Wow- I just passed the nine month mark off the freakin benzos.
What a roller coaster ride this has been. It was nine months off on April3rd. That was a good day, my daughter's 21st birthday; complete with an ice cream cake that I couldn't eat, life is good though.
Let's just go back and I will tell you how much better it is. August 2004 my daughter went off to college, my 14 year old son went off to live with his dear old dad. I went to Hell in a hand basket, literally. I thought my life was over and it got much worse. I had taken Prozac and Effexor along with Tranxene off and on since my divorce in 2000 and during my failing marriage as far back as 1997. In the fall of 2004 I began taking Ativan on a regular basis and dealing with a very broken heart. My life was truly intertwined with my "kids" to the point that I did not have a life or even a will to live on my own. The Ativan fuelled the fire but I did not know that.
I started therapy and began seeing a psychiatrist after seriously contemplating suicide. I would come home from work everyday and fall into the floor in a heap. I would lie there sometimes for as long as two hours just sobbing, shaking inside and out wondering how to go on with my life. The psychiatrist began to try me on different meds like Laimictal and Trileptal, Zoloft and Lexapro. They either made me crazy with anxiety or sent me into further depression. Some days I felt like a yo-yo way up and way down in a matter of hours. I went without sleep for weeks on end and did crazy, manic things like mowing the grass in the pouring down rain. I cried and prayed and searched for answers from God and whoever else would listen.
My life became a constant search for the right combination of drugs to calm me down and bring me out of my depression. It seemed like life just kept kicking me! I found out in June of 2005 that my ex-husband had molested my daughter for 4 years, 4 damn years and I knew nothing about it. I could have just crawled into a hole and died. I could not fathom and still can't how a real man could violate his own flesh and blood in such a deplorable manner. He does not deserve to live and yet my son lives with him. To beat all, I pay the man child support! So began another cycle of no sleep and no peace! I swear to you that every time I closed my eyes I could see the jerk messing with my little girl….She does not want to prosecute him and still doesn't, not my choice so I must deal. Barely a month after I found out about the molestation, my daughter was caught embezzling money at work and my finances took another huge hit. My therapist assured me that this was just a side effect of the sexual abuse and one of the ways she was dealing with it.
My daughter started to see my therapist and work through some of the issues on her own. It definitely helped that we were both in therapy. I was so anxious and so nervous and depressed that my nights and days just all ran together, I couldn't sleep, I exercised like crazy and my life spun out of control.
I ended up switching from Ativan to Xanax around the end of July in 2005. I just kept feeling meaner and crazier inside. I tried to run over a guy at a convenience store just because he pissed me off! My temper was outrageous and I felt totally out of control.
August 2005, I was mowing grass and my friend Susan called to tell me that she had figured out what was wrong with both of us. You see my buddy and I had been going through a lot of the same stuff! She too was trying to recover from a broken heart when she started taking benzos. She is so smart and she was so determined to find out what was making her sick that she did her own research and discovered the Ashton Manual. I had been mowing grass when she called to tell me that we had to get off of the Xanax. I wanted to go through the phone and choke her, yet it made perfect sense. We were having inter dose withdrawals from a damned medicine that the doctor had prescribed - how in the HELL does that happen?
In October of 2005 we switched over to valium and began what would become an 8 month taper. We got off the stuff on July 3rd 2006! Life was not kind along the way. I had to have my dog, my best friend of 14 years put to sleep in March of 2006. My son, who was not on my insurance totalled my car in April 2006. The whole withdrawal, taper shit was totally surreal. I had at least 15-20 symptoms on a regular, rotating basis, not the least of which was the insomnia. The insomnia that kept me awake for nights and weeks on end. My leg hurt so bad, I call it my affected leg, it still hurts but not everyday now. I developed hypoglycaemia in February 2006. Now on top of every thing else I can't eat sugar, not even fruit without getting really depressed. I don't mean regular depression like I have dealt with; I mean a dark curtain of depression being pulled over my head that I could not get out of. I would cry every time I started to eat, my gosh how crazy is that.
Guess what? I survived and I am proof that life after benzos is possible. I am now in love with a terrific guy, my daughter is getting married this summer and my son is now 17. He is going to the prom and doing great in school for the first time in years. I am about to lose my job the end of June but guess what, I will be fine. I will survive because I beat the odds, I beat the benzos and if I can do that, I can do anything. Life cannot give me more than I can take. I have the best family and the best friends that anyone person can possibly have. I have been blessed. God, I thank you each and everyday for sending me the absolute BEST-BEST two kids in the world and the most wonderful friend that a woman could ever possibly need. My kids and my parents have so been there for me.
My benzo buddy, Susan has been there for me. We reached the point where we could hardly stand to be around each other because we were both so incredibly miserable, yet we have this bond that only God could explain. She has listened to me bitch and moan and wallow in my own self pity until I am certain she could have puked. I am so thankful for her wisdom, her empathy, understanding and most of all her willingness to just be there for me. God that is so important in surviving this junk. I don't deserve her friendship and I certainly have not earned it, but I have it. She has my back, that I know, and I appreciate. Thank you so much for everything. We will not be working together anymore after June 30th but we will always, always be friends. God made that possible and that will stand!
I just want to say to anyone and everyone that is trying to beat this junk, YOU CAN DO IT!! We can do it, and many have done it. Map out your plan, stick to it, stay close to God and as close to your family and friends as you can. This junk is a bitch but if I can beat it, so can you. Good luck and I am praying that each and every one of you will find a friend to help you carry the load.
GOD BLESS EACH ONE OF YOU!!
Love and hugs,
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