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Positive The Tapering Supportive/Social Thread

THECATINTHEHAT

Bluelighter
Joined
Oct 17, 2005
Messages
7,309
Nah it gets easier than that in time if you do the right stuff!

I got ton the point where I didn't think about the fact I had substance abuse issues for weeks on end because things got better. Now one can argue about whether that is good or represents dangerous lack of self-awareness, but it definitely doesnt have to be one day at a time forever.
 

MagickalKat777

Bluelight Crew
Joined
Feb 4, 2004
Messages
7,030
Location
Denver, CO
It seems like my life has been one day at a time for quite a while. I don’t know that sobriety won’t be a one day at a time thing too. It would be nice to not have to deal with it long term though!

(although I have to say that all of this has taught me how to live on very little, how to use credit responsibly, and how to have money in savings so there’s that at least)
 

THECATINTHEHAT

Bluelighter
Joined
Oct 17, 2005
Messages
7,309
Oh don't get me wrong I've had a lot of one day at a time as well, been there a lot recently!

It doesn't have to be that way forever though, now I have tasted a degree of successful living away from drugs it does make it a lot easier to get through the early days of recovery. Before I had that I just had no clue about what life would be like and how to live it without drugs and it was shit scary, but now I know I can do it it's so much easier to stay positive through the early days.
 

Squeaky

Bluelighter
Joined
Feb 1, 2016
Messages
1,104
Location
USA
Thank you very much for sharing your story with me. It is definitely difficult. I have tapered down to 1.6mg of diazepam as of right now (daily liquid micro taper with my own homemade solution). I have at least 13 more months of planned tapering. I live in my house. More specifically, I live in my room. I can make it to the mailbox and back once every month or so and I make it out of the house for therapy one time a month at the most -- I actually end up having to do a number of those appointments over the phone (and thanks to COVID-19, I will probably be doing it that way for awhile because my immune system took an absolute beating once I started tapering). It is exactly as you say, I don't know how to live life without the pills. It has indeed been a very long time. I am quite frankly amazed that I am substance free right now, I don't even vape nicotine anymore and I have been off the alcohol for over 2 1/4 years. I was self medicating with alcohol from the age of 17 and obviously when the tolerance withdrawal got bad with the benzos, I turned to alcohol to make up the difference in increasingly ridiculous amounts. I have tried tapering before, back in 2012, and I couldn't finish. When I failed, I went right off the deep end with the drinking. I think the only reason why I gave it up this last time was because I was about to be homeless again and I didn't want to do the couch surfing/fuck buddy thing I had to do when I was fighting for disability again.

I am fortunate that I eventually won my SSDI benefits after 3 years of fighting for them and my roommates right now are supportive as much as they can be. I have been really struggling since I got under 2mg though. It would be very easy at this point for me to go off the deep end and I think the fact that my subconscious was harping on me to get on Bluelight and post in TDS after not being active for years shows just how close I am to the edge and how hard I am fighting to get my life back. My psychiatrist asks me what dose I am currently taking and how many pills I need (she can't do the math on doses which is crazy to me but whatever). I am actually fortunate that she lets me direct my own treatment. My original taper plan I drew up and brought to her was supposed to be from 2/2018-6/2019... She hasn't given me a hard time about the fact its going to take me two years+ longer than the original plan.

The thing is, I don't know who I am when I'm sober. I don't even know if I am capable of remaining sober once I am taken out of the bubble that I currently exist in..... and if I am being totally honest, I am not sure that the work is worth the hassle. At least when I drank I could do more than sit in my room -- in fact, I could even go to a club if I wanted to -- it wasn't until the alcohol wore off that everything really went to shit.

