So this is a weird thing to post but I’m going to post it because I think it might help me and it might help you and if it doesn’t you can skip it and read about how I got stabbed making a fortune-telling chipmunk. (Related: Lots of great name suggestions but personally I’m leaning toward Ground-Squirrely McLaine.)
Anyway, I’ve been having some issues with brain fog and memory lately and it’s possible that it’s just the depression but my doctor thinks it might be a side-effect of the xanax, so I’m trying to wean myself off the daily dose I take and instead just take it as needed during panic attacks. I take a fairly small dose so the withdrawal effects aren’t terrible but they aren’t fun. It’s hard to sleep. I feel my skin too much. I’m jittery and nervous and I really need a margarita but I can’t have one right now because of the other medications I’m on and basically I feel like I’m trapped into making healthy decisions, which I guess is a good trap to be in. That said, it’s easier to stick to good decisions if you do them publicly and when you aren’t alone so if you’d like to make a terrible healthy decision with me then feel free to share it here and we can commiserate about how much we hate it.
PS. I LOVE xanax and it saves me during terrible panic attacks. I’m not judging you if you take it every day. It’s super helpful and if I wasn’t having memory issues I’d still take the nightly dose. Also, as soon as my liver recovers from the TB drugs I will quit quitting booze, which will probably be the easiest thing I’ve had to quit all year.
224 thoughts on “I quit. Sort of.”
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All the best with your decision Jenny. You need to do what’s best for you. You have a close relationship with your medical practitioners which is good. Take care.
I take .25 to help calm me down enough to sleep and .5 for attacks. It’s been a life-saver, but it can leave me foggy and it doesn’t work as well if I take it every day, so I try and force myself to save it for emergencies.
I don’t take it every day, but I had a really bad spell last fall and took it every 4 hours, every day for about a month. The withdrawal wasn’t fun, but it wasn’t horrible. It IS an amazing drug. I mostly take it to keep from crying at work. I just wish they had a non-drowsy xanax. That would be perfect.
The Xanax was terribly messing with my short term memory too; I weaned myself off as soon as I could. Good luck to you!
Today I’ve been in my worst bout of depression for the year and I’m so proud of you for making your healthy decisions, although it’s hard af. I’ve been in bed all day and I haven’t eaten but I still think I’m gonna workout as a way of telling depression to fuck off. so cheers to that.
I’ve given up drinking wine in the evenings at home because it started to seem a little pathetic. Spending a fortune going out every night now.
Ground-Squirrely McLaine – YES! DO THIS!
I’m trying to do the blood type diet. It isn’t too bad but at the same time, so many isles in the grocery store I don’t get to go down anymore. Good luck getting through the withdrawals. I have a hard time whenever my psych meds have to be changed – some worse than others. Never much fun.
I had to quit xanex too. I thought I had a stroke or something my memory was so bad. I had an MRI done. Luckily I can take clonopin and I need that for my panic attacks. But it’s helping!! I hope you can get though it. It’s not easy.
I need to quit drinking Coke. I drink it almost exclusively. Gonna start drinking more water.
80 Mom was recently in hospital and given Xanax while she was there to keep her from being all panicky. Names she called it since she couldn’t remember Xanax: Brazil Pill. Nasdaq Pill. Zimbabwe Pill. Xylophone Pill.
At one point nurse asked her if she knew where she was. She said 1852.
She is no longer allowed to have the Brazil Pill.
I need to quit not quitting booze, like pronto, but the effects of that are feeling all the feels and that leaves me strung out and feeling like I need some booze. In any case, as always, it is beyond comforting to know I’m not alone in this hard, hard life and in finding my way back to its joy. Thank you, Jenny. And good luck with your memory. May it remember the good way more than the bad.
I hope you feel better soon. Xanax is a fucking life saver…I have my dr call me in a couple to the pharmacy whenever I need to get stabbed by the vampires..er..I mean people who need to take my blood for medical test purposes. I have severe needle phobia and Xanax is the only way I can get through it.
Congratulations on making a terrible healthy decision! I injured my back at an employee appreciation luncheon, celebrating my table’s win at City Family Feud. Yes, I am that physically fragile. I make up for it with god-like mental fortitude. I digress. I have agreed to attend gentle water aerobics for people with arthritis at 7:00 a.m. twice a week to help strengthen my back. I am not a morning person. Saying that this is an understatement is akin to saying that World War II was a bit of a kerfuffle. I’m with you, Jenny!
I take Xanax for panic attacks too. So basically, any time I have to ride the train at rush hour, I take one before hand. There’s no shame. My dose is miniscule anyhow. .25 of a milligram.
I support you Jenny. I hope this helps with the brain fog. Love you. I’m not ready to do anything healthy. Already gave up smoking 3 weeks ago, and drinking, because of meds. 🙂
I’m proud of you, Jenny. Self care can be hard.
I take it when I need it – but I live in New Zealand and the doctors here treat it like it’s radioactive poison. It’s so hard to get them to prescribe it on a regular basis. I get a panic attack every time I have to go to the doctor to ask for more – irony much? But it’s saved my life on several occasions. I find it works really well for me on an as-needed basis, so I hope it does for you too, Jenny. Also, I hope you can quit quitting alcohol soon – not being able to drink margaritas really is rubbing salt into the wound!
