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xyz: Lexapro, my intro

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xyz
7 hours ago, JackieDecides said:

 

I'm sorry things have gotten worse. 

Shep, Jackie,

thank you so much for your support.

i am doing better. i slept 6 hours yesterday after reluctantly taking a total of 10mg of valium in that day.

the akitasia is gone, as well as the anxiety for now. i still feel jittery. i will see how things develop today.

i don't know what happened. i went 5 days with almost no sleep- i think (hope) that it was a week long

 panic attack and not a benzo wave. (which would mean that taking valium wouldn't help the healing)

the same thing happened to me 4 years ago before i was hospitalized and put on lexapro and valium.

it seems that i have a trigger that is stress. i had to work from home and take care of the kids at the same time, weeks before that i was in europe, visiting my dad with a cold. and the situation of the confinement didn't help.

i sure will never touch a ramen noodle soup, MSG and coffee again.

lots of love

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Shep

Xyz, thank you for your update and I'm so happy to read you are sleeping now and the akathisia is gone.


It sounds like a lot of stress coupled with severe food sensitivities created the perfect storm for acute insomnia and akathisia.  

 

16 minutes ago, xyz said:

i am doing better. i slept 6 hours yesterday after reluctantly taking a total of 10mg of valium in that day.

 

You may want to simply stop the benzos at this point. Valium is self-tapering in the sense that it takes several weeks for it to completely leave your system due to its long half-life. So you'll continue to benefit from it over the coming days. it takes up to 8 days for it to even drop to its half-life. So 8 days from now,  you'll still have up to 5 mg in your system. 

 

This will aid in toning down the insomnia and akathisia over the coming days. 

 

19 minutes ago, xyz said:

i sure will never touch a ramen noodle soup, MSG and coffee again.

 

You may at some point be able to bring in a bit of coffee. That's been something you've enjoyed and tolerated during your taper. But you may want to wait a few weeks to do so and then start with maybe 1/4 a cup and see how you do, if this is something you want to add back in.

 

The Ramen Noodle soup is something you may want to think of as an allergy and never touch again. The same for anything with MSG and really, anything processed, at least until you're well recovered from this crisis. 

 

Please continue to let us know how you're doing over the coming days. 

 

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JackieDecides
17 hours ago, Shep said:

But you may want to wait a few weeks to do so and then start with maybe 1/4 a cup and see how you do,

 

another option is drink decaf - I know from experience a couple cups of decaf will give me a buzz when I've been completely decafeinated. 

18 hours ago, xyz said:

i slept 6 hours yesterday

 

that's good! 

 

I hope you continue to be OK: keep posting! 

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xyz

Hi Shep and Jackie.

God blesses you both.

 

My doc wants me to keep taking valium until i stabilize, but i am worried about dependence and kindling.

i took 8mg of valium last night and couldn't sleep a bit, i have electrical surge over my chest, panic attack, i feel that my heart is about to explode

 

my worries:

did i impide my gaba receptor recovery by taking those valium doses?

on benzo buddies, they said that people experienced harder setbacks when they re-introduce the benzo in their system

 

in total: i took 18mg of valium +0.75mg of xanax over 2 days.

 

i was hoping the internal electrical surge would go away after the first dose of valium, but they are still here.

i am worried that they will stay with me for the rest of my life.

i am also very very afraid of taking any medication.

 

please help.

 

 

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Shep
46 minutes ago, xyz said:

my worries:

did i impide my gaba receptor recovery by taking those valium doses?

on benzo buddies, they said that people experienced harder setbacks when they re-introduce the benzo in their system

 

Yes, many people do find harder setbacks when benzos are re-introduced, especially after you've been off it for more than one month. Just like over on Benzo Buddies, we don't recommend reinstating a benzo after a month if at all possible. Rescue doses can be tolerated by some people, but it's really individual. In your case, you were doing remarkably well until this setback, so you have prior resiliency to your advantage. 

