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Santino

Santino made it and stayed sane!!!

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Santino

Dear Friends

For those that do know me and have followed my progress through SA I want to say that since last December I am Mirtazapine Free... so a little bit of one more month and I will be one year free from this terrible drug.

For those that do not know me… before reading this success story just have a look at my initial topic in the link below. Only then you will understand where I was, what I endured and how happy I am that this ordeal has somehow finished and I am able to live, love, work and be there for my family again.

 

 

 

 

I consider myself blessed with the life I have had… ok I am not rich, but I am usually very friendly to people and when you give love you get it back as well. I have been normal all of my life, a bit on the overthinking type of guy which is a characteristic of smart people, and I know that most of the people in SA are the smartest of those who understand that medication is not a way to solve problems. So I am here as many others with a success story and I want to tell you that it can be done. The difference between how I was during medication and how I am now is like day and night.

 

So during my life due to mental sensitivity I have had 1-2 situations which have put me down for short periods of time but they would always resolve and life would go on. But for the last time it was different, my wife was pregnant (my second kid), I acquired a property to start a small business for which I applied for a loan which was delaying, had (and still have ) a job which I did not like anymore, and I carelessly I found my self drinking 1-2 doubles of alcohol per night at least. People say alcohol has the same mechanism of acting on gaba receptors like the benzos, so soon I started finding myself ruminating even more the next day after alcohol. Sleep started deteriorating and I thought I could be ok if I used some small quantities of Xanax to sleep. I had used Xanax before on on and off basis and I knew that it was really addictive but anyway I did not think much and started with very small quantities of it 0.065Mg. As my system seems to have been kindled by the usage of it before I started to create an addiction into a matter of days, and I would find myself terrified during the work day of very simple situations. So to cut things short, during this time I visited more than 4 doctors who gave different solutions and all included medications in various quantities. The last doctor I went in gave me a combination of Amitriptyline and Bromazepam (a benzo) which went up to 6Mg but I never stabilized. I had a good day and then would get hit by 3 bad ones… and so on. After 2 months of visits every 2 weeks and being nowhere near a normal life I decided not to go to the doctor anymore and take my own life into my own hands.

So due to what I was reading I did a fast taper of Bromazepam while taking 15Mg of Mirtazapine. Fast tapering of the benzo was terrible, anxiety and depression on unimaginable levels. I closed myself almost totally and was like a zombie in both at work at home… and the only good periods of the day were 1-2 hours at night when I could be available for my just born daughter. All the people around me would not believe that I was doing the right thing. I know it happens to most of you all the time. Just do not blame them. They do not understand what you are going through… but they still love you a lot. They just believe that going to a doctor and get medication is the best thing to do, which we know now it is not.

 

Anyway I tried to continue to live…even though on my very bad days I would just go around a lake near by my home and think to end it all. I continued to read in internet during all these time, and I realized that I was not accepting my situation. If you read my main topic you will notice how terrified I was on specific days, due to the thoughts of not being able to make it. So at a point of time I started to accept my situation and that was good. I knew that I had no other way out of this apart from the conviction of my heart that I would wake up from this bad dream if I continue to follow my plan.

 

After I finished with benzos than it was the Mirt turn. In the beginning I would just cut it by hand, and take approximate doses which now I know it was not good. I was still into the no acceptance phase. Any small problems would terrify me, any task would require out of this world trials from me to complete. At work I was a dumb, avoiding everybody, just closing up and not being able to discuss things due to my crazy emotions. My manager started to go against me and played a very negative role by fighting in many dishonest ways. On the other side I needed the job as I started paying the loan, and some more the new business that I started was a lot of extra stress for me as well. I also visited at this time two Psychotherapists and both of them were telling me that I would finish the tapering but I would be worse. They were also pushing me to listen to the psychiatrists and take the meds… which I was convinced was not an option.

 

So I continued to live my life by learning to ride the waves. Pushing the time in the bad days until evenings when I started to experience windows. My symptoms were crazy since the start but they kept changing. I am trying to make a list below from what I remember.