Good luck! I take klonopin for anxiety, and I don’t have side effects, except mild drowsiness.
But I have gone off it every so often, and the withdrawal is hard, even when done slowly. Maybe buttons can help? Or more work training Ferris Mewler to pull Ground-Squirrely McClaine’s wagon.
My brain and body went nuclear on each other when I had to quit tramadol. I didn’t know it had a built in SSRI (this REALLY should be a thing your doctor tells you), so I had the added pleasure of going cold turkey off an anti-depresson med. I remember that angry fire ant feeling in my skin. I think I lived in the bath tub for a month. But my brain and body adjusted, and on we go.
Wow, you are amazing, getting off Xanax. I used to take half of a .25 mg pill, but now I take the whole thing, every morning (it doesn’t make me sleepy). Sometimes I have to take a second one. It’s the only way to get my hands to stop shaking.
Oops, sorry, no terrible healthy decisions here…
My hope for you, is that this works, and your mental fog dissipates never to rise again. Best of luck (and I LOVE Ground Squirrely McLain!)
Back to squirrel – Madame Esquirrelda? All the best!
I had to quit Xanax because it was a problem. Same with booze. Side effects of having a personality disorder is an addictive personality. My terribly healthy decision to help cope with quitting is meditation and breathing exercises. I don’t have the attention span for this shit, but here we are and it generally helps.
UGH. I hate feeling my skin! Especially when I’m aware of my toes touching. I got the brain fog and had to do exactly the same as you. As long as the squirrel isn’t talking to you and telling you to do bad things, I’d say you’re good.
I’ve had to quit drinking for the last 6 months. The good news is I can drink again once my little parasite is born in July so I’ll do the healthy no drinking thing with you… at least until he comes then you’re on your own because I have wine to drink!
Well…try the 10 day detox by Dr. Mark Hyman (unfortunate last name…unless you like comedy). Read the book, it gives insights into how food affects the brain. I have to try it due to chronic pain and I’m hoping it will help with my bi-polar issues…
Feel free to quit anything you need to quit and know we’ll support you. Because we know you’ll support us, too. It’s a great big support-fest here. Everybody loves everybody. Hoo rah.
Well…try the 10 day detox by Dr. Mark Hyman (unfortunate last name…unless you like comedy). Read the book, it gives insights into how food affects the brain. I have to try it due to chronic pain and I’m hoping it will help with my bi-polar issues…
I feel you, I’m on lamictal for bipolar 2 and PTSD and an anti anxiety. Stepping up was hard and made me feel worse. Now I just tend to have a hard time focusing, I feel slower than I used to – both physically and mentally. But it’s helped get rid of the nightmares and the flashbacks and I’m actually sleeping at night. I’m asking to be stepped down and try something else, because I just need a fucking break from being zombie girl, even if it means things get rough again for a while.
Apparently my psychiatrist thinks I need ativan to be around my family… so there’s that. I’m always on and off meds and I hate the on-boarding and withdrawal symptoms.
I got to quit quitting booze after a year not able to have bc of meds, I FEEL YOUR PAIN ANS SOBERNESS!!!
I take Xanax for panic attacks as needed but for sleep I take a tiny dose of trazodone. It’s supposedly a so – so antidepressant but for sleep it’s a miracle worker. No hangover or grogginess and in two years I’ve never had to up my dose.
I’m a bitch on wheels when I don’t sleep and even sometimes when I do sleep.
I need to buckle down and cut out sugar from my diet. I have so many auto immune issues and I know that sugars are inflammatory and it would be best to cut them severely down or just completely gone. I am a chocoholic. Plus I love carbs and all things sweet. A life without them seems so sad but I hate the side effects of the auto immune issues. Sigh.
Had to quit Lorazepam because of memory issues and eyesight. For a while I thought I was just getting old a lot faster than I actually am! Realizing that was the pro side of giving it up. The con is lack of good sleep. Really miss going to bed and being excited about it – no slam to my hubby.
Jenny, you are a marvel as you are, please remind yourself of this often, as you talk yourself through this process. You always ultimately do the right things and take the funniest paths to get there. Only the very best people do😊
Thanks to a recent type 2 diabetes diagnosis, I now have to basically give up all food fun entirely or, at least, that’s how it feels. I mean what’s the point in having a mouth in taste buds if you can’t indulge them right? Thanks for listening.
Quitting quitting alcohol sounds like the best thing ever. Maybe next year you can give up giving up alcohol for lent!
Giiiirrrrrllll, I understand you on a personal level… My husband and I decided to try the Keto diet to help with my migraines and weight loss and I don’t normally eat a lot of sweet, but I currently really just want to eat ALL THE COOKIES!!!!
I’m going to try quitting recreational shopping. 🙁 Good luck gettin’ off the X.
