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Best wishes to you, elbee.  I'm glad you're here.  Arbor

Zoloft: 1995 - 2015

Prozac: 2015 - 2018 (tapered from 40mg x day on July 31 to 30mg on August 31 to 20mg on September 31 to 10mg October 31 to 0mg on  December 15, 2018

Gabapentin: 2016 to 2019  (tapered from 300mg x day to 150mg on August 31, 2019 to 75mg on September 15 to 50mg on September 31 to 25ishmg on October 15 to 0mg on December 1, 2019

Enalapril: 2010 - 2019

Lipitor: 2017 -2017

Metformin: 2000 - 2020

Liothyronine: 2007 - 2019

Levothyroxine: 2000 - 

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@crashcourse  Congrats on completing your WD, and entering the new "post-zero" era of your life 👍 And thanks for taking the time to share about yourself, and about your experience with your inner critic.

 

I relate to a lot of what you wrote on many fronts. I too am just now in my 50's, and I too was a very driven, ambitious entrepreneur and had my own successful business for many years. I was "living large" as they say. And it's clear today that what drove me throughout most of my life, in fact, was my inner critic. So while the idea of releasing the harshness that plagued me for as long as I could remember was really appealing, that idea also scared the hell out of me. My entire resume and everything I knew seemed to be built upon living a critic-driven life. If I released the critic, what then would move me? For me to move away from the the critic and towards something else wasn't a leap I could make in my life . . . until I bottomed-out and had no choice. Life brought me to a place of surrender, and in a sense, life "helped" me make some new choices. 

"When the conscious mind cannot find a reason to say no, the unconscious says no in its own way." - Charlies Eistenstein,  The More Beautiful World Our Hearts Know Is Possible

 

So, how does someone work with the critic? There are many approaches people use, and probably, different things will work for different people. Some use a purely cognitive-behavioral approach . . . recognize "bad" thoughts and replace them with "good" thoughts. Some utilize religious frameworks . . . the "critic" = the "devil" so don't listen to the devil and put your faith in "God." Some use compassion practices . . . soften the heart to soften the critic. 

 

I found the ACA program (which I referred to in my story). ACA says that the critic is born from a lack of unconditional love in childhood, and is then carried into adulthood -- directed inwardly at oneself and/or outwardly towards others. For me, that resonates. The solution in ACA is to "become your own loving parent" - to connect to one's inner child (one's inner "tenderness") and to meet that tenderness with an "inner loving parent" instead of the inner critical parent. This is called "reparenting." And while it sounds rather simple, it's not at all easy. And it sounded very strange to me at first, and I was intensely resistant. BUT, again, I was desperate so I gave it a go and I'm glad I did.

 

To be clear, I didn't not grow up in a home completely devoid of love, but the love I did receive was often inconsistent and it was highly conditional, not unconditional. And yes, some bad things happened in my childhood, too, to be sure. I personally believe very few human children escape childhood without some dents and scratches . . .  no child gets all the love and attention they really need in today's modern world. And as levels of dysfunction in the early home environment increase, the more difficulties that person will have in their adult years. Research clearly shows this. And my sense is that the more dysfunction a child experiences, generally speaking, the louder, stronger and harsher that inner critic will be in their adult years. What does it look like in adulthood when people grow up in dysfunctional homes and have a runaway inner critic? ACA says it looks like this

 

The Laundry List – 14 Traits of an Adult Child of an Alcoholic & Dysfunctional Family:

1.      We became isolated and afraid of people and authority figures.

2.      We became approval seekers and lost our identity in the process.

3.      We are frightened by angry people and any personal criticism.

4.      We either become alcoholics, marry them or both, or find another compulsive personality such as a workaholic to fulfill our sick abandonment needs.

5.      We live life from the viewpoint of victims and we are attracted by that weakness in our love and friendship relationships.

6.      We have an overdeveloped sense of responsibility and it is easier for us to be concerned with others rather than ourselves; this enables us not to look too closely at our own faults, etc.

7.      We get guilt feelings when we stand up for ourselves instead of giving in to others.

8.      We became addicted to excitement.

9.      We confuse love and pity and tend to “love” people we can “pity” and “rescue.”

10.   We have “stuffed” our feelings from our traumatic childhoods and have lost the ability to feel or express our feelings because it hurts so much (Denial).

11.   We judge ourselves harshly and have a very low sense of self-esteem.

12.   We are dependent personalities who are terrified of abandonment and will do anything to hold on to a relationship in order not to experience painful abandonment feelings, which we received from living with sick people who were never there emotionally for us.

13.   Alcoholism is a family disease; and we became para-alcoholics and took on the characteristics of that disease even though we did not pick up the drink.

14.   Para-alcoholics are reactors rather than actors.

 

The Other Laundry List – How adult children “act-out” and can become like their parents:

1.      To cover our fear of people and our dread of isolation we tragically become the very authority figures who frighten others and cause them to withdraw.

2.      To avoid becoming enmeshed and entangled with other people and losing ourselves in the process, we become rigidly self-sufficient. We disdain the approval of others.

3.      We frighten people with our anger and threat of belittling criticism.

4.      We dominate others and abandon them before they can abandon us or we avoid relationships with dependent people altogether. To avoid being hurt, we isolate and dissociate and thereby abandon ourselves.

5.      We live life from the standpoint of a victimizer, and are attracted to people we can manipulate and control in our important relationships.

6.      We are irresponsible and self-centered. Our inflated sense of self-worth and self-importance prevents us from seeing our deficiencies and shortcomings.

7.      We make others feel guilty when they attempt to assert themselves.

8.      We inhibit our fear by staying deadened and numb.

9.      We hate people who “play” the victim and beg to be rescued.

10.   We deny that we’ve been hurt and are suppressing our emotions by the dramatic expression of “pseudo” feelings.

11.   To protect ourselves from self punishment for failing to “save” the family we project our self-hate onto others and punish them instead.

12.   We “manage” the massive amount of deprivation we feel, coming from abandonment within the home, by quickly letting go of relationships that threaten our “independence” (not too close).

13.   We refuse to admit we’ve been affected by family dysfunction or that there was dysfunction in the home or that we have internalized any of the family’s destructive attitudes and behaviors.

14.   We act as if we are nothing like the dependent people who raised us.

 

My guess is you will relate to at least parts of these lists (you mentioned the drug/med use, turning into a recluse / isolation, shirking all responsibility, etc). Ultimately, only you can decide if you feel any of this relates to you, and whether or not it might be tied to your childhood. Personally, I've come to see myself all over these lists. And once I took a closer look at the dysfunction I experienced in my childhood, it became clear to me that all of these Traits arose in my life as defenses, protection, or even survival mechanisms going back to my childhood and teen years. To get by in those early times, I needed to push away and reject the tenderness and vulnerability in me (my inner child), and my inner critic reinforced this process. The critic served a very important purpose . . . to protect me as a kid - to keep me safe. Now as an adult, I can learn to do things differently and protect myself in healthier, more effective ways. I am learning to release that inner critic, and meet vulnerability (my own and others') with a new voice of love and compassion. 

 

It's not been fast, nor has it been easy. But it very much seems to be working and I'm grateful.

Here is a link to some "new in development" beginner's materials a team of us at ACA have been working on if you're interested: ACAhope.com

My suggestions are not medical advice. They are my opinions based on my own experience, strength and hope.

You are in charge of your own medical / healing / recovery choices.

My success story |  My introduction thread

 

ZOLOFT FREE - COMPLETELY DRUG FREE 4/28/2019! - total time on 28+ years

BENZO FREE! 4/7/2018 - total time on 27+ years

REMERON FREE! 12/11/2016 - total time on 15 months

Caffeine & Nicotine Free 2014 / 2015 - smoked for 28 years

Alcohol Free 4/1/2014 - drank for 30 years

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  • Moderator Emeritus

@Hanna72 and @arbor thanks for your warm thoughts and messages. The wave has lifted a bit today and I'm feeling lighter ❤️

My suggestions are not medical advice. They are my opinions based on my own experience, strength and hope.

You are in charge of your own medical / healing / recovery choices.

My success story |  My introduction thread

 

ZOLOFT FREE - COMPLETELY DRUG FREE 4/28/2019! - total time on 28+ years

BENZO FREE! 4/7/2018 - total time on 27+ years

REMERON FREE! 12/11/2016 - total time on 15 months

Caffeine & Nicotine Free 2014 / 2015 - smoked for 28 years

Alcohol Free 4/1/2014 - drank for 30 years

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  • Moderator

Elbee, thank you, deeply.

I just read your last post, and even if alcohol does not exist in my family story, the first Laundry list hit me.

You just offered me new perspectives, becoming my own loving parent.

 

So thank you for being you and for sharing your thoughts  ❤

 

Also really glad to read the wave is has lifted a bit ☀️

Edited by Erell

2006 : 20mg Paxil+Bromazepam. 2008 : cold turkey of both. 2010 : Reinstatement 20mg Paxil + Bromazepam.

2014-June2017 : Switch from Bromazepam to Prazepam, slow taper to 0mg.

2018 to August 2019 : Paxil 20mg taper (3% every 15 days). 22 Aug 2019 updose to 10mg (was at 8.4mg).

25th Sept 2019 To April 2020 : found SA, holding at 10mg Paxil. 

April 2020 : Paxil 10mg to Prozac 7mg bridge. Details topic/21457

 

Current Supplements : magnesium citrate/ fish oil

Current medication :

* Diazepam  : 0.85mg (15 Aug 2022) / 0.95 mg (24 April 2022) / 1mg Diazepam (since 29 Aug 2020)

* Prozac : 6.24mg (18 July 22) / 6.44mg (22 May 22) / 6.64mg (4 Nov 21) / 6.72mg (8 oct 21) / 6.8 mg (15 Sept 21)6.88mg (14 Aug 21)/ 6.92mg (23 Jun 21)

 

I am not a professional, I don't give medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

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55 minutes ago, elbee said:

@crashcourse  Congrats on completing your WD, and entering the new "post-zero" era of your life 👍 And thanks for taking the time to share about yourself, and about your experience with your inner critic.

