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Judith

Judith: Healing will happen!

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Judith

Greetings to all!  It took 5 years for my brain and nervous system to rebalance and heal after taking Effexor for 14 years.  Nasty stuff. One of the hardest to discontinue. But it is possible! I tried to d/c it a few times over those 14 years but had to keep going back on it because I couldn't function. I didn't understand enough about withdrawal and how all this works. But as we all know we reach a point where our souls know we do not need this drug and will do whatever it takes to get off it and stay off it. It's a ride through hell that's for sure but you can do it!!

 

As we all know, it's a lot worse at the beginning of withdrawal. I only had about 3 days of windows over the years. But I could feel symptoms slowly getting better over the last year till it starts being noticeable that the crud may still be there but it's more manageable. And the last 6 months it kept improving until I couldn't believe that the buzzing in my head was gone and the fear and anxiety were gone. The brain fog and fatigue also slowly start improving. There may always be a little residual fatigue and brain fog but I'm also 66 yrs old - ha!  

 

We have no idea how brave we are to go through this to live an authentic life drug free.  It finally happened this year around May.  And as you know it was many years of a nightmare I could not have imagined. But it will happen!! I am here as proof. I have my life back and am finally able to travel to see my family out of town and live a normal life again.  Acceptance, perseverance, surrender, humor, love - it's all part of living each day well.  Just continue to take care of yourself the best you can.  Walking in nature is SO HEALING. That is what saved me.  And taking every stress out that you possibly can. And lots and lots of prayer. My heart goes out to you - Hang in there - you will make it.  🙏😘

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manymoretodays

Welcome Judith and congratulations!

Huge. 

Do tell us a little more about how you tapered, and what you remember, as far as symptoms that came and went, that you could attribute to WD(withdrawal).  Are you off all psychiatric/psychoactive drugs now?

 

Thank you so much for posting and please feel free to stick around, and help others here.   Or to just learn more and help others you might encounter in real life too.   I don't know how familiar you are with the site yet, but take a look around.

 

Welcome, welcome,

 

Love, peace, healing, and growth,

manymoretodays(mmt)

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mstimc

Hi Judith

 

I think its so important for people dealing with tapering and withdrawal to hear from those of us who have gone through the ordeal and succeeded in gaining our lives back.   Just as each person's reasons for being on anti-depressants or benzos and for withdrawal are different, each journey through recovery is unique.  The timing, methods, and feelings are different for all of us.  The point is anyone, given enough time and support, can recover.

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sunnysideup69

Thanks so much for this Judith, it's so encouraging. I'll be tapering Effexor at some point, so it's particularly good to hear from people who have survived that particular drug. Wishing you every happiness 😊🙏

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India
On 12/20/2019 at 4:11 PM, Judith said:

Greetings to all!  It took 5 years for my brain and nervous system to rebalance and heal after taking Effexor for 14 years.  Nasty stuff. One of the hardest to discontinue. But it is possible! I tried to d/c it a few times over those 14 years but had to keep going back on it because I couldn't function. I didn't understand enough about withdrawal and how all this works. But as we all know we reach a point where our souls know we do not need this drug and will do whatever it takes to get off it and stay off it. It's a ride through hell that's for sure but you can do it!!

 

As we all know, it's a lot worse at the beginning of withdrawal. I only had about 3 days of windows over the years. But I could feel symptoms slowly getting better over the last year till it starts being noticeable that the crud may still be there but it's more manageable. And the last 6 months it kept improving until I couldn't believe that the buzzing in my head was gone and the fear and anxiety were gone. The brain fog and fatigue also slowly start improving. There may always be a little residual fatigue and brain fog but I'm also 66 yrs old - ha!  

 

We have no idea how brave we are to go through this to live an authentic life drug free.  It finally happened this year around May.  And as you know it was many years of a nightmare I could not have imagined. But it will happen!! I am here as proof. I have my life back and am finally able to travel to see my family out of town and live a normal life again.  Acceptance, perseverance, surrender, humor, love - it's all part of living each day well.  Just continue to take care of yourself the best you can.  Walking in nature is SO HEALING. That is what saved me.  And taking every stress out that you possibly can. And lots and lots of prayer. My heart goes out to you - Hang in there - you will make it.  🙏😘

@Judith You will save a lot of lives. This is the hope we need.

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Cocopuffz17

Amazing! Glad to hear! I am 10 months off and still have some challenges. Stories like this get me through. I know 100% I would of just went back on the medication if there was not members sharing their success stories and that it is POSSIBLE to get through! Thank you so much! :) 

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PH1

Judith,

Thanks for sharing your positive story.  You've been through a lot.   So grateful you are doing well.

