a bit. I feel ok some days, and not so good on others but I'm still managing to work 40 hours a week surprisingly.

 

When I'm feeling symptoms, I sometimes get pessimistic and feel like this will never end, and that my brain has been damaged and won't full recover and heal itself 100%. I know that's the complete opposite of what my thought process should be, but sometimes it's difficult to think positive.

 

Thanks for your story and hopefully you continue to heal even further than how much you already have.

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JSC7,

 

I am glad you found value in my story and I wish the best for you during this process. I have nothing but empathy for your situation as well as admiration for you to continue working and holding up, I know it is not easy.

 

Getting pessimistic at times when we feel awful is completely normal. If I have a less than good day now I will start to think "what is going on, am I still not there yet?" This is normal. The only difference between now and when I was in complete hell is that I have had a lot of symptoms resolve or go away so it is not even close to as severe as before as well as I know it will only last a couple hours or a day at most.

 

In the beginning of withdrawal I was stuck in bad days for months at a time before I would have maybe a couple hours or feeling human. Now, it seems I am in good days for the most past with a couple hours of feeling off, not terrible, but not feeling good. I can actually appreciate the transformation. It is amazing to realize how things slowly change.

 

So I agree, sometimes it is hard to think positive. You said something I found interesting and common among a lot of users here. You said:

 

I sometimes get pessimistic and feel like this will never end, and that my brain has been damaged and won't full recover and heal itself 100%. I know that's the complete opposite of what my thought process should be

 

You said, SHOULD BE. I encourage you to change that line of thinking of what should or should not be. Think about it, you have every right to think your brain has been damaged and it is hard to not think you will not fully recover (although I can assure you it is not damaged but in flux and you will fully recover). Should be thinking is unfair. With that said, I am living proof as well as the hundreds of other success stories shared and not shared. Your thought process is dictated by your current situation so of course you are going to feel down and out about what is going on-that's normal. It would be abnormal to not think something is seriously wrong because if this was your baseline before withdrawal that would be pretty scary! Use my story and others to pick yourself up though and don't worry about how you "should" be thinking, allow yourself to feel but don't allow yourself to get too down and think, "well I am different, the same healing rules don't apply to me."

 

I hope that makes sense, in a nutshell I am saying, be kind to yourself and don't worry about having these downward thoughts, the more you fight them the more you will get upset. Allow them to happen but also allow yourself to read success stories and know we are not different and if I can heal you can as well, there is NO DOUBT about it. It isn't about some people getting better, everyone will if they do the right things.

 

I hope this is helpful and I wish you all the best in your recovery. Thank you also for your kind words as well, I appreciate them.

 

Irish

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Irish your words are so helpful and provide a smooth transition from feeling doomed to feeling hopeful. Im 13 months antidepressant free and still in the thick of things. Some symptoms have drastically improved but others are heavy. I was like you very active and competitive in sports. It's been hard not being able to do anything physically. In fact I don't have the strength to even walk around my block at the moment. Keep me posted on your exercise progress I need something to look forward to.

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At first my symptoms were physically dominant. Gastrointestinal pain. It morphed as my stomach began to repair into more mental pain and suffering. That has let up now aswell but now I feel so physically weak like my body is recovering from a car crash. Its been a crazy pattern

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Hello, Irishwill. I read your story over and over, and it gives me so much courage to move forward untill I will heal. I am almost 3.5 month med free, still struggling, but I also feel progress. Thank you for your success story, it will help many of us to keep good faith, your story is the prove: there is the LIGHT at the end of the tunnel~. Best regards, Orchid.

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Irish your words are so helpful and provide a smooth transition from feeling doomed to feeling hopeful. Im 13 months antidepressant free and still in the thick of things. Some symptoms have drastically improved but others are heavy. I was like you very active and competitive in sports. It's been hard not being able to do anything physically. In fact I don't have the strength to even walk around my block at the moment. Keep me posted on your exercise progress I need something to look forward to.

 Mort-

 

I am happy you found my story to be helpful. The not working out thing or being active really got to me too. I found just doing something each day was my goal, be it a walk or whatever. The days where you can't do anything are bad but it was the thought of one day returning to do physical things that kept me going. Try not to look in the rear view too much about what you use to be able to do and focus on being able to do things in the future.

