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Hello Butterfly

That is a good name for you right now because you are in a very fragile state.
Some of what I say to you concerning my own taper from Xanax is going to sound harsh and impossible to do for you. I understand this because I felt so overwhelmed when I began tapering from Xanax. (I had tapered before this from oxycodone, an opiate, and then took a short break before tackling the Xanax. And Fullcircle is very correct in that there are some big differences between an opiate like oxycodone and a benzo like Xanax).

Expectation-wise, I would say to expect a successful taper for you to take a full year. (I was only on 1.5Mg total a day). The basic rule of thumb here is to [U]never[/U] make a cut greater than 5%-10% from the current dose. The taper goes a bit faster in the beginning and then slows down a great deal because of this. At the end of the Xanax taper, I was smashing 1/4 tabs and splitting the crumbs into portions that I would ingest by licking my finger to pick up the crumbs. Quite humbling.

I took my doses three times a day. I only made a cut on one of those doses each time. Each cut would be followed by a leveling off period of two weeks. Then, IF I felt I could make another cut and MAINTAIN it, I made the next cut. Sometimes it was ten days, sometimes fourteen, sometimes even a few longer. Each time, we must feel the mental fortitude to make the cut and stick with it. We have to bear with the withdrawal and endure it. It is not pleasant. Anxiety will hit in the pit of the stomach. I had to physically move around, cry, pray and get human support to make it through these times. It was harsh, but I survived. And it MUST be slow, not only because of the big chance of seizures if we go too fast, but also because to be successful and not go back to using... misusing and abusing... the Xanax.

And yes, it [B]can[/B] be done. I am certainly not alone in making it through withdrawal from Xanax. You can do this.

My belief is that no one can withdraw alone. No one. It can not be a dark, hidden secret in our lives. If it is, success will never come! For me, the first step is full disclosure to a partner if you have one. Then it is full disclosure to a doctor... and I mean FULL disclosure. I worked with my family doctor. I told him the exact amounts I was taking and how often. If we do not disclose all the details of what we are doing to the doctor, then we can not expect the best help possible in beating this. There is no shame in seeking help... and trust me, your story is going to be so not new. With your doctor, a plan, a full plan needs to be set up and put into place and FOLLWED. This does not mean no flexibility in cuts.... what it does is ensure that cuts are made and progress continues steadily. my plan included my doctor, my family, my friends, a licensed clinical social worker, a psychiatrist for a very shhort time, and lots of posting and reading on this board, and lots and lots of prayer. While withdrawal is harsh, I believe for many of us it is also a time of great spiritual growth.

A lot of learning had to take place for me in many areas. One very important area was techniques to control the anxiety during withdrawal... like breathing techniques, distraction skills (like vacuuming!), stuff like that. Think it would be wise to investigate some techniques to handle anxiety so you are armed as you start. I nalso took Magnesium, 250mg tabs, twice a day as it is a natural supplement that works on the nervous system to help calm and restore it.

Also, did you know that Xanax can actually exacberate depression and anxiety. You are so right about how we keep needing more and more for the same effect, but then there comes a point when the drug doesn't work for us, but against us. I think it is a good decision to get off.

Take it in baby steps, always baby steps. Do it honestly and up front. I really believe it is the only way we can do it.

Best wishes
reach





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