You are absolutely correct, healing will happen!

Upward and onward.

Merry Christmas!

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manymoretodays

Hi Judith, @Judith

You should see a reply box below this post.  That's where you type in your responses.  You will need to be signed in to the site too, to reply.

(Just adding this post in addition to what I tried to explain via PM, around how to respond,  and used the @ notification in hopes you find your way back here, as well)

You can scroll on up to read again, what has been written to you, and/or quote so it's right in front of you when you reply.

I feel certain you'll get it.......be able to reply here soon.  It can be confusing at first and we'd love to hear back from you.

 

Best, L, P, H, and G,

mmt

And Merry Christmas if you celebrate this holiday!!  No offense intended if you don't.

Edited by manymoretodays
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Cerma

Judith, did you surfer from insomniaque during withdrawal?

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Liamb123456

How long you taper for?? 

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Judith

Thanks for all the comments and well wishes everyone.  Here are some answers to your questions:

 

I tapered over a 2 month period.  Effexor comes in capsules with tiny pellets, so I would just reduce it slowly by breaking open the capsules and taking out some pellets.  As I have come to learn I probably should have taken a lot longer to taper.  But it also may not have made much difference.   It was the only psyc drug I was on.  Thank God I was not on a benzo, although I did try them.   Never did much for me but make me extremely tired.   And I am completely drug free now - psych or otherwise - praise God & alleluia!!

 

Sleep was odd, to say the least, like all the other challenges we face in withdrawal.   I was feeling so incredibly fatigued that I could sleep, however it wasn't of any quality.  And because my cortisol was so extremely high I would wake up in the morning with a huge rush of anxiety and heart palpitations and fear. But still so extremely tired and no where near rested.  Wired and tired they call it.   I had my cortisol levels tested and if normal in the morning is, let's just say 10, mine was 35!!  Doctor couldn't believe it.  Therefore even trying to nap doesn't really work b/c you fall into this state of fatigue and anxiety and then when you need to get up 10-15 minutes later you get another rush of cortisol and high anxiety.   However now my sleep is mostly restored - - except for age related getting up to go the bathroom at night!   

 

I hate to list all the symptoms I had because we all really know what they are and don't want to trigger anyone.  And because believe it or not, they are fading from my memory - thank God.  But if it helps I will list them.  I have to reference one of the books that help save my life - Recovery & Renewal  by Baylissa Frederick.  And also her book With Hope in My Heart.  If you are not familiar with her please check these out along with her website Bloom in Wellness and facebook page Positive Pastimes.  She's amazing.  Has been through it herself and is now helping others - a true angel.    Anyway I experienced agitation, fear of going out (although I went anyway, had to work etc), anger, high anxiety, apathy, loss of appetite, (lost weight and I am already a thin person - but thankfully am now gaining back a few pounds), blurred vision - problems reading, body temp fluctuations, massive brain fog, loss of concentration, confusion, crying spells, depersonalization, depressed mood, derealization, electric shock zaps - (mostly the first few months), emotional blunting, exhaustion, eye fatigue and blurred vision.(this is still an issue, but kind of was before withdrawal) , extreme fatigue - and I am an athletic active person, massive fear, gastrointestinal issues - a lot from the high cortisol, kept me running to the bathroom if you know what I mean, heart palpitations, heaviness in my body and brain, non-hormonal hot flashes and chills, inner trembling, intrusive memories, irritability, joint and muscle pain -( which is mostly better but I think contributed to the frozen shoulder I now experience and am being treated for),  startle easily and very sensitive to noises or lights, memory impairment, obsessive thoughts, uncontrollable crying for no reason, extreme weakness.     I know whew, right!   No one would believe it unless you experience it.  And you all know or you wouldn't be reading this.  

 

So know you are not alone.  And things will get better.  It's one day at a time.  Trust your body that is inherently intelligent and knows what to do to heal.  Our job is to hang on to hope and believe it.    Lots of love and healing prayers to all of you!!  🤗😘

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Henryk12

Thank you for sharing your recovery story . I pray it happens for you quickly. 

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gigi63

Hi Judith.  I first want to congratulate you on your recovery.  A very long wait indeed.  I’m so very glad you can now claim healing and victory over WD.   Thank our Lord God.   

 

Second, thank you for coming back to post for those of us still in process.  Waiting for healing. When I read your story, I was so encouraged.  

