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does it make sense for me to reinstate?


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i took my last benzo on 6/14.  checked myself into a detox because i was drinking way too much.  couldn't stop.  long story short, i was in tolerance withdrawal from ativan and didn't know.  i took as prescribed and didn't increase.  alcohol was my only relief.  i brought my ativan with me to detox.  they made me get rid of them and told me i can't take them either cause they will cause me to drink.  they put me on phenobarbital for a week and sent me home.  i had no clue about benzo's at the time.  there were a few counselors there that told me i was going to have a hard time for a long time (because of the benzo use)  that was all the info i got.  looking back, i believe that i was abusing alcohol because of the benzo's, cause i used it to relieve symptoms.

 

i am at month three now and worse than ever.  i was having big windows in month two.  thought i was getting better.  for the past three days my body feels like a live wire, exposed, with electrical energy radiating throughout.  i felt the other night that i may go mad from this physical torture.  i've also had other symptoms that are a little more tolerable.  this feeling is worse at night when i wake from sleep.  still with me during the day, but not as strong.  i don't think i can take much more of this.  i have had this in month two but would come and go, and wasn't as powerful.

 

things i'm afraid of...because i was drinking a lot (bottle of wine a day) it's like i'm withdrawing from a much higher dose of ativan than i was on. (1mg) daily.  also, what if this is something other than withdrawal and doesn't go away...or, will i suffer more if i don't reinstate?

 

i don't want to put another pill in my body if i don't have to, but i'm afraid i may be doing more harm if i don't.  i want to do the right thing, i'm just not sure what that is.

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Going back to benzos is not the answer. Your brain needs to heal from both the benzo and the booze. It will  Give it time. I know the sensation you are talking about. I get it too. It hurts. But it will go away. There is no promise that if you reinstate and taper that you will avoid this.

 

Also, if you came off both booze and benzos, if you go back and taper you may have lowered your seizure threshold. Notice I said may.

 

I started my taper after I quit drinking. It adds more work for the brain, but it's worth it.

 

Hope you can hang in there. Hate to see you throw away your healing time. I know it's hard, but you can do this. One day at a time.

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Desilou

 

  My story is so much like yours.  I too started drinking when I was in tolerance.  I also was on Ativan and I too cold turkied.  I didn't have any symptoms until I was at least 6 weeks out of detox.  All hell broke loose at 3.

 

The drinking my last 6 months while on the drug.  Now I know what was happening.  Since alcohol is cross tolerant to benzos my brain had figured out a way to relieve the symptoms of wd.  I drank Amaretto.  It is a liquire.  I rarely ever drank before, not even on New Years Eve, but at this time I was drinking a quart in a couple of days.  It really shocked me why I was doing this, but soon learned about the sugar cavings that come with wd and cross tolerance.  Simple put my brain was smarter than I was.

 

I am now 21 months off and just now see the light at the end of the tunnel.  I didn't really have a window until a year off.  Now I get windows everyday during the day, but still have Cognitive function problems along with fatigue and lack of motivation.  At night I am slammed with DR, light intrusive thoughts, RLS, insomia, light muscle aches.

 

When I first started having sx's I became extremely manic.  After that I had every sx in the book including hallusination and psycotic episodes.  The DR was so bad that my vision was only in black and white like looking thru a fog or smoke.

 

I don't want to lead you to believe that your withdrawal will be like mine.  Everyone is different.  But I would NEVER want ANYONE to go thru what I went through. 

 

I too often thought about reinstatement.  I think the only reason I didn't was because I was too sick to get to the doctor and then I lost my health insurance. 

 

This is a big decision for you, so don't go into it lightly.  So many people are MUCH, MUCH worse after they reinstate.  After a few weeks off, the medication will not work as it did before.  I don't know why.  It just doesn't give the same relaxing effect.  Then you are stuck feeling worse and having to get off the meds again.

 

I wish you the best of luck with this decision. My heart and prayers  goes out to you.

 

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Desilou

 

  My story is so much like yours.  I too started drinking when I was in tolerance.  I also was on Ativan and I too cold turkied.  I didn't have any symptoms until I was at least 6 weeks out of detox.  All hell broke loose at 3.