·         Terrible anxiety.

·         Terrible rumination.

·         Tinnitus.

·         Out of this world Akathisia (I remember driving to work in the morning in a terrified state with hands that could not hold still at the wheel)

·         Lack of Sleep.

·         Flu state after each drop of Remeron.

·         Full Brain (not able to think at all or argue with people).

·         Inability to smell aromas (I was not able to feel my little daughter aroma when I would hold her up and that would bring me tears in my eyes)

·         Devastating Tiredness.

·         Anhedonia.

·         Many physical problems, allergy, loose stools, hair fall and so on.

….. and many many more which I can not remember now. The good thing would be that at some point of time they would come all together but at some other some them started to lessen and disappear very slowly.  Every symptom that would go away would give me hope to stay the course even in the very bad days. I remember that after two months of no feeling taste or smell due to the antihistaminic mess of mirtazapine suddenly I noticed that when I would kiss my baby daughter would feel her nice baby smell. I had tear in the eyes and could not enjoy more the feeling… J So that moment gave me hope even I would know that after some days that symptom would reappear again.

 

Every wave would set me back. I would start to act normal and than suddenly out of nowhere I would experience 2-3 nights of no sleep, terrible anxiety in the morning, stuffed up brain in the afternoon and so on. I kept some contacts with some members of SA as well as some other friends from a FB group. Their messages were the ones who kept me going. Push push push until the wave goes away, and certainly that goes away. I still experience waves now here and there once in a month but they normally last 1-2 days and are mild compared to the ones during WD.

 

Life is good my friends… Now I know what’s going inside me and the thoughts do not scare me any more. How I learned to understand that my problem was mainly biological and medically induced was simple. I would notice one day that a simple problem would drive me crazy and anxious, and it would look like the end of the world. I would try to calm down and if I had a good sleep the next day the same problem would not scare me any more… So in this way I learned that the problem was not the cause of my rumination but the WD was the culprit. Living without meds started slowly to give me back my lost confidence, I started talking to people again, get involved, not being scared of planning things for the next day bcs I did not know how I would wake up. I know, I know…. Most of you have been there and still are…. And I swear it is just WD playing tricks on you.

 

So do not give up guys… my problems started early 2016 and the last 2.5 years have been the most terrible in my life, but still when I look back I have realized quite a lot during these two years. How can I not be proud while during this period I was able to:

·         Preserve my integrity.

·         Hold my job.

·         Handle the birth of my little daughter (My wife was the actual one who gave birth but I was always there).

·         Start a new business and have only 2 off days per month.

·         Continue to payback my loan.

·         Keep my family together.

·         Helping other people while in WD.

·         Having fun and having waves… 🙂

·         …….

·         …….

·         ……. Above all writing this success story… 🙂


So that is a short sum up of my situation. There is a lesson in Withdrawal… just do not give up. Even on your worst moments pull up the strength and push forward. Anxious …??? Take a walk, listen to an hypnosis video, watch a movie, just avoid going to the drawer looking for meds for a short cut solution. Currently I am only taking a soluble magnesium before sleep and a vitamin B and Omega 3 fish oil in the breakfast…. Nothing else. OK my life is not the best that it can be, i still have problems, i still get sad, i still get worried for things but now things do not blow out of proportion. I still do not know how would i do if hit the jacpot... 🙂 but even if i don't, never mind i will do my best with what i have. The blessing of God with two lovely children, a good family and life is the best someone can ask from.

 

I would like to thank from my heart Altostrata, Shep, karenB, AliG, Brassmonkey, Hibari, JanCarol and all the other people in the forum that I might not recall now who have commented into my topic and kept me convinced that this was the true way. I am sooo much indebted to you guys.

 

Anyway I will be around in the forum to help people time after time and I know I can not explain everything that happened to me during this time. If you read my topic and than this success story you will definitely know the difference. You can also ask on certain issues and I will gladly answer to each of you same as the people that I thanked above have done for me. To all the guys who are tapering you are doing right. You have nothing wrong with your brain. It just needs the time to adopt to a life without stimulants.

