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I'm supposed to start a new job at the end of the month, one that is pretty stressful, and I'm scared about the prospect.  I'm at .75 mg of clonazepam, but I still experience some spaciness (slight derealization?) during the day, until the evening, when a window of clarity appears.  I know that much of the anxiety is about the anxiety of the unknown-- what the job will entail, of not performing well, unable to do my job, etc. -- but I'm also genuinely concerned that I haven't entirely stabilized at this level.  I don't want to updose, especially as I'm not sure it would help at this point, but I'm considering it, to get through what promises to be a stressful period.  I'm also considering going on an SSRI, like Lexapro.  I don't really have any requests for specific advice -- I'm talking to my doctor as much as I can -- but I am thankful for the support of people on this board. 

 

Iwillprevail

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Hey there!!!! You will be FINE, just keep telling yourself that, and don't expect the worst, if you go slow and listen to your body you can beat this!

 

I work a very stressful job, I travel and give presentations, all that fun stuff, I thought I could never ever do the taper and keep my job. I researched disability, assumed I was going to lose everything, consumed myself with horror stories, and thank goodness I've been able to work, exercise, socialize!  I do think my success has to do with my pace, I was planning to me off .5mg of K by July, I started my taper in March, and now its Oct. and I'm down to .17mg, but I'm okay with that. I just listen to my body. Some days are bad, it's not easy, but it is doable.

 

Hang in there!

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[64...]

Thank you, Anna!  I need to hear stories like yours.  I will keep telling myself that I will be fine.  And I will try to expect the best.  I expect there to be bad days and okay days, even though I would really love to have "great" days.  In your signature, when you say "Liquid K," are you referring to titration?

 

thanks!

I will prevail

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Anna,

 

I really needed to read what you posted.  Thank you!

 

I'm at 10 mg. v. after a crossover from 1.0 K and am holding at the 10 mg. v so I can give my body a rest.  I've been on the k form 18 years.  My crossover was easy (I, too, read all the horror stories).  I'm self supporting and scare the heck out of myself by reading those stories.  I, too, feel my job will be in jeopardy when I go lower in dosage.

 

We are all different.  And I suppose those who are having a great time of it don't need to research benzo withdrawal on the internet.

 

Thanks again for your encouraging words.

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I'm supposed to start a new job at the end of the month, one that is pretty stressful, and I'm scared about the prospect.  I'm at .75 mg of clonazepam, but I still experience some spaciness (slight derealization?) during the day, until the evening, when a window of clarity appears.  I know that much of the anxiety is about the anxiety of the unknown-- what the job will entail, of not performing well, unable to do my job, etc. -- but I'm also genuinely concerned that I haven't entirely stabilized at this level.  I don't want to updose, especially as I'm not sure it would help at this point, but I'm considering it, to get through what promises to be a stressful period.  I'm also considering going on an SSRI, like Lexapro.  I don't really have any requests for specific advice -- I'm talking to my doctor as much as I can -- but I am thankful for the support of people on this board. 

 

Iwillprevail

 

Good luck i know you will be okay... I hear from people that the lexapro worked for them... I do not take it myself but have a friend who is happy on it... I hope it works out for you i really do be well

luv

Mishi

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Liquid K is actually a suspension CVS makes up for me, I don't know exactly what is in it, but it is supposed to be more accurate than water titration, but there is a lot of debate whether or not it makes a difference, but I do know it is SO much easier than water titration/ dry cutting so it's worth checking out. I have always split up my doses 3 times a day, now 2 that I'm lower. This taper definitely is not a walk in the park, gosh I hit a wall this past week, but I'm beginning to feel better. And this is actually my second time tapering off a benzo,  the first time was actually more than smooth, I hardly even thought about it! So, yes, everyone is very different. Be careful reading too much. My job, distractions, and exercise saved me. Get out of bed on your worst days, you CAN do this, we are so lucky we know to taper, so many great people on here had to c/t cause they didn't know any better.