 

I have not been able to figure out a consistent way to feel good after each workout but I push it then give myself time to recover and I am very smart about what I do physically. It's coming painfully slow but I am hoping that if I take it slow, I won't ever have to repeat this process again. I am sure eventually we will get to a place where we can workout no problem again it is just going to take some time. I feel incredibly uncoordinated at times but just have to push on. I am about 60% where I want to be physically but everything else is going so well it doesn't bother me as much as it use to.

 

I will keep experimenting and pushing and see where it gets me. By no means is my progress or lack there of any indication that you won't improve faster with respect to working out. I bet you will be faster than me.

 

Some of my best workouts came after I was upset and I just said screw it and went for it so attitude and determination has something to do with it. My advice would be to do what you can, even if you are exhausted and it hurts, get up and move.

 

Best of luck and keep pushing forward.

 

Irish

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Hello, Irishwill. I read your story over and over, and it gives me so much courage to move forward untill I will heal. I am almost 3.5 month med free, still struggling, but I also feel progress. Thank you for your success story, it will help many of us to keep good faith, your story is the prove: there is the LIGHT at the end of the tunnel~. Best regards, Orchid.

Orchid,

 

This is the very reason I came back and I am extremely happy to hear it gives you courage. There is light and the light is good. I am very honest about my recovery and I didn't want to come back until I felt I could truthfully say I am doing well. I wish you the best in your recovery and I encourage you to focus on the success stories and stay away from the negative dwelling on people who are going through the hard times. Perspective is very important going through all of this.

 

Here's to your healing!

 

Irish

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JSC7,

 

I am glad you found value in my story and I wish the best for you during this process. I have nothing but empathy for your situation as well as admiration for you to continue working and holding up, I know it is not easy.

 

Getting pessimistic at times when we feel awful is completely normal. If I have a less than good day now I will start to think "what is going on, am I still not there yet?" This is normal. The only difference between now and when I was in complete hell is that I have had a lot of symptoms resolve or go away so it is not even close to as severe as before as well as I know it will only last a couple hours or a day at most.

 

In the beginning of withdrawal I was stuck in bad days for months at a time before I would have maybe a couple hours or feeling human. Now, it seems I am in good days for the most past with a couple hours of feeling off, not terrible, but not feeling good. I can actually appreciate the transformation. It is amazing to realize how things slowly change.

 

So I agree, sometimes it is hard to think positive. You said something I found interesting and common among a lot of users here. You said:

 

I sometimes get pessimistic and feel like this will never end, and that my brain has been damaged and won't full recover and heal itself 100%. I know that's the complete opposite of what my thought process should be

 

You said, SHOULD BE. I encourage you to change that line of thinking of what should or should not be. Think about it, you have every right to think your brain has been damaged and it is hard to not think you will not fully recover (although I can assure you it is not damaged but in flux and you will fully recover). Should be thinking is unfair. With that said, I am living proof as well as the hundreds of other success stories shared and not shared. Your thought process is dictated by your current situation so of course you are going to feel down and out about what is going on-that's normal. It would be abnormal to not think something is seriously wrong because if this was your baseline before withdrawal that would be pretty scary! Use my story and others to pick yourself up though and don't worry about how you "should" be thinking, allow yourself to feel but don't allow yourself to get too down and think, "well I am different, the same healing rules don't apply to me."

 

I hope that makes sense, in a nutshell I am saying, be kind to yourself and don't worry about having these downward thoughts, the more you fight them the more you will get upset. Allow them to happen but also allow yourself to read success stories and know we are not different and if I can heal you can as well, there is NO DOUBT about it. It isn't about some people getting better, everyone will if they do the right things.

 

I hope this is helpful and I wish you all the best in your recovery. Thank you also for your kind words as well, I appreciate them.

 

Irish

 

Thank you for your response, it really helped! I agree 100% with everything you said but I'm just the type of personality sometimes where I'll dwell on something negative, or have overactive thoughts if something is affecting me like sickness or withdrawal but I'm definitely making an attempt to change that thought process. I also noticed that distracting myself has helped as well. Last night for no apparent reason, I started getting anxiety and was about to take a Xanax and then I realized, let me see if distracting myself works. I got on Skype with some friends, played a game and a few hours went by and I almost totally forgot about the anxiety and it basically subsided on its own.

