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Poems By Genie

The Geriatric Junkie

On Benzodiazepine Addiction

How I Got Hooked On Ativan

Tis holiday time, that time of year

The sleeping pole

And you ask me how I feel  3/6/03

Holiday Poem:  On Feeling and Dreaming

They said, But its a medicine!

The doctor said, Take Klonopin.

The doctor said, I think youre stuck.

Tis Christmas time and I am home.

I am a pooping princess

Morning Madness

The Sweats


 New Year's Eve 2006

Am I Alive, or Am I Just Living?

It's no fun being thyroid sick

 Tis Christmas time and I am home Version Three

On Aging


It's a bad day in Benzoland

Got up this morning sick as a dog

Another Bad Day

This Isn't Just Happening to Me

A Life On Hold


After A Time

Can Someone Tell Me How to Live In The Now?

The Dawn Falls Silently

Muddled Thoughts

I Have To Face My Demons

It's Mindboggling What Benzos Can Do

Non-existent Lives

This Taper is Worse than the Last One

On Insomnia and Nightmares

How Do You Talk Your Way Out Of Depression?

Perhaps One Day I'll Be As Good As New

Mind Altering Drugs

On Hope

Nothing Makes Sense Anymore

It is our Faith which Makes us Whole

Happy Birthday from our Fluffies

I'm Alive Today

The Headache from Hell

If I Were A Bear

The Xylophone

I Want to Feel Better with all of my Heart

Recovery and Acceptance

Tis Christmastime and I am Home -- Version 4 of a similar poem I wrote




A Time for Everything 2/08

A Man of Few Words

Prisoner of my Own Mind

So Much I Want To Do

It's Easter and, of course, I'm home

Reducing my Benzo

I Wish On a Star 8/08

A Time to Mend 8/08

Longing for Nova Scotia 7/08

This Aching Head

It's Not Where You Are, It's Where You're Going

There Are So Many Reasons Why I Have To Try

It Isn't Much Fun Having Bronchitis

My Tummy

If I Had Wings - 9/08

Think Pleasant Thoughts

The Broken Star 10/08

Hello, My Friends, Heed My Advice

Itchy and Twitchy


`Tis Christmas Time and I am Home (Version 5)

On Itching and Rashes

If Only ...

Each Morning

All I Can Do Is Sing and Pray –11/08

On Love

An Uncertain Dance is this Place Called Life 11/08



My poem, "The Geriatric Junkie", was published in an anthology entitled  "The Best Poems and Poets of 2003" 

The Geriatric Junkie 

Every morning I burp and sneeze

And in a while I cough and wheeze.

I know full well why I am ill

I'm weaning myself off a pill.


Out of the blue I start to cry

And later on I simply sigh

My husband asks me why I'm sad

And I reply I'm going mad.


And every day I never know

Exactly how my day will go.

I take life one day at a time

From the ridiculous to the sublime.


In Rhinebeck, we went out to eat

The food we ate was quite a treat.

I managed not to barf it up

But I burped in my coffee cup.


I tried to sing "Caro Mio Ben"

It brought me back to way back when

I used to sing day after day

When life was easy as child's play.


In my chagrin I still rejoice

That God gave me a singing voice.

Sometimes I act just like a monkey

'Cause I'm a geriatric junkie!


Copyright 2003 by Genie E. Polower


This benzo poem was published in 2003 in an anthology called

"The Colors of Life."


On Benzodiazepine Addiction


It appears that Benzo addiction

Is a strange manner of affliction.

Our brains are always in a fog

Our vision is beset with smog.

At times we find we cannot talk

And it's an effort just to walk.

Our muscles ache, our backs are sore

And our nerves are in an uproar.

Our anger makes us want to scream

Our life becomes just a bad dream.

Each morning the new day we dread

As we are catapulted out of bed

By some weird force from deep within

Or something crawling on our skin.

We are sometimes afraid to live

We fear we have nothing to give.

But we keep on plugging away

Because tomorrow's a new day.

We know it's just Benzo addiction

Which is causing us so much friction.


Copyright 2003 by Genie E. Polower


This poem, "How I Got Hooked On Ativan", was published in an anthology entitled "The Best Poems and Poets of 2004"


BTW, this is a true story. 


How I Got Hooked On Ativan


Four years ago my Daddy died

And so I lay me down and cried.

I ran amok, was ill at ease

The doc said I had Graves' disease.

And he put me on Ativan

That's how the sh*t had hit the fan!

The doc gave me these little pills

And said that they would cure my ills.

Instead I was sick as a dog

And soon I lived in Benzo fog.

I couldn't think; I couldn't work

Most of the time I was a jerk.

And now I had a drug addiction

Along with my thyroid affliction.

I say the docs should take these meds

Instead of messing with our heads.

Don't trust the doctors with your life

For they'll just give you pain and strife.

All they'll do is give you a pill

That's guaranteed to make you ill.


Copyright 2004 by Genie E. Polower


Dear Friends,

Tis holiday time, that time of year


Tis holiday time, that time of year

A time for happiness and cheer

But when the Benzos got you beat

This holiday won't be such a treat.


Instead of the usual holiday shopping

We are all stuck with our pill popping

Instead of going to the mall

We're going through our drug withdrawal.


Instead of visiting our friends

We're stuck at home having the bends,

Instead of dressing ourselves up

We're busy at home throwing up.


But maybe this time in a year

There may be time for fun and cheer

'Cause maybe next year we will see

A time when we are Benzo free!


Happy holidays to everyone!


Warm regards,




The sleeping pole--warning--slightly off-color


Dear Friends,


I couldn't sleep the other night

My nerves were wired much too tight,

I told my hubby I couldn't sleep

And suddenly, I began to weep.

"Genie don't cry ", my hubby said.

"Why don't you take a bath"?

I took a bath and was so cool

I felt just like a freezing fool.

"Why don't you try to drink some tea"?

I drank the tea and had to pee.

"Why don't you try my sleeping pole?

The sleeping pole will make you whole.

'Tis better than a sleeping pill

A sleeping pill will make you ill."


Sorry for the slightly off-color poem.


Warm regards,




And you ask me how I feel?  3/6/03


Dear Friends,


Have a brain which doesn't work

And a knee which tends to jerk.

Have a stomach full of gas

And that gas is in my ass (whoops!)

Have an awful eyelid twitch

And my feet, they always itch.

Have a chest which wants to pound

And I cough just like a hound!

Have a  small and round pot belly

And the legs, they feel like jelly

Have a butt that wants to shake

And a constant tummy ache.

Have a pain within my thigh

And a constant urge to cry

Have a a throbbing in my heel

And, you ask me how I feel?


Holiday Poem:  On Feeling and Dreaming


Dear Friends,


Sometimes I feel excited,

And often quite delighted.

I'm reeling with emotion.

And positive devotion.


Sometimes I feel elated

And positively sated.

I'm full of optimism

And little criticism.


Sometimes I feel successful,

Even when life is stressful.

Sometimes I feel so happy

Although I can be sappy.


Sometimes I feel like sharing

With people who are caring

Sometimes I feel much love

And thank the stars above.


Sometimes I feel such joy

For every girl and boy.

Sometimes I feel so giving

And sense the joys of living.


Sometimes my heart is feeling

A warmth which is appealing.

Sometimes I'm full of sadness

And strive to avoid madness.


When faced with tough decisions

We can't abide derision.

We have to face rejection

Without too much dejection.


In life, we take a gamble

And, if I seem to ramble

I'm only trying to express

That sometimes life can cause distress. 


In life, we have to face the deaths

Of those we often love the best.

The sudden death of my poor Dad

Had left me so bereft and sad.


Breaking up with my first husband

Was not that easy to withstand.

It is hard to recover

From the loss of a lover.


But life is full of ups and downs

It's better to smile than to frown.

But, sometimes I do feel so weary

And definitely mighty teary.


Sometimes I think of poor old Mom

Who struggles on with such aplomb

Sometimes we cannot change the past

Dream of a future which will last.


I always try to think things through

Of what is best for me and you

There is a seed within my heart

Which spurns me on to do my part.


Survivors strive to do the best

And sometimes are put to the test.

And, so, in order to succeed

We must acknowledge others' need.


So, I will now follow that dream

To be part of a greater team.

A hill is not too hard to climb

If I take one step at a time.


Yours in withdrawal.  Very rough day today.






They said," But it's a medicine"!


Dear Friends,


Today I called a detox clinic,

You wonder why I'm such a cynic.

I said, "I'm hooked on Ativan."

They said, "But it's a medicine."

I asked, "What's wrong with medicine"?

They said, "It isn't heroin."

They'll only get you off hard stuff

No wonder we have it so rough.

I called St. Francis Hospital,

A lady asked me why I called.

I told her that I'm hooked on Benzos,

She asked me all about my dose,

I said 2-1/4mg's my dose,

She said, "Your dose is much too low.

Go back to your doc, he'll do your taper."

Thus ended another fun-filled caper.

So, here's the morale of the story:

It's no wonder that we worry,

'Cause if you're hooked on legal pills

They don't know how to cure your ills.

The docs don't even have a clue

The clinics don't care about you

Unless you're on a high dose -- funny!

I guess all they want is your money.


Yours in withdrawal. 






The doctor said, "Take Klonopin."


Dear Friends,


The doctor said, "Take Klonopin."

I think he's trying to do me in.

It's bad enough with Ativan,

When you don't have a better plan.

And then, he said, "Take Ambien."

I'll wind up in a Lion's den!

It's bad enough to have addiction

I do not need a new affliction.

If I could switch to Valium,

My life wouldn't be like bubble gum

But, at least I would not go insane

For all my suffering and my pain.

Perhaps the docs should take the stuff

Instead of walking off in a huff

Whenever a patient disagrees

Or somehow seems to act displeased.

I have to make a slight confession

I hate the medical profession!

All docs prescribe is medication

Instead of perhaps meditation.

They do not care if we are ill

Because they gave us the wrong pill!


Yours in withdrawal and back to writing poetry,






The doctor said, "I think you're stuck."