 

I relate to a lot of what you wrote on many fronts. I too am just now in my 50's, and I too was a very driven, ambitious entrepreneur and had my own successful business for many years. I was "living large" as they say. And it's clear today that what drove me throughout most of my life, in fact, was my inner critic. So while the idea of releasing the harshness that plagued me for as long as I could remember was really appealing, that idea also scared the hell out of me. My entire resume and everything I knew seemed to be built upon living a critic-driven life. If I released the critic, what then would move me? For me to move away from the the critic and towards something else wasn't a leap I could make in my life . . . until I bottomed-out and had no choice. Life brought me to a place of surrender, and in a sense, life "helped" me make some new choices. 

"When the conscious mind cannot find a reason to say no, the unconscious says no in its own way." - Charlies Eistenstein,  The More Beautiful World Our Hearts Know Is Possible

 

So, how does someone work with the critic? There are many approaches people use, and probably, different things will work for different people. Some use a purely cognitive-behavioral approach . . . recognize "bad" thoughts and replace them with "good" thoughts. Some utilize religious frameworks . . . the "critic" = the "devil" so don't listen to the devil and put your faith in "God." Some use compassion practices . . . soften the heart to soften the critic. 

 

I found the ACA program (which I referred to in my story). ACA says that the critic is born from a lack of unconditional love in childhood, and is then carried into adulthood -- directed inwardly at oneself and/or outwardly towards others. For me, that resonates. The solution in ACA is to "become your own loving parent" - to connect to one's inner child (one's inner "tenderness") and to meet that tenderness with an "inner loving parent" instead of the inner critical parent. This is called "reparenting." And while it sounds rather simple, it's not at all easy. And it sounded very strange to me at first, and I was intensely resistant. BUT, again, I was desperate so I gave it a go and I'm glad I did.

 

To be clear, I didn't not grow up in a home completely devoid of love, but the love I did receive was often inconsistent and it was highly conditional, not unconditional. And yes, some bad things happened in my childhood, too, to be sure. I personally believe very few human children escape childhood without some dents and scratches . . .  no child gets all the love and attention they really need in today's modern world. And as levels of dysfunction in the early home environment increase, the more difficulties that person will have in their adult years. Research clearly shows this. And my sense is that the more dysfunction a child experiences, generally speaking, the louder, stronger and harsher that inner critic will be in their adult years. What does it look like in adulthood when people grow up in dysfunctional homes and have a runaway inner critic? ACA says it looks like this

 

The Laundry List – 14 Traits of an Adult Child of an Alcoholic & Dysfunctional Family:

1.      We became isolated and afraid of people and authority figures.

2.      We became approval seekers and lost our identity in the process.

3.      We are frightened by angry people and any personal criticism.

4.      We either become alcoholics, marry them or both, or find another compulsive personality such as a workaholic to fulfill our sick abandonment needs.

5.      We live life from the viewpoint of victims and we are attracted by that weakness in our love and friendship relationships.

6.      We have an overdeveloped sense of responsibility and it is easier for us to be concerned with others rather than ourselves; this enables us not to look too closely at our own faults, etc.

7.      We get guilt feelings when we stand up for ourselves instead of giving in to others.

8.      We became addicted to excitement.

9.      We confuse love and pity and tend to “love” people we can “pity” and “rescue.”

10.   We have “stuffed” our feelings from our traumatic childhoods and have lost the ability to feel or express our feelings because it hurts so much (Denial).

11.   We judge ourselves harshly and have a very low sense of self-esteem.

12.   We are dependent personalities who are terrified of abandonment and will do anything to hold on to a relationship in order not to experience painful abandonment feelings, which we received from living with sick people who were never there emotionally for us.

13.   Alcoholism is a family disease; and we became para-alcoholics and took on the characteristics of that disease even though we did not pick up the drink.

14.   Para-alcoholics are reactors rather than actors.

 

The Other Laundry List – How adult children “act-out” and can become like their parents:

1.      To cover our fear of people and our dread of isolation we tragically become the very authority figures who frighten others and cause them to withdraw.

2.      To avoid becoming enmeshed and entangled with other people and losing ourselves in the process, we become rigidly self-sufficient. We disdain the approval of others.

3.      We frighten people with our anger and threat of belittling criticism.

4.      We dominate others and abandon them before they can abandon us or we avoid relationships with dependent people altogether. To avoid being hurt, we isolate and dissociate and thereby abandon ourselves.

5.      We live life from the standpoint of a victimizer, and are attracted to people we can manipulate and control in our important relationships.

6.      We are irresponsible and self-centered. Our inflated sense of self-worth and self-importance prevents us from seeing our deficiencies and shortcomings.

7.      We make others feel guilty when they attempt to assert themselves.

8.      We inhibit our fear by staying deadened and numb.

9.      We hate people who “play” the victim and beg to be rescued.

10.   We deny that we’ve been hurt and are suppressing our emotions by the dramatic expression of “pseudo” feelings.

11.   To protect ourselves from self punishment for failing to “save” the family we project our self-hate onto others and punish them instead.

12.   We “manage” the massive amount of deprivation we feel, coming from abandonment within the home, by quickly letting go of relationships that threaten our “independence” (not too close).

13.   We refuse to admit we’ve been affected by family dysfunction or that there was dysfunction in the home or that we have internalized any of the family’s destructive attitudes and behaviors.

14.   We act as if we are nothing like the dependent people who raised us.

 

My guess is you will relate to at least parts of these lists (you mentioned the drug/med use, turning into a recluse / isolation, shirking all responsibility, etc). Ultimately, only you can decide if you feel any of this relates to you, and whether or not it might be tied to your childhood. Personally, I've come to see myself all over these lists. And once I took a closer look at the dysfunction I experienced in my childhood, it became clear to me that all of these Traits arose in my life as defenses, protection, or even survival mechanisms going back to my childhood and teen years. To get by in those early times, I needed to push away and reject the tenderness and vulnerability in me (my inner child), and my inner critic reinforced this process. The critic served a very important purpose . . . to protect me as a kid - to keep me safe. Now as an adult, I can learn to do things differently and protect myself in healthier, more effective ways. I am learning to release that inner critic, and meet vulnerability (my own and others') with a new voice of love and compassion. 

 

It's not been fast, nor has it been easy. But it very much seems to be working and I'm grateful.

Here is a link to some "new in development" beginner's materials a team of us at ACA have been working on if you're interested: ACAhope.com

Thank you Elbee...This is like written for me. I just couldn't put my words and questions for you on paper as my inner critic is raging together with strong WD wave. It's hard to tell what is what. 

And I've wanted to spare you from it since you mentioned your own wave. I'm glad to hear that you're dealing with it well and getting better.

Take care

 

2000 - 2010 variety of SSRI and Valium ( Prozac mostly 20 mg, poop out)// 2010 -2015 new variety and cocktails, Seroquel ( CT), Zoloft (CT), Lexapo 2015 - Lexapo CT, WD - hell on earth for 6 months, almost hospitalized but instead, trying out new drugs( Brintilex, Valdoxan, Abilify ),"stable" on Effexor XR 150 mg, Seroquel 75, Lamictal 100 mg, Valium 4 x 0,5 mg   2016 - CT Lamictal, CT Seroquel, reducing Effexor XR, Valium and Clonopin occasionally 2017  - Effexor 56 mg ( 37.5 + 75 mg every second day), starting Remeron 30 mg in February 2017 Nov 10 - Effexor 37,5 mg ( dropping the 75mg every second day), Remeron 25 mg 2017 Dec, 25 - Effexor 37,5 mg, 20 mg Remeron // 2018 Mid Feb - Effexor 37,5 mg, 15 mg Remeron // 2018 March, April -  Hold 2018 May 15 - Effexor 37,5 mg, Remeron 13 mg // 2018 June 15 -  Effexor 37,5 mg Remeron 11mg // 2018 July 15 - Effexor 37,5 mg, Remeron 9 mg //  2018 Aug 15 - Effexor 37,5 mg, Remeron 7,5 mg // 2018 Sept, Oct, Nov, Dec Hold

2019 Jan 10 - Effexor 37,5 mg, Remeron 6,75 mg // 2019 Feb 20 - Effexor 37,5 mg, Remeron 5,5 mg // 2019 March 25 - Effexor 37,5 mg, Remeron 4,9 mg // 2019 April 22 - Effexor 37,5 mg, Remeron 4,5 mg // 2019 May 6  - Effexor 37,5mg, Remeron 4,2 mg // 2019 June, July, August, Sept, Oct, Nov, Dec - Hold 2020 Jan 15 - Effexor 37,5 mg, Remeron 4,1 mg // Feb 15- Effexor  37,5 mg, Remeron 4 mg // Mar 15 -  Effexor 37,5 mg, Remeron 3.9 mg // April & May Hold  June 1 - Effexor 37,5 mg, Remeron 3,8 mg // June 15 - Effexor 37,5 mg, Remeron 3.7 mg // July 1-  Effexor 37,5 mg, Remeron 3.6 mg // July 15 - Effexor 37,5 mg, Remeron 3.5 mg // August 1 - Effexor 37,5 mg // Remeron 3.4.// August 15 - Effexor 37,5 m, Remeron 3.3 mg // Sept Hold// October 1 Effexor 37,5 mg, Remeron 3,2 mg  // October 15 Effexor 37,5 mg, Remeron 3,1 mg // November 1 Effexor 37,5 mg, Remeron 3 mg // November 10 Effexor 37,5 mg, Remeron 2,9 mg // November 20 Effexor 37,5 mg,  Remeron 2,8 mg// December 1 Effexor 37,5 mg, Remeron 2,7 mg // 

2021 January 1 Effexor 37,5 mg, Remeron 2,6 mg // January 15 Effexor 37,5 mg, Remeron 2,5 mg // February 1 Effexor 37,5 mg, Remeron 2,4 mg // February 15 37,5 mg, Remeron 2.3 mg // March 1 Effexor 37,5 mg , Remeron 2.2 mg // March 15 Effexor 37,5 mg, Remeron 2.1 mg // April 1 Effexor 37,5 mg, Remeron 2 mg // April 15 Effexor 37,5 mg, Remeron 1,9 mg   

Supplements :  400 mg magnesium and 1000 mg Vit C  in the evening, stopped the 3000 mg of fish oil in November

 

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My first day on this site and your story is a bullseye for me. In my 6th attempt over 20 years to get off of antidepressants. I too just started ACA so I’m very inspired by your story.  I’m in the dark days and would love to hear more about your coaching. I keep feeling like I’m in ACA but I’m dealing with this whole other thing too and don’t know how to integrate them. My ACA sponsor listens but has never been through this withdrawal. 

