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brassmonkey

☼ Brassmonkey: Talking about myself

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ten0275

Tom, hi.

 

Thanks so much for stopping by my thread, and for the kind words - much appreciated my friend. I will indeed continue to exercise great caution at these lower doses - the cuts have already proven formidable.

Speaking of cuts, wishing you the best on this most recent drop of yours to 0.8! Totally impressive, and a true testament to how a carefully designed taper, and cautious cutting, lay the foundation of healing.

 

Hang in there,

Dave

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Junglechicken

BM,

 

Just wanted to say hi and many congrats on the recent dose drop, and also 37 yrs of marriage :0)

 

I hope your elbow and back pain clear up too.

 

Hugs,

JC

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aberdeen

Hi Brass, and GrandmaD...I use gelcaps too for when i travel, bc I dont want to bring a scale and all my gear,lol. I used to use gelcaps, so i could make a month or more worth of the same dose and then just take my "pill" every night. But somewhere along the way I got out of the habit and now i just weigh my dose every night and basically take the powder/little chips off the tray and lick it off my finger, thats how small .3mg is.

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brassmonkey

I wrote this on another thread about regaining ones zest for life and wanted to share it here too:

 

yes, it comes back as you taper.  These drugs work by making you feel nothing, they suppress ALL your emotions, hopes, desires, passions with out discrimination.  Leaving a person feeling dead inside.  As the  drug is slowly removed from your system all those emotions will start to peek back through in fits and starts.  They will come and go in a very frustrating manner, but slowly they will become more prominent.  Once a person reaches "0" their brain can really start to sort things out and even more improvements are made.  Because each one of us experiences these drugs in a little different manner it's impossible to guess how long it will take for them to fully return, but as we taper things are improving all the time.  Having the patience to let it happen and not try to force it to happen is a hard thing, but it will happen faster if we don't allow ourselves to be desperate for it. 

 

Working little bits each day helps.  Allowing the joy or just imagining the joy in small things helps the brain with it's sorting. Feeling how good a cold drink is, the colors of a flower, the shape of clouds, birds singing.  They're all little things we normally take for granted, that we need to focus on to help the brain recall what joy should feel like. It may not be bubbling over, grab life by the tail exuberance.  That will come in time, for right now we need to uncover and repair the foundation of those feelings so we have a solid base to build on.

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aberdeen

"Working little bits each day helps.  Allowing the joy or just imagining the joy in small things helps the brain with it's sorting. Feeling how good a cold drink is, the colors of a flower, the shape of clouds, birds singing.  They're all little things we normally take for granted, that we need to focus on to help the brain recall what joy should feel like. It may not be bubbling over, grab life by the tail exuberance.  That will come in time, for right now we need to uncover and repair the foundation of those feelings so we have a solid base to build on."

 

Such good advice, and true. Imagining joy is something I do sometimes, interesting way to put it. This could be helpful in this thread!!! http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/2873-anhedonia-apathy-demotivation-emotional-numbness/

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LexAnger

How brilliant The way you put them in words with absolute wisdom and logic, Brass!

 

Love each word of it!

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Shep

Brassmonkey, that was truly poetic. I'm looking forward to feeling that joy. Beautiful post. 

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brassmonkey

Thank you ladies.  We can't let WD take everything from us.  Maintaining the smallest spark is paramount to survival because with time that spark can be nursed back into a bonfire.  I am deeply concerned at how easily people want to give up on the things that make us human and are the very things that are needed to pull us out of the dark places.  These are the things I did to pull me through the darkest parts of my poopout and the emotional isolation and uncertainty of the early parts of my taper.  The beauty of nature is a constantly available handhold, always there to use to pull ourselves up from the depths.  The magnificence of a pitch black cave, the raw energy of a thunderstorm, the quiet of a blanket of snow. The secret of life in a seed of corm.  Their power is all around us, we just have to open our selves to it and let it do it's work.  Once we understand that the power is in us, there is no reason that we can't survive and thrive.

