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PatriciaVP

PatriciaVP: #TweetingMyRecovery 140 Characters is all I got

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Happy2Heal
50 minutes ago, PatriciaVP said:

Very tired today, but at least I can rest. No adrenaline rushes or heart palpitations as I start to relax. Still with the crazy incontinence same time each morning.

 

 

glad you can rest without adrenaline rushes and such.

yeh the incontinence is a weird symptom. thank goodness for what I call "old lady pee pads" although you are far from an old lady

 

it will get better.

 

 

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PatriciaVP

Turns out I spoke too soon. This afternoon as I was dozing adrenaline rushes continued to plague me. I couldn't tell if it was happening just as I was falling to sleep or as I was waking up.

 

Either way, it looks like it will be quite some time before I resume my taper. I know that the rushes are definitely withdrawal and not side effects.

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Happy2Heal

damn.

sorry!
(((hugs)))

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Flowers
10 hours ago, PatriciaVP said:

Turns out I spoke too soon. This afternoon as I was dozing adrenaline rushes continued to plague me. I couldn't tell if it was happening just as I was falling to sleep or as I was waking up.

 

Either way, it looks like it will be quite some time before I resume my taper. I know that the rushes are definitely withdrawal and not side effects.

Hi PatriciaVP

 

I am struggling with similar symptoms too so can sympathise. The bladder problems I get some mornings but never again during the day. Has got to be related to WD hasn't it?

Today I am feeling dopey but these feelings of agitation won't let me rest and if I do manage to nod off I awake with a start!

 

Holding and waiting is all we can do.

 

Flowers xxx

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PatriciaVP

Today I decided to stay home and rest. Yesterday I was quite busy (Even after having a meltdown in the morning because I couldn't figure out why something wasn't working). Tomorrow, I plan to spend the day out with my family. To avoid overdoing it, I figured I'd do as little as possible today.

 

Problem is, every time I start to relax, I have a panic attack. Not the adrenaline surges and shock sensations I was experiencing a few days ago. This is distinctly different. It's so interesting the way these symptoms morph and change. I an taking this as a sign of healing and trying to remain hopeful.

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PatriciaVP

I feel awful today. Anxiety and akathesia are ruling me. I'm still on my period and feel very sick to my stomach. I have to go see my med provider in an hour, and pretend to be OK so he doesn't try to foist more poisons on me. Woke up this morning just wanting this all to end so badly.

 

I was sick all weekend. Even threw up Sat morning. I think it was just really intense cramps mixed with a green smoothie = bad idea.

Was actually OK on Thurs. Woke with only mild anxiety and spent the whole day out with family. Went on the Mt Washington cruise. Things went downhill quickly after that.

 

Just want a break. Not sure how many more days like this I can take.

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ShakeyJerr
1 hour ago, PatriciaVP said:

Just want a break. Not sure how many more days like this I can take.

 

Hang in there, PvP!

 

You're in a wave. But hang on to the good memory of that glimpse through the window you had on Thursday.

 

I have learned through my research that one of our biggest foes is our own limbic system - where memories are processed and our body reacts to cortisol and adrenaline. The only way to heal the limbic system is to rewire it by bringing up good memories and doing things to form new good experiences. This article might help you. It definitely helped me!

https://www.thebestbrainpossible.com/how-to-help-depression-by-healing-your-limbic-system/

 

SJ

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PatriciaVP

Thanks SJ. It only makes sense. Power of positive thinking and all. I do try to practice much of what was in the article. Some days are easier than others.

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PatriciaVP

Woke up this morning with knots in my stomach, feeling agitated and anxious. What gets me is that I used to feel this way often when I was on all the drugs. Strange thing was that the Adderall would often quell the sensation. So that brings me back to the question of how much of this is side effects.

 

What I'm feeling right now is manageable so I think I might try a tiny drop (.25 mg)

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PatriciaVP

Much better this morning. Very little anxiety. Felt pretty good at the gym. Was very tired after. Slept through lunch. Ended up sleeping all afternoon, but was very groggy and a little depressed upon waking. Thankful that the anxiety and agitation have subsided for now.

 

After talking to my husband, I've decided to hold off on tapering. The next few weekends are quite busy, and it wouldn't hurt to let things settle out a bit more.

