It started with wanting to escape â€“ the need and yearning to feel something other than pain every single day. At least, thatâ€™s how it was in my case.
When I first tried Klonopin (Clonazepam), I truly needed help with my anxiety, which got worse after having my two kids, but it didnâ€™t help with my anxiety, so much as it made me avoid my anxiety. With it, I became a more tolerable version of me â€“ a sedated one. Klonopin is categorized as a benzodiazepine, which works to calm or sedate a person by raising the level of the inhibitory neurotransmitter GABA in the brain.
With Klonopin, I didnâ€™t care about my flaws, but looking back I see that I didnâ€™t care about anything. It all just melted away. After a while, I began taking the pills to feel nothing and not for my anxiety, and it was always more than I shouldâ€™ve taken. My depression and anxiety kept worsening.
I eventually built a tolerance to it, and after the kids would go to bed, Iâ€™d take six or seven a night just to get a high. I should say a low, because no matter how many pills Iâ€™d take, Iâ€™d always return to myself, where I didnâ€™t want to be.
I didnâ€™t mean to get addicted. I donâ€™t even know if I’d use the word â€œaddictedâ€ so much as Iâ€™d say I abused the pills. I just couldnâ€™t stop chasing that delicious feeling that I wasnâ€™t actually myself and the warm flush of the medicine wiping away my dark, and sometimes scary, thoughts.
Itâ€™s sad when I think about it. I wonder if all addicts feel the same way, that they just want to be someone else. They just need to escape.
Even now, I catch myself longing for those pills, or rather for the ability to escape. Itâ€™s so alluring, going to a warm, happy place inside of you. But that place doesnâ€™t really exist. Any happiness I mightâ€™ve felt was always frustratingly temporary. At midnight, Iâ€™d just turn back into a pumpkin – a sad, rotting pumpkin, with no glass slipper to speak of.
Now that I canâ€™t rely on pills to make me feel better, I try to find other ways, but itâ€™s no different than the pills. Everything is temporary. I might binge eat and take pleasure in the food that I eat, but that pleasure doesnâ€™t last. Just another failed escape. Itâ€™s the same way with compulsive shopping â€“ I always feel guilty for spending money, and the high of buying something disappears.
Iâ€™m sitting here wondering why the hell do I feel the need to escape? And I truly donâ€™t know. I have a great life, with a great husband and amazing kids. We have a new house thatâ€™s truly a dream and Iâ€™ve never wanted for anything in my whole life. Iâ€™ve been fortunate, yet I know tonight I will take one of my anxiety pills (that Iâ€™m not abusing), and Iâ€™ll wish it would take off the edge.
My therapist has asked me the same question â€“ why am I always trying to leave? Why do I crave a dissociative state?
And for once, I have no words.
Does anyone out there ever feel the same?
Stay in the light, friends. Stay present.