 

Love and healing!

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Anna,

 

Great advice regarding 'reading too much'.  I get myself worked up over reading too much.  Yes, we are all different.

 

Thanks for the reminder.

 

~ Koff

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[64...]

I've noticed that my ability to weather my moods changes dramatically with the amount of sleep I get.  I slept really well last night, and I woke up today feeling fine, not worried about the job, certain I will eventually be able to taper off.  And yet yesterday, after a night of so-so sleep, I felt awful, and all these nightmarish feelings of failure emerged.  Is this a s/x of benzo w/d, the sort of sharp changes in outlook?

 

Iwillprevail

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Dear Iwillprevail,

 

As long as your job starts at the end of the month and you are stressed about it, I think I would hold in my taper until I started the job.  You would be able to make a better evaluation of how you feel then.  I don't think that I would reinstate the larger dose at this point.  You can always change you mind once you start your job.  There is nothing wrong with holding until then.  Let your body tell you how long to hold.  When you start to feel good, taper.

 

Reinstating a dose does not guarantee that you will feel better right away.  Sometimes that takes a couple of days to level off, and sometimes it doesn't help at all.  Good luck in your job. 

 

Popcornlady

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Hey there, I wanted to congradulate you and give you my best wishes with your new job!  I know you're not looking for advice, but as I was interviewing for jobs during a large part of my withdrawal it is something I've thought over a great deal.

 

If I had started a new job, I would have stopped my tapering exactly where it was and just completely stabilized where I was.  I would have used that time to really through myself at my job and make that vital strong first impression and also built up some accomplishments.  After at least a few months, I would have switched over to a liquid suspension and resumed tapering at a very, very slow pace- much slower than the Aston method because the Ashton method is built around an expectation of often substancial discomfort and impacted functionality.

 

As I dropped, I would be mindful of the 10% cuts (or 5% or whatever % cuts you wind up going with) because it is much, much easier to make bigger cuts in the beginning and it is vital to make smaller cuts the further down you go.  So, if say you wind up cutting by a flat rate, like .05mg every so many days, instead of busting out your calculator to work out the cuts by %, you need to be very mindful about slowing it down the further down you get.

 

Apart from that, if I was having to manage a new and high demand full time job, I would also freeze my dose every time I felt some substancial withdrawal symptoms and stabilize where I was.  At this point your priority needs to be getting established at this job.  You can get off clonazepam anytime, but you can only make a good first impression and pass your probationary period once.

 

Of course, those are my thoughts on how I would go about doing it for myself and your milage may vary, but that is my suggestion based on having thought this through for myself very thoroughly.

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[64...]
Thanks for the input!  I have considered trying to start my job in March instead, and finishing my taper altogether.  I just don't know if I'd be able to finish the taper by then...
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[64...]
My worry, too, is tolerance withdrawal... I'm worried that I'll develop a tolerance to my current dosage and never completely stabilize. 
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Thanks for the input!  I have considered trying to start my job in March instead, and finishing my taper altogether.  I just don't know if I'd be able to finish the taper by then...

 

Ok, this reply was a little long so I'm breaking it down into two parts.  Part 1 is sort of the cautionary part of the tale when things didn't go very well for me during my taper, but I don't mean to bum you out and hope you read on because Part 2 is where I explain how anyone can avoid everything that happened to me.

 

;)

 

Your concern above is legitimate as most people who have been hit by withdrawal hard enough to find themselves on a support forum would have a hard time coming off clonazepam in that period of time.  I will tell you what happened with me as some food for thought, though I'd like to emphasize that just because this happened to me does not mean that it will inevitably happen to you.  Just take it under advisement, I guess.

