Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Hi my name is Lex and I'm a benzoholic

... or maybe not anymore!

[Oh, and by-the-way, you can call me Lex - it's been nice hiding behind the Crazy Lesbian Mom persona for a bit, but it just gets awkward, especially when I'm talking about my partner, Devon, and I don't even have a name. Plus, everybody - bloggy or not - deserves a name, right? So yeah, I'm Lex. Nice to meet you.]

Today marks the first day in thirteen years that I have not taken an anti-anxiety medication. I made the decision two months ago to stop taking them, for conceiving purposes and for long-term health, and I've weaned off between 1-.25mgs every couple of weeks. 

It hasn't been all sunshine and lollipops. But it hasn't been horrific. My mind and mood have been stable, it's my body that's been taking the hits. When you've been on an anti-anxiety for this long - especially when it is your entire adult life - your body becomes physically dependent. I've stayed awake all night because I just haven't felt tired (though I know I'm exhausted). I've been nauseous and my digestive system hasn't been, um, stellar.  My joints are swollen, my chronic pain has made an appearance again, I'm shaking, I've felt very flighty and not grounded at all, I pee 5 times during the night, and my liver aches. I now know exactly where my liver is. Very well.

My naturopathic doctor, who, for the sake of ease and brevity I call my Witch Doctor (with much respect for her practice), has been working very closely with me to help flush out the toxins which she says are affecting me so much. She says my body will be ready to start trying to conceive in two months. 

Devon has been amazing through all of this. She has always supported me, but she has just made it so easy to not have to worry about anything else while I'm going through the withdrawal.  My favourite part of today was opening my lunch and reading a note: "Congrats on being free". It's true, I feel very free.

I still have (hopefully only) a good two or three weeks of potential discomfort to go through, with the lack of sleep and general ickiness, but I hope so much that at the end of this, I can look back and be proud of this milestone.

7 comments:

  1. Lex, I know you and your witch doctor will be monitoring and watching for any signs that signify you need help. I am holding you in the light and I hope this journey is what you hope it to be.

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  2. Well nice to meet you Lex =]
    My sister-in-law weened herself from her meds and had a hard time, but she got through it with a lot of support.
    Good luck!

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  3. First things first.....HI LEX! :)

    HUUUUUGE congrats on this next big step in your process. I cannot imagine what it must feel like to have all these side effects of coming off meds, but I can only imagine how awesome you will be feeling when you are 1000% good to go and you can pat yourself on the back for a job well done. GO YOU! :)

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  4. Congratulations! And all of my best wishes that you find being off the meds increasingly easy and freeing! :)

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  5. This is so great - congratulations on reaching your goal! I hope the hardest parts are over quickly and you adjust well.

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  6. Nice to meet you, Lex!

    This post just made me tear up - for your freedom, for your baby journey...and for the fact that some p-doc found it acceptable to prescribe a benzo for you long-term. (Govt review panels in the UK and US determined 30 yrs ago they should never be prescribed long-term, as they most often worsen the anxiety and cause a host of nasty side effects. Sadly, this hasn't changed the prescribing habits of many docs.)

    I know withdrawal must be a bitch kitty...good for you for taking this step. Your body and mind are going to feel so much healthier once it's flushed out. Really glad to hear you have a great "witch doctor" and a supportive partner to help you through it! What would we do without these amazing women in our lives?? :)

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  7. Wow, good for you!! The unconditionally loving steps women go through for their children before they are even here never cease to amaze me. I hope each day just gets easier and easier. Each one you get through is one you never have to repeat. Hooray!

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