Jump to content
Altostrata

What does healing from withdrawal syndrome feel like?

Recommended Posts

Altostrata

Recovery from withdrawal syndrome is so gradual and so unlike healing from anything else we're used to. Symptoms come in waves, change, and mutate into other symptoms.

 

This is confusing and discouraging. It seems we're going nowhere.

 

Yet, often when you look back on where you were 6 months ago, you can see there's been progress in healing. (Reading your Intro topic when you're discouraged can remind you of this.)

 

For example, I had intense depersonalization for several years. Early on, there were a few occasions where I did not even recognize the street where I lived for decades. One of these happened while I was driving. It was terrifying. But it did pass in a few minutes.

 

Gradually, over time, the sense of depersonalization gradually dissipated, like dark clouds getting lighter and lighter. Then, there was the day when I realized I felt fully present! What a great feeling that was.

 

Something similar happened with post-SSRI sexual dysfunction (PSSD). AT first, I felt complete genital anesthesia. In the first year, feeling gradually came back. Over the following years, sexual response gradually came back. Orgasm was absent, then faint, then intermittent. Now it's restored to close to normal, and libido is present (though not like it was; I'm menopausal).

 

There were many other symptoms that faded in the same way.

 

What has healing felt like for you?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
nn123

Hey Alto,

 

Great thread. I want to reiterate something you said that has been helpful for me - things do come in windows and waves, but looking back 3-6 months can serve as a reliable indicator as to whether you're improving. I would also describe the improvements I've had, in every area, as gradual, almost imperceptible, but undeniable when I've really thought about my experience carefully. 

 

Nick

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Altostrata

Can you describe how any specific symptoms changed, Nick?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
alex

For me,it's anxiety, anhedonia and depression, they still here, in the windows and waves pattern,but much less intense.

There are other symptoms like tinnitus and insomnia that are more perstistent.

I am worried that my insomnia is not improving.

PSSD still here in the form of premature ejaculation.I feel a little more control though.I think this is not as bad as other cases I've read about.

Neuro-fear and hopelessness come and goes, depending on the night's sleep.

I don't know why insomnia scares me so much.

I've seen improvement and I want to believe it will be getting better.

I've read that 18 months is early for protacted w/d.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Petunia

What does healing feel like to me?

 

Its like waking suddenly at 6am with my mind fully alert, body tense and shaking on the inside as fearful thoughts start to roll along, one after another, reminding me that I'm still broken, today isn't going to be the day my life is fixed.  But then at some point I realize that I have just slept through the entire night, when that wasn't always the case.  I remember the nights when I would wake at 3am, 4am and 5am and not be able to go back to sleep, those nights are rare now.

 

There are those days where I'm feeling slightly better and I push myself to do a few of the things I need to do, but then suddenly feel exhausted, So I lay down and fall asleep.  Then wake up suddenly, not knowing where I am or what day it is.  Then I remember, look at the time and realize that I have been asleep for a whole hour, during the day, two months ago that wasn't possible.  Up until very recently, my body has been hyper-stimulated during the day and unable to fall asleep, it must be starting to settle down.

 

Healing from withdrawal is like spending the morning feeling so bad I'm not sure how much longer I'm going to be able to take it, but I hang on and get through each moment, trying to find things to distract me, to occupy my terrified mind and keep it calm until suddenly, I find myself outside raking up leaves in the sun and I realize it doesn't feel as bad as the last time I raked leaves.

 

I come inside and jump in the shower with only slight hesitation.  Then half way through washing my hair realize that a year ago, it took me several days to build up the 'courage' to get myself in the shower, and that the fear I felt through the whole process had been overwhelming.  Now there is no fear during the actual process of showering, only some frustration because of the slow running drain and coming to terms with the reality that one of these days I'm going to have to handle calling a plumber.... but not today.

 

Healing from withdrawal feels like not healing at all and being certain that I'm going to be like this for the rest of my life and wondering if I'm going to have the strength to endure it.  But then finding myself driving in my car, completely relaxed, not worried about anything, remembering how at first, driving anywhere caused a continual state of panic until I got back home. I would put things off for days if I could, just so I could avoid the added stress.  Now, there is some residual fear associated with driving, caused by the memory of actually having to do it in such an intense state of fear, but once I get in the car, I relax.  It wasn't driving which caused the fear, the fear was there anyway.  A secondary fear was created out of the horrendous experience of having to drive around while being in a state of panic, I don't recommend it.

 

Healing is like feeling really awful and believing that its just getting worse and worse, until I think back carefully or read back through my thread or journal and see the truth about just how bad it was, compared to now.  It only seems like its getting worse.  Maybe its because its been going on so long, its wearing me down and wearing me out.

 

Healing is like walking backwards somewhere with your eyes closed.  You have no idea where you are heading, and you don't know where you have been until you get somewhere else and open your eyes for a few moments and look back towards where you came from.  Then you close them again and keep going.

 

Sometimes healing feels like I am standing still while the rest of the world races by, leaving me behind, and I panic.  But then I calm down and notice that no one is going anywhere.  Everyone else is racing around and around in circles and I'm sitting calmly and peacefully in the center, knowing that everything I need is right here.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Janie

Petu that is so well written. It's just like that. It made me cry. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
CharlieBrown

Really great topic! it's got me thinking. How different people really are.

 

After stopping medications I felt dramatically different within a short period of time. Negative emotions seemed to return more quickly than the positive. In fact much more quickly, I spent a long time full of self-pity and basically in a deep depression. For two years I didn't care what I was doing or where I was going. But at some point I started to care again. When I finally went out at that time I wasn't really enjoying myself, but the change in enviroment felt better than the never ending cycle indoors.

 

It's taken a persistant conscious effort and lots of practice. Talking to myself saying "I don't want to keep doing the same old things that make me unhappy" Of course there have been so many ups and downs. Sometimes feeling like I just want to go back to sleep. after being asleep for 16 hours already.  Many times having to remind myself that it might be more comfortable and easier to stay in the same routine. But it's not what I really want.

 

Now years up to this point re-arranging my thought processes, looking for the things I like and want. Instead of things I don't like or fear. Has caused the most noticeable development in my overall mood.