 

The drinking my last 6 months while on the drug.  Now I know what was happening.  Since alcohol is cross tolerant to benzos my brain had figured out a way to relieve the symptoms of wd.  I drank Amaretto.  It is a liquire.  I rarely ever drank before, not even on New Years Eve, but at this time I was drinking a quart in a couple of days.  It really shocked me why I was doing this, but soon learned about the sugar cavings that come with wd and cross tolerance.  Simple put my brain was smarter than I was.

 

I am now 21 months off and just now see the light at the end of the tunnel.  I didn't really have a window until a year off.  Now I get windows everyday during the day, but still have Cognitive function problems along with fatigue and lack of motivation.  At night I am slammed with DR, light intrusive thoughts, RLS, insomia, light muscle aches.

 

When I first started having sx's I became extremely manic.  After that I had every sx in the book including hallusination and psycotic episodes.  The DR was so bad that my vision was only in black and white like looking thru a fog or smoke.

 

I don't want to lead you to believe that your withdrawal will be like mine.  Everyone is different.  But I would NEVER want ANYONE to go thru what I went through. 

 

I too often thought about reinstatement.  I think the only reason I didn't was because I was too sick to get to the doctor and then I lost my health insurance. 

 

This is a big decision for you, so don't go into it lightly.  So many people are MUCH, MUCH worse after they reinstate.  After a few weeks off, the medication will not work as it did before.  I don't know why.  It just doesn't give the same relaxing effect.  Then you are stuck feeling worse and having to get off the meds again.

 

I wish you the best of luck with this decision. My heart and prayers  goes out to you.

 

 

that's pretty scary!  i don't believe that i can deal with this for 21 months!  i had windows in the first few months.  thought i was getting better.  but this last wave has been hell.  is it true that it's worse for people who c/t?

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Hi Desilou,

 

I'm sorry you are having such a hard time right now. I would not recommend reinstating this far out. There is no guarantee that reinstating would help, if you have developed a tolerance, it may not relieve your symptoms. Being off of the Ativan and the alcohol is helping your brain heal, even though it doesn't feel like it right now. I have heard many members state that their symptoms peaked at around 3 months and then started improving. I would hate to have you prolong this by going back on a benzo.

 

It sounds like withdrawal to me, Desilou. I've had the electric shock feelings before myself, I think that is fairly common. Since you are concerned it isn't though, I would go to my doctor and have everything checked out. What seems to help is to eat healthy, rest when you can, even when you don't sleep, try to have some light activities, try to stay away from stressful things, and think as positively as you can. It' like many other healing processes, you have to take care and be gentle on yourself. We will be here as you go through this and help support you.  :therethere:

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Hi there. I went c/t as well and reinstated at 4 months out to do a taper. What everyone is telling you is true. When I reinstated, I got very minimal relief from the symptoms. VERY MINIMAL. I was still in horrible withdrawal and was non-functional. I am still in w/d and non-functional now, but have managed to taper down to less than 0.5mg of the Klonopin. I wish I would've listened to others when I was OFF and NOT reinstated. This taper has been HELL. I would be almost a year off now had I stuck it out. I was like you- in HORRIBLE shape, just trying to survive, thinking about reinstating ALL THE TIME. I finally gave in and thought that if I reinstated to taper, that things would be easier. They're not. I wouldn't take the risk if I were you. You might wind up in the same boat as me and be reinstated, in horrid w/d, and stuck trying to taper. NOT worth it. If you can stick this out, things will slowly get better. I wish I had stuck it out. I know how hard a c/t is. It's AWFUL and you just want the torture to stop so that you can get back to living life. It's a crapshoot w/ reinstatement. It works for some. It fails for others- like myself. I was EXACTLY the same as you. I wasn't too bad off at months 1,2 and then month 3- all hell broke loose. It stayed that way until month 4 when I finally reinstated. Despite reinstating, I still spend most of my time in bed or in the house, watching shows on TV, trying to distract myself from the torture of all of this. My family is fed up with me. I can't function. I can barely take care of myself or shower, but I force myself to do the menial tasks of life like eating, showering. I can't socialize. The ONLY thing that came back for me when I reinstated to taper was the ability to drive short distances. I still have fits of crying, feeling emotionally out of control, skin burning pain, room moving sensation, nausea, headaches, cognitive impairment, DP/DR, anger/rage, muscle pain, blurred vision, etc, etc...

