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AbbyElfie

Acceptance -- A hopeful message for you all

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AbbyElfie

Hey guys,

 

I wanted to come back here and just pass on a few things that may help someone. My full story is in the introductions section, but I weaned off Prozac over last year (did the last bit a little too quickly) and due to a variety of factors had a few episodes of intense withdrawal symptoms over Christmas and the start of January.

 

I reinstated at 2mg recently and am glad to report I'm doing absolutely fantastic. However, I noticed a few patterns which caused me to go into symptom mode. Number 1 was reading too many posts on the forum - I used to be a moderator on an OCD support forum and am aware of the dangers of excessive forum use! In fact it was one of the first things we'd advise newbies to the site. In the week before I reinstated, I went into a mode that I hadn't done for a long time. I was checking for success stories, reading other people's symptoms, and was preoccupied with my health for most of the day. I developed new symptoms and old patterns began to emerge.

 

I've been practicing meditation for 2 years now. I stopped temporarily (funnily enough, just before withdrawal symptoms emerged) for a number of reasons. I forgot how wild an unobserved mind can get, and how we continually create our reality moment by moment. Thankfully I was seeing an amazing Reiki therapist once a week over the past month. He pretty much helped me drag myself out of a potentially long term situation, and helped me take responsibility for the symptoms in order to diffuse them incredibly quickly.

 

I also became disheartened by the horror stories and the lack of success stories, but I knew on some level there was more to it. I've seen incredible recoveries over recent years from a variety of illnesses including severe mental illness, chronic pain, cancer. But as soon as I began getting too involved in the world of 'withdrawal', all of that was thrown into doubt. So I did a test. I know intellectually that my mind is a constant flux of thoughts created from my own awareness, nothing is really external or separate from us, it's all the creation and response of mind. When we know that on an experiential level, there is no reason to suffer, because you are aware that you are creating everything that appears to your consciousness. You can create anything. I mentally put out a request for real life success stories.

 

Within about 6 hours an old friend got in touch. I havent seen her in years since we were in a psychiatric hospital, she was a bit older than me and was like a mother figure. She had been one a severe case of clinical depression, in hospital many times. Her doctors told her she was a lost cause and would be dead within the next few years. Turns out she stopped her meds three years ago, refused any medical help, found a great therapist who understood her desire not to be medicated, and she is happier than she's ever been. She is in a new relationship, has gone back to college, and has absolutely no symptoms in regards to withdrawal (she said there was at first but they didn't last intensely after she started therapy).

 

The following day I bumped into a lady who owns a shop near me who I haven't spoke to in months. She confided that she is also medication free since last summer, after years of being on antidepressants. While things have been up and down, she was still positive, running her business, and very positive.

 

From that day I stopped researching anything to do with illness or withdrawal, I got strict with myself in terms of observing thoughts, and detaching from as many as possible throughout the day. Letting them be there without making a 'story' out of them. Of course, the 2mg reinstatement took the edge off almost immediately, but the transformation between now and the horror I experienced a few weeks ago is unimaginable. In the midst of a crisis the smallest of things can mean the difference between a temporary episode and a wave of days or weeks of awfulness. My main withdrawal episodes lasted no more than a day or two at a time, whereas years ago they would have knocked me for six for weeks. I credit that in part to an ongoing understanding of the how the mind works and not exposing myself to negativity as much as possible, especially in such vulnerable states. Forums and the internet are a great resource, but that's just it, they are a tool and as much as it feels like it's the last thing we want to do, it's essential to spend the majority of our time in 'the world' so we get a fuller picture of it.

 

So I guess what I mean is, don't spend time exposing your mind to anything that reaffirms sickness. People, media, tv, situations. In the psychiatric hospitals I was in in the past they had a term for it (I forget what it was), where patients who were around other patients for too long would develop similar symptoms. They would try and get people out quickly and not encourage them to become too close because the statistics for them later being diagnosed with further disorders was much higher the longer you were in there. I guess it's the same in life, we become what we fill our consciousness with. I was very aware that I was spending most of my time reading about withdrawal and thinking about what my symptoms were like day to day, rather than actually healing. Suffering is inevitable, for everyone, that is the nature of being human. But we have so, so much more power to react to it differently, and even be comfortable with it, than we ever imagine. Glimpses of this astonishing power have saved me many times, although we do need to be still enough for it to be revealed.