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Happy2Heal
13 hours ago, PatriciaVP said:

Much better this morning. Very little anxiety. Felt pretty good at the gym. Was very tired after. Slept through lunch. Ended up sleeping all afternoon, but was very groggy and a little depressed upon waking. Thankful that the anxiety and agitation have subsided for now.

 

After talking to my husband, I've decided to hold off on tapering. The next few weekends are quite busy, and it wouldn't hurt to let things settle out a bit more.

 

 

Glad the anxiety and agitation are gone- hopefully for a long time!

 happy that you got some sleep too.

 

I think your plan is a good one, to hold a bit for things to settle more, esp with busy times ahead.

 

keeping you in my thoughts, you are an incredible strong woman, who could really use a break!!

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PatriciaVP

Woke this morning with far less anxiety than usual. Almost none really, and my stomach felt fine. Was able to organize my brain well enough to make a quiche in spite of spending most of the day out yesterday and getting back late last night. Have not experienced any incontinence this morning which hasn't happened in a long time.

 

Hopefully this is the beginning of a window that will allow me to taper in a few weeks.

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Frogie

PatriciaVP:

 

I'm so happy that you are feeling better.

 

I hope it lasts a long time for you. :)

 

Take care,

Frogie xx

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PatriciaVP

Thanks, Frogie.

 

Felt decent again this morning. Little to no anxiety. Stomach fine. No incontinence. Had eggs for breakfast because on Friday I had gotten nauseous at the gym during a fairly intense training and thought the extra protein might help me avoid that. Instead of nauseous, I was really dizzy this whole time.

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Frogie
27 minutes ago, PatriciaVP said:

Thanks, Frogie.

 

Felt decent again this morning. Little to no anxiety. Stomach fine. No incontinence. Had eggs for breakfast because on Friday I had gotten nauseous at the gym during a fairly intense training and thought the extra protein might help me avoid that. Instead of nauseous, I was really dizzy this whole time.

Sorry you got nauseous at the gym. And dizzy today.

 

I'm nauseous this morning, but mine is nerves. I always do when I go to the dentist.

 

Hope we both get over it soon. :)

 

Take care,

Frogie xx

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PatriciaVP

I was so much better last week. Finally seeing enough light to start looking forward to another drop, but that seems to be ending now. Woke up yesterday sick to my stomach and exhausted. Spent the whole day on the couch. This morning I've been very anxious with racing thoughts, akathesia and agitation. Can't get myself to do much of anything.

 

One thing I've found helpful at times like this is to imagine what I would tell someone else experiencing the same thing. These distressing symptoms are a sign of the brain further healing itself. The best thing to do is to let it be; calmly observing the symptoms without getting upset or trying to control them in any way. For some reason, thinking of offering someone else this advice or something like it makes me feel more calm.

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Flowers

So sorry you are feeling poorly again.

 

Seems like you may need to wait a while before doing another drop?  Are you usually able to do intense training at the gym with no symptoms? I  have to be careful that I don't overdo exercise or symptoms flare up!

 

I like your idea of what you would tell someone else in WD with troublesome symptoms. As long as we feel there is healing going on we can bear it.

 

Much love

 

Flowers xxx

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Frogie

Just wanted to stop by and say hi.

 

I hope your nausea goes away soon.

 

You have the right idea, just take it easy and you will feel better. :)

 

Take care,

Frogie xx

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PatriciaVP

This month marks two years since I started withdrawing from the meds. Down from 4 to 1 and at a fraction of the dose. Suppose I should be glad I'm as functional as I am, but I just feel stuck. Not able to do much. That's not entirely true. It's actually been my most active summer in years. Gone somewhere almost every weekend. It's just still hard to figure out what to do with myself when I'm alone. Still cognitively impaired.

 

Felt much better two weeks ago. Seemed like major breakthroughs. Slowly headed back downhill. Though it was mostly due to my period. Period ended, continued to get worse. Yesterday plagued with adrenaline spikes. Couldn't relax but couldn't be active either. Uncontrollable crying. Today much better, but exhausted. Slept most of the time.

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PatriciaVP

Woke this morning feeling "normal". What an odd sensation. Calm, clear headed, no stomach problems. Was actually a little hungry. Haven't been hungry before 3 PM in months. Lasted about 1.5 hrs then the panic, stomach knots, cog fog, etc came rushing back. My new normal. Really have no idea how bad you feel until you don't.

