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withhopeinmyheart: crash and reinstating after escitalopram quick taper

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mimi

Hi Withhope,

You are very brave and doing a great job. Please be kind to yourself.

I hope you'll feel better soon. Sending you love and hugs 🧡

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India

I remember this paradoxical reaction to meditations etc, when nothing could soothe the terror. It is withdrawal . It is hell but keep the faith, my acute stage lasted a month, then it shifted. Passiflora calmed my spikes. Will write more later.

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India

@DrugfreeProf Your message about your daughters full recovery after 29 months left me tearful. I copied it and sent it to my family. I refuse to believe I won't fully recover and hearing this is amazing. 

@withhopeinmyheart though I do have waves, you remind me of how life is liveable now albeit at a reduced rate, and I am slowly improving even if I do get upset and demoralised it is not the terror you are in. It will end, it will. I went to France and despite it feeling impossible, I took every moment as a moment. Swimming in the sea helped . It started a turn around. The DR was horrid, that passed after about 2.5 months of reinstatement. I basically accepted it but kept reaffirming that I would get past it. I didn't read anything negative. We all post here when we are desperate and often we don't post as much in the windows, so that's important to remember. I spoke to a guy who runs a tranquilliser project. He said full recovery takes between 1-2 years for most, some longer but everyone recovers. Also, things shift all the time, and before you know it you are in a new phase. I also had to accept I need a lot of bed rest. Sometimes it just helps to know others have gone before you. Here, we are all warriors!

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withhopeinmyheart

Guys, thank you so much! Your kind words mean a lot. 

I'm not sure how today was... Bad, but maybe better? 

 

Umm, I don't mean to ramble on and on about this. I already discussed it on the German forums and I copied and pasted every positive encouraging answer from there and here into my journal. 

 

Also @Shep and @Gridley have given me thoughtful words about it. 

But still... 

 

I'm so traumatized! So much! By nothing but withdrawal. How it started, what it felt and feels like. Nightmarish memories from waves are coming back, although I have had improvements... 

 

Those memories keep coming back and almost make me feel like NOTHING got better... 

 

I haven't really seen anyone talk about this... People say usually there's not a hint of trauma during the real, full windows. But what about during the hellish times? 

I'm having such a hard time handling withdrawal AND feeling traumatized. 

 

I think this is making me freeze in fear more than anything. 

It feels like this trauma is a neuro emotion in itself... 

And makes me scared that... I don't know... trauma will overlay everything so I won't be able to notice getting better. 

 

I don't know, might sound weird... 

 

lost my ability to trust because of this hell... 

 

My CNS still rejects calming methods. 

So I basically just read some positive stuff and breath and play games on the phone... 

I mean how do I know if I could do more? This trauma makes me scared to try. 

 

And, I'm chronically ill. Have been long before this started. I had finally managed to live a life that made me happy. 

Now I'm scared that this little life has broken apart forever because I'm not sure I'll physically be the same AFTER withdrawal... 

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withhopeinmyheart

I feel my case is a hopeless one. 

 

I keep hanging on, I have small improvements, a small window yesterday... And still the fear. I'm cut off. Life is for others, not me. I can't do anything, I avoid things because of fear, I can't focus, I can't leave the house. 

I'm traumatized... 

 

Is everything over? 

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withhopeinmyheart

Do I have to push and force myself to get through? How can I do this when I'm just frozen? 

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WiggleIt

Hello withhope,

I know how terrifying this all can be, but as I read through your thread, I was struck by all the hopeful things in it, especially the fact that you have no more akathisia and that your family is so close and so helpful to you.  Those are such major advantages!

Your coping techniques are also really good, like when you play games and distract yourself.  Getting through something doesn't mean you have to push yourself through.  Don't forget you can also ease yourself through.  

You said you try a lot of calming methods.  Have you also tried humor?  Or kids' movies?  I watched the silliest things all through WD.  I couldn't even concentrate on them and it took a long time before I could even laugh again, but I coped better with silly things than with calming things.  Calming methods worked if I was praying with a family member, but if I was in my room alone, then I had to be doing silly, brainless things.  I watched funny shows and a lot of kids' cartoons from my childhood.  Maybe you could add some humor along with your calming techniques.  