 

I wish I wouldn't have gone to rehab initially to get off of this stuff either. I had NO idea what I was in for. I was just told that I needed to get off of the meds (due to tolerance) and that I would "be ok in 30 days", once the rehab was over. I was FAR from "OK". I was terrified, feeling the most horrible I'd ever felt in my life, alone, afraid, in pain, non-functional. You know the drill. You WILL heal up from this. C/T is just hard- REALLY hard. I will tell you THIS, as well. There are times when I'm SO fed up w/ this taper that I think about just getting OFF of this crap AGAIN and dealing w/ whatever comes my way for as long as it takes. The thought of tapering down to the end (it's getting harder since I hit 0.5mg and under on the K taper) and jumping off and getting slammed all over again is SO frightening to me. All I can think about, day in and day out are the symptoms, the fear of if this taper is even going to help or if I'm just going to hurt like hell once I'm off again, how much longer it's going to take for me to get off of this crap, etc, etc...at least you KNOW that you're OFF of the drugs and that you'll heal up w/ time. I wish, sometimes, that I had that peace of mind back, despite how painful it was to stay in c/t and seem to be getting worse off. If I had it to do over again, I wouldn't have reinstated and I would've stuck it out and pushed through as best I knew how. Hindsight is 20/20. If I had it ALL to do over again, I would've never touched this poison. Sadly, we don't get that luxury. That being said, I do know a lot of folks who have healed up from going C/T. You aren't alone in this at all.

 

I will support you no matter what you decide. I know how hard it was being in c/t and feeling so out of control. However, I did want to pop in and to share my experience with you, so you have both sides of the picture when making your decision. Reinstatement didn't work for me. It may or may not work for you. It's your choice, ultimately. I wish you the VERY best in your decision.

 

Much love, ((HUGS)) and healing, Nicole

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Desilou,

you asked if people who c/t have it harder. I think it shocks the brain in a big way. But there are many who do a safe, sane taper who get hit with some nasty wd symptoms as well. There is no way to know if you tapered if you would have fared much better or not. When I tapered, I was incredible sick. Could not walk or take care of myself for months. The ct has been brutal, but I am able to take care of myself. Once I was off the drug, I had more energy in a few weeks.

 

There is no way to know if your c/t will make your wd time longer. Even people who do slow tapers can get hit with PAWS.

 

The best way to heal is to accept your situation and find ways to cope. I started feeling better recently when I got a lot of exercise. I am gardening and landscaping my front and back yard. I am out in the sun every day with a shovel, pick axe etc. By night time, I am exhausted. It helps a great deal.

 

Do you best to not focus on your symptoms, but rather put your mind onto things you love. Do as many things as you can that bring you joy. Remember you got an invitation to an amazing event. Your life!! I hope you accept with great gusto!

 

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I am on my fourth c/t from Xanax and Valium use for 14 years (Xanax 1997-1999, Valium 1999-2011). I c/t'd in 2000, 2004, and again in April and May 2011 for 47 days. Each time, I reinstated when the w/d sxs got to me. I'm now on my fourth c/t and am on my 20th day out. I'm having a hard time but am pushing on. This time, unlike all past c/t's, I got rid of all my benzos, so there is no turning back for me. In the past I'd allow myself an "occasional" rescue dose. Each time the "occasions" became more and more frequent and led to reinstatement.

 

When I would reinstate it would take up to 2 weeks before I stabilized. And each time I lost a lot of self-pride because the benzos had won again.

 

I wish I could speak from being further out on this c/t, but I am where I am and I have to move into the future one day at a time. I have anxiety 24/7 and last night was the first night in ages that I slept 8 hours, and even then it was for about 5 hours and about 3 a.m. I was awakened by the anxiety and had to just let it wash over me for an hour or so before I drifted back to sleep for 3 more hours. As I sit here and slowly type this I have tinnitus ringing loudly in my ears, my brain feels like it's having electric shocks and pops, and my anxiety level makes me shaky and jittery. I have a hard time focusing my vision, and thinking what to say requires my total concentration.