 

I don't think you've impeded your GABA receptor recovery, though, at least not permanently. You're going through a severe setback due to multiple things, as we've discussed. 

 

51 minutes ago, xyz said:

i am worried that they will stay with me for the rest of my life.

 

This is catastrophic thinking. Please find some distractions to help you get through this rough patch. Or go through the non-drug coping skills that got you through the waves during your taper and see if that helps. 

 

This is a temporary setback, Xyz. It may take a few weeks to settle down, but there's no reason whatsoever to think this is permanent. 

 

Catastrophic thinking is tied into something called second fear, which is the "what if" fears. And that's very common during withdrawal. Considering how well you were doing prior to this setback, it's hitting you that much harder because you're afraid you've lost all of the progress you've made.

 

But that's simply not true. This is a setback. A severe and painful setback, but it's not a sign of permanent damage. Those are withdrawal lies. Please try to float and breathe through them and ignore your thoughts. As my favorite YouTube mindfulness teacher Mooji says, "Your thoughts are just visitors and you are not a hotel! Don't let them in."

 

Dr. Claire Weekes comes highly recommended for helping people learn how to manage and cope with anxiety and second fear. 

 

Dr. Claire Weekes - How To Recover From Anxiety

 

And this is a great short video on acceptance without adding "second fear":

 

Dr. Claire Weekes: How to accept the physical symptoms of nervous illness video (1.5 minutes)

 

 

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JackieDecides

Shep knows what he is talking about! this is temporary. 

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Shep
6 minutes ago, JackieDecides said:

Shep knows what he is talking about! this is temporary. 

 

"He" is a "she," LOL, but thank you for the compliment. 

 

And thank you for continuing to cheer Xyz on. Yes, this is temporary. 

 

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xyz

how do you know this is temporary?

please tell me? i am on my knees

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JackieDecides
31 minutes ago, Shep said:

"He" is a "she," LOL, but thank you for the compliment. 

sorry, SHE!  well, I learned something new today. 

 

7 minutes ago, xyz said:

how do you know this is temporary?

it only seems like it couldn't be because you are very scared.  re-read what Shep has said. 

 

2 hours ago, Shep said:

This is a setback. A severe and painful setback, but it's not a sign of permanent damage. Those are withdrawal lies. Please try to float and breathe through them and ignore your thoughts.

 

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xyz

Shep and Jackie,

God blesses your heart.

 

yesterday the panic attacks were un-relentless. i had constant adrenal surges, it felt like i cold turkeyed a benzo

i used Claire weeks techniques. i worked though my garden and kept focusing on my kids, at 3.30pm, i crashed and my husband had to lead me to my bed where i slept 10 hours. i was so exhausted that i fell asleep though the adrenaline surge

this morning the anxiety has subsided.

 

good gratious, i hope that i am out of the wood.

but i am not that naive, it might come back, but now i am prepared.

 

i still regret for taking these rescue pills. i will try not to dwell on them.

life carries on.

i lost 12lbs in a week.

 

lots of love

 

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Shep
45 minutes ago, xyz said:

yesterday the panic attacks were un-relentless. i had constant adrenal surges, it felt like i cold turkeyed a benzo

i used Claire weeks techniques. i worked though my garden and kept focusing on my kids, at 3.30pm, i crashed and my husband had to lead me to my bed where i slept 10 hours. i was so exhausted that i fell asleep though the adrenaline surge

this morning the anxiety has subsided.

 

Wow! This is an awesome update, xyz! 

 

46 minutes ago, xyz said:

i still regret for taking these rescue pills. i will try not to dwell on them.

 

Yes, please, let this thought go. Best not to dwell. You were in a crisis state and you made it through. That's the take-away.

 

Take extra care of yourself over the coming days. There may be a few bumps in the road, but bookmark or print out your last post so you can come back to it as a reminder that you're still very resilient. 

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Frogie
3 hours ago, xyz said:

Shep and Jackie,

God blesses your heart.

