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FarmGirlWorks Recovery Appeared as a Pickle-and-Cheese Sandwich

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FarmGirlWorks

A pickle-and-cheese sandwich marked the beginning of the end of this trip to hell. At 25 months, I stopped in at a neighborhood yard sale. While my friend looked at a carpet from Mexico, I was drawn to an older man sitting on the front stoop and eating something. I looked closer and saw that it was a pickle-and-cheese sandwich. And I realized that I *wanted* one. I craved it. Bad. It was a strange feeling after months of forcing myself to eat and often could only stomach potato chips dipped in butter. I walked over and discussed the sandwich with him. Havarti cheese, bread, lettuce, and, of course, pickles. He told me that the brine of pickles is good for cramping. “I come from a long line of crampers,” he said.

 

I could not get it out of my mind. I actually had a CRAVING. Next stop was the grocery store and I got all the ingredients. I dressed it up a little by making it into a grilled cheese and pickle sandwich with lettuce, mayo and mustard. Cut it into little triangles and, well on the eighth day, God made a pickle-and-cheese sandwich. And it was good. Best of all, I knew I was going to heal in time. The corner had been turned.

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.

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For every person who is in withdrawal -- wherever you are in the process -- you will heal!!! Know that, deeply breathe it in. Healing is inevitable… unfortunately the pain is too but it will eventually end. Hang in there. I didn’t “think” I would recover but always “believed” it because of the Success Stories. I have gone through so much high stress the past 3 years -- some of which was withdrawal but a lot was situational family dramas, auto near death experiences, and meeting my biological father less than a year ago. It’s been, well, "a lot." However, I am grateful and humbled to be on the other side. Yes, I still trend toward depression and anxiety but not at sky-high withdrawal levels. I now have tools to cope. Creativity is increasing each day and my motivation and cognition, while lagging a few steps behind, is coming back as well. And while anger is hard-wired into my DNA, now I am more of a firecracker than a bomb.

 

~~~

Drug: sertraline (zoloft) 50-75mg

Time on drug: Jan 2012 - April 2017

Kindling: cold-turkey (CT) multiple times including once in 2015 for 6 months

Fast-tapered sertraline 5ish weeks

Complete end on April 1, 2017

Age/sex: 50yo female

Recovery: 33 months, 90+ percent

 

Supplements: magnesium powder, fish oil, aspirin. I used others ($$$) but nothing with regularity.

 

~~~

I was put on sertraline because I had just come back to Seattle from a six-month stint in an isolated, tiny rural town as a funeral director -- not stressful at all. I quickly fell into physically painful depression and high anxiety because I had no job, no place to live, and a new dog -- not stressful at all. No doubt I had PTSD. If I knew then what I know now, I should have splurged on therapy, quit drinking, and gotten a gym membership. But I did not and after two months asked my GP to prescribe anything to make the pain stop. After a couple weeks on Wellbutrin which created such anxiety, I quit and switched to Zoloft. And it worked. At least for a while. But there was breakthrough depression and I did not want to be dependent on a drug for the rest of my life. Of course, the GP gave me the lines about “it’s just like insulin for a diabetic” and “you have a chemical imbalance.” I went rogue several times and tried to stop cold turkey because this stuff isn’t addictive, right? I finally decided in spring 2017 that I wanted to stop for good. I decided to attend an ayahuasca ceremony for Easter -- hippie! -- and knew I could not be on an SSRI to do it. So I did a fast taper for Lent and in 5ish weeks stopped. The ayahuasca was transformative and I felt great… until I soon did not. My therapist at the time, with no medical knowledge, advised I switch to Lexapro because “it worked” for her. I dumped her immediately because my soul knew this was not right and was beginning to sound like a medical pharmaceutical conspiracy. After a couple months of suffering and quitting drinking, I found Surviving Antidepressants and saw that indeed this pain was REAL and experienced by others and I could lean into the expertise here. I’ve never looked back. The moderators said it would take time and indeed it did. Here is my thread about it.