 

Mainly for me, it's just that I've been that type of person that's went through basically my entire life without illnesses. I get colds maybe once a year tops, the occasional stomach virus (I hate the world when these happen), and I've had maybe 2-3 flus my entire life and that's basically the extent of what I've been through. I have light to moderate asthma, and light to moderate acid reflux but that's really it. So now that I'm dealing with withdrawal, it freaks me out because I think, well I never ever hardly get sick so when I feel sick sometimes it feels like it's the end of the world even though obviously it's nothing severe it's just hard to fight my thoughts. I've been trying to change my thinking pattern to when I get withdrawal symptoms, to believe that my brain is at that moment recovering and repairing whatever part of my brain that's having issues or whatever. It works somewhat, but I'm still working on that because obviously when most people are sick or not feeling well, the last thing they do is try to think positive or not be moody about it lol.

 

I'm also trying to start incorporating some physical activity at least 3 days a week into my life. I went for a 1-2 mile walk yesterday and I felt pretty good afterwards so I'm going to make a strong attempt to do so. I used to be like you as well with the sports (Basketball for me), and weight lifting and cardio both for many years so I know it's still in me lol.

 

Thanks for your response and I'll continue fighting.

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JSC7,

 

You make great points. Distraction has been huge for me. Xanax does nothing to help withdrawal but early on I used that as a crutch as well. Distraction, doing something mindless like playing a game or a puzzle is enough to get rid of anxiety as the two cannot coexist. I totally agree that when we feel bad it feels, in a sad way, better to be moody or negative, that is something I had struggled to deal with as well.

The truth about this process is that whether or realize it or not your brain is repairing and you slowly learn techniques and coping skills to deal with this over time. Sometimes I wonder if I just am really good at dealing with this now or I am actually doing this well haha.

It's important to note that you are going to have your down times where you get negative and moody, my rule was to never let it hinder or cancel out my progress. We tend to focus on the dysfunction and not the times we feel good.

Even now I have an almost pattern of feeling good and bad, a lot of that is dictated by my sleep pattern but when I'm having a bad day I know a good day is coming most likely the next day. My bad days now aren't even close to what they were early on, mostly just physical issues, feeling less as ease and more uptight.

I played basketball too, loved it. I find it hard to be coordinated enough to play now but a lot of that has to do with not being conditioned.

I know it's not the same but if you can get out and shoot free throws I think that's something that could be both distracting and an exercise. Just make sure not to get down on yourself example being "I use to play for hours now I'm shooting free throws" that feeling like you're disabled. It's not about being who you were it's about becoming someone new, the new version of yourself.

You sound a lot like me, you're probably pretty stubborn and used to things being somewhat easy. Unfortunately being stubborn during this is counterproductive and nothing is easy. What this will teach you is empathy and humility. Some people begin to resent society and such because they have it "so easy", I encourage you to focus on all that you do have and the fact you will get a second shot at life with a greater appreciation.

 

Feel free to inbox me if you have anymore questions-I would be glad to chat. As for working out, I am going to run today after work so the experiment continues haha.

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Thanks for your response Irish it means alot to me. Slow and steady is the way to go and for now ill settle with small walks and I won't get down on myself. Pushing myself has always been easy, its the patience side of things that has been tougher for me. 

 

Your gonna get to where you want in time, I have no  doubt . Anybody who has come as far as you has special character. Time will 100% heal you physically and mentally. Maybe you won't forget but its not for nothing. You are paving the way for what will be an epidemic in this world. So many new people going on these meds everyday and your story will be here waiting for them providing hope of recovery. I wish we could stop the peddling of these meds but its too big right now so at least this site provides guidance. Thanks for the Hope

 

Mort  

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Irish,

 

I wanted to ask about when sleep became better for you? Was it gradual or all at once?

 

I am too greatly inspired by your story.

Tgirl

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You mentioned that one of the best things you did was to do what you needed to do and not let it stop you.  How long into withdrawal was it before you gained this ability?  I ask because I am about to start month 7 off and still have baby brain, which causes extreme anxiety/panic.  I drove to the store today to see how I would do, and managed to go down 2 aisles before I was like "oh no I don't know where I am or what I am doing" creeped in.  It's the whole re-learning that is scary as these things used to be so easy and normal.  Now everything is foreign and after that adventure I had to come straight home as my mind could not handle it any longer.  Even my house seems foreign sometimes or like there is nothing to hold onto to keep me safe (total irrational fear!!).  Did you have these days or were you able to push through in your early days off?