 

yesterday the panic attacks were un-relentless. i had constant adrenal surges, it felt like i cold turkeyed a benzo

i used Claire weeks techniques. i worked though my garden and kept focusing on my kids, at 3.30pm, i crashed and my husband had to lead me to my bed where i slept 10 hours. i was so exhausted that i fell asleep though the adrenaline surge

this morning the anxiety has subsided.

 

good gratious, i hope that i am out of the wood.

but i am not that naive, it might come back, but now i am prepared.

 

i still regret for taking these rescue pills. i will try not to dwell on them.

life carries on.

i lost 12lbs in a week.

 

lots of love

 

xyz:

 

I hope this will be the “end” of your troubles and you will start to heal again.

 

You are in my thoughts and prayers. Don’t put any blame on yourself for taking rescue doses as they were needed as Shep advised. She’s a wealth of information.

 

Stay strong my friend ❤️
 

Take care,

 Frogie xx

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JackieDecides

glad to hear you slept: what a blessing! 

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xyz

Frogie, Jackie, love you both! thank you so much for cheering me up.

 

Shep, i owe you my life. i refused to take another benzo and used the technique in Claire's week video that you shared until i crashed of exhaustion.

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Frogie
44 minutes ago, xyz said:

Frogie, Jackie, love you both! thank you so much for cheering me up.

 

Shep, i owe you my life. i refused to take another benzo and used the technique in Claire's week video that you shared until i crashed of exhaustion.

We are all in this together.

 

You will get through this and heal once again.

 

Take care,

 Frogie xx

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xyz

Shep, Jackie, Frogie

God Blesses your Heart.

 

i was able to sleep 7.5 hours last night. i took my 3mg of melatonin as usual.

i felt some adrenaline surge throughout the night but was able to float through them and fall back to sleep.

i this point i still have enough benzo in my body to kill an elephant and i am sure that is helping.

i am worried that the surge will come back stronger once they wear off. but valium has a ridiculous long half life. i guess we will see when we get there.

 

i am wondering if it is not the 8 months waves that they talk about on benzobuddies. the first time i got off benzo, i had the exact same symptoms at 8 months.

Adrenaline surge that kept me awake for a week and i had to go on an AD which gave me Tinnitus and made me suicidal and i had to go back to valium + lexapro for another 4 years of tapering and suffering.

 

i guess we won't know.

i have to remember to take it one day at a time.

i might get hit by a truck tomorrow and all this wouldn't matter.

today i slept well, anxiety seems to be gone, so i have to remember that it is progress

 

lots of love

 

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Shep
3 hours ago, xyz said:

today i slept well, anxiety seems to be gone, so i have to remember that it is progress

 

Yes, this is progress. Thanks for keeping us updated. Very glad to read you're doing well. 

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JackieDecides
3 hours ago, xyz said:

i have to remember to take it one day at a time.

YAY for sleep!!! 

 

yes, all these things can be true - one day at a time! - but doesn't mean they are always easy to remember. 

 

 

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xyz

Shep, Jackie, Frogie

God blesses you

 

update:

yesterday i had some anxiety that came back and i realized that where i put my mind matters a lot.

in the morning i was obsessing over the rescue doses that i took and started reading the drugs half life and how long it would take them  to leave my systems, then my thought went into, "what if i will never recover from the grip of the psych meds and have to be on them for the rest of my life , or what if i have messed up the structure of my brain and now i will go crazy without them"

then the anxieties symptoms started coming back, i went for a walk with my dear husband. he is scientist and knows me for 23 years and told me that my issue has more to do with obsessive thinking than with med withdrawal. i adore him dearly. he has been my anchor all through this journey.

so, we went back home and he hid all my meds, and throw away the ramen noodles.

he thinks that i have PTSD from the benzo withdrawal and that whenever i have stress in my life, the neurons fire through the same pattern and i relive the same symptoms.

so he asked me to never think about benzo. take it out of my mind.

he also kept an excel sheet with the date and time of my rescue dose.

i have been 6 days off xanax rescue doses, 5 days of the lexapro rescue dose, and 4 days off the valium rescue dose

 

last night i slept 8 hours, with anxieties and panic feeling waking me up, but i was able to fall back to sleep.

