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DizzyGirl

DizzyGirl More than 4 years off

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Part 1. Sorry it is long. English is not my first language so please ignore spelling mistakes.

2012 was the year I cold turkeyed Paxil. It went good for about six weeks and then withdrawal kicked in. It started in New York when we made my birthday present trip. Imagine a long flight from Germany to New York and an excited boyfriend that wants to see every side of this city.

 

It is hard to describe my trip back then, because I was just so weak.I couldn't walk and talk properly. Mentally and physically exhausted. My brain fog was so bad I thought my brain was permanently damaged. I was sitting on a park bench in brooklyn wanting to die while my boyfriend was busy taking photographs. Imagine you are in the city of your dreams and you just want to return to your hotel and sleep. Sleep as long as it may take to wake up and feel normal.

 

The years of my withdrawal are just a blank space. Most of it I can't even remember. I was traumatised and a mess. Paxil flu hit me hard in my waves. Didn't matter if it was winter or summer I was wearing layers of clothes and shivering under my blanket. I still wear socks to bed after all those wd years because I might get cold. It is a habit I can't stop. I could not read. I didn't read for maybe three years. I cried when I watched Ally Mc Beal reruns.

 

Most of the time after work I just stared at the walls or googled symptoms. I became Dr Google.  I don't know how many scientific articles I have read, but I was desperate. Desperate to find an answer and desperate to get better. I would have sold everything for the magic healing pill, but pills got me here in the first place. The irony of life.

Edited by scallywag
inserted paragraph breaks

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Part 2

Withdrawal taught me one thing. My body without drugs forgave me everything, but Paxil changed the game rules. I had to change my life style and be patient. Too much stress ?hello new wave. Too much junk food ?Increased dizziness. Don't get me wrong. Waves and windows came and went even when I was living the healthiest I have known, but I realized there were things that actually helped me and made me maybe 10% better than usual.

Things that helped in wd:
Sport - first walking than later hiit and cardio
No alcohol
Sleep of 7-8 hours
No soft drinks and only one cup of coffee ( bulletproof for a long time with lots of coconut oil )
Healthy food . Reduced carbs. Low histamine foods
No fast food
Turning up to events and just trying to stay there even if it was for 30 minutes. I was always the first one to leave but I tried. God damn I tried.

Working ( full time was indeed horrible, but I had to ...part time work would have been better )
Claire Weekes book ! Read it !
Daily routines .Waking up early, showering, not staying in bed, going out or somehow distracting myself ( vacuuming became my new hobby- kind of sad)

Not helped

B vitamins and a million other supplements and weird detox teas I bought
Crazy liver detox I did at a dr's office
Daytime naps . Always woke up sweaty and with a racing heart
Stress in general / toxic friends
Obsessively googling and spending hours on paxilprogress  later on SA. I reduced that time from about 6 -8 hours daily to a max of 30 minutes
Gluten, sugar,high histamine foods

Nowadays. I am 34 years old, but I feel much older. I walked through hell and somehow survived it. I am deeply grateful for my friends and family and my three cats. My boyfriend broke up with me after 1,5 year of withdrawal hell. I always understood why he did it. It was a horrible time and I pushed people away,because i thought i will never get better. I am in a new relationship, but to be honest men are not my priority anymore.
 
As weird it may sound, but my health is the most important aspect of my life. I love to cook now, I used to live on fast food, chocolate, crisps and litres of coca Cola.I gained 30 pounds in my time on Paxil. Most of it went to my paxil belly. I did lose that gut, but it was hard work. Paxil messes with our hormones and our metabolism. 

I lost a lot of hair in withdrawal. My doc says it is androgenetic alopecia. It might be or it might be the last present of  Paxil, but I will never know and I don't even care.  I am lucky to be alive. I work out 5-6 times a week.I have finished most of the beachbody programs and I am currently doing Kayla Itsines. I can read again and watch sad movies without getting suicidal. 
 
