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Hi everyone,

 

I'm a Canadian, male, age 51 ( my first language is French).

 

I was on Xanax 4 mg for the last 2 1/2 years ( to help me sleep ).

 

It took me a long time to realize the xanax was causing me so many problems.

 

As a matter of fact not so long a go I was in total denial that xanax could cause me to feel so bad.

 

Anyway... now

Have taken less and less of it until I finally took the last 0.5mg last month.

 

I'm not blaming my doctor; it was me who begged for xanax because a friend had given me a few pills and it had made me sleep like a baby ( I suffer from severe insomnia and have been diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome )

 

It was also me who realized my problems were caused by the xanax ( again I do not blame my doctor; I told her I was depressed, so she prescribed an anti-depressant on top of the xanax)

 

I have not taken any xanax in one month but I still have some "milder" withdrawal symptoms.( about 3 times a day and for a couple hours each time I feel a mix of anxiety - like a panic attack -  and sadness, feeling depressed not enough to want to take my life but bad enough to make me cry...)

 

It is getting better but slowly...painfully slowly...I can not wait for this to end, it is very hard.

I never thought I would go trough something like this because I have never been addicted to any drug or alcohol or cigarettes or anything.

 

I'm hoping to read encouraging stories/tips/advice on this forum.

 

 

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Hello CanadianFriend, Welcome to BenzoBuddies!

 

It's great to hear you're benzo free, but we understand you're not symptom free, it takes way too long to get our lives back after taking this drug.  I'm glad to see you're not blaming, that just makes us feel worse and keeps our stress levels high, something we don't need.

 

We're here to support you as you heal from this nightmare, please ask questions if you have them and make yourself at home.

 

Pam

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Bienveue my French speaking Canadianfriend!

 

I don't speak French, so I hope I said that right!

 

Anyway, I don't think any of us thought that something like this would ever happen to us either.  Pretty shocking, isn't it.  You have come to the right place for support and answers to questions regarding benzodiazepines.  I wish you luck on you journey of healing1

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Thank you both for the warm welcome!

 

It is nice to know other people understand .

 

Can any of you tell me how long I will feel this way ? ( I realize we are all different but still...)

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What was your taper like, we typically suggest cutting your total dose by about 10% every couple of weeks to start out, this hopefully minimizes the symptoms and promotes a softer landing once benzo free.  The cold turkey or rapid tapers seem to promote harsher symptoms with a longer recovery time after the last dose.  But even if you tell us you did a long slow taper, we still can't predict this, too many variables.  I healed from a cold turkey at around 14 months.
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Hello CanadianFriend,

 

Welcoming you as a fellow-Canadian, and wishing you all the best in your journey.

 

Take care, Friend,

Kat

 

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To Pamster,

 

It was only after I  was done with my quick taper that I discovered Benzo.org.uk and then BenzoBuddies.

 

I should have researched this before, I know...

 

I understand a slower taper would have been better but now that I have not taken one xanax since May 9 of this year I do not want to touch xanax again; frankly xanax scares me now.

 

My taper was kind of quick; reduce by 0.5 mg every two weeks...

 

At the beginning of the taper I felt horribly bad; I felt like I was going to lose my mind or even take my own life...

 

I do not feel that bad anymore but I do not feel normal again...

 

But then again because in so few weeks I'm already somewhat better I'm hoping in a couple months I will be completely ok...but I do not want to get my hopes too high...

 

 

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That was a rapid taper, but even with that, you can still heal.  I didn't know what I was doing either, didn't go looking for answers until I was about 5 months past my cold turkey, I can tell you I was pretty discouraged to learn it was going to take a bit longer.  When I read Professor Ashtons remarks saying some symptoms leave within 6 to 12 months, I assumed I'd be in the 6 month category, nope it didn't happen.  But I did recover and ended up feeling better than I ever have simply because I know how bad feels now. 

 

Normal will happen, you'll feel like you again, but it will likely take a little longer.

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Hello fellow Canadian, :)

 

I love what Pamster said "But I did recover and ended up feeling better than I ever have simply because I know how bad feels now

 

Your ordeal will end and in the mean time there is a lot of support here and for those of us who don't know much about benzo withdrawals, we can still offer you encouragement and support.

 

 

Je suis sur que tu ira bien, mon ami. (ok, my french isn't that good..lol)

 

 

Hope

 

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To Pam,

 

You mentioned the Ashton manual so I went and read most of it, and OH MY GOD !

 

It says NOT to take Imovane as it acts like a benzo;

 

I am taking Imovane to help me sleep!!!

 

I did not know that!!! ( and neither does my doctor it seems ...)

 

I'll stop the imovane and I hope this will help and not cause me more withdrawal symptoms...

 

 

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Ah yes, the Z drugs, another problem for us, I have some experience with those as well.  I quit Ambien cold turkey without too many problems, I didn't sleep much though.  I actually felt better when I stopped taking it, the half life is so short, I was practically withdrawing from it everyday.

 

There isn't much which can help us through this except for time, which has proven to be the only truly effective cure.

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I'd like to add something to what Pamster said about the only cure is time; And the helpful thing about time is that it's a wonderful learning tool. Through time learn to deal with ourselves again because now we don't have the option of popping a pill at every discomfort. I'm finding that to be a huge silver lining.
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When I posted earlier today I was feeling ok, but now I am beginning to feel my anxiety level rising, I am breathing fast, I feel hot and sweaty( despite the air conditioning ), I have negative thoughts...