 

This may or may not be of use to anyone, but I wanted to share it anyway in the hope that it may help. Love and courage to all of you who are struggling.

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Junglechicken

I think that's sound advice AbbyElfie, because my therapist and ND both tell me to stay away from the Forum environment, and to stop googling symptoms etc.,

 

The field of psychiatry has clearly proven itself to do more harm than good, and GPs have a LOT to answer for as they are ill-informed regarding these drugs.

 

Anyway, there is nothing more powerful than the human mind to heal the human body.

 

 

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Scorpio

Hi abbeyElfie

thank you so much for taking the time to write this. Today is one of those days when I needed to read something like this. Affirming and sensible. Truly appreciated. 

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Downbutnotout

Y

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Downbutnotout
1 hour ago, Downbutnotout said:

Interesting post.

 

 

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Happy2Heal
22 hours ago, AbbyElfie said:

I credit that in part to an ongoing understanding of the how the mind works and not exposing myself to negativity as much as possible, especially in such vulnerable states. Forums and the internet are a great resource, but that's just it, they are a tool and as much as it feels like it's the last thing we want to do, it's essential to spend the majority of our time in 'the world' so we get a fuller picture of it.

I agree with this wholeheartedly!
I found that there were times during WD that I could not handle negativity of any kind and still am very sensitive to it.
I am purposely working toward filling my life with positive people and experiences.

It's hard to let go of relationships that are unhelpful but for my own health, I've had to do it.

getting out is hard when you're not feeling well but it's been the best "medicine" for me in the past year or so.

 I would not have gotten to this point if I'd stayed glued to the computer and tv and the very tiny circle of ppl I was in contact with.

 

sorry this is a bit scattered but I just wanted to chime in and say, yes, this is true, from my experience as well

 

 

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Downbutnotout

I upped to 10 beads today. How will I know if this is too much? I am sure 5 was not enough. I upped to 6 but don’t think that was doing it. How do you know what is the right amount? I feel okay right now. 

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Jony
On 29/01/2018 at 5:27 PM, AbbyElfie said:

So I guess what I mean is, don't spend time exposing your mind to anything that reaffirms sickness. People, media, tv, situations. In the psychiatric hospitals I was in in the past they had a term for it (I forget what it was), where patients who were around other patients for too long would develop similar symptoms. They would try and get people out quickly and not encourage them to become too close because the statistics for them later being diagnosed with further disorders was much higher the longer you were in there. I guess

 

On 29/01/2018 at 5:42 PM, Junglechicken said:

I think that's sound advice AbbyElfie, because my therapist and ND both tell me to stay away from the Forum environment, and to stop googling symptoms etc.,

 

I think the same...even our journal here, our description, must be something that does not dramatize situations. Just describe like it is and nothing else. Doing so, it may helps to find patterns but doesn´t allow our mind to somatize more and more.

 

Reading about symptons, cases, videos on Youtube etc...it might things worse.

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Pepita
On 30.1.2018 at 12:27 AM, AbbyElfie said:

Hey guys,

 

I wanted to come back here and just pass on a few things that may help someone. My full story is in the introductions section, but I weaned off Prozac over last year (did the last bit a little too quickly) and due to a variety of factors had a few episodes of intense withdrawal symptoms over Christmas and the start of January.

 

I reinstated at 2mg recently and am glad to report I'm doing absolutely fantastic. However, I noticed a few patterns which caused me to go into symptom mode. Number 1 was reading too many posts on the forum - I used to be a moderator on an OCD support forum and am aware of the dangers of excessive forum use! In fact it was one of the first things we'd advise newbies to the site. In the week before I reinstated, I went into a mode that I hadn't done for a long time. I was checking for success stories, reading other people's symptoms, and was preoccupied with my health for most of the day. I developed new symptoms and old patterns began to emerge.

