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Rhiannon

Rhi: Incremental success

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Rhiannon

Rhi,I echo all that's been said by others. You are a gift to this forum and the many other people you've helped through this journey.Regarding your emerging social life... how and where are you meeting people? Do you find that you're connecting more easily with people you already knew or is it more a function of getting out there and meeting new people?Thanks for your great post! Wishing you continued progress.

 

Aw thank you Barb! 

 

It's a little hard to answer your question, because I started my taper at the same time that I moved to where I live now, and I didn't know a single soul here then. So I've had to meet all new people over the years I've been living here and tapering. But it's gotten much easier to meet people lately, because I'm more "out there" where the people are. And I'm less shy--well actually I still feel kind of shy, but it's easier to talk to people and connect with them, so I'm talking to people more, and that leads to making friends. And it's much easier now to invite people to do things, or to just call someone and see if they want to get together.

 

So it's both, I think.

 

And maybe part of it was working that graveyard shift, because oddly enough graveyards are not as hard on your social life as my current schedule, evenings. I'm definitely not getting out as much on this shift.

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Rhiannon

Thank you for posting Rhi,and you do perfect sense to me.

 

Enjoy your life,A.

Thanks! :-)

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Rhiannon

"...recovery isn’t black and white. It’s not like one day a person says, “Okay, yesterday I was sick, but today I’m all well.” We all know the roller-coaster ride of waves and windows....

 

So I think people just sort of gradually find themselves moving back into life before they really think of themselves as recovered, or ready to write a success story...."

 

Thanks for putting this into words, Rhi.  This is pretty much where I find myself as well--way better, but not home free just yet. Improvement has been gradual and, again, with the ups and downs, windows and waves, et cetera, although they are much more subtle now.  I guess I'd assumed all along that one day I'd wake up feeling like my old self, but it isn't happening that way and I'm reluctant to write a success story until my much-missed creative streak returns.

 

But I'm lots and lots better and I'm very glad to see that you are, too.

And I'm so glad to see how much better you're doing, too. We out here might even see it more clearly than you do. 

 

I'm not sure I'll ever be completely back to how I was before; actually I doubt it, since so many years have passed that things would have changed anyway. I may never get my creativity back; I'm pretty certain I won't get my full cognitive sharpness back. But right now I'm just so glad to have back so much, you know?

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Barbarannamated

Rhi,

 

You may have said before, but i don't recall how long were you unable to work and out of the job market. This is probably not the thread to be asking this, but it came to mind from previous comments.

 

Thanks.

B

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Jemima

 

"...recovery isn’t black and white. It’s not like one day a person says, “Okay, yesterday I was sick, but today I’m all well.” We all know the roller-coaster ride of waves and windows....

 

So I think people just sort of gradually find themselves moving back into life before they really think of themselves as recovered, or ready to write a success story...."

 

Thanks for putting this into words, Rhi.  This is pretty much where I find myself as well--way better, but not home free just yet. Improvement has been gradual and, again, with the ups and downs, windows and waves, et cetera, although they are much more subtle now.  I guess I'd assumed all along that one day I'd wake up feeling like my old self, but it isn't happening that way and I'm reluctant to write a success story until my much-missed creative streak returns.

 

But I'm lots and lots better and I'm very glad to see that you are, too.

And I'm so glad to see how much better you're doing, too. We out here might even see it more clearly than you do. 

 

I'm not sure I'll ever be completely back to how I was before; actually I doubt it, since so many years have passed that things would have changed anyway. I may never get my creativity back; I'm pretty certain I won't get my full cognitive sharpness back. But right now I'm just so glad to have back so much, you know?

 

 

I wouldn't give up on regaining creativity and mental acuity, Rhi.  You're still on some drugs so your brain can't completely heal just yet.  It isn't over until it's over. I can certainly understand why you're so thrilled with regaining so much that was out of reach for so many years, though.

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Rhiannon

 

 

"...recovery isn’t black and white. It’s not like one day a person says, “Okay, yesterday I was sick, but today I’m all well.” We all know the roller-coaster ride of waves and windows....

 

So I think people just sort of gradually find themselves moving back into life before they really think of themselves as recovered, or ready to write a success story...."

 

Thanks for putting this into words, Rhi.  This is pretty much where I find myself as well--way better, but not home free just yet. Improvement has been gradual and, again, with the ups and downs, windows and waves, et cetera, although they are much more subtle now.  I guess I'd assumed all along that one day I'd wake up feeling like my old self, but it isn't happening that way and I'm reluctant to write a success story until my much-missed creative streak returns.