 

Took the last of my liquid Lexapro last night. Only had about 3 mg left. Wondered at first how much that had to do with it. Thinking that most of my more recent symptoms were side effects and not withdrawal. Guess not.

 

The night before I had cut from 6.5 mg to 6.25 even though I wasn't feeling great. I was just so sick of holding and I was hoping a tiny cut might give a little lift. I should be getting my refill in the mail today and will remain at 6.25.

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PatriciaVP

I feel like my brain is a defragmenting hard drive. Pieces of random information are being accessed by my conscious mind while my brain tries to reorganise itself around a new operating system. Old memories and bits of unrelated information pop into my thoughts completely unbidden coupled with anxiety and even panic. I am trying to remain patient until it works itself out.

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ChessieCat

That is an excellent analogy.  I have been experiencing something similar and getting memories popping up at the weirdest times and I think what on else made me remember that.  The majority of times it is such a random thought and can be really trivial that I don't believe that something I have been doing, seen, heard or smelled has triggered the memory.  Now I'm be thinking of it as defragging.

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direstraits
20 hours ago, PatriciaVP said:

I feel like my brain is a defragmenting hard drive. Pieces of random information are being accessed by my conscious mind while my brain tries to reorganise itself around a new operating system. Old memories and bits of unrelated information pop into my thoughts completely unbidden coupled with anxiety and even panic. I am trying to remain patient until it works itself out.

Hi,Patricia

I enjoy reading your posts and how well u express yourself...wish I could do that.

I can identify w/so many things you've written,including this.

messing w/ the human brain is something that should not be done so lightly....it scares the hell out of me.

I hope we all see better days soon...xx

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Happy2Heal

I hope your "defrag" is over with quickly! esp the anxiety and panic, that's probably the worst of this whole process

 

sending warm thoughts your way

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PatriciaVP

Thanks for your encouragement H2H and Direstraits. It means so much.

 

I had held from April until September and had a fairly good and active summer. Felt safe decreasing by just .25 MG's, and am so surprised how low it's brought me. Still have 6.25 MG's to go. Wondering if it's even possible.

 

Went to see the movie "The Mountain Between Us" with my husband today. In one scene Ben, one of the lead characters, climbs to a mountain peak to look for signs of civilization. When he finally reaches the top, all he can see is snow and ice stretching on forever. There's nowhere to go. No attainable destination.

 

I started to panic during this scene realizing this is exactly how I feel. There's no end to focus on. No "prize" to keep my eyes on. Just wilderness as far as I can see in every direction. I can barely make out the trail no less the finish line.

 

I'll keep going anyway. One foot in front of the other. When I finally feel ready to taper again after this crazy 1\4 mg drop. I'll try a micro taper. My god! Will I ever get off this garbage?

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PatriciaVP
On 10/6/2017 at 7:33 PM, ChessieCat said:

That is an excellent analogy.  I have been experiencing something similar and getting memories popping up at the weirdest times and I think what on else made me remember that.  The majority of times it is such a random thought and can be really trivial that I don't believe that something I have been doing, seen, heard or smelled has triggered the memory.  Now I'm be thinking of it as defragging.

Thanks for quoting me in Best of SA, Cheese Cat. I was really touched.

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Altostrata

How are you doing, PVP?

 

Sounds like you needed to hold for a bit....

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PatriciaVP

Hi Alto, 

Thanks for checking in.

 

I've been experiencing some significant withdrawal symptoms. Restlessness, anxiety, panic when I wake, akathesia, upset stomach, that terrible exhausted agitation. I can't seem to get myself to do much. I just feel awful.

 

Even after all this time, I can hardly believe that such a small drop can cause so much chaos. I've even found myself asking if I should try to go down any further.

 

I'm  going to wait until I stabilize, possibly until after the holidays and then try a microtaper. If I still experience this many symptoms with a microtaper, I just don't know.....

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brassmonkey

Hi Pat-- I'm sorry to read that you're still having bad trouble with each drop.  I like the idea of a long hold to let things settle out followed by a microtaper.  A lot of members are having good luck with the Brassmonkey Slide Method, that might be a good way to go. It allows you to keep up the 10% pace, but really softens the symptoms of each drop.