 

On a different note, it took a week and a half but the agitation caught up with me this morning. It always takes me a little while to catch on to the tricks it's playing, but once I do I can get it under control fairly quickly and know how to counter it until I do.  Took about an hour, but its fine now.  Just feeling a bit drained because it takes a lot of energy and the first part of this post always makes me very emotional which can be tiring too.

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apace41

Tom.

 

As always you continue to be an inspiration to so many on this board, blazing a trail down to the low numbers.

 

Glad you continue well on your path and that you were able to get past the agitation.

 

You are making fabulous progress and are seeing the real fruits of your labor.

 

Best to you as you soldier on.

 

Andy

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AmyK

I see what you mean, Brass. Small things of joy has been very important to me during taper, and especially nature is a great healer. It inspires us with its ongoing desire to grow, live... and just be. Being in nature is very important to me.

Sending hugs!

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Shep

Maintaining the smallest spark is paramount to survival because with time that spark can be nursed back into a bonfire.  I am deeply concerned at how easily people want to give up on the things that make us human and are the very things that are needed to pull us out of the dark places. 

 

These two lines really "spoke" to me tonight. The longer I'm off all of these meds, the more I sense this terrifying but beautiful depth of soul that I think is that "spark" you're talking about. The things that make us human. What psychiatry and these drugs took away.

 

But it's still there. It's not something that leaves. It just dims to give us the space we need. 

 

Thanks for your post, Brass. I hope you're feeling better. 

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brassmonkey

I just posted this on another thread and wanted to share it here too:

 

When I was in Film School we were taught that "there is the film you imagine, the film you write, and the film you finally produce".  The same is true with life "the life you dream, the life you plan, and the life you live".  If you can have elements of the first and second in the third then you're a success.  It's all about being content with what you have and making it your own and not about trying to force something that isn't going to happen.

 

I went back to school and got my engineering degree at 36.  It gave me the basis for my second and third careers.  Not the glamorous show business career I stated with, but it paid for a beautiful house in a beautiful neighborhood, new and decent used cars as needed, foreign travel and experiences I wouldn't trade anything for. Now that I'm ending my third career, among other things I'll be dabbling back in show biz because I enjoy it. It can seem like a trite saying but it's so true: "life isn't about the destination, it's about the twists and turns of the path along the way." He who has the most toys in the end doesn't win, it's the one who can slay a cloud dragon with a stick that does.

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nz11

Wow BM you are amazing!

Thats some accomplishment doing an engineering degree as an adult student.

 

nz11

Theres no business like show business like no business i know!!

 

Went to NY many years ago... got tickets, 10 bucks to the Phantom on Braodway, standing room only at the back ...then after the first act you can sneak down and sit in the seats. Yeah!! [should have stayed in NY i guess ....for obvious reasons!!]

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brassmonkey

One of the real cultural centers of the world NZ11.  Too bad it's such a nasty place to live (my personal opinion, I know I'd get a lot of arguments, but I just don't like the place.)  Out here the cultural stuff is really all glitz and glamour and has no real substance.

 

At night with a full time job.  Monica took a bunch of enrichment courses at the same time so we kinda shared a second college experience while working as a life style thing for  a few years.  It was really rather fun for the most part.  Except College Algebra, took three tries to get that one out of the way.

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nz11

Gee it gets even more amazing you did it at night-class with a fulltime job! oh boy!

I thought algae-bra was what a mermaid wore to maths class!

Anyway I think algebra is not really needed ...unless you are a pirate!...and need to find X.

 

I told the algebra teacher to stop asking me to find your X.....she ain't comin back and don't ask me Y!

 

nz11 lol

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Songbird

Once we understand that the power is in us, there is no reason that we can't survive and thrive.

 

He who has the most toys in the end doesn't win, it's the one who can slay a cloud dragon with a stick that does.

