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5 Months, 20 Days Off...Time to Vent


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Hate to do this, but I need to vent today - I'm 5 months and 20 days off Lorazepam and I'm just sick of all this crap.  I've had very few windows lasting more than a few minutes, with the exception of one half day back in late June and last Saturday where I felt almost like my normal self. 


I'm tired of feeling bad every day, I'm tired of my anxiety spiking on every sales call I make, I'm tired of not sleeping well, I'm tired of feeling sad and depressed, I'm tired of the intrusive thoughts, I'm tired of my ears ringing and the crackling sounds every time I swallow.  I'm tired of not being excited about the day and ambitiously tackling the day's events.  I'm tired of not being excited to be around my wife and children.  I'm tired of not being "the old me."  I'm tired, tired, tired (as Chris Rock once said).  >:(


Furthermore, I want to be absolutely sure I'm dealing with withdrawal.  I took Ambien off and on from November 2010 through the end of January 2011 and the tinnitus and crackling started in mid to late December, followed in early February by some weird feelings and thoughts (that is why my doc put me on Loraz).  These sounds and feelings, etc. worsened after taking Lorazepam, especially in withdrawal.  Did the Ambien initially cause my ear issues?  I never had any of these symptoms prior to taking Ambien and it seems like that drug started all of this but in a perfect world, I just want to know the exact truth and will these symptoms (especially the ringing and crackling) ever go away?


Lately my wife is becoming distant with me (very strong support throughout) and I'm just worrying today about whether or not I'll ever get well.  The intensity of my symptoms are somewhat less than they were back in the first 3-4 months and I no longer get the random adrenaline surges, in addition to a few other symptoms that haven't returned, but I'm a "black and white" kind of guy and I want all of this to end NOW. 


I guess I just need a pep talk today.



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Hi Rico


So sorry to hear you're not feeling great  but I gather it is pretty usual at your time off.


I  can't answer your ear/ambien question - I have had earache all along though and that symptom seems to have now dropped off.


Though much improved from a couple of months ago I am not doing so well myself right now (I am a little ahead of you) and I too needed some support which I found in the form of an old thread on 6 months plus setbacks and which gave me a lot of reassurance.  I hope you find yourself turning a corner at the "magic" 6 months period but if not you may also find these threads of help.  




I'm a bit like you - I want done with it NOW!!


Angel xx

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Hi Rico,


I am very sorry you are feeling this way...I'm glad you feel you can come here to vent, b/c I believe venting can be very therapeutic at times.  I am 3 months off now and have definitely having my share of big waves this past month or so.  And I know how discouraging it can be.  From what I have read from others who have healed, it sounds like it does go away.  


There are many forum members who suffered greatly once off of Benzos, and they are now healed and fully enjoying life.  For some it took only weeks or months to feel "free", whereas for others it took somewhere between 12-24 months.  The good news, is that we do get better.  It can just take an unimaginable amount of strength and patience to do so.  


I have heard of many people having issues w/ Ambien like yourself.  I would give yourself some time to continue healing...there is a great chance everything you are experiencing is w/d related and it should get better over time.  If you have any concerns it never hurts to visit your GP to make sure he/she can rule out any other possible problems.  I have been to my GP and she ruled out any issues I was concerned about.  I am very healthy inside...so it's just waiting for the s/x to fully subside from w/d.  


I think it's very normal to fear our loved ones are becoming distant...I have had this as well.  I have spoken w/ my spouse about it and he assures me he's in it for the long haul.  


It's very positive to hear you have seen a decline in the severity of your symptoms.  A lot of people are still struggling at 5 months off or even  or 7 months...and it's not as though things are as bad as they once were, but I think we all become just "tired" of all of this.  It's a lot to take on and can be exhausting.  Allow yourself time.  You WILL heal and try to hold on to the good moments even if they are short-lived.  As frustrating and tiring as this all is, your body will do what it needs to do to FULLY heal.  I do believe that.


All the best to you and thank you for venting here...I hope it helped.


Take care,



P.S.  As positive as I try to be, I want this done now too.  :)

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I feel ya man. I just passed the 10 month mark and although I have made quite a bit of improvement this stuff wears on me.


Nothing you will ever experience in life can prepare you for something like this. We have to take other people's word that we do heal but that's little consolation when this drags on month after month.

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Don't even think about feeling semi-apologetic about your need to vent! After all you've been through, vent all you want and then some. Most of us are dealing with the same emotional/physical crap that you are, so you have a sympathetic audience.


I'll hit two months on Monday and even though it's just been two months I know I am just fed up with all this. I've yet to have a really decent window, so all I can do is feel somewhat hopeful that things have overall improved slightly for me, but not nearly as much as I would like for them to have done!


You are doing the right thing by just hanging in there. You seem concerned about the Ambien. Before you took it, did you have any problems similar to what you are going through now? If so, I really doubt they were as bad as what you're dealing with now...


Things should get better with time. I wish to hell there was some sort of mystical clock that could chime when we were at 30 percent better, 40, 50, 60, 70, 80 percent, 90 percent, whatever! The uncertainty of what the future holds is terrifying for me at two months, since so many people seem to say that months 3 and 4 were their hardest. I'm not stressing over it to much, since we're all different and whatever awaits me will be there whenever it's due to hit me. I just keep whistling in the dark, hoping to get past this rough spot in my life...


I wish you peace and happiness.



Me on Day 57 of my final c/t:  :(

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I've been off for a little over a year and it's been unimaginable hell for my wife and I. It's put as much stress on her as it has me. I do as much as I can to help relieve her stress (when possible). Little things like a shoulder massage, cooking, I love you's, chores that normally she would do, tell her that this wd may take a while but it does get better, understand her wants needs and hormone changes like I've never done before. She's not the greatest support in terms of understanding what's going on inside me, but there's no way I'd make it without her being completely on my side.


For better or worse with both agreed. Poor girl didn't have a clue just how bad "worse" could be.



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Angel - thanks for your response and the link to the previous threads.  I am hoping that things turn for the better once I cross into month 7 here in about 10 days.  Sorry to hear that you are not doing as well lately; hopefully this is a wave that will subside soon.


Schatje - I really appreciate your positive response.  I've been to three doctors (1 gp, 2 ent's) and had numerous tests (various blood, ct, mri, 24 hour urine collection, etc.) and all came back fine.  I just worry that I might have an anxiety disorder, although I never had any of these symptoms prior to taking the Ambien in November.  Glad to hear that your spouse is "all in" with you; mine is as well, she's simply worn out with all of this, and rightfully so.


Florida - thanks for responding; I read your posts often and monitor your progress.  You have come a long way and I hope that you are writing a success story in the very near future.  


Tucson - I never had any of these issues whatsoever prior to using the Ambien.  Not one single symptom.  So, I guess I have to trust the fact that the Ambien started this rollercoaster ride and hopefully it will end soon.  I agree with you about the uncertainty - if someone could guarantee that this would be over by "x" date, I could deal with things a bit better.  Regarding the most severe months, everyone heals differently, so don't get too caught up in thinking you'll get hit hard in months 3 & 4.  They have all been tough for me, but month 5 I did start to notice some slight relief.  You'll get there.  Thanks for your reply.


Smoke - there is no way that I could have made it this far without my wife's support.  She has been my sole support (other than the good folks here at BB) and she's just tired of all of this, in addition to the fact that she hates to see me this way.  I too do alot around the house, and continue to work through all of this.  Hope you continue to heal and that we see a success story from you soon.

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