Dear Friends,


The doctor said, "I think you're stuck."

Which means I guess I'm out of luck.

He asked me to cut back my pill

But he could see I am so ill.

I belched so much I couldn't talk

I shook so much, I couldn't walk.

He felt so sorry for me then

He put his arm around me and

He said, "I wouldn't blame you in the least

If you decided to increase

Your dose of Benzos and give in,

Of course, I still want you to win

Your struggle against this evil pill

But since you are so very ill

Take a break -- go out and chill

Maybe next month you'll cut your pill."

I'm so depressed I want to cry

I feel like poop, I cannot lie.

I spend most of my time in bed

When I get up my face turns red

This blood pressure thing's a real bitch

The problem is -- there is a hitch.

I don't have essential hypertension

What I've got is just an extension

Of "Benzoitis" in all its glory

The pukes and pooping can get gory.

So, if you're stuck at a certain level

Blame it on the Benzo devil,

And hope to Hell this will subside

So you can end this rollercoaster ride!


Yours in withdrawal.  Hang in there, everyone.  Next week I try

acupuncture.  The doctor thinks my nervous system has to calm down

before I can taper again.  I hope he's right. 






Tis Christmas time and I am home.


Dear Friends,


Tis Christmas time and I am home,

For, how far can a Benzoid roam?

It's tough to feel the Christmas cheer

When you can't even drink a beer!

I have so many cards to send

While I am trying hard to mend.

Maybe I'll send out a Benzo ditty,

Can't write much more -- what a pity!

No parties, no guests, no broohaha,

Can't even sing fa la, la la.

But, I can really shake and shiver

And, I can also eat a sliver

Of cake and get a sugar high,

Or, maybe I will bake a pie.

For Chanukah, we had a Menorah

Of course, I could not dance hora.

Now, tis the season to be jolly,

So, we will "Deck the Halls with Bows of Holly."


Love and peace,




When you visit the ole shrink


Dear Friends,


When you visit the ole shrink

Don't tell him that you can't think

'Cause he'll give you some Elavil

That's guaranteed to make you ill.


When you visit the old doc

Don't tell him you've run amok

'Cause he'll give you some Ativan

And the shit will hit the fan.


So, every time you're feeling ill

The docs want to give you a pill.

So, tell them that you feel just dandy

And maybe they'll prescribe some candy! 


By the way, you can always substitute "her" for "him" in my poems. 

Don't want to be sexist.  Some of you have female docs, too.  Hope

you're all feeling reasonably well.


Yours in withdrawal --




[GABA2] Pooping princess poem


Hi, Friends:


I managed to unearth my pooping princess poem, which I posted to the

big benzo board on July 2, 2002, with a lengthy message about my detox

experience. For those of you who are interested in the message, the

number of the post was 52745. Helen, it might interest you to know that

someone you know actually liked the silly poem.


I am a pooping princess


I am a pooping princess,

I poopoo all day long

My buddies think I'm wacky

They do not know what's wrong.

Sometimes they come and ask me

To come outside and sit

But I'm glued to the toilet

Trying to take a sh*t.


Maybe when I feel better

I'll learn to poopoo less

And maybe I'll be stopped up

And stop making a mess.

But, I'm a pooping princess

So, what else can I do?

It's no fun going poopoo

Or living in the loo!


I remember writing this poem in the detox center. The detox facility

was actually pretty posh. We actually had a French chef who cooked our

meals. The problem was that I had a bad case of the runs. We spent a

large part of the day outdoors sunning ourselves (remember, this was in

Miami), and I used to sit outside with my friend, Sherry, who was

trying to get off Oxycontin. Sometimes I was glued to the toilet,

though, because of the diarrhea, and the staff there said they never

met a patient who spent so much time on the toilet, hence the pooping

princess. Little did I know that after detox the real sh*t would hit

the fan!





Morning Madness

I'm 10 months off and going strong

And still I feel there's something wrong

Butt bumps are gone, obscene itch too

But sometimes this feels like the flu

At night I lay me down to sleep

And pray the Lord my health to keep

I drift off peacefully and then

I'm not exactly sure just when

I am ejected out of bed

By some weird force inside my head

At 5 a.m. I start to shake

I feel like there's been an earthquake

My ears are red, my bladder hurts

I sleep and wake in fits and spurts

My cortisol must be too high

This is frustrating, I won't lie

One moment hot and then I'm cold

Maybe I'm simply getting old

If only I'd sleep through the night

I wouldn't bemoan my sad plight

Everything else is peachy keen

And I feel marvelously clean

I'm back to my old silly self

No longer sitting on the shelf

I'm active and I'm losing weight

Those excess moose pounds which I hate

I'm going out and having fun

And basking in the Naples sun

It's just the mornings which I dread

The benzo's messing with my head

It's 6 a.m. as I write this

Because I had to take a p*ss

Now off to sleep again I go

To face tomorrow nice and slow.




The Sweats


I am so hot, I sweat so much

My skin is so wet to the touch

My underarms, they have this stench

And, I sure am no sexy wench!

My ears, they feel like they're on fire

And I have this burning desire

To jump into a lukewarm bath

To get rid of this endless wrath

Which comes with sweating all the time

And feeling like I'm full of slime.

My husband says: you have the hots

I say it's better than the trots

But, when will I ever cool down

And stop behaving like a clown?







Insomnia is not sleeping
When you really should
Insomnia causes weeping
Instead of "slumberhood."

Insomnia leads to reading
Or watching the TV
While at all hours you're pleading,
"Dear God, I need some zzzz's."

Insomnia is a sorry state
A horrid way to feel
We fear we'll always be awake
We fear we'll never heal.

Insomnia is an evil
Which the benzos brought
Instead of having fever
You're awake and all distraught.

Insomnia, insomnia go away
Find somewhere else to play
Please let me go to bed
Instead of playing with my head.



 New Year's Eve 2006

Dear Friends,

It's New Year's Eve and I am tired
But tired's preferable to wired
I just spent the entire day packing
No wonder energy I'm lacking
Not to mention my weary butt
Which spent a long time on the pot
I used to go to New Year's parties
Instead I have the poops and farties
I guess it's known as benzo gut
Which keeps me home and in a rut
All my good friends are out there drinking
And, I'm sitting here just thinking
Of how nice it would be to feel better
And so, I write this benzo letter
On Wednesday Florida here I come
Although it's pretty far from home
I hope I'll have a little fun
Or, at least soak up some sun
Whenever I'm feeling down and out
I simply sometimes want to shout:
Why did I get benzo ill?
It's coz I took a stupid pill.
So, have a happy New Year, friends
And hope and pray this nightmare ends!

Yours in recovery,


Am I Alive, or Am I Just Living?

Am I alive, or am I just living?
When I feel alive, I want to be giving
But, I am so ill, and I am so weary
There's hardly a day when I'm feeling cheery
The slightest noises cause me to shake
My brain starts to tremble and inwardly quake
I can't stay in bed coz of my IBS
If I lie down too long, I bleed from my **s (oops)
What kind of a life is this
Confined to my home?
I'd much rather wander and travel and roam
But, pain and anxiety keep me in this prison
I only wish this had some rhyme or some reason
I was sick like this some years ago
Recovery did happen, although it was slow
I want to recover, to laugh and to play
But, what can I do, when I just have no say
As to what my poor brain and body will do?
So, I'm stuck in my house in the bed or the loo
the benzos and hormones are having their way
So, I must take this life day by day
My dear husband's hurting, he deserves a life
Instead he is saddled with a scared and sick wife
I hope for a miracle, tis hard to find
For now all I can do is ask for peace of mind.


Yours in recovery,

Benzo free for almost two years and had to reinstate because of
recurrence of Graves' disease.


It's no fun being thyroid sick

By Genie Polower

It's no fun being thyroid sick
I'll tell you this today
When your thyroid's out of whack
All you can do is pray.
One hour you're up
Next hour you're down
Emotions seem to have no bounds
One day depressed, next day elated
Sometimes you're even constipated.
It's no fun having Graves' disease
You think you're going crazy
You hardly sleep, you hardly eat
and people think you're lazy.
Your head feels like it's in a vice
You try to eat a bowl of rice
You don't know if to poop or puke
And doctors want to give you nuke!
RAI, treatment of choice
Will possibly make you lose your voice
If lucky, you won't lose your eyes
A lot depends on dosage size.

It's no fun when you cannot sleep
And lie in bed instead and weep
Till you take your stupid benzo pill
Which is guaranteed to make you ill.
It isn't sweet to have to wait
Till medicine works -- perhaps too late
On top of it, you're benzo sick
And want to recover double quick
And doctors tell you to be patient
You'ld rather take a long vacation
And swim and bask beneath the sun
And tell yourself you're having fun.

It's lousy being thyroid sick
I'll tell you that right now
But I am gonna beat this thing
If only I knew how!


Yours in recovery,

I celebrate myself today. I am alive. I am growing. I am willing to do all I am
able to do to be the best of who I am.

 Tis Christmas time and I am home

(Version Three)

Dear Friends,

Tis Christmas time and I am home
For, how far can a benzoid roam?
While other folks are drinking beer
I'm paralyzed with benzo fear.
While all my friends are eating well
I'm dealing with a puking spell.
While other people are having fun
I'm dealing with my MIL's runs.
She had a nosebleed late at night
And she really gave me quite a fright
My husband told her go to sleep
But all she did was kwetch and weep
As a result, I lay awake
Trying to stop my bellyache
And, now she's lying in her bed
And I have a big pain in the head
They say that holidays are stressful
And that's the reason we're all fretful
I tried to play her my CD
But all she did was yell at me
For not making it to the Met
Which is something, I, too, regret
My poor, dear husband has to suffer
He has to try to be a buffer
Between his Mom and me and all our woes
Surprised he doesn't have a bloody nose.
I'm hoping by the afternoon
I won't be baying at the moon
I'll try to spread some Christmas cheer
Instead of crying in my beer (BTW, I don't drink)
I'll try to sing O Holy Night
And drive away this sense of fright
Maybe next year will be much better
And I'll write a different kind of letter
Hope your holiday will be pleasant.
And, I hope you enjoyed my little present. (this poem, I mean)



On Aging

By Genie Polower

Aging is something we all must endure
Unless, perchance, they find a cure
For all that ails us as we grow older
And, unless we learn to become bolder
And demand answers from uncaring physicians
Who often put us in precarious positions
By prescribing palliative, not curative meds
Or by telling us everything's all in our heads.
It's unrealistic to expect to feel well
When some days we feel like holy Hell
And many people in their 60's
Might just be looking for some quick fixes.

