Author Topic: Healed After 3 Months  (Read 8448 times)

[Buddie]

Healed After 3 Months
« on: April 12, 2016, 08:30:19 am »
My Background

I started self medicating with Diazepam and Nitrazepam in 2008.  With the benefit of hindsight I can now see that this was a difficult time for me with the end of a long term relationship.  I somehow found myself on autopilot with everbody complimenting me on how well I got on with my life.  Little did anybody realise, I was taking tablets to numb my feelings.

I started off taking the tablets very irregularly and sometimes took them daily for a few weeks before not taking any for a few months.  Once again, with the benefit of hindsight I can see that I went back to the benzos if and when I experienced withdrawal symptoms which were mild for a long time.  So mild that I didn't realise it was withdrawal.

My benzo use continued sporadically until I got into the routine of taking 5mg a day at first in about 2013 leading to 10mg a day by 2015.

Why did I decide to stop taking benzos?

I gradually became more informed and realised the social anxiety and depression that I regularly had was a result of my benzo use.  I remembered how much energy and enthusiasm I had before I started taking benzos and wanted to be like that again.

Failed Cold Turkeys

I attempted to cold turkey twice.  I managed about 45 days the first time and only about 20 days the second time.  I started off feeling fine but by the end my anxiety and panic was too much to bare.  I had no idea I could feel like that.  Eventually, after a period of stabilising back on 10mg of Diazepam I decided to start a taper.

My Taper

After reading BB for hours or even days I decided to taper steadily but rather than set a timetable out in advance, I decided to try to listen to my body.  After a couple of cuts I learned that days 9 to 12 of a cut were usually the most difficult.  I decided to wait until I had gone through the bad days of a cut and felt better for two to three days.  This meant that most of my cuts were every 14 days or so.  I was lucky enough to discover that I could tolerate fairly big cuts and I soon built the confidence to know that the pain would pass given enough time. My cut log looks like this:

10mg > 7.5mg > 5mg > 3.75mg > 2.5mg > 1.25mg > 0.625mg > 0.5mg > JUMP

I dry cut at first and liquid tapered (using Gin!) from 1.25mg.

My Jump

Once again, hindsight is very useful here because sometimes you don't realise how you are feeling until after it has passed.  One thing I can say for sure is that while my jump was difficult, my experiences of cold turkey and my taper prepared me because my jump was a breeze compared to those.

I was in a daze for month 1 although I managed to function well.  I even went skiing for a few weeks.  I had regular periods of anxiety but they were somehow different to the taper, a little more superficial and controllable.

Month 2 and 3 were an amazing continous improvement.  I had barely two or three days of bad anxiety and the rest of the time symptoms were very mild.  Speaking now on day 90, I can say it has been probably 6 weeks since I last experienced anything that was particularly unpleasant to deal with.

My syptoms.

I tried not to dwell on what I was feeling and to look to the future but this was easier said than done.  Anxiety was by far the most difficult thing I had to deal with.  At times during my taper I just couldn't escape it.  It got intense enough at one point for me to shatter a tooth as a result of how tightly my jaws were clenched.

If you had asked me a few weeks ago whether I had suffered any physical symptoms I would have said no but now that I am feeling a lot better I now recognise that I had a lot of painful tension in my back and neck, tinitus, a bit of joint pain and the occasional period of blurred vision.

Stuff I did to help.

I didn't avoid caffeine or alcohol but I made sure that I didn't overdo it.  Given how bad my emotional state was at times I just didn't want to self medicate with alcohol.  I tried to avoid reading too many stories on BB.  This place is fantastic but it can also be very daunting listening to other people's struggles when you are seeking reassurance for your own situation.

I tried to keep a routine going.  I got up at 6am every day to exercise and then go to work.  I have no idea how I managed to keep it together at work and I barely did but I promise you that your paranoia and feelings seem a lot worse to you than they do to other people.  As far as I know, my colleagues thought I was tired and grumpy rather than toughing out introspective hell at times.

Things I wish I had done differently.

My wife has no idea I took benzos and I never told her that I was going through withdrawal.  I wanted to but I just couldn't.  This was partly because I know that while she would have supported me through anything I know that she really would never have been able to understand what was going on.  This would have probably made it harder for me to deal with things.  Keeping some semblance of a routine with my wife really helped me get things together and put on a brave face.  Sure, the way I was feeling had an effect on our relationship and I regret keeping such a secret but I'm lucky that things worked out the way they did.

