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Game Over…

Being an anxious type of soul, I began to ask my doctor for a magic pill to control my general anxiety. At first he resisted my request. In time, though, he agreed to prescribe Xanax. Initially it provided a wonderful relief from my anxiety. So wonderful, in fact, that my body craved even more. I requested and received permission to increase my dosage from 2 to 2.5 mg. Of course, any relief was temporary and always required yet another pill in order stave off much worse anxiety. Only my Xanax-induced sleep provided me with any respite from the up-and-down travail that had become my daily routine. In short, I was hooked - at my own request.

Life continued on and I was content to stick with my regimen for the next 17 years. Of course, there were a few unpleasant side-effects, but I tolerated them in order to get the anxiety relief. Primary among the side-effects was a diminished memory. I coped with that shortcoming at work by committing to paper most of what I needed to know and by relying on co-workers who still had their wits about them. Although I was able to maintain the status-quo for some time, eventually my skills fell further and further behind. When our company was purchased and my main project was slated to be transferred to the new company headquarters, I suddenly had the motivation to recapture my lost memory.

But how could I possibly rid myself of this addictive substance? I had dry cut down as far as I could (1.875 mg.). I previously searched the internet for a way without success. I decided to look one more time. This time I googled “how can I get off of xanax.” Still, I was not able to find someone - anyone - who could point me in the right direction. I repeated my query again and again each time removing one word from my search string. Finally I saw a web site which mentioned this group. After joining the group I read about those who had successfully extracted themselves from all sorts of benzos (most of which I had never heard of). At last I could see there was hope that I could eventually be a benzo-survivor.

Which method should I use: switch over to a longer lasting benzo such as Valium or use the water-titration with Xanax? I decided to stick with Xanax since I was already all too familiar with how I responded to it. If need be, I could always approach my doctor later on about switching to Valium. Although initially my fog-shrouded brain found the w/t method a little confusing, eventually I was able to download the spreadsheet and customize it for my situation. After purchasing the required paraphernalia, I chose to mix my daily dosage with 250 ml. of water. I would try to drop down 1 ml. per day..

My first day of tapering was the most glorious, but artificial anxiety-free day that I could remember. No doubt that was because I was able spread out my intake throughout the day and counteract the short half-life of Xanax. Secretly I wished that had been using this methodology all along. However, my euphoria was short-lived as the more Xanax I discarded, the more anxiety crept back into my life. My brain continuously requested “more benzo, please.” I had to respond that “the game was over” all the while hoping and praying that my brain would begin to produce its own calming chemistry.

I continued with my regimen although at times I dropped 2 ml. on Saturdays and Sundays. Eventually I got down to less than 1 mg. Although I was scared to quit I was eager for true healing to begin. So I jumped off at .09 mg. The first few days were difficult, but I managed to persevere. I still have my share of anxiety and insomnia, but I hope that will fade away in time. It is still amazing to me that I was able to free myself from such an addictive substance. I will always be thankful for the support and tools of this group.


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