 

You come up with the most wonderful quotes!

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grandmaD

Brassbonkey post:  " He who has the most toys in the end doesn't win, it's the one who can slay a cloud dragon with a stick that does.

 

What a great saying! As you say, no matter how many "toys" you might have, they are useless to you when you are not strong and healthy.  No amount of money can help in this situation either.

 

I have struggled for donkeys years about feeling useless and without worth, but learnt a valuable lesson that our worth is not found in what we do but who we are.  I have finally come to accept that "my work" is to get off this rotten poison.  That is probably the hardest work/job any person has ever had to go through day in and day out for years and years and years. 

 

I am sure most of us see ourselves as weak, without a hope or a future and destined for destruction, but your saying gives us a new perspective - that of a knight bearing a stick (small and insignificant as it is) who can slay this evil dragon with time, endurance, perseverance and courage!

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megb

Hi BrassMonkey, 

 

I've read through most of your thread - what a journey! I am just starting mine for the 3rd time. Did you ever have horrible insomnia with your drops? That is what I fear most and am most sensitive to when my dose changes :( 

 

If so how did you combat this? Thanks and blessings to you!

Meg

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brassmonkey

Hi meg-- thanks for dropping in and I'm impressed that you've read the whole thread.  Hopefully your third try will be the charm. Going very slow and listening to your body is the big key.  Especially at the lower doses, 3mg and down.

 

I've been very lucky in that I have not gotten bad insomnia.  There were several drops where I did get very disturbed sleep for a few weeks at a time, but it always passed.  The biggest thing I can think of for insomnia is to "not let it bother you".  Easy to say, but adding secondary anxiety to the mix is a sure way spoil any sleep you do get.  When it comes down to it, just quietly lying in bed for a few hours a night is enough to keep a person going for a long time.  Before I started on paxil I had a very stressful job that I worked 70 hours a week which did give me insomnia.  There was a 10 month stretch during which I usually got two and a half hours a night on the good nights.  By not letting it bother me I was able to push ahead each day and eventually got through it.  Also when in WD it is very common to sleep with out noticing it. The drugs keep the mind in an active state even though the body is asleep, so the sleep goes unnoticed.  The next day the mind may be tired from all the thinking but the body ends up somewhat rested.

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megb

thank you :) Appreciate the insight, very glad you didn't have bad insomnia!

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Songbird
I have struggled for donkeys years about feeling useless and without worth, but learnt a valuable lesson that our worth is not found in what we do but who we are.  I have finally come to accept that "my work" is to get off this rotten poison.  That is probably the hardest work/job any person has ever had to go through day in and day out for years and years and years. 

 

I am sure most of us see ourselves as weak, without a hope or a future and destined for destruction, but your saying gives us a new perspective - that of a knight bearing a stick (small and insignificant as it is) who can slay this evil dragon with time, endurance, perseverance and courage!

 

I agree, GrandmaD, I'm going through all the same lessons myself!  Your new name for Brass - Brassbonkey! - gave me a chuckle.

 

I've found with insomnia, there are two kinds.  I don't mind it that much if it is just insomnia.  It's the anxiety kind of insomnia that I find really hard going.

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Shep

 

I've found with insomnia, there are two kinds.  I don't mind it that much if it is just insomnia.  It's the anxiety kind of insomnia that I find really hard going.

 

 

Songbird, this is so very true. Insomnia definitely has been one of the worst symptoms for me, but separating the "fear" of sleep and handling that as a stand-alone "anxiety" symptom apart from the insomnia was very helpful.

 

After several nights without sleep, it's easy to really believe that there's been permanent damage and this can lend itself to a type of mental paralysis where we're trapped thinking we're broken. But like Brassmonkey so wisely reminds us, "when in WD it is very common to sleep with out noticing it."