 

That's more on the mental side of things... The physical changes have been much slower. The PSSD i've been experiencing showed very few signs of improvement up till about a year ago. It's been such a gradual process of growth I've barely noticed. Only seeing the progress looking back over several years. Feeling completely dead and useless years ago as compared to just partially broken and repairable now. For a long time I had just stopped thinking about my sexuality. Convinced there was no development. Now I know there's always change and I make a conscious decision to work on my body.

 

I know with more time, mental and physical practice, I will grow and be a happier person. I'm glad I didn't give up years ago!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
alex

Great post Petu;you are a brave woman.

 

Hugs,A.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
PoisonPills

I relate to this on so many levels. Every level. Especially with you Petu. Feeling and sharing your pain and experience. And the journey of healing. The symptom changes/morphing is particularly poignant for me Alto. And the windows and waves. It has won me the title of "hypochondriac" more than once. Sometimes it all seems so intangible. Yet the devastating realities of lived experience is so real. The playing field is never level. The deck is always stacked. Or so it seems. The worst of it is the destruction of self trust. The constant questioning. Is this really real? Or are they right? Is it really only all in my head?

 

It is and has been profoundly empowering training in learning to live moment by moment. To be present in the here and now. To let go. To observe. To Stop. Listen. Connect. Reflect. And claim the power of that. They are lessons and skills that dont come easily to me. But those moments of reflecting and glancing back, and seeing how far Ive come, are worth their weight in gold. It is in those moments that I know what healing feels like.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Altostrata

Yes, I agree, coping with symptoms has forced me to grow as a person. Being marginalized medically, we must believe in ourselves and our sense of what's best for us.

 

Here's a good essay by Don Killian from a benzo support site http://benzowithdrawalhelp.com/2014/02/15/we-are-all-different/
 

 

I have talked with many who are healing via the window/wave mode. Even so, every single one is doing it differently. Some have infrequent windows but when they have them they feel nearly normal. Some have “50%” windows fairly frequently but don’t really have a time when they feel “wonderful.” Some have waves that crash in on them leaving them terrified and certain that they will never be well – right after they had an incredibly good window. Some get pounded with excruciating physical pain which can disappear in moments only to return later in the day or week. Others suffer horrid mental symptoms of depression and anxiety which can lift for a few hours allowing rays of sunshine to pour in only to be clouded over later on as if the sunlight had never existed. Some even oscillate back and forth between physical and mental anguish.

 

I healed by the “continuous misery” method. I had lots of physical pain, but the mental torture was the hallmark of my recovery, and it dogged me minute-to-minute for what seemed like it would be eternal at the time. It was constant until one day I felt it “lift” a bit. From that day on, it gradually faded over time until it was completely gone over a few months. Other symptoms gradually improved and eventually vanished over the next several months.

 

Others have healed in that same general way. The skies clear for no apparent reason after a very long storm, and the sun shines. The storm is suddenly over. It can be rapid and profound.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
PoisonPills

Great article, thanks for sharing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ladybug

That was truly beautiful, Petu. It brought a tear to my eye as well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
beconscious

Healing from withdrawal symptoms, at first is a sense of relief. Finally, the nights of panic stricken cortisol surging and days of fatigue lighten up.  The long list of worrisome symptoms slip into nothingness, and morning by morning we awaken to find that one more uncomfortable side effect has slipped way.  Those intense moments of intrusive thoughts, the mental anguish that we witness in ourselves fade away.  The discomfort and the pain sputter out as the body and mind restores its balance.  At the beginning it is the painful experience that becomes less so. Finally, we reach those moments, then days, weeks, and then months where no symptom is left to haunt us. After climbing that long steep climb we near the crest.  The sun is warmer and brighter and for what feels like the first time in our lives we will learn again the sensations of happiness.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Jemima

Alto, I'm so glad to read that you feel like your old self again, only better.  I agree that this has been quite a maturation process. As a Christian, I sometimes wonder if God has marked us survivors for some special purpose.  It has certainly been a growth experience for me in a direction I never expected to take.

 

For me, it's been a long, slow climb out of the pits of hell with lots of waves and windows.  The symptoms of withdrawal faded away so gradually for me that I didn't realize I was over it until about six weeks had passed and I realized I felt like myself and had not had any marked ups and downs during that time.  I still get the occasional neuro-emotion, a twinge of fear or sadness that lasts awhile for no good reason, but I now know that's all it is - neuro-emotion - and that it will pass. And it does.  There is still some anhedonia, but I've been able to get out and about, make new friends, and take an interest in needlework again, although I'm not yet as enthusiastic about creative things as I once was.  I expect that will also come fully back in its own time.

 

I remember that in late September of 2013 remarking in one of my Intro posts that coming out of withdrawal felt like peeling one of those maddening hard-boiled eggs where you have to pick tiny pieces of eggshell off one by one, and the membrane feels like it's been super-glued to the egg. Then, at some point at roughly mid-January, it seemed like the last small bits of eggshell and membrane fell off and I didn't even notice for another month or so.

 

I think this experience has changed me for the better. Oddly, I'm much less anxious and fearful than I was before antidepressant withdrawal and I've learned to trust God and His goodness much more so than before. I can now talk myself out of depressive moods fairly easily. At the present time I'm working on valuing myself even though I'm not working or heading toward some noble goal. I'm learning how very self-pitying I can be and how self-destructive it is to indulge in that kind of thinking. I think I'm a more compassionate and tolerant person now that I've suffered--through no fault of my own--from a condition that few people understand.  

 

Stay tuned. The best is yet to be.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Aria

Petu has described withdrawal very very well. I remember feeling terrified 24/7, walking was like moving through thick jello, trying to understand what people said thru my brain fog and when I did sleep I'd suddenly bolt upright in fear. Then times of being able to sit calmly, not fight for breathe came. When I could think back and realize I'm was doing better. I slowly healed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Rhiannon

Something I'm dealing with lately at this point in my taper is the return of intensity of normal emotions. Not neuro emotions, although they may still be contributing, but just normal emotional responses to normal life experiences.

 

A few weeks ago I found out within a space of a few days that two of my friends in this town (which is to say, about two thirds of my friends in this town) were moving away. I was so sad and disappointed, it was really intense and painful for a while; and then it faded, and I focused on spending time with other friends (I do have a lot of other friends in the towns in the area, about 30 minutes away).