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Irish,

 

I wanted to ask about when sleep became better for you? Was it gradual or all at once?

 

I am too greatly inspired by your story.

Tgirl

Great question. It was gradual. I had to learn the game so to speak. What I found was early morning anxiety was an issue early on so I had to sort that out and get to bed earlier. I typically felt better at night so I didn't want to go to bed early thus creating a huge problem. Really early on I averaged 3-4 hours if that a night and had hellish morning anxiety. Then year 2 I noticed i didn't mind getting to bed early and I knew if I wasn't in bed by a certain time I would be up. The next day's events whether they were stressful or not played a part in my quality as well which is normal. I am about 3.5 years now (crazy to think it's been that long) and I sleep 7-8 hours easy a night and more on weekends when I need it. I think the quality is a lot better too. I still have occasional sleepless nights but that can be triggered by eating food late causing heart burn or...sex. I use to never be able to fall asleep if I worked out or had sex after like 6pm, that has now resolved for the most part but can trigger sleeplessness on occasion.

To answer your question, year 2-3 I saw great improvement partly because I learned what worked and stayed away from what didn't. I also don't drink caffeine or alcohol anymore which played a huge part. So it's different for everybody but knowing your triggers is huge!

I also found magnesium was an excellent way for me to unwind and fall asleep. I take it almost every night just because I like it and it has been good to me. I can sleep without it so it's not a dependency thing it just feels good and I know stress depleted magnesium. I use the liquid caps as I find it works better than just pill capsules.

 

I hope this helps! Sleep is huge and I think once you start to sleep better other things fall into place. Lack of sleep causes so many problems that make withdrawal even worse.

 

Irish

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You mentioned that one of the best things you did was to do what you needed to do and not let it stop you. How long into withdrawal was it before you gained this ability? I ask because I am about to start month 7 off and still have baby brain, which causes extreme anxiety/panic. I drove to the store today to see how I would do, and managed to go down 2 aisles before I was like "oh no I don't know where I am or what I am doing" creeped in. It's the whole re-learning that is scary as these things used to be so easy and normal. Now everything is foreign and after that adventure I had to come straight home as my mind could not handle it any longer. Even my house seems foreign sometimes or like there is nothing to hold onto to keep me safe (total irrational fear!!). Did you have these days or were you able to push through in your early days off?

I can totally relate. I wouldn't leave for a long time. I felt like a fish out of water. I guess the tipping point for me was I decided that if I was going to die from this the. So be it but as long as I'm breathing I won't let this beat me. I use to hate the grocery store but I went and despite it feeling like a really bad acid trip I knew the alternative of hiding at home was worse. You need to expose yourself to these situations and most importantly ACCEPT them as this is how it is now, not forever. Yes it's weird, yes it feels like brain damage, but it is what it is so just let it be.

I always thought if something bad did happen to me I a. Public place then the doctors would have to acknowledge something being wrong with me physically, silly right?

I was also always a very outgoing person and a very rugged manly looking guy so imagine that hiding at home and running out of the grocery store haha-talk about embarrassing. I forced myself to go out and hated it but knew it was what was best for me.

You should be proud you went to the grocery store, it is huge! And although it may seem pathetic to how you use to live it's not. You have to learn to walk before you run. Don't rush it, but go back to the store and go through 4 isles, go to the back of the store and just smile and accept it! The worst thing about this process is that it pits you against yourself. Be your own best friend and accept none of us are in control, just go with the flow and be proud of yourself for the minor wins because they start to add up!

 

Now I can't even think like that anymore I go where I want when I want but I remember how you felt and how "baby brain" it felt. Trust me, keep pushing it little by little and you will be back before you know it to going to where you want when you want.