 

Third, Judith, in one month, I will be 3.75 years out from the crash of my CNS.  I have very slowly been stabilizing over this time.  I have had every symptom you have listed except perhaps two, and a few you haven’t listed. It has been so hard.  What I am dogged with at this stage of 3.7 years out, is relentless brain fog, dizziness and fatigue and joint and muscle pain.  I still have other symptoms but these are doggedly present.  I’m wondering if you could share how the brain fog/dizziness , muscle and joint pain improved for you.  What did your healing look like?   Sometimes it feels as if this will never heal.  

 

I do know Baylissa and have both books you mentioned. I go to her site regularly.  She is wonderful!!!!  

 

Thank tou you for your time , every blessing to you Judith.  You being great encouragement.  I too have had to work the entire time through this ordeal.  

 

Gigi.  

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Judith

Hi Gigi,

 

Thank you for your kind words and for reaching out.  I know exactly how you feel and my heart and prayers go out to you.  Having to also go to work while dealing with all this is something that can only be explained by help from the grace of God and help from the angels - it's very difficult.  I am now retired and I hate to say it, but that helps a lot!

 

I cried and sobbed many times over those years of withdrawal. - will this ever end?  I still can't believe that I'm here to tell you that it does and it will!   I'm glad you've already experienced some improvement in symptoms - which means they will eventually all go away.   Keep remembering it's just your nervous system trying to heal. For me it felt like healing occurred one molecule at a time - in other words excruciatingly slow.  And not always linear.  The big three or four symptoms that were there the longest for me were fear and anxiety, fatigue, and brain fog.  And also the depersonalization - like you are trapped in anxiety land and can't conjure up a good thought if your life depended on it.  Brain fog that makes it impossible to read or concentrate or follow or organize anything.  So fatigued and brain fogged that I would be afraid I'd fall asleep while driving.  Couldn't exercise or work out like I was used to which was causing shoulder aches and pains and other issues. 

 

Looking back there wasn't any big window or one day waking up and saying - ah-ha!  these symptoms are gone or I'm so much better.   Not that it can't happen that way.  It was just a slow gradual process that finally by about end of year 4 and into year 5 of withdrawal, the symptoms are somewhat more manageable, not as all consuming, even though they are still there.   From January to May of 2019 - May 2019 being 5 years after discontinuing Effexor -  I just noticed gradual improvements in all those areas. Like it's there but only at 20%.   Until I finally realized that I was doing better, feeling better, not relapsing and things were staying that way.   And I realize I am still feeling better every day - getting my smile back and feeling the love and gratitude that was always there.  Praise God!! 

 

I still can get fatigued very easily.  And my eyes are very tired and lose focus easily.   And I have a frozen shoulder - the whole right side of my body is tight. I'm sure there are residual effects from all this.   But some of this stuff just comes with age as well.  

 

There was nothing in particular I did except, like I said previously, being in nature saved and healed me - walking - even though I was so fatigued and anxiety ridden I didn't know how I was walking or moving at all - just do it anyway.  I still spend as much time in nature as possible - it's where I feel God the most.  Listen to meditations and guided imagery and soothing music.  I still like to watch youtube videos of a tropical beach with nature sounds or other nature videos.  Take every stress out of your life that you can.   I also had some energy healing sessions, which may have helped  - you can't go wrong when asking for help from God and your spirit.    

 

I'm still amazed that I am now able to offer others help and that the trauma of going through all this is fading.  That I can talk about it and not feel it anymore.  

Wow - Praise God!.  You will feel better - you're almost there.  Hang on.  Time and patience.  And knowing we are never alone.  This is from the A Course in Miracles and I have it on my wall - it's a message from the Holy Spirit - "You do not walk alone - God's angels hover near and all about.  His Love surrounds you, and of this be sure; that I will never leave you comfortless".   God bless you.😇🤗😘

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Judith

One other thing.  Not sure if we're supposed to talk about supplements.  As we know, everyone responds differently.  And because the bottom line is it just takes time and patience for our nervous systems to heal.   However, wanted to share some that I think may have helped me that I still take.   

 

I tried lots and lots of different supplements during withdrawal.    Most probably didn't help.  But I've taken most of these for the last year or two - some like magnesium for years.  

 

Magnesium in any form -  I take a chelated type that is highly absorbable by Doctor's Best brand.   Calms nervous system.  Research the different types and decide what may be good for you.

