benzo blues

I feel like I need to vomit. There are tears in my eyes and a quickening of saliva in my mouth. Biting my lip, I peer out through the blur into greyish-white skies and freezing rain. I’ve been reading more about benzodiazepine withdrawal. It’s something I’ve known about through research and experience and something I hope to soon begin accomplishing with Calvin ... again. I dread it just the same.

It’s not going to be pretty, unless the cannabis oil that I am making to give Calvin can soothe the wean of an addictive medicine that has been living in his system for over three years and which was a replacement for a different benzodiazepine that he was on for just as long. The retreat might take months, perhaps longer, if it can happen at all.

I’ve long understood and been sickened by benzo’s side effects and difficult withdrawals, but I manage to forget about them from time to time as his irritability, his sleeplessness, his mania, his drooling and his poor balance trump my cognizance of the root of their cause. But it's the memory and behavioral problems that scare me the most. The fear is gnawing a sour hollow into my gut, and I wonder if Calvin’s progress is practically at a standstill because he can’t remember much and therefore can’t learn much.

Sitting here writing, I’m sick to my stomach thinking about what this son of mine might be doing—might be like—right now if it weren’t for the goddamn benzos. Is he past the point of being able to learn any words? Past the point of being able to walk by himself? Past the point of having the patience to calmly enjoy a book, feed himself with a spoon, sleep well at night? Or have the benzos shrunk his cerebral cortex, something I read about recently with horror, and the son I've got is the one I'll have forever? I'll love him nonetheless.

I go back to making the cannabis tincture, which is fresh and green reminding me, by its color only, of radiator fluid. It’s winterizing in the freezer waiting for me to filter out the frozen chlorophyll, pour it into a sterile glass dish to evaporate into a resin that can be weighed and added to MCT oil. Then we'll give it to my boy in drops, but only one twice a day for starters.

Then I realize that the sick feeling in my stomach is gone, my mood has gone from blue to green and my tears have evaporated leaving nothing more than salty tracks in their wake.


  1. Here's my advice: stop reading about it. As you know, I have experience weaning benzos from Sophie's dear body -- three of them in nineteen years, and it's hideous. HOWEVER, we did the first wean a couple of weeks ago of the Onfi (she's been on Frisium and Onfi for nearly five years), and other than three or so days of weirdness, IT WAS FINE. I am not going to do another wean for another month or so. If it take more than a year to do it, that's fine with me. Courage, Christy. It will be all right.

    1. dear eee, thank you so much. it helps to hear how well sophie is doing, helps to hear your words of encouragement. love you. xoxo

  2. It was good to read this in advance. I've been thinking of trying my daughter on benzos for her anxiety but think I will skip it.