Sorry, I droned on more than I meant to. I'm feeling quite scattered today. Anyway, thank you for the reassurance that life is better without benzos. That is the hope that I keep clinging to. I really can't afford to fail this time because it will truly be the end of me. With how much I was drinking, its a miracle that I don't have severe liver damage. I already know the first thing I'll do if I fail is turn to alcohol -- this time my liver won't put up with a third to half of a handle of vodka 5-7 days a week.
I used to drink..... A LOT. For about 15 years. I was very functional as a drunk. Great employee, father, etc. And then the pills for a few years. So yeah, I know exactly what you mean about self-medication.
I always felt like I knew who I was when I was sober, but that I really didn’t like that person(me). I drank so that I could be a better person, and %95 of the time that was genuinely true. My head was so confused and scrambled when I was sober that everyone in my life made sure there was alcohol available for me, because I was a much nicer person when I drank. And the pills literally took the place that alcohol left.
After the pills I couldn’t drink much at all. 2 fucking margaritas and I was puking the whole next day (an average day for me previously would have been around a liter of whiskey or gin, or 25 beers..... every day) So I had to make some life choices since my band-aid wasn’t working any more and it really sucked. Mainly because I didn’t know what to do and nobody could tell me anything useful.
Several doctors, different treatments, 4 back surgeries, 20 screws in my spine, and 5 years of struggling later I feel like I’m pretty close to figuring life out without having so much stuff to numb the pain. But it never gets easy, just easier every day until one day you look back and it’s been a couple of months and you have been handling shit on your own pretty well.
I always felt that when my head was scrambled and I couldn’t handle life, or when my back was hurting (enough that I could still walk but not so much that I couldn’t sit upright) that the solution was to crawl into bed and hide. Sometimes for days. “If it hurts, whether it is my back or my head, the best way to take care of myself is to be in bed, right?” Not always.
Depression fucking sucks. And it’s worse when you’re in withdrawal. No matter if I’m hungover or the screws in my spine are coming loose(that actually happened at one point) hiding in my bed felt like the only way to deal with my pain when I no longer had my crutches(i.e. booze and pills) and the people in my life seemed to be very supportive of my obvious pain when I was lying in bed. But unless I was really hurt it didn’t really fix much in my spine or in my brain.
Fresh air and sunshine really helped me. Not exercising, just forcing myself to Get out of bed, taking a shower, eat breakfast, brush/shave/get dressed..... and go find some sun, preferably alone.
 

EPL1

Bluelighter
Joined
May 3, 2018
Messages
1,212
I have been reading your messages to others on here for some time.

Never stop posting, you are such a bright light around here, and you give people, more than anything else, hope, and a great example that it CAN be done.

I also really enjoy the honest and succinct way in which you respond to others.


I hope you have a fantastic day THECATINTHEHAT.


Much love.
Your friend,
Ash. <3



Oh don't get me wrong I've had a lot of one day at a time as well, been there a lot recently!

It doesn't have to be that way forever though, now I have tasted a degree of successful living away from drugs it does make it a lot easier to get through the early days of recovery. Before I had that I just had no clue about what life would be like and how to live it without drugs and it was shit scary, but now I know I can do it it's so much easier to stay positive through the early days.
 

THECATINTHEHAT

Bluelighter
Joined
Oct 17, 2005
Messages
7,309
I have been reading your messages to others on here for some time.

Never stop posting, you are such a bright light around here, and you give people, more than anything else, hope, and a great example that it CAN be done.

I also really enjoy the honest and succinct way in which you respond to others.


I hope you have a fantastic day THECATINTHEHAT.


Much love.
Your friend,
Ash. <3
Hey thankyou so much for saying something so nice!

I was feeling pretty shit about things in general today until you posted this and it's made me feel much better. I dont pretend to have all the answers to drug addiction but theres quite a lot that I know ow that I wish I knew when I started on this journey so I just try to share that stuff

I hope you have a great day too. Thankyou again for going out of your way to say that it's honestly made me feel much better about myself.