The drugs try to trick us  The drugs tell us that we are the only one who won't heal.  But the drugs are lying.  And you already know the drugs are lying because you have read the success stories :)

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withhopeinmyheart

Thank you so much, wiggleit! 

 

I often get sad over funny or positive things because I can't feel them. But will try again over time. 

 

I need to try and be very grateful. Because today I managed to walk to a doctor's appointment. 

He's near me AND acknowledges withdrawal syndrome! Such a relief! 

But also, so sad. Because while it's good to have him help me through, there's still nothing that can be done. 

Coming back home felt horrible... 

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WiggleIt

The laughter will come back.  I used to have the wrong reactions, too, when I should have been laughing.  I remember the first time I had a REAL laugh in WD and I was surprised I thought my body was going to explode.  I thought, "Wow, did laughing always feel so intense and good?!"  It was surreal, and then it just kept getting better and better each time I was able to laugh.  You'll get there, too.

Also, your doctor sounds good.  Honestly, even though doctors can't heal WD syndrome, it's a big deal when you find one who acknowledges it.

You have a great support system around you.

Edited by WiggleIt

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withhopeinmyheart

Oh! Laughter sounds good... I only have different levels of anxiety. Or just... nothing. And the feeling we all know. That it won't ever be good again. 

I don't don't know why but I'm always afraid I won't be able to recognize the good again. After all the trauma. 

 

Yes, so lucky to have have this doctor in my area. It was the very first appointment. I knew about him through the German forums, so he is known there and I was told it is a great luck that he's near me. 

 

And yeah, I have many people supporting me. Makes me ashamed to be whining so much 

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WiggleIt
On 2/10/2019 at 4:03 AM, withhopeinmyheart said:

How am I supposed to survive this? 

Getting weaker. Husband had to almost carry me to the toilet. Can't barely move. Can't really keep eyes open but without sleep. 

I feel that everything positive I try turns into a trigger for me. I have nothing inside me to hold me... 

I can't see the good anymore. 

This horrible physical feeling of anxiety flowing through your veins. 

 

God, what is left of me... 


Some of us do experience WD so badly that our family essentially turn into nurses for a while, and our homes turn into makeshift nursing homes.  Have you read the recovery story about Lex1992, the daughter of DrugFreeProf?  She was in such a situation and is now FULLY recovered, doing yoga and all.

Don't feel shocked or ashamed by how much help you need right now—it's okay.  

I made MANY posts that sounded like yours, many.  But, again, let me stress how totally recovered my mind and emotions are now.  You'll get there, too.  People have truly been where you are and have TRULY recovered.

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withhopeinmyheart

Oh WiggleIt thank you! 

 

I mean, things DO improve. I was able to get to and through the appointment. 

 

But all this isn't over and I guess that's keeping the despair alive. Never knowing. I mean, will I recognize...? 

 

I feel really shell shocked. I feel never safe. Never! Never comfortable, never free. The last months are following me. 

Will this definitely get better, too? 

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withhopeinmyheart
On 2/5/2019 at 1:05 PM, Shep said:

As you heal, you'll get out and do more.

My brain screams "What if not?" What if I won't WANT to do more because I'm terrified by everything that happened..? 

 

Sorry to be such a bother... Really sorry... I know how busy you all are here... 

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Gridley

 

25 minutes ago, withhopeinmyheart said:

My brain screams "What if not?" What if I won't WANT to do more because I'm terrified by everything that happened..? 

 

You'll get out and do more when you're ready.  There's no deadline, no pressure.  This is a time to be gentle and kind to yourself.

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withhopeinmyheart

Thank you! Guess my brain REALLY doesn't get this. I lost all sense of safety... Maneuvering through this time of uncertainty is so scary. And withdrawal gave me this fear of "DO SOMETHING OR YOU'RE LOST FOREVER!"

Bawling right now. Being kind to myself it is. Thanks, Gridley! 

