Author Topic: First time here? I just jumped and have some advice: Don't be afraid  (Read 1249 times)

[Buddie]

In the first week of January, 2022, I recognized that I had been abusing my PRN prescription for Alprazolam (generic Xanax) after a crazy life event that stressed me out to the max. I tried to cold turkey - didnt even realize thats what it was - meaning, I just stopped and the full force of classic benzo withdrawal symptoms hit me like a tsunami. Once I understood what was happening to me, I found this forum and the angels that admin this board answered the call, arming me with the knowledge I needed to create a personal taper plan.

I jumped off my benzo in +/- 5 months. Here are my top 10 thoughts on the experience.

1. You are going to read a lot of horror stories of long term benzo withdrawals. The signature at the bottom will give you a lot of insight. You are not anyone else. Don't panic when you read them, but learn from them, and understand the experience of others' is not necessarily going to be yours. Maintain a positive attitude.

2. The weird physical symptoms are more sensation than reality. At the beginning I had the classic "jelly legs" symptoms. With these seemingly wobbly weak legs I would force myself to walk and hike. Eventually I figured out that even though my legs felt weird, they functioned fine, and it was a mind game my central nervous system was playing on me. I started to apply that to all the symptoms and not be afraid of them but push through them.

3. Insomnia. Learn about circadian rhythm. Get up, be sure to receive morning light without sunglasses. The sun hits a part of your brain that regulates sleep. Be outside as much as possible. At night, begin low lighting your house and do not look at blue light (computer/phone) close to bedtime. I talked about this on the insomnia forum and people said this had no effect on benzo withdrawal. Well it made a difference for me. Especially no blue light at night. Read about it.

4. Find a taper plan that makes sense for you. For me, Ashton seemed too long, and I didnt want to switch to Valium to taper. I read a 45 day benzo withdrawal plan (it's online if you google that) and sort of modified it. I knew I didnt have the math to do tritiation so I dry cut my benzo - saved all the powder - and used that at the end for my baby doses. My taper was very unscientific. I kind of guessed. I didnt worry about getting exact measurements. I dosed 2x a day. every 12 hours until the last week I went as needed. eventually, there was no as needed. I think that over ritualizing the dosing makes the taper too big of a thing in your life. You are the boss.

5. Physical distractions are much better than passive distractions. Even if you are physically challenged, paranoid to go out, feel weird in your body... try and move. I firmly believe this was critical in healing. Physical exhaustion, in whatever way you can get there. Edgy pent up terror releases this way.

6. If you have a full blown anxiety attack, try submerging your face in ice water, or hold a cold pack (has to cover whole face) this will reset vagus nerve. Another good topic for research.

7. Eat like a king. The best food you can put in your body. Clean grass fed beef (if carnivore), wild caught fish, filtered water, organic produce, lots of deep green smoothies. Try and cut out sugar. no cheap processed food and definitely no fast food.

8. Try and maintain your normal life. You feel weird and edgy and think it shows. It probably doesn't on the outside. Do as much of your normal life as possible. At the beginning I was literally hiding behind displays from people I knew when at the grocery store. I felt like there was a big red "benzo withdrawal" neon sign blasting off me. Making yourself push through is mastery over the drug. Accept that it is uncomfortable. Don't hide. This is nothing to be ashamed of.

9. I did pray a lot. I went to church. I talked to God. I prayed for others in this situation. I asked for help and divine providence. I called on my mother in heaven. I petitioned saints. I said rosaries....point being if this is a part of your life, faith, then practice it with sincerity. Be grateful for all that IS right. Notice and appreciate your blessings. Don't allow your brain to deceive you into thinking you are failing, unworthy or hopeless. That is a lie. People talk about Benzo Lies. It's real. Every time it whispers in your ear say "that's not true" and know that you will heal.

10. Love life. Notice all the beauties. Be with the flowers. Appreciate a beautiful day. Enjoy children and pets. Read great literature. Treat yourself kindly. Say nice things to yourself. Know that you deserve to be well. If you only take one thing from this list it's this. Do not let your struggle with benzo shipwreck your entire life. Stay in the pocket of what is right and good. When your mind goes to the dark places, and it will, reign it in and mindfully come back to the light.

YOU CAN DO THIS


2 weeks post jump and doing just fine.

