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For those tortured by PAWS (Post Acute Withdrawal Symptoms) and who fear they might go mad Part 4



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For those tortured by PAWS (Post Acute Withdrawal Symptoms) and who fear they might go mad Part 4

Old 11-15-2021, 12:24 PM
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For those tortured by PAWS (Post Acute Withdrawal Symptoms) and who fear they might go mad Part 4

Continued from https://www.soberrecovery.com/forums...ml#post7725638 (For those tortured by PAWS (Post Acute Withdrawal Symptoms) and who fear they might go mad Part 3)

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Old 11-15-2021, 12:28 PM
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Thank you, Scott. So much important information, observations, and reflections in these threads.
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Old 11-15-2021, 01:01 PM
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Thanks Scott!
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Old 11-15-2021, 01:22 PM
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Hi all. Anyone here still get the winter blues? Even when itís a clear n sunny cold day?
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Old 11-15-2021, 09:35 PM
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I had an experience this evening of the PAWS being like literally switched off for a few hours. It was kind of like a flickering florescent light that was kind of touch and go for a while, and then bam totally on - I felt like me. Things looked normal (I have bad depersonalization). I was actually a little freaked out by it because I've become so accustomed to feeling on edge and everything looking weird and fake. I was driving, even! On a long drive! The lights are coming back on for me, folks! Day by day we get better!
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Old 11-17-2021, 03:52 AM
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Originally Posted by BettyP View Post
I had an experience this evening of the PAWS being like literally switched off for a few hours. It was kind of like a flickering florescent light that was kind of touch and go for a while, and then bam totally on - I felt like me. Things looked normal (I have bad depersonalization). I was actually a little freaked out by it because I've become so accustomed to feeling on edge and everything looking weird and fake. I was driving, even! On a long drive! The lights are coming back on for me, folks! Day by day we get better!
You are already in an amazing place if you can even have a long drive.
I can't even be in a grocery store for more than a few minutes before i have a panick attack , long drives literally seem impossible.
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Old 11-17-2021, 04:58 AM
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Driving anxiety has been a thing for me for years. I somehow cope and get to where I need to be while driving. I try not to dwell on it even when the anxiety is kinda strong. 😥
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Old 11-17-2021, 10:29 AM
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The grocery store was really tough for me for months and months - the light and all the sounds. And if it was busy forget it - I would just walk back out. I knew I was healing when I was able to get through a grocery store visit and maybe not love it, but be able to get though it and not be at a full sprint to get out of there. It will come! At the time I remember it feeling like it would be impossible to ever be ok in a grocery store again too, but it does get better. Like others before us have said, things just start fading away over time.
I still donít love the long car drives - a lot of the time I start to get really anxious halfway through - like im halfway between getting there or turning around and going back so itís the maximum time away from being somewhere ďsafe.Ē That is getting easier, but itís certainly still around for now.
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Old 11-17-2021, 10:38 AM
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Originally Posted by BettyP;[url=tel:7726422
7726422[/url]]The grocery store was really tough for me for months and months - the light and all the sounds. And if it was busy forget it - I would just walk back out. I knew I was healing when I was able to get through a grocery store visit and maybe not love it, but be able to get though it and not be at a full sprint to get out of there. It will come! At the time I remember it feeling like it would be impossible to ever be ok in a grocery store again too, but it does get better. Like others before us have said, things just start fading away over time.
I still donít love the long car drives - a lot of the time I start to get really anxious halfway through - like im halfway between getting there or turning around and going back so itís the maximum time away from being somewhere ďsafe.Ē That is getting easier, but itís certainly still around for now.
I like thatÖlooking forward to that too.
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Old 11-17-2021, 10:18 PM
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Thatís great to hear Betty, I have had a few of those moments myself. I try to remember them when Iím struggling. Depersonalization is the flavor of my experience as well. Not the most fun thing in the universe lol
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Old 11-18-2021, 06:32 PM
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Hi Everyone! A week until I reach 11 months. I have had a few issues the last couple of days. It is usually when I am either walking to pick up my son to school or when I am heading home from dropping him off. I am almost always alone. I feel dizzy, like I am going to fall over and my eyes feel funny. Like they are watery or have something in them (mind you it is a very windy fall here) and then I feel like I keep checking my vision to see if it is ok. However I think it is just anxiety from the initial dizziness and I wonder if I am either going to make it home or I am going to make it to school to pick my son up and then my mind starts racing and my heart starts beating. It is classic anxiety and I know it is because I am used to it. The eye thing not so much but it has been a relatively newer symptom the last few months. Like this sensitivity to light or something. Also, I am just aware so I know I have to go through it so when it does come on I almost always go into breathing exercise mode.- it works. I think the main problem is the ruminating thoughts that come throughout the day when I tend to think about when it is going to hit again. At least it isn't as bad as it was a couple of months ago. This is like a lighter version of it. I hope everyone is doing well.
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Old 11-19-2021, 07:56 AM
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Hey everyone.Thanks for sharing. Betty sounds like you are doing some serious healing!

