Hello my name is Terry and I have been 10 months 3 weeks off benzos. I would like to start my story out with how I feel now after being off benzos for almost 11 months.
Firstly, I feel great! I really don’t have any symptoms, I get anxiety flare ups here and there, but I think it is everyday life anxiety, normal feelings. I don’t seem to have any body symptoms at all. Life is good mostly. I never thought that would ever be possible again. I’m glad to be able to think and function like a normal human being again. I wake up feeling great, no more tiredness and no more depression on what the day may bring. I like going to work and just outright living life! Damn, It feels good!
I want everyone to know that this too will be you in time to come! Some will get there before others. I remember well when other benzo ex-suffers told me to hang on it will get better. It was so hard to believe that. It slowly came. You just have to believe, give it patience, and the healing will happen. No matter how bad you feel it will get better!
Now, where did all this benzo stuff appear in my life? It started about 5 years ago. I went to the doctor because I had a lisensed exam coming up and I couldn’t sleep and had anxiety from it. At the time I thought I was bad off but in retrospect it wasn’t so bad. I had heard that the doctors could give you something for anxiety and sleep, so I figured I would give it a try. My doctor gave me 2 weeks worth of Xanax (Alprazolam). It was 0.25mg 3 times a day. I was in heaven so I thought! After this script ran out I went back and the prescribing general doctor would not give me anymore and suggested I go see a shrink, so I did. He put me on 0.5mg 3 times a day without a question asked. It was crazy how easy that was. I took this amount and drank lots of beer for about a year. I decided to quit, I slowly cut my Xanax (Alprazolam) down, about .25mg every 7 days until I was done. I really didn’t have any withdrawal then from it of course my beer drinking really got heavy at that time. So I got off Xanax (Alprazolam) and I continued to drink a lot. I do remember about 2 months after being off Xanax my hearing became funny, my head felt crooked, and my right ear hearing was less than the left ear. I went to a specialist for my hearing and he said that I had mild Menere’s disease. I didn’t think nothing of it then. It went away after about 2 weeks and then it came back for another 2 weeks about 6 months later. I stayed away from benzos I would say about 10-12 months. I started to use a lot of opiods and I mean a lot and all different kinds and then I started to take Ambien (zolpidem). I thought it couldn’t hurt me because it wasn’t a benzo. Looking back at the Ambien (Zolpidem), it acts just like a benzo causing so much grief and withdrawal pain. I remember taking up to 80mg of Ambien (Zolpidem) at one time, WOW! What a trip that was! I took them for about 3 months and then I started to use Xanax (Alprazolam) again and then I started to use Ativan (Lorazepam) intramuscular along with klonipin (Clonazepam), Resterol (Temazepam), Librium (Chlordiazepoxide) and Valium (Diazepam). I was doing some very high dosages. I didn’t use them every day but about every 4 days I would use these benzos. I was also drinking a lot while doing all this. All this usage went on for about a year then one day I was getting ready for work and I just started to feel strange and then all hell broke loose. I had panic attack or sheer intense anxiety for 22 hours, like nothing I ever felt, I thought it was from the opiod w/d. Then it went away for about 3 hours and came back again for about 10 hours. This went on for about 4 days along with freezing hands and feet, intense fear of the unknown, sick stomach and Did I say FEAR! It was incredible! I went to the doctor and told him I needed Xanax (Aprazolam) because I knew this was what was causing all my symptoms. He gave me 2 mg a day, I started this and instantly felt better. So after about a month I started cutting 0.25mg every seven days. WOW! I was hit with all the withdrawal over again this went on in cycles every cut I would feel good if you call it that for about 2 days and then be hit with intense fear, panic, anxiety, headaches oh they were bad, hot cold sick, burning skin, head feet hands. This went on for 2 months then I found the benzoisland it saved my life, So many people to thank there! Thank you! All of you! I eventually cut down from 2mg a day of Xanax to 0.25mg a day in little over 2 months I think. It was Intense! I then slowly crossed over to Valium (Diazepam) to a total of 5 mg of Valium (Diazepam) a day which took a month to do. Then I tapered 0.5mg of Valium every 7 days come rain or shine. It was horrible! The most worse withdrawal I had and still have is anxiety and that unknown fear? It is hard to explain. I went through so much head withdrawal. I worked full time through all of this, it was very hard and at times I thought I would have to go on disability. I made it! Paycheck to paycheck! Then after I was off Valium (Diazepam) I went through all that withdrawal again. It wasn’t as intense as the initial withdrawal but it had its moments! Then it started to get better I would go 3-4 days feeling really good and BOOM, I would get hit again for about 7-14 days with hard withdrawal. This went on and on, then the good windows would get longer and longer. I still had bad withdrawal spells that would last about 7 –14 days but they would be replaced with a good window. I drank 3.5 beers about 7 months off and it felt great, but there was a price to pay. I got hit really bad 2 weeks later after that drink! It was an intense withdrawal. I know the beer had something to do with it. That withdrawal lasted for 2 long weeks, I thought I was never going to be normal again then it went away and it has been about 3 months now without any withdrawal!
I remember months ago I thought I was feeling really good, but now I feel even better. Every week I feel better than the last even though I feel very good now. I hope to continue to get better. For that whole year I couldn’t do much besides work. I remember shoveling snow in December 2006 after 3 months of nothing it was wild! I remember starting out doing the laundry again, slowly I was doing more. I forced myself to do it!
Anyways I just recently started to lift weights again it feels good. I now have control of my mind again. That was the really hard thing not knowing if you are going insane. I really have confident control of my thoughts now. I know when that withdrawal anxiety hits, you can’t really do much to control it but to just let it take its course. For me when the anxiety hits I just have to ride it out and then out of the blue it vanishes, just plain strange, but what a relief it is when it is gone, it feels as though a fever has broke.
Back to the subject!
I work as a medical care worker. I see so many people come into the hospital who are helplessly hooked on benzos and ssris and so many other drugs. So many tests are done on these people to find out what is wrong with them and most of the time there is nothing wrong. Mostly they are having withdrawal from some sort of drug. I see many people who are just plain out in withdrawal from benzos and they don’t even realize it. They come into the hospital with so many of the benzo withdrawal symptoms. Most doctors don’t even try to really figure out what is really going on with these people. The doctors stop all psychological meds such as benzos and ssris and such and the patient becomes worse. Then the doctors restart the meds and magically the patient is back to their old self while the mean while the doctor pats himself on the back thinking he fixed the patient, it is truly scary. Such a waste of societies money not getting to the problem that is really going on with these benzos and ssris which is another story in itself. Sure there is a lot of true medical problems out there with people but from what I have witnessed it is mostly Death by Prescription, and that is a fact!
Remember this! You will get better! I never thought I would get better and I continue to get better every day!
Forum Disclaimer SiteMap Home Contact us The Ashton Manual