Archive for #withdrawal

SORRY I’VE NOT BEEN OUT TO PLAY LATELY

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on November 7, 2013 by Karen unrue

 

Image

 

I have not posted recently.

Its not because I have lost interest

or don’t want to come out to play with all of you.

I have been having horrendous withdrawal symptoms

since I have come off the benzodiazepan I was prescribed 

and became addicted to three years ago.

I miss being part of the wordpress community

and will be back.

In the meantime I will post when I can 

and continue to read what the rest of you are up to.

Karen

 

 

 

 

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MAN ON THE MOON

Posted in MAN ON THE MOON with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 28, 2013 by Karen unrue

the moon

5.30 this morning.
I go downstairs to the car park
of my apartment building,
(we have no balcony!)
for a cigarette.
I look up
and I see the moon
in all her glory.
I am awe-struck –
as if its the first time I’ve seen it.
I think to myself
that not all that long ago
the moon was a mystery.
Scientists
had not invented a telescope
big enough
to see it properly.
NO ONE
had stood on the moon
and taken pictures
of what we,
the earth,
look like from there.
We had no idea
of what we looked like
in the grand scale of things.
We had no way
of putting ourselves
into perspective
on a universal scale.
NOW WE CAN!!!
earh from the moon
This is important to me
because
I have just returned
from a private clinic
in Cape Town,
South Africa,
where I underwent
a medical detox
for a benzodiazapene,
(tranquilizor)
that my doctor
prescribed
when I experienced
a period of anxiety
3 years ago.
She did NOT make it clear
it was addictive.
The anxiety passed.
The addiction did not!
Turns out that
The National Health Service,
here in Britain,
will give out this shit
like candy
but does not provide an exit strategy.
For the last 3 years
I have been trying to come off it –
without success –
because the side effects are
HORRENDOUS!!
My life was being torn apart.

torn clothing

In the end
I had no choice
but to go private.
I am blessed
that I received a compensation
pay-out at this time,
for something,
that enabled me to afford it.
There are MANY others
who are not so fortunate.

I am home now,
back in London,
CLEAN!

BUT

the on-going side effects
of withdrawal
from a benzodiazapene
are also
HORRENDOUS!!
no one prepared me for this!!
Yesterday
I spent hours
at the emergency room
of a local hospital
having chest x-rays,
and EGC’s
because I thought
I was having
a heart attack.
I passed out for 2 hours
while writing an email to my boss.
Even when sitting still
it feels like a steam train is running through me!!

steam train

Of course
all my tests came back healthy.
This was a relief
BUT
what the F***K
was wrong with me?
I went on a website
http://www.benzobuddies.com
and all was revealed.
It turns out that
that being on a benzo
causes such trauma
to the brain
and central nervous system,
that once a person
has come off of it –
they have to work really really
hard to heal.
Neurotransmitters
are struggling to reconnect –
the brain and the body
are desperately trying to
put Humpty Dumpty back together again.

humpty dumpty

So I looked at the moon
this morning
and thought to myself –
THANK GOD
there has been a man on my moon!
THANK GOD
there are people out there
who have seen the view from up there
and can give me perspective.
THANK GOD
there are those
who have experienced this
and can support
and encourage me.

It can take up to a year
for these side effects
to abate.
But I am not alone!!!!
There are other astronauts with me!

I will be ok!!!

man on the moon

To all of you who have supported me and prayed for me during this time – thank you so much
To anybody who is going through this themselves – don’t give up – stay strong – go to http://www.benzobuddies.com
Contact me if you like – I am happy to answer any questions you may have.

GOD BLESS

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BEDTIME FOR BENZO

Posted in Tranquillizers with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 22, 2013 by Karen unrue

bedtime for bonzo

While I lived in the US
Ronald Reagan,
somehow, managed to become
The President of the United States of America.
I say “somehow” because
in his preceding
career he was
best known
for playing side-kick
to a chimp
in some forgettable films,
which included
“BEDTIME FOR BONZO”.
It interested me
that this same Mr Reagan,
who later rose to
such dizzy heights,
was
while associated
with Bonzo,
ADDICTED TO MEDIOCRITY.
And that putting
“Bonzo to bed”
was key to him
reaching his
potential.

ronald reagan

WHY DO I MENTION THIS?

Well,
I’m not saying
I aspire
to be President.
but I am sick
to death
of the mediocrity
in my life.
I wish to leave
it behind,
to get on
and reach
my potential –
whatever that might be.
I WANT TO PUT MY BENZO TO BED
But I am stuck,
and I can’t.

question

LET ME EXPLAIN.

Just over 2 years ago I was seeing a therapist who for several years listened, and talked me through the “why’s” of the debilitating “anxiety” that I experienced at times since ending my abusive marriage. She also taught me the “how’s” of managing these times until they buggered off completely. She was terrific and I worked hard.
I have not needed to see her for 2 years now which is wonderful.

