On Tuesday my body will be free of Zopiclone.
It's a nasty psychotropic, hypnotic little bugger. A sleeping pill that, in my case, eventually stopped working and actually kept me awake, because once the body gets used to benzos, it inevitably wants more of them, leading to agitation of the central nervous system and alteration of brain functioning.
Since starting to reduce it, I have found my mental capacity to be much improved. I think it's called clarity. Something I haven't felt in a long time. Of course, as I progress through my whole withdrawal schedule (I eventually want to be off all my medication) I may find that clarity proves too much at times. But I still want to be at least off the addictive stuff. The drugs that are screwing up my hormones, making me depressed, lethargic and 'emotionally random'. Sedated, unenthusiastic and dazed. Paranoid, intensely self-absorbed and, well, boring.
I am coming off Zopiclone by using an equivalent dose of Valium. It's never a good idea to 'cold turkey' (or stop suddenly) any drug, and this way I cushion the fall. Then, once I'm off Zopiclone, a long and slow Valium taper begins. My only withdrawal effects so far have been vivid nightmares, which I combat using relaxing music or meditation at bedtime, and gastro disturbances...though I have been partial to sprouts since the festive period, and my sprout consumption has continued unabated into January. In truth, my appetite isn't great, but I'm making sure I eat three meals a day, at regular times. I feel that the experience of severe malnutrition will serve me well in the looking-after-myself stakes in weeks and months to come.
And when I think that in a year I should be benzo free, I feel very happy. Of all my medication, these two drugs have proved the most damaging in my case. Of course, there may be people taking either of these drugs who may need them at the moment, but I don't recommend them for longterm use.
I'm not going to go on at length, and will post only one medication-related post a month, but having researched and prepared for a sound taper plan I can only recommend that anyone unhappy with their medication combo seeks advice.
My withdrawal is being supervised by my mental health team, a psychotherapist, and the excellent and very skilled people at benzo.org.uk
I don't recommend going cold turkey with any medication. Working out a 'slow but sure' taper plan is the best way forward. So far, I feel very positive.