is creating art & writing a memoir about benzodiazepine withdrawal

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  • Access to private postings that other people do not see.
  • Public shoutout at RASJACOBSON ORIGINALS
  • Access to my newest writings about what brought me to benzodiazepines, what my life was like while taking benzos, about my hellish withdrawal, about what worked/what didn't work, about how I healed, and what life is like for me now. 
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COLORING BOOK PAGE + previous rewards
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  • A high quality 8.5x11 inch black & white JPG of a line drawing you can color yourself, using whatever medium or method you like. 
    • Send your results to me, and I'll share on Instagram, Twitter & Facebook - over 6,000 followers!
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L'IL GIFT + previous awards
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  • After 3 months at this level, I'll send you a magnet or a coaster prettily packaged up for you to enjoy (or give as a gift).

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They say everyone has a story and here's mine.

I started to have panic attacks after the traumatic birth of my son in 1999 during which time I lost 75% of my blood. I spent 11 days in the ICU, separated from my baby who spent his first days in the NICU after he stopped breathing several times. From the start, I worried about him constantly. I developed insomnia and wound up taking a prescription anti-anxiety medication, which I dutifully took as prescribed every night for seven years.

In October 2012, I learned that benzodiazepines are not supposed to be prescribed for more than a few weeks, that they are “habit-forming” and that, in all likelihood, I’d become chemically dependent on them. Under the guidance of a new doctor, I tapered off Klonopin over a 9 month period. In August 2014, shortly after I took my last microscopic dose, I began to experience hundreds of terrifying physical, emotional and psychological symptoms. I developed memory problems, emotional disregulation & digestion problems – none of which were present before taking the medication.

For months, I endured excruciating pain, unable to walk, talk, read, or watch TV. Homebound for over a year, I started painting as a way to distract myself from the excruciating withdrawal symptoms I was forced to endure. Initially, I could only paint simple hearts, pairing them with evocative words. Next, I made a series of funny-looking monsters and, my recent work features a colorful collection of whimsical female figures, who appear to be happy & sad & hopeful, all at once.

During my convalescence, I connected with individuals who said that they, too, were battling invisible obstacles in their lives, including death, divorce, depression, anxiety, illness, sexual abuse, poor body image, addiction, and so on. I was amazed to learn so many of us face difficult circumstances each day, things that others cannot necessarily see or know from looking at our faces. These people have become my inspiration, and many of the images you see here represent real-life people.

It has become part of my mission to educate the public – and doctors, especially – about the dangers of prescribing benzos long-term. Patients need to be fully informed of the risks involved before agreeing to take drugs that impact brain chemistry.

When you support me here at Patreon, you help me to rebuild my life after a chemically induced, traumatic brain injury. Your contribution not only allows me to continue to push myself to grow creatively, but it allows me to help people who are tapering off benzos and/or suffering during benzo withdrawal. They need a lot of support.

Read more about my journey on MY BLOG and check out MY ART FOR SALE.
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