HOWEVER

During the time that I was seeing this therapist my well-meaning doctor put me on lorazepam to help ease the anxiety. She did not tell me it was addictive. Lorazepam is a benzodiazepine. It is called Ativan in the US. Benzo is a shortened name for benzodiazepine.

I have, for the last 2 years, been attempting to come off Lorazepam – my benzo.
I HAVE FAILED.
Here is why –

“It is more difficult to withdraw people from benzodiazepines than it is from heroin. It just seems that the dependency is so ingrained and the withdrawal symptoms you get are so intolerable that people have a great deal of problem coming off……..” Professor Malcolm H Lader, Royal Maudesley Hospital

Here is a photo I took that, for me, captures how it feels to be addicted to a benzo

IMG_1687

YOU FEEL HUMAN BUT NOT QUITE HUMAN

There is a strong feeling of disassociation, like living in a fuzzy mental bubble.
communication is difficult because short term memory fails you and words are hard to recall.
Also it sometimes just feels like too much effort to hold a conversation.
It is impossible to concentrate for long periods of time.
Fatigue is all consuming.
Muscle aches and cramps, joint pain and swelling are SO painful.
Occasional numbness and tremor in the hands.
Walking is difficult sometimes.
Coordination is off.
Vision is impaired.
Bloating and nausea.
Irritability.
Over reaction to small things.
The need to withdraw, be alone, or sleep is often overwhelming.
All sorts of problems with digestive system.
Bouts of insomnia
etc etc etc etc etc

lorazepam

For the last 2 and 1/2 years I have taken 1 mg of lorazapem 4 times a day because it’s so hard to come off.
I now know that this dose means that I am taking the equivalent to 40 grams of valium each day!

THAT IS A HEFTY DOSE OF TRANQUILLIZER

I asked my GP to see if the NHS provided medically assisted withdrawal.
She looked but could find NOTHING.
I searched the web for charities, support groups etc that would assist me to come off my benzo.
I found ONE and this turned out to be so utterly useless it made you want to take more drugs!!!!!
I TRIED TO COME OFF ON MY OWN –
I followed on-line advice to reduce the dose by shaving minute bits off one pill over several weeks.
I got down to 3 pills a day but the side effects were so awful I had to return to 4 a day.
I then tried another on-line method.
My doctor gave me the equivalent dose of valium for the lorazepam I would shave off. The plan being to eventually transfer to valium altogether which is easier to withdraw from.
Again I got down to 3 pills a day but the side effects knocked me for six and I had to go back up to 4 a day.

I WAS AT MY WIT’S END

BECAUSE

The symptoms described above were taking their toll on my:-

Ability to reliably turn up to my job and be able to do it when I was there.
Ability to connect effectively with my partner of 12 years.
Ability to turn up to planned events with friends and family.

I eventually had to quit my job.
My partner, understandably, experienced a lot of stress and resentment owing to my behaviour.
It has put a lot of stress on our relationship – and this is not yet resolved.
That is worrying.

another-anime-theories-blog-eyepatch-girl-deaths-parakeet-final-destination

WHY AM I TELLING YOU ALL THIS?

There are several reasons

This last month I have reached crisis point and have been so unwell that My partner has graciously paid for me to go to a private clinic to withdraw from lorazepam.

Crescent+Clinic+Cape+Town+-76233_l_6fc5a6aec6df1e85a74427e2196f505f

I leave on Saturday 24th August for Cape Town, South Africa for 3 weeks.
It is cheaper than to go to any private clinic of similar quality in the UK.
I am NOT looking forward to it – I understand it is a very unpleasant experience

BUT I LONG to be free of this toxic substance that has me addicted to mediocrity, it is:-
ruining my health
ruining my working life
ruining my ability to be independent financially.
ruining my creativity and ability to fulfil plans
and most of all – potentially ruining my relationship with my wonderful girlfriend.

I could have quietly skulked off and pretended I was going on holiday,
BUT I wanted to be honest and transparent on this blog
BECAUSE
there are loads of people going through this.
It SO important to know that we are not alone.
IF my being open helps someone then that is great.

hug 1

So – I will not be blogging for 3 weeks as I undergo treatment.

But please if you have read this and you too are suffering on a benzo
do get in touch,
share your experience if you want to
and I will reply on my return.
I am not wise
I do not have the answers
but I have been there,
I do understand
and would love to have a chat.

so it’s

“BEDTIME FOR BENZO”

and remember

DONT GIVE UP!

hope

Vennie Kocsis

The life and times of a cult child

Ramblings of Ruin

A collection of stories.

Life In Detox

Recovery Blogger. Sober AF. Photographer. Storyteller. Writer.

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