Shocking story of woman who spent 50 years on benzos

After 50 years (yes, really, 50 years) I am benzo free x 2 months
« on: March 02, 2018, 03:07:19 pm »

[Buddie]

Greetings everyone,

I’m posting this to give others hope. One of the things I needed most during my interminably l-o-n-g taper, was HOPE. I’m in a category of VERY long time benzo users who started taking the various benzo meds as a child for seizure disorder and I was “cold turkeyed” numerous times without anyone seeming to know what was going on with withdrawal symptoms so when symptoms from withdrawal got bad, they would simply put me back on the benzos — often at an even higher dose. There just is no data or comparison available for someone in my situation so neither I, nor my docs, nor even my pharmacology specialist, has had any idea of what to expect. I realize I am very early days yet and I keep wondering if symptoms are going to come crashing down on me, but after the first two months completely off, things are starting to feel better. I definitely have symptoms and I am concerned, at my old age and with my long term use, about permanent neurological damage, but I am managing day to day and starting to feel better.

I did a long, slow taper starting with the Ashton protocol for a cross over from Lorazepam to Diazepam, then went to liquid micro-tapering for about a year and a half, then ended the last 2 mg of Valium with dry tapering the pills by cutting them into small pieces and and taking rather long holds between the cuts. During the taper I was able to work part-time, travel overseas, move households to another state, travel frequently to another state to help care for my elderly parents, organize a wedding for my daughter and managed to usually be a semi-functioning human being, although there were days, weeks and sometimes months when I was tremoring, in a brain fog, unable to sleep, felt like my head would explode, wearing dark glasses all day, walking with a cane and lying around the house with all the curtains closed fearing it would never end. I will post some of my symptoms, my coping mechanisms and my experiences in the board for those who have been “off benzos for two months or more” in case there is anything others might find helpful.

I was extremely fortunate to have excellent Medical, pharmacological and emotional support along with a stable income from a gainfully employed and incredibly supportive husband. AND, very critical, I had the same Medical Insurance as US senators, Congressmen and Federal Employees have access to. Everyone derseves the kind of help and support I have had and I cannot overemphasize the role that support has played in my being able to do this. I was also fortunate to have received plenty of help and support early on in my taper from all you wonderful folks here on BB. Without your knowledge, experience and encouragement, I wouldn’t have been able to tell my doctors what I needed to do to get better. For this, I am eternally, and deeply from the heart, grateful!

I had doctors, friends and family members tell me tapering off at my age was; “a huge mistake”, “not worth it” and “against medical advice”, and I have no idea what is in store for me long term, but I can honestly say again, with gratitude, excitement and hope, thanks to all the wonderful support, I DID IT AND I FEEL BETTER!!!

Don’t lose hope!

Best to everyone,

Mo
« Last Edit: March 02, 2018, 03:31:25 pm by [Buddie] »

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