Paxil  2000 - 2002  Tried unsuccessfully to discontinue

2002 - 2010 A series of trial and error, Wellbutrin, Effexor and unsuccessful attempts to discontinue.  

2010 - 2017 Lexapro With several unsuccessful attempts to withdraw 

2012 - 2017 Lamictal Successfully withdrew Lamictal no problem

2017 - 2020 Switched to 40mg. Prozac to prepare try another Withdrawal. 

2020 - On 15mg Remeron for a few months during withdrawal

Completely off of Antidepressants since Sept. 2020

Klonipin as needed throughout the process. .25 mostly, some .5, some .125,  2 to 12 times per mo.

 

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@Erell I'm glad my wave has lifted a bit too, thanks for your kind words ☺️

 

21 hours ago, Erell said:

Elbee, thank you, deeply.

I just read your last post, and even if alcohol does not exist in my family story, the first Laundry list hit me.

You just offered me new perspectives, becoming my own loving parent.

 

"Dysfunctional homes often, but not always, include alcoholism or other forms of drug abuse. Family dysfunction can occur in homes that are rigidly religious, militaristic or punitive - or homes dominated by control, harsh judgement & perfectionism. Any type of abuse or neglect creates dysfunctional home environments, as can parental mental illness or other forms of parental disability. Persistent debt or gambling can also be signs of family dysfunction, as can issues with food such as obesity or dieting obsession." - A New Hope ACA Beginners Meeting Handbook, page 15

 

The quote above and this list below are from a project I've been working on to develop an ACA beginners handbook. The latest draft is available for free at: http://www.ACAhope.com 

 

"This checklist is derived from “Family Diagram Labels” in the ACA fellowship text, "The Big Red Book" (pages 127 & 128). Below, think about your experiences or what you have heard about all your various relatives in connection with addiction, religion, relationships, food, sex, work, etc.  Place a check next to each behavior / label that applies to one or more of your family members. While this list is not exhaustive, it can collectively help to illuminate indications of family dysfunction." - A New Hope ACA Beginners Meeting Handbook, page 17

 

“Family Labels”

✔️

alcoholic - heavy alcohol use / abuse

 

drug addict – heavy illicit substances use / abuse

 

pill popper – heavy prescriptions drug use / abuse

 

emotionally ill / mental health issues

 

chronically ill / hypochondriac

 

criminal behavior, incarceration

 

gambler – looking for “big money wins”

 

heavy debt – always borrowing money and/or gratuitous spending (likes showy “nice things”)

 

vanity –  always had a face in the mirror, intensely focused on outward appearance

 

scarcity mentality – never enough, don’t throw out anything; possibly a hoarder

 

eating issues – obesity; Bulimia and/or Anorexia; cyclical dieting

 

food pusher – great cook, food as expression of “caring” and/or “reward”

 

sexually aggressive (overtly not safe) –grabbing, touching, pinching, wresting, etc.

 

sexually suggestive (covertly not safe) – inappropriate language, exhibitionism, sexually “creepy”

 

violent – slapped, pushed, hit; glorified fighting

 

indirectly aggressive / controlling – manipulation, false kindness, passive-aggression

 

verbally abusive – harsh, critical, judgmental, threatening, demeaning

 

argumentative – will not be quiet, keeps arguments going, all-or-nothing thinking

 

workaholic – worked a lot; views work as the measure of one’s worth

 

undependable – does not follow through; promises not kept, lies

 

rigidly religious – judgmental, harsh, critical, controlling, all-or-nothing thinking

 

militaristic – punitive, harsh, rigid, perfectionistic, critical, controlling

 

racist – prejudice and antagonism against those of other races; belief one’s own race is superior

 

sexist – prejudice and antagonism towards women; belief men are superior to women

 

homophobic – prejudice and antagonism towards gay men, lesbians and bisexual (LGBTQ) people

 

worrier / neurotic  – what can go wrong will go wrong, “the sky is falling”

 

rescuer / co-dependent– caught up in other people’s drama and chaos; focused on “helping” others

 

enabler – shields others from the natural consequences of their behavior; “caretaker”

 

martyr – suffers “for the benefit of others” and then wants recognition for their “sacrifices”

 

hero family role – “think positive,” go big or go home, focused on outward appearances

 

mascot family role – constant joking; humor that can be harmful; can’t deal with serious matters

 

lost child family role – loner, isolated, avoids conflict and confrontation

 

scapegoat family role – “black sheep”; seen to cause family shame and embarrassment; rule-breaker

 

 

Edited by elbee

My suggestions are not medical advice. They are my opinions based on my own experience, strength and hope.

You are in charge of your own medical / healing / recovery choices.

My success story |  My introduction thread

 

ZOLOFT FREE - COMPLETELY DRUG FREE 4/28/2019! - total time on 28+ years

BENZO FREE! 4/7/2018 - total time on 27+ years

REMERON FREE! 12/11/2016 - total time on 15 months

Caffeine & Nicotine Free 2014 / 2015 - smoked for 28 years

Alcohol Free 4/1/2014 - drank for 30 years

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20 hours ago, Musa said:

Thank you Elbee...This is like written for me. I just couldn't put my words and questions for you on paper as my inner critic is raging together with strong WD wave. It's hard to tell what is what. 

And I've wanted to spare you from it since you mentioned your own wave. I'm glad to hear that you're dealing with it well and getting better.

Take care

 

@Musa I'm glad what I wrote was useful to you. 👍 I'm sorry you are dealing with a heavy wave -- they can be so incredibly painful, frustrating and confusing. Working with my inner critic when a wave hits can feel really overwhelming -- like a "pile-on." And when a wave hits is when I most need to find gentleness, compassion, and patience for myself . . . for my inner child. It's not easy. 

I appreciate your consideration towards me, but also know that part of my recovery work has been learning to set healthy boundaries. If I'm unable to be available to others because I need to tend to myself first, I'm much more OK doing that -- and then circling back around when I'm more in a space to be supportive of others ❤️

My suggestions are not medical advice. They are my opinions based on my own experience, strength and hope.

You are in charge of your own medical / healing / recovery choices.

My success story |  My introduction thread

 

ZOLOFT FREE - COMPLETELY DRUG FREE 4/28/2019! - total time on 28+ years

BENZO FREE! 4/7/2018 - total time on 27+ years

REMERON FREE! 12/11/2016 - total time on 15 months

Caffeine & Nicotine Free 2014 / 2015 - smoked for 28 years

Alcohol Free 4/1/2014 - drank for 30 years

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  • Moderator Emeritus
On 9/18/2020 at 9:48 AM, rachie said:

My first day on this site and your story is a bullseye for me. In my 6th attempt over 20 years to get off of antidepressants. I too just started ACA so I’m very inspired by your story.  I’m in the dark days and would love to hear more about your coaching. I keep feeling like I’m in ACA but I’m dealing with this whole other thing too and don’t know how to integrate them. My ACA sponsor listens but has never been through this withdrawal.

 

@rachie Thanks for taking the time to read my story, and I'm glad it was something that resonated with you on your first day at this website. There is SO much great information here and I encourage you to explore more to find what you need.

As you probably read in what I wrote, I had a first attempt at getting off the drugs (WAY too fast, and before finding this website) that did not go well at all. Even though I pushed my taper faster than this website recommends, I eventually embraced the fact that I couldn't go faster than by body/emotions/spirit would let me go. And there times I needed to hold for longer periods, and each time I did that, it allowed me to continue forward. I just had a clear sense that the direction I needed to move with these drugs was to get off, and that's the only direction I went . . . down, never up. I just had to accept that to not go up, I had to give myself enough time to heal and re-acclimate with each drop. And I had to find trust in this process.

Most people in ACA haven't understood my process of getting off the psych drugs (thought I talk about it openly). They could support me generally, but not specifically on that issue. And there are many who are tapering who never get into the "ACA issues" and they don't relate to that aspect of my recovery. In a sense, dealing with both at the same has, at times, felt like a lonely place. Eventually, I better learned to not "go to the hardware store for a loaf of bread," as they say. I just had to keep in mind that some people can support me in some areas of my life, and others can better support me in other areas . . . and I'm grateful for the support I get when and where I get it 🙂 Please feel free to reach out to me if you're feeling in that "in-between" place if you think that would be helpful. And best of luck to you on this journey moving forward! 🙏❤️

 

 

My suggestions are not medical advice. They are my opinions based on my own experience, strength and hope.

You are in charge of your own medical / healing / recovery choices.

