On Friday of last week, I took my last dose of .002 mg Klonopin. Almost 10 years of 1 to 1.5 mg/day but no longer.
After a C/T off a modest .125 mg dose in March this year, I reinstated to .375 mg, stabilized and water titrated off over the next 9 months. At my worst, I was a mess. An absolute mess. Like many others that come here in terrible shape because nobody believes us or knows how to help us cope. I had every symptom in the book and had convinced work that I was sick with a gastrointestinal virus that the docs could not figure out. On my knees, I showed up here and the Angels or mods as they are called (Anthea, Cook, Emily, Madelon, Glyn and Dave) picked me up and helped point me in the right direction. They gave me hope that I did not believe really existed. They convinced me to trust in something that was not there - the hope that I would heal in time regardless of the terrible mess I was in. To all of them, I am forever grateful.
Over the first 5 months of slow titration, I had a very difficult time. Slowly reducing my dose but struggling horribly to survive. To keep my job. To keep my family. To keep going day after day. It was the most difficult thing I have ever done. All while truly believing I was going crazy. At the worst, I questioned how anyone could go through this and still come out the other side. What a horrible hell it is at its worst.
Then, about 6 months into water titration and getting to frighteningly low doses, things began to slowly get better. I began to experience days with NO anxiety. I would have hour long windows of NO symptoms. This must be what they are talking about! The hope I needed. As I continued to lower my dose, the windows got larger and the waves of strong symptoms diminished in intensity. Toward the end, I came to the realization that things weren't going to get worse again before they got better. What an amazing feeling that is!
Don't get me wrong. I still have symptoms. But they are nowhere near as intense as they used to be and they don't hang around for nearly as long. I am still prone to anxiety. I am still very sensitive. It doesn't take much to set my fragile CNS off. I accept that I am prone to stress more than I was in the past and I will trade that for horrible WD symptoms any day.
What did I do during WD? How did I cope? Let me tell you. I learned and practiced meditation to help calm my racing mind and vibrating nervous system....if only for a short time. I ate a high protein, low carb diet. Lots of meat, nuts, eggs and no sugar or caffeine. I exercised by walking 2 miles every other day to burn off excess energy. I forced myself to go to work everyday, no matter how absolutely horrible I felt. I adjusted my taper to become slower the lower I got. I held my taper when it was too fast or I had a stressful event I needed to deal with. I read more books on anxiety than most psychiatrists have and I am not a big reader. I found ways to constantly occupy myself and distract me from my symptoms. And probably most importantly, I learned TRUE ACCEPTANCE. I learned to accept my situation and position in life and the fact that it may be a very long time before I begin to feel better. Oddly enough, when I TRULY began to accept my position was when things started to slowly turn around.
What did I take during withdrawal? My breakfast everyday for many months has been Ensure. I have never had an appetite in the mornings and for me, this is better than not eating. On Cook's suggestion, I take 1,000 mg of Vitamin C every morning. I also take Taurine though I have to admit, the slight calming effect it used to give me has waned and is of little effect anymore. There is no magic supplement folks. There is a lot of shit that will make you worse but the only thing that will make the withdrawal symptoms go away is more benzo (updose) or slow withdrawal and time away from the drug (preferred method). The key is time and devotion to making yourself healthier.
Friday was the day I have been waiting for, for quite some time. It is now time to move on to the next stage of healing. One that is thankfully a little less difficult to endure.
My thanks again to everyone here. This has become a second family for me though I rarely post. Understanding and sympathy for when we need it most. I will continue to read posts as I have done all along as well as post occasionally, though my time for moving on from this group is growing near. Good luck to all of you and please never give up hope that you will heal if you only continue to move toward your goal to become benzo free.
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