Cusper, I am curious what your dizziness feels like? Mine is with me 24/7. I had a few windows from it over the summer but it is back with a vengeance now. I feel like I am on a boat, it is a rocking sensation. It stops when I am driving or riding in the car.
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Old 11-19-2021, 11:11 AM
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Cusper - I read on Benzo Buddies the Ashton Manual about PAWS and it said that sometimes new symptoms will pop up, and that that is normal. As is old symptoms you thought were gone popping back up for a while before going away again. I get this with smelling smoke - I had it really bad in early recovery - smelling phantom cigarette smoke. Now every now and then I'll get a few hours or an evening where I get it not as strong, but it's still there and annoying. It's really bizarre to feel so out of control of our bodies. I totally have sensitivity to light - and I'm also 45 so I have a hard time seeing in the dark. You can't win for losing with this PAWS crap. I walked into work yesterday and they had started decorating for Christmas and the entire ceiling is rows and rows of hanging icicle lights - oye vey. I don't know how I'll get used to it - it was totally overwhelming.
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Old 11-19-2021, 05:45 PM
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I went through the dizzy spells too! Very scary, especially if you have to drive for a living! Only problem with dizziness is pinpointing the possible causes! There could be a number of reasons on whatís causing it!

For me I seemed to have found out why! More hydration and diet! Ever since I started adding 2 bottles a day of Gatorade zero sugar 20 oz for electrolytes with more water consumption, and eliminating coffee to just one 16 oz cup in the morning and no decaf coffee at night, my dizziness went away!

So what I do every morning is after coffee and oatmeal, is just flood myself with Gatorade and water! Even if Iím not thirsty! I drink a bottle of 20 oz zero sugar Gatorade and a 16 oz bottle of water to start my day! Only problem with this is itís going to make you pee like crazy! Kind of inconvenient, but better than having those dizzy spells!

Also throughout the day Iíll drink another 20 oz bottle of Gatorade and more water than usual! Most of the time I hydrate even when Iím not thirsty! Thatís the key! Once youíre thirsty itís too late! Youíre already dehydrated!

Listen to your body! If dizziness doesnít go away you probably need to see a doctor to see if thereís something going on!