My success story |  My introduction thread

 

ZOLOFT FREE - COMPLETELY DRUG FREE 4/28/2019! - total time on 28+ years

BENZO FREE! 4/7/2018 - total time on 27+ years

REMERON FREE! 12/11/2016 - total time on 15 months

Caffeine & Nicotine Free 2014 / 2015 - smoked for 28 years

Alcohol Free 4/1/2014 - drank for 30 years

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 Lonely is the perfect description. I’m always trying to figure out if it’s in my head or in my body because of all of the childhood trauma. I just reread your whole post again and so can relate. It’s both. I’m trying to find an inner comforting voice that will encourage me through this process. I have been completely off of the AD for about 2 weeks. The last taper wasn’t that hard until after the final dose (but the last taper was Remeron added when I freaked out during the previous taper and said I can’t function. Anyhow, this time I am off and I know that the only thing to do is to tough it out because it is withdrawal (I need to stop questioning that). And trust that I need to give my brain time to heal. The hardest is the level of anxiety I feel. Not wanting to go anywhere. Not feeling like I can do my work. Just feeling the constant threat of panic. And feeling broken and confused about the source (my head or withdrawal). It is comforting for me to hear your story and that it has eased. The anxiety started for me long before the meds and a crisis is what got me on the meds for the first time at almost 40. But in this withdrawal the childhood fears, panic, and true trauma have surfaced. I have cried buckets and buckets of tears. There must be some value in that. My husband said before that I never cried. I don’t think I cried at all when on the meds except when I was trying to get off. I am going to hold on to your story as a guiding light that I will get through this and get back out in to the world. Crazy thing is I have been super successful in my work throughout this, and on the inside I feel like I am barely hanging on and just want to quit. Can’t handle the pressure. Can’t believe I am getting anything done and can’t relate to or care about my successes. But I say thank you to my higher power for sustaining me even though I feel like I can’t do it. One day at a time. Thank you sooooo much for your inspiration.

 

:) Rachie    

 

Edited by ChessieCat
resized font

Paxil  2000 - 2002  Tried unsuccessfully to discontinue

2002 - 2010 A series of trial and error, Wellbutrin, Effexor and unsuccessful attempts to discontinue.  

2010 - 2017 Lexapro With several unsuccessful attempts to withdraw 

2012 - 2017 Lamictal Successfully withdrew Lamictal no problem

2017 - 2020 Switched to 40mg. Prozac to prepare try another Withdrawal. 

2020 - On 15mg Remeron for a few months during withdrawal

Completely off of Antidepressants since Sept. 2020

Klonipin as needed throughout the process. .25 mostly, some .5, some .125,  2 to 12 times per mo.

 

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • Moderator Emeritus

@rachie Anxiety is brutal -- it can be immobilizing and exhausting. The inner critic in me drives it, whether I can "hear" that critic, or just silently feel its effects. Sometimes it still gets the best of me, and I have to accept some level of powerlessness with it . . . and find ways to take next best steps as gently as possible. Anxiety has been so fundamental in my life that working with it in new ways feels like learning a completely different way to live.

 

On 9/26/2020 at 10:11 PM, rachie said:

I have cried buckets and buckets of tears. There must be some value in that.

 

Authentic grieving can restore the power of tears. When I can meet my tears with an inner loving parent (unconditional love and compassion for myself), then I know that healing is happening. 🙏❤️

My suggestions are not medical advice. They are my opinions based on my own experience, strength and hope.

You are in charge of your own medical / healing / recovery choices.

My success story |  My introduction thread

 

ZOLOFT FREE - COMPLETELY DRUG FREE 4/28/2019! - total time on 28+ years

BENZO FREE! 4/7/2018 - total time on 27+ years

REMERON FREE! 12/11/2016 - total time on 15 months

Caffeine & Nicotine Free 2014 / 2015 - smoked for 28 years

Alcohol Free 4/1/2014 - drank for 30 years

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The one thing I am confused about is whether to go into (push) the anxiety by getting out there anyway or by not pushing too hard and laying low and letting some time pass. I have days where i push through the anxiety and I think Oh great, I am conquering this and then the next day I will have fever, wake up shaking and a whole bunch of awful which I feel is from pushing my stress response too hard while in this process. Same thing happens with too much exercise. I just don't know how to understand whether the anxiety is coming from the WD or from my head. I describe it as my panic button is physically pushed down all the time from this process. It is extreme and no amount of self talk or relaxation is going to make it go away although I do that everyday. Again with 12 step work I try turn it over to a higher power but I keep coming back to I don't know what to do (a total theme in my ACA work, my child self never knew what to do and had no one to go to). I keep having a fantasy of wanting to go to a cabin in the woods for a year to let time pass and not try to keep up with the demands of work. This is hard stuff, thankfully I have a really supportive husband. I have to drive people around in 2 days and in this state of anxiety I feel like I can't without the help of the Klonopin which I never took regularly, and worry about taking it. I took maybe 2 or 3 a month even though I feel the SSRI kept me in a state of high anxiety. I read about all these people who just shut everything down and I want to do that. Again, I don't know what is best.   

Paxil  2000 - 2002  Tried unsuccessfully to discontinue

2002 - 2010 A series of trial and error, Wellbutrin, Effexor and unsuccessful attempts to discontinue.  

2010 - 2017 Lexapro With several unsuccessful attempts to withdraw 

2012 - 2017 Lamictal Successfully withdrew Lamictal no problem

2017 - 2020 Switched to 40mg. Prozac to prepare try another Withdrawal. 

2020 - On 15mg Remeron for a few months during withdrawal

Completely off of Antidepressants since Sept. 2020

Klonipin as needed throughout the process. .25 mostly, some .5, some .125,  2 to 12 times per mo.

 

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15 hours ago, rachie said:

The one thing I am confused about is whether to go into (push) the anxiety by getting out there anyway or by not pushing too hard and laying low and letting some time pass. I have days where i push through the anxiety and I think Oh great, I am conquering this and then the next day I will have fever, wake up shaking and a whole bunch of awful which I feel is from pushing my stress response too hard while in this process.

 

Hi @rachie. Historically, anxiety has been something for me to "push through" or "conquer" as you described. My relationship with anxiety, however, is shifting. I've come to see my desire to "conquer" anxiety as being from the perspective of my inner critic, and that approach has not served me well. I subscribe to the belief, "That which you resist, persists," and from that vantage fighting against anxiety is going to be futile. So what do I do instead? Again, historically I would go to the all-or-nothing place, and envision myself no longer "pushing through" and then anxiety ruling my life and me becoming completely holed-in and incapacitated . . . i.e., anxiety "winning." But isn't this still from the perspective of conflict with anxiety --  "losing" against it?

 

Today, I try to approach anxiety from the place of my inner loving parent instead of my inner critic. I've come to understand that my anxiety, as frustrating and painful as it is, is trying to tell me something for my benefit. I've come to understand my anxiety as my inner kids trying to speak to me, but in ways that I don't yet understand. In a sense, I see my anxiety as muffled screams and tears. To be clear, this more loving and compassionate perspective of anxiety feels almost impossible to step into when the anxiety feels overwhelming, and in those cases, I just try to be gentle with myself (my inner kids) and do the best I can. That may just involve doing basic relaxation techniques and such -- there isn't much "reparenting" going on beyond that in those moments. I have to be able to settle my nervous system a bit when triggered before I can do any deeper inner work.

 

Instead of using the word "push" (as in "push through anxiety/fear/discomfort"), I use the world "stretch." For me that works better, but that may just be me 🙂 My strengthening loving parent sets the pace in stretching . . . enough to keep expanding and exploring the world, but not so much as to retraumatize and go to a place of overwhelm. I too had fantasies of living in a monastery or in the mountains away from everyone and everything that would trigger me. And for my very deep healing these past few years, I had to, in a sense, create something for myself along those lines. People can not heal from trauma while still in the trauma . . . we need to carve out a safe place to heal. Early in my recovery, I had to do the opposite of what I had done most of my life . . . and err on the side of not stretching so much. In a sense, I had to defy the call to push. Ultimately, though we need to find ways to gently stretch to expand our sense of safety and strength in the world. ACA talks about how a sanctuary can become a prison when we don't learn how to stretch in healthy ways . . . with gentleness, humor, love and respect.

 

I think as long as you keep awakening and strengthening your inner loving parent to connect with your inner kids in nurturing, protective and guiding ways, you will discover a pace in your healing that is right for you 🙏❤️

 

My suggestions are not medical advice. They are my opinions based on my own experience, strength and hope.

You are in charge of your own medical / healing / recovery choices.

My success story |  My introduction thread

 

ZOLOFT FREE - COMPLETELY DRUG FREE 4/28/2019! - total time on 28+ years

BENZO FREE! 4/7/2018 - total time on 27+ years

REMERON FREE! 12/11/2016 - total time on 15 months

Caffeine & Nicotine Free 2014 / 2015 - smoked for 28 years

Alcohol Free 4/1/2014 - drank for 30 years

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So much acceptance. For me to try to accept the anxiety and the limitations I am living because of it is so counter to what i have always done - PUSH. I'm trying to find the loving parent in this. It's hard to hear the voice over the panicked child. I was just thinking about that right before I saw your post. Today is one of those days. Maybe it doesn't have to be the whole day (this panic). I'm a bit discouraged that I will ever get through this. I'm just 3 weeks off of my final dose. If I could get to my loving parent  I would see that it is a vulnerable time physically/emotionally/neurologically if I believe what others on this site have to say. I just keep thinking I'm getting worse. Underneath it all I don't want to give up. Today I need to take one day at a time. I really appreciate your feedback so much. I don't want to overwhelm. I hope many blessings come your way for helping out a fellow traveler who has the added issue of this AD withdrawal.    

Paxil  2000 - 2002  Tried unsuccessfully to discontinue

2002 - 2010 A series of trial and error, Wellbutrin, Effexor and unsuccessful attempts to discontinue.  

2010 - 2017 Lexapro With several unsuccessful attempts to withdraw 

2012 - 2017 Lamictal Successfully withdrew Lamictal no problem

2017 - 2020 Switched to 40mg. Prozac to prepare try another Withdrawal. 