 

I've read about "micro sleep" - http://www.sleepdex.org/microsleep.htm  I had many episodes of micro sleeping when I was in acute benzo and z-drug withdrawal.

 

The mind is powerful and has ways of compensating. We just have to step out of the way and try not to worry. The mind knows what it's doing even if we don't. 

 

Brassmonkey, I've been reading about your journey and finding it inspiring. I've also had a couple of journeys back to school at night, going from accounting to English literature, and into graphic design. And I'm finding more and more of the most artistic people struggling with these types of meds. Not sure if there is a correlation, though. But it's nice to be on a website full of smart, creative people who are helping me find my way out of this nightmare. My memory was temporarily destroyed long enough that I wrecked my last career, so I'm starting over, working as a bookkeeper in non-profit social justice, and slowly finding my way back.

 

There may even be another voyage back to night school in my future. Life is cool like that.   B)

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brassmonkey

"The mind is powerful and has ways of compensating. We just have to step out of the way and try not to worry. The mind knows what it's doing even if we don't. "

 

I'm going to steal that Shep, very well put.  The mix of people on this board is amazing and is one of the reasons I keep coming back day after day.  Through out history the artistic/creative people have been a little "different" and I think this situation helps to prove that it's a real thing and not just being "emotionally high strung".

 

At one time Monica and I thought attending classes was going to be a life long endeavor.  We've pulled way back because of other things but still make time for learning situations.

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Shep

"The mind is powerful and has ways of compensating. We just have to step out of the way and try not to worry. The mind knows what it's doing even if we don't. "

 

I'm going to steal that Shep, very well put.  The mix of people on this board is amazing and is one of the reasons I keep coming back day after day.  Through out history the artistic/creative people have been a little "different" and I think this situation helps to prove that it's a real thing and not just being "emotionally high strung".

 

At one time Monica and I thought attending classes was going to be a life long endeavor.  We've pulled way back because of other things but still make time for learning situations.

 

Feel free to "steal" that quote, Brassmonkey. There are many of your lines I'd like to steal! I've enjoyed reading your thread. 

 

Before I really started having cognitive problems, I was getting into some of the free online courses available. It's really amazing what you can learn now completely for free like Kahn Academy.org and Edx.org.  All of their classes are free, kind of like an "open source" education. 

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Songbird

Through out history the artistic/creative people have been a little "different" and I think this situation helps to prove that it's a real thing and not just being "emotionally high strung".

 

I believe many of us are in the category of "highly sensitive persons" (HSPs).  I believe it's definitely a real thing.

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aberdeen

GrandaD I love what you said about our worth, our job, all of that. Thank you!! I needed to hear that. I work in two jobs that are well below my education (and former pay) level and it gets me down sometimes but with two young kids and cognitive wd stuff...I know its all i can manage right now. Brassbonkey,lol.

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brassmonkey

Things have been so active the past several weeks I haven't taken the time to post here.  I'm into week four at this dose and doing well.  My schedule is all over the place for the next month with a lot of big doings.  I was thinking of holding here until things settle down, but that's at least a month away, so I'm torn.  Not sure if I want another big shake up in the next several weeks or not.

 

We are just about to sign with a contractor for a kitchen remodel.  It's been two years on the making and finally looks like it's going to happen.  We even started the mass destruction last weekend by removing the wall between the family room and the kitchen. It really changes things a lot.  Monica just confirmed that we have an appointment with the designer tomorrow afternoon.

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ladybug

Glad to hear the drop is going well! I am seriously in awe of your energy. Just reading your posts tires me out. LOL. :)

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LexAnger

Love the positive energy!

Feel the great feeling of life.

 

Thanks Brass! I benefit every post from you :)

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Songbird

GrandaD I love what you said about our worth, our job, all of that. Thank you!! I needed to hear that. I work in two jobs that are well below my education (and former pay) level and it gets me down sometimes but with two young kids and cognitive wd stuff...I know its all i can manage right now.