 

Last night I found out I didn't get the job I just interviewed for, and I woke up this morning feeling just devastated about it; but I talked to my daughter, and I texted to a couple of friends, and after a few hours, now I'm feeling just sort of disappointed and sad, but okay, making plans, moving along. I still feel disappointed.

 

What's new to me is both the intensity of these emotions (which don't really feel like neuro-emotion, which has a more, I don't know, perseverative and less "alive" feel to it) and how quickly they seem to move through and pass (also not typical of neuro-emotions).

 

This isn't exactly healing from withdrawal, because that's not exactly my situation, I'm still tapering and will be for several more years; but I think it's part of my brain function becoming more normalized now that I'm not on such massive doses of psych meds. It's interesting, a little challenging, mostly okay.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Skyler

Rhi... I'm very sorry to hear you did not get the job. It is their loss, and I seriously mean that.

 

For the vulnerability to emotions.. 30 years ago, when I first developed my pain disorder, I was sick for 2 years. I almost never went out, and then not to crowded places. When I recovered from that dreadful episode, I went to the Arcade in Providence, a small mall (first in the US actually). Tiny shops in close proximity, a very pleasant bustling atmosphere, decidedly not toxic. But there was so much sensory input I had an awful time trying to screen things out I was not attending to. Reading the description of your response to sadness, reminded me of that time. It sounds like your body is being overwhelmed by what it sees as new sensations... but hold on, the feelings will fall back into a more regular pattern.

 

And I feel for your loss of your friends. Unfortunately those feelings of loss will linger. It's so hard when folks who are close leave.

 

Skyler

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Nikki

Alto this is a wonderful topic.....thank you for your honesty.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Bellisimo

Recovery from withdrawal syndrome is so gradual and so unlike healing from anything else we're used to. Symptoms come in waves, change, and mutate into other symptoms.

 

This is confusing and discouraging. It seems we're going nowhere.

 

Yet, often when you look back on where you were 6 months ago, you can see there's been progress in healing. (Reading your Intro topic when you're discouraged can remind you of this.)

 

For example, I had intense depersonalization for several years. Early on, there were a few occasions where I did not even recognize the street where I lived for decades. One of these happened while I was driving. It was terrifying. But it did pass in a few minutes.

 

Gradually, over time, the sense of depersonalization gradually dissipated, like dark clouds getting lighter and lighter. Then, there was the day when I realized I felt fully present! What a great feeling that was.

 

Something similar happened with post-SSRI sexual dysfunction (PSSD). AT first, I felt complete genital anesthesia. In the first year, feeling gradually came back. Over the following years, sexual response gradually came back. Orgasm was absent, then faint, then intermittent. Now it's restored to close to normal, and libido is present (though not like it was; I'm menopausal).

 

There were many other symptoms that faded in the same way.

 

What has healing felt like for you?

First time this depersonalization hit me i got soooo scared thought i was really going insane, it was sooo frightening, i can say that this symtom is for me the worst symtom ever in recovering! It happened to me ALOT earlier but comes in waves now, sometimes im present for a long time then i suddenly loose myself and the enviorment

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
btdt

I want to add to this but feel unable just now... so I am making a note so it comes up in my contents for future reference.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
mlrp

Alto, the first three paragraphs of your initial post here quite eloquently descibe my own fledgling experience with healing.

 

Odd that I should be posting to this thread during (what I hope is) the tail end of a wave. Maybe it's because I do have some recall of how I was doing just before it hit:

  • increased energy and interest in the activities that made up "my life" before. I was able to increase my walking, and even tried a few very slow, easy jogs.
  • I made one or two meals that consisted of something more than the most basic of preparations. Look at me! I'm chopping cucumbers!
  • I bought nail polish. Without being wracked with guilt and anxiety (I have mom issues that I'm working to overcome.) and with the full intention of using it.
  • For a couple of days at work, I listened to music I used to enjoy. Again, without (well, minimal) anxiety.
  • I bought tickets to a concert. (That concert is takes place this Thursday, and I'm hoping to be able to enjoy it despite this wave.)
  • and MOSTLY, MY CORTISOL MORNINGS WERE GREATLY REDUCED. My overall anxiety was largely diminished. I wish now that I had recorded every, single good morning that I had, so I could have an accurate record. I remember remarking to my husband that I was really hoping that I wouldn't see a return of those horrible mornings. Spoke too soon as it turns out, but I go on record now as being able to say that, for a while, they were nearly gone. :-)
  • I doodle in my journal. In fact, I can tell when I've had a wave because that's when I stop journaling. NOT helpful in trying to determine patterns.

This recent episode of healing was significant and I'm grateful for it. Even on my best day, however, I was probably only about 70% the person I once "was." But when this whole thing started, I was probably only about 25% there. So, progress!

 

Lessons learned: journal every day, even if it's just a one-sentence summary of symptoms.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Altostrata

Good points, mirp!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
NewMe

I remember (with 12 step help) healing like this: Holy "beeeep". I feel ridiculously and criminally amazballs. I looked around for the proverbial other shoe - to drop on my head...for someone to tell me I am behaving manically to the degree I needed to be in hospital...for the feeling to run off with the circus.

 

I have my challenges, though many of my posts do not reflect it all that often. 

 

I also find being of service to those struggling in a place I have been in and overcame to be a great healer for more than just myself, but esp to see where I was...and now am....and heading. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Wildflower0214

Someday, I'm going to have something to post here. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
btdt

It feels like the movie groundhog day... cycles over and over again sometimes with symptoms that are new sometimes with old ones... 

a couple of times i thought i was healed only have it come back... 

 

I think drugs are part of it coming back so are traumas like surgery car accidents even infections... which I seem to have all the fricking time...... all that crap destabilizes me and back I come to the waiting room of life. 

 

it is this and oh so much more another day I will add much more.  

 

I wish you peace

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
GardeniaBlossom

Thank you, Petunia, mlrp, and Alto. What you wrote were gifts. One day I hope I will have something to share here.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
manymoretodays

Thanks for the bump GB.  Now this will show as part of "my content". 

 

Good putting into words something so difficult to describe all of you!!  The walking backwards(and I will add through the squishy cool mud) with one's eyes closed hit the spot. 

 

And I am onto discovering the joys of kefir!!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
oskcajga

Recovery from withdrawal syndrome is so gradual and so unlike healing from anything else we're used to. Symptoms come in waves, change, and mutate into other symptoms.