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Carmie

Hi withhopeinmyheart, 

 

I’m really sorry you are feeling so fearful. The “do something or you’ll be lost forever” motto you have will only stress you more. It’s not an appropriate motto to have in withdrawals. You are not lost forever, we all heal, it’s just that it’s a long, slow process. 

 

As regards doing something, time is the healer, but you need to find yourself distractions to help you get through the waves. There are lots of things you can do instead of ruminating and stressing over your symptoms: arts and crafts, puzzles, games, watching DVDs and Netflix, journaling, playing with animals if you have any. You could go outside, even if it’s just in your balcony and watch the clouds during the day, or the stars at night. The list is endless.

 

I bought a weighted blanket a little while ago, and I’m finding that very comforting, maybe you could get yourself one. 

 

Diamond paintings are a good distraction and don’t take much brain power. I’ve done heaps of those. They’re canvases with paintings on them and you stick resin beads on the numbers and letters that they correspond to. You can get them really cheap on eBay. I’ve got them on my bedroom.

 

Speaking of walls, I’ve made a “happy wall” in my bedroom where I put artwork, fairy lights, balloons, positive sayings ect. Maybe you can make yourself a happy wall. Make your bedroom cheery, then every morning you wake up you will have something upbuilding and happy to look at. 

 

There are lots of things we can do to do to help us cope. It won’t take away the withdrawals, but it will help us get through them without constantly making our symptoms the only thing we think about. 

 

Take care, sending hugs 🤗

 

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withhopeinmyheart

Hi dear Carmie, 

 

thank you! I know you might not remember because this forum sure is a crowded place and you write to a lot of people. But you told me much of this before. The diamond painting, happy wall... 

 

Part of the problem is that I seem to have a lot of adverse reactions to things that I'd like to distract me. They trigger fear and negative withdrawal memories. 

So I mostly distract by doing things on the phone. 

 

It's hard to explain. I wouldn't call the stuff my brain yells at me a motto. I do not want to ruminate. It jumps at me and I have to stop it. Jump again, stop it. As most of us know this is exhausting. 

 

I want to do good things for me but my withdrawal brain rejects a lot of them. Which again causes pressure because everybody knows it's best to have distraction. But here I am and just can't.... 

 

The weighted blankets I heard of. They sound so interesting but are unfortunately WAY out of our budget.... 

 

Do you understand? I DO want to help myself but am kind of left with almost nothing. 

 

I am sorry, I know this is a forum to help us help ourselves. It's really frustrating to notice that I can't... Also feeling a lot of trauma from the experience, which really makes me want to hide... 

 

Rambling... Sorry... 

 

Thank you so much, Carmie. I appreciate every suggestion. 

🤗

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Carmie

Hi again hopeinmyheart, 

 

I really do understand that you are frightened, but saying you don’t have anything to help you cope isn’t true. I know you have a lot of triggers with different distractions, but you could start some new hobbies that you’ve never done before. You say the only thing that doesn’t trigger you is doing things on your phone, maybe find some new games? If you love games, maybe you could even get some jigsaw puzzles or crosswords.

 

I really am sorry you are struggling so much, everyone on this site is really struggling. No one can help you with your self care and distractions, you need to find what works for you. 

 

I hope you manage to find what works for you, Sending hugs🤗

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withhopeinmyheart

Hi Carmie, 

 

Oh I didn't mean for you to find distractions for me! 

 

Yes I do a lot of game stuff on the phone. I think for now that's all I can do because new things scare me too much... 

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withhopeinmyheart

Tonight I broke down completely. Crying in despair, inconsolable, wailing. 

 

Everything that happened within the last five months punched me in the face over and over again. 

 

German forums had to guide me basically through each breath. The togetherness in the group was so important and nice.. 

 

They know my biggest problems and I guess you, too, on here have caught glimpses of it. 

 

Acceptance. It's the hardest for me. I'm trying, you can be sure of that. I know how important it is but fail miserably most of the time. 

 

Trying to read Eckhart Tolle currently. He's good but I have difficulty reading. 

But listening was even worse. 

 

It's so hard to know the problem but still not being able to do anything about it. 