 

But I'm lots and lots better and I'm very glad to see that you are, too.

And I'm so glad to see how much better you're doing, too. We out here might even see it more clearly than you do. 

 

I'm not sure I'll ever be completely back to how I was before; actually I doubt it, since so many years have passed that things would have changed anyway. I may never get my creativity back; I'm pretty certain I won't get my full cognitive sharpness back. But right now I'm just so glad to have back so much, you know?

 

 

I wouldn't give up on regaining creativity and mental acuity, Rhi.  You're still on some drugs so your brain can't completely heal just yet.  It isn't over until it's over. I can certainly understand why you're so thrilled with regaining so much that was out of reach for so many years, though.

 

 

Hope you're right! I do think there's more to go--I'm still on a fairly good size chunk of Lamictal and small doses of two benzos. I'd love to get more of my sharpness back. That would be GREAT.  But yeah, I could live with where I am right now, it's so much better than the past 20 years of my life have been.

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Rhiannon

Rhi,You may have said before, but i don't recall how long were you unable to work and out of the job market. This is probably not the thread to be asking this, but it came to mind from previous comments.Thanks.B

 

Well, I worked at home while the kids were growing up, not ever quite full time. Then there were about five years when I wasn't really able to work much at all, just a little here and there. But it was enough that I didn't have a huge gap in my resume thank goodness.

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Fighter44

It's really good to read these stories.  Rhi, you done good, girl.  I think this is the forum I will need to visit most often.  It is one of hope. 

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Rhiannon

Just want to give a quick update--the improvements are still improving, and it seems like faster than ever, well, maybe not quite leaps and bounds, but at least some big steps and the occasional small leap.

 

Lately I seem to be noticing most that I'm getting back my zest for life more and more. Also, the ability to connect with and relate to other people, it's like I'm getting my membership in the human community back--SO cool. I didn't really realize I had lost it till it started coming back, but it seems to keep increasing too.

 

Also noticing in past months more and more feeling like my old self. Like, feeling a certain way and specifically remembering "I felt that back when I was in my 20s..."

 

And a really awesome thing: During the years on meds I did a lot of work in therapy dealing with childhood issues. I did get through a lot of stuff and noticed a lot of progress but it was always frustrating because I was still miserable. Well, now what seems to be happening is--hm, hard to explain, but it's like, revisiting those things I already thought I had worked through, but finishing them somehow, working through some extra layers all the way out, and really feeling the healing now. 

 

So I'm liking myself, feeling solid in myself, more than I ever have. On the outside I'm no longer the hottie I once was, and my body can't do what it used to be able to do, I'm not so impressive in those ways, but on the inside I am the best I've EVER been. It's a great feeling.

 

Of course there are still things I want to work on, improve, transform in myself, because that's who I am, but I think maybe it's coming less from a place of feeling shame and failure now (I do feel those things sometimes though) and more often from a new place of self-acceptance and even self-appreciation and being comfortable with myself.

 

It's not perfect but OMG, every single day I am SO grateful that I was led to the decision to come off those life-slaying meds, and to the information and support I needed to do it slowly and safely.

 

I really feel like these changes in me that feel so right and so healthy correspond to healthy changes in my brain and nervous system, which is gradually reorganizing and remodeling itself. And at lower doses, where you have to make smaller and smaller cuts, I seem to be getting bigger and bigger benefits all the time. It definitely makes it easier to be patient with the taper.

 

I am convinced that at least in my case, going so slowly has really allowed my brain to heal itself throughout the process.  So you guys have to forgive me if I seem to proselytize about slow tapers--I am just so delighted with the results for me, and I see other people do well with them too, and so much less risk of "crash and burn." I will probably keep preaching the slow taper gospel forever.

 

Anyway, yes yes yes, partial and ongoing recovery is happening, for me!

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rapunzel2

so good to read that! yay! :)

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andy

Well done rhi,you deserve to be proud of yourself for your persistence and patience alone

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mammaP

Fantastic update Rhi, I am now a great believer in the turtle taper too! 

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areyouthere

Kudos. Needed to hear this now. It's crazy how it takes more "guts" to go slow than to go for the glory and slay the dragon with a quick fix. It's counter intuitive to be brave and be slow but necessary.

 

RU :)

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erer

Hi Rhiannon,


 


I was trying to send you a PM just now, but it seems your mailbox is full. Is there a way I could contact you? (I repeated this message here and in your previous topic, because I don't know if you visit the other thread any more).