 

Mega-DHA premium fish oil - 50% DHA/ 20% EPA - I take the Nature's Way brand.   Research says the high DHA in fish oil is particularly good for our brain.

 

Lions Mane mushrooms - the Host Defense brand.  For memory and nerve support.  The guy that started this company is THE leading expert on medicinal mushrooms, Paul Stamets.  Check him out.  Mushrooms are amazing organisms that have many healing properties.  

 

Choline in the form of phosphatidylcholine - I use the Seeking Health brand called Optimal PC.   Supports cognitive health.  Recommended by Chris Kresser, one of the leading functional medicine practitioners in the country.  If you don't know about him, check him out as well.  

 

I also take a coQ-10 supplement for energy support.   And vitamin d3.  

 

Anyway, hope this helps.  Healing blessings to all.  😍

 

 

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mstimc
1 hour ago, Judith said:

Hi Gigi,

 

Thank you for your kind words and for reaching out.  I know exactly how you feel and my heart and prayers go out to you.  Having to also go to work while dealing with all this is something that can only be explained by help from the grace of God and help from the angels - it's very difficult.  I am now retired and I hate to say it, but that helps a lot!

 

I cried and sobbed many times over those years of withdrawal. - will this ever end?  I still can't believe that I'm here to tell you that it does and it will!   I'm glad you've already experienced some improvement in symptoms - which means they will eventually all go away.   Keep remembering it's just your nervous system trying to heal. For me it felt like healing occurred one molecule at a time - in other words excruciatingly slow.  And not always linear.  The big three or four symptoms that were there the longest for me were fear and anxiety, fatigue, and brain fog.  And also the depersonalization - like you are trapped in anxiety land and can't conjure up a good thought if your life depended on it.  Brain fog that makes it impossible to read or concentrate or follow or organize anything.  So fatigued and brain fogged that I would be afraid I'd fall asleep while driving.  Couldn't exercise or work out like I was used to which was causing shoulder aches and pains and other issues. 

 

Looking back there wasn't any big window or one day waking up and saying - ah-ha!  these symptoms are gone or I'm so much better.   Not that it can't happen that way.  It was just a slow gradual process that finally by about end of year 4 and into year 5 of withdrawal, the symptoms are somewhat more manageable, not as all consuming, even though they are still there.   From January to May of 2019 - May 2019 being 5 years after discontinuing Effexor -  I just noticed gradual improvements in all those areas. Like it's there but only at 20%.   Until I finally realized that I was doing better, feeling better, not relapsing and things were staying that way.   And I realize I am still feeling better every day - getting my smile back and feeling the love and gratitude that was always there.  Praise God!! 

 

I still can get fatigued very easily.  And my eyes are very tired and lose focus easily.   And I have a frozen shoulder - the whole right side of my body is tight. I'm sure there are residual effects from all this.   But some of this stuff just comes with age as well.  

 

There was nothing in particular I did except, like I said previously, being in nature saved and healed me - walking - even though I was so fatigued and anxiety ridden I didn't know how I was walking or moving at all - just do it anyway.  I still spend as much time in nature as possible - it's where I feel God the most.  Listen to meditations and guided imagery and soothing music.  I still like to watch youtube videos of a tropical beach with nature sounds or other nature videos.  Take every stress out of your life that you can.   I also had some energy healing sessions, which may have helped  - you can't go wrong when asking for help from God and your spirit.    

 

I'm still amazed that I am now able to offer others help and that the trauma of going through all this is fading.  That I can talk about it and not feel it anymore.  

Wow - Praise God!.  You will feel better - you're almost there.  Hang on.  Time and patience.  And knowing we are never alone.  This is from the A Course in Miracles and I have it on my wall - it's a message from the Holy Spirit - "You do not walk alone - God's angels hover near and all about.  His Love surrounds you, and of this be sure; that I will never leave you comfortless".   God bless you.😇🤗😘

Hi Judith

 

My recovery was very similar.  A slow ebbing of withdrawal symptoms and anxiety/OCD behaviors.  

 

I, too, am grateful for the ability to help others.  I'm reminded of the passage from the New Testament, when Jesus heals Peter's mother-in-law of a fever.  A wise Episcopal priest once taught me that passage can be a model for healing and service.  As soon as she was healed, Peter's mother-in-law began serving her guests.  As with those of us who are on the path to recovery, after our own healing, we can be of service to those who are still struggling.  There is a purpose to our trials.

