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Bonding with Benzos


I popped my first benzodiazepine in a parking lot. The little pill in my hand had no idea what I was facing; how badly I needed her tranquil release to take place within my body. I gulped down water from a plastic bottle, and the pill went swimming down my throat to work her magic. Please Dear Pill, settle me… still me. I need you. The pill didn’t know it, but I would momentarily confront my husband about cheating on me.

The prescription had been filled for me after a panicked call to the doctor. I was in a daze. Some moments I was bawling my eyes out and others I was mute. Shock had surrounded me in a tight embrace.  Hours earlier I had spoken with a woman who informed me that my husband had been soliciting sex partners online; she was to have been one of those partners.

My husband denied the allegations. I went home and collapsed on our bed. My eyes shuffled over the four walls. This was our room; a room for two, but a third party had invaded it. Fear encased me. Before my husband came home from work that night I popped another pill. Please Dear Pill, I don’t think I can sleep next to him unless you settle me… still me. I need you. He put his arms around me when he got into bed that night.

When the truth couldn’t be proven and it wouldn’t be admitted; I watched him pack his bags. A pile of clothes and a toothbrush, stuffed into a black suitcase, encouraged me toward the orange bottle with the white cap. Goodbye to the green car that he drove. Goodbye to my fairytale that had taken a dark twist. Please Dear Pill, I can’t get through my first night alone without you.

The truth came out on paper and ink and credit card receipts. Computer screens gave my husband away. He signed his name in black against white. Our marriage was over, and clinical depression arrived in its place. Water from a plastic bottle was traded for another clear liquid in a glass bottle. Vodka and benzos hushed the roar of the chaos that had become my life.

Some months later, I wanted to rid myself of the quiet these pills had brought me. I wanted the loud, I wanted the crazy; I wanted to feel it all. And so I did. I detoxed in the most dangerous way, without the doctor’s approval, but danger was nothing new to me; the very person who swore to love me forever and ever was the same person who knowingly poured peril all over my head. Goodbye Dear Pill, thank you for the quiet and for the stability you brought me, but I need to find stillness on my own now. I threw the benzos in the garbage. Then, the vomiting, chills, fevers, and blackouts came to keep me company.

Memories are powerful entities; sometimes they build and other times they crush. After months of battling my own thoughts they once again overpowered me. Some of my memories would replay and replay and I would dizzy in the pain of it all. My will was strong, my faith was present, but my limbic system was in crisis. I called my doctor, and the drugs were ordered to the front lines once again. PTSD, you are a force I cannot face on my own. Dear Pill, please help me.

My battle with anxiety, insomnia, and depression began years ago on an unsuspecting autumn day, and bonding with benzos wasn’t something I ever thought I would do during my life, but I did.





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  • http://www.spiritualsoundingboard.com Julie Anne

    Yea, this was pain, real pain right here. Good for you for sharing. I pray that this story will be used in a great way to empower others, to give them hope – hope to know that there is joy and freedom on the other side. This is so, so good. Hugs to you!

    • nstrust

      Thanks, Julie Anne.

  • Michael O’Rourke

    Very powerful, Natalie. As always, beautifully written and touching.

    • nstrust

      Thanks, Michael. This was a tough one to write.

  • monicab

    Very powerful, Natalie. I pray that your story reaches thousands of people. Your story needs to be told. What strength you show in the midst of such tragedy. I hope a book deal happens soon for you.

    • nstrust

      You’re so kind, Monica. We’ll see about a book. I’m working on it. :-)

  • Nancy Davis

    Good piece Natalie. I hope it makes people realize that addiction does not happen in a vacuum and that not all addicts are bad or lazy people. I know God will use it.

    • nstrust

      Thanks. My own experience has given me a great deal of compassion for people who require medications to cope with trauma or mental illness. I also see how easily abuse of drugs can happen too. Although, I never intentionally abused my prescriptions, I wasn’t informed about all the side effects of mixing them with alcohol or the importance of weaning oneself off medication gradually.

      • http://postraphstunner.wordpress.com Caterina

        Natalie, thank you for these words specifically — I have been on benzodiazepines for ten years this month, not because I wanted them but, at first, because I needed them. Then because the doctor who gave them to me (aged seventeen, too scared to come out of the corner of his office) didn’t tell me directly what it’s like to stop taking them. No, I had to find that out on my own. Lucky I can read a PDR. :)

        If I had to imagine Hell, I would imagine withdrawal. So ten years later, partly because I need them still, partly because I am terrified of the process of coming off them, I am still taking them.

        I wish someone had told you what was possible — and then brought you down safely, because nobody deserves to suffer that way. Since nobody did, I will instead salute you for facing the unknown in the name of regaining what you saw you had lost. Much love and respect.

        • Natalie Trust

          Thank you so much for taking the time to share a bit about your experience. I also really appreciate the compassion for my withdrawal process. I wish I would have been wise and stable enough to look up the side effects online or something, but I was impulsive and very much in crisis.
          You are right on about it being HELL. So right.

  • Gail

    What a interesting & compelling story… I want to hear more. I sense that there is a whole bunch of beauty that has risen out of the ashes of being betrayed-kicked in the gut-having the wind literally knocked out of your soul. This is redemptive stuff!

    • nstrust

      You are so encouraging, Gail. As I write, I do find myself seeing more of the beauty that has come out of a complete shit storm. I knew it was there, but I can see it from a different angle as I write it and include readers as a part of it.

      • Gail

        It was brave of you to share this, there is always a risk of being misread or misunderstood. I love a happy ending. I so want God to heal & make sense of the suffering that we go through, but it is the already but not yet conundrum I find myself living. That is one of the reason I am drawn to the Catholic church- they have taught me my suffering doesn’t mean I failed our Lord, or that I am not in the word or prayer enough, or blah blah blah.. My sorrow just might be redemptive in ways I cannot imagine. That gives me a little hope.

        I think this is pretty cool- please feel free to edit or delete if not applicable to the discussion… One beggar sharing with another some bread! ( :

        Already and Not Yet: Why Salvation Isn’t Like Carbon Monoxide

        by J. Prever on January 19, 2011

        • nstrust

          Gail, I moved “Already and Not Yet: Why Salvation Isn’t Like Carbon Monoxide” by J. Prever over to the “The Sinner’s Prayer”. Thank you so much for sharing that.

  • http://TheWartburgWatch Dee Parsons

    Thank you for posting this transparent story. You are awesome!

    • nstrust

      Thanks, Dee.