I work full time, but try not to do overtime hours. I am addicted to instagram now ( we can chat via pm if you want. My account is  the_reading_cat ) instead of antidepressant forums.  I will always be stress intolerant.
 
When I get stressed out, I get an occasional hint of depression and dizziness. It is a reminder for me to go slow and just breathe. Yesterday we went out for drinks and burritos and I stayed very late and felt awesome. Those little things...drinking a Pina Colada and eating a burrito with double cheese in the sunshine with my friends. They will never understand that those moments are so god damn precious. They haven't been there where we all were. You cannot tell them, you will never find the right words of that despair in your heart that destroyed you every ******* hour.
 
I know most people don't come back here and I guess I know why. Deep down there will always be that small voice that is whispering   "maybe it is not over. Maybe a next wave will roll over you soon. It is too early to post a success story" All those recovered people just try to make everything out of their lives right now, because time is precious and we have wasted so many years. There are so many countries to visit,so many new foods to try and so many sun rays to catch.
 
Don't give up now. It will get better.

Edited by scallywag
inserted paragraph breaks

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Happy for you! How many years were you on paxil?

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I was on it for 4 years. I started with 40 mg later reduced to 20mg and cold turkeyed in 2012.

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Thank you DizzyGirl for coming back to write your story. So so happy for you.  

 

You were so right about how people think 'am I really better'?, but I believe that healing is a process and we do get better and stronger. 

 

I wish you all the best.

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Thank you for sharing your story.

 

I appreciate you revealing how you body lets you know now when you have reached your limit and that your body has helped you heal.

 

Very inspiring.

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HI DizzyGirl

 

I checked your instagram profile... Soooo interesting your cat... :-)

 

I am happy you did it. I have not used AD-s long term as you. I am on Remeron since May 2016 and have tapered around 30% of it already. Hoping with my body signals to go lower on it soon.

 

All the best and have a very good time in your meds free life.

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Santino, take your time to taper and remember it is not a race to zero mg I wish I was as smart as you and didn't do a cold turkey. But we are here to learn.

Edited by scallywag
corrected "zer" to "zero" as indicated by DizzyGirl in later post

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DizzyGirl,

 

so you're still suffering from brain fog? Has it improved at all? What about your creativity etc?

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Valuable contribution for many of us, I expect, DizzyGirl!

Love & best wishes from over here.

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DizzyGirl,

 

so you're still suffering from brain fog? Has it improved at all? What about your creativity etc?

Nope. Maybe I didnt make it clear enough.

 

Brain fog is gone. I can read and watch movies. I craft bookmarks for my friends and take photos.

 

Occasional dizziness when I eat too many carbs. Maybe connected to blood sugar. I am not a doctor, I just assume SSRIs mess with our body so much that we get eating intolerances we never had before.

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DizzyGirl, when did you notice the various stages of healing? Like when did various symptoms start to get better? in what kind of time frames?

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How about the Neuro emotions? How did you notice healing there?

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And a huge congratulations, I am so pleased for you!!!!

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I wish they hadn't closed paxil progress. I had a detailed timeline and it is gone. I can only speak from my bad memory and try to be accurate. I had my first real windows that went longer than some hours after 1.5 - 2 years. SymptoMs like paxil flu went completely away after two years and never returned. Brain fog and neuro emotions got considerably better too but took some more healing. I would say for those it took approximately 3 years. Exhaustion and every day fatigue got only better when I stopped eating junk and worked out. My sleeping problems and waking up at 3 am every damn morning due to rising cortisol went completely away after1,5- 2 years. So you can really see that some symptoms get away earlier and never return but other symptoms take more time.

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Thank you DizzyGirl. I sure am glad you have come through. If I can ask, what did you do or think to persevere through your trial? I know at first everything changes. Our life as we knew it changes. I noticed you said your lifestyle obviously changed dramatically and patience became a must. So many people in our life do not really understand this change in our life due to this. Did you talk to the people on the site??

