Author Topic: Help planning the end of my taper - completely burned out  (Read 2883 times)

[Buddie]

Re: Help planning the end of my taper - completely burned out
« Reply #10 on: December 08, 2021, 03:12:24 pm »
Please don't look to the future right now, I can see it's overwhelming you which is totally normal, everything is too much when we're going through this.  I hope you'll try to not put so much pressure on yourself once benzo free because its going to feel pretty much like your taper but without the drug to help mitigate symptoms, so it could be a little worse while you're in the acute phase.

I know I'm not telling you something you want to hear but I'm letting you know that challenging yourself probably isn't what you want to do right now.  Accepting what is, continuing your walks and keeping your world small and manageable would be better.  Your body will let you know when it's okay to take the next steps, just listen so you won't be overwhelmed.

As far as your life being better than before benzo's, if that's what you're talking about, I've found I have so much gratitude to be well again that life is better. 
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[Buddie]

Re: Help planning the end of my taper - completely burned out
« Reply #11 on: December 13, 2021, 06:17:44 am »
Hi redapple, you mentioned that you wanted to start a certain treatment for depression. Can I ask you what that treatment is? Are you still aiming to start it?  I have read your posts and see that you are very determined. Please donít worry that your world is small just now. When I see busy people who are rushing about in their frantic lives, they seem to be always complaining, wanting more etc. A small life is not a bad life. You are walking 2 miles a day, how wonderful, I wish I was that fit. I wish you every good wish for your happiness and health.
Hello [...], thank you for your kind words. The treatment I have been considering is ketamine. I read a good book on the benefits of psychedelic therapy (How to Change your Mind by Michael Pollan), and ketamine is a psychedelic-adjacent therapy that is starting to gain some traction. Of course I can't vouch for its effectiveness. I just think it's worth investigating for me since other forms of depression-treatment did not work (antidepressants and transcranial magnetic stimulation). Unfortunately, benzodiazepines mitigate the beneficial effects of ketamine -- that is the reason why I began this long journey.

Please don't look to the future right now, I can see it's overwhelming you which is totally normal, everything is too much when we're going through this.  I hope you'll try to not put so much pressure on yourself once benzo free because its going to feel pretty much like your taper but without the drug to help mitigate symptoms, so it could be a little worse while you're in the acute phase.

I know I'm not telling you something you want to hear but I'm letting you know that challenging yourself probably isn't what you want to do right now.  Accepting what is, continuing your walks and keeping your world small and manageable would be better.  Your body will let you know when it's okay to take the next steps, just listen so you won't be overwhelmed.

As far as your life being better than before benzo's, if that's what you're talking about, I've found I have so much gratitude to be well again that life is better. 
Thank you. I know that acute withdrawal may likely be worse. My hope is that after the initial weeks at 0mg, I will gradually start to have swings that aren't as bad. Going from 3mg to 0.5mg has been difficult but not as difficult as I had imagined. I hope that's a sign that acute withdrawal won't be a magnitude worse than what I've already been experiencing.
Suggestions, opinions and/or advice provided by the author of this post should not be regarded as medical advice; nor should it substitute for professional medical care. Consult your doctor before making any changes to your medication. Please read our Community Policy Documents board for further information.

[Buddie]

Re: Help planning the end of my taper - completely burned out
« Reply #12 on: December 13, 2021, 09:37:45 pm »
We have members who have tried Ketamine, you can see discussions on the Other Medications and Insomnia boards.
Suggestions, opinions and/or advice provided by the author of this post should not be regarded as medical advice; nor should it substitute for professional medical care. Consult your doctor before making any changes to your medication. Please read our Community Policy Documents board for further information.

[Buddie]

Re: Help planning the end of my taper - completely burned out
« Reply #13 on: March 20, 2022, 05:25:40 am »
Hi red apple,

I came across this thread looking for info on how to do the end of my taper (Iím at 2mg V but have been at a standstill for a while) and now Iím just wondering how youíre doing? I hope things have eased for you and your last decreases have gone well ❤️
Suggestions, opinions and/or advice provided by the author of this post should not be regarded as medical advice; nor should it substitute for professional medical care. Consult your doctor before making any changes to your medication. Please read our Community Policy Documents board for further information.