YOU WILL ALL MAKE IT FREE SAME AS ME GUYS…. Just stay the course….

 

LOVE YOU ALL

SANTINO

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Brook

Great story!  I wish you well.  I am dealing with situational depression which started the beginning of Sept.  I am on Viibryd, started out at 40 mg.  The PA said the side effects were not good so he wants me to taper off and go on Trintellix.  He wanted me to taper 10 mg. each week but I know that is too fast.  I thought 5 mgs. is reasonable but stil a little fast.  Just started 25mg. today, a little anxious but not too bad.  Will probably buy a scale a taper more slowly.  Wish me luck.

Brook

 

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powerback

Brilliant Santino im happy for you  ,you must of been sent from the stars for me today ,I really needed this today badly .just back from a funeral and the usual catching up with people was a nightmare .

I struggle deeply with acceptance but I'm working on it . 

May your future be filled with greatness and happiness.👍

 

Edited by ChessieCat
removed quote

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AbbyElfie

Yes! This is awesome, thank you for sharing. I hope you continue to heal on all levels...and I also think it's amazing that you managed to hold down a job and keep together a family throughout all this, I know I couldn't! Enjoy every minute x

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Cleerity

Hi Santino:  I am new here on SA and I wanted to say "thank you" for sharing your success!  I am on a few different meds, once of which is also Mirtazapine, which I intend to one day be free from.  One of my biggest fears is how my work performance might be affected as I move through my withdrawal process.  You did it!  So, It is very encouraging for me to read your very positive letter.   

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Altostrata

Congratulations, Santino! What a beautiful success story.

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Hibari

Santino! I am so happy for you! 

 

You have gone through so much and you got off medication.  

 

Thank you for coming back and sharing your story. You have always been supportive of me and I appreciate it so much. I still have more to go on my journey but I know I can come back and read of your success. 

 

I wish you continued good health.

 

Hibari 

 

Edited by ChessieCat
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Carmie

So happy for you Santino,thank u so much for sharing💚💚

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Miracle123

CONGRATULATION Santino, Very encourage and inspiring stories to give me hope.....Thanks👍

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Merrymary

Santino Bravo!!! I have been following your story and so happy with this happy ending!...I am at the end of my taper of klonopin and am taking 4,5 mg of mirt...I have a few questions!

 

If you had brainfog when did It lift?

 

Did you find that the lower you went the more natural sleep came back?

 

Were you able to take naps or fall asleep on your own ....my body doesn't want to sleep without the mirt at this moment...

 

 

 Thank you for your precious support!!!

 

 

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marie123

Nicely done Santino!

 

Marie

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Liamb123456

Congratulations on healing I've question for you I'm 14 months off cold turkey off Zoloft were you still very bad at this stage 14 months off did cold turkey meds 

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kelly7

Hi there I am 11 weeks after tapering zoloft and had about 8 weeks of no sleep up all night panic all night every second of the night and therefore it's compounding my inability to function  and repair from this awful ordeal. I need sleep I need to find a way so I don't feel like i need to have other tablets to sleep. Currently on the verge of increasing my mirtazipine to 30mg to see if it helps I'm desperate. My anxiety is the worst it's ever been and I'm so low I don't think I can go on. 

 

Looking for advice or help encouragement..is this normal 11 weeks post ?

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MRothbard

FAN-FREAKIN-TASTIC dude!!!

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MRothbard
13 hours ago, kelly7 said:

Hi there I am 11 weeks after tapering zoloft and had about 8 weeks of no sleep up all night panic all night every second of the night and therefore it's compounding my inability to function  and repair from this awful ordeal. I need sleep I need to find a way so I don't feel like i need to have other tablets to sleep. Currently on the verge of increasing my mirtazipine to 30mg to see if it helps I'm desperate. My anxiety is the worst it's ever been and I'm so low I don't think I can go on. 

