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Tao of the Brassmonkey

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Rabe

Sorry to hear!  I have my scale...who would be able to help me kind of get going...set up in any case?  Think I will have to work with whatever he prescribes and that may be compounded capsules.  I also have a few tablets.  He was going to get back to me but has not. 

Hope you feel better!  Did you get it checked?  (you dont have to answer that...just hoping you did.)

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Hibari
On 9/24/2018 at 3:23 AM, brassmonkey said:

Still on the DL (disabled list, not down low).  I can only type a few lines before it sets off spasms in my shoulder that take hours to resolve.  If I take things really easy I'm getting along fine, but any sudden movements and ouch.  I can feel it starting to flair up so got to stop.

Wishing you complete healing Brass.  

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Bluejay

Hello Brass Monkey,

 

I'm new to this site and so thankful for finding it and your amazing story of recovery.  Thank you so much for sharing your journey for those of us who still have a bit left to go.  I'm crying in joy knowing how well you have been able to heal and knowing how your connection to nature and keeping busy is a key role too for improving, it gives me hope.

 

Are you able to remember if you had physical symptoms like not feeling like you were able to breathe correctly and having such a tight chest?  I've had this symptom for about two months now.  I feel like I am incapable of getting a satisfying breathe of air.  I came to 0 in my taper in mid May of 2018, so I have been having a variety of the symptoms but this one seems to be taking the cake over the others at this moment, but I have others too..just don't want to overwhelm you.  I've read on here to just accept it and not fight it, (which sounds very insightful and true) but it is so hard because the feeling of not being able to breathe is so scary and my mind automatically thinks this is forever, my new normal.

 

Did you have this and do you know how you dealt with it or how long it lasted or maybe if just ignoring it worked?

 

Anyways, just some insight into this will be more than appreciated and I understand if you cannot remember this symptom, which for you will be wonderful and a sign of true healing and moving on.  

 

Peace and blessings, thank you so much!!!

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brassmonkey

HI Bluejay--  welcome to SA.  I'm having real trouble typing because of my shoulder injury so this won't be long winded. Yes, I did get the tight chest and feeling like I couldn't breath.  It happened several times throughout my taper.  Primarily I just slowed down and didn't push myself until it cleared up.  It did get quite acute a couple of times which were  a bit scary.  But in the end everything cleared up.  I did catch something in China last year that seems to have tripped off adult onset asthma which is taking some dealing with.

 

When you get a chance please start an intro thread so you can tell us about yourself.

 

Brassmonkey

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brassmonkey

Well a week ago plus a couple of hours I injured my shoulder.  I've gotten full range of motion back, but any amount of usage sets off the spasms so I can't do a whole lot with it.  It's amazing that the micro movements of typing and using a mouse can really set things off. Now if I could keep it from waking me up at 6am things would be fine.

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Bluejay

Hello Brass Monkey,

 

Thank you so much for your super quick reply.  I so apprecate you taking the time out to do this even though you're in pain!  I hope you feel better and I appreciate your insight into my question.  Thanks so much!!

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brassmonkey

The shoulder is going to take it's own sweet time to heal.  I can use it for a while each day then it starts to kick up and that's it for the day.  Been doing some PT, which is a real killer.  Usually sets off the spasms and they take several hours to calm down. Still typing with my left hand and avoiding using the mouse as much as possible.

 

Some time last week was the seventh anniversary of my starting my taper.  I didn't realize it until several days had passed, which is a good thing.  It means that I am moving on and not fixating on the trials of the past several years.

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Rabe

First...congratulations on moving beyond the taper...that must be a truly wonderful feeling.  Sorry your shoulder is still unsettled...hope the PT will help in long run though maybe not in short.  Shoulders can be persistent little buggers.  

The doctor ordered all the same capsule doses I guess...called the pharmacy today as I run out this week.  So I should stabilize on the new compounded Viibryd .9 capsules and the Clonazepam .2 and .7 capsules because of the possible up to 3% variances...correct?  How long?

Then could look at a very slow start to a taper to see what my up and down system will do?  Does that sound OK?  I do have a scale and  gel capsules.  I will also have the compounded capsules.  I was wondering how many of the capsules of the drug to taper I ought to get at a time as each refill is a change...right?   

At least he is not pushing me into a 12% taper or the hospital to quit both CT so I am grateful...that threat was a set back

Take care brass.  Was going to call the pharmacy today and wondered which way you thought was best to go with this.   Ill await your VERY SHORT reply to questions.  Thank you!

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brassmonkey

Rabe-- I'm going to copy your post over to your thread so you will have better records.