 


All the best,


erer


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NewMe

Rhi so happy and grateful to read your account of healing. Such a gift. Thank you

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Rhiannon

HI all--

 

Just wanted to say, I'm still chugging along. Still noticing ongoing continual improvement, except in my memory. (For my first couple of years of tapering, when all my friends my age were complaining about their memory going south, mine was getting better. Not any more. Now I'm like the rest of the gray gang. sigh.)

 

I didn't make much tapering progress over this past year, mostly because it was a very stressful year full of lots of changes, but also partly because I'm down to such low doses now that I'm really enjoying life, taking on new projects, having a fuller social life, etc., and I want to keep the withdrawal symptoms to a minimum so I can keep enjoying life. (After so many years stolen from me by the drugs, I'm really enjoying being functional!)

 

But I'm still plugging away. Feeling healthy and strong, sleeping pretty well, really really enjoying having my connection with other human beings back. It's something that I appreciate so much. I didn't realize the drugs had taken it from me, until it started coming back.

 

I'm happier, and very rarely have thoughts about life not being worth living and that sort of thing. (Which is a big change from being almost constantly suicidal for most of about 20 years of my life.)

 

It's been a long road, and it's going to be as long again probably before I'm off all meds, if I ever in fact get there. But frankly if I had to stay right here I would be happy with that. It's SO much better than it was on the meds.

 

But so far anyway there doesn't seem to be any indication that I need to stop tapering, so I'm just going to keep very very very slowly slipping those doses downward. It's working so far!

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Rhiannon

 

Hi Rhiannon,

 

I was trying to send you a PM just now, but it seems your mailbox is full. Is there a way I could contact you? (I repeated this message here and in your previous topic, because I don't know if you visit the other thread any more).

 

All the best,

erer

 

Hi, I don't know why my mailbox is full, I will take a look at it tomorrow or the next day. I'm working a lot of overtime and night shift time this week so it might be next week before I figure it out. 

 

I'm not on the forum so much any more these days, but since I'm working a couple of weeks of graveyard shift I'll be around for a couple of weeks, at least a bit, probably.

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bubble

Dear Rhiannon,

 

thank you very much for your update and for visiting us. I'm so very happy for you. And I can't tell you enough how much your story means to me, giving me and many people here strength and hope when we need it most (and guidance of course :)

 

I've been down lately which always means resorting to the forum to find comfort and encouragement. Then I read through all threads and come across so much of your wisdom.

 

This is what particularly inspired me lately. Do you remember it? :)

 

I know I just have to take it one day at a time and this will pass. At least, I'm pretty sure it will, because so far every time I hold long enough, I get to feeling pretty good eventually. But it's so hard to be patient. I want my life back NOW. Still, when you got no choice you got no choice,. 

 

Rhiannon, on 11 Oct 2012 - 6:31 PM, said:snapback.png

 

 

'Rhi', on 04 Sept 2012 - 02:00 AM, said:snapback.png

'Coleen', on 25 Aug 2012 - 7:16 PM, said:snapback.png

I ended up going back to 75 Mg. I plan on going down extremely slowly from here. I can't handle the neuro emotions- they are far too intense. Quite a hard lesson!

I think the key is tapering slowly and taking long enough breaks (holds) whenever you first begin to experience symptoms, instead of waiting until they become intolerable.

So often people think, "oh this isn't so bad, I can tough it out" and keep pushing the taper.

Who is this Rhi person? I should listen to her. Been pushing my taper a bit and having some bad days...feeling really down and discouraged and pessimistic about life. hm. Okay okay okay going to hold for a while.

 

Big hugs,

 

Bubble

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downtongirl

HI all--

 

Just wanted to say, I'm still chugging along. Still noticing ongoing continual improvement, except in my memory. (For my first couple of years of tapering, when all my friends my age were complaining about their memory going south, mine was getting better. Not any more. Now I'm like the rest of the gray gang. sigh.)

 

I didn't make much tapering progress over this past year, mostly because it was a very stressful year full of lots of changes, but also partly because I'm down to such low doses now that I'm really enjoying life, taking on new projects, having a fuller social life, etc., and I want to keep the withdrawal symptoms to a minimum so I can keep enjoying life. (After so many years stolen from me by the drugs, I'm really enjoying being functional!)

 

But I'm still plugging away. Feeling healthy and strong, sleeping pretty well, really really enjoying having my connection with other human beings back. It's something that I appreciate so much. I didn't realize the drugs had taken it from me, until it started coming back.