I hope you have a great day too.
Your friend,
Owain

:) :):)
 

MagickalKat777

Bluelight Crew
Joined
Feb 4, 2004
Messages
7,030
Location
Denver, CO
I guess one really good thing is that my days where I want to get fucked up aren’t that frequent.
I used to drink..... A LOT. For about 15 years. I was very functional as a drunk. Great employee, father, etc. And then the pills for a few years. So yeah, I know exactly what you mean about self-medication.
I always felt like I knew who I was when I was sober, but that I really didn’t like that person(me). I drank so that I could be a better person, and %95 of the time that was genuinely true. My head was so confused and scrambled when I was sober that everyone in my life made sure there was alcohol available for me, because I was a much nicer person when I drank. And the pills literally took the place that alcohol left.
After the pills I couldn’t drink much at all. 2 fucking margaritas and I was puking the whole next day (an average day for me previously would have been around a liter of whiskey or gin, or 25 beers..... every day) So I had to make some life choices since my band-aid wasn’t working any more and it really sucked. Mainly because I didn’t know what to do and nobody could tell me anything useful.
Several doctors, different treatments, 4 back surgeries, 20 screws in my spine, and 5 years of struggling later I feel like I’m pretty close to figuring life out without having so much stuff to numb the pain. But it never gets easy, just easier every day until one day you look back and it’s been a couple of months and you have been handling shit on your own pretty well.
I always felt that when my head was scrambled and I couldn’t handle life, or when my back was hurting (enough that I could still walk but not so much that I couldn’t sit upright) that the solution was to crawl into bed and hide. Sometimes for days. “If it hurts, whether it is my back or my head, the best way to take care of myself is to be in bed, right?” Not always.
Depression fucking sucks. And it’s worse when you’re in withdrawal. No matter if I’m hungover or the screws in my spine are coming loose(that actually happened at one point) hiding in my bed felt like the only way to deal with my pain when I no longer had my crutches(i.e. booze and pills) and the people in my life seemed to be very supportive of my obvious pain when I was lying in bed. But unless I was really hurt it didn’t really fix much in my spine or in my brain.
Fresh air and sunshine really helped me. Not exercising, just forcing myself to Get out of bed, taking a shower, eat breakfast, brush/shave/get dressed..... and go find some sun, preferably alone.
Sounds like we actually were both drinking around the same amount of time. I had breaks inbetween. I was much more of a bender type (which makes this taper even worse because I have definitely kindled based on how sick I got the last time I drank) and it was hit or miss on whether I actually was a better person or much worse since I tend to bottle up all of my emotions normally like a typical Libra and they would come out in a rather vicious manner when I was drunk. Words can cut deep when you’re an expert at finding the right buttons to push unfortunately. It was even worse because with all the drugs I was doing, I was constantly ending up in hypomanic states anyway and alcohol just made those get increasingly severe for me.

When I went on Xanax I started drinking less just because I would black out from Xanax alone but when I got switched to Klonopin and then Valium and especially when I was on Celexa for, the blacking out went away and my tolerance skyrocketed. At one point I was in the hospital with a .617 BAC and it wasn’t even the alcohol that got me there. The two mixed very well for me and that definitely helped increase my tolerance and dependence on both of them.

I totally hear you on the crawling in bed and hiding thing. I was spending so much time in my bed that I’ve had this Leesa mattress less than 2 years and I am already going to have to replace it soon. $500 mattress and it already has to be replaced. Not happy about that. I actually get very anxious when I’m sitting up. Chairs are a nightmare for me and I can’t ever get comfortable. I have an armchair in my room that I force myself to use but I’m always an anxious mess and end up in my bed a few times a day, even if it’s just for a few minutes.

It is great that you’re able to push past your depression. If I had to deal with screws in my spine, I don’t think I would be coping very well. I can’t even begin to imagine having to go through something like that - I’ve never even broken a bone. Just a collapsed lung and chemical pleurodysis to treat it. I have spent very little time working with a medical doctor as opposed to a psychiatrist. I have lots of dental issues though. And as I am sure you can imagine with my level of anxiety, I spent years using clove oil and Listerine rather than go to the dentist. Went to the oral surgeon and have 4 teeth pulled - a wisdom and three molars on the bottom - and I have a lot more work that I need done but I’m too anxious to get it done. The oral surgeon was easy because they put me under. Not an option for the dentist though. Not sure what I am going to do there.