 

Brass

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Happy2Heal

no advice, just gentle (((hugs)))

 

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bubble

I would like to share yet another perspective on te whole process. It happens that if we are not stable enough every cut, no matter how small will cause very bad symptoms. Since you saw clear improvement from holding, although 4 or 5 months may seem long, that would be the way to go.

 

Once we are stable we can tolerate bigger cuts and be far less symptomatic. 

 

On ‎09‎/‎10‎/‎2017 at 12:29 AM, PatriciaVP said:

Will I ever get off this garbage?

 

The goal might be being on as few drugs and on as low doses and being functional rather than getting off completely. That way you will have a sense of achievement every time you cut because you will be achieving your goal on being on the less drug and every time you hold because you will enjoy being functional.

 

You have so many reasons to feel successful already: you reduced your drug burden from 4 drugs to 1. Instead of 40 mg Lexapro you are now taking only 6.5. That's huge!

 

It's not true that healing happens only when we are completely off and the drugs are 'out of our system'. I believe it is we are healing with every little decrease and in particular while we are holding. You are reversing almost 20 years of brain remodeling here...

 

Here is another one of my favourite Rhiannon's posts in response to somebody who was worried about not being to make even small reductions to their benzo:

 

I'm a strong proponent of taking your time and only starting a taper when you're feeling stable, and staying stable during the taper process by taking it slow and holding whenever things seem to be speeding up. And holding for as long as it takes.

 

Rather than reinvent the wheel, here's something I wrote in a conversation on the benzowithdrawal board:

 

Here's the post I was replying to: "After a partial reinstatement (to .5mg) in order to keep working after crashing going from .25 mg. klonopin to .2 mg too fast, I have not been able to get a taper going no matter how glacially slow I go. Struggled my way down to .43 since resuming taper in February, then started holding in June after what I thought were minor problems. Held for nearly 9 weeks, then figured as long as I'm suffering I might as well be cutting something.

 

Started cutting at the ridiculously slow rate of 1% every 28 days. After only three days of cutting at this rate, I noticed things getting worse, kept going till the 7th day which would be 1/4% and it started getting really bad. Put back the 1/4% and hopefully the new symptoms have died down...Still in monitoring mode on that.

 

While I realize I probably shouldn't have started cutting while I wasn't completely stable, it seems really absurd to have no improvement after holding 9 weeks, and then reacting to such miniscule cuts." 

 

and my response:

 

It's not absurd. It's how it is. Your body/brain is telling you that it's still hurting from everything else that's happened as a result of the ups and downs in the past, and it needs more healing time. Brains don't grow and heal fast.

 

There are two things that I think people need to "get" about these drugs and what they do to us and how we heal.

 

First: When you take a drug that screws around with the chemistry of your brain, your body/brain sees this as a life or death situation. We are not designed to have our brains screwed around with. Your brain responds by, among other things, killing some cells and growing new ones. It turns off some genes and turns other ones on. There are dozens of different kinds of cells in the brain and they all have to adapt and change when the chemistry is screwed with. Your body/brain tries to alter itself, to wrap itself around this new artificial chemistry. These are not small changes. These are major, traumatic adaptations.

 

Each time the drugs are switched around--whether they are cut, or increased, or changed to other meds, et cetera--whatever processes have already been happening have to try to stop and go the other direction. (Or maybe a couple of other directions.)

 

This is not simple. This causes more trauma, more chemical chaos, more damage. Processes that cannot be quickly halted and are already out of control, try to counteract themselves using other processes that are very imperfect as well. (Imagine the LA freeway system if all of a sudden everyone had to stop and go the other direction, but there were no lights and no traffic cops. And everybody's brakes and steering were already kind of busted and unstable to begin with.)

 

All the chemistry of the brain is connected. Every reaction affects other reactions downstream.

 

So this is huge. We SO underestimate the complexity of our brains. They are incredibly complex, comparable to a jungle in complexity. (Much more complex than the LA freeways.) Everything affects everything else in feedback loops upon feedback loops.

 

Screwing around with neurotransmitters is a BIG DEAL.

 

The second thing: Our brains do NOT know how to do this.

 

See, with other kinds of healing and adaptation, we take so much for granted. Our bodies know how to deal with changes in food, water, with traumatic injuries to our skin and bones and organs, with stress and survival issues--all of these things, we have encountered zillions and zillions of times over the past five billion years of evolution, so we have developed efficient mechanisms for balancing and healing. NOT WITH THESE DRUGS.