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Old 11-20-2021, 03:03 AM
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I get the dizziness thing when my anxiety is up in the air. It only lasts a few seconds though.
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Old 11-20-2021, 05:47 AM
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I have been to several doctors including ents, neurologist, pcp, dentist and had an MRI and cat scan of my brain, blood tests, and more. They canít find anything. My neurologist says it is my cns recalibrating after decades of drinking drinking. Also I think my use of prescribed benzos that I swore off shortly after I quit drinking has something to do with my swaying boaty dizziness.
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Old 11-20-2021, 08:08 AM
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Hi CBS62! My dizziness feels like I am unbalanced but not boat like. It's more of a motion that makes me feel like I am on a bit of a slant. I find when it happens it typically happens for 3 days in a row but not all day... it's more when I am walking my dogs. However I think it is because I am thinking about it and worry if I fall down, who's going to take care of the dogs?!! So at first, it's dizziness... then, it's anxiety about the dizziness... then my eyes... then breathing and somehow I come out of it most times. It was the same thing before however it would last much longer. Now, it's maybe about 4 minutes from start to finish. at 9 months it was about 10 minutes and at 6 months it was about 15-20 minutes. Have you had your ears checked? I have had some people I know who started having panic attacks due to fluid in one of their ears which gave them a similar boat like sensation and it messed with their equilibrium. One of them had to have their ear drained a few times. Also, I have another friend who is not an addict who has had vertigo for years and she describes it similarly. I think it is called legionares. However it is not ever present it is periodic. I would not be surprised if it is just the benzo withdrawal either. I was only 19 when I was on Ativan for about 3 months and went off it cold turkey and it took a solid 2 months for me to feel ok. Back then nobody knew anything about benzos and I hadn't even thought to taper but those 2 months were very scary. I could only imagine that later on in life it taking much longer for the brain to rebalance itself due to benzo use. Most people that I have seen have said 2 years to recover from benzos.
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Old 11-20-2021, 08:18 AM
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Betty! I smelt cigarette smoke in my house last night!! No one smokes in our house but I get that quite often. So odd. My eyes, I have never had an issue with them until this summer. It was as if I went through a stage where they were always irritated, or twitching or heavy and the light! I was getting absolutely paranoid about them. Mind you my job is a painter/artist so I was extra anxious about it. I still get all of those things but not as acutely as I did a few months ago. So at this point I am just chalking it up to seasonal allergies which tend to get worse around this age.
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Old 11-20-2021, 08:34 AM
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uncle Holmes! Yes! the caffeine intake is huge I believe. I too, have limited myself to one cup in the mornings and maybe one decaf after that. I also have bought some electrolyte powder since I am on keto. Since I cut down to one cup the anxiety has improved. I do drink a lot of water all day. But! Since I very rarely if ever eat gluten, If I do, everything is thrown off. The anxiety a day later for a couple of days after is horrible, my digestion is off, and I am exhausted. Sorry, wheat, not gluten. I can't eat wheat. Nor can my brother. We both have the same reactions and I try to stay away from it, however sometimes if I have gone out to a restaurant there have been something hidden that I find out about a day later because of those symptoms.
Wow! you are amazing that you drive for a living and are muscling through this. I can't even imagine. Mind you I don't drive at all and am in the process of getting my license since we have moved from a big city to a small town. Driving is now a necessity.

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Old 11-22-2021, 05:40 AM
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Yeah cusper Iím trying to get the right balance! I tried the wheat, whole grains thing too for extra fiber that so many doctors say you need! Only problem is it caused me anal itch and runny stools! Maybe I over did it by having super high fiber cereal every morning and whole grain bread everyday! Not sure! But I cut that out of my diet a long time ago!

Im now experiencing constipation! The other day it was so painful that when I was in the truck stop living on the road I asked the cashier if they have laxatives! They didnít have any and pointed me to pepto bismo! Iím thinking I canít take that for constipation cause that prevents dhiarea! Not for constipation!

Went back to truck and was literally lying on the floor in pain because it had to come out and it wouldnít! Got a hot coffee late at night and finally it came out! Coffee, tea, hot liquids can help with constipation!

I put two and two together and I think I know whatís causing constipation! A few weeks ago had tooth ache while out on road and saw a dentist in California! Had to get root canal and crown! They put me on antibiotics for three times a day for a week! A week later thatís when I got constipation! Iím thinking the antibiotics is necessary for killing bad bacteria, but also kills the good bacteria! Iím thinking this affected the probiotics and flora or good bacteria in my gut which caused the constipation!

I plan on finding a way to add some more fiber to my diet on the road when I get home hopefully before thanksgiving! Then when I go back out on the road again 5 days after home time Iíll add Iím thinking either fiber pills or oat bran cereal again every once in a while without the whole grain bread! I stay out on the road 4-5 weeks and home for 5 days!
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