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Judith

Hi mstimc,

 

Thank you for reaching out and for your wonderful message.   Yes there is a purpose for all of this.   As Joyce Meyer says, you can't have a 'testimony' without first going through a 'test'.   God put her in my path a few years back and she is amazing. If you don't know about her I encourage everyone to look her up - joycemeyer.org.  She also writes amazing books - so practical to what people are going through.  She uses her own life's extreme trials as her testimony and how God's word and teaching has helped her completely change.  And also now that she's older she's able to look back and see the progress she has made.   That everything happens for a reason that may not be clear at the time you're going through it.

 

I feel so blessed to be able to now offer hope to others.  My best for your continued recovery.

 

In peace and joy,

Judy

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mstimc

Judith

 

During a therapy session early in my recovery, my psychologist asked me to name some positive things about my situation.  At first, of course, I couldn't, but then I realized I was blessed in many ways:  I had a job and that job gave me insurance benefits that included payments for my therapy sessions.  I was able to be honest with my boss about my condition and could get the time to see my therapist, who knew meds weren't the only answer and helped me with withdrawal.  Even at my worst, I was able to work and participate in my son's life when he was a child/pre-teen.  My wife stuck by me.  At the darkest periods, there was hope 

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mirage

Hi @Judith

THANK YOU for coming and telling your story. I usually stay off of the site and focus on the healing. Gigi and I talk regularly and she told me about your story. What a blessing! Your story gives such encouragement. 

 

I am almost 31 months into my journey. I am currently holding and have been for about 23 months. Symptoms are getting milder and I am able to function pretty well. I have always worked part time and I continue to do that. All of that said, the symptoms are with me daily but during waves, they are rough. I have had a very slow recovery. Like you said, "one molecule at a time". 

 

You are an inspiration to us all. I lean on our Lord daily for the continued strength. 

 

Blessings to you,

Mirage

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FarmGirlWorks
On 12/20/2019 at 8:11 AM, Judith said:

But as we all know we reach a point where our souls know we do not need this drug and will do whatever it takes to get off it and stay off it. It's a ride through hell that's for sure but you can do it!!

 

Wow @Judith, thank you for coming back and inspiring. Esp heartened by the fact that your recovery was around 5 years. At almost 3 years, I am embarrassed except for here to say that it. is. still. happening. Unbelievable. Came here to read recovery stories that were longer than a couple years. Presto bingo, your story appeared. So happy for you and thanks for the suggestions.

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Judith

Hi @mirage and @FarmGirlWorks

 

 

Reading your kind words brings me a feeling of gratitude that's hard to put into words - that all the suffering I went through is now being used by God to help others, that there was/is a purpose for it.  It will be the same for you.  If there is a reason for suffering it is to bring us closer to God with complete trust and surrender every day, and like you beautifully said, continue to lean on our Lord daily for continued strength.    

 

I know it's rough.  It is a feeling of unbelief every day that you can feel so bad and disconnected and yet are still somehow functioning.  But you are getting ever closer with each day to complete healing!   I too after a while stayed off forums and websites and just focused on healing and peace.  But reading the occasional success story helped me stay hopeful as well.  

 

My heart and prayers for strength, hope and healing are with you all,

Blessings,

Judth

 

  

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Elyssa143

@Judith

 

Hello Judith and Happy New Year. 

I am so greatful for you coming back and sharing your success. I wrote you a message when you first posted but I will post here as well. I am 22 months into withdrawl unfortunately its not my first protracted. i took ativan 10 years ago for 30 days after my son was born first pharmaceutical ever and spent 3 years in hell after coming off. Thats where my antidepressant journey began 1 year on zoloft and got off fine. 3 years inbetween med free and then back on for a panic attack. One year on and here i am. Ive been in hell. I am having small improvements in the back and forth pattern which is very hard but normal considering the process. My biggest and hardest symptoms are the depression, intrusive suicidal thoughts which have been with me sin e day once but definitely better but still here and scary, Akathisia feeling of horrific internal restlessness that makes me feel like i want to die and crawl out of my skin, hopelessness and dread which are better but still hard, a chemical feeling of wanting to die and not do this anymore, rarely anxiety, some heart stuff but thats better too, and so much fear of not making it fear of getting worse and giving in. Im wondering if you too had these symptoms? Or can relate. I am so glad you are doing better! Gives so many of us hope! Have a wonderful day!