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DizzyGirl. Amazing story. We needed another success story of someone that has been through the severe WD. We all suffer but many of the success stories are taper stories. Some of us didn't taper or had adverse reactions and suffer for a long time. Seeing that you ended up on the other side of this after 4 years is great to see. Can you maybe share your symtoms? On one post. Maybe list them out? I know no WD is the same but its helpful to those of us that might think some of our symptoms are permanent. Lastly, did I read correctly that you worked the entire time?

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DizzyGirl. Amazing story. We needed another success story of someone that has been through the severe WD. We all suffer but many of the success stories are taper stories. Some of us didn't taper or had adverse reactions and suffer for a long time. Seeing that you ended up on the other side of this after 4 years is great to see. Can you maybe share your symtoms? On one post. Maybe list them out? I know no WD is the same but its helpful to those of us that might think some of our symptoms are permanent. Lastly, did I read correctly that you worked the entire time?

Of course.

 

24/7 ongoing dizziness- kind of like the whooosh effect many ppl describe. I couldnt drive for some time back then, it was that bad

Exhaustion /fatigue every day. Some days too weak to carry my grocery bags.

Depression

Daily brain fog

Monthly Paxil flu

Sleep problems, not insomnia, just interruptes sleep with 3 am wakenings

Neuro emotions

Aggressive outbursts

Anhedonia

Hypochondria

 

I worked the entire time. I had no other choice. When I look back I wonder how I managed to do so. I was sitting at my desk, behaving like a complete zombie with occasional aggresive outbursts at my co workers.

 

My ability to concentrate was not given at all. I worked 42 hours a week. Hardest time of my life.

 

:(

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Thank you DizzyGirl. I sure am glad you have come through. If I can ask, what did you do or think to persevere through your trial? I know at first everything changes. Our life as we knew it changes. I noticed you said your lifestyle obviously changed dramatically and patience became a must. So many people in our life do not really understand this change in our life due to this. Did you talk to the people on the site??

 

Thank you. I talked to people from Paxilprogress mainly and read the threads there. When it was closed by the site owner I created an account here. I was reading threads here, but not communicating so much anymore.

 

I was kind of disappointed in my friends and family at that time. They never listened or udnerstood my problems. They had no interest in reading the articles about wd. When PP website closed down, I felt quite alone for a long time.

 

It is like you said people just dont understand. They will accuse you of being depressed. They want you to go back on the drugs.

 

I had a particular friend that always wanted to force alcohol on me, even though I have told her that my csn is too sensitive. It made me so aggressive that she never listened.

 

I dont want to go through withdrawal again in my life, because the circle of friends will get substantially smaller.

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But what did you do to persevere everyday, month after month. What helped get you through.

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But what did you do to persevere everyday, month after month. What helped get you through.

 

Only my cats. Sorry. They were AT FIRST the only reasons to keep going.

 

I know how hard it is, but anybody needs to find his/her strength and needs to do it for himself/herself, family, friends... whatsoever. You need to find a reason to be strong and I hope that everyone will find a reason to keep going through that hell.

 

To be honest I did set myself deadlines at first and told myself "I will do this for one more year, if it doesnt stop then, I will jump off a cliff." But with the years that have passed I changed. I got thankful for some goods hours and later on thankful for some good days, weeks, months..

 

I dont take things for granted anymore. If you have a good day, know in your heart, there will be more to come.

 

If you only have one good hour everyday, be thankful for that too.

 

Don't compare your life now to the life you had. You will eventually recover, but please be thankful for the minutes where the brain fog lifts and kNOW that it will be good again.

 

We are all searching answers and comparing our suffering with the suffering of others... but my only advice is keep going on a little bit more.