 

I do not recommend that you reinstate. You will just end up back where you started. I know that from personal experience. From what I've seen, people have sxs when they jump off of benzos, no matter if they tapered down or c/t'd. I've been around since April and I remember a few names of people who were 7, 8 or more months out who posted regularly but eventually just stopped posting as they got better. I don't think many of them posted success stories. Instead, they just moved on with life and tried to put the horror of benzo recovery behind them.

 

OK, I hope this helped. I know I was rambling, but I'm doing the best that I can right now. Hang in there. All we can do is continue this journey. To go back on benzos is not the answer.

 

Best wishes,

 

Tucson

 

Me on Day 20 of a "reinstated c/t": :crazy:

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thank you so much.  i can't believe how kind and brave everyone is here.  taking the time to reach out to someone who is in need when you're in your own withdrawal is just about the most selfless act that anyone can do.  one very positive thing so far...because of this, i've met some amazing people.

 

also, i have chosen to stay on the path that i'm already on.  it just makes sense from all the responses.

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I would not go back on any meds at all .. I also ct ativan 15 months ago today and i am competely healed so just hang on and it will get better YOu can get through this i even had big windows that closed also but one day it finally opend and never closed
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I would not reinstate. I think your body has detected you are healing, in my belief once this happens, it does no good to reinstate because your body is struggling to get back to Homeostasis. I have been off Klonopin since last March, 2010 and tapering Valium. I once took a little piece of Klonopin back in March (?) Not sure, and I wanted to jump out of mu skin and through a window! It did not work and I do not think it works after a while to reinstate, yeah a person may be able to stabilize, but more than likely.. I don't think so, really. Everyone is different.

 

I would keep going and heal up.

I know this is a brutal process but once it cycles out, you will find it best that you did not reinstate.

 

 

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Wow Desilou,

My story is almost exactly like yours! I could have written it.  By the fourth month off Ativan, I was insane with exactly what you said - I have never experienced hell like that - might as well have had my finger in a live socket - and that was just one of the symptoms. I figured it out - no thanks to doctors who wanted to put me on a stronger benzo. I reinstated because I was desperate for relief, and was drinking 2 bottles of wine a day - for relieft. Had I been on this site before then, I think I would have stuck it out. I'm different from many others in that it didn't get worse for me to reinstate, but I found out that we are all different and I believe had I read the posts here first, I think I would have stuck it out - because there is hope here - and I finally had an answer and a solution to what was wrong.  Good luck to you dear one.

amb

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I looked back through the topics to find yours because I was hoping to see that you'd decided to not reinstate. I see above that you are "staying the course." Congratulations! You made the right decision. To reinstate now would just undo all the hard work and suffering you've done since June 14!

 

Hang in there! Your success gives ME hope!

 

Best wishes,

 

Tucson

 

Me at the end of Day 21 of a "reinstated c/t": :-\

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I looked back through the topics to find yours because I was hoping to see that you'd decided to not reinstate. I see above that you are "staying the course." Congratulations! You made the right decision. To reinstate now would just undo all the hard work and suffering you've done since June 14!

 

Hang in there! Your success gives ME hope!

 

Best wishes,

 

Tucson

 

Me at the end of Day 21 of a "reinstated c/t": :-\

 

awww...thanks for caring tucson.  i'm trying to tell myself that each day off is a day closer to being healed.