 

No brain of any organism on the planet has ever encountered anything like what these drugs do to us, ever before. What mechanisms our brains have to deal with changes in neurotransmitters are designed for much subtler alterations--alterations due to hormonal changes in puberty, for example, and pregnancy, and with aging; alterations due to changes in patterns of light and darkness with the seasons; that sort of thing.

 

These drugs are to the natural variations that we're designed for, as the atomic bomb is to a rockslide.

 

So--the point of this whole lecture is--IT'S NOT ABSURD. Listen to your body and brain. Give it the time it needs to heal and to adapt. There's chaos, there is the brain equivalent of scars, there's all kinds of perturbation happening. It's going to take time for things to settle down and heal.

 

You can go ahead and push through and let your brain cope as best it can until you get all the way off the meds. Likely you will be symptomatic the whole time. Then once off the meds you can go through the prolonged process of healing from the chaos and damage that has happened.

 

Or you can allow enough healing time now, and then, when things are healed and settled down, start a very slow (it will have to be slower than ever before, because of the previous damage) taper that will allow your brain to heal and recover and adapt as you go, without inducing so much chaos.

 

At least, this is how it seems to me. This is the paradigm that I operate from. It seems to be the one that best fits the observed facts of the experiences people describe.

 

So--do what you wish, I've given up trying to get people to understand the importance and urgency of respecting the complexity of our brains and the seriousness of what these drugs do to them. I write and write but it seems like people just don't want to hear.

 

But if nothing else, please don't kick yourself because you don't seem to be healing fast enough. This is NOTHING like healing a broken bone.

 

In fact I almost cringe when people on this forum use the word "healing", about the healing from this kind of trauma caused by the chemistry of psych drugs--not because it's not healing, but because it SO doesn't fit all the assumptions we have about how healing is supposed to go.

 

And people suffer, and fear, because they know intuitively that this isn't what healing is supposed to feel like.

 

I almost wish we could call it something else so people would understand, this is not something our bodies know how to do! they're improvising, doing their best, but it's not efficient, it's not always effective, and we need to allow lots of care, and patience, and time, and adjust our expectations.

 

And be gentle. Work with our body/brains, rather than fighting them.

 

I hope this helps.

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Prince1924

Bubble,  I  completely agree with what you say about takiing it very slowly. 

 

I understand also how PatriciaVP is feeling that it's an never ending road. 

 

I'm currently reducing fluoxetine and I find that a 2 or even 3 month hold is necessary before I stop having those emotional random thoughts popping up from nowhere. Not pleasant thoughts of course, so I take the advice of 'changing the channel' and have some standby enjoyable memories to bring up. They are usually of nice days spent at the beach when it is warm and sunny on the same day. (doesn't happen very often in Scotland but when it does it can be magical).  

 

This is not easy for me as my mind wants to follow the negative thoughts and almost 'indulge' in them for a while.  However from there I spiral down onto another negative thought.  It never stops there.

 

I'm reducing by 4% each time and although it may take a long time I'm proud of myself for getting this far.

 

i hope  PatriciaVP this helps.

 

 

 

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joy2730

I really enjoyed this post Bubble, it makes a lot of sense, and I agree with everything in it.  People need to read this before they start withdrawing, I did my first attempt with absolutely no awareness of any problems and ruined my chances of success.  I now live with only having reduced citalopram from 30 mg to 18 mg, but that is better than nothing.  I haven't written off trying again but I have learnt a lot and need to harness my learning.  I am also resigned to needing to stay on a lower dose for the rest of my life - maybe.

 

Joy

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PatriciaVP

Thanks everyone for the messages of help and support.

 

I agree wholeheartedly with you, Bubble. Coming down from high doses of 4 drugs to a relatively small dose of just one in just over two years is pretty good, especially considering how well I was doing this summer. I was making some impressive progress, and in light of that I wonder how much better I would be now had I continued to hold.

 

I know I will get back to where I was this summer, and when I do, I plan to stay put for a long time, at least a year perhaps more.

 

I'm not ready to give up on getting off completely just yet. I know that people generally don't age well on psychiatric medication, and as I look toward my 50's it's something that concerns me. I have no problem holding indefinately, however.

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