 

~~~

The following helped me stay alive… I was going to say “and hope” but, frankly, there were several months when I didn’t have a shred of hope. It is the absolute worst (insert every curse ever uttered) hell. And I say this as someone who survived brain surgery. Yes: this is worse. And you will get through it.

 

What kept me alive:

- information

- peer support

- Success Stories on this site

- acceptance

- rage at pharmaceutical companies

 

I obsessively read most of the “symptoms” threads to find out what was happening and get information. I needed proof that I wasn’t a freak of nature and that others had experienced the exact same thing… and recovered. The information on this site is invaluable, I learned so much. We are lucky to have such a comprehensive resource. I also watched YouTube videos, Baylissa Frederick videos, and read Beyond Meds and Inner Compass Initiative.

 

The peer support on SA is exceptional -- I am reading over my thread and moved to tears (I can cry now!) by the compassion of members. I briefly hosted a Meetup for other withdrawal folks and could only do it a few times because I was still ill (apologies to The Smiths). I could not hold space for the misery and sad stories that people appeared with. One dear girl came with a handwritten letter in pencil on lined paper about her experience -- I am still haunted and inspired by her courage. I bow to the moderators here and what they do daily. Their knowledge and compassion blow my mind. It is a strength not many of us have.

 

Part of my diet was reading the Success Stories over and over and over. There are some that I read at least a dozen times, eating up every single word and ingesting the message that “it does get better, hang on.” Do good writers get afflicted with withdrawal? It seems so based on the Success Stories. Seriously, I cannot recommend these enough to give you the strength to make it through one more day, hour, minute, second.

 

Acceptance came late in the game because I couldn’t believe this might go on for years. I had to hit rock bottom first: unable to work, “friends” disappearing, and the possibility of never feeling any semblance of joy again. In the beginning, I resolved to go on by giving myself deadlines. “If you make it one year and everything still is this bad, go back on drugs.” “If you make it 18 months and it is still this bad, you can kill yourself.” “If you make it 24 months and it is still this bad, then you can storm the office of the CEO of Pfizer.” Yeah, immature crap, I know. But it helped me stick it out. Then at 2 years, my bio-father unexpectedly entered my life and deadlines were no longer viable options -- that relationship means the world to me. I think that was when I truly started to “accept” that I’d be sick as long as I was sick and get well when I got well. 

 

Yes, rage is not zen, not productive, and probably wasted energy. But it was the spark in my darkest hours that kept me going. I don’t mean homicidal rage, just the desire to add to information about how real and bad this experience is. There is a rage that comes with not being “seen” and this illness is definitely not seen except by those going through it and a few compassionate people. Every time I read “discontinuation syndrome” in media articles, I wanted to pull my hair out. Still do. I firmly believe that it will be seen eventually and want to support that however possible.

 

What has helped me, but is not in the category of keeping me alive, is first and foremost kundalini yoga. I am now taking a training course in kundalini and am developing a class for people going through withdrawal. It is a trauma unto itself and the focus on the glandular system and, especially, strengthening nerves has helped immensely in healing. 

 

AA for honest sharing. I wasn’t able to get into the personal soul-searching until half way through the second year as what I was experiencing was chemical and no amount of soul searching was going to change that. I was legit envious of those who recovered from alcohol or opiates in months and here I was suffering from prescribed medication for years. And, I had reservations -- sometimes explosive anger -- at the members on psych drugs. However, now I am getting so much from AA, seeing patterns, changing my behavior going forward, forgiving myself the past.  

 

Hydrotherapy in the form of pools, hot tubs, and saunas were a big part at the end of year 1. Especially the sauna. I religiously do a cold rinse at the end of showers. This stimulates the parasympathetic system through the vagus nerve. Check out Wim Hof on YouTube. I do it because of kundalini but this method is a widely accepted way to strengthen nerves. And taking epsom salt baths a couple times a week calmed my body especially during bouts of akathisia.

 

Acupuncture: I still do this regularly and she followed the NADA protocol for drug withdrawal (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5153313/)

 

Art! It took a good year before I began to have glimpses of ideas for art projects. My thread has the work I did. Sometimes just sitting and slowly stitching was all I could manage. The last piece was drawn from quotes here and I am proud of it as a piece of activism.

 

Timed gratitude lists for 10-15 minutes each day. Did this for a few months in the second year. I got this from a site about combating anhedonia and there is a neurological basis to strengthen the “wires” of positive connections in the brain. The gratitudes always have to be different to strengthen your “mind muscle” to see more positive events. Yeah, it sounds hokey... and it also helped.

 

