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1-year anniversary: Dopesick makes so much sense now


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The last week leading up to my 1-year anniversary of my last dose of clonazepam has been an anxious one. Obviously I'm elated and filled with satisfaction with this accomplishment. I keep telling folks this is more important to me than my birthday and I'm not jk. This whole experience has simultaneously shown me my own resilience and what a valuable support network I am fortunate to have and that I'm grateful for, obviously including Benzo Buddies.


I guess the anxiety comes from the painful memories of what acute withdrawal was like after it set in about 3 days after my last dose. I remember scouring this forum for validation since I couldn't quite believe what was happening. It was invaluable seeing I wasn't alone along with the guidance provided by the experience of others.


I remember reading that symptoms could linger for a year or more and thinking it was nuts. I get it now though: these symptoms have layers. For me the neurological part went first. I stopped having random high blood pressure and tachycardia about 5-6 weeks after my last dose. The thing is when your nervous system is wonky it unbalances the entire system. I've had gut and allergy issues ever since. That's really the only thing I have left to heal.


It all seems manageable now, though. I got COVID about 9 weeks ago and it was super weird because although it really sucked about half way through it I felt like I really stepped back into my body. It didn't feel like home for so long and it's like the benzo recovery process made COVID seem less threatening. Maybe it's because COVID was totally external and more predictable.


Serendipitously, I started watching Dopesick (the one with Michael Keaton) a few days ago and the whole medical misinformation bit seemed so relevant to the situation with benzos. I understand now how the physicians that prescribed benzos to us for too long could have been misled and how complex it all is. The last line in the show says something along the lines of "through the recovery process, we can discover our best selves". That is exactly how I feel right now. I feel much stronger, wiser and more compassionate.


I wouldn't exactly say I'm grateful for this process but I am grateful for everything I've learned about the world and myself. I ended up finding kindness in so many people, that despite the social distancing from the pandemic, I feel more connected to my community now than before. I also feel more connected to myself and more permeable to happiness in general.


No matter where in your benzo recovery process you are I wish you:

  • success
  • resilience
  • self forgiveness
  • a kind support network
  • inocuous coping mechanisms (video games for me, heehee)
  • some interesting new hobbies

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Thanks for posting this and congratulations on your 1 year anniversary!  Great achievement.


I am on the last legs of my Clonazepam taper and can't wait to be done with it.  I've suffered from heart flutters throughout my tapering journey.


Can I ask how you managed your taper and what method did you follow? I can see you did it over 6 weeks?


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Thank you so much!


Heart flutters sound horrible, sounds like you're also going through relative w/d. It'll get better, I promise.


As for my tapering process: I ended up having to play it by ear bc physicians and even my psychiatrist insisted it wasn't the clonazepam causing my symptoms. I just decided to reduce one drop per week and then did one day on, one day off when I was down to one drop. Using liquid benzos makes it easier, imo. You can even take fractions of drops - I wish that had occurred to me - by diluting it in water and drinking half, a quarter, etc. I suggest going as slowly as you can manage.

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Thanks for your encouragement and advice.


I think I learnt my lesson this week and went a bit too fast.


It is so great to hear of success stories - keeps me going.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Congrats on your one year anniversary !


I really think that someday benzos will be recognized as a crises just like opioids. I believe we will be seeing a movie on Hulu/Netflix about it just like "Dopesick".


Heck there is a movie on Netflix called "The Bleeding Edge" about medical device failure.


It is the time of "buyer beware" in the medical world. People are more concerned now than ever with what they put in their bodies. It's starting to happen. We will get there.

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