 

:(

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Thank you DizzyGirl. I will. You know, I didn't quit cold turkey but after 10 months af too fast a taper, before I was even off of the A/D, everything snowballed. I am 4 months into a reinstatement at a low dose. It has just been so hard. Not at good and steady yet. I just keep on hoping and praying that good and steady is coming. I have seen small changes in the past four months for the positive but it will be months before I would even consider a taper. It just depends on how long it takes to get good and steady and then I will hold even longer. DizzyGirl, I am hopeful by your own story. As I just said, didn't quit cold turkey but it has felt like I have. You are thoughtful and kind to come and share. You give hope that yes, though improvement is so slow, it does come. Thank you. Thank you so much!!!! What other words of good advice would you give to us in this process? Please share them.

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The only advice that I can give is live as healthy as you can- see above under "things that helped." Be careful with supplements. I reacted very very strongly to supplements from vitamin  B to fish oil. So be careful when you take stuff like that.

 

And last but not least. I have my own weird theory when it comes to wd. I am by no means a dr or a scientist, so maybe others can weigh in if they have made similar experiences:

 

I got considerably better when I lost the majority of weight, as if (dont know if it is true) part of Paxil /residue of Paxil was still stored in my fat cells ? Does that make any sense?

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I am not sure but it could be a huge factor. I am a nurse and I think it is very possible. The fat cells hold onto all kinds of toxins. So not sure. I walk a lot and I have lost 16 pounds since this all started but I have also made some healthy lifestyle changes. I drink a lot of water. No caffeine, very little sugar and no alcohol. I too am very sensitive to supplements. I have not been able to do magnesium. A supplement so many have found helpful. I can tolerate Vit C and take about 2500 mg day. I am on the supplements I have been on for years and that is it. VitD, lysine, 1fish oil, Vit B6, Vit E. I tolerate these fine but again, I have used all for many years except the added Vit C And Vit E. I have not tolerated others. I am very skeptical about any now. I do not add any on. Oh, except 1/4 tsp of raw honey and coconut oil also. When were you able to tolerate heavier exercise? Walking is all I can tolerate now. But walking doesn't elevate cortisol. So it is good. Thank you DizzyGirl.

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DizzyGirl, Congratulations on your healing. That's wonderful! And thank you so much for the details on your healing process. Much appreciated. I have one question: When did you start losing the Paxil weight? During your taper, or after? If during your taper, about how long into it did the weight start melting off?

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Amazing. I took SSRIs for 13 years and have been off six months. Best thing I ever did was quit taking the pills. I find myself avoiding anyone negative. If I fight with my husband it takes days to recover. I'm almost the same age as you. Now that I can actually feel PMS and ovulation it's great. I'm just grateful to have any feelings or emotions at all other than just anger ad sadness.

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Ladybug 99, the weight never fell off. I had to work my ass off to lose it. Some ppl lose weight during their taper but not me. I cold turkeyed and even gained at first. My metabolism was very damaged at that time. I always used to be skinny I blew up on Paxil like a whale and got addicted to eating carbs.As my metabolism was so ****** I had to work out six days a week and to reduce my calories substantially. It was a hard time. Most of my weight was stored in my belly. I looked pregnant most of the time.

Edited by scallywag
clean up language

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 DizzyGirl.  Thanks for coming back to share your story. You have given a lot of people , a lot of hope . It's so great that you are doing so well and even better that you came back to talk about it.

I wish you the best for the future and I hope you continue to pop in here occasionally and spread some joy. We all love to hear about your success as it helps so many to realize this is only temporary and a brighter future is just around the corner. Again, thank you.

Ali

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Beautiful success story, DizzyGirl.

 

You have an amazing amount of strength to have worked through that, as well as gaining so many non-drug coping skills during your journey. Thanks for letting us know what did and didn't work for you. 

 

Wishing you many years of health and happiness.  :)

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Congratulations, DizzyGirl.

 

Please post photos of your cats!

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Just wanted to add my congratulations, DizzyGirl. So happy for you that you have made it through. And thank you for your candid and thoughtful account of your experience. It is really helpful to hear about what worked for you and what did not. Wishing you all the best!

