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I plan on taking my final dose of 0.5 mg. Valium tonight before I go to bed, and have the usual mixed feelings.  Not only will I have won my independence from benzos, but I will be free of ALL psychotropic drugs for the first time in about 13 years.  I can't begin to describe all the negative side effects SSRI's and benzos have had on my life over that time.  Without hesitation I can say that I ended up in worse shape rather than better after every drug I was prescribed.  It's a long story and I'm sure a lot of you are all too familiar with it.

 

I have dreamed about this day from the time I started this taper 11 months ago.  In the beginning of the taper I thought I'd be feeling pretty good by the time I reached the end, but I learned along the way that benzo w/d doesn't work like that.  Honestly, I am thrilled by the fact that I'm at the end, but I am so exhausted that I can't fully appreciate my accomplishment.  In the last 3-4 weeks, the word "insomnia" has taken on a whole new meaning for me.  I am down to 2-3 hours of sleep a night and I have never experienced this kind of incessant-inability-to-sleep-no-matter-how-tired-I-am kind of insomnia.  This is downright freaky, and scary. 

 

I am exhausted beyond words and feel like I've aged 10 years from this w/d.  What's so frustrating about the insomnia is that I know if I got just one decent night's sleep I would feel so much better.  Most of my symptoms would be relieved if only I could sleep.  Even when I was getting 4-5 hours a night I was able to accomplish some things, but now just holding a conversation is too much for me because I can't focus enough to follow a line of thought.  I'm so scared that this is how it's going to be for good.  It's so long since I've not taken anything for sleep that I'm clueless as to what my natural sleep pattern is; I don't know what is "normal" for me.

 

I also have been gradually "waking up" after this long "sleep" on benzos.  While some of it is good, some of it is very painful to face.  Benzos turned me into a passive, depressed zombie.  I had to go on disability after being out in the workforce for 32 years.  That was about six years ago, and now I feel like I'm standing in the midst of the wreckage that benzos made of my life--lost career, reputation, friends, money...  What's worse is that none of us knows how long it will take to heal enough to start fully participating in life again.  I know I'm too worn out and not well enough to work yet, and I have no idea when that will happen.  I realize that by taking my last dose I am only about mid-way through the recovery process. 

 

Of course it would be so much easier to stay motivated if we all had some kind of idea when we'd start to feel human again.  But when it's so iffy and impossible to predict, it's hard to stay the course.  I'm also very concerned about what my psych. will say if I'm still having symptoms after 2-3 months.  This is the amount of time HE thinks it will take for me to start feeling better, but from what many BB have said this is not the case.  I don't want to hear about how "sick" I am if I still have symptoms after this recovery time he's seen fit to give me.

 

I do want to say "thank you" to everyone at BB for helping me get this far; I don't think I would have made it through without you all.  I just wish I could feel more upbeat about this being my final day on benzos, but I'm really scared and really exhausted.

 

Mal

 

 

 

 

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Congrats! Things are only going to get better. I was drugged up for a few years myself and I know how great it feels to start to wake up from the coma. Here's to the rest of our lives!
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MAL!!!!!!!  Congratulations!!!  I will be soon done as well (on July 19th), so I look forward to hearing your success.  I can understand the fear as that is firmly set in for me...and I too will finally be SSRI and Benzo free for the first time in YEARS.  I got teary eyed reading your story.  I am SO happy for you, Mal.  You've replied a few times to things I've written and your support has always meant SO much...always encouraging. 

 

ALL the best and this bigger and better adventure,

Schatje  :yippee:

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What an accomplishment!  You did it smart and stuck it out.  I know once you start sleeping (hopefully soon) and windows start opening you will be able to feel the satisfaction for a job well done.

 

I am starting to pick up my life piece by piece, I know what you mean.  It felt overwhelming for me to even contemplate doing this just a month ago.  Once improvements start happening everything looks easier and brighter.  The recovery is long, but as you start to see these improvements happen it gets way more tolerable, so it is not going to be a hellish day every single recovery day.

 

I am excited for you, no more poison!  I will be following your progress to see how it goes for you.  Best of luck!

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Very nice Mal ;D

 

I can sympathize; I am about to do my last dose here in a few days, and I am scared sh*tless too. I am already so tired and dysfunctional from the severe insomnia as well. The good news is that we only have to abstain. The body will take care of this itself, and hopefully we both have a much, MUCH better 4th next year. Blessings and good fortune to you!

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Me, too.  Off the K in a few days.  Terror-stricken is putting it mildly.  How do we get through this?  ~~mbr
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Thanks everyone for your responses and support.

 

I felt REALLY scared on the 4th--the day I took my last 0.5 mg., but today (two days later) I'm appreciating my accomplishment of getting off benzos a lot more.  I was able to sleep almost 5 hours last night instead of the usual 2-3, and it's made a huge difference.  I also took an hour-long nap yesterday, something I haven't been able to do in months, so that helped too.  

 

I'm experiencing an incredible sense of relief right now over no longer having to deal with cutting tablets, keeping track of doses, getting scrips from my lousy psych., blah, blah, blah...  It feels good to not be putting those nasty drugs into my system anymore too.  Maybe now I'll get to know who the real me is!

 

Wishing you all the best and continued healing,

 

Mal

 

 

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Congrats on being benzo-free!!!!!  :yippee::clap:

 

Isn't it a wonderful feeling to be free of that albatross around your neck?  I know that I felt an enormous sense of relief, freedom and pride when I finally finished my taper.

 

Congrats again  :)

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You should be very proud of yourself ... you have been thru the

tortures of Hell, as have we all.

 

The sleeplessness is the pits, I know that SO well. The whole

world seems colored by your lack of rest and alertness. I am

doing better for now, but insomnia rears it's ugly head here

and there. I trust that you are on the road to your final stage

of healing.....I will join you in jumping off next month....good

for us, we made it!

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