~~~

Symptoms, I’ve had a few but not too few to mention (if you think “My Way,” please make it the Sid Vicious version): black depression, sky-high anxiety, neuro-emotions, anhedonia, daily suicidal ideation, headaches, severe head pressure, low appetite, panic attacks, leaky eyes, facial nerves tingling, akathisia, cortisol morning spikes, fatigue, tense shoulders and neck, cognitive decline (cog fog), depersonalization/derealization (DP/DR), no creativity, impulsive rage at people on the street, catatonia, intrusive thoughts, unmotivated, no confidence, no self-esteem, and emotional dysregulation (a later symptom). Had short windows but mainly months of waves.

 

Triggers: fluorescent lights, caffeine, processed food, crowds, unsupportive family/friends, and above all else, high situational stress. 

 

~~~

Admittedly, I am nervous about big situational stressors that are marching down the pike in the form of aging parents (now I have three), financial security, and vocation. Then, there is the “3 year relapse.” My memory is not good and focus is difficult. But both are steadily improving. I do wonder if this experience has made me less resilient to depression and anxiety. However! I made it through and if that doesn’t take serious resilience, I don’t know what does. So screw the nervousness: I’ll survive yet again. You will too. ❤️

.

.

.

 

It just wasn't like the old days anymore

No, it wasn't like those days...  

Does the body rule the mind
Or does the mind rule the body?

I dunno

– THE SMITHS, "STILL ILL"

 

 

~~~

Book recommendations

 

The Dark Night of the Soul: A Psychiatrist Explores the Connection Between Darkness and Spiritual Growth by Gerald May

 

Anatomy of an Epidemic by Robert Whitaker

 

Own Your Self and A Mind of Your Own by Dr Kelly Brogan

 

Death Grip: A Climber's Escape from Benzo Madness by Matt Samet


Blue Dreams by Lauren Slater

Edited by FarmGirlWorks
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FindRest

FGW, thank you for taking the time to encourage all of us here. You are a very gifted writer! I have bookmarked this so I can have it in my arsenal during this journey.  Thank you! 
 

Sorry you had to go through all of this. I see so much strength in you, with all the non-ADWD stuff you had to endure at the same time. Keep being strong!

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Glosmom

Congratulations!  So happy to read your very well written Success Story!  You are/have been/and will continue to be inspiring to others. Thank you for taking the time to write this.  May Peace Be With You Always, Glosmom

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TurkeyCold

Thank you very much for this precious and witty post. All the best for the rest of your life 🕊️

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Kimboslice

Hi FarmGirlWorks.. What a fantastic achievement..  It’s so pleasing to see another success story on the board!!  


It amazes me how similar your drug history is to my own, from the drug you took being Sertraline, the duration you where on it for, the symptoms you experienced, your reasons for wanting to quit and the fact you’d CT’d multiple times. The similarities seem uncanny so your success has provided me with so much encouragement at a time when it really feels needed.
 

I don’t know you from Adam but...  I’m genuinely chuffed you’ve found your path to success. Well done!!! ☺️

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RachelSusan

What an amazing read. I read it three times. Once just to hear your story, then the second time to savor the quality of the writing, and the third time just because I want to read it once more. My god was it a good read.

 

I'm not completely out of the woods yet, but close to it, and I have my own version of a pickle-and-cheese sandwich. It's that moment when you know you will be alright. This is truly wonderful FGW. Good for you.

 

Thank you for sharing your most intimate thoughts and difficult emotions.  Also thank you for the constructive suggestions as well as the hope,

 

Thank you, thank you, thank you.

 

xoxo

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carefulprayerful

Thank you for this beautiful success story!  All the best to you for continued healing and happiness.  

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FarmGirlWorks

@FindRest @Glosmom @TurkeyCold @Kimboslice @RachelSusan @carefulprayerful: thank you so much.