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brassmonkey

It appears that there is some validity to the idea of the 18 month wave post "0". For the past week or so I've been getting hit with waves of intense irritability, some depression and anger.  All in all, not very pleasant.  Had a bit of a meltdown last night which is being followed by a depression hangover this morning. The continuing shoulder pain isn't helping matters, but at least I'm seeing some improvement on that front by not being woken up several times a night with muscle spasms.  I'll probably get it checked out this week to rule out any real damage as we have several big trips coming up and don't want to be fighting with it while traveling.

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Bluejay

Hello BrassMonkey,

 

Thanks for your feedback and update to my post.  I'm sorry to hear about your shoulder and hope it continues to improve with the physical therapy.  I appreciate your feedback on how you are doing with the sudden onset of symptoms of irritability and depression.  My hope is that it is just a passing phase.  It seems that there is evidence of plateaus but geez just when one thinks things are back to a baseline, this is rough.  Hang in there, we are all rooting for each other.

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nick1990

Hey Tom, sorry to hear of this bro ! Its definitely a wave, It will pass though and its hopefully your last little bump of healing before you return to feeling even better.

 

The 18 month wave seems to be quite a thing ! funny how it works eh :)

 

Be well, stay in touch bro 

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brassmonkey

Back from the doctor for the shoulder.  I have a torn nerve that is causing spasms and inflammation.  So it's a steroid shot, muscle relaxers and pain pills for a few weeks.  Also some PT. So we shall see what happens.  I took one of the muscle relaxers a couple of hours ago and am feeling warm and fuzzy.  I think I'll only take a half of one next time.

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Rabe

Oh Im sorry to hear, brassmonkey!  Glad you went in!  Hope to hear you're feeling better soon!! 💜

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brassmonkey

Things are slowly improving.  I've been taking the muscle relaxer only at night because it would knock my out for the entire afternoon and I have too much to do.  The other drug they want me to take is gabapentine, which has cause a lot of trouble for many of the other members here, so its a non-starter.  I have increased my dose of Curcumine Pytrosome and that seems to be helping, but it requires several weeks to really show any results so we shall see.  So far so good.

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Rabe

Grateful to hear you are improving, brassmonkey....hoping if continues!!💜

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brassmonkey

I've been seeing a lot of posts mentioning being strong, not having the strength to go on, I don't know how you can do it, I can't make it any more. All things that are patently untrue. Just a couple of days ago Alto moved one of my old posts to the Best of SA thread and it's garnered a bit of attention.  It's something I feel very strongly about, so I want to repost it here for more people to see.

 

"Being brave and strong has nothing to do with not feeling fear or handle things in a "proud" manner.   It's doing what has to be done to survive, sometimes minute by minute, hour by hour or day by day. If it's hiding in a dark place crying or going for a walk when you legs are too sore to move, getting out of bed and taking a shower, if it needs to be done and you do it, that's being brave and strong. Marching down the street exuding strength is a show of bravado which frequently accomplishes nothing, unless that is what the moment calls for.  The people around you who appear to be towers of strength, are often brittle and will crack and break when things don't go their way.  This is a big factor in why people in ADWD slowly lose many of their friends over time.  The friends do not have the strength and bravery to face the situation and so in time turn and run.  For those of us in the thick of it, we have no choice, to get through this we must go on minute by minute, hour by hour, day by day doing what needs to be done, and by doing so each and every one of us displays strength and bravery beyond the superhero level."

 

I hope many of you will read this and take it to heart.

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Rosetta

Thanks for keeping us posted.  Sorry you are having this trouble.  I hope it heals quickly. -R

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mirage

Hi @brassmonkey. Thank you for your recent post about strength and bravery. This journey is such a difficult one and it takes a lot to move through it. I find this journey to be a scary and VERY slow recovery. Your posts are supportive and give hope to all of us. 

 

Holding all here in prayer

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nick1990

Hey Brass - Hows this 18 month wave coming along ? Hope your doing well :)

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brassmonkey

The 18 month wave passed on with very little fanfare. I think it was a week or so ago.  The shoulder is recovering slowly. I try to take it easy on it I really do, but things have to get done.  I actually had several hours of minimal pain yesterday which was nice.  Today I've been abusing it and it's letting me know.  A couple of more weeks of big push and then I'll get a break for a while.

 

BTW Nick, I've seen some very excellent posts from you showing up on other peoples threads, please keep it up.

 

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brassmonkey

I was going to report that the shoulder was doing a lot better, which it was until yesterday.  It's been improving steadily for a while now, then yesterday afternoon, out of the blue it started to flair up and is now causing real trouble.  Back to limited mousing and poor typing.  Well, the big physical push is over for the year so I can give it a real chance to rest for a while.

 

I'll be leaving town on Monday and be gone for several weeks.  I'll have my laptop along, but probably won't have much time to my self for SA work.