 

I've been practicing meditation for 2 years now. I stopped temporarily (funnily enough, just before withdrawal symptoms emerged) for a number of reasons. I forgot how wild an unobserved mind can get, and how we continually create our reality moment by moment. Thankfully I was seeing an amazing Reiki therapist once a week over the past month. He pretty much helped me drag myself out of a potentially long term situation, and helped me take responsibility for the symptoms in order to diffuse them incredibly quickly.

 

I also became disheartened by the horror stories and the lack of success stories, but I knew on some level there was more to it. I've seen incredible recoveries over recent years from a variety of illnesses including severe mental illness, chronic pain, cancer. But as soon as I began getting too involved in the world of 'withdrawal', all of that was thrown into doubt. So I did a test. I know intellectually that my mind is a constant flux of thoughts created from my own awareness, nothing is really external or separate from us, it's all the creation and response of mind. When we know that on an experiential level, there is no reason to suffer, because you are aware that you are creating everything that appears to your consciousness. You can create anything. I mentally put out a request for real life success stories.

 

Within about 6 hours an old friend got in touch. I havent seen her in years since we were in a psychiatric hospital, she was a bit older than me and was like a mother figure. She had been one a severe case of clinical depression, in hospital many times. Her doctors told her she was a lost cause and would be dead within the next few years. Turns out she stopped her meds three years ago, refused any medical help, found a great therapist who understood her desire not to be medicated, and she is happier than she's ever been. She is in a new relationship, has gone back to college, and has absolutely no symptoms in regards to withdrawal (she said there was at first but they didn't last intensely after she started therapy).

 

The following day I bumped into a lady who owns a shop near me who I haven't spoke to in months. She confided that she is also medication free since last summer, after years of being on antidepressants. While things have been up and down, she was still positive, running her business, and very positive.

 

From that day I stopped researching anything to do with illness or withdrawal, I got strict with myself in terms of observing thoughts, and detaching from as many as possible throughout the day. Letting them be there without making a 'story' out of them. Of course, the 2mg reinstatement took the edge off almost immediately, but the transformation between now and the horror I experienced a few weeks ago is unimaginable. In the midst of a crisis the smallest of things can mean the difference between a temporary episode and a wave of days or weeks of awfulness. My main withdrawal episodes lasted no more than a day or two at a time, whereas years ago they would have knocked me for six for weeks. I credit that in part to an ongoing understanding of the how the mind works and not exposing myself to negativity as much as possible, especially in such vulnerable states. Forums and the internet are a great resource, but that's just it, they are a tool and as much as it feels like it's the last thing we want to do, it's essential to spend the majority of our time in 'the world' so we get a fuller picture of it.

 

So I guess what I mean is, don't spend time exposing your mind to anything that reaffirms sickness. People, media, tv, situations. In the psychiatric hospitals I was in in the past they had a term for it (I forget what it was), where patients who were around other patients for too long would develop similar symptoms. They would try and get people out quickly and not encourage them to become too close because the statistics for them later being diagnosed with further disorders was much higher the longer you were in there. I guess it's the same in life, we become what we fill our consciousness with. I was very aware that I was spending most of my time reading about withdrawal and thinking about what my symptoms were like day to day, rather than actually healing. Suffering is inevitable, for everyone, that is the nature of being human. But we have so, so much more power to react to it differently, and even be comfortable with it, than we ever imagine. Glimpses of this astonishing power have saved me many times, although we do need to be still enough for it to be revealed.

 

This may or may not be of use to anyone, but I wanted to share it anyway in the hope that it may help. Love and courage to all of you who are struggling.

hi there EbbieElfie,

you are right and it's a great reminder of what I am doing too much of lately;) I realized every so often that reading too many different stories from desperate people makes you feel worse or you start to lose hope. It is of great help to kmow that you are nor alone in this world with all your troubles but too much is too much. 

 

Also I realized that I mainly login here to read when I am not feeling well (although in my own profile-thread I did come to write about improvements and milestones of recovery as well). 

 

Recently I am just hungry for conversation with someone else with wd-experience because I am in one terrible wave, worst one for a very one time, and I am at the end of the world far away from home in paradise- only "normal" and happy people all around me😂 I'd love some exchange. 