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Hi Desilou...  I'm Pattylu... I'm so sorry you are going thru this hell, but that's what these drugs do.  I was put on Valium in 80's, c/t after 6 months, went thru hell on it and off it.. took me about 7 months to heal. My hubby was put on Ativan/Lorazepam, on 5 months, then I found this site.. I then knew what happened to me, and now what was happening to my hubby.  We did a slow taper for him, took 6 months... s/x wd's have been really rough for him.  As I talk with him daily, we are connected 24/7 at the hip thru this ordeal... "you will heal Ron"... and he will, I did, many before on this site have.  It is rough, but being on the drug is worse.  You have to never ever think of going back on any of it. Why? Well it will only get worse and worse.  Yes, the tolerance wd's the protractred wds are hell... the end result is you do heal, and have a new life of realizing how much your life means, how wonderful life can be and a newness of feeling whole.  I had the vibrations, the muscle twitching, electrial sensations, pain - pain.... but I healed... I am fine.  My hubby is having a real rough time, lots of pain, gastro problems, weight loss big time, anxiety...  but.... at 8 months out... I see changes.. he cannot and one almost cannot going thru it... keep a journal daily, but find every coping skill you can to help you go thru it... just stay off the drugs... and you will one day heal and have your life again.  We all worry and fear the time it takes... but that creates more fear... and stress on the cn system... the thought process has to be used daily - as much as you can, may 10 seconds to begin with, and keep increasing it... then your subconscious mind takes hold of more of the positive... its work, its hell, but... you do and will get thru it.  The first step was getting off the drugs, that it the toughest... you have done that... now the second hell, is to go thru what you need to to heal.  The bbs on this site will give you all the strength you need to continue going forward.  Just stay with all, and stay off any drug.  My prayers and love are with you.  Always, Pattylu
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Desilou,

 

Just wanted to remind you that Dr. Ashton helped successfully heal over 300 people in the withdrawal

clinic she ran from 1982-1994; so if all these others can heal there is a healing waiting for you if you

continue to walk this out day in and day out. I know this is the most difficult thing we will ever have to

do but let continue to hope we are ever approaching that day when there is blue skies. Okay

sweetie I am ever praying for us all that we can proudly get to the finish line.

 

Peace and divine healing to you,

 

Mtnhigh (Carlos)

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carlos

thank you.  i really need these words of encouragement right now.  i pray to god you are right about the healing.  i wish there was a clinic like dr. ashton's now.  i would give anything to go.  anything to find health professionals that understand what we're going through.

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Hi Desilou...  I'm Pattylu... I'm so sorry you are going thru this hell, but that's what these drugs do.  I was put on Valium in 80's, c/t after 6 months, went thru hell on it and off it.. took me about 7 months to heal. My hubby was put on Ativan/Lorazepam, on 5 months, then I found this site.. I then knew what happened to me, and now what was happening to my hubby.  We did a slow taper for him, took 6 months... s/x wd's have been really rough for him.  As I talk with him daily, we are connected 24/7 at the hip thru this ordeal... "you will heal Ron"... and he will, I did, many before on this site have.  It is rough, but being on the drug is worse.  You have to never ever think of going back on any of it. Why? Well it will only get worse and worse.  Yes, the tolerance wd's the protractred wds are hell... the end result is you do heal, and have a new life of realizing how much your life means, how wonderful life can be and a newness of feeling whole.  I had the vibrations, the muscle twitching, electrial sensations, pain - pain.... but I healed... I am fine.  My hubby is having a real rough time, lots of pain, gastro problems, weight loss big time, anxiety...  but.... at 8 months out... I see changes.. he cannot and one almost cannot going thru it... keep a journal daily, but find every coping skill you can to help you go thru it... just stay off the drugs... and you will one day heal and have your life again.  We all worry and fear the time it takes... but that creates more fear... and stress on the cn system... the thought process has to be used daily - as much as you can, may 10 seconds to begin with, and keep increasing it... then your subconscious mind takes hold of more of the positive... its work, its hell, but... you do and will get thru it.  The first step was getting off the drugs, that it the toughest... you have done that... now the second hell, is to go thru what you need to to heal.  The bbs on this site will give you all the strength you need to continue going forward.  Just stay with all, and stay off any drug.  My prayers and love are with you.  Always, Pattylu

 

thanks for taking the time to reply.  your husband is a very lucky man.  not only does he have someone who is extremely supportive,  he has someone who knows exactly what he is going through.  i pray that i am healed from this by month seven.  it's really scary to think of the possibility of feeling this way much longer.  i will try to keep telling myself that i will heal.  and try to keep some sort of journal.  thanks so much for the advice.  i hope your husband heals up soon.

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i'm thinking of making this post my blog.  just cause it has the most information about what i'm going thru and i feel it's time.  i want to keep track of  symptoms, hoping it will motivate me to look back and see how far i've come as i start feeling better.  truth is i just don't have the energy or motivation to start a blog the proper way.  would this be a problem?
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