2020 - On 15mg Remeron for a few months during withdrawal

Completely off of Antidepressants since Sept. 2020

Klonipin as needed throughout the process. .25 mostly, some .5, some .125,  2 to 12 times per mo.

 

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@rachie I actually hit a very rough spot yesterday morning when I woke . . . it still happens sometimes, that stuck place of fear and overwhelm. I do what I can to get back into that place of internal compassion, but sometimes the practice becomes one of acceptance of what it, as you said, and of patience. In a very intense moment, I just gently told myself it's important to not run from the fear, and that it would be OK . . . and I focused on deep breathing. It was really all I could do in that moment. I have many more tools today that I practice and use, and I used them yesterday and thankfully they helped. But wow, when I'm "stuck in the SH*T" it still sucks, no doubt! I'm grateful the tough bouts generally don't happen as often, go as deep, or last as long. 

 

You hang in there too! 🙏❤️

My suggestions are not medical advice. They are my opinions based on my own experience, strength and hope.

You are in charge of your own medical / healing / recovery choices.

My success story |  My introduction thread

 

ZOLOFT FREE - COMPLETELY DRUG FREE 4/28/2019! - total time on 28+ years

BENZO FREE! 4/7/2018 - total time on 27+ years

REMERON FREE! 12/11/2016 - total time on 15 months

Caffeine & Nicotine Free 2014 / 2015 - smoked for 28 years

Alcohol Free 4/1/2014 - drank for 30 years

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If you are willing to share more of your experience I have some questions. I'm sensitive to the fact that discussing this may be too much looking back. Did you do any EMDR for the trauma? I am 5 weeks completely off the AD after 20 years and still using .5 or .25 klonopin 1 or 2x a week on the unbearable days (which it hardly touches). But for me the further I get in to this the more the panicked traumatized child is emerging. I am looking for a trauma therapist to help, and feeling desperate enough to consider going into a trauma treatment program but I don't know if it is futile if I am still heavily in withdrawal. Plus I worry about them pushing me to get back on meds. But the Agoraphobia has kicked in big time and I barley want to leave the house. I don't know if this will pass or if it is the original trauma emerging. I know you had issues with it so wondering how the passage of time helped. I am feeling somewhat desperate and trapped like the anxiety/panic/sheer avoidance of people and going anywhere is getting worse but reading other posts that might be expected 5 weeks in. Anyones insight and encouragement would be appreciated. Looking for a lifeline.  

Paxil  2000 - 2002  Tried unsuccessfully to discontinue

2002 - 2010 A series of trial and error, Wellbutrin, Effexor and unsuccessful attempts to discontinue.  

2010 - 2017 Lexapro With several unsuccessful attempts to withdraw 

2012 - 2017 Lamictal Successfully withdrew Lamictal no problem

2017 - 2020 Switched to 40mg. Prozac to prepare try another Withdrawal. 

2020 - On 15mg Remeron for a few months during withdrawal

Completely off of Antidepressants since Sept. 2020

Klonipin as needed throughout the process. .25 mostly, some .5, some .125,  2 to 12 times per mo.

 

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Hey @rachie, sorry to hear you are really struggling right now. I relate to a lot of what you describe as your experiences right now. The short answer is yes, I did EMDR with a very skilled trauma therapist who I felt a lot of trust with, and the EMDR was useful for me. The EMDR modality focuses not only on cutting through to release the trauma, but is also a process that works to resolve it. EMDR opened up a lot for me, and I was eventually able to take that experience and bring it into my "reparenting practice" . . . in a sense, learning to get some of the effects of EMDR trauma resolution through my own meditative practices. 

 

I think I too would have concerns that in a trauma treatment program, there may be an emphasis to medicate. I think this is something you would need to research specifically if you want to explore moving in this direction. For me, working weekly with an EMDR therapist was the support I needed, and she was also supportive of my tapering process and my desire to live drug free. I would encourage you to find a professional someone you can trust and rely on, who can support you in this process if possible. Finding a recovery community (ACA) was also important, and I found people there who may not have fully understood the taper process, but supported my recovery and were my "touchstones."

 

I'm not sure it's possible to clearly categorize what symptoms I experienced could specifically be attributed to the drug withdrawal, or to unhealed trauma arising. I came to accept (using that word loosely) that I would never really know. My sense is that it has always been both, and that the taper in a sense was removing deadening substances, and that allowed what needed to arise to arise. Ideally, people can taper slowly to help regulate this process, but this is not always possible. So we have to find other ways to help regulate.

 

Everything you are describing I experienced, that I can tell you, and that eventually the discomfort fell away. The agoraphobia (paranoia for me, too) was brutal, and scary, but over time, it eased. There were harder days, and there were easier days, and I became grateful for the easier days, and learned to better work with the harder days. I still struggle at times, human life can be hard and I'm still healing, but I'm not in that STUCK place I was, and you will heal yourself out of the very difficult places you find yourself, too.

 

I'm happy to answer some of your questions more specifically Rachie if that helps . . . feel free to DM me. 

🙏❤️

My suggestions are not medical advice. They are my opinions based on my own experience, strength and hope.

You are in charge of your own medical / healing / recovery choices.

My success story |  My introduction thread

 

ZOLOFT FREE - COMPLETELY DRUG FREE 4/28/2019! - total time on 28+ years

BENZO FREE! 4/7/2018 - total time on 27+ years

REMERON FREE! 12/11/2016 - total time on 15 months

Caffeine & Nicotine Free 2014 / 2015 - smoked for 28 years

Alcohol Free 4/1/2014 - drank for 30 years

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Thank you sooo much. I do have a few questions. I just can't figure out how to DM on the site. 

Paxil  2000 - 2002  Tried unsuccessfully to discontinue

2002 - 2010 A series of trial and error, Wellbutrin, Effexor and unsuccessful attempts to discontinue.  

2010 - 2017 Lexapro With several unsuccessful attempts to withdraw 

2012 - 2017 Lamictal Successfully withdrew Lamictal no problem

2017 - 2020 Switched to 40mg. Prozac to prepare try another Withdrawal. 

2020 - On 15mg Remeron for a few months during withdrawal

Completely off of Antidepressants since Sept. 2020

Klonipin as needed throughout the process. .25 mostly, some .5, some .125,  2 to 12 times per mo.

 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Just a quick check-in -- my life is becoming increasingly more full, and feels like it's moving more quickly. I'm continuing on a path towards greater sustainability and generativity in my life. And I'm OK ☺️ 

 

Still, my brain continues it's healing process, old wounds still get scratched, and I still get "shaky" at times. And like all humans, I still have ups and downs. But thankfully, as the psych drug taper appears more and more distant in my rear view mirror, the painful effects of withdrawal arise less frequently, are less severe, and don't last as long. 

 

 

My suggestions are not medical advice. They are my opinions based on my own experience, strength and hope.

You are in charge of your own medical / healing / recovery choices.

My success story |  My introduction thread

 

ZOLOFT FREE - COMPLETELY DRUG FREE 4/28/2019! - total time on 28+ years

BENZO FREE! 4/7/2018 - total time on 27+ years

REMERON FREE! 12/11/2016 - total time on 15 months

Caffeine & Nicotine Free 2014 / 2015 - smoked for 28 years

Alcohol Free 4/1/2014 - drank for 30 years

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Also, I find the topic of SLEEP coming up a lot in my conversations with people. I included a link in my success story to a post I made describing my process for transforming sleep in my life (focused on self-care). I thought I would highlight that post here . . .

 

TRANSFORMING SLEEP (my long term approach through self-care): 

 

My suggestions are not medical advice. They are my opinions based on my own experience, strength and hope.

You are in charge of your own medical / healing / recovery choices.

My success story |  My introduction thread

 

ZOLOFT FREE - COMPLETELY DRUG FREE 4/28/2019! - total time on 28+ years

BENZO FREE! 4/7/2018 - total time on 27+ years

REMERON FREE! 12/11/2016 - total time on 15 months

Caffeine & Nicotine Free 2014 / 2015 - smoked for 28 years

Alcohol Free 4/1/2014 - drank for 30 years

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  • 3 months later...
  • Moderator Emeritus

On April 28th of this year, I reached a two-year drug-free milestone in my life. In my success story for this website, I wrote that I would commit to checking in here with an update from time to time. I’m happy to share that the healing I’ve been experiencing in my post-psych drug life continues. My life is increasingly becoming fuller and more engaged, and I know that I am today, healthier, more alive, and more at peace than I have ever been.

 

I used the “rear-view mirror” metaphor to describe my continuing relationship to the drug withdrawal experience, which still fits. For the most part, I’m thankful that the tapering experience feels increasingly like a distant memory – trusting even more deeply now that the trauma of having lived through that horror is behind me. At the same time, I want to remain open and connected to what I survived, both because it continues to shape my life in profound ways, and because it allows me to connect with others who find themselves on a similar journey.

 

In summary, I still don’t have panic attacks (the original reason I took the psych drugs). I still experience anxiety at times, but not nearly as intense, as long, or as frequently as I used to. I still have stretches where my inner critic feels like it’s running the show, but not as often -- and when it happens, I’m much more able to work with it to minimize the effects. I don’t have strong urges to drink alcohol or smoke. I will have a decaf coffee or hot chocolate sometimes, but mostly I stay away from caffeine. I still find myself “anxiously eating” sometimes, or perhaps watching too much Netflix as I try to wind down for bed. Still, my urges towards addictions/compulsions (to numb or distract) have mostly fallen away. My sleep is, for the most part, consistently stable. I still regularly meditate and stretch when I awaken and journal when things inside feel “stuck.” I can definitively say all the “weird and wacky stuff” I experienced during the drug taper (flu-like symptoms, chronic fatigue, chronic digestive issues, agoraphobia, paranoia, depersonalization/derealization, body aches and pain, etc.) are gone.