 

Me too - well, except that I have two teenagers, but otherwise, ditto!

 

Good to hear you are doing well, Brass.  A kitchen remodel sounds exciting.

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Shep

 

We are just about to sign with a contractor for a kitchen remodel.  It's been two years on the making and finally looks like it's going to happen.  We even started the mass destruction last weekend by removing the wall between the family room and the kitchen. It really changes things a lot.  Monica just confirmed that we have an appointment with the designer tomorrow afternoon.

 

 

Hi, brassmonkey. This is so good to read. You left a wise comment on my Intro thread a few days ago:

 

 

 

Because this is such a long slow process I have found that the rebuilding just happens as we go along.  As we progress to a slightly higher plateau one or two more bricks fall into place and before we know it we have a structure started.  There needs to be some conscience work  on our part, but as with everything in WD, trying to make it happen frequently backfires.  I also find it much more productive to not focus on either the symptoms or the collateral damage, but to let them fade into the background as much as possible while working around them to maintain as normal a life as I can.  Some people refer to it as "mindfulness", some as "living in the now" and some as "just getting your head into it".  Each is a little different approach, but they combine quite effectively.

 

 

And I can't help drawing a parallel between the physical re-build in your kitchen remodel and the internal, psychological re-build of withdrawal. Just like in re-building a kitchen, sometimes there has to be a similar "mass destruction" first, and then the magic can happen. 
 
It's wonderful to read your post.  It has a "restorative" vibe to it. Best of luck in both kinds of the re-build. 

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brassmonkey

Thank you ladies, I really enjoy hearing from each of you, and I'm glad I can make a difference for you too.

 

I posted this to another member and thought I would share it here too.  They were panicked by an unexpected and bad wave and took several big doses of their old med to try and combat it and wondered if those doses had undone all the healing they had accomplished so far.

 

No, all it is doing is causing a hiccup.   It would take a full dose of paxil for several months to undo all the healing.

 

During the eight and a half years you took paxil there was a lot of "rewiring" going on in your brain.  Physical changes to the nerves.  Most of the changes happened in the first few months but kept getting reinforced the rest of the time.  Doing a long slow taper allowed your brain to undo those changes a little at a time and put things back to the way nature designed them.  By the time you reach "0" a lot of those changes have been made, but they continue for a while after jumping off.  By the time you're 20 months out a lot more, probably most of the changes have been completed.  We actually don't know how long it takes for them to be complete.   So there are still "repairs' going on.  The wave happened because the brain found a part that still needed work and in doing so it set off some symptoms.

 

By throwing some paxil at the situation it causes the brain to go "what the ..." and it doesn't understand how it should make the changes.  Should it leave things the way they are, work with the paxil and have to change everything back the other way, or should it continue with the changes it was making.  It doesn't like having the paxil around, as it gets in the way and this sets off more symptoms. Over a few weeks, as the paxil works it's way out of your system and the brain figures out what is going on the symptoms subside.

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brassmonkey

Well it's been an eventful day and it's just gone noon.  I have decided to stick to my schedule and went ahead and did my next drop this morning so I am now taking 0.72mg.  I should be past the biggest part of the symptoms in time for our trip to Savana, Ga. at the end of the month.  We booked all the tickets last night  so it's a done deal.  The trip is to be a celebration of my entering into retirement.  After 40 plus years as a wage slave I declared by freedom this morning by quitting my job.  I have to finish out the month, which is only proper, then jump on a plane and leave the work-a-day world behind.  Monica and I have been finalizing plans for this for a couple of years now.  Actual planning started when we got together 37 years ago and for me from the time I started my first job.  After the initial shock has worn off I am so excited I can't see straight.

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elbee

Congrats brassmonkey :)

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AmyK

Wow, congratulations, Brass! How exciting! A new era starts in your life. Soon both drug free and job free!

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LexAnger

Party time Brass and Monica!

congratulations and hugs!

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