It's the rare older person who is perfectly healthy
Even those who are independently wealthy
And, if, like me, you've got a rare disease
You have to put up with lots of unease.
You learn as much as you can about your condition
And educate doctors about your position
On treatment options and woes and fears
And, sometimes you're even reduced to tears
When nothing they give you seems to work
And, because you sometimes behave like a jerk
Because of illness-induced mood swings
And serious concerns or silly things.

Aging is not for the feeble-minded
Nor for people who are totally blinded
By empty promises of a cure
We need to accept that we are ill
Or, when we need to pop a pill
We need to be thankful we are still alive
And do our utmost to try to survive
Getting older is sometimes quite trying
But, no matter what, it still beats dying
The only alternative to growing old.
So, tell yourself you're wiser now and definitely bold!


Yours in withdrawal,



By Genie Polower

Never felt such bad depression
I think I need a crying session
I often force myself to walk
And it can be a chore to talk
Can't get out of my own way
When e'er I try to sing or play
Self-absorption is my game
Which seems to be a crying shame
And, now you're all my only friends
Coz you don't care I've got the bends
Or, when my poor brain can't compute
Or, when sometimes I eat some fruit
And barf it up all back again
And try to deal with my rib pain.
Benzo withdrawal can make you lazy
Or, you think you're going crazy
I've beaten this once, I'll heal again
In spite of all this awful pain
And, you can do it, too, my friends
Even if you, too, get the bends
Just keep on taperin' and you will see
That life will improve for you and me.

Yours in withdrawal,

It's a bad day in Benzoland

By Genie Polower

It's a bad day in Benzoland my stomach is churning.
My head feels like lead and my fingers are burning.
I wish I had something more upbeat to say
But, it seems like this saga gets worse every day.
Was going to cut soon, but feel I'll get sicker
But, maybe it's better to get off this stuff quicker.
Turtle tapering is wiser, but won't always work
Because half the time I act like a jerk
Don't want to see people, but dread being alone
So, at times I just talk for hours on the phone
Whoever just happens to be on the line
Seems forced to listen to me constantly whine
About how I am faring or not faring at all
About how all my symptoms are benzo withdrawal
I wish this darned headache would just go away
For, if it were better, at least I could play
My CDs or maybe just watch the ole telly
Instead, I obsess about my benzo belly
Tis tough when you know that you're supposed to eat
But, everything tastes just like dirty old feet
This weight loss is worrisome, to say the least
Wish I had the desire for a delicious feast
I keep telling myself that things have to improve
But, I know it takes time, and at times I can't move.
The fact that my thyroid also is sick
Doesn't make me feel like I'll recover double quick
But, this benzo withdrawal is surely the worst
It's as though I've been beset by some horrible curse.
So, I wish everyone else a much better day
I still think of last year when I'd sing and play
Piano at all hours of the night
And, never a worry, or never a fright
Now, I live in fear of today or tomorrow
And, the depression can sometimes cause constant sorrow.
Oh, God, I do pray it will start to get better
But, right now all I can do is write you this letter.

Yours in withdrawal,



Got up this morning sick as a dog

By Genie

Got up this morning sick as a dog
Tired of being a bump on a log
Crying my eyes out and riddled with pain
Feeling as though I've got nothing to gain
Burping and belching away like a sailor
Feeling like a fool and like a sick, abject failure
If only I didn't have awful night sweats
I might get some joy out of all of my pets!

I don't understand how I had been this silly
After all, my dear friends, I'm not some young filly
I didn't need hormones way past menopause
So now I am suffering additional loss
From C/T off estrogen and the benzo taper
This isn't my idea of a great, fun-filled caper
The mornings are definitely by far the worst
And, this is why I sometimes feel I am cursed
I'm burping and coughing and trying to sneeze
And trying like heck not to upchuck and wheeze

And I am quite powerless having no say
About these old symptoms which plague me each day
About these hot flashes which burn me each night
And cause me to wake up each morning with fright
Perhaps in an hour I'll get in the groove
And some of my symptoms will start to improve
I do not want my good friend to see me so sick
Coz he'll start to worry and fret double quick
He's coming at 1 to help me with my singing
But right now my stupid right ear is still ringing

The mere thought of eating makes me want to heave
I wish I had more new good tricks up my sleeve
Shaking and quaking I feel like I'm dying
But I know full well that the reason I'm crying
Is knowing the benzos are having their way
And are setting out trying hard to ruin my day
The pain in my shoulder just isn't much fun
When I should be frolicking in the bright sun
Instead I am sitting here trying to sneeze
And hoping my friend will help put me at ease.

Yours in withdrawal,



Another Bad Day

By Genie

I woke up today with a pretty bad headache
And I also had a fairly minimal brain shake
Sometimes I'm feeling like I am in a rut
Today's the eighth day since my last benzo cut
My tummy is hurting, and I'm a bit dizzy
And everyone thinks I'm just in a tizzy
I used to be stable and pretty mature
And now I think everything is horse manure
Can't listen to music and can't even read
And it's a big effort just trying to feed
My poor tummy which is trying hard not to upchuck
And, so I am grazing my food like a duck
Sunday I felt marvelous -- had a voice lesson
He wants me to have a recording session
But, how can I schedule a stressful event
When I am downtrodden with energy spent?
I guess I must take this one day at a time
And keep writing these ditties which always must rhyme
I hope you, my friends, are much better today
Coz recovery is always a few steps away.

Yours in withdrawal,


This Isn't Just Happening to Me

By Genie E. Polower

Never in my life have I felt so ill
And all because I've been taking a pill
At 60, my health is already fragile
My muscles are weak, where I used to be agile
Sometimes I think I'm completely at sea
And I say: This isn't just happening to me.

The pain, it persists, the uncontrolled jerking
And, if truth be told, I'd rather be working
Than day after day being chained to my house
Like a helpless and terribly caged and scared mouse
Yet, in rational moments, I'm able to see
That this isn't just happening to me.

I have diarrhea, sometimes constipation
And, after an annoying fasciculation
I run to the toilet and try to upchuck
And when my head hurts me, my brain will get stuck
I think of everyone else on the group
Who is desperately trying to get out of the loop
And, cryingly, just I when I long to be free
I say: This isn't just happening to me.

I'm trying so hard to remain positive
But often my thoughts wind up negative
My GABAs are misfiring and I'm often tiring
Of living in this suspended animation
And fighting so hard to feel some elation
And, when my poor mind struggles hard to be free
I say: This isn't just happening to me.

Over and over, I say it's the pill
Which is causing me to feel oh so ill
I talk to myself in a positive way
And I tell myself often there will come a day
When I am content and smiling again
Although I have no idea of where or when
And, when my logic takes over, you see
I say: This isn't JUST happening to me.

To all of you who are suffering as I am, try to do something which
will make you feel as you have a future -- even if it's just writing
a silly poem, such as mine.

Yours in withdrawal,

A Life on Hold

By Genie Polower

My lovely life was put on hold
After one day I was attacked
By a man who really had nothing to lose
After he had been summarily sacked
My illness erupted in leaps and bounds
And pretty soon benzos were dished out
And here I hide in this dank hole again
As though living under a dark cloud.

No more frolicking with fair weather friends
No more singing into the wee hours
No more cooking luscious meals
Or planting bountiful flowers
An occasional musical session
Helps to bring me out of the dark
Of my benzo-induced deep depression
But all in all my life's on hold
And I take this illness hour by hour
In fear, though trying so hard to be bold.

What is a life which has little meaning
What is a life which makes no sense
Which is fraught with sadness, gloom and weaning
At my poor, loving husband's expense?
And now talk of nuking my hyperthyroid
Which has now become such a mess
Is only adding to my existing anguish
And creating a plethora of stress.

In dreams, I think of singing arias
Of becoming a grand musician
But sitting here alone on the shelf
Makes me feel like a politician
Every time a friend comes by
I'm full of lame excuses
My head it hurts, my brain, it shakes
And I have to dream up ruses

So that I can be left alone
In this life of panic and little sleeping
In these wee hours which are all my own
Where I often lie there weeping
And yet, in my darkest hour
I watch my cats do their kitty thing
And sometimes I watch a budding flower
And fondly think of fall and spring

A life on hold is never easy
For life, it should be productive
But, I'm unable to do much at all
Except to be instructive
There must be a pony beneath this dung
For, I'm dancing as fast as I can
I hope and pray this, too, shall pass
For, when there's hope, there's a plan!

Yours in withdrawal,


A poem by Genie Polower

Headaches are what really plague me
The pain makes it hard for me to see
It radiates from behind my eyes
And really cuts me down to size!
Had a great window yesterday
Had company and we all played
Piano and did a lot of singing
And now my silly ears are ringing!
Supposed to make a cut tonight
That is, unless I die of fright
Headaches make me want to throw up
I wish at 60 I'd just grow up!
And learn to accept my benzo plight
Instead of thinking I've a right
To lead a normal, painfree life
Devoid of fear, sorrow and strife!
Benzo withdrawal can kick your butt
And make you feel you're in a rut
And then you think this will take years
Which only adds to all your fears!
There isn't much else I can say
Other than be careful when you play
And, if you think tapering's a curse
Cold turkey is a whole lot worse!

Yours in withdrawal,

After A Time

By Genie E. Polower

After a time
You have to learn
That love doesn't always mean hugging and kissing
That life isn't always a bed of roses
That passion is never constant
That it constantly waxes and wanes.