[Buddie]

Re: Help planning the end of my taper - completely burned out
« Reply #14 on: April 20, 2022, 12:37:39 am »
Hello everyone. May is around the corner, so it has been almost five months since I reached zero mg of diazepam on New Year's Day. Thus ended my 14-month taper. I wanted to give a brief update on my experience in post-acute withdrawal so far.

At first, reaching zero was exactly what you'd expect it to be -- hard. Although to me, it was definitely a meaningful milestone to no longer be on benzos, at the end of the day I was still going from some to zero. Some of my more difficult withdrawal episodes were during January, but it didn't help that I was reaching this point in the middle of winter. Well through February, I was drifting beyond the end of my rope, totally burned out. I don't really remember it.

Some time in late March, I started getting my first "windows". I'm no expert on benzos, but I have read others talk about these windows of time where they feel better while in post-acute withdrawal. On some days I find the energy to do things that would have been impossible during withdrawal -- lift some weights, do some baking, chat with my roommate. And I am building up my habits again, bit by bit.

To be honest, I am still depressed, but I was depressed before benzos and withdrawal. Every day is a struggle. Withdrawal was very detrimental to my ADHD, and my short-term memory, executive function, and desire are all damaged. This brain fog has been the most frightening part of benzos. I hope that these will recover, and thankfully I have seen some slight improvements so far. I am still struck by waves of anxiety, racing heart, anguish, but I am also occasionally struck with quiet -- relief from the "primal restlessness" that I mentioned half a year ago.

Physically, I think I'm doing a lot better (I should say though that my physical symptoms were never as bad as they are for other people I've read). Knock on wood, but I haven't had any issues with those terrible muscle spasms in my arms, neck and back. I understand they could come back after another window, but it's a good sign that I've gone almost two months without them. I do have lingering tinnitus, though I'm not sure if that's related to the benzos.

(Sorry I am responding so late, [...] -- I don't visit very often. I hope I could answer your questions. I hope you are doing well, the final steps are the most challenging but may prove to be the most rewarding.)

Thanks for reading, I'll update again in a bit. Take care.
Suggestions, opinions and/or advice provided by the author of this post should not be regarded as medical advice; nor should it substitute for professional medical care. Consult your doctor before making any changes to your medication. Please read our Community Policy Documents board for further information.

[Buddie]

Re: Help planning the end of my taper - completely burned out
« Reply #15 on: April 20, 2022, 11:16:06 pm »
Hi [...], thank you for providing a timeline of your recovery, so many wonder what will happen when they jump.  I'm thankful you're seeing some improvement but yes, the issues we had before benzo's will still be there when we stop them but I'm sure after dealing with this horror you'll be able to find the tools to help you.

I hope you continue to see improvements and hope you'll come back to tell us about them.
Suggestions, opinions and/or advice provided by the author of this post should not be regarded as medical advice; nor should it substitute for professional medical care. Consult your doctor before making any changes to your medication. Please read our Community Policy Documents board for further information.

[Buddie]

Re: Help planning the end of my taper - completely burned out
« Reply #16 on: July 27, 2022, 12:48:07 am »
Hello, hello everyone. I wanted to give another update on how I've been doing since tapering.

The beginning of August will mark seven months since I reached 0mg after a 14-month taper. As hesitant as I am to say it, and as hard as it is to believe and accept, I have to say I'm doing better! During the last two months, I've done a lot of new, small things. I've gone outside my comfort zone and bought new clothes. I worked up the courage to schedule meetings with a personal trainer this week to try and build up some basic strength again. I got an air fryer and have been cooking all sorts of things (not to be one of those 'air fryer' people... but if you don't have one, you totally should get one  :) ). Most important, at least to me, I went out to a foreign language speaking table last weekend and had a great time chatting with total strangers in a language I haven't spoken in years. It was the first time I've gone out to a social event since starting the taper, and I feel like I more or less nailed it.