Amen to that.

staying at home with the kids is stressful. we have an adopted 4 years old who is hyper active and rarely listen.

i realized that i have to work on mindfulness. i have always been a worrier. we grew up poor. i have 8 sibling and we left vietnam for France when i was 2 years old, in the middle of the war.

i grew up in constant stress of not having enough food on the table and of my parents constantly fighting.

i grew up with a tremendous amount of guilt of just having been able to make it alive.

i worked very hard in school and was an A+ student and attend one of the most prestigious school of interior design in France.

my life motto was always about planning, and working through a problem and solving it. but the trade off is that i was never able to relax.

i was able to distract myself with work and a career. but this stay at home order with the kids was too much, everyday my thoughts go into "what if they grow up with sever mental illness" "what if my daughter gets into an abuse relationship" " what if she takes benzo? she will never survive the withdrawal"

i need to get back to CBT

 

sorry for the long sharing but it helps to write

 

 

 

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Frogie
6 hours ago, xyz said:

we grew up poor. i have 8 sibling and we left vietnam for France when i was 2 years old, in the middle of the war.

i grew up in constant stress of not having enough food on the table and of my parents constantly fighting.

i grew up with a tremendous amount of guilt of just having been able to make it alive.

i worked very hard in school and was an A+ student and attend one of the most prestigious school of interior design in France.

my life motto was always about planning, and working through a problem and solving it. but the trade off is that i was never able to relax.

i was able to distract myself with work and a career. but this stay at home order with the kids was too much, everyday my thoughts go into "what if they grow up with sever mental illness" "what if my daughter gets into an abuse relationship" " what if she takes benzo? she will never survive the withdrawal"

I know exactly how you feel xyz. Even though I was an only child, we grew up very poor also. 
But look how far you have come! My goodness an A+ student and your career with children. 
It is a challenging time, but we will all make it through this. 

Like I said before, you can’t beat yourself up over taking some rescue doses. But you’re going to recover as Shep advised you.

Unfortunately, you have no control over “what if’s”. I’ve had a lot of those and have learned the hard way.

You’re doing wonderful. That’s great you were able to take a walk and get some fresh air. Hug your kids and husband. You’re going to make it😊
 

Take care,

 Frogie xx

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xyz

thank you Frogie for your kind words. sending you love.

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Frogie
1 hour ago, xyz said:

thank you Frogie for your kind words. sending you love.

You are welcome.

 

Hang in there my friend, you will heal just like Shep said😊

 

Take care,

 Frogie xx

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PH1
38 minutes ago, Frogie said:

You are welcome.

 

Hang in there my friend, you will heal just like Shep said😊

 

Take care,

 Frogie xx

 

xyz,

I'm so glad you are sleeping better.    Yes, you will heal, it just takes time.    The advice of Claire Weekes has helped me tremendously over the years.

Take care!

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xyz
On 4/29/2020 at 9:12 AM, JackieDecides said:

YAY for sleep!!! 

 

yes, all these things can be true - one day at a time! - but doesn't mean they are always easy to remember. 

 

 

 

i haven;t had coffee in 10 days and i got hit with a terrible fatigue.

like i can't get out of the couch.

for those who quit. how long for the fatigue to subside?

 

i am thinking of decaf  like you said Jackie just to give me a tiny buzz, but i am worried about anxiety rebound.

 

sleep was fine last night. on and off but not major crisis

my kids are getting on my nerve yesterday, i had to go for a drive by myself to take a break.

 

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JackieDecides
6 hours ago, xyz said:

i am thinking of decaf  like you said Jackie just to give me a tiny buzz, but i am worried about anxiety rebound.