After a time
You have to learn
That illness is not always forever
That joy is sometimes ephemeral
That happiness isn't something money can buy
That acceptance sometimes means living in the moment.

After a time
You have to learn
That everyone has an independent life
That life doesn't always revolve around you
That helping others can be of comfort
That love means giving, and not stifling your loved ones.

After a time
You have to learn
That you alone must muster all the strength you have
That you can learn from your mistakes
That illness is a journey into the unknown
That there's truth in the saying that
Where there is life, there is hope.

Yours in withdrawal and recovery,

Can Someone Tell Me How to Live In The Now?

By Genie E. Polower

Can someone tell me how to live in the now?
When each and every hour brings along another pain?
Can someone give me some kind of prayer or vow
Which will make me want to really "live" again?
Can someone give me some words of wisdom
Which will help me hear the song of the lark?
Can someone take me out of my doldrums
Fraught with uncertainty, sadness and dark?
If someone could just tell me how to survive all this --
This depression and misery which seem to never cease
I shall be sorely tempted to throw a huge kiss
To all of you who can give my life some ease.

Yours in withdrawal,


The Dawn Falls Silently

By Genie E. Polower

The dawn falls silently
Silently, my soul falls vigilant
Awaiting dreaded dreams of a future warped
By time and desire unfulfilled
Dreams of faces familiar, yet unknown
Dreams of acts filled with passion and fear.

The night comes suddenly
Suddenly my dreams awaken
A sense of urgency, a need for freedom
From a past beset with conflicting instincts
A desire for excitement so fleeting, yet real
Then, I awaken, a prisoner of my own reality.

Yours in withdrawal,

Muddled Thoughts

By Genie E. Polower

Muddled thoughts
Unsteady gait
Inability to think straight
Nothing much makes any more sense
And I'm tired of sitting on the fence
Shaky, foggy, not mentally sound
I think I belong in a dog pound
Never felt anger before this year
Used to be full of gladness and cheer
Anger can be a destructive emotion
Wish I could use some Calamine lotion
But, that only works, if you've got an itch
And not when you've turned into a wicked witch!

Yours in withdrawal,

I Have To Face My Demons

By Genie E. Polower

I have to face my demons
As tought as this may be
For only by confronting them
The truth will set me free

At times I often ask myself:
Why am I so ill?
And, then the answer comes to me --
I'm weaning off a pill!

It's true I have Graves' disease
Which is reality
But, before taking these benzos
I still behaved like me.

I was a happy person
Outgoing and very giving
And now, I am a recluse
Shut in and hardly living.

It's really hard to fathom
How a simple medication
Can produce such myriad symptoms
And cause such consternation.

But, even medical literature
Attests to what I'm saying
That these pills are insidious
And they are mentally maiming.

I try performing simple tasks
Like cleaning out my drawers
And after just a little while,
I'm crawling on all fours.

Fair weather friends all shun me
For I'm no longer fun
I can't go out and frolic
Or spend hours in the sun.

And then, so-called male friends
Are really not friends at all
They're just looking for some "action"
When rebuffed, they never call.

For, as a married lady
I will not fool around
So, when hubby is too busy
I'm lonely, but stand my ground.

I am agoraphobic
And I no longer care
About the way my face looks
Or what I'm gonna wear.

I spend each day just wond'ring
If I'll ever be the same
Rationally, I believe that I will
But still this is a shame!

I musician without purpose
A writer without cause
A wife who has become a sloth
Whose whole life is a pause.

Or, had I not reinstated
My life would not be easy
But, I would not be feeling depressed
And tired and so queasy.

I heard that there's an end to this
I've been there once before
But recovery's a lengthy process
And much suffering is still in store.

Yours in withdrawal,

It's Mindboggling What Benzos Can Do

by Genie E. Polower

It's mindboggling what benzos can do
Sometimes I think I have an endless flu
The aches and pains change like a kaleidoscope
And because of these changes it's real hard to cope
One day my head hurts too much for me to move
The next day, I have brain shakes which are really hard to prove
The following day, my nipples hurt from lactation
Then, my teeth hurt and feel like an impaction
The internal tremors can sometimes drive me bonkers
Although in New York State, can't even get to Yonkers
Coz I'm an endless prisoner of my own, lovely house
Feeling like a weird, pathetic, caged and frightened mouse
Then my throat will tighten whene'er I try to eat
And then the itching begins on the soles of my feet
Desinex quiets the itch, but it doesn't help the shaking
Which seems to consist of internal and external quaking
The benzopression every day seems always to set in
And, there are times when my patience sure runs thin
Isolated and forlorn, I try to do the dishes
Or bake some salmon or other types of fishes
But, afterwards I must lie down coz I'm tired
But, when I do, then my CNS gets wired
And, then the hacking coughing does ensue
which surely makes me think I've a bad case of the flu
The shoulder pain just seems to come and go
And first, it's diarrhea, then the going becomes slow
The bowel problems do their thing whene'er the mood does strike
I surely wish that all these symptoms would just take a hike
But, sadly, they just never ever seem to go away
As I struggle with each and every one each day
At least thankfully the chest pains are really pretty rare
For, this is one symptom which I really cannot bear
I often ask myself how this happened a second time
As the symptoms change from the ridic to the sublime
Only music and TV can quell this situation
I truly envy people who can take a long vacation
From a suffering which in essence is really far too long
For me to grace the symptoms with a dance and song
I tell myself each hour that this is not depression
Although coping with it all becomes a terrible obsession
My GABAs are just screaming and trying to be free
And, at this time, they are having their way with me
With hope and prayer and loads of real acceptance
Perhaps one day both you and I will find true deliverance.

Yours in withdrawal,

Non-existent Lives

By Genie Polower

We try
Try to find meaning in our meaningless lives
We strive
Strive to do better, even in our darkest hours
We cry
Cry for the creatures with no chance of survival
We whine
Whine for ourselves and for others in pain
We dream
Dream of the winged critters who can fly freely
We think
Think of new ways to cherish the moment
We hope
Hope for a future which will give meaning to our
temporary, non-existent lives.

Yours in withdrawal,

This Taper is Worse than the Last One

By Genie Polower

This taper is worse than the last one I tell you
The symptoms are daunting and I'm totally yellow
The breast pain is certainly very enlightening
And the chest pain can sometimes be extremely frightening
For weeks I was doing a little bit better
Although I was definitely under the weather
But now I'm beset with these terrible pains
And it doesn't much matter if it's sunny or rains
I just had to just cancel my music session
Which always winds up being a music lesson
I figure it's wiser to rest at home alone
Than subject myself my friend to my songs without tone
I can barely speak right now, let alone sing
And, really I don't want to do a darned thing
Besides write and read and watch a little TV
When I can, when the pain doesn't overtake me
If this is withdrawal, it surely does suck
And, if it's in the cards, maybe I'll have some luck
Perhaps in a few days, if not in a few hours
Maybe I can enjoy the smell of the flowers
Since, as fall approaches, they surely will die
As will all the honey bees and maybe a fly
I wish I could just live now a normal life
But, instead my existence is beset with strife
Yesterday I only made a very miniscule cut
And already I am in a terrible rut
One of my favorite cats is missing
I doubt she found beau and is out there kissing
If I don't write much these days it's coz I'm sick
And I don't want to see the doc double quick
I'm trying to avoid having to go for tests
Because of false positives benzoids get at best
This poem, I admit is a little bit messy
But, I suppose 'tis better than my getting testy
About something I simply have no control over
And, I can't even be a normal lover
It's all about me, when I was never this way
I used to love to sing, and dance and play
I was outgoing and downright hilarious
But now my existence is simply precarious
I do hope this breast thing will subside real soon
Or, otherwise I think I'll fly to the moon!

Yours in withdrawal,

On Insomnia and Nightmares


By Genie E. Polower


I should have realized that taking a pill for sleep

Would eventually cause me to wake up early and do nothing but weep.

But, I was too determined to avoid a heart attack

And now the stupid benzo pill decided to pay me back.

I cannot say I get no sleep, for I can't tell a lie

But, the quality of my sleep's so poor, I just wake up and cry.

While others are snoring in their beds for the entire night

I wake up every 4 a.m. to face my sorry plight.

I pop my pill and take a shower so I can sleep again

But, often sleep eludes me coz of head and tummy pain.

And then, the nightmares come along, the weirdest of all dreams

Sometimes the dreams are so macabre, they make me want to scream.

The other night I dreamed a man broke into my house carrying a knife

And someone knocked upon my door to try to save my life.

In the dream, I opened the door and said, "Dad, I'm glad you're here."

But, the man replied, "I am not your father and you have more to fear.

For, I am Henry Kissinger and can't do anything."

I woke up in the coldest sweat, but glad I was still living.

Can you just imagine having a dream as bizarre as this?

I tell you now that benzo dreams can destroy one's restful bliss.

They tell you often if you dream that you are trying to heal

But, with nightmares such as this one nothing ever seems real!


However, my dear, departed Dad was the spit and image of Henry

Kissinger, so I suppose there was a reason for the dream on some



Hope you have a good night's rest.

Yours in withdrawal,



How Do You Talk Your Way Out Of Depression?

By Genie E. Polower

How do you talk your way out of depression?

You just tell yourself it will subside?

How do you rid yourself of this oppression

Do you just go along for the ride?

When I have good windows, I feel elated

But, these windows appear very short

This awful depression keeps me sedated

And I can't even hold down the fort.

In my mind I want to actually do things

Such as practice my music or play

But, unfortunately, only my heart sings

While I lie in my bed and I pray.

Today at the hairdresser's salon

I even told a few funny stories

But, I found it so hard to just hang on

Because of my myriad worries.

I tell myself that the weather's great

And, that I don't even have to work

But, I'd much rather work than vegetate

Or be a burdensome and useless jerk.

I tell myself it must be the pills

Which are responsible for some of my woes

And, I still try my hardest to climb little hills

And hope I'll get some sweet repose.