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chicken

Tom,

 

Glad you made it. Thanks for sharing the good news!

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Rabe

Im sorry about your shoulder...as I said they can be so persistent!  Hope the time away helps.  Hope it is a fun time....enjoy.  We will miss you.  Who should I contact about the taper brass?  About weighing and all?  Thanks!!  Safe travels!!

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elbee

Hey BrassMonkey . . . you were the first person to respond on my intro thread back in 2016, and I've appreciated your support and inspiration ever since!

 

Congratulations on reaching so many important milestones along the way, including 1 year past zero. And thanks for continuing to share your "past zero" life experiences. One thing that's becoming increasingly clear to me is that I'm learning so many lessons and skills through my WD process that I know I will be using for the rest of my life. I place most of these skills under the umbrella term of "self-care" but there are probably many words that could be used to describe all that we are learning ("life skills" . . . "Tao," etc.). I also appreciate you sharing your continuing life challenges, some of which may be directly related to your experience / wounding with Paxil, some perhaps not. But being human isn't always easy. Life presents challenges and paradoxes.  Sometimes it comes in the form of anhedonia . . . sometimes a migraine aura, sometimes depression or anxiety, sometimes shoulder injuries. It seems to me that part of the process of "healing" / "recovery" is trying to reduce discomfort, and part of the process of is learning how to work with discomfort when it presents itself.

 

I really appreciate you being REAL -- fully human. I don't think expecting life to be all "rainbows and unicorns" post WD is a realistic expectation . . . life just doesn't work that way. Those in the throws of severe WD do need hope knowing that they can and will survive the immediate hell they are in . . . and you help to provide that in the ways you honestly share about your life . . . bumps and warts and all!

 

Thank you for continuing to share your Tao ;) 

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brassmonkey

It's a Seasonal Thing, but Then Again It's Not

 

Drinking alcohol is a choice that we face everyday and the decision can be quite hard give how pervasive drinking is in just about every culture in the world.  We are once again coming into the "Holiday Season" for many of our members.  This is marked by celebrations at home and at work that frequently involve drinking alcohol, and usually not just a celebratory glass, but over indulgence and excess.  As much as we, people experiencing ADWD, would like to fit in, join in the "fun" and be a part of it all, drinking is not the way to do it.

 

Through out the years I've been involved with the ADWD community I've seen it time and again, people who have been diligently tapering and having a very successful time of it get carried away during the holidays and lose years of progress in the process.  It has shown me that drinking is the best way possible to derail a successful taper and recovery.  It doesn't take a weeks long drunken binge to do it either.  A single beer or glass of wine is enough to push ones recovery over the edge and cause severe damage.  While drinking things will seem fine, but the hangover from h*** hits during the following days and will take weeks or months to resolve.  It will also leave a person with an increased sensitivity to not just alcohol, but to everything that they are putting into their body, food, the drugs they are tapering, water and air.  The results are just not worth the few minutes of "social pleasure" that the drinking provide.

 

It's not just at the "Holidays", but any time.  Drinking is one of the worst things a person can do for themselves while they go through ADWD and the continued healing that follows reaching "0".  So this year really give yourself something to celebrate, all the progress you've made, and don't throw it all away.  Remember, drinking is a choice.

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Happy2Heal

great advice!
I don't think many people realize how bad alcohol is for your brain.

It really isn't worth the risk


I had the opportunity recently to try some legal pot and I declined- but I can't say I wasn't tempted. I didn't have any good experiences the couple of times I tried pot in the distant past, so I don't know why I was at all tempted...

I guess I was hoping it would "take the edge off"

I now have a better understanding of why I stayed on some of those many psych meds for so long- some of them did take the edge off of intense feelings, and that was a relief. I guess maybe my thinking was that pot would/could do the same thing, but it's just not worth the risk. Acute withdrawal was just 2 yrs ago and is still pretty fresh in my mind, I don't ever want to go back to that!!!

 

Now, in my totally undrugged state, though,  I am back to feeling emotions fully (as far as I know) and it can be um, uncomfortable and overwhelming at times.

 

 

I continue to struggle and work hard on coping with them. I'm reading more books suggested by my therapist about attachment issues and trauma and how to recover from that as an adult. It's going to take a lot of work but I'm up for it (at least on some days, I am lol)

 

 

How are you doing these days, Brass?

 

 

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brassmonkey

Pretty busy ATM H2H.  Just got back from a trip to see family for Thanksgiving.  It went really well and we both had a great time.  Now we are set to leave on an extended trip in just under two weeks and are still pulling the details together, it's going to be pretty free form, but we need to make a few reservations and such.  We also have some time sensitive filings we need to get out of the way before we go.  This getting old and retiring requires a lot of paperwork with strict deadlines. Also have to get the house sealed up for an extended absence. So get the busy work out of the way and it's off for a lot of sightseeing and relaxation.