 

I was on 1-2mg of clonazepam (as needed) for 10 years prior to the nearly 1 year tapering process.  It was 1mg even for most of it, but the last 2 years before tapering it stayed more in the 1.5-2mg range due to thyroid related sleep problems.  Summer of last year my thyroid was finally treated to the point that I stabilized as 1mg as I fell asleep as soon as I shut my eye every night!  I didn't realize it at the time, but I had been in a lot of withdrawal over the years, both tolerance and regular withdrawal as my dose went up and down, but I stabilized very nicely at 1mg for 4-5 months with no signs of tolerance withdrawal (though I was still benzo naive, so I wasn't on the lookout and can only say this in retrospect).

 

You can look in my signature to see my exact taper schedule, but I'd like to emphasize that with the exception of the first cut ever single cut hit me pretty hard, and the further down I got the more they started to really floor me.  I lost the ability to work (in a pretty intellectually demanding IT job) towards the end of Feb. (.125mg) but really I don't think I had been able to work for a while before then but that was just when I finally got so dizzy I just couldn't physically make it into work.

 

Luckily, my job gave me 4.5 months of sick leave and I had disability insurance and once I stopped working my life improved about a million percent.  Having all of that stress gone was great, not having to have a time I have to be up by while I have some much insomnia was huge, being in a quiet place while I had headaches was great, and a great deal of the symptoms are trigger related so if I don't have anything that's making me feel stressed, or like I suck, or frustrated, or bummed out, etc. then I don't feel any of those emotions, but if there's something that provokes those feelings (all of which are frequently found at work) then I get hit hard.

 

Also, something major to consider is that, while it's not everyone's experience, that for all of the misery I experienced during tapering, it wasn't even a drop in the bucket of what I was in for when I jumped off altogether, which was 2-3 months of being too sick to leave the house (and in a lot of cases to get out of bed) with a slow but steady rate of recovery after that.

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PART 2

 

PLEASE UNDERSTAND that I'm not saying this to bum you horribly out- I am telling you this because I am 100% sure I would not have had this experience if I had done things differently! 

 

First of all, the single biggest difference would have been if I had just gotten a liquid clonazepam solution from the beginning so that I could have made smaller faster cuts with a much lesser impact.

 

Secondly, if I had had to worry about holding down a job rather than relying on extended paid sick leave and ultimately disability insurance I would have gone at a fraction of the speed that I went at.  I think that people start feeling sick during withdrawal and it makes them want to rush to get off the drug when in fact it's rushing to get off the drug that is making them sick rather than taking it every night.  There is no rush, here, at all.

 

Thirdly, while it doesn't happen to everyone, if I had properly understood how many people find their worst misery after getting off the drug I would have tapered even lower than .03mg and I would have held those last doses even longer than I did to do everything possible to make that last step as absolutely gentle as I possible could.

 

I'm sorry this is so long, but I hope it helps.  In short, if I were you I would put off the job until March if that's a real option and make as much progress as possible using a liquid clonazepam solution during that time and then stop where you are 3-4 weeks before the new job and just stay at whatever dose you're on for 3-4 months.  You should not have tolerance withdrawal from that, and even if you do it's nothing compared to the acute withdrawal you would have from continueing to taper.  Once you are solidly established at your new job, after some months I would begin to very, very slowly taper in very small increments and go as slowly as you need to to keep yourself functional.

 

I hope that that helps.

 

:)

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[64...]
Unfortunately, I don't think putting it off until March is a realistic possibility without a really good explanation, and other than coming clean w/ my new employer, I don't have one, and somehow I don't think saying that I'm trying to withdraw from a benzo would sit well.  So, I think what I need to do is hold steady at this dosage for a while, and then start decreasing with a liquid clonazepam solution and go at an extremely slow taper rate. 
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Unfortunately, I don't think putting it off until March is a realistic possibility without a really good explanation, and other than coming clean w/ my new employer, I don't have one, and somehow I don't think saying that I'm trying to withdraw from a benzo would sit well.  So, I think what I need to do is hold steady at this dosage for a while, and then start decreasing with a liquid clonazepam solution and go at an extremely slow taper rate. 

 

:thumbsup:

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