 

 

I remember a time I thought I could never, ever give up coffee. but if anxiety gets bad enough, you can use the fear of it to do amazing things. 

 

wait until you are "in the mood" and dry a cup. nice and hot, might be OK. if it's not, well, it's temporary.

 

"it's temporary" is my new mantra! 

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jozeff

No coffee in 10 days?

 

I haven't been able to do that in 25 years. And really curious how you are going to feel without coffee and caffeine. The reason is that I have had strange with wd symptomsfor for over a year now.

The reason might be caffeine overstimulation but I don't know because I am addicted to the stuff.

 

What made you decide to stop drinking coffee?

 

Was it purely the anxiety/sleep?

 

I'm pretty sure you will get over it. I did some research on the subject and some people need 1 or 2 months to feel completely normal again.

 

Most sources on the internet say that you will have two days headache and that's it. You don't hear much about mental problems. if you have been taking caffeine for decades it might take longer than 2 days to jump off!!!

 

Keep up the good spirit!

 

Happy healing and I hope you are doing well!

 

 

Jozeff

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xyz

Hi Shep,

i didn't sleep at all last night, the pin and needles came back as well as the fear/panic.

this time i am trying to float through the sensations, i am reading claire Weekes Book.

it seems that it was written for me. but i wonder if being off meds for almost 8 months and almost a year for the lexapro messed up my brain.

i feel that i will never recover and will live in fear for the rest of my life.

 

how do you know that this is temporary and it will pass?

how long does a wave/setback last? months? a year?

i just want to be functional again.

 

i am also worrying about the rescue dose and that it will impact my healing and that i will be back to square one of widthdrawal.

please advice.

 

the last rescue dose of valium was 10 days ago.

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xyz
On 4/27/2020 at 8:20 AM, Shep said:

 

"He" is a "she," LOL, but thank you for the compliment. 

 

And thank you for continuing to cheer Xyz on. Yes, this is temporary. 

 

 

please advice Shep

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Shep
5 hours ago, xyz said:

the last rescue dose of valium was 10 days ago.

 

Yes, and you're withdrawing from Valium slowly as it leaves your system. Please see this half-life calculator: 

 

Half-life Calculator

 

If you put in whatever dose of Valium you took into the calculator and put 200 for the number of hours for the half-life, at 10 days - or 240 hours - you've still have close to 50% of the drug in you. 

 

You may have become dependent due to the long half-life and now you're having some window and wave activity.

 

Please work on your non-drug coping skills to get through this. Along with dealing with this, you've also mentioned working from home while having to take care of small children. If you have someone who can help you out with childcare, groceries, housework, and maybe even schedule in a day or two of time off from work, that would take some of the stress off. 

 

I doubt that you're back to square one, but it may take awhile to work itself out. 

 

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xyz
4 minutes ago, Shep said:

 

Yes, and you're withdrawing from Valium slowly as it leaves your system. Please see this half-life calculator: 

 

Half-life Calculator

 

If you put in whatever dose of Valium you took into the calculator and put 200 for the number of hours for the half-life, at 10 days - or 240 hours - you've still have close to 50% of the drug in you. 

 

You may have become dependent due to the long half-life and now you're having some window and wave activity.

 

Please work on your non-drug coping skills to get through this. Along with dealing with this, you've also mentioned working from home while having to take care of small children. If you have someone who can help you out with childcare, groceries, housework, and maybe even schedule in a day or two of time off from work, that would take some of the stress off. 

 

I doubt that you're back to square one, but it may take awhile to work itself out. 

 

 

so valium will completely leave my body in 60 days??

this is like re-instatement

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Shep
18 minutes ago, xyz said:

 

so valium will completely leave my body in 60 days??

this is like re-instatement

 

Yes, it does take a long time to exit the body, but it's really not like a reinstatement. A reinstatement is the repetitive intake of the drug daily for a long enough time to become dependent. Please remember that Valium is a rather mild benzo that builds up over time. You didn't take it long enough to build up. 

