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BENZO STORY: Robert from San Diego

Updated: Feb 28, 2023

Summary


Robert’s story begins with Klonopin dependence, alcohol addiction, and a suicide attempt, but ends with confidence of recovery and healing.

 

Details

  1. Key Topics: Anxiety, Benzos, Dependence, Withdrawal, Klonopin (clonazepam), alcohol, alcoholism, AA, suicide, suicidal ideation, addiction, recovery

  2. Listen on the Podcast: https://www.easinganxiety.com/post/conversation-with-filmmaker-holly-hardman-part-2-of-2

 

Content Warning


Stories presented on Easing Anxiety may contain triggering content. If this is a concern for you, please refrain from reading any further. These stories are provided for informational purposes only and should never be considered medical advice. Opinions stated are those of the author only. See our disclaimer at the bottom of this post for more information.


Suicide and Addiction Content. This story includes narrative elements about suicide, suicidal ideation, and alcohol addiction and recovery. If these topics are of specific concern to you, please refrain from reading any further.

 

Robert’s Story


Hello D.


I’ve been listening to your podcast and wanted to reach out. My story is similar in many ways. I am 13 months into a protracted withdrawal, and I’m better — but haven’t recovered yet. It’s been horrible.


The reason I’m writing is that my story differs in a couple of ways that may be helpful to share.

I’m an alcoholic. When Klonopin was prescribed, I had been completely sober for 17 years.

I’m an alcoholic. When Klonopin was prescribed, I had been completely sober for 17 years. The M.D. that prescribed the drug was aware of my substance abuse issue but my anxiety was so severe we did it anyway. Many medical professionals call benzos a drink in a pill, as it affects the same receptor sites in the brain, so my body thought I was drinking three or four shots a day.


The doctor’s opinion in the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous states that any alcohol in the body of an alcoholic initiates a predictable result. It triggers the obsession of the mind, unique in an addict, as well as the allergy of the body. The result was predictable.


I relapsed, which brings me to the second part of why my story. It’s a little different.

The relapse involved a suicide attempt, where I combined the alcohol with 90 mg of Klonopin.

The relapse involved a suicide attempt, where I combined the alcohol with 90 mg of Klonopin. I survived, but the last seven years has been a storm of psych meds, ECT, TMS, IOP, therapy, etc. It may be helpful to share this story in one of your podcasts.


I understand there is a reluctance in the benzo community to be labeled an addict, but some of us are. And secondly, suicide is something that I think needs to be discussed more openly. It’s not understood and the ignorance is costing people their lives.


Certainly, suicidal ideation has been and continues to be a part of my recovery, and I find that stress triggers the damaged nerves in my brain. The symptoms of withdrawal emerge in such an intense way that it triggers the need to drink.

I understand there is a reluctance in the benzo community to be labeled an addict, but some of us are.

I’m fighting. I’m not drinking every day at all, but I’m not sober either. The people in AA don’t understand. I don’t fit there at this point and so support from a community is lacking.

I’m going to get through this. It’s going to take some more time, but I expect it to continue to be hard on both me and my wife. Perhaps my story will help someone who’s dealing with the same issue.


Thanks for the work you’re doing. Robert

 

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Disclaimer


All stories shared on Easing Anxiety are done so with the author’s permission. These stories are provided for informational purposes only and should never be considered medical advice. The views and opinions expressed within are those of the author only, and do not necessarily reflect those of Easing Anxiety or its founder. Stories presented on Easing Anxiety may contain triggering content for certain segments of the population. While provided as an informational resource to our community, some stories may not be beneficial to those who are sensitive to their content. Regarding benzodiazepine withdrawal or BIND, most people can withdraw safely, successfully, and without serious complications if they are informed and have a solid support system. Many of the stories shared on Easing Anxiety are extreme and should not be used to create any expectations of one’s individual experience. Please read the Ashton Manual formore information and work with your doctor. Withdrawal, tapering, or any other change in dosage of benzodiazepines, nonbenzodiazepines (Z-drugs), or any other prescription medication should only be done under the direct supervision of a licensed physician. View our complete disclaimer for more info.

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