 

Some of you I have corresponded with before or you have written on my timeline. Those "attagirls", compassion, and ability to make me laugh (RachelSusan, looking at you here, can't wait to read your story) meant so much. God, what a sad bunny I was for a lot of the time.  My father loves to call special people, angels in life, "vessels of grace" and there are definitely VoGs here at SA.

 

Kimboslice, thanks for the new term "chuffed" which I will now be using all the time. Love it. And as a former sertraline user, nothing could make me happier than your saying it provided encouragement. You can do it and will.

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Heal95

Thank you so much for posting your story @FarmGirlWorks 

god bless you ❤️

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Yazz

Inspiring, I share all of your symptoms, which ones of your symptoms totally gone and which are lingering but you are functional with them ? 

 

Specially the ahedonia and dark depression, hope it's gone! 

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FarmGirlWorks

@Yazz: yes the dark depression and anhedonia are gone. The anhedonia probably left in the second year and the dark depression lingered until last fall. I have gotten depressed this winter -- a lot of people not in WD here in Seattle have because of all the rain -- but it is not hopeless like before. The other symptoms are pretty much gone. I still have sore neck and shoulders but also found out a few days ago that I have arthritis in the neck and probably shoulders. So not sure if the WD catalyzed that situation or it is just genetic. Probs the latter.

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Elyssa143

@FarmGirlWorks

Oh how I am so pleased for you to be reading this. It is so well written too! Your quite talented. I sure do hope you are able to move on from this experience and enjoy your life now. Thank you for always being there for me during my withdrawl as well. I am definitely healing but continue to very much struggle as well. Whats ghe difference to you from the anhedonia and the dark depression? When did the akasthsia leave? I definitely have easier times but i still have no positive feelings joy or happiness either.  I also want to know what the difference between suicidal ideation and the constant intrusive suicidal thoughts is? I saw you posted about the ideations. I have constant ruminating looping intrusive si which i have had since the last crumb of my zoloft and it still very bothersome to me as i get so scared eventually ill give up :( . But it is better and not 24/7 anymore. I do still have some mild dread sometimes and internal Akathisia which makes me feel like i qant to die and crawl out of my skin. My other bad symptom is a chemical feeling of not wanting to do this anymore/die. Its all awful but definitely not like it was. Im hoping you can shed some light and reassurance.  Again i am so pleased yoube made it to the other side! So much loving energy your way. I look forward to hearing feom you thank you! Hopefully soon ill be writing my success story as well!

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Armorall

I'm so happy for your and your success story! I'm also very appreciative of your Smith's reference and Sid Vicious reference. I was a part of the underground music scene here in Chicago for decades until my WD, miss it so. 

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Happy2Heal
20 hours ago, RachelSusan said:

What an amazing read. I read it three times. Once just to hear your story, then the second time to savor the quality of the writing, and the third time just because I want to read it once more. My god was it a good read.

me too!! I bookmarked it

 

So happy for you @FarmGirlWorks  

 

just so very happy! :)

 

 

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Sheera

@FarmGirlWorks this makes me so happy to hear. You are an inspiration. ❤️❤️

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JackieDecides
22 hours ago, FarmGirlWorks said:

the dark depression and anhedonia are gone.

I'm so glad to hear this, FarmGirlWorks. 

 

I don't come here often - I just can't carve out enough time  - but I am always glad to hear things like this. ❤️🥰

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FarmGirlWorks

@Elyssa143: it's hard, I know, but you'll get there, you're already improving. Just let it keep (slowly) happening. It's like expecting a baby to be able to run as soon as it pops out. It takes a while to develops muscles and, as important, the connections that coordinate them. It just takes time but happens. Just be gentle on your system as much as you can because usually life is not. As far as specific times when things went away, I really can't remember exactly. And the difference between SI and intrusive thoughts -- not sure. I still have fleeting thoughts of suicide but just that fleeting. Hopefully, they'll completely go away in time. All I can tell you is hang in there.

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FarmGirlWorks

@Armorall: thank you! I wrote "still ill" and then could not get it out of my head. So I looked up the lyrics and seemed appropriate. Now I'm on a Smiths jag.

