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Major Success/Drawbacks; Big Progress with a big problem


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Hi All,

I've been on benzos for over 14 years, unknowingly like most people ill informed by their doctor.

Have cycled through alprazolam, clonazepam, lorazepam and now diazepam.  At one point I was taking 3mg daily of alprazolam, clonazepam, and lorazepam.  Eventually the Clonazepam and Lorazepam phased out as I was too scattered, and had a madness of symptoms (unbeknownst to me it was withdrawals at that time).  For the past year, I've switched from 6mg of alprazolam over to the diazepam equivalent using the Ashton manual method, and am now at a daily dose of 16.75mg daily!  I've been completely off alprazolam/xanax for about 9 months now.  Although I've lost many opportunities in these 14 years and has been rough, it seems like a milestone so far, and can't wait to completely be off and help others while receiving help as well.

 

Just to give a little bit of background aside from the medication use, I began with 3 trips to the ER before the doctor got fed up (for insurance reasons) that I kept going to the ER thinking I was getting heart attacks, which I learned later to be panic attacks.  I was prescribed xanax(alprazolam).

I'm the founder and CEO of a multi-divisional company (longer than I've been on Benzos) and have been relying on benzos to get me through. I've also had a very rough childhood with a lot of emotional and physical abuse.  Long story short for now, I don't get anymore panic attacks(not for the last year or so) through introspection, alternative medications; but the benzo withdrawal is the issue itself now.  My biggest problem now is that I find myself drinking alcohol to get rid of some of these unbearable symptoms.

 

The most prevalent symptoms:

 

-Constant "knot" in the stomach feeling, like nervous, but am not nervous

-Feeling "dead"

-Inability to fully focus

-Odd sleep schedules

-Fatigue

-Random Dizziness

-Loss of Appetite(More like, don't know when I'm hungry)

-Depression

-Oversleeping or Under-sleeping (Insomnia, Hypersomnia)

-Shakiness

-Feelings like craving for a cigarette, x100.

 

Although people have mentioned I've gone very far with this taper, I don't feel as so, because I've found myself drinking alcohol lately when the "benzo belly" kicks in.  That knot in my stomach of just nervousness is not eased with my taper doses.

 

In a "one day" period I have 4 doses of Diazepam(Valium) I allow myself to take to make 16.75mg currently:

3.25mg

3.25mg

3.75mg

6.5mg

 

I take these doses in intervals between 3-8hrs; and choose the dose depending on mood and symptoms (e.g. 6.5 in the morning if I feel very jittery and need to function, or save the 6.5mg dose as that one does SLIGHTLY something now when I have to meet with clients or do something highly functional.  I'm twisted and lost as far as if I ought to make every dose about the same as I cut, or keep one dose that is high, so that I am still able to have that help when I need it.  Sometimes, if I'm asleep and it's been too long, my wife would pop the lowest dose in me and keep letting me sleep just to have an even blood plasma concentration.  I cut .5mg every 2 weeks or so when I'm acclimated.  Lately though, I've found myself drinking alcohol again (which I used to do before I took benzos).  I've been wanting to join this forum for a long time, but until recently it seems I can't get any straight answers on drinking while tapering, and the safe ways to do it.  Professor Ashton mentions to not deprive myself of this joy while also tapering, but I've been reading contradictory things everywhere of respiratory depression etc when mixing alcohol with diazepam.  All in all, at this point, even though I push myself to be functional, I can't imagine how I can taper down to the next dose if it gets worse and worse.  I don't want to drink, but it seems to be the only thing that helps me ease most if not all symptoms.

 

As I type this now, the biggest problem is that I am yearning for the alcohol so hard.  I don't think this would happen if I didn't have to make major decisions in my company and deal with clients and juggle financials/support the family (aka if I were retired or mega rich).  (Actually most days, if not every I just want to take some alprazolam so it all goes away...I've done it perhaps 2 or 3 times since I jumped off of it, but don't want to go back ever).  Any advise would help, and I look forward to helping where I can.

 

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Hello GrowingDaily :hug: Welcome to BenzoBuddies.

 

I am glad you joined the forum thank you for sharing some background with us. That’s a very stressful job, I know this process must be very difficult but you will come through it.  You have made a great deal of progress already, well done!  I know it doesn’t seem that way to you, but you have come a long way.  Withdrawal symptoms are dreadful,  but it will get easier and you will get plenty of support and encouragement here.  Alcohol works on the same receptors as benzos so it might be best to try and stay away from it.   