 

This is confusing and discouraging. It seems we're going nowhere.

 

Yet, often when you look back on where you were 6 months ago, you can see there's been progress in healing. (Reading your Intro topic when you're discouraged can remind you of this.)

 

For example, I had intense depersonalization for several years. Early on, there were a few occasions where I did not even recognize the street where I lived for decades. One of these happened while I was driving. It was terrifying. But it did pass in a few minutes.

 

Gradually, over time, the sense of depersonalization gradually dissipated, like dark clouds getting lighter and lighter. Then, there was the day when I realized I felt fully present! What a great feeling that was.

 

Something similar happened with post-SSRI sexual dysfunction (PSSD). AT first, I felt complete genital anesthesia. In the first year, feeling gradually came back. Over the following years, sexual response gradually came back. Orgasm was absent, then faint, then intermittent. Now it's restored to close to normal, and libido is present (though not like it was; I'm menopausal).

 

There were many other symptoms that faded in the same way.

 

What has healing felt like for you?

 

Your description of a dark cloud slowly getting lighter is pretty much the way it has been for me.  I was healing more or less gradually for about 9-10 months before I smoked pot with a combination of adderall, and totally REVERSED all healing that took place - it was like the clouds had begun to clear when all of a sudden a STRONG thuderstorm just overtook my life.  That thunderstorm is now slowly dissipating but it's still much darker than it was 13 months ago before I smoked the pot while coming down from adderall.

 

I haven't had too many windows, mostly just gradual improvement.  DP/DR has gotten much better but I still feel high as a kyte and out of it quite often. 

 

I expect the thunderstorm to continue to clear in the coming years, but I completely expect this condition to last for a very long time.  I'll definitely let everyone know when I get my first long window.

 

Thanks for the post.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
oskcajga

I remember (with 12 step help) healing like this: Holy "beeeep". I feel ridiculously and criminally amazballs. I looked around for the proverbial other shoe - to drop on my head...for someone to tell me I am behaving manically to the degree I needed to be in hospital...for the feeling to run off with the circus.

 

I have my challenges, though many of my posts do not reflect it all that often. 

 

I also find being of service to those struggling in a place I have been in and overcame to be a great healer for more than just myself, but esp to see where I was...and now am....and heading. 

 

 

This is honestly how I predict it will feel once I've recovered from this nerve damage.  I'll feel too good, like I've encountered a manic phase or something, while in reality this is just how many people feel every single day.  Currently, I've been so extremely depersonalized and damaged from my former state for so long, it will feel strange to not want to die every single day.  I used to look to the future as a bright and amazing thing that will be enjoyable and worthwhile, and I think that will someday come back.    I've had a couple of extremely short windows where I felt like this for a minute or two at a time, but nothing much since then - but during the windows I felt like all of a sudden all of my mental functions flooded back into my brain, and it was quite overwhelming.  I just felt like I had so much energy, and that all my limbs and face and everything felt like "mine", not like a part of my body that's hanging on like a chunk of dead weight.

 

I remember feeling good most of the time, and that life consisted of "pleasurable and less pleasurable things", but everything was pleasant and meaningful.  It's been a long time since I've felt like that, but I have hope that when it does come I'll be a much more mature and wise person that will not squader away my time and take much more advantage of my time than ever before.

 

Good post.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
manymoretodays

I know.  Time keeps flying by and I keep going through these repetitive cycles.......at least much less intense but still.  Wish we could stop the clocks for a few weeks or something.  Currently obsessing again on the state of my nest......and yard.......and car.  But can't make a plan because I never know what the next day will bring and I feel broke.  I mean I don't want to spend any savings.  And don't know how to do stuff like I used to........like hire someone to do anything.

 

I did practice idle conversation while out and did just fine.  The monastery is telling me just to forget about repairs and fix ups right now and go out more.  Yah, yah.....I will check the car ASAP but can put air in the low tire and pour in more oil in the meantime.

 

Trying to stay in the "right now".  Turquoise is a nice color and maybe more rain soon.  It's good not to feel driven/urgent about anything.........but then it hits again......just not as bad.  Like "hello driven/urgent......nice to see you again.......sorry you can not stay around for tea or anything".    Something I read on beyondmeds and oh.....there is a good "f--k you kind of brief meditation for anger".  At least I think it was about that.

 

I had a holy "beeeeep" couple of hours or more yesterday.  I feel like I kind of lost my enthusiasm and talked myself out of it today but it is probably more complicated than that.   Or maybe not?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
apace41

This was sent to me by one of our members who asked me to post it.  It was written in the context of benzo withdrawal, but I believe it is equally applicable to the healing process of AD withdrawal (or, as the author puts it, "recovery").  This is very uplifting at least it was for me.  It is long but, in my view, worth it.

 

 

This will hopefully be an encouraging email to make you feel SAFE and ENCOURAGED.

As some of you may know, my degrees are in speech-language pathology (B.A and M.S.)
As part of my Masters study, a big portion of my classes were in neuroanatomy and physiology. 
I learned firsthand how to look at a person who had just undergone a stroke or brain injury and read the symptoms, the radiology reports, the doctor's notes,  and based on those symptoms, to form an image in my mind of what was affected in the brain injury - as well as how to formulate a treatment plan to help that person rehabilitate. For a therapist in a hospital, it is much more than "speech and language". It is about reteaching how to swallow, eat,  rebuilding memory, rebuilding concentation and attention, rebuilding focus, rebuilding executive functioning skills (planning and acting on a plan) -pretty much ANYTHING that is involved in "thinking" that helps you get OUT of a coma, OUT of a hospital, and back to life, work, and school.  

I had NO idea I would ever personally undergo a brain injury.  But insomuch as I have now indeed endured one, I often laid there in waves and attempted to "analyze and decipher" what was happening in my brain as I healed. I thought you all might like to read this. It gives potential answers to all the "WHY?" questions we have about what is happening to us mentally.

First of all, a TRUTH to accept is that WE HEAL.  I have seen people emerge from comas who cannot remember who they are - HEAL. 
They can't remember how to walk (we do).
They can't write their names (we can).
They cannot tell you the year or the president (I was SO bad I was unsure of this at times, but generally, I was oriented to this).
They often cannot remember family members (we can -our D/R can be hideous, but we remember them). 
THEY have to work through many hours of therapy to heal. But most of them do - and from TRAUMATIC PHYSICAL brain trauma that can tear tissue and tear nerves. 
We have none of that. We don't have to undergo therapy. We simply have to wait.

