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A Benzo Survivor's Story

Hello everyone.

 I just wanted to tell everyone about my success story with getting off Benzo's.

I took Xanax then Klonpin for 14 years as directed by my doctor for anxiety and panic attacks. My doctor retired so I had to find another doctor to treat my anxiety. My new doctor, who is also an addictionologist sat me down and told me that he did not believe in Benzos due to their addictive nature etc etc. He advised me that he would supply me with refills for a couple of months and that I needed to make preparations to enter detox at the psych hospital where I could be monitored closely as I came off.  I knew after taking these pills 3 times daily for the last 14 years that this was going to be a nightmare. I couldn't go 5 hours without my pills and now I was going to have to do without them.

I took FMLA from work and got everything else in order. I had thought that I would be off work two maybe three weeks at most. I had spent hours and hours on the computer reading stories about people trying to get off Benzos. I knew it was going to be the hardest thing ever in my 32 years on this earth but really had no idea of what I was really in store for, Hell!

I entered detox in a lockdown facility and began my long journey. Things were bad for the first day or two and then after that my mental stability was destroyed. I was now having a 24 hour panic attack and freaking out. The anxiety was unbearable. I was put on seroquil to help me sleep at night. Then came the severe
depression. All I could do from the time I woke up in the morning until I went to bed was cry. I became very suicidal for the first time in my life. I was a nervous wreck. My insurance company was throwing a fit at the cost of keeping me hospitalized and was pushing my doctor to release me. I begged and begged him to not let me out of there because I was so afraid of these suicidal thoughts that I was having and was scared that I would act on them if released. The last thing I wanted to do was kill myself but I could not handle the constant anxiety and depression, I just wanted it to get better and it just kept getting worse.

I was in the hospital for a little over two weeks. I hated it there but was scared to be released. I felt safe there and I was still a total mess as far as my anxiety and depression. I was so anxious that I could not be left alone. I had to go and spend a 5 or 6 weeks at my parents house and have 24 hour supervision by my family members. I was scared to go back to my own house and be left alone. The anxiety was still unbearable. The doctor had me on so much Seroquil to help me relax that I was sleeping 18 to 20 hours a day.

I felt like things were never going to get better.

Slowly I started to get a little relief from my anxiety and took a big step and returned to my own house after about 6 weeks of getting out of the hospital. I was still in very bad shape. I was too anxious to even drive myself to the grocery store. Things kept getting a little better and I was finally able to return to work after about 3 months after this nightmare began. I had to learn how to live again. Everyday things that were so simple before were now very hard for me to do.

This week is my 2 year anniversary from being off Benzos. I am so proud of myself and feel so much better now. My anxiety is no longer an issue and I am the "old me" that everyone knew before I started taking the pills. You have no idea how much these pills dull your emotions until you are off them. I am a completely different person know. It's a great feeling not to have to rely on pills to get me through the day.

I just wanted to share my story and to let you know that you can get off the Benzos. It will be hell but you can do it *. I wish I would have met my new doctor 10 years ago but am grateful that I got this taken care of when I did. I can imagine the hell I would have gone through after another 5 or 10 years of taking the pills after my tolerance had continued to build and I was taking God knows how much Klonopin by then.

My thoughts and prayers are with all of you and I wish you the best.

*Editor's note - A slow Ashton style taper may avoid some of the problems associated with a rapid detox.

 

 

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 23 May 2013