Yours in withdrawal,



Perhaps One Day I'll Be As Good As New

By Genie E. Polower

Airplanes cruising across the sky

There's a Japanese pine try from where I lie

There is no place where I can fly

Because I'm simply too ill to try.

Breathtaking fall foliage I can't enjoy

Which would delight most girl or boy

If I only could, I would be coy

But, I live each minute without joy.

My husband wants to take a walk

Yet, it's an effort just to talk

And, almost every day I seem to balk

At doing anything but watch a hawk.

It is a sad, abysmal life

When you can't be a normal wife

To a good husband full of strife

When depression hurts you like a knife.

Before these pills, I sure was ill

But, I was able to do things still

Now, all my days are pretty nil

And, it hurts me just to climb a hill.

Anyone else would love my home

It's peaceful, pretty, I can't roam

But from this cave I can fill a tome

Like this cry for help, this desperate poem.

I have to pray there'll come a day

When I am well enough to play

If only I could find a way

Besides this endless need to pray.

Tapering benzos is getting worse

I feel as though I've got the curse

Got lots of money in my purse

But, all my thoughts are dark and terse.

Now, I must think of what to do

My options now are very few

But, if I fight, and stay true blue

Perhaps one day I'll be good as new.

Yours in withdrawal,



Mind Altering Drugs

By Genie E. Polower

In the 60s, it was cool to drop acid

And to smoke both hashish and pot

But, I guess I wasn't a very cool kid

And I valued my own mind a lot.

A happy girl who was so high on life

That I just refused to try all that stuff

And, I was so proud of my abstinence

That I continued to hang tough.

Some folks shunned me and called me a nerd

But, I didn't care coz I felt I was right

I didn't want jail time or a messed up head

Coz I was exceptionally bright.

No one ever mentioned mind-altering drugs

Legal drugs which are handed out like candy

By doctors who wanted to earn a quick buck

And thought this was just fine and dandy.

And so I, at age 52, I took these "drugs" for sleep

And, every night, when I popped benzo poison

I prayed the Lord my soul to keep.

I learned the hard way that mind-altering drugs

Are not only sold on the street

And that all these harmful substances

Can knock us all off our feet.

So, as an accidental junkie now

I sometimes still chomp at the bit

Just wishing sometimes the doctors who hurt us

Would be forced to take a hit.

For those of us tapering, it's still a good thing

That we have access to these pills

But, we need to educate ignorant doctors

That addiction won't pay all their bills.

I'm hoping that sometime in years to come

Someone will invent something else

So, we all won't have to be benzo sick

And spend our lives on the shelf.

The trouble is that we're in the minority

And here the majority rules

But, at least we have our knowledge behind us

And we will not always be fools.

Maybe someone here who is brighter than I

Can come up with another solution

So that our poor brains can finally heal

And not be stuck with benzo pollution!



On Hope

By Genie E. Polower

When your life isn't going right
Try not to just give up the fight.
For, who said life was always fair?
Or that most people really care?

When you know you're very ill
And you sometimes have to take a pill
Just tell yourself it's temporary
And try not to be very wary

Of life which surely is uncertain
Or crouch in fear behind a curtain
You need to do something that's productive
So that your life is more constructive.

If you just cannot go outside
This does not mean you need to hide
You can still admire a rainbow
Or enjoy Holiday lights aglow.

Maybe you can write about your life
To help others to cope with their strife.
By helping others you'll surely feel
A satisfaction which is real.

By reaching out and touching the hearts
Of others, you're using your own smarts
To also help yourself out of the doldrums
And lead a life which is less humdrum.

For only by becoming part of the whole
Can you realize you have a role
And, with this knowledge you'll learn to cope
Because you'll realize that there is hope.

Yours in withdrawal,


Nothing Makes Sense Anymore

By Genie Polower

Sitting in front of the boring ole telly
Feeling so sick, kind of stinky and smelly
Wanting so much to get into the groove
But with a bad knee, finding it so hard to move
And, people call me all day on the telephone
Sometimes I think they're in some other zone
And, at times I think that really I'm losing it
Or, maybe the trouble is I'm just confusing it
Life can be baffling, and I don't understand
Why I get this tight band feeling around my head
My relationships often abound in a mystery
Perhaps I ought to study some ancient history
I'm trying so hard to be much more loving
But my thoughts are disjointed, and they keep on roving
To dark places which I do not even want to know
And, I always appear to put on a good show
To keep my true feelings from wandering out
I know what I need, yet I just want to shout
I'm hurting all over and need some affection
But all I get sometimes is unwanted attention
I've been a good person, but now I am sick
Life just isn't fair and I'm getting my licks
Self pity is a stupid and senseless emotion
So, I try instead to send some good vibes in motion
Nothing makes very much sense anymore
Maybe I just need something good to pray for!

Yours in withdrawal,

It is our Faith which Makes us Whole

By Genie E. Polower

Raindrops fall
Snowflakes glisten
But, why won't anybody listen
To the desperate cry of a wounded bird
Who can't utter a single word?

Winds blow cold
And tree limbs fall
But, what's the meaning of it all
When every day is fraught with pain
And we cannot ward off the rain?

The meaning has must come from within
And, we must forge a thicker skin
So we can cope with what's to come
As we hear the raindrops' gentle hum
And know that deep within our soul
It is our faith which makes us whole.


Happy Birthday from our Fluffies

By Genie E. Polower

Happy birthday, said the Daffy
I guess it's better you than me
Last week I thought I was a goner
Until you graced me with the honor
To see the vet and have some tests
Which showed that I had IBS.
Now, I'm a happy little Fee
I feel much better, as you can see.

Happy birthday, said the Mule
I need to go to pissing school.
Sometimes it's hard to find the box
I'm just a cat and not a fox.
I sneeze as much as your ole Gimpy
But, even so, I am not wimpy.
If Black Thing tries to steal my food
I whack him 'cause he is so rude!

Happy birthday, said the Sunster
I can be quite a little munster
I strut around the property
King of the Hill the folks call me.
I'm clever and I open doors
I chase everything that's on all fours.
I love to eat and fight with cats
And chase the mice and little rats.

Happy birthday, said the Bip
The things I co can make you flip
I like to curl up in a bowl
And hump when I can find a hole.
When you're away I'm very lonely
I want to cuddle with you only
The other fluffs don't want to play
Humpty Dumpty every day.

Happy Birthday, said the Grushball
You saved me from a major fall
Down the big tree where I got stuck
Meeting you was a stroke of luck.
I'm sorry you got a sore throat
Trying to save my sorry coat.
I turned into a fluffy cat
Which is far better than a rat!

Happy Birthday, said the Simba
Although I can't dance the Marimba
I try to be a real good boy
And hope that I can bring you joy.
Though I'm your gentle tiger fluff
Keeping my image does get rough
Don't want to be a gangsta cat
Don't have much patience for all that.

Happy Birthday, said the Tiggie
My real name surely should be Piggy
I eat and eat just like a horse
From bowl to bowl, from course to course.
I hiss at everything that meows
Sing for my supper or for a mouse
When I can't get into the groove
I simply leave the house and move.

Happy birthday, said the Mermie
I know I can be pretty squirmy
You think that I'm a fraidy cat
I can't really argue with that.
The reason that I am so funny
Is that I lived with Kevin Mummy
I know you do not like me much
But I'm just scared and soft to touch.

Happy birthday, said the Black Black
Sometimes I sure deserve a whack whack
I scamper all around the house
As though always chasing a mouse.
The other cats think I'm a pest
I eat their food and make a mess
But, I'm a real good natured fluff
Although behaving can be tough!


I'm Alive Today

By Genie Polower

I'm alive today, although quite ill

And, all because I took a pill.

I thought the pill would ease my pain

Instead, it's driving me insane!

With pills the doctors tried to lure me

Although they can't begin to cure me.

And, since the pills became addictive

I turned from kindly to vindictive.

There are some pills you can stop taking

Sans ill effects, seizures or shaking

But, if you're hooked on benzo pills

Slowly weaning prevents such ills.

Yet, weaning slowly means suffering slowly

This malaise makes you behave quite lowly.

The mood swings make you think you're crazy

And, family and friends just think you're lazy.

Sometimes it hurts to move your head

So you lie there like a sloth in bed.

When you've a good window, you're elated

Although the meds make you sedated.

When symptoms escalate, you're torn asunder

But, this still beats being ten feet under!

I'm alive today, I often say

In hope of a cure one happy day!


Yours in withdrawal,



The Headache from Hell

Dear Friends,

Headache, headache go away

Find somewhere else to play

Come again some other day

Headache, headache, go away!


If I Were A Bear

By Genie E. Polower

If I were a bear

I could hibernate

With never a care

I'd simply vegetate.

I'd skip the whole winter

With its ice and frost

And, in the interim,

I'd not feel so lost.

I really wouldn't mind

If my bones didn't ache

I'd be much more kind

And, I'd cease to shake

With every cool breeze

Or, get a sharp chill

In my sensitive knees.

This winter is rough

I can't tell a lie

The pain's tough enough

I'd much rather fly

Like a loony bird

Over land and ocean

Than to ache and hurt

With every small motion.

If I were a bear,

I wouldn't awaken

Every single morning

So lost and so shaken.

When we are young

We can stand the cold

With dreams far flung

Suddenly we grow old

Not in years perhaps

But in our worn minds

I can't walk two laps

And e'er close the blinds

To block out the winter's

Cold, damp reality

As I grope to feel

Some semblance of sanity.

If only I could morph into a bear

I believe I would now have nary a care!


Yours in withdrawal,



The Xylophone

By Genie E. Polower

Benzo withdrawal resounds like a xylophone

Bing a bit here, clang a bit there

The symptoms can make a cacophonous tone

And no one can know exactly where

The banging will start or the clanging will spread

And, the headaches can be simply shoddy.

As they resonate loudly within your head

And they affect your brain and your body

Like a xylophone which is way out of tune

The accompanying aches make you humble

And sometimes you want to just bay at the moon

Or, start up a loud, raucous rumble!