 

Irish

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You mentioned that one of the best things you did was to do what you needed to do and not let it stop you. How long into withdrawal was it before you gained this ability? I ask because I am about to start month 7 off and still have baby brain, which causes extreme anxiety/panic. I drove to the store today to see how I would do, and managed to go down 2 aisles before I was like "oh no I don't know where I am or what I am doing" creeped in. It's the whole re-learning that is scary as these things used to be so easy and normal. Now everything is foreign and after that adventure I had to come straight home as my mind could not handle it any longer. Even my house seems foreign sometimes or like there is nothing to hold onto to keep me safe (total irrational fear!!). Did you have these days or were you able to push through in your early days off?

I can totally relate. I wouldn't leave home if I didn't have to for a long time. I felt like a fish out of water. I guess the tipping point for me was I decided that if I was going to die from this then so be it but as long as I'm breathing I won't let this beat me. I use to hate the grocery store but I went and despite it feeling like a really bad acid trip I knew the alternative of hiding at home was worse. You need to expose yourself to these situations and most importantly ACCEPT them as this is how it is now, not forever. Yes it's weird, yes it feels like brain damage, but it is what it is so just let it be.

I always thought if something bad did happen to me in a public place then the doctors would have to acknowledge something being wrong with me physically, silly right?

I was also always a very outgoing person and a very rugged manly looking guy so imagine that hiding at home and running out of the grocery store haha-talk about embarrassing. I forced myself to go out and hated it but knew it was what was best for me.

You should be proud you went to the grocery store, it is huge! And although it may seem pathetic to how you use to live it's not. You have to learn to walk before you run. Don't rush it, but go back to the store and go through 4 isles, go to the back of the store and just smile and accept it! The worst thing about this process is that it pits you against yourself. Be your own best friend and accept none of us are in control, just go with the flow and be proud of yourself for the minor wins because they start to add up!

 

Now I can't even think like that anymore I go where I want when I want but I remember how you felt and how "baby brain" it felt. Trust me, keep pushing it little by little and you will be back before you know it to going to where you want when you want.

 

I wish you all the best,

Irish

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"a fish out of water" explains it completely!!! Haha about the rugged manly looking guy thing because you are so right, this darn stuff can take anyone down no matter who you are!  LOL!  I backpacked 7 countries and now I can't go down a cereal aisle because it's too much to take in.  I have this weird pent up energy/internal vibrations/uncomfortable electric current feeling flowing through my body, so I know for sure this is all nervous system stuff and it just needs time to heal.  Thanks so much for your help and reply!!!

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Sounds like your nerves are extremely active. I used to get that non stop. I find it has calmed down to almost nothing now. The only time I feel it is if I push myself physically too much or under extreme stress, but it is less severe and goes away quickly! That I can tell you improves 100%. As for grocery stores, those are very stimulating experiencing some with many colors and sounds so makes sense it is uncomfortable during this time-all normal stuff, normal for WD that is

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Thanks for this thread Irishwill2015. There aren't many success stories anywhere online, believe me I've searched for them. Your story is very reassuring to those of us who are facing many years of tapering.

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Riveting account - thank you so very very much & I want to say I am proud of your recovery as well! And thank you for giving back to those of us who desperately appreciate your taking the time to do so.

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JSC7,

 

You make great points. Distraction has been huge for me. Xanax does nothing to help withdrawal but early on I used that as a crutch as well. Distraction, doing something mindless like playing a game or a puzzle is enough to get rid of anxiety as the two cannot coexist. I totally agree that when we feel bad it feels, in a sad way, better to be moody or negative, that is something I had struggled to deal with as well.

The truth about this process is that whether or realize it or not your brain is repairing and you slowly learn techniques and coping skills to deal with this over time. Sometimes I wonder if I just am really good at dealing with this now or I am actually doing this well haha.

It's important to note that you are going to have your down times where you get negative and moody, my rule was to never let it hinder or cancel out my progress. We tend to focus on the dysfunction and not the times we feel good.

Even now I have an almost pattern of feeling good and bad, a lot of that is dictated by my sleep pattern but when I'm having a bad day I know a good day is coming most likely the next day. My bad days now aren't even close to what they were early on, mostly just physical issues, feeling less as ease and more uptight.

I played basketball too, loved it. I find it hard to be coordinated enough to play now but a lot of that has to do with not being conditioned.

I know it's not the same but if you can get out and shoot free throws I think that's something that could be both distracting and an exercise. Just make sure not to get down on yourself example being "I use to play for hours now I'm shooting free throws" that feeling like you're disabled. It's not about being who you were it's about becoming someone new, the new version of yourself.