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AbbyElfie

hey guys,

 

Glad this may have helped some people. I can totally relate to being triggered by engaging with negativity, it's like a domino effect after that. I find the middle way the best - acknowledge and accept negative situations as they arise (because they always do) without engaging in them, just gently steering attention away over and over again once you notice it has been caught in analysing, worrying, catastrophizing, judging etc. It's a constant practice but the results are worth it ten times over, it's something I have and willd edicate the rest of my life to.

 

This past week has been even better than when I first posted, mainly because I dropped expectations and took each day as it came. I've even had a few glasses of wine with dinner with a friend (not recommending but just to make the point that it had no negative effects). I've been up early every morning writing and planning a trip away in March, cycling, going to meditation class and also volunteering. There is a distinct sense of peace and focus, optimism without overexcitement, and I'm beginning to see each negative emotion as an opportunity to see where I need to be healed more...and all at 2mg of Prozac lol, a few years ago I'd never have believed that was possible. Who knows where things will go over the next few months, my aim is to just go with it.

 

17 hours ago, Downbutnotout said:

I upped to 10 beads today. How will I know if this is too much? I am sure 5 was not enough. I upped to 6 but don’t think that was doing it. How do you know what is the right amount? I feel okay right now. 

Downbutnotout I can't recommend exact dosages as I think it's totally individual, but I do know that it's best to start small and increase a little to see how you feel. There is a great post in the Tapering section that explains reinstatement guidelines. I'm currently taking the liquid version, so am not sure how much 6 beads would be. How long have you been off and when did you reinstate it? Perhaps it would be good to post it on your intro thread so one of the mods can advise you better?

 

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Downbutnotout
On 2/1/2018 at 6:26 AM, AbbyElfie said:

hey guys,

 

Glad this may have helped some people. I can totally relate to being triggered by engaging with negativity, it's like a domino effect after that. I find the middle way the best - acknowledge and accept negative situations as they arise (because they always do) without engaging in them, just gently steering attention away over and over again once you notice it has been caught in analysing, worrying, catastrophizing, judging etc. It's a constant practice but the results are worth it ten times over, it's something I have and willd edicate the rest of my life to.

 

This past week has been even better than when I first posted, mainly because I dropped expectations and took each day as it came. I've even had a few glasses of wine with dinner with a friend (not recommending but just to make the point that it had no negative effects). I've been up early every morning writing and planning a trip away in March, cycling, going to meditation class and also volunteering. There is a distinct sense of peace and focus, optimism without overexcitement, and I'm beginning to see each negative emotion as an opportunity to see where I need to be healed more...and all at 2mg of Prozac lol, a few years ago I'd never have believed that was possible. Who knows where things will go over the next few months, my aim is to just go with it.

 

Downbutnotout I can't recommend exact dosages as I think it's totally individual, but I do know that it's best to start small and increase a little to see how you feel. There is a great post in the Tapering section that explains reinstatement guidelines. I'm currently taking the liquid version, so am not sure how much 6 beads would be. How long have you been off and when did you reinstate it? Perhaps it would be good to post it on your intro thread so one of the mods can advise you better?

 

I have been off effexor for around 3 months. I went up to 6 beads, then 10 ( for one day, big mistake) then back down to 5 for 3 days. I wish I wasn’t on any.The trazadone I’m taking is causing an eye twitch. But I’m leaving that alone for a while. I got off the effexor in two weeks with a prozac bridge. Doesn’t that sound ridiculous. One week of 75, one week of 37, then we’re done. After that buspar really finished me off. Wouldn’t recommend that one. I like your advice about negative situations. I’ll have to really practice that. I actually had.a little peace for a couple of hours tonight. But then I’ll have to go to sleep and get up again. I’m too old for this. I was born in 1950. Figure that one out. I was doing fine before I had some silly event provoke me 8 months ago. I actually think I’d started to slip. My 75 mg of effexor was not really working for me. Maybe it never was. Thanks for answering me. Just noticed this. I’m still uncertain about where I’m going with this effexor. How far up before I come down. What to do with this trazadone. i pretty much hate it, but it helps me sleep. I also think it gives me anxiety when I wake up. I don’t like it. It’s also giving me an eye twitch. Ali told me to keep everything the way it i for now. So, I will listen. 

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