Other Stuff

From Fear to Freedom
A Story of Addiction, Misdiagnosis, Survival, Hope and Healing
This is the book that I published earlier in 2015. It is written as fiction but is, indeed, my story (or at least a portion of it). It is divided into two parts. Part 1 begins with the main character (Lee) in a state of mental and emotional torture. He is battling voices inside his head – voices insisting that he has no choice but to commit suicide and end the agony. He finds himself in a psychiatric hospital later that night where he flashes back to various episodes and times in his life (childhood tragedy, alcohol abuse, panic attacks, and work and family difficulties) in an effort to discover how he might escape the anguish of his current mental dilemma.
Part 2 begins with a healed, happy, joyous and free Lee sitting in his living room with a cup of coffee and looking out at the mountain. He is contemplating what he experienced in much of Part 1 as well as the torturous withdrawal from benzodiazepines that he endured for nearly three years. With a clear mind and calm spirit, he is able to make sense of what had happened to him and how he had gotten caught in the seemingly inescapable grasp of psychotropic drugging.
As a cautionary note, Part 1 may be too intense for someone who is currently in withdrawal from benzodiazepines and still dealing with black depression, anxiety, panic and fear. Part 2 is much “milder” and is, hopefully, a source of great hope for those who are still on their own withdrawal journey.
This book was originally published as hardbound with a different title, Home and Dry: A Story of Addiction, Misdiagnosis, Survival, Hope and Healing. A limited number of copies are still available and can be obtained by contacting me.

Accidental Addict
A True Story of Pain & Healing...also Marriage, Real Estate, and Cowboy Dancing
by Linda Crew

A friend of mine from Corvallis, OR, Linda Crew, recently published a book telling her story of iatrogenic addiction to both opioids and benzodiazepines and the withdrawal from those drugs. In many ways, it is a story similar to my own, but she tells it in a very different way and in her own style. Linda is an extraordinary storyteller who weaves the confusing, painful and agonizing effects caused by these drugs into the fabric of her life at the time. It is a story of radical acceptance, hope and, ultimately, victory.

Don't let the title, Accidental Addict, fool you into thinking this story is about someone who craved drugs in order to "get high." These were drugs that were prescribed by physicians for a medical condition who failed to provide Linda or her husband with proper information that could have prevented physical dependence on the drugs and years of horrific suffering.

It is a well-written book that will provide validation and speak hope to those currently in withdrawal from either opioids or benzodiazepines. To those who have never had such a horrific experience, it will help to give an understanding of why hundreds of thousands of people are now dependent on these drugs.  


The "White Paper"
In the book, there is reference to a “white paper” that Lee hoped to write. A white paper is simply “an authoritative report or guide that informs readers concisely about a complex issue and presents the issuing body's philosophy on the matter. It is meant to help readers understand an issue, solve a problem, or make a decision.”  In the context of the book, the “issue” is first recognizing the existing inadequacy of properly addressing the mental and emotional distresses of individuals and, secondly, creating and developing a methodology to do so (a better mouse trap of sorts).
A draft of that white paper has been written. It is entitled, A New Paradigm for Assessing and Addressing Human Mental and Emotional Distresses (March 9, 2015). 
Benzodiazepine Withdrawal Success Stories
When I was in withdrawal from benzodiazepines, my only source of hope was success stories written by others who had gone before me – others who had trudged through the relentless day-to-day agony and somehow emerged from the darkness of suffering into the light of wellness. I had printed out a few dozen stories and read them religiously every day for over a year. During the summer of 2015, several of these stories (and many more) were compiled from multiple sources into one document which is provided here.
It is important to read and “absorb” the words of the Cautionary Note on the second page of this document.