 

At the same time, I can still get triggered, and I continue working on desensitizing to triggers as they arise. Self-care (reparenting) is very much a part of my everyday life, and I still consider it my most effective replacement for psych drugs. If I lose connection with my inner children (abandon myself . . . “check-out” . . . dissociate) for too long, I will pay the price. So, I still need to take the gentle path as I stretch back out into the world, tending to myself physically, intellectually, emotionally, and spiritually like I’m the most precious being in the world. And to be clear, I still have tough days sometimes . . . just like any other human being.

 

So, while the drug taper is over, my inner work to heal, awaken, and become more conscious and whole continues as a lifetime project. I’m still very much involved with the Adult Children of Alcoholics/Dysfunctional Families (ACA) 12 Step program as a source of continuing growth and support in my life. I’ve been involved with creating and delivering the Loving Parent Guidebook for that program (releasing August 2021) – a workbook on the “inner self-care” reparenting techniques I have used in my own healing process. I’ve been a lead writer for A New Hope ACA Beginner’s Handbook to help newcomers to that program gently learn the ACA language and healing framework, and to determine if that program is a good fit in their lives (currently available for free at ACAhope.com). I’ve also begun doing some public speaking on topics related to my recovery (including my psych drug withdrawal process) and recently started a YouTube channel to present some of that content: https://www.youtube.com/lbardach

 

As you can see, I plan to be open with many aspects of my recovery process. I used to carry so much shame about being on the drugs when I was on them all those years, and then throughout my process of getting off. Today, that shame has melted, and I’m committed to standing in the truth of who I am, and what I experienced, and how I have healed.

 

I have also now completed my first year in the Master of Social Work program I’m doing, and I’ve already begun doing therapeutic counseling work in my second-year field placement. This is the work that I dreamed of doing as a child, but in my 20’s discovered I was too wounded to do. Because I have been so dedicated to learning and practicing self-care, I more fully trust that I can now make myself available to others in healthy and effective ways.

 

To close out this check-in post, I want to affirm my belief that no one taking psych drugs is too “broken” or “damaged” to find healing and greater peace in their lives. Each of us inherently has our own wise inner healer, and when we connect into that wisdom, both our inner world and outer world can transform. Sometimes we just need to connect with the right resources (like this website) to support us on our journey towards greater truth.

 

Go gently . . .

 

Elbee

Edited by elbee

My suggestions are not medical advice. They are my opinions based on my own experience, strength and hope.

You are in charge of your own medical / healing / recovery choices.

My success story |  My introduction thread

 

ZOLOFT FREE - COMPLETELY DRUG FREE 4/28/2019! - total time on 28+ years

BENZO FREE! 4/7/2018 - total time on 27+ years

REMERON FREE! 12/11/2016 - total time on 15 months

Caffeine & Nicotine Free 2014 / 2015 - smoked for 28 years

Alcohol Free 4/1/2014 - drank for 30 years

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • Administrator
On 5/11/2021 at 11:34 AM, elbee said:

On April 28th of this year, I reached a two-year drug-free milestone in my life. In my success story for this website, I wrote that I would commit to checking in here with an update from time to time. I’m happy to share that the healing I’ve been experiencing in my post-psych drug life continues. My life is increasingly becoming fuller and more engaged, and I know that I am today, healthier, more alive, and more at peace than I have ever been.

 

 

What a beautiful update, elbee. Thanks for continuing to update to let us know the great things you are doing. 

Drug free May 22, 2015 after 30 years of neuroleptics, benzos, z-drugs, so-called "anti"-depressants, and amphetamines 

 

My Success Story:  Shep's Success: "Leaving Plato's Cave"

 

And what is good, Phaedrus, and what is not good — need we ask anyone to tell us these things? ~ Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance


I am not a medical professional and this is not medical advice, but simply information based on my own experience, as well as other members who have survived these drugs.

 

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I appreciate the update. You have been very helpful to me as a vision to hang in there. Probably the most helpful is when you said at the end of the day not knowing which parts were trauma and which were protracted withdrawal and for me to understand that it's all relevant.  I've done a ton of trauma work during this WD. I went to 10 weeks of residential treatment and it was lonely being the only one with the AD withdrawal issue. I did get support from my therapist, hit and miss with the doctors but they did not try to put me back on. I got support from my peers but the fact is no one can understand the ongoing nature of this hell unless they have been there. I really rely on the success stories to help with my attitude of doom during every wave. Again, thank you Elbee. I appreciate the service work you are doing around this and ACA. It really helps. 

Paxil  2000 - 2002  Tried unsuccessfully to discontinue

2002 - 2010 A series of trial and error, Wellbutrin, Effexor and unsuccessful attempts to discontinue.  

2010 - 2017 Lexapro With several unsuccessful attempts to withdraw 

2012 - 2017 Lamictal Successfully withdrew Lamictal no problem

2017 - 2020 Switched to 40mg. Prozac to prepare try another Withdrawal. 

2020 - On 15mg Remeron for a few months during withdrawal

Completely off of Antidepressants since Sept. 2020

Klonipin as needed throughout the process. .25 mostly, some .5, some .125,  2 to 12 times per mo.

 

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Hey Rachie,

 

Thanks for your note. 

 

On 5/27/2021 at 9:12 AM, rachie said:

 I've done a ton of trauma work during this WD. I went to 10 weeks of residential treatment and it was lonely being the only one with the AD withdrawal issue. I did get support from my therapist, hit and miss with the doctors but they did not try to put me back on. I got support from my peers but the fact is no one can understand the ongoing nature of this hell unless they have been there.

 

I too have found that those involved with deep trauma work often don't understand the WD process we are going through. I've learned "not to go to the hardware store for a loaf of bread" as they say, and be a bit more discerning about who I bring what issues to. It sounds like you are finding ways to successfully navigate those potential minefields, too. The 10-week residential trauma program sounds very intense, and I'm glad you are finding what you need to keep moving forward along your healing path. It's so tough when the doom waves hit, and all you feel you can do is just hold on. It does help to anchor into the successes others are finding in those times when my own success feel so insignificant and distant. I'm glad that some of what I have shared with my own experience has been helpful to you 🙏❤️

 

 

My suggestions are not medical advice. They are my opinions based on my own experience, strength and hope.

You are in charge of your own medical / healing / recovery choices.

My success story |  My introduction thread

 

ZOLOFT FREE - COMPLETELY DRUG FREE 4/28/2019! - total time on 28+ years

BENZO FREE! 4/7/2018 - total time on 27+ years

REMERON FREE! 12/11/2016 - total time on 15 months

Caffeine & Nicotine Free 2014 / 2015 - smoked for 28 years

Alcohol Free 4/1/2014 - drank for 30 years

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Wow! What a truly inspiring recovery story. I van do much relate to my own story, although I am in the middle of it and not free from drugs like you are. But just to read that someone managed to successfully get off these drugs after 25 + years is so inspiring. I actually did not know it was possible! I have eaten SSRI for 23 years and tried to quit several times but not succeded. Fallen into moderate to severe depression with suicidal thoughts. This time I have some hope it might go better but I need this support and belief to actually get through all the dark moments and withdrawal symptoms. I really liked that you stated that you do not know what was withdrawal and what was inner work. I feel the same, how can one know? I started taking these pills for a reason and that has not gone away. I am also meditating and taking part in ACA. 

I would absolutely love to get in touch with you? Is it possible? 

Good luck with becoming a therapist! You have the perfect background. 

Started SSRI (Fluoxetine) 1999 for general anxiety and depression. 

1999-2002 Fluoxetine 20 mg .2002-2005 oct. Citalopram 20 mg. Quit cold turkey from 10 mg. Depression after 6 months. 2006 March. Escitalopram instated, up to 10 mg. 2009 Jan. Quit Escitalopram cold turkey from 5 mg. Depression after 8 months that gradually got worse. Suicidal thoughts. 2010 Jan. Reinstated on Escitalopram 10 mg and Mirtazapin 15 mg. 2013 - 2019 Escitalopram 5 mg and Mirtazapin 7,5 mg. Also added Voxra, Seroquel and Wellbutrin in periods. No positive effect of those. 2019 June - Aug. Escitalopram 10 mg Mirtazapin 7,5 mg.

2019 aug- 2020 Jan. Escitalopram 5 mg Mirtazapin 15 mg. 2020 Jan - April. Escitalopram 5 mg, Mirtazapin 22,5 mg. 2020 April - June. Escitalopram 5 mg, Mirtazapin 15 mg. Depression coming back.

2020 June. Switched to Duloxetine 30 mg on Doctor's advice. Raised mood but harsh side effects - sleep problems, tinnitus, brain fog (withdrawal?) 2020 Aug. Dropped to 18 mg and from there 10 % taper down to 14 mg in Nov. Severe diarrhea and weight loss made me up the dose back to 15 mg. 2020 Nov- 2021 June. Staying on Duloxetine 15 mg. Feel depression coming back and severe muscle pain (shoulder)

  

 

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Hello @Olle, thanks for commenting on this thread, and sharing a bit about your own experience. 

 

On 6/5/2021 at 2:03 PM, Olle said:

I am in the middle of it and not free from drugs

 

On 6/5/2021 at 2:03 PM, Olle said:

But just to read that someone managed to successfully get off these drugs after 25 + years is so inspiring. I actually did not know it was possible!

 

I know well that where you are at in your withdrawal process is a very tough place to be, but yes, it is very much possible to get off these drugs and find greater freedom in your life. Unfortunately, this is a slow and painful process, and there is no one "right" path for everyone. I think a slow taper is the best solution generally, and you are courageously finding ways to support yourself in this process, such as with meditation and by engaging with a healing community such as ACA.

 

You are welcome to send me a direct message (DM) through this website if you like.