 

Looking for advice or help encouragement..is this normal 11 weeks post ?

I would say it isn't abnormal. I'm in a bit of a wave right now at 6 months. I am very sorry about your sleep and I'm going to say a prayer for you if you don't mind. It might be ok to up the Mirtazipine a bit to get some sleep. I take mine every now and then.

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Santino
On 10/25/2018 at 4:37 PM, Brook said:

Just started 25mg. today, a little anxious but not too bad.  Will probably buy a scale a taper more slowly.  Wish me luck.

Brook

 

HI Brook

I am sure you will make it. You are not a long time user so it will be definitely easier. Just try to be as slow as possible. I would advice to melt down the medicine in water and then consume it using a syringe. During my whole ordeal i practiced that way. A weight scale  might not be very appropriate as you are not considering the distribution of the med inside the capsule (you know inside the capsule are a lot of there are a lot of other substances such as fillers and so on). Good luck my friend. 

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Santino
On 10/25/2018 at 5:15 PM, powerback said:

Brilliant Santino im happy for you  ,you must of been sent from the stars for me today ,I really needed this today badly .just back from a funeral and the usual catching up with people was a nightmare .

I struggle deeply with acceptance but I'm working on it . 

May your future be filled with greatness and happiness.👍


Hi Powerback

Thanks for your wishes.... i am glad my story was a helping hand for you. Just stay the course buddy.

All the best

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Santino

AbbyElfie and Cleerity.... thanks a lot for your wishes... 

I am with you on this hard times. You will definitely make it.

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Santino
On 10/26/2018 at 4:04 AM, Altostrata said:

Congratulations, Santino! What a beautiful success story.

Altostrata

Thanks a lot my friend. All you guys in SA have stayed close to me on my hard times, and convinced me that this was the way to win this battle.

I am happy i did it.

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Santino
On 10/26/2018 at 4:56 AM, Hibari said:

Santino! I am so happy for you! 

 

You have gone through so much and you got off medication.  

 

Thank you for coming back and sharing your story. You have always been supportive of me and I appreciate it so much. I still have more to go on my journey but I know I can come back and read of your success. 

 

I wish you continued good health.

 

Hibari 

 

Hibari....

You are doing good tooo... I really believe soon you will be free.

 

Thanks a lot for your wishes

Santino

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Santino

Carmie and Miracle123

Thanks a lot guys. Lovely to read your wishes.

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Santino
On 10/26/2018 at 2:17 PM, Merrymary said:

Santino Bravo!!! I have been following your story and so happy with this happy ending!...I am at the end of my taper of klonopin and am taking 4,5 mg of mirt...I have a few questions!

 

If you had brainfog when did It lift?

 

Did you find that the lower you went the more natural sleep came back?

 

Were you able to take naps or fall asleep on your own ....my body doesn't want to sleep without the mirt at this moment...

 

 

 Thank you for your precious support!!!



Hi Merrymary

Thanks for your wishes my friend... and to come to your questions.

1. Brainfog was terrible during my benzo WD and later during the mirt Taper. It was not all the time present but in the beginning of the ordeal it would come and stay on for days. It was heavily filled around the doses of 7.5 of mirt until 3.5 mg. After that it was a lot more better as the brain fog would dissapear for days and only come back on particular moments.
2. Definitely as i went lower i was feeling that the sleep was a lot more natural. Of course i had the usual 2-3 days per month of bad sleep but most of the days were normal. 
3. In the begining of my taper i was not able to take naps at all. Especially during the tapering of Benzo i would lay down to sleep in the afternoon... and within five minutes while i would drift off i would wake up as a train as hit me and i would shake terrified from a bout of adrenaline. I think that is closely tied with the benzo taper and not with Mirt. Most probably when you finish klonopin taper your naps would start to come back. I am sure of that.

Hope i was helpful
See ya around.

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Santino
On 10/26/2018 at 2:38 PM, marie123 said:

Nicely done Santino!

 

Marie


Thanks Marie

Lovely wish. 