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brassmonkey

“We Have Nothing to Fear, But Fear Itself”

 

Many of the posts that show up here end with some variation of the statement “I’m so scared”.  Very understandable, as ADWD is a very scary process. There are three types of fear involved with ADWD: 1. Drug induced chemical fear, 2. Fear of the unknown, 3. Fear from loss of control. Any one of which can be tough to manage, but we frequently get all three at once, and that’s really scary.

-

AD’s work by chemically suppressing our emotions, one of which is our self-control. With out self-control what is left of our emotions are allowed to run rampant. The funny part is that the emotions that don’t seem to get suppressed are all the negative ones and that includes fear.  While the drugs are present in our bodies and in control of our emotions there is nothing that we can do about this but learn to recognize the symptom patterns, triggers and practice acceptance.  Eventually the feelings of fear will subside as either the wave subsides, or the drug is removed, and our bodies return to normal.

 

During ADWD all we want to do is feel better. However, fear can cause us to not do the things necessary to make that happen.  It is very common for a person to be afraid to taper because there is a possibility that the symptoms could become worse.  We all know how bad they are and getting worse is unthinkable and very scary.  This causes a negative mindset and triggers a bad round of the “what if’s”. “What if I get depressed, what if I get anxiety, what if I get the shakes”? What most people leave out is “What if I get better”.  Here at SA we have proved time and again that a positive outlook is paramount to healing, and the more we heal the less we have to fear.

 

When a person starts taking psych drugs, they are giving up control.  In the beginning this frequently works out well and we start to feel better.  It’s only later that people discover just what they can no longer do, and when they try to quit taking the drugs it really hits home. Not having control over your body and because of that your relationships, job, selfcare, in fact every aspect of one’s life, is a very scary proposition.  Understanding this loss of control and working within its limitations and pushing its boundaries go a longways in moving past the fear it causes.  As we feel more in control by doing the little things we can the less hold fear will have on us.

 

There are large sections of this site dedicated to how to do the things I’ve just talked about. Now that I have explained where the fear comes from, maybe it will be easier for some people to take advantage of those sections and learn how to live with and move past their fear.

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wantrelief

Thank you very much for this post, Brassmonkey....I was just writing today about working on this very subject so this is very timely for me and helpful!  :)

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Carmie

That’s brilliant brassmonkey! 💚

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Miracle123

Hi Brassmonkey,

Thanks for your useful information. Fear is our own enemy. 

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brassmonkey

Was up way too late last night, or rather this morning, going to be dragging today even with seven hours sleep. But it's so worth it, we have almost the entire first half of our upcoming trip tied down, plane tickets, hotels, tours where needed. It's shaping up to be quite some trip and we are both so totally excited.  There is going to be pretty spotty internet coverage for a lot of it, and because of weight restrictions we're only taking a small tablet, no laptops.  We leave in a week and have a lot to still pull together.

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brassmonkey

I want to give  shout out to my number one fan.  My wife, Monica, has been by my side for a bit over 40 years now and I couldn't imagine life with out her there.  Over the years we have faced many challenges together, one of the biggest has been my journey while on and getting off of paxil.  The turn around in my life over the past eight years has been amazing.  I am feeling the best I have since I started paxil all those 26 years ago.  We were talking about this late last night and I was telling her about some of the friends I have made on SA and earlier on PP, and some of the things I written and people I'v helped.  She has her own account here, but never uses it. She got it to lend support, but it was "your journey and I don't want to interfere", so she rarely posts.  But she does get a weekly digest to see what I've been up to.

 

While we were talking I felt a hand on my arm, we have a double wide recliner so we can sit side by side in the evening, I turned to her and saw tears streaming down her face as she said "I'm so proud of you and all you've done sniff, sniff,, sniff".  We couldn't say too much for several minutes.  In fact the computer is quite blurry right now as I'm trying to type.  Any way, I want to say to her and everyone else, "I couldn't have done it without her, her love and support, and thank you for all of it".  Now we're getting ready to go on another journey together, literally to the ends of the earth and back and I can't wait to take those next steps. 

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Rabe

Oh my brassmonkey that is one of the most beautiful things I have ever read!! 😢😍 Filled with love and hope and so much more...thank you for sharing..please tell Monica I think she is truly a most special gift!

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elbee
On 12/7/2018 at 3:15 PM, brassmonkey said:

When a person starts taking psych drugs, they are giving up control.

 

Ironic . . . I thought I was gaining control in my life again when I started taking psych drugs. And at first it felt like I had. I thought the same thing when I started drinking alcohol, and got the same result.

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