Shout out to [...] and [...]: Thank you my angels. You answered the call at the darkest hour.



xo [...]
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]

Hi [...],

I'm thrilled to read your success story, you have a gift for writing along with your other talents.  I'm so happy to see you list what worked for you, I've linked your comments about jelly legs for other members and I'm happy to know that mind over the sensations this process produces can be similarly tamed.

I so appreciate your willingness to share your method and positive attitude with other members and you're right, others fate doesn't have to be ours.  Thank you for writing your story, we know how important they are and yours will give hope to many still suffering.  :smitten:

[...]

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]

This is inspiring me in my own alprazolam taper.

Brava!!!!!!
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]

Hi [...],

I'm thrilled to read your success story, you have a gift for writing along with your other talents.  I'm so happy to see you list what worked for you, I've linked your comments about jelly legs for other members and I'm happy to know that mind over the sensations this process produces can be similarly tamed.

I so appreciate your willingness to share your method and positive attitude with other members and you're right, others fate doesn't have to be ours.  Thank you for writing your story, we know how important they are and yours will give hope to many still suffering.  :smitten:

[...]


thank you so much [...]. I am doing great. All thats left is tinnitus and a little bit of restless leg syndrome. and its not horrible
Im so glad that I didnt take the meds my doctor prescribed at the beginning. Ambien and Trazadone. OMG. I almost didnt write this because I am very sensitive to those who are suffering. I have read so much of long term protracted symptoms. I do think it was a lucky break for me - i think the level of benzo struggle is a genetic lottery.

Have a great week ahead!
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]

This is inspiring me in my own alprazolam taper.

Brava!!!!!!

You are going to be fine. I think if you are only on one drug you will fare better. I feel bad for those who are on another drug to come off the original drug. Keep it simple. Keep a positive mindset no matter what. Make sure your self talk is encouraging. Dont give into despair.

Good Luck I will be checking in on 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]

A huge contrats to you [...] - I am so happy to see your Success Story here!!  You give some very usable and practical advice to our members who are tapering and looking for hope.  I wish you all the best in the days and weeks to come as you continue to enjoy your benzo-free life.

[...]    :smitten:
« Last Edit: May 23, 2022, 11:33:20 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]

This is inspiring me in my own alprazolam taper.

Brava!!!!!!

You are going to be fine. I think if you are only on one drug you will fare better. I feel bad for those who are on another drug to come off the original drug. Keep it simple. Keep a positive mindset no matter what. Make sure your self talk is encouraging. Dont give into despair.

Good Luck I will be checking in on you
Thank you. I would like that.


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]

Love the success story, itís encouraging.

[...], does the jelly legs go away on their own, gradually, suddenly.  Can you give any advice for self talk or coping while itís going on?

Glad youíre doing 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]

Love the success story, itís encouraging.

[...], does the jelly legs go away on their own, gradually, suddenly.  Can you give any advice for self talk or coping while itís going on?

Glad youíre doing well.

Hi [...]! Jelly legs were terrible at the beginning of my taper. But I had to move around a lot because I felt pent up and vibratey inside of my body. I hiked in the national forest near me as I have always done but now i didnt trust my legs and the path was rocky, or had tree roots, or was, often during this time, icy. I was scared to be honest, I actually wondered if I had MS it was so weird. I noticed my legs seemed to have a muscle memory; an autopilot. I slipped and was surprised at how my legs knew what to do even though mentally I thought I was falling. I regained balance as if automatic and it made me think that the sensation of jelly legs is a glitch in the  |mind body nerve|  communications. So i kept on walking and it just faded off. I would tell myself - out loud- "you're all right!" about a hundred times a day.it was bad for about a month. Also i would look up random you tubes on leg stretches and do them. Lots of magnesium baths too.

I've read this in other members' success stories about how exercise was key for them. Its because of the frayed nerves. I think when you start coming off a benzo everything feels way more *whatever* because we've dulled our sensations down trying to address anxiety. Now it's all coming back online. It feels bigger but is probably your original baseline. You just dont remember. Does that make sense?




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]

A huge contrats to you [...] - I am so happy to see your Success Story here!!  You give some very usable and practical advice to our members who are tapering and looking for hope.  I wish you all the best in the days and weeks to come as you continue to enjoy your benzo-free life.

[...]    :smitten:

Thank you so much [...]! You showed me the way on sticking with the original drug and dry cutting. You did it, and I thought I could too. I appreciate 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.