 

And withdrawal brain is lying to me. Loudly and convincingly. That it won't ever be good again. Makes accepting even harder. 

 

Blah.... 

 

Have quite the headache now. 

 

Just want to say I'm really glad places like this exist. 

 

Good night 

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Carmie

Hi withhopeinmyheart, 

 

Sorry you had such a sad day. I’m sure most of us on this site have shed many tears, this really is a hard journey. I’m glad you had some support though. Our withdrawal brains certainly lie to us loudly and convincingly, as you said. Just know, realistically, you will heal. We all heal. It’s just a very long journey.

 

You sound like you’re really struggling with emotions a lot, there’s probably a lot more going on in your life as well I’m gathering. Have you ever tried doing EFT or FasterEFT. It can help a lot with emotions. I’ve used FasterEFT and it has helped me tremendously with my feelings. There are practioners, but you can also do it yourself. There are heaps of free videos on YouTube.

Type in 427 and FasterEFT and it will give you the basics. 

 

I used to always get this claustrophobic and trapped feeling when I took the bus past the hospital, as I’ve spent many months in hospital. After a FasterEFT session with my friend, who is a practitioner, I no longer have any strong emotions connected to the hospital. It works really well. Sometimes it takes a session, sometimes it takes weeks to sort out the emotions attached to something, but it always works. 

 

Hope you sleep well💚

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withhopeinmyheart

Dear everyone! 

 

Not sure I'm going to stay in any of the support groups. I'm stealing time from you who clearly want to help. While I just cannot cope. I don't mean cope with symptoms, I mean cope with the fact that the crash happened. I don't recognize life anymore and think I won't even be able to connect again. I think I can't break out of this cycle of wrong behavior. 

I just didn't know a hell like this existed. 

 

I'm sorry and thank you! From my heart. 

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Gracee

Please don't think you are stealing time from anyone here.   We are all experiencing discomfort.  We all need help, and we all want to help others.   I know about experiencing hell.   It is just temporary.   Please don't despair and leave us.  I've been following your thread and hope you will continue posting.

G.

When I am in my head, I am in enemy territory.

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withhopeinmyheart

Gracee, thank you! 

But I am too scared. Therefore stealing time. You're so right I'm constantly in my head. Have been from the beginning. I'm aware of that, want to change it but CAN'T. 

I had strong SI yesterday. 

This destroyed me and I'm probably not strong enough. 

The uncertainty is too much. I can't move without fear... 

My whole life is gone. 

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ChessieCat

Here's some additional information which might help you to understand what is happening:

 

Recovery isn't linear it happens in a Windows and Waves Pattern

 

Withdrawal Normal Description


When we take a psychiatric drug, we are adding chemical/s to the brain.  The brain then has to change to adapt to getting the chemical/s.  It might have to change something to do with A and then once that change has been made it affects B so another change has to be made and so on down the line.  It is a chain reaction, a domino effect.

 

The same thing happens when we take the drug away.  That's why it's possible to experience such a vast array of withdrawal symptoms, and they can change, and be of different intensity.

 

are-we-there-yet-how-long-is-withdrawal-going-to-take

 

These explain it really well:

 

Video:  Healing From Antidepressants - Patterns of Recovery

 

On 8/31/2011 at 5:28 AM, Rhiannon said:

When we stop taking the drug, we have a brain that has designed itself so that it works in the presence of the drug; now it can't work properly without the drug because it's designed itself so that the drug is part of its chemistry and structure. It's like a plant that has grown on a trellis; you can't just yank out the trellis and expect the plant to be okay. When the drug is removed, the remodeling process has to take place in reverse. SO--it's not a matter of just getting the drug out of your system and moving on. If it were that simple, none of us would be here. It's a matter of, as I describe it, having to grow a new brain. I believe this growing-a-new-brain happens throughout the taper process if the taper is slow enough. (If it's too fast, then there's not a lot of time for actually rebalancing things, and basically the brain is just pedaling fast trying to keep us alive.) It also continues to happen, probably for longer than the symptoms actually last, throughout the time of recovery after we are completely off the drug, which is why recovery takes so long.

