In October 2012, I slowly tapered off Klonopin, an anti-anxiety medication that I took exactly as prescribed by my doctor. Shortly after I took my last bit, I began to experience hundreds of terrifying physical, emotional and psychological symptoms. I developed memory problems, emotional dysregulation & digestion problems – none of which were present before taking the medication. Always a social person, comfortable speaking in front of large groups of people; suddenly, I was certain everyone wanted to harm me. For months, I endured excruciating pain, unable to walk, talk, read, or watch TV.
I never thought I would heal.
Homebound for over a year, I started painting as a way to distract myself from the excruciating withdrawal symptoms I was forced to endure.
First, I painted simple hearts, pairing them with evocative words. Next, I made a series of funny-looking monsters and, for the last year or so, most of my recent work has featured a colorful collective of whimsical figures, mostly female, who appear to be happy & sad & hopeful, all at once.
As I work to rebuild my life, it has become part of my life’s mission to educate the public – and doctors, especially – about the dangers of prescribing benzodiazepines long-term. Patients need to be fully informed of the risks involved before agreeing to take drugs which impact brain chemistry.
Three years later, I’m grateful to be alive, able to do what I like to do, and I’d love to make something special for you.
Feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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