How I feel now.

Wow, just wow.  I'm full of energy again.  I'm able and interested to have conversastions again.  I sleep well every night.  I laugh properly.  I laughed until I had tears streaming down my face recently.  I smile.  I feel a lot more affection for those I love. I'm performing better at work.  The world seems brighter and more positive.  My depressions has lifted and seems a long way away.

Lessons learned.

I had to resign myself to not knowing what was going to happen when I started to taper.  I had no idea.  I had to build my confidence as I went to realise that a taper allows you to break this process down into chunks that you find manageable  (or as manageable as possible!).  There were times where I nearly cracked.  I remember at one point having a 5mg tablet in my mouth just before I jumped. I was that close to undoing my work.  I had a realisation that I could push through and spat it out in the bin.

Everybody is different and will have their own path to walking away from the chemical hell that we imposed on ourselves. For me, developing the willpower to keep trudging on one step at a time with the increasing belief that things would get better was the key to winning.

Respect.

I cannot put into words how much respect and love I have for all of you here on BenzoBuddies  who are saying no more to the situation they find themselves in.  This was the toughest thing I have ever done but I succeeded.  I literally cannot say how much pride I have to know that I was offered support and kinship by people on here, some of whom in far more difficult situations than my own.

TLDR? I took benzos for years and successfuly tapered in 4 months. From the start of the taper to me feeling healed took 7 months.  Thank you everybody for the support and sharing your own experiences.  Without BB, I couldn't have done it.
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: Healed After 3 Months
« Reply #1 on: April 12, 2016, 05:35:53 pm »
Thanks for posting. I am one of those people that can't seem to want to wait and go slow. I am being told that I am withdrawing too quickly but I don't think I will ever feel better until this stuff is out of my system.
Congratulations
K
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: Healed After 3 Months
« Reply #2 on: April 12, 2016, 07:12:32 pm »
I am so happy to read that you have your life back. It is just amazing you were able to do go through all that without your spouse knowing. Thanks for posting. Your story is inspirational.
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: Healed After 3 Months
« Reply #3 on: April 12, 2016, 07:23:17 pm »
I like reading success stories like this because it gives me hope that my recovery will be just as short. Congratulations, I'm very happy for you!
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: Healed After 3 Months
« Reply #4 on: April 12, 2016, 07:27:47 pm »
Congratulations!!!, a very nice story, exactly what we need, one that tell us we can heal quickly, thank you!!!
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: Healed After 3 Months
« Reply #5 on: April 13, 2016, 02:58:29 am »
Congrats !
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: Healed After 3 Months
« Reply #6 on: April 13, 2016, 03:20:49 am »
Your story is inspirational because you recovered fairly quickly compared to others.  I'm curious if you still have tinnitus.  It is the one symptom that is bothering me the most.  It fades in and out of intensity.  I really hope it goes away.
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: Healed After 3 Months
« Reply #7 on: April 13, 2016, 11:34:43 am »
Hello [...]

      I am replying to your question. Tinnitus is one of my current symptoms. It's in my right ear. Don't know if there is much to be done about it. I'm just trying to manage and accept it. Feel free to message me if you have any questions or feedback or if you just want to vent. Wish you the best.

     Regards

                 [...]
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: Healed After 3 Months
« Reply #8 on: April 13, 2016, 03:03:56 pm »

      I am replying to your question. Tinnitus is one of my current symptoms. It's in my right ear. Don't know if there is much to be done about it. I'm just trying to manage and accept it. Feel free to message me if you have any questions or feedback or if you just want to vent. Wish you the best.


No, not much you can do about it, other than to use something to block it like a white noise machine. It should go away in time, though it might be the last symptom to resolve. In most cases, tinnitus fades a few months after jumping, though it can persist for longer. In those cases however, it might have been a pre-existing condition.
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: Healed After 3 Months
« Reply #9 on: April 13, 2016, 03:27:24 pm »
My tinnitus was pretty bad at times during my taper but it has virtually disappeared 3 months after jumping.  About twice a week I get a quick burst in my left ear but it only lasts about ten minutes.

I feel extremely lucky.
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.