 

AND

 

On 12/4/2015 at 2:41 AM, apace41 said:

Basically- you have a building where the MAJOR steel structures are trying to be rebuilt at different times - ALL while people are coming and going in the building and attempting to work.

It would be like if the World Trade Center Towers hadn't completely fallen - but had crumbled inside in different places.. Imagine if you were trying to rebuild the tower - WHILE people were coming and going and trying to work in the building!  You'd have to set up a temporary elevator - but when you needed to fix part of that area, you'd have to tear down that elevator and set up a temporary elevator somewhere else. And so on. You'd have to build, work around, then tear down, then build again, then work around, then build... ALL while people are coming and going, ALL while the furniture is being replaced, ALL while the walls are getting repainted... ALL while life is going on INSIDE the building. No doubt it would be chaotic. That is EXACTLY what is happening with windows and waves.  The windows are where the body has "got it right" for a day or so - but then the building shifts and the brain works on something else - and it's chaos again while another temporary pathway is set up to reroute function until repairs are made.  

 

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ChessieCat

We strongly encourage members to learn and use non drug coping techniques to help get through discomfort and tough times.

 

Understanding what is happening helps us to not get caught up with the second fear, or fear of the fear.  This happens when we experience sensations in our body and because we don't understand them we are scared of them and then start to panic.

 

This document has a diagram of the body explaining what happens in the body when we become anxious:

 

https://www.getselfhelp.co.uk/docs/AnxietySelfHelp.pdf

 

 

Audio FEMALE VOICE:  First Aid for Panic (4 minutes)

 

Audio MALE VOICE:  First Aid for Panic (4 minutes)

 

Non-drug techniques to cope

 

dealing-with-emotional-spirals

 

Dr Claire Weekes suffered from anxiety and learned and taught ways of coping.  There are videos available on YouTube.

 

Claire Weekes' Method of Recovering from a Sensitized Nervous System

 

Audio:  How to Recover from Anxiety - Dr Claire Weekes

 

 
Resources:  Centre for Clinical Interventions (PDF modules that you can work through, eg:  Depression, Distress Intolerance, Health Anxiety, Low Self-Esteem, Panic Attacks, Perfectionism, Procrastination, Social Anxiety, Worrying)
 
On 4/28/2017 at 4:03 AM, brassmonkey said:

 

AAF: Acknowledge, Accept, Float.  It's what you have to do when nothing else works, and can be a very powerful tool in coping with anxiety.  The neuroemotional anxiety many of us feel during WD is directly caused by the drugs and their chemical reactions in the brain.  Making it so there is nothing we can do about them.  They won't respond to other drugs, relaxation techniques and the like.  They do, however, react very well to being ignored.  That's the concept behind AAF.  Acknowledge, get to know the feeling involved, explore them.  Accept, These feelings are a part of you and they aren't going anywhere fast. Float, let the feeling float off as you get on with your life as best as you can.  It's a well documented fact that the more you feed in to anxiety the worse it gets.  What starts as generalized neuroemotinal anxiety can be easily blown into a full fledged panic attack just by thinking about it.

 

I often liken it to an unwanted house guest.  At first you talk to them, have conversations, communicate with them.  After a while you figure out that they aren't leaving and there is nothing you can do to get rid of them.  So you go on about your day, working around them until they get bored and leave.

 

It can take some practice, but AAF really does work.  I hope you give it a try.

 

 

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JackieDecides
On 2/21/2019 at 2:31 PM, withhopeinmyheart said:

Trying to read Eckhart Tolle currently. He's good but I have difficulty reading. 

But listening was even worse. 

 

our brains just find some things too hard sometimes. but it won't be forever! I don't know how long, but it is temporary as our brains do heal.

 

3 hours ago, withhopeinmyheart said:

want to change it but CAN'T.

 

sometimes all you can do is wait. as you are able, check out the links Chessiecat provided.  go as slowly as you need to.

 

sometimes all you can do is wait.   🤗

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withhopeinmyheart

Thank you, ChessieCat and Jackie! 