And, oft times the offensive bowel sounds will ring

Along with the trembling and brain shakes

And, if God forbid you want to attempt to just sing

Your body will feel like an earthquake!

The tremors can produce strong reverberations

Once they stop, you might get a reprieve

Yet, discomfort and trembling cause great consternation

And, sometimes it's so difficult to believe

That the xylophone won't play on every hour

For living with dire pain is a terrible waste

When the sweats break out, you jump into the shower

And then you leap out again in fearful haste.

Sometimes you'll acquire an uncontrollable itch

Which you need to scratch just to get sleep

Not to mention the annoying bodily twitch

Which can cause a sane person to weep.

And, then you are hit with that ole benzopression

Because your brain's GABAs misfired

This gives you a feeling of severe oppression

As you alternate between wired and tired.

The chest pain and toothaches are among the worst

As you lie there and try hard to pray

You tell yourself that you haven't been cursed

And that this, too, shall soon go away.

The xylophone attacks the weak parts of your body

At times you want to throw in the towel

If only you could just drink a hot toddy

Without its affecting your bowel!

And when there's so little progress you're seeing

You struggle each moment to cope

The xylophone might even speed up your peeing

But you cannot just give up hope.

The xylophone certainly will kick your butt

As it travels around willy nilly

And, sometimes you feel in a terrible rut

Or that you are being plain silly.

But, take heart, my friends, as you taper on

That the xylophone's triumph will end

And, even if now you may live on the john

Eventually, you, too, will mend.


Yours in withdrawal,



I Want to Feel Better with all of my Heart

By Genie E. Polower

I want to feel better with all of my heart

But, the symptoms are so bad, don't know where to start

The headaches, the joint pains, the aches in my feet

The nausea, the puking, I hardly can eat.

And, all because I made this recent cut

I'm almost bedridden in an awful rut

My husband was crying because I suffer

He just doesn't know how to act as a buffer.

My last cut was awful and so hard to take

That I'm sometimes so scared that my spirit will break.

Have so much to live for, but this isn't living

I was a warm person, so kind and so giving.

But, now all I do is cry, whine and complain

It's snowing outside and I'd prefer the rain

Because I can't take a slow walk in the deep snow

My feet are unsteady, don't know where to go.

At night, when I lie down, the horrors begin

For sleep oft eludes me, as the benzos win.

And then, come the nightmares or a bizarre dream

When I awaken I just want to scream.

Cortisol's high and I begin sweating

And lately I sure do a lot of regretting

That I ever took this bad poison again

For recovery is naught but an endless pain

If only I felt only 20 percent better

I would not be here now writing this letter!

Miserably yours,



Recovery and Acceptance

By Genie E. Polower

Every day of my life

I am hard pressed to find

A reason for being

And attaining peace of mind.

For every day brings new challenges

New obstacles to overcome

Yet, through every dark cloud

I can still hear song birds hum.

None of us has the good fortune

Top escape life's trials and sorrows

The sooner we accept this fact

The brighter will be our tomorrows.

Always dwelling on the negative

Catapults us into useless ruts

Yet, trying to be more positive

Requires a serious amount of guts.

So, get rid of preconceived notions

Of how your life ought to be

And try to learn some acceptance

And you'll be on the road to recovery.




Tis Christmastime and I am Home -- Version 4 of a similar poem I wrote


Dear Friends,


Tis Christmas time and I am home

For, how far can a benzoid roam?

While other folks are drinking beer

I'm paralyzed with benzo fear.

While all my friends are eating well

I'm dealing with a puking spell.

While other people are having fun

I'm wishing I could have the runs.

This sudden bout of constipation

Is causing me some consternation.

Yesterday I cleaned and sang some songs

That good window sure did me wrong.

For, Last night I lay awake in bed

Trying to quiet my wired up head.

They say that holidays are stressful

And that's the reason we're all fretful.

I played for my friend my new CD

But all he did was yell at me

For not making it to the Met

Which is something, I, too, do regret.

My poor, dear husband has to suffer

 He has to try to be a buffer

Between his Mom and sick ole me

Sometimes he'd rather climb a tree!

I'm hoping by the afternoon

I won't be baying at the moon

I'll try to spread some Christmas cheer

Instead of crying in my beer (BTW, I don't drink)

I sang "Hark the Herald Angels Sing"

My operatic voice did truly ring

I wowed my friend with my strong voice

And, for a while he did rejoice.

But, suddenly I was tired again

And, I developed an awful pain

Within my gas-filled benzo belly

And, I felt like a bowl of jelly!

I hope next year will be much better

And I'll write a totally different letter

So, Deck the Halls with Boughs of Holly

For, tis the season to be jolly!


Yours in withdrawal,



By Genie E. Polower

Diarrhea makes you feel like you're dying
Which is why they call it "die-arrhea"
Sometimes it's so painful you begin to wonder
Whether this is worse than pyorrhea!
I don't know sometimes what's causing this problem
And why this feels like I am giving birth
To what I don't know, if the truth be told,
Perhaps to an elephant or to the earth!
You think your poor butt's still all stopped up
The pain's pretty daunting, afterwards you're so tired
And your nerves are all jangled and your tummy is jiggling
And you can't stand this feeling of being so wired.
Although I hardly overeat or gorge myself
I poop like a thoroughbred stallion
I've no idea where all the stuff comes from
I think I deserve an award or medallion.
And, when I am finished doing my business,
My tummy's still riddled with pain
As I sit almost motionless in my bedroom
As my butt symptoms will wax and wane.
I have to believe this is benzo related
For why should I have this distress?
For, otherwise, there's no rational explanation
As to why I can make such a mess!
It can take several hours for me to feel better
And the shaking can make me an absolute wreck
As I become afraid to think or to move
And, I'm not playing with a full deck.
How can defecating cause me such anguish?
I need to "go" with the flow and try not to cry
But, when you live constantly on the toilet
Sometimes you just want to die! (just kidding)

Yours in diarrhea,


By Genie E. Polower

Acceptance means that you will take the day as it comes
That you can accept your own limitations
And that your life will not be perfect – far from it.

Acceptance means knowing you are ill, but not giving up
That you can learn to live in the moment, if necessary,
And that living in the moment can help allay your fears.

Acceptance means, although your journey may be long and hard, That recovery is within you reach if you live without stress And that you will really appreciate recovery, when it happens.

Yours in withdrawal,


by Genie E. Polower

I am not suffering from clinical depression
But rather from chemically-induced oppression
A tranquilizer is causing this sadness
Which unfortunately sometimes can border on madness.
This benzo is causing severe mental pain
Causing others to regard me with disdain.
The ignorant tell me to go to detox
From personal experience, that's like throwing rocks
At a person who is already unspeakably weak
And, who after detox, could just barely speak.
The last time, detox caused severe kidney failing
Incessant insomnia and unmentionable ailing.
Pain was so intense I wound up in the nut house
When I returned home, I lived like a caged mouse.
Still other people claim I need medication
Instead of suggesting I try meditation.
It's terribly sad that I'm not a drug seeker
Was put on a benzo coz I kept getting weaker
Because I had Graves' disease and could not sleep
And I lay awake night after night wanting to weep.
So now, I'm dealing with a severe drug addiction
Which is worse than many a physical affliction.
I'm trying like Hell to taper off this drug
In the interim, I behave like a sloth or a slug.
Deriving little pleasure from my daily life
While trying to be a good person and wife.
Sadly this process will take me a few years
Beset with depression and myriad fears.
I'm 61 and never had clinical depression
So, to medicate me further will result in suppression
Of what is really going on in my brain
Or possibly accelerate my anxious strain.
If only I could find a way to learn to improve
My outlook and the tendency to not want to move.
But, stress only brings on that dreaded chest pain
Or this fear that I'll never emerge from the rain.
My logical mind tells me it's drug withdrawal
Which makes me sometimes believe that I will fall
Only deeper and deeper into this dreaded pit
Or that one day I'll awaken and have a huge fit.
I need to learn to use my logical mind
It's the only way in which I can find
The courage to say that this, too, will pass
And that one day I'll experience splendor in the grass.
But its hard to use logic when life is so dismal
On some days, one can feel downright abysmal.
I've done this before, and I'll do it again
With my faith and God's will, I will fight this pain.

Yours in withdrawal,

A Time for Everything 2/08

By Genie E. Polower

A time for enjoying the sunset
A time for gazing at the moon
A time for observing the kitty cats
A time for acting like a loon.

A time for living in the moment
A time for living without fear
A time for ignoring depression
A time for thinking of next year.

A time for learning to be patient
A time when nothing ever gels
A time for suffering in silence
A time to deal with silly spells.

A time for counting all my blessings
A time for thinking of things new
A time for my heartfelt affection
A time for always loving you.

A Man of Few Words
By Genie E. Polower

A man of few words
His friends fondly teased
Although, if truth be told
His talking never ceased.

As though vaccinated by a phonograph needle
He sometimes talked a blue streak
Luckily, he made a lot of sense
Whenever he did speak.

A hardworking man was he
With the culture of a European
And the ethics of an honest man
Who could be quite plebeian
Although he himself earned little
He tried hard to help the poor
With sensible and sound advice
Which was part of his allure.

Devoted to his family and friends
He could at times be strict
A practical and conservative man
He was careful of the fights he picked.

He tried to help the disabled
And he was full of optimism
He was also quite the artist
And a decent musician.

As an Austrian, Jewish immigrant
He had visions of a better life
Of a world of love and peace
Which was seldom fraught with strife.

And, those who loved him well
When he died were very sad
I, perhaps most of all,
Since this man was my Dad.

Prisoner of my Own Mind

By Genie E. Polower

I am a prisoner of my own mind
With no solutions I can find
To yank me out of this dark hole
To save my spirit and my soul.

Every morning when I wake up
Instead of reaching for a cup
I lie there staring into space
Wondering what I'm doing in this place.

With no desire to go out
I sit instead and cry or pout
And all because of Graves' disease
I'd much rather have a case of fleas!