 

Elbee

 

My suggestions are not medical advice. They are my opinions based on my own experience, strength and hope.

You are in charge of your own medical / healing / recovery choices.

My success story |  My introduction thread

 

ZOLOFT FREE - COMPLETELY DRUG FREE 4/28/2019! - total time on 28+ years

BENZO FREE! 4/7/2018 - total time on 27+ years

REMERON FREE! 12/11/2016 - total time on 15 months

Caffeine & Nicotine Free 2014 / 2015 - smoked for 28 years

Alcohol Free 4/1/2014 - drank for 30 years

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  • 7 months later...

Hello @elbee

 

Congratulations for getting though all your addictions, and for your awakening and reparenting done through ACA!  I've been reading your story, and not only am I currently on the same medications that you were on, but I also identify with what you said about being a HIP, and I'm also a child of an alcoholic and can definitely relate to the pressures of being a successful and busy individual, using those things to hide from having to deal with issues from your childhood.

 

I see its been a while since your last post here.  Are you still active on this site?

 

Hope you're well!

2013 - Jan 4, 2021 - Sertraline 50mg 

Jan 2021 - Venlafaxine 75mg (1/4)

Feb 2021 Mar 2021 - Venlafaxine 75mg

April 2021 - Venlafaxine 75mg, Amitriptyline 2mg (4/20), Clonazepam 2mg

May 2021 - Venlafaxine 75mg (5/16 - 0mg), Amitriptyline (5/1 - 1mg, 5/16 - 0mg), Clonazepam 2mg

Aug 2021 - Sertraline 25mg (re 8/20), Clonazepam 2mg 

Sep 2021 - Sertraline 50mg (up 9/3), Clonazepam (9/29 - 1mg), Diazepam (9/29 - 2.5mg)

Oct 2021 - Sertraline 50mg, Clonazepam (10/14 - 0.9mg, 10/24 - 1mg), Diazepam (10/6 - 1.25mg, 10/14 - 0mg), Trazodone (10/03 - 50mg, 10/17 - 25mg, 10/21 - 12.5mg), Mirtazapine (10/17 - 15mg)

Nov 2021 : Current - Sertraline 50mg, Clonazepam (4/22 - 0.975mg, 5/22 - 0.9125mg, 6/22 - 0.25mg), Diazepam (co 6/22 - 12mg, 7/22 - 11mg, 8/22 - 10.5mg), Trazodone 12.5mg, Mirtazapine 15mg

 

Supplements: 1/2 Multivitamin, Fish Oil 2000mg, Magnesium Chelate 280mg, Vit C 500mgProbiotic as needed.

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Hey @Knosretep

 

Thanks for reading my story, and for dropping a note 🙂 

 

It sounds like we have some things in common! I still get SD site content update information by email, but you're right, I don't post all that often. I continue to post written articles now and again at my work/internship website and I sometimes post new content on my YouTube channel. But you're right, I'm probably due for an update here! My jump date anniversary is coming up in a few months, so maybe I'll do a fuller write-up then.

 

For a quickie update, overall I'm good. I'm still in school for my MSW -- almost two years down and one left to go. I'm working almost full time now as an intern doing psychotherapy at a group practice, and I've started my own coaching business. While I work with all kinds of people around many different issues, a lot of my work with others is around childhood trauma, and sometimes involves providing support with medication stuff including working with those who want to get off of it. Go figure, right? 🤔😉

 

The benefits of my taper and recovery work still very much seem to be holding. As my life becomes increasingly fuller, old protective habits continue to arise. I'm still very much dedicated to all my self-care/reparenting practices which I know will be a life-long exercise. With regards to the drugs specifically, there is very little I would be able to point to in my life right now that I would attribute to withdrawal. I think at this point, it's much more about recalibrating and learning to live life in healthy ways free from them. I still experience anxiety at times, my inner critic can still become very active, and I still get triggered with certain things I encounter in life. I can still have stretches of feeling "off," disconnected, and fearful. Doubt still arises at times in my life. But I don't spiral into immobilization, I have still not experienced the terrifying panic attacks I used to, and the day-to-day horror that was my life only a few short years ago seems like a fading memory. I continue to feel more and more awake and alive, and I'm grateful to be where I am today.

 

So I wish you the best with your taper, Knosretep, and I'll encourage you to stay the course that this website encourages us to take. There is no one right way to do this process, and we each have to find the self-care practices that work for us to replace the drugs we are working so hard to release from our lives. I wish you the best!

 

elbee/Lou

My suggestions are not medical advice. They are my opinions based on my own experience, strength and hope.

You are in charge of your own medical / healing / recovery choices.

My success story |  My introduction thread

 

ZOLOFT FREE - COMPLETELY DRUG FREE 4/28/2019! - total time on 28+ years

BENZO FREE! 4/7/2018 - total time on 27+ years

REMERON FREE! 12/11/2016 - total time on 15 months

Caffeine & Nicotine Free 2014 / 2015 - smoked for 28 years

Alcohol Free 4/1/2014 - drank for 30 years

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15 hours ago, elbee said:

For a quickie update, overall I'm good. I'm still in school for my MSW -- almost two years down and one left to go. I'm working almost full time now as an intern doing psychotherapy at a group practice, and I've started my own coaching business. While I work with all kinds of people around many different issues, a lot of my work with others is around childhood trauma, and sometimes involves providing support with medication stuff including working with those who want to get off of it. Go figure, right? 🤔😉

 

That's great that you're still feeling good, and awesome that you're continuing towards your MSW!  I think with your history and experience, you'll do great at helping people as you've been through and can relate.  I saw a number of therapists when I went through WD the first time, and it was only one who'd also been through some trauma who was the most empathic that I felt I could connect with and was beneficial.  I'm sure that as you also continue to help and support other people that will also help you continue to grow and heal yourself even further.

 

15 hours ago, elbee said:

The benefits of my taper and recovery work still very much seem to be holding. As my life becomes increasingly fuller, old protective habits continue to arise. I'm still very much dedicated to all my self-care/reparenting practices which I know will be a life-long exercise. With regards to the drugs specifically, there is very little I would be able to point to in my life right now that I would attribute to withdrawal. I think at this point, it's much more about recalibrating and learning to live life in healthy ways free from them. I still experience anxiety at times, my inner critic can still become very active, and I still get triggered with certain things I encounter in life. I can still have stretches of feeling "off," disconnected, and fearful. Doubt still arises at times in my life. But I don't spiral into immobilization, I have still not experienced the terrifying panic attacks I used to, and the day-to-day horror that was my life only a few short years ago seems like a fading memory. I continue to feel more and more awake and alive, and I'm grateful to be where I am today.

 

Good to hear.  Life always presents us with challenges, but its nice to know that the day-to-day horror of WD is behind you now, and that even with as many drugs that you were on for as long as you were along with your fast tapers that recovery is still possible.

 

15 hours ago, elbee said:

So I wish you the best with your taper, Knosretep, and I'll encourage you to stay the course that this website encourages us to take. There is no one right way to do this process, and we each have to find the self-care practices that work for us to replace the drugs we are working so hard to release from our lives. I wish you the best!

 

elbee/Lou

 

Thank you!  There's tons of questions that I would ask of you, but I know that no 2 people are the same in their recovery and it will take however long it will take for each of us.  I've not yet begun to taper and am still waiting to stabilize more before I start.  I would also like to try to remain as symptom free as possible once I do start because I do have other people depending on me, and so I won't try to follow in your footsteps with your tapering anyways.

 

Thanks for responding and please continue to let us know how you're doing!  Take care!

2013 - Jan 4, 2021 - Sertraline 50mg 

Jan 2021 - Venlafaxine 75mg (1/4)

Feb 2021 Mar 2021 - Venlafaxine 75mg

April 2021 - Venlafaxine 75mg, Amitriptyline 2mg (4/20), Clonazepam 2mg

May 2021 - Venlafaxine 75mg (5/16 - 0mg), Amitriptyline (5/1 - 1mg, 5/16 - 0mg), Clonazepam 2mg

Aug 2021 - Sertraline 25mg (re 8/20), Clonazepam 2mg 

Sep 2021 - Sertraline 50mg (up 9/3), Clonazepam (9/29 - 1mg), Diazepam (9/29 - 2.5mg)

Oct 2021 - Sertraline 50mg, Clonazepam (10/14 - 0.9mg, 10/24 - 1mg), Diazepam (10/6 - 1.25mg, 10/14 - 0mg), Trazodone (10/03 - 50mg, 10/17 - 25mg, 10/21 - 12.5mg), Mirtazapine (10/17 - 15mg)

Nov 2021 : Current - Sertraline 50mg, Clonazepam (4/22 - 0.975mg, 5/22 - 0.9125mg, 6/22 - 0.25mg), Diazepam (co 6/22 - 12mg, 7/22 - 11mg, 8/22 - 10.5mg), Trazodone 12.5mg, Mirtazapine 15mg

 

Supplements: 1/2 Multivitamin, Fish Oil 2000mg, Magnesium Chelate 280mg, Vit C 500mgProbiotic as needed.

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Here is a recent (January 2022) one-hour talk I did at an ACA speaker's meeting, seven years after my life crashed, from an integrated "adult child" and drug tapering recovery perspective:

 

 

 

My suggestions are not medical advice. They are my opinions based on my own experience, strength and hope.

You are in charge of your own medical / healing / recovery choices.

My success story |  My introduction thread

 

ZOLOFT FREE - COMPLETELY DRUG FREE 4/28/2019! - total time on 28+ years

BENZO FREE! 4/7/2018 - total time on 27+ years

REMERON FREE! 12/11/2016 - total time on 15 months

Caffeine & Nicotine Free 2014 / 2015 - smoked for 28 years

Alcohol Free 4/1/2014 - drank for 30 years

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  • 2 months later...