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Santino
On 10/27/2018 at 6:56 AM, Liamb123456 said:

Congratulations on healing I've question for you I'm 14 months off cold turkey off Zoloft were you still very bad at this stage 14 months off did cold turkey meds 


HI Liamb

I am not sure of what to say at this case because i did not go off cold turkey. But from what i have read in the forum your nervous system will take its time to relearn how to live without the meds. If you are experiencing periods of windows... than it is a good sign that you re on the right track.

All the best

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Santino
On 10/27/2018 at 11:29 AM, kelly7 said:

Hi there I am 11 weeks after tapering zoloft and had about 8 weeks of no sleep up all night panic all night every second of the night and therefore it's compounding my inability to function  and repair from this awful ordeal. I need sleep I need to find a way so I don't feel like i need to have other tablets to sleep. Currently on the verge of increasing my mirtazipine to 30mg to see if it helps I'm desperate. My anxiety is the worst it's ever been and I'm so low I don't think I can go on. 

 

Looking for advice or help encouragement..is this normal 11 weeks post ?



Hi kelly7

I do not think increasing your MIrt to 30mg it would help. Mirtazapine is a giant histamine but the maximum properties in relation to sleep it will give at the dose of 15Mg... at 30Mg it has activating properties so it might not be good idea to increase it just for the sleep. 

You just hold the things down and wait for you to normalize. Did you do a fast taper of Zoloft or slow one..??

All the best

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Hibari
1 hour ago, Santino said:

Hibari....

You are doing good tooo... I really believe soon you will be free.

 

Thanks a lot for your wishes

Santino

I hope so.  It is a very difficult time for me.  Santino, did you occasionally take a benzo to help you through difficult times during your taper?  I thought I remembered reading that in your thread.  I'm asking because I think I need to do that today and feel a little scared about it. 

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PH1

Congratulations, Santino!    You are an inspiration.

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Santino
16 hours ago, Hibari said:

Santino, did you occasionally take a benzo to help you through difficult times during your taper?

HI Hibari

I am very sorry to hear you are not doing very well. Just try to push the time and be strong.

As far as the benzo is concerned.. before this oread started i would take it on occasionally basis but since i tapered the benzo for good i never used it any more no matter the amount of anxiety. For the sleep on the bad days i used a mix of chamomile and linden tea to ensure a stop of the rumination and a good night's sleep.

All the best

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Hibari

Thank you for responding Santino.  I did end up having to take a very low dose of a benzo but it only worked for a short while.  

 

Wishing you well.  

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Santino
20 hours ago, PH1 said:

Congratulations, Santino!    You are an inspiration.

Thanks PH1

I know that thing, and that is the reason i was determined to come back and write a success story. I know first hand what people like us need the most...

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Madeleine

Congratulations, you have accomplished such a great deal.  So much to be proud of!  And thank you so very much for writing this!  Yes, you are right -- you know what those of us here need most:  as story such as yours.

Blessings, and best wishes to you and your family!

 

Madeleine. 

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thecowisback

so lovely to read another success story 💕

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Santino
On 10/30/2018 at 3:59 PM, Madeleine said:

Congratulations, you have accomplished such a great deal.  So much to be proud of!  And thank you so very much for writing this!  Yes, you are right -- you know what those of us here need most:  as story such as yours.

Blessings, and best wishes to you and your family!

 

Thanks Madeleine.... Lovely wish from your side.

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Santino
5 hours ago, thecowisback said:

so lovely to read another success story 💕


I am happy my success story was worth reading for you my friend. I hope you will be good and well soon.

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thecowisback

thankyou 😊

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Liamb123456
On 10/29/2018 at 3:09 PM, Santino said:


HI Liamb

I am not sure of what to say at this case because i did not go off cold turkey. But from what i have read in the forum your nervous system will take its time to relearn how to live without the meds. If you are experiencing periods of windows... than it is a good sign that you re on the right track.

All the best

Sorry how long did you taper for 

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