Most of us, me included, didn't expect the temporary "brain injury" we got when jumping off benzos.
But I am starting to realize through my own experience and my educational background, that there is a PURPOSE in every symptom we have.  I have had months and months to analyze what is likely going on in the brain at a gross level - and I want to attempt to explain certain symptoms in a way that we can visualize - so that they are less "scary" and more "telling" of the healing that is happening.

First off - let's start with GABA and Glutamate. Most of you may know how this works by this point. But for those that don't, we have a huge nervous system of millions of nerves (neurons).  They don't "touch" each other. They are separated by a tiny space in between. However, they communicate via chemicals. The 2 MAIN chemicals in the entire nervous system are the BIG GUNS.  They are GABA and Glutamate. They are BOTH at work at ALL times in the CNS.  It isn't like one is working and then the other is working. They are BOTH ALWAYS working in tandem to control every aspect of movement, sensation  - everything. They take the incoming information and appropriately pass it along - they "trim up" the information appropriately so that we can process it.  They are like the steel structure of a building.  The entire building needs a steel structure to stand.  

GABA is inihibitory.  If a nerve releases GABA - it is to Inhibit function - this could be to "slow it down" or it could be to "limit the sensory input" so that we can process it.  In the same way, GABA might be released to help "steady" your hand while doing something like painting a very detailed painting.  GABA "shores up" movements to make them more fluid.   That's just in a nutshell. Of COURSE it does a lot more than this, but the idea is that GABA is present in the ENTIRE CNS and ALWAYS working to balance every sensation, movement, etc.

Likewise, Glutamate is the balance to GABA. It is the "excitatory" transmitter. It fires to speed things up - to initiate action - to make things "go".  There's a lot more to it, but Glutamate is kinda the opposite of GABA.   

BOTH are required to work at all times.  Neurons are ALL ALWAYS firing off GABA and Glutamate on a endless cycle all throughout the nervous system. It's quite amazing really.

What does a benzo do?  If a person is anxious - they may be so stressed that they cannot overcome a very traumatic event or anxious situation.  If a doctor prescribes a benzo - the benzo comes in and sorta "holds the door open" for ALL the GABA in the system to FLOOD into the nerves - even when that is not what the nerves would actually want to occur. The immediate effect is that EVERYTHING ni the body SLOWS DOWN and is inhibited. This might be helpful during surgery, for anesthesia, for a seizure disorder.  Yes - the benzo - by definition - will act on GABA and "slow everything down".  And yes - the net effect of this is that a person may feel drowsy, calm, less anxious... everything is being inhibited.    And in general, taking a benzo for "one day"  is okay. When the benzo is gone, the body just reverts back to regular operation. 
HOWEVER, if a person takes a benzo day after day,  while indeed the person feels less anxious, the body begins to realize that it cannot DO the things it needs to do in this very slowed-down neuron state. It cannot make hormones. It cannot create enzymes. It cannot digest correctly. It cannot keep a heart going efficiently. It cannot get enough oxygen- and on and on. The body NEEDS to run at "normal" speed - not this "inhibited speed" all slowed down.  
But what can the body do? It cannot "remove the benzo" from the system. The only choice the body has to maintain a regular speed is to do two things ..  It can TURN OFF it's own GABA receptors - thereby rendering those benzos unable to affect the GABA in the system. And it can grow MORE excitatory Glutamate receptors to counteract the slow-down.  And that's kinda exactly what happens....

Only - this isn't true balance either.  The body does the best it can - but over time, things begin to suffer.  The body cannot make enough serotonin in this state. Or dopamine. Some things get made in excess - and other things do not get made enough!  During this time, a person may not be aware this is all going on. He may not be able to perceive any difference. But ONE day - the person may wake up sad - or not sleeping well - or unable to remember things fully - or his vision doesn't look right....and it becomes apparent the person has "hit tolerance".  The body is taking the same amount of drug -but try as it might, it just cannot overcome what has occured. It can take weeks, months or years to hit tolerance. Some people do and some don't before trying to get off benzos.  (I did. - it took me 9 months to hit tolerance.  But it was fast.  Once I hit it, I could notsleep more than 6 hours on all that klonopin AND Ambien! I couldn't remember things last week. I was crying all the time... something was wrong.)

The process to reverse this takes a while.  GABA receptors have to UPregulate and effectively "reopen" or "grow back".  Glutamate receptors must DOWNregulate, or effectively "turn off" or "prune back".  And IN this mix, all the smaller monoamines (neurotransmitters like serotonin, dopamine, norepinephrine) must somehow find a way to synthesize in the mix.  Through weeks and months the body is rebuildling millions of neurons, and changing pathways, rebuilding GABA, downregulating Glutamate, rebuilding serotonin, rebuilding dopamine, rebuilding norepinephrine.  And ALL the enzymes and hormones that need to be made are attempting to be made while this is going on.  Basically- you have a building where the MAJOR streel structures are trying to be rebuilt at different times - ALL while people are coming and going in the building and attempting to work.

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

So - okay - what is happening in that chaos?  What parts of the brain are responsible for these symptoms?  

Now, I don't "know" the following based on research, because not enough research has been done yet  - but based on my studies in neuroanatomy and my own withdrawal experiences, here is how I have analyzed what is "happening" during wave symptoms. Remember, I have had to look at radiology reports of brain damage and estimate what a patient might present with - so this is very similar. Instead of a radiology report showing me what has been damaged, I'm using my own brain symptoms to surmise what is going on....

Let me first list brain structures and their functions. This will help you understand where things happen in the brain and when symptoms occur, what may be happening.

BRAIN STRUCTURES 
- amygdala  - This is the FEAR center in the brain. It's a tiny part in the middle of your brain. Fear is protective and it's GREAT if you need to assess something that is dangerous and to ACT  - like if a rabid dog were chasing you. - but it's hard in recoveyr when it's all you feel for months! But the FEAR is not truly in your MIND. It's in your BRAIN.  There is too much glutamate acting here in the amygdala and not enough GABA. So the nerves are firing off in the fear center when nothing scary is really there in your environment.  It is normal for that to happen given the circumstance physiologically. But it feels awful, doesn't it?  I know.  But it's just a brain structure. This can account for fear, agoraphobia, fear of water, fear of anything.  It's not that you're really "scared" of the moon - it's that you're in almost constant fear because this brain structure is healing. The glutamate is pruning back. The GABA receptors are opening back up.  It may or may not continue for awhile. It will abate. Then come back. But eventually, the brain will get it right.  

