Author Topic: Now Off Benzos for 7 Months  (Read 369 times)

[Buddie]

Now Off Benzos for 7 Months
« on: September 12, 2021, 05:09:59 pm »
Hi,

It's now been 7 months since I stepped off a Clonzapam.  I wanted to give an update and offer encouragement.

I am doing pretty darn well.

As I mentioned in my first post, http://www.benzobuddies.org/forum/index.php?topic=254208.msg3223895#msg3223895
I did a 22 month dry cut, micro taper. I cut every other day and held when my cuts caught up with me.  I chose dry cutting because of past experiences with a liquid taper of a different medication.  I found it hit my system too quickly and I just did not metabolize it well. For a lot of people, liquid is their best method, so finding the method that your body can handle is very personal.

I would say overall I feel mostly pretty good.  I am working more and I am able to feel feelings of happiness, which I could not before due to what benzos do to the brain. I also drink about 1/2 cup of regular coffee everyday and that brings me pleasure.  I may drop it in the future but for now, I enjoy it. I started with an 1/8 of cup at about 4 months off and then increased it with time.  I don't plan on any alcohol for at least a year and will gauge what my body is telling me.

I know I am still healing. I do have small waves that show up for me as sadness and despair.  They last between 3-5 days but not weekly-maybe monthly.  When I'm in the wave, I do get scared that there is something really mentally wrong with me.  When I am out of the wave, I remind myself that my brain is still healing and at 7 months, after being on benzos twice along with two other meds, I am in a process.  The waves are nothing like the ones I had in withdrawal and I now have access to my logic, which helps me get though those times. 

I eat pretty well but not perfectly. I tried doing intermittent fasting in early August and it was too much for my sensitive, healing brain. My mood started to plunge and once I started eating normally, I felt fine again.  I eat when I'm hungry and stop when I am full. 

The only supplements I take are Magnesium Glycinate, which I took on and off during my taper.  I take between 50-150 mgs at night to help me relax into sleep.  I have also just added some Vitamin D and will gauge that too.  I do drink an Adrenal Cocktail, 1/2 cup natural OJ, 1/4 tsp Himalayan Pink Salt and 1/4 tsp of creme of tartar to support my adrenals.  I drink it as needed but when I was in withdrawal and too revved up to relax at night, I drank it 2x a day at 10AM and 2PM. In about 10 days the hyper feeling subsided and I started to sleep better, which at that time was about 3-5 hours a night with many nights of little sleep.  There are versions of this cocktail that use other liquids if you can't handle OJ.

My sleep now is getting better. When I was on vacation with my husband this past summer, I was doing some daily hikes and I slept really well at night-maybe 7-8 hours.  When I returned to home, I discovered I had a small fracture in my foot and since then have been unable to move around as much.  My sleep has suffered because I'm not active and burning off energy but I'm still getting between 5-7 hours even if I'm waking up more often.

Once the boot is off my foot, I plan to start exercising again. I am out of shape and my muscles are weak due to inactivity and withdrawal.  I tried exercising when I first got off and I overdid it out of eagerness. It caused some insomnia and mini waves. Less is more continues to be my lesson in life. 

I mentioned a couple of things in my first post that helped me during withdrawal. Mental symptoms were the worst for me so looking up the side effects of Clonzapam and seeing that depression was a side effect helped me so much.  Knowing that my depression was caused by medication helped me keep going, even when the medication kept me from totally believing it.  I was also one of those people who felt better as I went lower.  I had two benzo friends tell me that when I got below .5mgs I would start to feel a difference. I chose to believe them and it got even better when I got to .25mgs.

I also used a benzo coach from Lucid Lane. Having someone to talk with and share my despair helped.  This was different from therapy, which I totally believe in. My coach focused on encouragement, strategies for getting through and gave me a continuous reality check that my mood was medication induced.   

I worked with one more practitioner who used a method called PSYCH-K.  This practitioner had gotten off of a cocktail of medications using the technique.  I met her by chance, heard about the work and decided to try it. We worked remotely even pre-pandemic and I found it incredibly helpful. I continue with her to this day.