@elbee

You are amazing. Congratulations on how far you've come, and hats off to you for all your hard work. WOW.

THANK YOU for your many incredible posts and for sharing so honestly and generously. Your words help me so much.

You are an awe-inspiring human being!

 

If you were ever to write a memoir (the "long version", as you say) I'd love to read it... I'm sure I'm not the only one.

 

How are you going?

 

With gratitude and respect and all my very best wishes,

A. 

1996-2018 - misc. polypharmacy, incl. SSRIs, SNRIs, neuroleptics, lithium, benzos, stimulants, antihistamines, etc. (approx. 30+ drugs)

2012-2018 - 10mg lexapro/escitalopram (20mg?)    Jan. 2018 - 10mg -> 5mg, then from 5mg -> 2.5mg, then 0mg  -->  July 2018 - 0mg

2017(?)-2020 - vyvanse/lisdexamfetamine 60-70mg    2020-2021 - 70mg down to 0mg  -->  July 2021 - 0mg

March-April 2021 - vortioxetine 5-10mg (approx. 7 weeks total; CT)  -->  April 28th, 2021 - 0mg

supplements: magnesium powder (dissolved in water) as needed throughout the day; 1 tsp fish oil w/ morning meal; 2mg melatonin 

August 1, 2022 - 1 mg melatonin

 

Courage is fear that has said its prayers.  - Karle Wilson Baker

love and justice are not two. without inner change, there can be no outer change; without collective change, no change matters.  - Rev. angel Kyodo williams

Holding multiple truths. Knowing that everyone has their own accurate view of the way things are.  - text on homemade banner at Afiya house

 

I am not a medical professional; this is not medical advice. 

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Hello @ArielThanks for your comment and kind words. I really appreciate hearing from you that my story has been helpful.🙂 I still haven't written a "long version" story about my recovery experience but I seem to keep sharing shorter versions here and there. I'm grateful for continued opportunities to share and feel witnessed by others. It's important to me that as I continue to "stretch" back out into the world fully again (in new ways), that I don't forget the lessons from my journey. I suppose that can be good news for some still experiencing the agony, pain, and terror of withdrawal . . . that we can live through it and perhaps even forget about it in some ways if we don't work to remember it.

 

I have my psych drug "sobriety date" (WD-0) on my calendar, and I'm fully conscious that my three year "anniversary" just passed (April 28th). It's probably time that I return here with an update. Your post on my thread encourages me to do that . . . thank you! 

 

My suggestions are not medical advice. They are my opinions based on my own experience, strength and hope.

You are in charge of your own medical / healing / recovery choices.

My success story |  My introduction thread

 

ZOLOFT FREE - COMPLETELY DRUG FREE 4/28/2019! - total time on 28+ years

BENZO FREE! 4/7/2018 - total time on 27+ years

REMERON FREE! 12/11/2016 - total time on 15 months

Caffeine & Nicotine Free 2014 / 2015 - smoked for 28 years

Alcohol Free 4/1/2014 - drank for 30 years

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I would love to hear an update. I'm 20 months off of last dose and though I'm actually having some windows now where I feel like there is hope for healing I'm still getting hit with some really intense physical and emotional waves and on those days I feel so discouraged and defeated that i will ever heal. I know we have conversed on this in the past. I am doing tons of trauma/ACA work as well and it is all a journey. They physical hits are so hard to separate from the other work but I know they are real. My hope is to one day be out of survival mode because that is where I currently am. I just listened to your India podcast again. I know I've said this before but the most inspiring thing about it for me is that confident voice of recovery that you have. I recognize that voice from other times in my life and hope to feel it again one day. Thank you for sharing your experience, strength and hope. Those of us still in the trenches really need it and yours is encouraging. 

 

Paxil  2000 - 2002  Tried unsuccessfully to discontinue

2002 - 2010 A series of trial and error, Wellbutrin, Effexor and unsuccessful attempts to discontinue.  

2010 - 2017 Lexapro With several unsuccessful attempts to withdraw 

2012 - 2017 Lamictal Successfully withdrew Lamictal no problem

2017 - 2020 Switched to 40mg. Prozac to prepare try another Withdrawal. 

2020 - On 15mg Remeron for a few months during withdrawal

Completely off of Antidepressants since Sept. 2020

Klonipin as needed throughout the process. .25 mostly, some .5, some .125,  2 to 12 times per mo.

 

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Hi @elbee

So nice to read you! Thank you for taking the time to post. 

Know that all you have written and contributed thus far continues to germinate and bloom in those of us lucky enough to encounter your wisdom. Your helpful presence here shines through whether you happen to be logged on or not. 

I look forward to any future updates or posts, if/when they occur. In the meantime it makes me so happy to think of you out in the world, living your life! As you should be. I just know you are spreading healing and wholeness everywhere you go, just by being you. You have done the work and now move through life with integrity, inspiring countless others to do the same.

Congratulations on your 3-year anniversary! That is a beautiful achievement. Well done. 

With love and gratitude,

A.

1996-2018 - misc. polypharmacy, incl. SSRIs, SNRIs, neuroleptics, lithium, benzos, stimulants, antihistamines, etc. (approx. 30+ drugs)

2012-2018 - 10mg lexapro/escitalopram (20mg?)    Jan. 2018 - 10mg -> 5mg, then from 5mg -> 2.5mg, then 0mg  -->  July 2018 - 0mg

2017(?)-2020 - vyvanse/lisdexamfetamine 60-70mg    2020-2021 - 70mg down to 0mg  -->  July 2021 - 0mg

March-April 2021 - vortioxetine 5-10mg (approx. 7 weeks total; CT)  -->  April 28th, 2021 - 0mg

supplements: magnesium powder (dissolved in water) as needed throughout the day; 1 tsp fish oil w/ morning meal; 2mg melatonin 

August 1, 2022 - 1 mg melatonin

 

Courage is fear that has said its prayers.  - Karle Wilson Baker

love and justice are not two. without inner change, there can be no outer change; without collective change, no change matters.  - Rev. angel Kyodo williams

Holding multiple truths. Knowing that everyone has their own accurate view of the way things are.  - text on homemade banner at Afiya house

 

I am not a medical professional; this is not medical advice. 

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Your success story is one I always come back to, over and over. 

 

Reading that you had such intense anxiety and fear resonates so much with me. Some days I just don't know what to do, and then I think of you and the "inner parent".  Your story brings so much reassurance and hope. I had good, loving parents, it's the loss of them and the geographical isolation, lack of a close friends that's causing all my anxiety. Now I have to talk to myself the way my mum would talk to me. It feels strange and I'm having to work very hard at it.

 

One of the most comforting lines you wrote was that you thought you were the exception and that you were "too broken to ever heal".  But you have and you still are! That's a huge shot in the arm for all of us who are feeling bogged down with a sense of not making progress - or not making progress fast enough.  Thank you.

 

Wishing you continued healing and a full, contented and happy life with inner peace. All best wishes in your new career and  thank you for taking the time to come back with updates. They are so much appreciated.

 

Your patients are so fortunate to have you!

 

 

64 y/o Female

Current meds:

Started:26 February, Propranolol 5 mg 8am and 8 pm

Started: 11 March 2022, Ativan : 0 .25mg 1pm and 9pm

Started: 19 February (?) Seroquel 25 mg :Now, just less than 1/4 pill ( 0.012 scale weight) 1030 pm

Started: 26 February 2022, Lunesta 1 mg: Now less than 1/4 pill (0.018 scale weight) 10:30 pm

 

Other meds: Levothyroxine 50mcg with extra 25mcg Mon. Wed. Fri.

 

 

 

 

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Wow, wow, wow! It blows me away every time I hear from others how they are finding ways to survive the daily torment they are in, and that my experience might contribute to another person's anchor of hope. I remember reading the success stories when I was going through my version of withdrawal hell -- skeptical that (like @Pollyjay noted) I was "too broken to heal," but desperately hoping I would find my way to a place of greater peace. I'm so grateful to be looking back from where I am today, and I'm so in awe from this vantage of just how much patience and courage it can take to survive the withdrawal process. Recovery is mostly a willingness to keep taking next best steps. So dig deep, go gently, and never give up. 🙏

 

@rachie it's good to hear from you again. Congrats on finding ways to stick with doing the deeper healing! For me, it definitely got harder for a while before it got easier, but finding a healing community (ACA) and some fellow travelers made it doable -- knowing I wasn't alone in the process. I think you are spot on identifying that you have probably often lived from a place of survival. My sense is that you are beginning to trust that there are new ways to live, and that you will find that path for yourself as you become your own loving parent.

 

@Arielit's clear you know how to shine brightly to benefit others -- my hope is that you can shine that light onto the most tender, vulnerable, and precious parts of you that really need that, too! Thank you for your kind words and generous warmth 🙂

 

@Pollyjaythe fear and anxiety, for me, was the hardest part, and it sounds like that may be true for you, too. It sounds like your parents can be a powerful example to draw from as you awaken that compassion and love towards parenting yourself. I've learned to experience anxiety as a small, trembling child inside of me who needs feel protected and loved, and to hear that "it's OK." Yes, it can be strange at first, but it becomes increasingly natural and believable with gentleness and practice. 

 

I'm inspired to do at least a short update soon. Thank you all for your courage . . . it's contagious! ❤️

My suggestions are not medical advice. They are my opinions based on my own experience, strength and hope.

You are in charge of your own medical / healing / recovery choices.

My success story |  My introduction thread

 

ZOLOFT FREE - COMPLETELY DRUG FREE 4/28/2019! - total time on 28+ years

BENZO FREE! 4/7/2018 - total time on 27+ years

REMERON FREE! 12/11/2016 - total time on 15 months

Caffeine & Nicotine Free 2014 / 2015 - smoked for 28 years

Alcohol Free 4/1/2014 - drank for 30 years

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