-Hippocampus - This is the "memory" center of the brain. It ties in old memories to emotions.  The same thing is happening here that is happening in the amygdala with GABA and Glutamate. So - voila. You get intrusive memories from ALL times in your life.  It's wild and wicked and wooly. But it can't hurt you. And if you can learn to visualize this as what is happening - then you can learn to be objective and realize it's normal.  And like the amygdala - it will come and go and frustrate you, but it will go away when the physiology is restored.

Hypothalamus This is the structure that is responsible for regulating body temperature. In early withdrawal, my body temperature would drop to 96 degrees in waves! Then 3 hours later, it would return to normal. I'd literally freeze in terror in bed for hours.  I am sure it is more complicated that JUST the hypothalamus, but I could picture this part of my brain retuning and restructuring, and it was less scary that way. 

The following structures in the brain are part of the "gray matter" or the "cortex "and what we consider to be the "higher brain"- the thinking and processing parts. 

Frontal Lobe This is the part of the brain behind the front of the skull. It is responsible for planning things. For making decisions. For inhibiting emotions appropriately.  It is the part of the brain you need if you want to make a sandwich and need to get out the ingredients and actually make the sandwich. I have seen people with brain injury be able to TELL you how to make a sandwich - but when they are standing there in front of all the ingredients, they cannot actually move to act to make it! They have frontal lobe damage. They can TELL someone how to make it. But they cannot themselves initiate doing it! As you can imagine, with therapy, and time to heal, this goes away. And we are a lot like this - but it goes away for us, too.  I could not organize my children't toys just 4 months ago.  Not a simple room of toys. I didn't know where to start and I literally could not mentally do it. I imagine this is partly why.  No frontal lobe GABA. And too much Glutamate.   But now, check out this post I"m typing.  Obviously that changed. 
This calms down and these things come back. 

Occipital Lobe This is the vision center. t's at the back of your skull.   In recovery, my nerves have been all wacked here. I see things as too bright - possible due to this lobe - and/or the actual visual nerves in the eyes.  But no doubt people "see things" that aren't there.  Vision is distorted. Things go blurry.  Colors are totally off.Brightness is off.  There are a hundred symptoms possible in vision alone!  But again - it's a matter of time.

Vestibular System This is the system of semi-circular canals in the inner ear that are responsible for making you feel balanced in space.  When this is "off" or damaged temporarily, you feel dizzy. Oh man, was I dizzy. Early off - I felt like I lived in a funhouse.  Over time, a combination of this vestibular system and my damaged visual system made things look like they were "leaning". To this day, one eye sees things "correctly" and the other eye sees things as SLIGHTLY leaning. And it's not that the eye itself is seeing them that way.  The healing vestibular system is working WITH the eye to "tell" the brain that that object looks like it is "moving left-wards" or "leaning". But it isn't.  In waves, this can happen bad - and then be GONE - poof - in a window. This is just the vestibular system healing. It's gotten WAY better. 

Temporal Lobe  These lobes are on the side of your brain on each side near your ear. It makes up the whole left and ride side of your brain.  This is where auditory information is processed, including hearnig itself, but also the "Meaning" of what we are hearing, as well as part of speech and language, emotion, and buncha other stuff.  In early recovery, someone was talking to me and I couldn't tell you what they said past the first sentence.  My auditory processing was ALL messed up.  I couldn't picture what a person was saying to me in real time - and by the time I caught up to them, I was lost and they were talking about something else! Also - When I was laying there in bed, I could "hear" things that weren't there in the noise of my box fan. I'd hear the fan blowing -but I also "heard" like sickening circus music. I believe this is because there is noise coming into my ear - but my brain cannot adequately "prune" what it is hearing at differnet frequecies because there is not enough GABA to inhibit it to create something meaninful.  There was all this "noise" and my brain was just firing off glutamate.  So instead of actually "processing" the noise - it was firing off ideas about what it was hearing - and they were ALL wrong.  I would be hearing what sounded like circus music - and at the same time, my poor brain was looking through my hippocampus to find all the memories I ever had of being at the circus - and then I'm reliving those memories- and at the same time, my amygdala is getting fired upon - so I'm in fear. So I'm a quivering mess of a person laying in the bed hearing and seeing things and remembering times in my childhood and scared to pieces.  Seriously? Yes - I felt crazy. But not in my MIND.  It was my BRAIN.  It's the BRAIN.  And it's normal. The structures in the brain are "obligated" to work this way.

That brings me to my next point... WHY do all of us in benzo recovery have generally the same symptoms? Well - it may make you feel calmer to realize that our brain structures are NOT broken. They are doing EXACTLY what they are supposed to do under the circumstances.  And all of our perceptions of what we are seeing, feeling, hearing- are normal because the parts of our brains that are firing off are doing so because a) They still DO work. B) They work just as they were intended to. c) They are actually healing as all this firing is going on.  

Why the depression and anxiety? It's so complicated, but this WHOLE system is interdependent. At that SAME time as ALL this stuff is going on, the entire body is trying to heal in every place GABA and Glutamate naturally act (uh - and that would be - EVERYWHERE).
The intestines, stomach, eye balls, skin, toenails - seriously - where do we NOT have nerves?  
Anything we didn't have as a pre-existing condition is fair game for being affected by the recovery that takes place.  
This includes the body's own ability to make serotonin that is required to feel "balanced" and "happy". And you guessed it. This is not being made very efficiently in a building that is under major construction. So - you may get a day or so of feeling good - and then - boom - that's gone until you can make enough serotonin.
Oh - and by the way - serotonin HELPS TELL THE NERVES WHEN TO RELEASE GABA AND GLUTAMATE! Ha! 
So on top of needing GABA to make serotonin, you need serotonin to regulate the release of GABA into the system!  
How much more interconnected can you get?  God - it's a wonder it knows how to heal at all!  But it does!  Amazing to me, really.

