I’d pretty much forgotten about this blog and lost the web address, password etc. But a few days ago I was reading through posts on a facebook withdrawal group, and clicked on a link someone had posted. I started reading and got the strangest feeling that it looked and sounded familiar.
Then it hit me, I was reading my own blog, someone had found it and shared the link, not only that, there were comments, other people had found it too, goodness knows how or why, after so long. So I figured I might as well post a bit of an update… and maybe keep going.
I’m still sick, recovery is slow, but its happening.
May marked three years of my being completely drug free.
The second half of last year brought my first extended, multi-day windows. Windows are the name given to periods of time when withdrawal symptoms disappear or reduce considerably. This usually happens at first for just minutes, then relief can be felt for a few hours. Eventually windows start lasting for days, weeks and months. Late last year I had an 11 day window where I felt completely recovered. Suddenly, it was as if my old self had returned and I was healed. There was very little thought or memory of the previous few years of torment, it was like it had never happened and I just started making the most of my regained life and health.
My mind was back, I was happy, clear, enthusiastic, confident and full of plans, most of which required a lot of physical activity, which I ploughed into with all my previous enthusiasm, not realizing that my body was no longer capable of what it used to be. After almost 3 years of being basically bed bound, my physical condition was very different, but I wasn’t going to let something like a mere body stop me, I was back and I was going to make up for lost time.
But reality doesn’t work like that and within a few days I was in physical agony, my body screaming at me to stop. I ignored it for another day or two, but then realized I had to respect my physical limits. It was more like I couldn’t walk, so I didn’t have a choice. But I was still happy to be free from withdrawal and took my new recovered self back to bed to rest up for a bit, realizing I would have to ease back into activity slower.
But I crashed out of that window several days later, falling down into what gets called a wave. Which is a period when symptoms become much worse, often increasing to levels experienced at the start of withdrawal when suffering is acute.
Here are some links to more information about the windows and waves pattern of recovery.
So anyway, I eventually came back up to baseline recovery, fully expecting that windows would start to become more frequent and longer lasting, because that seems to be what most people find happens.
But this year so far has been a bit worse, probably caused by stress. I’ve had to deal with a few unexpected events and situations which have been difficult and one of the common symptoms of withdrawal is a lowered tolerance to stress, so this is probably the cause of me having a bit of a set back.
But I’m probably back on course now and had my first window for the year a week ago. Unfortunately it coincided with a bad head cold, but I still enjoyed the relief from withdrawal symptoms and was able to wander around in the world for a few days like a normal person with just a cold.
I’ve started juicing and experimenting with raw, vegan recipes, trying to improve my diet and increase nutrition to aid recovery. I’m grateful I’m able to do this now, it was impossible a year or two ago because I was still very much struggling just to do the basics for survival, but now I’m able to shop more regularly for fresh produce and work in the kitchen for longer periods of time quite comfortably, especially later in the day.
Mornings are still difficult while my body is in a fight/flight reaction and anxiety controls my ability to function, but I’m getting some good relief by mid afternoon most days now.
I’ve been exploring the possible underlying cause of my ‘mental health’ issues, trying to figure out the real reason my life has been so difficult, from early childhood really. Answers are falling into place as this puzzle of myself is slowly getting solved. Maybe I will write more about that next time.