Another thing that helped was sticking to one brand of benzos. I was switched to another brand in my third month of tapering. Someone on this site told me to stick with one brand and I took that to heart. I had my psychiatrist call in the brand and I would check with the pharmacist every time I picked it up. This gave me a sense of control during a period where I felt helpless.  I also hoarded my pills whenever I could so that I had plenty on hand. I realize this isn't always easy but even saving those little bits of pills I shaved off, added up. 

I made lots of mistakes in my tapering off 3 medications and being on benzos twice. I don't blame myself for trying all those things, (now that I'm off meds and my brain can function) because I was desperate to get off.  And, I'm fine despite all those mistakes of forgetting doses, accidentally taking double doses, trying different supplements, diets, bodywork, taking an antibiotic and being betrayed by both western and holistic practitioners.  I more than survived and am in a place of peace about the experience. I know that will even get better with time.

As with anything I've mentioned above, please do your research and learn to trust your body's responses. There are as many opinions on Benzo Buddies as there are stars in the sky. Look for the resources and people here that resonate with you and support your soul.  I was scared out of my mind to start tapering and people like Welchie, The Long Hold Support Group (even though I didn't hold), Waves on the Shore, Kgirl110, Bob7, and NYC Waverider kept me afloat.  After awhile, I stepped away from the site to focus on my tapering, which was good for me.   

The capacity for our brains and bodies to heal is real.  I'm wishing everyone on this journey continued strength to keep going because it says a lot about the depth of who we are to even take on this challenge.

[...]

PS  I forgot to add this part and it's something I've mentioned on other threads.  A shift occurred for me when I finally got that being stable enough to taper did not mean, feeling great.  For me it meant, being functional enough to make the bed, wash the dishes and stare at the TV.  Later it meant, I could go for a walk, meet a friend and then start working a bit. I got confused for awhile thinking that if I were stable, I would feel more up but that was not what stable was for me.  It was all about being functional enough to keep going in my taper.  I used a mental scale from 1-10.  If I was in the 5, 6, 7 range, which was uncomfortable but tolerable, I kept going. If I went to an 8 or 9, I held till I was back to a 6 or 7.  Tracking this way helped me move forward and also allowed me to see if there were any patterns of when my cuts hit. 
« Last Edit: September 13, 2021, 06:54:39 pm by [Buddie] »
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: Now Off Benzos for 7 Months
« Reply #1 on: September 13, 2021, 01:15:18 pm »
Congratulations!  What a long road you've had and it's so nice to see that you're on the other side of this!  Way to go!  :thumbsup:

Thank you so much for posting this as it most certainly gives me hope!

Here's to continued healing and a beautiful life for you!

Fondly,
[...]
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: Now Off Benzos for 7 Months
« Reply #2 on: September 13, 2021, 01:30:12 pm »
Congratulations on your recovery. I really needed this post I guess. I am very hopeful that I will recover too...

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: Now Off Benzos for 7 Months
« Reply #3 on: September 13, 2021, 02:22:41 pm »
Congratulations!  What a long road you've had and it's so nice to see that you're on the other side of this!  Way to go!  :thumbsup:

Thank you so much for posting this as it most certainly gives me hope!

Here's to continued healing and a beautiful life for you!

Fondly,
[...]

Thank you [...].  It was a long road and I definitely am on the other side. 

There is every reason to hope and it can be done.  You are doing 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: Now Off Benzos for 7 Months
« Reply #4 on: September 13, 2021, 02:24:20 pm »
Congratulations on your recovery. I really needed this post I guess. I am very hopeful that I will recover too...

Congrats 👏

It can be so hard to believe when our brains are still impacted by the meds. Try to hold on to any slivers of hope you can  because healing does happen. 
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: Now Off Benzos for 7 Months
« Reply #5 on: September 13, 2021, 06:55:21 pm »
I added a PS to my post above with another insight that was important for me during withdrawal.
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: Now Off Benzos for 7 Months
« Reply #6 on: September 16, 2021, 03:13:05 pm »
You are such a rock!!! Thank you for being the person you are. A great inspiration :)
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: Now Off Benzos for 7 Months
« Reply #7 on: September 17, 2021, 02:36:29 am »
You are such a rock!!! Thank you for being the person you are. A great inspiration :)

Thank you so much [...].  Like you, I want to offer hope. 
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.