You sound a lot like me, you're probably pretty stubborn and used to things being somewhat easy. Unfortunately being stubborn during this is counterproductive and nothing is easy. What this will teach you is empathy and humility. Some people begin to resent society and such because they have it "so easy", I encourage you to focus on all that you do have and the fact you will get a second shot at life with a greater appreciation.

 

Feel free to inbox me if you have anymore questions-I would be glad to chat. As for working out, I am going to run today after work so the experiment continues haha.

 

It's been a little over a week, and I've only taken Xanax twice, and I only took half of 0.25mg so it wasn't really that strong but knocked the anxiety down a couple levels. I agree as well that we learn to cope and deal with symptoms. I think it's just like when someone suffers from any type of mental problem, they usually deal with it and still live life even though it's definitely an annoyance and not easy to do. While I was taking Paxil, I dealt with random depression quite a bit throughout the years but I honestly just learned how to deal with it and cope as best I can.

 

I can definitely agree with your statement about your sleep pattern. I've strugged with waking up in the morning since I was really young, and I use to blame Paxil for it, but even now being off it for a little over 4 months, I still struggle very badly to wake up in the morning. I work Monday through Friday, and every weekday I wake up I feel horrible, basically very sleepy and sedated feeling. I use an app called Sleep Cycle that wakes me up between 7:00-7:30AM, and it's supposed to wake me up in the lightest sleep phase when it detects physical movement, but I still feel like crap everytime. The previous night, I'm usually asleep by 11:00-11:30PM. While that may not be a ton of sleep, it's still 7-8 hours of sleep but man I definitely don't feel like I slept that long. And guess what, on the weekends I feel great everytime I wake up lol. Mainly because I don't wake up to an alarm, and wake up naturally. Instead of sleeping 7-8, I usually sleep 9-11 hours. It's probably my fault for not sleeping more on the weekdays though but I still don't understand the cause.

 

I definitely hear you on not being able to play Basketball as well as you used too for sure. I'd probably be pretty terrible now, even though I used to be fairly good lol, but that's what years of not playing will do. It just takes effort and practice and eventually it'll all come back, our brains don't forget how to ball lol.

 

And you're right, I'm definitely stubborn and I haven't had it that difficult in life except dealing with depression and anxiety. You're definitely right though, I mean going through this process is basically forcing me to have a different out look on life, period. Even though dealing with this isn't easy, it has made me think about others that have it 10 times worse than me with physical or mental issues, and it makes me feel like my situation could be a LOT worse than it actually is and I feel a little lucky in a sense even though sometimes that viewpoint will change and I'll feel like it's the end of the world. I'm just trying to find a balance right now but it's getting easier as time goes on cause I don't have a choice except to try to stay sane and cope as best I can.

 

Thanks for your advice though it's really helped me out a lot and I'm making an effort to incorporate it into my life.

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Thanks for this thread Irishwill2015. There aren't many success stories anywhere online, believe me I've searched for them. Your story is very reassuring to those of us who are facing many years of tapering.

 

 

I know of quite a few, unfortunately everyone's definition of success is different and a lot of people just want to move on with their lives. I am glad I could come back and speak from my successes and help people understand that they can better.

 

Thanks for the feedback and keep going smooth and steady and slow if necessary with your taper. When you get done come back and let everyone know about your success!

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Riveting account - thank you so very very much & I want to say I am proud of your recovery as well! And thank you for giving back to those of us who desperately appreciate your taking the time to do so.

Thank you for your kind words. I feel honored to come back and share my findings, insights, and experiences. Best of luck to you on your journey!

 

Irish

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So great of you to come back and share success. So so important. I have a friend who successfully came off Paxil after taking it for 14 yrs, and she is great now. She went through hell, but she's good:) she used to be on PP but hasn't posted any updates here.

 

My question for you is about intrusive thoughts? Ocd type. Did you get those while you were weaning? Or in withdrawal?

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They started when I was tapering fast but I tried to ignore hen then full blown when I went into withdrawal and now I just don't get them. They were awful and made me feel like a terrible person. It's like my mind knew what scared me the most and worked against me. It goes away but still was awful to go through.

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Thanks. Scary stuff. Good to hear they went away

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