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Judith

Hi my dear @Elyssa143:

 

Thank you for reaching out and your kind words.   I hope you feel my warm hug around you.  Yes, I completely understand and relate as I had many symptoms as well as you can see in my previous posts.  Intrusive negative scary thoughts, a feeling of dread, depression, high anxiety, fear, depersonalization, brain fog, crushing fatigue, some akathisia, etc, etc.  I felt somewhat suicidal, but I kept saying that I really didn't want to die, I just wish I could have been in a coma until my nervous system healed so I didn't have to deal with it!  

 

Therefore --   I want to emphasize something you said in your post, which is that it is a "chemical feeling of wanting to die".  That is the key and what we must all remember as we travel through the nightmare of withdrawal.   This is not YOU - it is just a manifestation of your nervous system healing.  You are the one observing it happen, as horrific as it is.  How else can we explain how we continue to function despite all the madness?  How can we compose coherent logical sentences and words and yet still go through this?  You did a great job of that!  How do we walk around and interact and go to the store?  Of course it's the grace of God, but it's showing us that it is just our nervous system healing.   So do not believe the thoughts or pains or craziness that one is experiencing.   It WILL improve with time and patience.  THIS TOO SHALL PASS.  

 

It is also very important to take very good care of yourself with any gentle exercise you can tolerate such as walking in nature.  Eating right - eliminate caffeine, alcohol, sugar, wheat, dairy, and processed food.  Eat whole natural food as God made it. (my digestion and appetite were messed up and it was hard to eat and I lost weight, which is not helpful for someone as thin as I am! But food is tasting good again and I am gaining back a few pounds).   Drink water.  Eliminate interactions with people or online that causes any added stress as much as possible.  Listen to guided meditations and soothing music. I would say mantras or bible verses constantly to deal with the negative thoughts.  I remember feeling like it wasn't doing anything to help, but it is, despite how we are feeling.  That's where trust in God comes in, clinging to however you see a higher power to get you through each moment, hour, and day without thinking ahead.   Maybe that's why we go through this - it brings us closer to God if we let it.  

 

I also can't recommend Baylissa Frederick's books Recovery and Renewal, and With Hope in My Heart enough.  You can also sign up to be a member of Bloom in Wellness which is her support group of positivity for those traveling through withdrawal.  For a small fee you can get access to her daily encouragement and inspiration messages and even schedule personal counseling sessions with her.  She puts withdrawal in perspective as she's been through it herself.  Even though I am better, I continue to support her important compassionate work.  

 

Here's one of the many verses I clung to:  "May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope."  romans 15:13

 

You WILL recover!  Hang in there.

 

Many prayers for continued healing, hope and strength.  

 

Judith 

 

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Elyssa143

@Judith 

Thank you so much for such a well written response. You took so much time and it had so much heart in it. I greatly appreciate it. I am struggling and have been struggling for a really long time. I know you know how that goes, right along with pretty much everyone here. I guess I thought it would be alot better by now? Or atleast the suicidal stuff would be gone? Which of course has been one of my longest lasting symptoms. some things have improved and even gone but not many. I get so scared with the feelings and thoughts still. My brain tells me all sorts of awful scary things, especially about not making it :(. And i want nothing more than to make it through this! I love Baylissa and have her book! I also get the daily encouragements! They are helpful! I do positive affirmations and listen to soothing music. I also do meditations and work on healing my nervous system. Im tired and frustrated that im still dealing with this i think especially since its my second protracted withdrawal.  Im scared of the constant feeling of not being able to do this much longer or the thoughts about how much longer i can do this. I feel "more normal " persay but i have the constant intrusive thoughts, brain chatter and depression and it scares me. My brain frequently tells me my life isnt worth it. And i "love my life" and everyone in it. I am better than in the beginning but im still dealing with the same things which is discouraging for me. But so many people say it goes so I continue to hang on! And I will. Deep down I know I wont give up , but I still get scared of the thoughts and feelings and fear of giving up. I know you struggled for a long time, and i know everyones story is so different. But i have continued to hold on to the fact that everyone says it gets better the further you are out, more time and it improves. Does it get less intense and easier to manage as time goes on? Does the bad become not as intense and the ok become better? I sure hope it wasnt absolute hell the whole time? I am very greatful for your response and encouragement along with everyone else. I do worry about it getting worse or the fact that im 22 months out and i still feel like "i want to die" its very scary for me. I do hope your having a nice weekend. And i really look forward to your response.  Thanks again. Hugs back❣

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Judith

My dear @Elyssa143:

 

Thank you for reaching out.  I feel your fear and discouragement and desperation and understand it completely and am so sorry for your pain and suffering.  It really is incomprehensible that any of us survive this.  But I'm here to say that we do and we can.  