 

I'm happier, and very rarely have thoughts about life not being worth living and that sort of thing. (Which is a big change from being almost constantly suicidal for most of about 20 years of my life.)

 

It's been a long road, and it's going to be as long again probably before I'm off all meds, if I ever in fact get there. But frankly if I had to stay right here I would be happy with that. It's SO much better than it was on the meds.

 

But so far anyway there doesn't seem to be any indication that I need to stop tapering, so I'm just going to keep very very very slowly slipping those doses downward. It's working so far!

 

So glad you are still improving....what you wrote about wanting to take on new projects is wonderful!  in October and November when I was med free my motivation and desire to do things was better.  Simple things that had seemed overwhelming for so long didn't seem that way.  Now I miss that after my crash!    When you say there doesn't seem to be any indication that you need to stop tapering...does that mean that when you make a cut you don't feel any withdrawal symptoms, increase in anxiety, or lower mood at all or does it mean you feel slight withdrawal symptoms but they are manageable and disappear quickly?  Thanks in advance for your reply and congratulations!

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erer

HI all--

 

Just wanted to say, I'm still chugging along. Still noticing ongoing continual improvement, except in my memory. (For my first couple of years of tapering, when all my friends my age were complaining about their memory going south, mine was getting better. Not any more. Now I'm like the rest of the gray gang. sigh.)

 

I didn't make much tapering progress over this past year, mostly because it was a very stressful year full of lots of changes, but also partly because I'm down to such low doses now that I'm really enjoying life, taking on new projects, having a fuller social life, etc., and I want to keep the withdrawal symptoms to a minimum so I can keep enjoying life. (After so many years stolen from me by the drugs, I'm really enjoying being functional!)

 

But I'm still plugging away. Feeling healthy and strong, sleeping pretty well, really really enjoying having my connection with other human beings back. It's something that I appreciate so much. I didn't realize the drugs had taken it from me, until it started coming back.

 

I'm happier, and very rarely have thoughts about life not being worth living and that sort of thing. (Which is a big change from being almost constantly suicidal for most of about 20 years of my life.)

 

It's been a long road, and it's going to be as long again probably before I'm off all meds, if I ever in fact get there. But frankly if I had to stay right here I would be happy with that. It's SO much better than it was on the meds.

 

But so far anyway there doesn't seem to be any indication that I need to stop tapering, so I'm just going to keep very very very slowly slipping those doses downward. It's working so far!

 

So glad to hear you are still going strong. Still cannot send you a PM. I don't mean to be pushy, but I could really use some of your advice.

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Mjau

Wonderful to read your story of improvement! Gives a lot of hope!  :)

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joy2730

Rhi I am so glad for you when I gave up lithium and sodium vapor ate and diazepam and dothiepin I slowly got me back and I really like me now the same is happening with citalopram

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joy2730

I am inspired to write a book of my experiences intermingled with factual stuff I read Peter Brigg ins last one and it didn't concentrate sufficiently on tapering and was quite a poor read although still useful in some regards

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Hopeinahpwr

God bless you! Thank you for the hope!

Ben

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gigi63

This, this is so encouraging for all of us still on the journey. God bless you. Jamie.

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gigi63

This, at what percentage have you been tapering that has made you successful? Sure would love to know!!!! Thanks.

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elbee

Thank you so much for continuing to check in. Your patience is AMAZING and your story is inspiring! What I get from what you write is that you are being kind, gentle and patient with yourself. That's the opposite of how I've done things with myself most of my life (*whip crack*), but I'm trying to change that. My hope is that my vitality will return without the whip, and in new and better ways. I just keep feeling like I need to push myself to engage with life, not isolate, not start feeling sorry for myself. I'm finding this new approach to be a tough balance.

 

I understand through therapy (and some other resources I've found) that I've needed to grieve over a number of things, feel things I didn't want to feel before I got on the meds, and feel I wasn't able to feel while on them (and drinking, working like a madman, and finding every possible way to distract myself. I've removed all distractions (I'm not even working right now) . . . basically pulling the emergency break in my life, and even though I'm on more meds now than I was for the first 24 years I was on meds, stuff is bubbling up and out. I'm even starting to feel anger (something I wasn't "allowed" to feel as a kid . . . a very new feeling for me!). I'm guessing there is quite a bit more below the surface, so again, your patience is what I find most inspiring. Much appreciation!

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mia

Rhiannon can you please tell me how did you taper off Gabapetin. I’m taking 100 mg twice a day and want a plan to taper off this med.

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