 

@Happy2Heal: funny, as I was having tea with another member on Friday and we were talking about how inspirational your story is. I esp like it because, for me, it is hard to tease out withdrawal and just plain life hardships. You do that so well, thank you. Your first post was def one I referred to before doing this.

 

@Sheera: thank you! I see you're off and that is when the real "fun" begins. You're doing all the right things though.

 

@JackieDecides: your always a voice I love to hear. We have had a HARD winter in the PacNW!!!

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manymoretodays

Oh so great FarmGirlWorks.  I love your Success Story, complete with creative writing and references to boot!

I use so much of the same non-drug coping.  And WILL get mine done and posted in 2020!  Had a recent mild wave, oh heck, it was medium on the scale.  Happy to report that it is over now.  And just get so busy......on the ground, and then here.  The good busy though.  Fulfilling.   Finding myself and my way. 

And...... you could not pay me to go back on those drugs.

 

Meantime, should update my own introduction and will, maybe tomorrow. B)  I thought I would have my Success Story done, before I hit page 31!!  Oh, well.  Maybe by my anniversary date of arrival here, late April of 2015.

 

Anyway.......clinking tea cups and cheers!!!  Best to you, always!

 

L, P, H, and G,

mmt

Edited by manymoretodays

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IWantToHeal

What a beautifully worded narrative. I am so glad that you've healed, and you're very talented as a writer. :)

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JackieDecides

a hard winter? it's been mild here in my part of The Gorge. only significant snow twice, although I know it's not over yet! 

 

I went back and re-read your pickle sandwich post. you really are an exceptional writer. 

 

On 2/5/2020 at 11:15 PM, FarmGirlWorks said:

Triggers: fluorescent lights, caffeine, processed food, crowds, unsupportive family/friends, and above all else, high situational stress. 

 

 

caffeine is something I crave and when I give in to it, sometimes I'm sorry and sometimes I'm not. so it's hard not to give in! 

and my job is stressful and almost certainly going to get worst starting tomorrow as a co-worker left on Friday and I will now have more work to do but they won't give me more time in which to get it done. (well, they won't pay me for more - I could always do it off the clock I guess) .

 

and I am going to look  at a roommate-wanted situation today that has the potential to be a lot better than where I live (nicer, cheaper) BUT a 30 minutes commute and sharing with strangers. so I am very anxious I don't make a bad decision. 

 

I don't trust myself to make decisions I've made so many in the last few years that I regret. 

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FarmGirlWorks

@JackieDecides

12 hours ago, JackieDecides said:

 

I don't trust myself to make decisions I've made so many in the last few years that I regret. 

OMG: so relate to this. I definitely am more tentative about making any "big" moves because the ones I've made have been so hard on my CNS. I mean, there is usually little we can do about what life throws at us (sorry about the workload, that's just rough). There are some things we do have power over but very little in my experience. So I am hesitant. That is okay, the body needs to rest and not be immediately jacked up again.

 

@manymoretodays and @IWantToHeal: thanks so much for the kind words. Healing vibes to all of us.

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delsol
On 2/6/2020 at 2:15 AM, FarmGirlWorks said:

I obsessively read most of the “symptoms” threads to find out what was happening and get information. I needed proof that I wasn’t a freak of nature and that others had experienced the exact same thing… and recovered. The information on this site is invaluable, I learned so much. We are lucky to have such a comprehensive resource. I also watched YouTube videos, Baylissa Frederick videos, and read Beyond Meds and Inner Compass Initiative.

 

The peer support on SA is exceptional -- I am reading over my thread and moved to tears (I can cry now!) by the compassion of members. I briefly hosted a Meetup for other withdrawal folks and could only do it a few times because I was still ill

 

First, thank you for taking time out to share your successes. I am at that point in my journey where I read success stories daily, clinging to a sense of future that does not include so many symptoms and so much despair.  My spouse and I were going to start a Meetup -- I will see how I cope with it.  She has spearheaded it, out of anger and rage at what she's seen me go through. I think rage can be good, when directed into something. I admire your writing talent -- the sandwich story is terrific. I used to write a lot and think that if I can start creatively writing again, that will be my own "sandwich."  