This illness led to my addiction
Which is a horrible affliction
I became dependent on these pills
Which were supposed to cure my ills
Instead, they caused a dark depression
Which results in a deep oppression.

The doctor said to cut my pill
Which means I'll become much more ill
With less of the drug to calm my mind
I'll become crazy and hardly kind.

I often ask myself just why
After years of stability here am I
Walking around with half a brain
Not even competent enough to train
My mind to think of happy things
Instead of harping on my cut wings.

Although the depression is very deep
And causes me to sit and weep
If I were to try another pill
I could become quite deathly ill.

So, I remain a prisoner of my mind
With hope in time someone will find
A way for me to live in peace
And for these doldrums to one day cease.

In the interim, my life is Hell
And, I have nothing more to tell.

This could go on for many years
Which is why I have these silly fears.

Sorry for the negative poem.


Yours in tolerance,


So Much I Want To Do

By Genie E. Polower

So much I want to do

So much I want to say

But I am just so ill

Wish life were not this way.

Last night I felt light-headed

And suddenly was dizzy

I'd rather be out walking

Than living in a tizzy.

My friends and doctors tell me

That drug withdrawal's rough

But, do I have the fortitude

I need to just hang tough?

The dizziness just scares me

The chest pain wigs me out

Sometimes I think I'm crazy

Sometimes I want to shout.

I've always been a fun girl

Full of life and glee

But life's a daily struggle

And a battle to be free.


Yours in tolerance,



It's Easter and, of course, I'm home

Dear Friends,

It's Easter and, of course, I'm home

For, as a Benzoid, I can't roam

Last Easter, I had almost died

Today I must take life in stride.

I really have no appetite

Not even for a single bite

Of food which is so good for me

I'll try to eat and later pee.

It's quiet here, for now, at least

The guinea fowl roam free in peace

I hope that they won't wake me later

By cackling like an alligator.

So many friends, nowhere to go

'Cause I cannot put on a show

Pretending wellness when I'm ailing

I sure wish I could go sailing!

On Monday, I'll cut back my pill

By Wednesday, I'll feel so ghastly ill.

Withdrawal certainly can be hairy

And sometimes it is downright scary

But, since I feel sick on the pill

Which makes me so depressed and ill

I have to get off, come what may,

And hope to see a better day.

Happy Easter to everyone with love,

Yours, in tolerance,


Reducing my Benzo

By Genie E. Polower

Reducing my benzo is just so much fun!

Every time that I cut, I am coerced to run

To the toilet in order to have diarrhea

Since I can't see a dentist, I'll get pyorrhea.

I can't see the dentist because of this shaking

Which turns into spasms and uncontrolled quaking.

I puked on the dentist last time I was there

Doing that to that poor man, it just wasn't fair.

I'm sitting in my house crying my eyes out

Coz I know too much what withdrawal's about.

I know I will suffer for many more years

And this is just causing me too many tears.

Depressed beyond belief, I just cannot lie

That this "benzopression" is making me cry

And, the physical symptoms will change every day

Going through this ordeal is hardly child's play.

Every time I see the toilet, I really don't know

Which bodily orifice to aim at it, you know

Because sometimes I puke and other times I poop

So, I don't know whether to sit or to stoop.

Then the feces come out ugly, grayish and runny

And you probably think this description is funny.

But, I am not laughing, although I do try

It is just so much easier to sit here and cry.

They say that the only way out is through

Since I have no choice here, what else can I do?

Yours in withdrawal,


I Wish On a Star 8/08

By Genie E. Polower

I wish on a star
So near, yet so far
That life would be rosy
As a flower or a posy.

I wish on the sun
That we could live as one
Filled with music and love
As peaceful as a dove.

I wish on the moon
As I sing a wondrous tune
That our days would be fruitful
Or at least somewhat useful.

Yet, when wishing is the only thing I can do
It takes a lot of strength for me not to feel blue.

So, I will keep on hoping
That I will keep on coping
And perhaps one glorious day
I'll sing my blues away!


A Time to Mend 8/08

By Genie E. Polower

A time to mend
A time to bend
A time to cast
Your blues away.

A time for hope
A time to cope
A time to learn
It's just another day.

In the scheme of things which we call life
We must face hardship, sometimes strife
But, there's a time for everything
A time to hear the finches sing.

A time to live
A time to give
A time to crawl into one's space

A time to heal
A time to feel
A time to fall flat on one's face

If only we could learn to accept
That life is what we make it
We'll run with the good, banish the bad
And, when opportunity knocks, we'll take it!


Longing for Nova Scotia 7/08

By Genie E. Polower

On the open ocean of Cape Breton Island
I have always felt so much glee,
The breathtaking views, the purest clean air
Filled me with a passion to be free.

Oh, how I wish I could be there again
We were happy and so much at peace,
The lobster was fresh, and the people were kind
And the wonders of nature never ceased.

Just to see an eagle, or a tern or a moose
Were all that my heart could desire
I want to return to our home near the ocean
And build us a small, cozy fire.

Till you've been to Nova Scotia
You have not really lived
Perhaps one day I'll return there
With all my love to give!


This Aching Head

by Genie E. Polower

I cannot stand this aching head
It keeps me confined to my bed
Yet, when I lie down for too long
The tummy pain becomes too strong.
It hurts to read, sometimes to write
And, I am weary of this fight.
I slept all day, but got no rest
I am being put to the test.
Every time I have a good day
Next day the piper I must pay.
Yesterday, I sang some songs
And, I forgot something was wrong
With the state of my fragile health
Which not even the greatest wealth
Could cure at this now tragic time
When all I do is rest and rhyme.
I do not have an appetite
And, my clothing sure isn't tight.
I hardly cook; I hardly eat
Each minor task's a major feat.
I must talk to myself and say
That this ache, too, will go away
Even the itch of chigger bites
Are giving me quite an awful fright
I must stay strong; I have no choice
I tell myself in my soft voice.

Yours in withdrawal,

It's Not Where You Are, It's Where You're Going

By Genie E. Polower

It's not where you are, it's where you're going
It's all about doing what you can.
It's not about losing or winning
It's all about having a plan.

It's not about missing or failing
For you are the cream of the crop
It's not where you are, but where you're headed
And, you will wind up at the top!

It's not where you are, it's where you're going
It's not what you think you cannot do.
It's not about fitting an image
It's all about just being you.

It's not where you are, but where you're going
For, you are the cream of the crop
It's not where you are, but where you're headed
And, you're headed straight to the top!


There Are So Many Reasons Why I Have To Try

By Genie E. Polower

There are so many reasons why I have to try
Even when life is harsh and I do not know why
The sun comes up each morn and it emits its glorious light
So I cannot just cave in and give up this tedious fight

There are so many reasons why I have to try
Even if every day I lie around and cry
I've a husband who'll always care
As long as I've the guts to dare

There are so many reasons why I have to try
Even when the pain's so bad, I simply cannot lie
My music beckons me to chant a lovely tune
And, when I'm down and out, I'll start baying at the moon

There are so many reasons why I have to try
I can't afford to sit and let life pass me by
The autumn leaves are blossoming in variegated hues
In spite of my urge to shout or simply sing the blues

There are so many reasons why I have to try.
There are so many reasons why I have to try.


It Isn't Much Fun Having Bronchitis

By Genie E. Polower

It isn't much fun having bronchitis
Which followed a bout of allergic rhinitis
Not to mention that I just got over cystitis
Or my ongoing battle with minor arthritis.

It isn't a gas having such constipation
It can give me a case of severe consternation
The gas which accompanies it defies all elation
I'd much rather not deal with this complication.

It isn't a picnic being in withdrawal
It can lead me to anger if not a true brawl
Sometimes I even dread a phone call
I wish I were able to shop at a mall.

And,I cannot forget daily IBS
Which tends to affect all parts of my *ss
It causes a lot of discomfort and gas
And takes away much of my dignity and class.

Oh, how I wish I had a normal life
And that I could function as a productive wife
I don't appreciate sharp pains like a knife
But my life's on hold and beset with much strife.

Yours in withdrawal,

My Tummy

By Genie E. Polower

Can you just imagine my daily chagrin
As I'm forced to nurse my sick tummy?
This would make anyone unable to grin
For this feeling is hardly so yummy.

My tummy is a source of my endless grief
No matter what I might eat or drink
Each and every morning I get little relief
From the pain and the incredible stink!

I'm either severely constipated
As I try hard to force something out
And when nothing happens I'm so consternated
I just want to sit there and shout.

The very next day, I must deal with the trots
Which keep me glued to my house
Afterwards, my tummy's all riddled with knots
And I feel like a tired and caged mouse.

My bum appears to always feel sore
As I gently apply baby wipes
This is becoming a horrible bore
To my husband who deals with my gripes.

It hardly does matter what I eat
The aching never wants to cease
And sitting on the toilet is a major feat
As I impatiently await a release.

I try eating fiber and go for a walk
Hoping the pain might subside
At times it's so painful, I hardly can talk
And I'm in for a long, bumpy ride.

It's so hard to tolerate these tummy aches
And I'm so weak, I want to pass out
Later on in the morning, I develop the shakes
After the diarrhea comes out.

A little fiber here, some Gas-X there
And, I really should be all set
But, the benzos need to do their share
By making me constantly fret.

I managed to go for blood work yesterday
And I brought along a change of pants
Fortunately, I made it through the day
With only my usual rants.

The doctors do not know why I'm ailing
And they say that it's just IBS
Personally , I think their diagnosis is failing
And that they are full of BS.

If only I didn't have this tummy ache
My taper would not be this hard
But, my tummy just wants to hurt and to quake
And I feel like a big piece of lard.

But each day for me is just another day
And perhaps I'll be able to poop
For right now I surely feel terribly ill
And definitely out of the loop!


Yours in withdrawal,

If I Had Wings - 9/08

By Genie E. Polower

If I had wings, I'd fly away
With my Andy to a place calm and serene
Where the mountains are a plenty and the ocean is salty
And the air is both pure and wholesomely serene.