Getting outside is tough for me. I have static mechanical allodynia in my chest. Clothes quite literally feel like they are burning me, especially when they rub against my sternum (I actually have had panic attacks triggered when sexual partners have rubbed that spot), so I don’t generally wear anything except my boxers. Not exactly “walk out of the apartment” attire. We have been opening up all of the windows every day though because it has been getting warm in the afternoon (we are supposed to hit 89 next week and I am going to be hating life for sure) so I am at least getting fresh air right now. In fact it smells like rain is coming. :)

I think it’s awesome that BL is a safe haven for both those who use and those who are in recovery. I didn’t spend much time in TDS when I was heavily active here because I never wanted to admit I had a problem (many problems, rather). Coming here is definitely helping me to cope where I couldn’t actually share like this on a place like Benzo Buddies so I was suffering through it on my own. Thank you so much for sharing your experiences with me. :)
 

MagickalKat777

Bluelight Crew
Joined
Feb 4, 2004
Messages
7,030
Location
Denver, CO
Hey thankyou so much for saying something so nice!

I was feeling pretty shit about things in general today until you posted this and it's made me feel much better. I dont pretend to have all the answers to drug addiction but theres quite a lot that I know ow that I wish I knew when I started on this journey so I just try to share that stuff

I hope you have a great day too. Thankyou again for going out of your way to say that it's honestly made me feel much better about myself.

I hope you have a great day too.
Your friend,
Owain

:) :):)
It’s kind of funny. I smile every time I see your name. My best friend Taustin was the cat in the hat dude, dressed up that way for raves, and he died in a car accident back in 2006. He was the most beautiful soul I have ever met and his death damn near caused me to take my own life. There have been many times that thinking about him and what he would want me to do or would say to me has given me that extra strength I needed at a time when I was lost in the darkness. I see you doing that same thing here. <3
 

EPL1

Bluelighter
Joined
May 3, 2018
Messages
1,212
When I see good people in the world, I call them out. I'm fucked like that I guess.

On a serious note. I am happy that my message made your day a little brighter. You're a very good person and I just thought you should know I thought so.

Also, I hope you are very proud of yourself for all you have accomplished, and for taking time out of your day to help others.


your friend,
Ash.





Hey thankyou so much for saying something so nice!

I was feeling pretty shit about things in general today until you posted this and it's made me feel much better. I dont pretend to have all the answers to drug addiction but theres quite a lot that I know ow that I wish I knew when I started on this journey so I just try to share that stuff

I hope you have a great day too. Thankyou again for going out of your way to say that it's honestly made me feel much better about myself.

I hope you have a great day too.
Your friend,
Owain

:) :):)
 

Squeaky

Bluelighter
Joined
Feb 1, 2016
Messages
1,104
Location
USA
I guess one really good thing is that my days where I want to get fucked up aren’t that frequent.

Sounds like we actually were both drinking around the same amount of time. I had breaks inbetween. I was much more of a bender type (which makes this taper even worse because I have definitely kindled based on how sick I got the last time I drank) and it was hit or miss on whether I actually was a better person or much worse since I tend to bottle up all of my emotions normally like a typical Libra
I’m a Libra too. Probably contributed to my problems as well
I never got tested, never ended up in a hospital or got arrested, when I was drinking. I always figured I could easily get to a .25 BAC, but holy crap! .6?? How the F$&?! are you still alive? Even a seasoned drunk can die at .4!!
 