 

I wish time would go faster and I would be over with these withdrawal symptoms...

 

Sorry but I hate this...

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Yes, we all hate this.  I used to put layers of clothes on, take them off, put them on... over and over because my bodies thermostat seemed broken.  I'd even be freezing cold and sweating at the same time.  My body temp has stabiliz :smitten:ed much since then, but I still deal with night sweats on and off.

 

Oh yeah, and the breathing!  I would hyperventilate, and later I would feel like I couldn't breath or get a satisfying breath.  The breathing stuff was so disturbing.  The only thing I deal with now is it feels hard to breath sometimes if my muscles tighten up in my torso, like I am being squeezed.

 

I used to have 24-48 hour panic attacks too.  I couldn't talk myself down from them.  Felt like I had been plugged into a socket.  Now it is mostly just a high anxiety feeling that hits hardest in the morning and lets up by evening.

 

Things do get steadily better.  It is a good Idea to start a progress log so you can look back on it on discouraging days to see how far you've come.

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Dear Friend,

 

Don't feel you need to apologize..it's the benzo...wish I could wipe away your pain.  I feel it, too.  I have not withdrawn from benzo...just  tapering, but I feel what you are going through.

 

I don't want to sound trite, but please try to breathe deeply through  your diaphragm, and hold for a few moments and then take a big exhale.

 

Dear Friend, for whatever it is worth, I love French Canadian people, and Quebec..It's a beautiful province, with beautiful people.  My Dad was born  there, and also my husband.

 

Take care, Dear Friend,

 

Kat

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Hope,

 

where did you learn French?

 

...

 

Perseverance,

 

I can relate to what you are saying and although this may sound bad the fact my symptoms aren't as bad as yours makes me feel there is hope for me...

 

...

 

Kat,

 

Thank you for the kind words

 

...

 

Everyone,

 

The effort it requires of me to type in english on this board is helping me not think about my withdrawal symptoms...

 

I actually feel calmer than I was about 20 minutes ago...

 

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Dear CanadianFriend,

 

It appears that you are experiencing distraction..it  helps a lot.  It's a weekly thing, to go out and help someone dear to me. I often find myself just wanting to stay home, but then quite shortly afterwards, forgetting about my symptoms..so it not only helps my loved one..it also aids me in my journey.

 

Kat

 

 

 

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CdnFriend,

 

My grandmother and her 11 sisters and 2 brothers (big Catholic family) were born in *****. I was very close to many of my grandmother's sisters and especially close to my grandmother. We were almost like sisters. All my aunts and uncles spoke french at family gatherings.  If you didn't speak french ya got the look. I have a very french name. It's not really Hope.

 

My grandmother and her sisters are long since gone and my french is more than a little rusty. You know what they say, if you don't use it you lose it.

 

I've pretty much used all the french I have on you.  ;D It's all down hill from here.

 

 

Edit: personal info deleted

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Hope,

 

My memory is so bad I do not know if you said this in this thread or in another but you mentioned your boyfriend is very supportive. You are very lucky.

 

My girlfriend is very supportive too but we do not live together, I only see her on weekends.

 

I'm home alone all week - I do not work anymore, I'm on disability benefits because of chronic fatigue syndrome - so week days are hard for me during this withdrawal...

 

Anything that can distract me is good, so I am now watching a lot of tv, anything to distract me , too bad I do not like crime shows and hospital shows because there are a lot of those on tv!

 

Reading and writing on this forum is also a way of keeping my mind off of my symptoms.

 

You say you have a very french name, you don't have to reveal it of course but is it something like Angeline ? just a wild guess

 

 

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LOL...Something like that, CdnFriend,

 

At the moment my boyfriend is home with me most days. He's on contract work and that's part of the reason I thought this was a good time to give the taper a try. He is understanding and so kind. I don't know what I would do without his rational head. As much as I love my family, they don't understand. In fact, only my mother knows I'm doing this and she's doesn't really get how hard it is. It's hard for people to understand. I don't blame them.

 

As for distractions, I'm a little like you. I've never been much of a tv watcher but I find I'm watching more and more. My boyfriend loves movies so I try to watch what he's watching. But I must tell you, my best weapon is my iPod. I download books and listen to them. I find this so helpful because I find it hard to concentrate enough to read. But having an audio book is wonderful. It's like someone reading you a story. If you have a library near you they might have audio books on dvd or something. It might be worth checking out.

 

You could also try a place on the web. It's called www.bored.com. It has lots of games and other silly things that can distract you. It used to have a link of silly 911 calls. One older woman called to say that her cat was looking at her funny. I laughed and laughed. It might be worth checking out.

 

I hope you have a good day, CdnFriend and feel better sooner than you're expecting too.

 

Hope

 

 

 

 

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bonjour,

ca fait 4 1/2 mois que j'ai fini de prendre de l'ativan, et mon sommeil est tres perturbe.  C'est normal de ne pas se sentir tres bien apres avois pris des benzos, malheureusement, et le retablissement est tres lent.  Bienvenue a benzo buddies.  Il me semble que tu vas assez bien, malgre tout.  Le temps arrange les choses.

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Thank you so much for all the suggestions !

 

I do not doubt you are going trough a rough time but you are the type of person who seem to be able to appear positive no matter what.

 

I would think people here on this board benefit from your good attitude!...I wish I could be that positive...

 

Do you think it is possible that because you appear so positive that people who know you in real life can not tell you are going trough a rough time ?

 

 

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