If I had wings, my mind would soar above this mundane life
I'd fabricate some plans and put them to good use
And Andy and I would have a grand ole time
Observing various critters such as elk and moose.

If I had wings, I'd be a gleeful gal
With nary a worry or a pessimistic thought
But, I do not have wings and I have far to go
And, unfortunately wings can't be sold or bought!


Think Pleasant Thoughts

By Genie E. Polower

Think pleasant thoughts, for your life is far from over
With a little bit of luck, you'll find a four-leaf clover.
Or perhaps you'll see a hummingbird in a butterfly bush
if you take the time to linger and not be in a rush.
When life is awfully hard, you must learn to see
That there are other folks worse off than you or me
So, think those pleasant thoughts and find new ways to cope
For under every pile of cr*p, there is a ray of hope!



The Broken Star 10/08

By Genie E. Polower

My husband bought me a birthday present
A quilt called “The Broken Star”
He found it in Cape Breton Island
A place so precious, yet so far,
It is handmade and its pattern is flawless
In ecru and variegated blue colors
Although it’s quaint in its simplicity
It cost him plenty of dollars.
Why did he select this particular gift
For me, his wife, who is ailing?
It’s because of his fondest memories
Of how we used to go sailing
Along the shores of Cape Breton Island
Our home away from home
Since, when I still had my health,
It was there we used to roam.
Back then I was an active woman
And quite an accomplished musician
Yet, the way I feel nowadays
I will need to see a magician
Because I am in recovery
And I’m unable to travel far
So, now, I symbolize for him
A fragile, broken star.

Hello, My Friends, Heed My Advice

By Genie E. Polower

Hello, my friends, heed my advice
So you will not be shocked.
Since, when you're feeling vulnerable
Sometimes you will be mocked
By people who pretend to care
When you so desperately need a buddy
And you close your eyes trying not to see
That the waters are becoming muddy.
First, the woman is kind to you
And tells you that you're very bright
Because you lack judgment and confidence
You want to believe she is right.
Yet, when it comes down to brass tacks
All she wants is your money,
And she figures that, in your sorry state,
She'll get less with vinegar than with honey.
And, lo and behold, you fall for her words
And you're smack in the midst of a scam.
She'll steal your friends and your credit cards
For she's nothing but a lowlife and sham,
I kid you not, my dear benzo friends,
That this really happened to me.
A friend whom I cared for stole my trust
And she robbed me of my identity.
One thing is for sure, I'll tell you right now
This was the last time I'll befriend a tenant.
For all the chagrin this woman has caused me
I deserve a medal or a pennant!
But, eventually the police will find her
And, then she will really be sorry
For I'll make sure that she'll hurt no one else
And I, too, will not have to worry.
What goes around does come around
This is a sad fact of life,
So, when you're sick, choose your friends wisely
And you can avoid such scam and strife!

Yours in withdrawal,


Itchy and Twitchy

My fingers are so itchy
You can call me "itchy twitchy."
I've got big welts upon my arms
Which don't enhance my other charms.
This is probably all benzo-related
Perhaps because I was constipated.
Yet, today I was plagued with the runs
And, I have awful spasms in my bums.
Before this occurred, I had lovely skin
Now it's scaly like a fish's fin
The rashes appear so terribly red
And they itch as I lie down in my bed.
One rash on my breast left a terrible scar
You can actually see it from afar
If only I weren't so terribly vain
This wouldn't cause me intractable pain.
I'm afraid the rashes are here to stay
I wish like heck they would go away.

Yours in withdrawal,


By Genie E. Polower

"Constirrhea" sounds like a country
Such as the well-known Costa Rica
Yet "constirrhea" is something I invented
To explain why we can get weaker.
In withdrawal, some of us are constipated
Or plagued with a case of the trots
I'd sure much rather be consternated
Or phantasize about having the hots!
For, it's hard to ever leave your home
Your butt is sore, your tummy aches
And, every time you try to roam
You're doubled over in severe pain
Or you're running to the john,
And, when the aching does subside
Your positive energy is gone.
You can't afford to get dehydrated
So you're drinking like a fish
And, instead of eating all your food
You're playing with your dish.
Afraid to eat, too scared to drink
You are in one fine mess.
Sometimes you must imbibe some more
Or perhaps eat a little less.
Yet, it matters not just what you eat
"Constirrhea" is here to stay
Oh, God, grant me a normal bowel movement
So, I can learn to smile and play!

Yours in withdrawal,

`Tis Christmas Time and I am Home

(Version 5, I think)

By Genie E. Polower

`Tis Christmas time and I am home
For, how far can a Benzoid roam?
I decorated our Christmas tree
Though I did not feel full of glee.
And then, I took out our Menorah
Although I still can't dance the hora.
It's tough when you're not fish nor fowl
Religious confusion can make you scowl!
But, what's sadder is this Benzo curse
Which can make a normal gal feel worse.
This year, I'm besieged with the trots
I'd far much rather have the hots
Than being chained to the toilet bowl
Desperately trying to find a hole.
This year, our power keeps going out
Which only makes me want to shout.
In withdrawal when you're feeling cold
It's nigh impossible to be bold.
My blood pressure soared, I felt so ill
That I had to take a BP pill.
On normal days my BP's low
`Cause I can take things nice and slow.
My IBS makes me want to cry
It sometimes hurts; I cannot lie.
I want to live and be productive
Or at least do something more constructive.
But, when my butt's chained to the pot
Life can be cruel and not so hot.
Last weekend, I had to travel far
And sit for hours in the car
`Cause it was cold and dark at home
And I was simply forced to roam.
`Twas great seeing Andy's old mother
Even though I could be a bother
On our way there I had to poop
It's difficult being out of the loop.
But, I made it through a real tough time
Which is the reason for this rhyme
I hope you enjoy your Holiday
It's important that we can laugh and pray.



On Itching and Rashes

By Genie E. Polower

My arms are awfully itchy
You can call me "itchy b*tchy"
They're red and full of bumpies
They appear so dry and lumpy
The benzos made them much worse
This is all part of the benzo curse.
Antibiotics just made them bigger
For, they, too, can be a trigger
For all these nasty beasties
And for bringing on the yeasties.
I keep on getting silly infections
At times, I'd rather endure injections
Than go to bed each and every night
Feeling like I've got fleas or big bug bites
Does anyone else deal with a rash
Which makes you feel you want to bash
Almost everything within your sight?
Although you do not have the might
To even run a vacuum cleaner
And, instead, you just become a little meaner
As the itching worsens day by day
Oh, what a wonderful world in which to play!

Yours in withdrawal,

If Only ...

By Genie E. Polower

If only the weather weren't so cold
I'd take a walk and try to be bold.
If only my teeth weren't going to rot
I'd be in better shape dancing the fox trot.
If only my heart wouldn't act up now and then
I'd have a better attitude as I sit in my den.
If only I could see some real signs of hope
I'd learn better skills on how I might cope
With the endless symptoms which occur every day
Even though I know full well I'm too sick to play.
If only I wouldn't spend much time alone
My mood would adopt a more positive tone
If only I had the moxie to dare
I'd have a real life and ideas I could share
If only I hadn't become such a bozo
I would not have reinstated my benzo
But, as my husband says, "We are where we are."
If only I'd find solace from a distant star.


Each Morning

By Genie E. Polower

Each morning I wake up feeling like a bug
And sometimes I act like a bump on a log
Too tired to move, too despondent to care
I wish I could just hibernate like a bear.
Forced myself to take a stroll in the cold
And I realized I must be getting old
Hunched over like a moose to ward off the wind
I asked myself how I might have sinned
That I wake up this way each and every morning
And it's not as though I don't have a warning
That mornings for me are a horror show
This is something I really ought to know!
But, I keep on hoping that on one fine day
I'll wake up like a child who is anxious to play.
When that fine day will arrive, God only knows
In the interim, I must strike a brave pose
Learning to accept what my life's become now
Even though I can't begin to know how!

Yours in withdrawal,


All I Can Do Is Sing and Pray –11/08

By Genie E. Polower

Shimmering fall colors outside my window
A deer is grazing on the distant grass
My thoughts are fleeting as they grow
Thinking of how quickly time does pass.

A lavender flower still not frozen
Continues to blossom in cool November
A different life I would have chosen
If only I could still remember.

Yet, my memories are vague and vastly jumbled
As I cope with unrealities of my day
At times my fondest hopes are crumbled
And all I can do is sing and pray.

and Nighty Night,

On Love

By Genie E. Polower

Love is putting a loved one before yourself

Love is giving without thought of receiving

Love is generous, forgiving and caring

Love is accepting and never deceiving.

Love is giving your loved one freedom

Love is giving him wings to fly

Love is showing you care in little ways

Love is never having to tell a lie.

Love is wanting the best for your loved one

Love is hoping for a future that's bright.

Love is not having to say you're sorry

Love is being understanding and true.

Love is something I give to one man

And it's something I pledge to you!

(This is a poem I wrote to Andy for his birthday)



An Uncertain Dance is this Place Called Life 11/08

By Genie E. Polower

An uncertain dance is this place called life
Sometimes exciting and sometimes humdrum
We plan our lives oh so thoroughly
Not knowing what is yet to come.
For, when illness strikes, it's hard to find
The strength to carry on the fight.
Sometimes we ask God during trying times
What's the reason for our plight.
We want to do many things we cannot do
So, we find ourselves in a fine mess
And, when we learn we are chronically ill
It's so hard to deal with the stress.
Living well can present many challenges
The long-term answer's not swallowing a pill
In the future, when our symptoms become too hard to bear
We must retrain our minds to repose and chill.
In tough times, we still have the fondest hope
That if we keep our noses to the ground
And that, if we keep thinking good positive thoughts
One fine day our lives will turn around.




Disclaimer:  The information contained in this website was not compiled by a doctor or anyone with medical training. The advice contained herein should not be substituted for the advice of a physician who is well-informed in the subject matter discussed. Before making any decisions about your health or treatment you should always confer with your physician and it is always assumed that you will do so.

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Last updated 21 July 2020