Today marks 6 months since I took my last 1/2mg of valium. For those who do not know I was on Xanax for 10+ years with the last 2 years at the 6mg level, a very high dose. I tapered and got down to 1mg X and could just not go any lower. I did a C/O to V at the 17.5mg level and took 5 months to taper the V, 7 months since I started to cut the 6mg X. It was 13 months ago today that I decided to get off benzos. I hope that time line makes sense, I get foggy still but its 13 months since the ordeal started.
Boy, things have changed, not all for the good but overall much better. A year ago this time I could not walk around the block, drive to the store or go out and visit a friend without having a near melt down. Notice I mentioned "a friend" as I had very few left after this ordeal. That’s the really sad part of benzos as no one understands, the one great friend that stood with me through out this deal to this day, still has no comprehension of what happened when I talk to him.
It was a very long road and felt like it took forever. I joined this group early in July of 2005 and was glued to the posts every day, still am but now I don’t have that “gawd awful” I’m not going to make it feeling I had back then, guess what? I made it and I am benzo free!!!
This drug is so terrible I would never wish it on anyone, period! How could you wish this nightmare on even your doc or worst enemy.
I have a lot of mixed emotion writing this tonight. I look back and the last 13 months have been hell. The cutting Xanax early on was the real nightmare before I did my C/O to V. My doc told me to cut my 6mg a day to 3mg a day, first cut. I did it and lived, worked my way down to 1mg in 2 months and was a non functioning, non remembering, unable to do the simple things kinda basic shell of a person. It was a terrible time but I knew no better, and then I found the group.
A huge Thank You! to Debra. She was my guide, my hope and inspiration at first and this was all before I worked up the guts to do a post.
There is so much great information here, if you are new use the wisdom and resource of this great site to help you on your way. The best info I found at first was the "Getting a doctor to help you" in the files section, w/o that I would have had no idea how to approach my doctor let alone that I needed Valium to do my taper.
So the very long taper and holding on by my teeth came to an end in mid December of 2005, my last 1/2mg of V was on December 17th. How did I handle that last pill? I fooled myself. I was getting a toxic feeling after I went to 1/2mg and only held it a few days. It was a Friday night and I was feeling a "new" kinda sick from the benzo. I told myself I would not take the 1/2mg "just for that night" and I would take it the next day if I felt different. Well, I slept and felt no different the next day, decided if I had none the night before I would need none that night. Never took a benzo again.
It is so scary to think about that last pill, give this some thought it sure worked for me.
It's a long road, you work as hard as you ever had in your life to get your taper done and one day it is finished, then it's like OMG what now? It's like turning a corner and a new page in life. You soon settle into the "life after benzos" part and hope your symptoms do not get worse. No one knows what lies ahead but I found it was mostly the what if's and worry.
I had no terrible new symptoms after I finished, but it took a while to realize that. My tinnitus got worse the last 6 weeks of my taper and it's still here 6 months off. Not as bad, comes and goes, but still here. My calf spasm/crawly feeling is all but gone. I still get some WD in my forehead/face, sinus kinda feeling I had all through my taper, food sets this off mostly. I still get a rare flash of white light out of the corner of both eyes but seldom, this happened late in my taper. My sleep is the biggest problem holding on.
The great part is my anxiety is 90% gone since I finished my taper. I keep my stress under control and know my limit. The damn anxiety was from the benzo, all those years of fight or flight!
What do I do now?
I have worked up to walking a brisk 30 minutes every morning (2 miles). This is from a guy that could not walk a 1/4 mile last year.
I have started real coffee again after 10 months, not much but some.
Eat healthier than I ever did my whole life.
Fighting the dreaded benzo belly "Thanks Genie" :-) Lost 19 lbs but just have a smaller benzo belly.
Have slowly added supplements after my taper and keep them small.
I drive & shop, you have to be in this group to understand that one!
I no longer carry a benzo in my pocket.
I am grateful.
I still can't spell :-)
It gets better but takes time. Life still can suck and I have WD on a lot of days but nothing like the gawd awful taper days last year.
What did I do today?
I walked my 2 miles.
I went shopping and took time to enjoy life as best I could I spent time with my dog, "thank God for my dog"
I went to a BBQ and I even enjoyed it :-)
I sat outside and marvelled at the crisp blue sky backed by white puffy clouds, yes, the colors are very intense.
I baked 2 pumpkin pies in June, Why? Cause I can! LOL
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.
Last updated 22 July 2015