This is just some limited information to give an idea of what is going on in neurophysiology.  Obviously this is very cursory and not super detailed. But there is a bigger point here than "what parts of the brain are affected".  
The point REALLY is - IF  YOU KNOW that symptoms are tied to parts of a NORMAL brain under reconstruction, then you can begin to rest a little more easy in your mind that under the circumstances, the symptoms themselves are a GOOD sign.  
Without intrusive memories - as awful as they are - especially when mixed with fear - but without them, your memory itself would not heal.  It IS healing - and when you are having intrusives, try to think of it that way.  Tap your finger to your temple and say to yourself, "I know what this is. This is my hippocampus healing! Ha!" Because it IS.  And if it were NOT healing, you would not be having those symptoms.  ANY part of the brain or body that needs to heal is going to "experience" something in the form of symptoms - and you are going to notice that. But it is part of  process that is inevitably returning to the balance that it could not achieve while we were still putting those pills in our mouths.  (And if you're tapering, this is still happening - just likely with less trauma than with what happened to me when I cold-turkeyed.)

So - when you have symptoms - know that symptoms themselves are a way for you to know that healing is taking place.

And finally - realize that the DRUG is GONE.  This is withdrawal - yes - okay -we call it withdrawal -  but it's really "recovery".
The benzos are gone. The "evil drug" is no longer there.  The symptoms that are left are not the "enemy". That's our brains doing the EXACT right thing. What's happening to our brain at this point is not the "benzo beast"  It's OUR BRAIN recovering.
Not to degrade anyone who calls it the benzo beast  - I get that. But just so you know - you're not really fighting a beast.
You don't even need to fight it.  Just wait it out. All that reconstruction is happening on your building. 
And soon - the frame will be back standing, stronger than before. The furniture will be inside. The elevators will go all the way up to the top again.   And the people can come and go and work like a well-oiled machine.  
Don't feel you need to fight the recontruction. It's just healing. And all that is happening to us is a sign of that.

Hope this helps somebody a little - or maybe a family member.  

And if you ARE a family member, please realize that those of us in recovery are no more in control of how we feel or what we experience than people who have undergone brain trauma in a car accident. Please be patient with us, because our brains are healing and we are in the process of reconstruction - and our function is temporarily enabled, then disabled, then enabled, then disabled again.  And that is totally normal and expected.  We can no more help that than a person can "want" to wake up out of a coma. It happens when the brain is able - and not out of sheer will.  But it does happen. So please stand by us and say loving things and reassure us every day. Notice our improvements and tell us what they are.  Encourage us when we feel good.  And when we don't, just hold us and hug us and tell us it will be okay.  Anything you would say or do for a family member that had had a car accident and a brain injury - please do that for us.  And be patient... we are getting there. 



ADDENDUM

 I got a great PM from a buddy asking "What about the physical symptoms of pain?" - and think it deserves some theoretical attention.

I want to take some time to add some theories about PAIN and physical symptoms such as burning, akathisia, and tingling, prickling, and things that happen during recovery of this nature.

I will also add this as an addendum to the original post on page 1. 

First off, let it be said that I can only "theorize" as to this, - I am not a doctor.  But I DO think logical theories are helpful because they give us a story and mindful logic to cope with in the MEANTIME as we are going through this.

So these are multiple sources of information that I'm tying together - some are from nerve regeneration, and some are from what we know about "how the brain works".  And some or ALL of this is likely going on when it comes to pain and skin/muscle sensations:

First off - I think a good quote comes from a Plastic Surgery practice that has published things on "nerve regeneration after injury".  

The quote follows:

"The usual events associated with normal nerve regeneration can be painful. As the regenerating ends of the nerve, called sprouts, travel, they make contact with each other and with structural proteins. The neural impulses generated by this activity may be interpreted by your brain as pain. It should be expected that for the time period associated with nerve regeneration there may be pain sufficient to need therapy and/or pain medication. Just understanding that this is expected to occur, and is "good pain'; or pain for a good reason, is enough to help many people adjust to its presence.  This condition is not just one of pain, but is associated with over activity of the sympathetic nervous system, so that the area of pain is a different color, like pink or purple, and is usually a different temperature, like cooler, than the surrounding non-painful skin."  http://www.riversongplasticsurgery.com/pdfs/nerve_injury_nerve_reconstruction_recovery.pdf

Well- this article isn't talking about "benzo - related nerve damage. It's talking about nerve damage caused by physical trauma of crushing, cutting, or compressing nerves. But what can we glean from it nonetheless?

We can assume that if the sympathetic nervous system is involved in the presence of pain related to healing nerves - AND IT IS- that it is also NORMAL for us to have pain as we are undergoing healing. 

When I was in earliest recovery, I would often get out of the shower and have pink spots all over my feet and my abdomen. At first they were bright pink for about 2 months - and then they faded out and I don't have them anymore.  I have no idea what they were - but they were NOT there 12 days prior to my rapid taper - and then they showed up.  The spots weren't symmetrical - they followed no pattern, but they were alway in the same place on my skin.  And only after getting out of the shower.  It is easy to see how the nervous system could be involved in skin redness, irritation, and weird feelings associated with recovery.

Likewise, throughout recovery, I've had and continue to have cooling, burning, prickling and occasional stabbing sensations. I've had it feel like my skin was "wet" when there was no water on it.  Again, though. This is all normal - and like the quote says above.."Just understanding that this is expected to occur, and is "good pain'; or pain for a good reason, is enough to help many people adjust to its presence."  It doesn't make the pain FEEL any better in the moment, but it does help us not to become anxious about it. It's normal.  And it's a sign of healing.