 

I also feel just as strongly your determination,  your strength, your ability to separate yourself from your symptoms, and a 'knowing' that you will make it no matter what.  And that is your 'true self'!!   because you say things like

 

       And i want nothing more than to make it through this! (yes!)   And i "love my life" and everyone in it. I am better than in the beginning but im still dealing with the same things which is discouraging for me.  But so many people say it goes so I continue to hang on! And I will. Deep down I know I wont give up , but I still get scared of the thoughts and feelings and fear of giving up.......   continued to hold on to the fact that everyone says it gets better the further you are out, more time and it improves.

 

You expressed it beautifully.  That's exactly how I felt.  All that mess of love and determination and not giving up and fear and discouragement and desperation.  It's a normal but highly exaggerated and agitated part of ourselves because of our compromised nervous system.  

 

You ask - Does it get less intense and easier to manage as time goes on? Does the bad become not as intense and the ok become better?    The answer is YES & YES!!  For me it was very gradual, but everyone is different and you could improve quickly.  The last year or so of my experience symptoms were much less and intense and more manageable.   In the last 6 months they gradually got better until I couldn't believe that I was feeling whatever I remembered as 'normal' and it was sticking.  The trauma of going through this lingers for a while but that is also improving and fading every day.   

 

Like Baylissa says, I know I can sound like a broken record, but hold on to hope and strength and ask God or whatever high power helps you to take over every moment and hold captive every thought in his light and love.  I used to repeat that a lot.  And still do!  And believe that it WILL GET BETTER.  The scary thoughts will diminish and go away.  Tell them you don't believe them like you are doing.    You are now far enough out that your symptoms will start improving very soon!!  And as you know they are 'symptoms' they are not 'you'.  You are doing all the right things.  

 

Sending many hugs and prayers for healing and hope and strength to you my dear.   You will make it!  

 

Judith

 

P.S.  I see you are from Florida - one of my favorite places!   I am leaving in several weeks to spend a month in Deerfield Beach, Florida close to where my son and his family live.  Can't wait for some sun, warmth, and beach time.  And I can't believe I'm feeling normal enough to even do something like this.  So hang on because your time is coming as well.  

 

 

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mirage

Hi @Judith. Thank you for your response in an earlier post. I truly appreciate you and the heart you have to come back and help those of us still walking this journey. 

 

I only have a few symptoms that remain and they are mostly physical. I still have dizziness and a feeling of disequilibrium and sleep is still not normal, although much, much better. I fall asleep easily and I am now getting about 7 good hours but still waking early and on some days, with slight anxiety. Oddly, these symptoms were the first to come I am thinking, they are going to be the last to go? Did you experience any of these and did you find that your first symptoms were the most difficult and lasted the longest? 

 

Blessings to you and I thank God, our Savior,  for you coming back and giving messages of hope and healing. 

Mirage

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Judith

Hello dear @mirage,

 

Thank you for your kind words.  Yes, it is the grace of God that saw me through and is continuing now to help me help others.  Like I've said, I could not have imagined that I would finally heal and use the suffering to help and encourage others to hang on that they will heal as well!  

 

I am so happy that you are feeling better in many ways.  Yes the others will go - and hopefully soon!   For me it was a gradual diminishing of all the crazy symptoms not really one at a time.  The transition from sleeping to waking in the morning was very challenging for my nervous system and brain with a lot of fatigue and anxiety and that was one of the last to go.  But as we know, everyone heals differently.  I know you are encouraged and grateful for the progress you have made so focus on that and keep trusting God that your time will come very soon when everything will be back to normal.  You're almost there! 

 

Many prayers, blessings, and hugs to you my dear.  You will heal.  One moment, one hour, one day at a time, always held in God's loving arms. 

 

Judith

 

 

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mirage

Thank you @Judith for your words of inspiration and your ability to help. I truly appreciate that. 

 

My body and system is  taking the very slow route on the healing. I have never had a symptom just be gone one day. It has all been a very, very, very slow morphing. 

 

I keep my trust in God and lean on Him each and every day. Without Him and without hope, how does one get through this? I look so forward to fully, feeling myself again and being back. Until then, I continue to live each day finding blessings along the way. Yes, one moment, one hour and one day at a time, always held in God's loving arms. 

 

Mirage

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mstimc
2 hours ago, mirage said:

Thank you @Judith for your words of inspiration and your ability to help. I truly appreciate that. 

