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Kindled. Now struggling bad. Need some hope.


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Long story short, Ativan 1mg nightly for roughly two years (for sleep). Took as prescribed and had no idea of the dangers of benzos. Ran out, experienced withdrawal for over a week, then did my own rapid taper. Was completely off for approximately two months then foolishly took as needed (once per week if that).

 

Decided to leave Ativan behind and try Ambien CR. Possibly the worst mistake of my life. Took for 14 days and stopped CT. I've been off for over 3 weeks now and am suffering beyond belief. I now know I've kindled.

 

Will this really get better? Does anyone really get through a withdrawal like this and recover 100% (with no meds)? Everyone keeps saying yes but then I see that it took them several years and/or they are still taking other meds. I literally cannot imagine suffering like this for months, let alone years. I also don't wish to take any other psychiatric drugs in my life again.

 

I simply cannot find a doctor anywhere who is helpful and I REALLY need some hope!

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Mostly extreme anxiety and the fact that literally every thought in my head surrounds how I feel and the anxiety. I have times when it lessens and I feel more like myself but definitely not 100%. I also haven't slept more than 4 or 5 hours at best a night for over three weeks and simply have no interest in anything. Totally without pleasure right now.

 

Before the Ambien I never even thought about any of this stuff. Just lived life. Now it is just totally consuming me. I have an eight month old baby and can barely care for him.

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Absolutely it will get better. I suspect that you are peaking in terms of severity of symptoms. Nobody knows for sure what pattern it will take for you, how long you'll feel like you feel before you see an improvement, or anything specific like that. What we can say almost for sure is that if you stay off benzos and z-drugs, you will be better in a year than you are now. That doesn't mean you will be in abject misery all the time until a year from now. It means you will have ups and downs, possibly being frustrated when things seem to get better and then getting hit by some bad symptoms. But in a year's time, you will certainly see that you are doing a lot better.

 

There are two things that I would recommend to you to make things easier.

 

The first is occasional use of melatonin for sleep. I'm guessing that is very much an issue for you if you took Ambien. Take the smallest dose that works. Some of the suggested doses are ridiculous. I bought some 5mg melts... I break bits off so it's more like 1mg. Some take it every night like a medicine. I don't like that. I think there are worse things you can do but still, I don't think it's so healthy. Neither is never getting any sleep, which is why I suggest it for occasional use when desperate. It can help with nighttime awakenings if you keep it by your bedside.

 

The second thing I would suggest for people who really can't cope is to try vaporizing CBD hemp flower in a dry herb vaporizer. It's legal and easy in the EU and USA. You can spend about $80-$100 on a dry herb vaporizer and you can buy CBD hemp flower for less than $10 a gram so you sample which strains agree with you the best. It does effectively cut through anxiety for basically everybody who tries it. I believe that is a healthy thing to do. My experience is that it doesn't just mask symptoms but promotes healing too. Unfortunately, there's no research available to back this up, but it is my experience and FWIW I've not come across any hemp flower horror stories. There's no withdrawal syndrome although obviously if you're still in the window where benzo withdrawal is in play, then symptoms will return. It feels like cheating and I feel like a salesperson... but it's worth it for me if I inspire just one person who is suffering to check this out. It can seem quite daunting and complicated but once you've got the equipment and the materials it's all very simple.

 

However you tackle it, if you stick the the principle that you don't want to get hooked on a pharmaceutical, eventually you'll be glad you have done it because you'll feel better than ever. When things get tough, think about the future when you're not tied to all this. You will be much stronger for having gone through this, life will be a breeze by comparison. That's the prize and you will get there. It's a cruel trick that benzos play which makes you feel permanently damaged. It's such an effective trick that it still insists that you're the odd one out and you'll be permanently damaged even when the evidence overwhelmingly suggests that you will recover.

 

 

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I feel for you trying to go through this while taking care of a baby. I do believe things will get better for you. You are probably in the peak of withdrawals. Is it possible to get some extra help from anyone during this time? I saw that someone recommended melatonin. I also take a small dose as well. I find it helps. I buy the 2 and a half mg gummies and I cut them in half. I take it about a half hour before bed.
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Thank you for the replies. I took Melatonin every night for years, including 10MG each night with the Ambien, so I'm trying to use it sparingly now. I don't know if it made this situation worse or not but at the moment I'm a little scared of it. I may try to take 1 - 2 MG a couple nights per week to see if it will at least help me sleep SOME. One thing that does seem to help is l-Theanine but I'm afraid of that too. I can't seem to find any consensus as to whether it will help or hurt this process. I've taken it a few times but not much.

 

Just so everyone knows I'm the father so my wife is handling most of the baby duties. I'm doing everything possible to help her because I don't want this to destroy my marriage. She is totally freaked out by this because this is completely out of character for me. I'm sort of the "tough guy" type and have never dealt with anything like this. I've always had manageable anxiety but coped with it just fine (other than sleep). This is so far beyond that it is indescribable.

 

The best way I can describe it is I feel like I stayed up all night, drank 10 cups of coffee, and I'm just about to walk on stage and give a speech to 1000 people. 24/7 that is how I feel.

 

If anyone has any information on l-Theanine or a good link I could send to my wife to help her understand I would greatly appreciate it. Also, anyone who has experienced this and gotten better relatively quickly, I would love to hear from you. Knowing it is possible goes a long way.

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I take l theanine on occasion.  I take 250 mgs with 20 mgs of magnesium bisglycinate.  It creates a clear calm focused feeling.  It has not caused any problem for me.  My naturopath likes it for supporting withdrawal from benzos and antidepressants. 

 

Melatonin should only be taken maximum of 1.5 mgs.  More can have an adverse reaction.  People take way too much.  I take drops in tart cherry juice.  It’s helped a lot for sleep.

 

Look up the vagus nerve.  Do simple exercises to manage your under active vagus nerve.

I use vagus nerve oil and massage the area behind my ears and down side if neck morning and night.

 

I’m sorry you’re suffering like this.  That level of anxiety is so brutal. 

 

I have felt like you.  I don’t anymore.  You will heal. 

 

 

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