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MagickalKat777

Bluelight Crew
Joined
Feb 4, 2004
Messages
7,030
Location
Denver, CO
I’m a Libra too. Probably contributed to my problems as well
I never got tested, never ended up in a hospital or got arrested, when I was drinking. I always figured I could easily get to a .25 BAC, but holy crap! .6?? How the F$&?! are you still alive? Even a seasoned drunk can die at .4!!
Don’t ask me how it happened. There were two times my BAC was that high when I was in the hospital. I took myself to detox when I was on a really bad bender one time and I was drinking Bacardi 151 in the cab straight from the bottle on the way to the ER to keep from sliding into withdrawal. That was .602. Normally I would space my consumption out quite a bit but when I went to bars and clubs, that went out the window every time. The .617 i was on MDMA so I’m not that surprised. Both times the doctors couldn’t believe I wasn’t in a coma. .45 was my “we gotta keep this asshole until it’s below .08 and then send him to the psych ward” average. I sure am glad I haven’t had to go to the psych ward since 2014!

I have had many times where I should have died. Like when I was 17 my first suicide attempt involved a large bottle of extra strength Tylenol (in addition to cough syrup and whatever was up there - I think the only thing I didn’t take was my mom’s levothyroxine). When they tested my blood in the ER after doing the gastric lavage, I had a level of almost 4g/kg. They flat out told me that I was going to die from liver failure and they were going to do what they could for the pain until my liver got to the point nothing would stop the pain anymore. Woke up the next morning and they tested my liver function and found it to be better than it was when I was admitted. Was sent to the psych ward a few hours later. I avoid Tylenol to this day just in case but no worse for the wear really.

With it heating up outside it’s starting to really affect my ability to sleep at night. Fell asleep around 5 this morning. Had a nice brief panic episode and everything. It’s supposed to be 90 on Tuesday and I’m not ready for it.
 

Squeaky

Bluelighter
Joined
Feb 1, 2016
Messages
1,104
Location
USA
Lack of sleep is the “canary in the coal mine” for me. When my body is hurting or I’m stressed about something, I don’t get enough sleep and that has a seriously negative effect on my ability to fight off panic attacks. When I’m rested I have more ability to distract and calm myself when my head goes haywire. After a crappy night not sleeping..... I could have a meltdown because someone used the wrong tone while saying ’good morning’ to me.
I have 3 prescriptions that are good for knocking me out nowadays, so I usually don’t get 2 bad nights in a row any more.
 

MagickalKat777

Bluelight Crew
Joined
Feb 4, 2004
Messages
7,030
Location
Denver, CO
Lack of sleep is the “canary in the coal mine” for me. When my body is hurting or I’m stressed about something, I don’t get enough sleep and that has a seriously negative effect on my ability to fight off panic attacks. When I’m rested I have more ability to distract and calm myself when my head goes haywire. After a crappy night not sleeping..... I could have a meltdown because someone used the wrong tone while saying ’good morning’ to me.
I have 3 prescriptions that are good for knocking me out nowadays, so I usually don’t get 2 bad nights in a row any more.
Yep. Sleep is mandatory for me to be able to cope with panic attacks. It’s going to take a toll pretty quickly on me.

I have trazodone, quetiapine, hydroxyzine, and mirtazapine on hand for insomnia but to be perfectly honest, I am scared to take any of it. Trazodone the last two times I took it has caused me to have palpitations for up to 24 hours, antipsychotics don’t usually work well with my chemistry and the side effects of even low dose quetiapine are frightening, hydroxyzine feels weird and doesn’t help me with sleep or anxiety, and mirtazapine gave me tooth pain last time.

I pretty much just suffer through it and nap during the day if I need to. I suppose that’s one good thing about being homebound- I can lie down any time.
 

Painful One

Bluelighter
Joined
Jan 18, 2017
Messages
3,359
Gabapentin has been great at helping me to sleep and get actual sleep without dreams, dreams, f-ing dreams all the time!
It has really been life changing for me.
It keeps my mood stabilized during the days and also helps with my chronic pain issues.
I am not having to sleep for 15 hours with vivid dreams and nightmares and wake up exhausted.

I have actually been able to stay up at night and sleep for 8 hours and get actual sleep!
Sleep is huge!

I am really doing better!

despite hurting myself from overdoing it and going through a chronic pain flare up right now.
major migraine yesterday.

All in all- improvement to report on my end!

Hang in there everyone!
❤
 
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