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Hello Tessa

I took a snooze this afternoon and slept quite a bit. This is a good thing because after coming off the Xanax, my sleep is still not regular and falling asleep naturally is something our brains have to reprogram after being on benzos like Xanax and valium for long periods of time.

Yes, Tessa, I did a slow taper off of Xanax. The only thing I would do different now if I had to ever, ever do it again, would be to take a lot longer even than I did. I had tapered first from oxycodone (see how much we have in common?!), and then from the Xanax. I think that after eight months of tapering daily, I was so sick of it that I got too antsy and pushed myself too fast with the Xanax taper. A taper from benzos absolutley should be long and slow, agonizingly slow at slow. The slowness in part to prevent seizures of course , as you now know. Equally important, so slow to ensure a greater chance of success to stay off of them. Benzos affect every single nerve in our bodies and brains. Coming off them extremely slowly allows our brains to heal as we plod along. It keeps the restless legs at bay because we are going so slowly that the brain starts producing what it needs to to correct this. It is not symptom free by any means, don't want to mislead you, but the longer we can taper and the slower we go, the easier it is on our already messed-up body and brain.

I don't suggest trying to come off both benzos at once! I am 50-50 about which to come off first. The valium is longer acting, Xanax is only really effective for 4 hours although for some it can last six hours. The Ashton Manual, which is easily found online, says to use valium to come off of Xanax. Dr Ashton, who is a world authority on coming off benzos. particularly Xanax, wrote the manual in England. Truthfully, I would seek a doctor's professional advice on which to come off of first. Even more truthfully, I wouldn't even think of doing a taper from a benzo without a doctor as a backup resource person and encourager.

As you come off whichever one first, the other is going to be the backup that is going to ease it for you. When I started off them officially, I had gotten down to three .5 Xanax a day. I cut the middle dose in half the first cut I made. Stayed there for a week or ten days. During that time, I started slowly moving the morning dose farther and farther away by 15 minute intervals as I went along. As the anxiety hit me, I would put into practice what I had learned from the oxycodone taper.... get physically busy... walk around the house, step outside and walk around the yard, sing outloud LOUDLY, anything to distract myself and push that 15 minutes to the max I could. Once that start time changed, I worked really, really hard not to change it back. 9 times out of ten I could do it. When I couldn't, I couldn't and just renewed the effort the next day. Allow a slip to occur two days running and there will be a price to pay in that it is just too darn easy to make the slip last 3 days, four days, and then the efforts are for naught. A taper from a benzo does have to be more flexible and forgiving than a taper from opiates, but it still must be strict and absolutley disciplined every single day no matter what. My husband ALWAYS held my meds no matter how strong anyone thought I was during all of the tapering. Resolution ,elts when depression and anxiety hits and it was an absolute necessity for Hubby to be an intgral part of a solid plan to get off the narcotics. Don't fool yourself into believeing you can do this solo, Tessa... you can't.

Also, because my family doctor was my presciber during the tapers, he held accountability on me. I called ALL my other doctors' offices and told them to make the doctors aware I was withdrawing from opiates and benzos. Cut off any and all sources when I was strong in the beginning of my reslove to stop the madness my life had become. ( My ongoing opiate and benzo use were the result of treatment after cancer surgeries). I also cancelled all rfill scripts at the pharmacy that remained from my oncologist and worke solely with my prescribing family doctor for meds. Counseling was from my family doctor and a licensed clinical social worker. I stopped seeing the psychiatrist as a psychiatrist basically is a prescribing therapist and he just wanted to work primarily with changing my meds which I had no intention of doing.

This is enough for you to absorb for one night (day in Auusie Land?). Summing up... go sloooow, connect with a doctor, and post often and read here a lot.

In hope with you

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