So why am I hesitant to say I'm doing better? Well, as a person who's struggled with depression for years, I'm inherently skeptical of whenever I have a bright spot in my life. I worry that this moment will soon leave me and I'll fall into a deep darkness again. And my benzo symptoms are of course still with me. I have lots of apathetic days where I really struggle with feelings of not wanting to do anything. I'm getting better at talking, thinking, and planning, but my thoughts often feel like they're trudging through molasses. Several times throughout the day, my heart will start racing for no reason. I worry about what withdrawal has taken from me, about what I might not get back.

At the same time, though, my sleep has been a lot more stable. My muscle spasms are basically gone. I have had moments again where I feel I'm enjoying myself and the company of my friends.

Look, I'm not a confident, hopeful guy. It's not like me to say something like "I trust that with time I'll get better etc. etc.". I have a long way to go until I feel "better". But for now, I am not doing nearly as bad as I was during the taper, and I am thankful for that.

I'll check in again later. Thanks for reading.
Suggestions, opinions and/or advice provided by the author of this post should not be regarded as medical advice; nor should it substitute for professional medical care. Consult your doctor before making any changes to your medication. Please read our Community Policy Documents board for further information.

[Buddie]

Re: Help planning the end of my taper - completely burned out
« Reply #17 on: July 27, 2022, 01:38:28 am »
I felt such relief reading your post, I was afraid the way you started it that it was going to be bad news, so thank you for sharing how you're doing.  I can tell you've been burnt and are hesitant to get your hopes up but that isn't stopping you from enjoying this time.  I know you have a ways to go but I'm so happy you're doing so much and trying new things, good for you.   :thumbsup:
Suggestions, opinions and/or advice provided by the author of this post should not be regarded as medical advice; nor should it substitute for professional medical care. Consult your doctor before making any changes to your medication. Please read our Community Policy Documents board for further information.

[Buddie]

Re: Help planning the end of my taper - completely burned out
« Reply #18 on: January 02, 2023, 01:50:27 am »
Hello and Happy New Year,

Today marks one year since I finished my taper, so here is a brief update. (Perhaps a mod should move this thread to a more appropriate board?)

In general, my symptoms and overall quality of life are similar to how they were six months ago: better than the taper, sometimes pretty good, often not great.

I have better periods where I can accomplish things I never thought I could do before: After years of being afraid I couldn't handle it, I finally adopted a cat who makes me so happy (when he's not being a goofy menace). I saw a personal trainer for a few months, which gave me the confidence to finally start going to the gym on my own -- I thought it would be an anxiety-inducing, self-conscious experience but I was ultimately surprised at how manageable and easy it was. And there was a time in my life when I would rather take a train an hour away to another city to buy clothes out of fear someone I know might see me, but now I enjoy going to thrift stores in my free time. It's rare that I get those episodes where my heart starts racing for no reason. My terrible muscle spasms are still gone.

I still have waves of exhaustion fairly often, but they are not the months-long blanket they used to be. As recently as a month ago, I had a very obvious, and moderately intense wave of withdrawal that lasted a week, but it thankfully cleared up.

My cognitive symptoms are still pretty worrisome. It's tough to think, to imagine or plan out situations in my head. Speaking is difficult. Words are hard to find, and I often have long awkward pauses while talking as I try to figure out what I'm going to say and how. I'm still hypersensitive to stimuli - processing the world around me is often overwhelming, especially walking around outside where there's too much to take in. Anhedonia still grips me as I struggle to find things to do or care about.

I read many anecdotes during my taper about people's benzo recovery timelines. I recall seeing several people describing how the 12-month mark was actually almost as difficult as the 0-month mark, but that things really started to improve in Year 2. Obviously, recovery varies for everyone, but I hope to see more improvement over the next months.

I will check in again sometime. Thank you for reading.
Suggestions, opinions and/or advice provided by the author of this post should not be regarded as medical advice; nor should it substitute for professional medical care. Consult your doctor before making any changes to your medication. Please read our Community Policy Documents board for further information.