What about akathisia?
Well  - from the reading, the exact cause of akathisia is not 100% conclusive, but it seems to be related to dopaminergic and/or noradrenergic activity in the brain  (dopamine and norepinephrine or noradrenaline as it is also called). These are just neurotransmitters - and it doesn't look (to me) to be exactly conclusive WHY this happens - but akathisia can happen after the use of many psychoactive drugs- not just benzos - and likely because anything that alters brain chemistry can alter dopemine and norepinephrine. So - okay. That makes sense.  We all took "brain altering" drugs - and now some of us have akathisia.  Guess what?  It seems pretty normal!  It's not fun. But it's normal.  And it can come and go and then go away eventually.  For me, I didn't get akathisia at all until month 8. It was a surprise.  It was intense and awful. But it passed in a few weeks. Since then, I have had it off and on - but not to that degree.  And now - it's mostly just annoying.  Something as simple as a good hard cry in the bathtub can COMPLETELY remove it at times.  And other times, I just have to wait for a wave to pass. But all in all, from all this information - it's normal. And the fact that it's coming and going and I'm getting hit here and there - it's a sign that the wheels are turning up there in the noggin - and things are shifting and attempting to rebalance.  So if we can keep that quote in mind - it's normal - and while the sensation itself is very uncomfortable - if not painful - it can be regarded as a "good pain" if we are able to recognize that our feeling it means we have a brain and nerves that are regaining their abilities to function. 

Likewise, as a scab heals over a wound, the new skin formin underneath can become "itchy". Why does this occur? Why does a scab itch?

"The itch of a healing wound is caused by the growth of new cells underneath the old scab. New skin cells would be growing underneath, and as they form a new layer of skin, then the scab becomes more tightly stretched over this zone of activity. This can make it feel itchy. The itch sensation for burn survivors may be a tingling feeling caused by nerves re-growing, or from dry skin caused by the lack of natural oil production since oil glands may have been damaged or destroyed by the burn. As the nerves grow and start to receive and send messages, they may create that itchy feeling. The skin in this area will be a lot less thick than everywhere else, so these new nerve cells will be under a lot more pressure. Itching is a sign of healing." (Mayo Clinic)

As we can surmise, the umpteen bajillion sensation we have going on are not 100% conclusive in their origins....HOWEVER...
There IS a trend.

From what it seems like from all the reading... 
NERVE REGENERATION CAN CAUSE UNPLEASANT SENSATIONS. As counterintuitive as it is,  HEALING CAN FEEL LIKE HURT. 
But it's NOT further hurt or damage. It's the REVERSAL of damage.  

Um  - yeah - okay. Great - but what do I DO about it.

Pretty much the things that I have discovered that help through this healing are to "CONFUSE" the nerves as much as possible, IF possible.  
What? Confuse the nerves? 

You know how you get a cut or an insect bite and you immediately press on it to make it feel less painful? What you are doing when you press or squeeze the area is "desensitizing' the entire skin region of the cut by applying pressure to ALL the nerves in the area. That way, the ONE sensation of pain from the cut isn't the only thing your brain is feeling.  The pressure from pushing down on  ALL the nerves in the area helps to send multiple sensation to the brain to "counteract" the pain sensation.  And it works.
Similarly, other things can help "confuse" nerves:
-Heat
-Cold
-Deep Pressure
- Massage
-creams like "Icy Hot" with menthol 

All of these things have helped me cope in recovery.

Let me take it one by one:

Heat: I took and STILL take hot baths almost every day. In the peak of akathisia, I lived in the tub.   As hot as I could stand it really helped me. All the heat was "overregistering" in my brain and I was unable to feel the akathisia as much when in the tub. It was confusing the nerve signal and it was temporary relief.  I hated those days. But I got through them.  Likewise, a heating pad for pain was my friend a lot of the time.  

-Cold -  I used a cold washcloth on burning skin - and on my face and hands - and kept dipping it in ice water and applying it.  This is an easy one, but it helped. I had a wave with 3 days of "fireface" last month and all I could do was apply the washcloth, lay there and think about how "this is healing" and keep going. But the wave passed.

Deep Pressure  I use a 15 pound weighted blanket to sleep. I have for YEARS. I ordered it online. It has many pockets with little plastic balls equally distributed to create a very heavy blanket that creates "deep pressure". This kind of pressure is calming for anyone's nervous system. Occupational Therapists use it for children with autism, but people with anxiety can benefit from sleeping with one. And in recovery, I was glad to have it.  I used it often together with a heating pad.  It took the edge off just long enough.  

Massage This one CAN be helpful - but sometimes not.  I used to ask my husband just to "press down" on my head or my legs.  Just press there. Don't rub.  My skin hurt too much to rub, but the deep pressure from pressing was helpful. Other times, the actual massage was a help for sore muscles.  I was too agoraphobic to schedule a REAL massage. LOL. But just this help from my family was nice to have.

Creams You're going to laugh, but there was a day that I put Vick's VapoRub on my face because my face was so HOT!  I figured if this is safe for my baby's skin, it's probably okay to try it on my face.  It worked! Oh man - my face felt SO good all day.  I used that for a few days until the wave passed.  I have also tried "Icy Hot" on my back when it was sore.  Things like this work on the same principal to "confuse the nerves".  If your nerves are too busy feeling the heat/cool of menthol, they cannot simultaneously feel "pain". So for a short time, the pain is not "felt" even though the "soreness" is technically still there.

All of these are ways I have coped.  I'm sure there are others you guys have used!! 

The broad idea here is that 
1) Healing is happening.
2) The sensations that feel like injury are NOT injury. They are the CORRECTION of nerve injury.  They just "fire off" as they heal.
3) We can use some things to cope.
4) It's going away in time. 

I know this is not a "fix" to the feelings.  There is nothing anyone could say to me while I was IN pain that made the PAIN better.  All I could do was cope and cry and try to get through it.  But knowing it's normal and that I'm not getting worse; I'm getting better - is always something I benefit from knowing.  

I still get these symptoms - and I'll be SOOOOOO glad when they are gone.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
AprilShowers

Wow. That's great. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
apace41

For those not inclined to read the entire article, and to whet the appetite of those who might be convinced to do so ;) here is a succinct summary (from the conclusion):

 

 

The broad idea here is that 

1) Healing is happening.

2) The sensations that feel like injury are NOT injury. They are the CORRECTION of nerve injury.  They just "fire off" as they heal.

3) We can use some things to cope.

4) It's going away in time. 

I know this is not a "fix" to the feelings.  There is nothing anyone could say to me while I was IN pain that made the PAIN better.  All I could do was cope and cry and try to get through it.  But knowing it's normal and that I'm not getting worse; I'm getting better - is always something I benefit from knowing.  

 

 

Best,

 

Andy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ChessieCat

Brilliant, easy to understand and extremely helpful.

 

Thank you!!! :D

CC

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
KarenB

Thanks for the summary, it's worth remembering those basic yet very true things.  So much hope in them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.