I am free of benzos!!

PostScript360 asked if I would share my story with help others, I hope my journey will inspire you to take that next step, here goes…

I stopped my last half mg of diazepam 23rd July 2021, at first, I was worried my anxiety would come back, every week has felt different but in a good way, I realised now that I kept expecting something bad to happen to me, but it hasn’t, and those feelings are just starting to go away.

It’s strange not having to think about a tiny pill of diazepam, even though it only took a second to swallow, it consumed my life. I had tried tapering a few times, never really getting on top of it, but along came COVID 19. Previously I received my prescription from my GP monthly and I topped up my benzos online if I felt I needed to. Out of the blue my GP said I would have to reduce my benzos, ‘take one today and skip the next day’, my prescription was halved overnight, and on a time limit! To make matters worse lockdown made my online source unreliable, I started to panic, asking friends if they have family members that may have some diazepam – valium, that was my lowest, I felt like an addict, embarrassed that I was asking friends to help me out, it still makes me cringe. I was in withdrawal, sweating and getting terrible stomach cramps, and unable to sleep, one day I realised that I had not showered for five days, I felt so ill and looked in the mirror and knew I needed help.

I search online and called PostScript360, as soon as I said ‘I need help’ to the receptionist the tears that I had bottled up just flooded out, I felt so stupid because I couldn’t stop, as soon as I started talking, the tears came, nose running – the works, I didn’t recognise myself. The receptionist was so kind and extremely patience, saying ‘when you realised you need help, it can be overwhelming , we are here to support you, and we appreciate it is not easy – that’s why we are here’. I was booked in for an assessment and the receptionist thanked me for my call and for being brave. It certainly was a release, and I was surprised the receptionist thank me for my call? I knew as soon as I put the phone down, I was going to get my life in order.

It took nine months in total to finish my taper plus, a few more months of support whilst off the drug, basically helping me to face the world. PostScript360 was there every week, sometimes more, especially at the beginning, they treated me with respect, encouragement, and said a lot of common sense. I don’t think they heard me laugh for at least five months, they spoke to my GP about my taper schedule, which it made it easier as the prescription was in line with my taper plan, they educated me about the drug, facts not fiction. I stopped reading forums about benzos because they were confusing, PostScript360 has supported thousands of people, they specialize in benzos and explained that everyone has different health conditions, no one is the same, it make sense but sometimes you need to hear this. I know that I will never take diazepam again, if my anxiety comes back, I will seek therapy and counselling or just call PostScript360!

I thought afterwards I might change my career and support others like me, work for PostScript360 even, but I now know that I must look after my wellbeing, it takes a special kind of person to remain calm, be positive and when I think of how miserable I was, I don’t need that reminder. It’s hard to explain why PostScript360 are so brilliant at what they do, but here goes – they are kind, patience, real, believe in you, treat you like an adult and really understand the drug, they give you the tools to move forward, all I can say is that without their support I would not be working, have a good relationship with my family and friends, and looking forward to my future. If you know that benzos are holding you back, you must try to be brave, it’s not easy, don’t wait to hit rock bottom, you are worth so much more, there is no time like now, and you can do it.

Sally, Bristol

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