 

I hope to someday come on here with my own success story. I know that so many of us share on here share the same dream. I am impressed that you had some significant personal challenges but still hung on and took the time to share your story. It really means a lot to me and probably to others. 

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FarmGirlWorks

I love the perfect image of your avatar and think you are a good writer, no surprise you did it before. When(!) you feel up to it, I think that will be healing. Also a way to channel that rage -- good on your spouse. You will write your own Success Story when you feel ready. What I notice is that at a certain point I stopped needing to be here all the time and only because I have it marked in my calendar to post updates, came back. As someone for whom the Success Stories were such a lifeline, I deeply believe it is important to keep them fresh and "pay it forward." I hope you believe that too and look forward to reading your SS.

Edited by FarmGirlWorks

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Frogie

FarmGirlWorks:

 

What an awesome, awesome, success story!

 

Your writing is so descriptive and makes feel like I’m right in the moment with you.

 

 I will re-read this numerous times I’m sure and see something new each time. I have bookmarked it.

 

 I’m so glad you have healed and can enjoy life again.😊

 

Take care,

 Frogie xx

 

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marie123

Congrats on your wonderful success story. Yes, withdrawal is horrible but it does end. I agree with you acceptance is key. It's easier than fighting it and making yourself more miserable. I have also experienced a "turning point" during w/d from ambien and trazodone. I thought hey I've got this. You learn things in withdrawal and I'll use them for the mirtazapine taper. Have a happy and healthy life!

 

Marie

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Rosetta

Congratulations, FGW.  I’m very glad to see you made it out.  Enjoy!

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FarmGirlWorks

@Frogie @marie123 @Rosetta: thank you for the well wishes. And yes, it seems like there is a "turning point" for a lot of people and that is when you realize that it is truly just a matter of time but WILL happen. Life is still life but the hell of WD isn't there anymore, thank god.

Edited by FarmGirlWorks
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Ryguy
On 2/14/2020 at 10:40 PM, FarmGirlWorks said:

@Frogie @marie123 @Rosetta: thank you for the well wishes. And yes, it seems like there is a "turning point" for a lot of people and that is when you realize that it is truly just a matter of time but WILL happen. Life is still life but the hell of WD isn't there anymore, thank god.

Did you experience skin problems dueing wd,.. acne or other stuff? Its the one thing i cant seem to get over, knowing this will one day be over isnt wnough when im worrying about all the damage its done to my skin

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Mariposa

Many many thanks for posting all this info and so clearly...as you know the success stories are a lifeline. Celebrating your success with you is healing for me too. 
 

Can you say more about the body pain, how it changed for you and what you still experience? How do you understand it in terms of why the drugs have caused it? 

I know many of the drugs are effectively pain relievers so it makes sense I guess unexpressed pain would be arising as I get to learn and listen to my body again.  
 

After three years off all drugs it’s one of the only remaining physical symptoms that I have that is severe. I experience deep spinal pain between my shoulders (but I think that’s unprocessed emotion) and also generalized muscular pain. Feels like someone’s tried to tenderize my back with a meat mallet (apologies for the visual). 

Any of that sound familiar to you or anyone else? 
 

I use epsom baths, lots of rest, magnesium, very light stretching and foam body rollers for relief. And TRE exercises. And I stay as active as possible, mostly walking.  
 

But in general the pain makes me feel like my body is 1000 years old, not my 39. 

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FarmGirlWorks
9 hours ago, Ryguy said:

Did you experience skin problems dueing wd,.. acne or other stuff?

Hi @Ryguy: sorry that’s happening to your skin. The only thing with my skin was it looked more “tired” but a few years and trauma will do that. Skin is our largest organ so make sure you’re drinking plenty of water to keep it healthy. Adding powdered magnesium and vitC to the water might have helped too.

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FarmGirlWorks
9 hours ago, Mariposa said:

Can you say more about the body pain, how it changed for you and what you still experience? How do you understand it in terms of why the drugs have caused it?