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Ladybug 99, the weight never fell off. I had to work my ass off to lose it. Some ppl lose weight during their taper but not me. I cold turkeyed and even gained at first. My metabolism was very damaged at that time. I always used to be skinny I blew up on Paxil like a whale and got addicted to eating carbs.As my metabolism was so ****** I had to work out six days a week and to reduce my calories substantially. It was a hard time. Most of my weight was stored in my belly. I looked pregnant most of the time.

 

What a glorious recovery.  I say glorious cause I literally imagined Angels singing as clouds part, letting sunlight in.  Congrats on the end of your journey. 

 

I wanted to ask when did you start working out?  I am 3 years out by January and after my short stint with benzo withdrawal I cannot for the life of me do any cardio.  When I do any running, I get hit with waves and my stomach distends even further.  I think the heightened cortisol from cardio creates water retention or visceral fat around belly.  I am only able to do weights at the moment as it prevents my heart/adrenals from overworking but I am now building muscle under my fat.  I would love to be able to burn that layer of fat.  Did you push through your workouts and just bear with the waves that come with it?? Maybe I can attempt cardio after my 3 year mark.

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DizzyGirl,

 

Thank you so much for telling us your story. You are very brave.  Heck, anyone who sticks around to fight this and refuses to give up is brave.

 

So glad you are doing better.  

I almost teared up when you wrote "If you only have one good hour everyday, be thankful for it"

 

Thanks again

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Ladybug 99, the weight never fell off. I had to work my ass off to lose it. Some ppl lose weight during their taper but not me. I cold turkeyed and even gained at first. My metabolism was very damaged at that time. I always used to be skinny I blew up on Paxil like a whale and got addicted to eating carbs.As my metabolism was so ****** I had to work out six days a week and to reduce my calories substantially. It was a hard time. Most of my weight was stored in my belly. I looked pregnant most of the time.

 

What a glorious recovery.  I say glorious cause I literally imagined Angels singing as clouds part, letting sunlight in.  Congrats on the end of your journey. 

 

I wanted to ask when did you start working out?  I am 3 years out by January and after my short stint with benzo withdrawal I cannot for the life of me do any cardio.  When I do any running, I get hit with waves and my stomach distends even further.  I think the heightened cortisol from cardio creates water retention or visceral fat around belly.  I am only able to do weights at the moment as it prevents my heart/adrenals from overworking but I am now building muscle under my fat.  I would love to be able to burn that layer of fat.  Did you push through your workouts and just bear with the waves that come with it?? Maybe I can attempt cardio after my 3 year mark.

 

 

If you can't do cardio, do not do it. I started around when I was 14 months off Paxil, BUT I didnt feel like I was "ready" ready at that time at all. The first workouts were done (free workouts on youtube, search for fitness blender) and instead of resting for 1 or 2 days I had to rest for 5-7 days. It got easier the more I worked out.

 

I read Claire Weekes book at that time and she always says "just do it, what can happen anyway?" I had the wildest things in my head. I was sure I would faint during workout or even die. But it didn't happen. It was hard for me to workout, because at that time I had this nasty 24/7 dizziness and I couldnt hold my balance, but I still pushed through.

 

I think your comment regarding rising cortisol and water retention is pretty accurate. I, too, had this feeling that I retented more water than usual. If you are a cardio beginner, everyone will retent water, that is indeed quite normal. But I thought something was really "off" with my body. The way you describe it might be absolutely right.

 

Maybe just continue with your weights and eat healthy. You can do toning cardio when you feel you can manage. Or try one of those fitness blenders workouts and just do the shortest  one? 15 Minutes ?

 

Take care

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DizzyGirl,

 

Thank you so much for telling us your story. You are very brave.  Heck, anyone who sticks around to fight this and refuses to give up is brave.

 

So glad you are doing better.  

I almost teared up when you wrote "If you only have one good hour everyday, be thankful for it"

 

Thanks again

 

Thank you. Don't give up. Take day by day and don't lose hope. Just keep in mind when you have some withdrawal free minutes, this is just the beginnining... it is a sign for better days to come.

 

Take care

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