My story of Xanax has been one I have heard many times from many people. It started innocently. I have suffered from anxiety, especially in social situations as far back as I can remember. I just kind of learned to live with it. I was a good kid who grew up in a good home, yet I feared everything in life. Up until I left for college drugs were not part of my story, although I was always curious.
As I started coming of age in the party world of college, I started trying drugs, none of them catching my interest. The night came when all my friends decided to take Xanax. I had heard about it, but I didn’t know too much. By the middle of the night every single one of my friends was incapacitated except me. I was free of social anxiety for the first time in my life. I could talk to anyone. I was happy. I was hooked.
The toughest aspect of Benzodiazepines is the fact that they work effectively and quickly at what they are prescribed for, yet doctors often do not much the dangers and the dark side of these drugs. I went to a doctor and was able to get a prescription for Xanax. Initially, it was a miracle drug for me. I was free of my crippling anxiety and felt so free. Then the tolerance came. It no longer did what it used to. I was taking more than I was prescribed and I started overshooting the mark and blacking out. Everytime I would black out the wreckage I would cause was staggering. I would wake up in strange cities with strange people, my life a mess. The consequences started piling up for me. To be totally honest, at that time the brief peace of mind it gave me was worth the consequences I would face.
What I didn’t know at that time was the risk of death and seizures from Xanax withdrawal. I had a steady supply of Xanax so it had never been an issue. I finally ran out. The withdrawal symptoms were severe and terrifying. It started with severe muscle spasms and hallucinations that were so startling I remember them to this day. Then came the seizures. I fell and hit my head from the seizure. How did I get to this point?
I finally spoke with my family about what was going on with me. I literally couldn’t stop on my own, it was too dangerous. I finally spoke to my family doctor. I found out there were so many resources out there. The only safe way to detox was in a medical facility and I did exactly that. It was uncomfortable and challenging at times, but under medical supervision my life was no longer at risk and I’m grateful I made that choice. I have learned that there are ways to cope with my anxiety and find relief that don’t involve Xanax, it just takes patience and effort to find what works for you.