Hi @Mariposa (love the handle), the pain was a dull overall body pain. It progressively got lighter and, only a week ago, I was finally able to start HRT and that alleviated most all of it. I still have a sore neck and left shoulder but turns out I have arthritis (getting old is awesome) so there will be pain forever. However! I tried HRT (hormone replacement therapy)over a year ago when I was still in the throes of withdrawal; I am in perimenopause and thought this might help even my moods. No way! I got sky-high crazy anxiety/akathisia after one dose and stopped immediately. I only tried again after I felt more stable and it has eased my mind and overall body pain further.

 

My theory of why HRT was, in my case, unsuccessful while in WD: hormones work on a lot of the same receptors as serotonin (and cannabis). Because of the psychodrugs (I see your latest was lamotrigine) brain receptors shrink away because the brain is trying to reach homeostasis; all the extra substances in the brain (reuptake inhibitors) make the receptors give up because they are not needed. When we are in withdrawal and there is no substance, those receptors need to grow back (and that is slow!) to be able to catch the normal amounts of chemicals like serotonin or hormones. We are in a deficit until those receptors grow back and can catch chemicals. That HRT is working *now* means that many of my receptors are back on line.

 

Of course, this is just my theory and I have absolutely no medical background so take it with a big grain of salt.

 

 

9 hours ago, Mariposa said:

After three years off all drugs it’s one of the only remaining physical symptoms that I have that is severe. I experience deep spinal pain between my shoulders (but I think that’s unprocessed emotion) and also generalized muscular pain. Feels like someone’s tried to tenderize my back with a meat mallet (apologies for the visual). 

Any of that sound familiar to you or anyone else? 

Yes, and I am sorry that you are going thru that. I get it. Rolling your shoulders both ways helps but unprocessed emotion is real too. Check out "The Body Keeps The Score" by Bessel van der Kolk. There are YouTube talks by him and Brain Pickings has a good short article about the book. https://www.brainpickings.org/2016/06/20/the-body-keeps-the-score-van-der-kolk/

Edited by FarmGirlWorks

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Mariposa

@FarmGirlWorks Wow thanks, yeah that's all really helpful.  I'm so glad the HRT is working for you now and that it's a sign your body is repairing/has repaired, even if getting older has brought some unwelcome changes :/.

 

One thing I'm not quite sure I understand - what is the connection with hormones and pain that you took the HRT for the pain?  I'm sure my back pain is either my body trying to get back to homeostasis like you say, or just emotional/trauma healing, because for days it'll be so intense any movement brings tears to my eyes and then days later...it's simply vanished. Trauma Release Exercises have been extraordinarily helpful to release the stuckness in the muscles.  I feel quite sorry that I silenced my body so decidedly with the drugs.

 

I appreciate the link...I've wanted to read Body Keeps the Score forever but just haven't had the concentration.  I'm inspired to find an audio version, since it looks like it has the info I need.  Thanks again and best with the HRT.

 

PS Love the brainpickings synopsis and love that you read brainpickings too.  Soooo random, but truly she has such good stuff there.

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FarmGirlWorks

I did a Psoas trauma release exercise once and it was unexpectedly effective... need to do that again. God, recovering takes serious time. As for your question, I took HRT as a way to try to reduce cog fog; I have a friend recently on it who went thru withdrawal (and coincidentally had a TBI too) -- she said it was amazing for clearing up the fuzzies. The pain relief was an unexpected benefit. My theory is that the hormones (in this case estradiol) is being "caught" by the the same receptors as serotonin. I do not know, just a hunch. "Estrogen acts everywhere in the body, including the parts of the brain that control emotion. Some of estrogen's effects include: Increasing serotonin, and the number of serotonin receptors in the brain. Modifying the production and the effects of endorphins, the "feel-good" chemicals in the brain." - WebMD Again, if receptors have been decimated by psyche drugs and growing back, then this wouldn't help. Plus there are LOTS of risks to pre-menopausal women. For me, I was already getting better.

 

I am so sorry that you are having back pain. I think that this time is valuable in doing things like trauma release, therapy, learning new coping skills so going forward we are not reliant on big pharma that definitely does not have our best interests at heart.

Edited by FarmGirlWorks

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