 

The generally accepted taper rate is 5-10%, every 10 to 14 days.  The rate can be adjusted to meet your needs.  Tapering slowly can help to keep any withdrawal symptoms manageable.  I am pleased you are familiar with The Ashton Manual.  It is a great resource for understanding the effect benzo’s have on our body. 

 

I will leave a few links:

 

Withdrawal Support

Planning Your Withdrawal(TaperPlans)

Valium/Diazepam Support 

 

If you would be so kind as to add a signature (history of meds/doses etc) it will help members give you relevant advice. Go to the top of the page and select PROFILE then choose forum profile then insert drug history into the text box and remember to click change profile

 

Welcome Aboard

Magrita

 

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[78...]
I'll second the opinion that alcohol should go until you're fully withdrawn and recovered from the benzo.  I had to give it up for some time, but can now enjoy it again.  Taking a pill for stress or taking a drink for stress is very similar (and have similar downsides).  I invite you to work with a therapist to develop coping strategies to get you thru stressful times without a chemical.
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  • 3 months later...

:-[ So sorry for the ultra 3 month late reply--To say the least, it's been quite a ride.

 

I did manage to get rid of the alcohol as a crutch and being mindful/spiritual about just "stuff" helped quite a bit--although the horrors of benzo belly and much more remain... 

 

Put up my signature with progress as concisely as possible.

 

Thanks again for the quick responses, I did read it but the dread of going through the history to retrace the benzo use journey has been overcome today.

 

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I’m not gonna baby you, STOP THE FUCKING BENZO AND ALCOHOL MIXES! Wtf man!!! How many people have DIED !!! Because of exactly what you are doing!!!!  STOP !!! you are walking on thin ice dude , you have to get clean! Your family, business, friends YOU! Deserve to feel FEELINGS!! You cannot cover up all that bad shit you went through as a child with alcohol!!! You have a addictive personality man, you sound like A type personality to me . I am also.. and you said you where looking for away to safely be able to drink and take benzo’s YOU CANT ! So stop looking! I don’t know why the people on here didn’t flip out on you from the rip! You gotta REALLY want this!! With every fiber or your being or els tapering is not gonna work! Shit man when I was tapering I was so mad at the damn pills , myself, doctor etc...that I hated having to take that shit! So really ask yourself do want to be clean? If now is your time you will know deep in your sole , if not you will be just wasting your time and stressing you CNS the f out! So remember STOP WITH THE BENZOS AND ALCOHOL!!!! STAT!!! Good luck 🍀 STAY STRONG BROTHER!!! You CAN do this !!!

 

Jimmyj,

 

I almost don't know where to start but I'll give it a shot.  Your use of profanity is unacceptable, we have rules against this that you agreed to when you registered with the forum. Second, your comments are prescriptive, meaning you can relate your own experience and how it might apply to another member but we don't tell people what to do, nor do we diagnose or label them.

 

Please familiarize yourself with the forum Rules and Guidelines.

 

Pamster

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I’m not gonna baby you, STOP THE FUCKING BENZO AND ALCOHOL MIXES! Wtf man!!! How many people have DIED !!! Because of exactly what you are doing!!!!  STOP !!! you are walking on thin ice dude , you have to get clean! Your family, business, friends YOU! Deserve to feel FEELINGS!! You cannot cover up all that bad shit you went through as a child with alcohol!!! You have a addictive personality man, you sound like A type personality to me . I am also.. and you said you where looking for away to safely be able to drink and take benzo’s YOU CANT ! So stop looking! I don’t know why the people on here didn’t flip out on you from the rip! You gotta REALLY want this!! With every fiber or your being or els tapering is not gonna work! Shit man when I was tapering I was so mad at the damn pills , myself, doctor etc...that I hated having to take that shit! So really ask yourself do want to be clean? If now is your time you will know deep in your sole , if not you will be just wasting your time and stressing you CNS the f out! So remember STOP WITH THE BENZOS AND ALCOHOL!!!! STAT!!! Good luck 🍀 STAY STRONG BROTHER!!! You CAN do this !!!

 

 

 

Jimmyj STOP THE JUDGEMENTAL AND ABUSIVE RANTING.  Wtf man!  The OP has come a long way in his journey and has been honest in his posts.  Your place is to be supportive, nonjudgemental and helpful.  Very little in your post is helpful, and if you can't be helpful, just don't comment at all! STOP WITH THE FLIP OUT!!!  STAT!!!

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