 

My body and system is  taking the very slow route on the healing. I have never had a symptom just be gone one day. It has all been a very, very, very slow morphing. 

 

I keep my trust in God and lean on Him each and every day. Without Him and without hope, how does one get through this? I look so forward to fully, feeling myself again and being back. Until then, I continue to live each day finding blessings along the way. Yes, one moment, one hour and one day at a time, always held in God's loving arms. 

 

Mirage

Yes, looking back to the time I was barely making it from one day to the next, I know He was holding me up and whispering in my ear I still had work to do on this earth.  I learned the value of faith. 

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Aeroman

congrats!  took me between 4-5 years to recover from Lexapro w/d

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Judith

Thanks @Aeroman!  Congrats to you as well!  It's hard to believe we survived but we did.  Praise God!!  

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MaggieSmalls

Hey @Judith,

so good to read storys like yours and glad you made the turn!

In about 2 weeks I am 2 years off paxil and things are still very hard for me. My main symptoms like brain fog, derealization and constant feeling of being hangover are still very present.

Mood swings are incredible these days like from very very optimistic to sad and depressed within a blink of an eye.

However did you sometimes thought that you are the only one who will never recover or that you do not withdrawling but only being very sick?

For me it´s an inner fight I consantly have and would be interesting if you or some others might relate.

All the best for you :)

Maggie

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Cocopuffz17
3 hours ago, MaggieSmalls said:

Hey @Judith,

so good to read storys like yours and glad you made the turn!

In about 2 weeks I am 2 years off paxil and things are still very hard for me. My main symptoms like brain fog, derealization and constant feeling of being hangover are still very present.

Mood swings are incredible these days like from very very optimistic to sad and depressed within a blink of an eye.

However did you sometimes thought that you are the only one who will never recover or that you do not withdrawling but only being very sick?

For me it´s an inner fight I consantly have and would be interesting if you or some others might relate.

All the best for you :)

Maggie

I am almost one year off of Paxil as well. I was in a long window and just recently got smashed with a wave. It definitely sets you back mentally. But after reading of people getting through it I know it will get better! 
 

Everyday that passes is one day closer to being fully healed! 

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Judith

Hello @MaggieSmalls and @Cocopuffz17,

 

Thanks for your kind words and for reaching out.   As horrible as withdrawal symptoms are, we must always remember how incredibly brave we are to go through this to live a life that is drug free.  Especially in a society that is constantly  promoting some kind of drug to 'fix' anything and everything that they want us to believe  is wrong with us.   There is no drug or substance that will fix what 'we think is wrong with us' - because the bottom line is there is nothing wrong with us!!  If we didn't truly believe that we wouldn't be enduring this hell to ultimately be free.  Always remember our intention and why of we're doing this.   

 

And yes, as time drags on and we still experience symptoms, it's very normal but scary to think - will this ever end?   I said it many, many, many times through sobs and tears.  My biggest symptoms that lasted were brain fog, fear, fatigue, and some depersonalization.    

 

But I'm here to tell you that it does end and we do heal!!   It's still hard to believe that I am the one writing these words of encouragement for others.  It was hard to imagine the day happening, yet here I am as proof.  So please keep holding on and praying for patience and strength and comfort and healing will eventually happen.  Try not to put a time table on it and just get through each day the best you can.  Focus on gratitude for everything you can think of.  Helps the mind focus on something else but the crud.  I know easier said than done, but every little bit helps. I know how hard it is to just have any good thought in your head at all. 

 

So proud of you and all of us.   Hang in there.  It's just a matter of time.  You will heal!!

 

 Many prayers of healing blessings to you all,🙏😇

Judith ❤️

 

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MaggieSmalls

Hi @Judith,

many thanks for your encouraging words it really means a lot to me reading these storys!

I´ve mistyped by saying I am close to the 2 years mark actually in February I am 3 years off. However as you said we should put ourselves to a time table as this sets us under so much pressure. 

Brainfog and the feeling of constantly being on a big hangover combined with buzzing ears and sweating are my main symptoms I can only imagine how it will feel when you get the relief after so many years it must feel like a miracle.

My sleep is very good though approximately I sleep around 8-9 h every night but I wake up every morning like I only slept around 4 hours. Also my hallucinations decreased during the night which I am pretty thankful for. It is scary as hell when you wake up seeing things or people in your bedroom who try to attack you.

Hopefully one day I will help other people on this site who are going trough this! After so many years no one is really believing me which is on top a hard thing to accept.

Wish you all the best and again thank you!

Maggie

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