The rollercoaster ride that is my life just got a lot wilder. A week and a half ago I took the plunge. I finally stopped taking Temazepam, which I had tapered very slowly over the course of 2 years. The dose of medication I was taking when I quit was miniscule: 1/4 of a milligram. Some nights I’m sure that even though I dutifully took my dose, the drop of water I consumed actually contained no medication. It was time to quit this nonsense. You would think that after a two-year turtle-taper down to a tiny pinch of powder, finally coming off would be anticlimactic. That’s what I thought. Apparently I was wrong.
My body knows something is missing. My muscles tighten around my head and neck like they are trying to perform a facelift without surgery. Sometimes I feel like my head is full of helium, that it’s about to launch itself into the stratosphere. And with the helium-head comes a feeling of altered perception you would have to experience to understand. Some people say it’s like a bad acid trip. I wouldn’t know, as I’ve never taken acid. It really bothers me, though, that I know how that feels.
And the pain! In an earlier post I wrote that I felt that I had been abused and beaten in my benzo prison. The pain is why. Searing nerve pain that darts across my chest and makes me afraid to breath. A tight ache in my jaw that never goes away. And hatchet-head. That’s my nickname for the migraines.
I don’t like revisiting these symptoms. It scares me.
So, I cope with techniques that I learned long ago when I suffered much more than I do now. I use the good old affirmations, the same ones that pulled me out of my darkness back then. I stretch and walk and meditate. I breath. I stop the mosquito-like negative thoughts that threaten to pull me into a pit of mental suffering. I love on my kids, my sweet pup, and my husband. I write and write, sometimes fast and furious, sometimes slowly and thoughtfully. I take deep gulps of lilac scented spring air. Yes, I will be fine.
And sometimes I really am fine. Sometimes I’m on the crest of a hill instead of in a dark valley. Sometimes I can’t help but grin, tears of joy making tracks down my cheeks. I’m free! It’s Spring and I have my whole drug-free life ahead of me. It will be a good one, I know.
How I Slew the Benzo Beast and What I Learned in the Process