 

Sometimes all I can do is wait... I need to have this with me more often... 

 

I had quite the exchange on the German forums now. 

They assured me it's okay to be frozen now. 

 

But will the trust come back? I feel lost and floating, without trust in anything. 

 

Will it come back? The feeling of absolute safety? 

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JackieDecides

In a general way, healing is possible and this would include feelings of Hope and safety. At least, I assume that is what healthy people feel!

Of course like any other feelings they will come and go.

 

The hard thing is not knowing how long it will take! That is just true for all of us.

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India

In my frequent meltdowns in which I feel unsafe, I remind myself I can find safety and understanding on these boards. 

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withhopeinmyheart

@JackieDecides oh yes! The uncertainty is the worst... 

I just know I felt safe before this and I want this back... 

 

@India that's true! People who understand are so important. I just always had this feeling of safety within me. And now that's gone. 

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withhopeinmyheart

Hi there, 

 

- I've been chronically ill long, long before any withdrawal stuff

 

- often been housebound, needed naps to go through the day. 

 

- withdrawal robbed me off the rest of my mobility 

 

- also there's very limited distractions. Can't follow much reading, listening or watching things. Nothing really distracts

 

- massive disinterest, often anhedonia 

 

- I feel extremely traumatized by the experience of withdrawal 

 

- yet the thick withdrawal helmet makes it impossible for things to really get through to me. Like talking to my therapist. He can't do anything either. And I feel you can't work on trauma while still in it? 

 

- I try changing the channel. I used to be a very positive person. Withdrawal somehow left nothing of that. I still try to talk myself through. 

 

- dp/dr and this nightmarish perception make me not recognize my life anymore 

 

- with all of the above, do you think I can do something NOW to get over the trauma? 

 

- While things are improving I'm still frozen in fear. I can't tell you how much. Not freaking out. Not panicking. Just very frozen from feeling truly traumatized. 

 

- so with the withdrawal helmet and physical immobility do you think there's something more for me than just waiting? So many things are now triggerering the trauma. I'm in bed most of the day. And have this... paralysis... from fear... I don't know. This is STRONG. not the type to get over and do things anyways... 

 

- didn't have that fear before withdrawal. 

 

 

I fear for my life. Everything seems so alien. 

It's very possible I might be this weak even after withdrawal. Will I still be able to recognize life again? 

Can I get stuck in this fear because I got "used to it"? 

 

- there are no other problems in my life currently. It all started with withdrawal. 

 

Or is this the "sometimes all we can do is wait"? 

 

I do sit up throughout the day, I do walk some steps and get some leg "exercise" in in the evening... 

 

I'm sorry, this isn't really short. 

My point : bedridden/housebound, terrible ability, withdrawal helmet, can trauma be worked on while I'm still badly in it? 

 

I can't forget what happened and how it felt and feels. I do and did read lots of the advice posted here but my brain can't really use it..? 

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India

Yes, you can. 

Try to establish a sense of safety. Hard I know, you have to keep reminding yourself you will heal. 

EFT

Bessel Van Dee Kolk and Bellruth Naperstak (look up on YouTube)

Louise Hay meditation on fear

Massage, hugs and warm baths . 

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India

Are you ok?

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JackieDecides

I am also looking for an update, @withhopeinmyheart  I hope you check in and tell us how it's going. 🤗

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withhopeinmyheart

Dear @India and @JackieDecides and everybody else, 

 

it's hard. I think WD normal is constantly improving. I try to focus on that. 

 

But I stopped living, I lost all trust, I have trouble coping and I'm the one who yells for help the loudest over at the German forums. 

You might've thrown me out of here if I did that here. 

 

Yes I have family and yes I talk to my therapist on the phone. But I need the reassurance of those who know, who understand. 

 

I'm so sorry if I'm too much work, really! I used to be a giving person but now not anymore. 

 

This uncertainty of this process scares me so much. 

 

I keep reading pug's success story and I ask him questions which he so kindly answers. 

 

I'm not doing good. But it's getting better. I just over and over need the guarantee that everybody can leave this behind one day. 

 

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