 

Also, keep in mind that you didn't end up hospitalized, so please keep some perspective. You did what you needed to do during an acute crisis state. But it's not the end of the world. You will feel better. 

 

Please let us know how you're doing over the coming days. 

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xyz
1 hour ago, Shep said:

 

Yes, it does take a long time to exit the body, but it's really not like a reinstatement. A reinstatement is the repetitive intake of the drug daily for a long enough time to become dependent. Please remember that Valium is a rather mild benzo that builds up over time. You didn't take it long enough to build up. 

 

Also, keep in mind that you didn't end up hospitalized, so please keep some perspective. You did what you needed to do during an acute crisis state. But it's not the end of the world. You will feel better. 

 

Please let us know how you're doing over the coming days. 

 

Thank you for the encouraging words, Shep.

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xyz
18 hours ago, Shep said:

 

Yes, and you're withdrawing from Valium slowly as it leaves your system. Please see this half-life calculator: 

 

Half-life Calculator

 

If you put in whatever dose of Valium you took into the calculator and put 200 for the number of hours for the half-life, at 10 days - or 240 hours - you've still have close to 50% of the drug in you. 

 

You may have become dependent due to the long half-life and now you're having some window and wave activity.

 

Please work on your non-drug coping skills to get through this. Along with dealing with this, you've also mentioned working from home while having to take care of small children. If you have someone who can help you out with childcare, groceries, housework, and maybe even schedule in a day or two of time off from work, that would take some of the stress off. 

 

I doubt that you're back to square one, but it may take awhile to work itself out. 

 

 

Hi Shep,

i looked up the half life of valium and it says 100 hours max, not 200 hours?

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Shep

The active metabolite in Valium has up to a 200 hour half-life. Please see:

 

BENZODIAZEPINE EQUIVALENCE TABLE

 

Of course, your mileage will vary according to how quickly you metabolize it. 

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Frogie
On 5/6/2020 at 4:21 AM, xyz said:

Hi Shep,

i didn't sleep at all last night, the pin and needles came back as well as the fear/panic.

this time i am trying to float through the sensations, i am reading claire Weekes Book.

it seems that it was written for me. but i wonder if being off meds for almost 8 months and almost a year for the lexapro messed up my brain.

i feel that i will never recover and will live in fear for the rest of my life.

 

how do you know that this is temporary and it will pass?

how long does a wave/setback last? months? a year?

i just want to be functional again.

 

i am also worrying about the rescue dose and that it will impact my healing and that i will be back to square one of widthdrawal.

please advice.

 

the last rescue dose of valium was 10 days ago.

I just wanted to see how you were doing?

 

I hope you’ve been able to get some sleep since this post.

 

Hang in there. You’re going to be ok just as Shep said. She knows what she’s talking about. She’s very good with this.

 

Stay strong my friend . I’m thinking about you.

 

Take care,

 Frogie xx

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xyz
7 minutes ago, Frogie said:

I just wanted to see how you were doing?

 

I hope you’ve been able to get some sleep since this post.

 

Hang in there. You’re going to be ok just as Shep said. She knows what she’s talking about. She’s very good with this.

 

Stay strong my friend . I’m thinking about you.

 

Take care,

 Frogie xx

HI Frogie,

i got some sleep last night, not sure how much, i was in and out.

i hope Shep is right that it will only take a few weeks to recover. (is she always right? sorry just so much doubt in my head)

i went on Benzobuddies and there is so much suffering. some people suffer for years which is very scary.

i am trying to stay busy and take care of my kids. i stopped working.

i still feel very fragile and raw, it wouldn't take much to bring up a panic attack.

one of the thought i have which scares me is that i am permanently damaged and will need to go back on them for the rest of my life and suffer this state for the rest of my life.

i am sorry if i don;t sound strong right now, i am just really scared

 

i am also worried that once the valium leave my system, the akatisia and panic attack will come back.

i have been praying a lot.

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