I’m sure you get tired of all of the non-doctor health recommendations, but I feel I should share my testament to the effectiveness of Lions Mane mushrooms for restoring memory and mental acuity. You can find it in a coffee blend by Four Sigmatic, or you can get it as a capsule or tincture that is really easy to hide in any beverage (including margaritas). I grow my own from a kit from Mushroom Mountain. They are delicious sauteed in butter (tastes like lobster). Anyway, good luck on the xanax cleanse. I love it too, but try to be careful about only taking it when nothing else will suffice. Hugs! <3 Erin
Quitting and ending anything is hard as hell. I recommend screaming really really loudly whenever you want to give up or cry or cheat or grab just a teeny tiny bit. Scream and scream until u actually don’t want to anymore (yes eventually u won’t want to) and then, oddly enough the moment has passed and just do what u might ought to do if anyone was recording your next move and somehow over a week of this you will begin to get past it. There is blue sky at the end of the sucky miserable change, you know this and it was real before. Really. Try screaming. 🙂 It’s a rebel move and it works.
I’m attempting to cut down on carbs and sugar. It sucks because carbs and sugar are THE BEST.
I am very late to the ground-squirrel naming party, but it really needs to be Professor Squirrell, pronounced Skwer-ELL, as in Harry Potter.
Okay, here goes. I am a terrible eater. In other words I just don’t eat. I’m over weight because of the medication I take and realized years ago that no amount of dieting could help but I still maintained my normal habit of only eating when hungry. Dealing with chronic pain it tends to decrease my appetite so much so that I hardly eat at all. If I do it’s more like having to choke it down.
BUT…here is my public word to you. I will begin to eat better. This means small meals throughout the day. I will do this with you.
It’s not compared with what you’re going through but I’m here to help in my small way.
We love you Jenny!
Ben & Jerrys is on sale at Target.
We are talking about Target right?
I’d join you, but my stress level is about to shoot to the moon. My baby boy is about to be deployed so I’m probably going to be increasing my Xanax (which I also love) soon. I’ve only just found out about the whole thing and have been an absolute mess. Good luck to you! Maybe one day I will be able to join you.
I’m in your boat, girl. I’m in the middle of a horribly wicked depression and I’m playing medication roulette. I just added Wellbutrin and I’ve got the shakes big time -so speedy. So my doc was like, clean eating, no sugar, no caffeine (which is a problem since my main food staple is Starbucks). So yeah, I’ll ride the healthy train with you. (BTW, I am re-reading your books during this episode and they are saving me. No one understands unless they’ve been there)
I so can relate. I’ve been forced into a healthy diet and taking care of myself. Which is good, but also really annoying. BTW, it took me almost six full months to get off Cymbalta. So, I understand your withdrawal, too. Sending you hugs and patience.
I just found out I have colitis and have to change how I eat. Right now no caffeine or alcohol and bland foods. So all I want is a big coffee, a margarita and a burger. I know it will help to do as my Doctor says and finally help my stomach pain but as soon as I was told what I had to eat I wanted everything else. On top of it I am nervous and a bit scared as my mom had colon cancer so my odds are already up there and now this. It is making my depression worse and my anxiety is starting to go through the roof.
I think if Victor really loved you he would make you a non-alcoholic margarita, then lie when he brings it to you and say he got special permission from your doctor for you to drink just one to help with the withdrawals. Even if it doesn’t work and you immediately suspect it’s a fake, you got a drink delivered to you by someone who loves you. That’s never a bad thing.
Don’t have a stroke, but I took Xanax for 10 years after my open heart surgery. When I [also] started experiencing brain fog and concentration issues, I had to wean off. And, I didn’t want to keep seeing a psychiatrist to fill my script because my PCP refused to fill my script anymore – freaking laws. Anyhow, I now suffer from almost nightly restless legs syndrome which make me want to chop off my legs, horrifically whacked dreams, and regular insomnia. I now regularly drink bourbon and tequila. Bad for my liver. Especially since I’m on TWO cholesterol meds and a beta blocker.
Jenny I’m committing to 5 weeks of personal strength trainer! It’s not the same as meds, but it IS a very healthy decision I cannot back out of, mostly due to paying in advance for the sessions! Good luck with your healthy decisions trap!
I take tiny doses of Xanax when I need it and LOVE it. I think I’d struggle giving it up. I have daily anxiety but only take my tiny dosage when it’s overwhelming. I planned ahead and have my clothes to go to Planet Fitness tonight. I’m not excited about this terribly healthy decision, but there it is.
I quit xanax a few years back, and I hope you’ll feel better soon. Right now I try to lower my sugar intake, I have gained a lot of weight recently because of the other meds I take. Good luck to all of us!
I am having brain fog too & I think it’s related to sleeping pills, but when I make the tiniest step towards weining off, I’m literally up ALL NIGHT and feel so horrible the next day. Sleeping pills = good night’s sleep and possibility of waking up feeling like I can face the world – but maybe “foggy” here & there. No sleeping pills = awake all night & beginning each day in dread of being crazy-tired all day. I’d love to hear any suggestions! Thank you
I’m giving up everything I guess lately, not out of choice though, but because my husband lost his job and honestly after paying all the bills we have less than $50 a month to spend on groceries for our family. So I’m giving up well mostly everything except water and what little food I can scrounge up until I find another job to work or he gets re-employed. Should be fun, though I’m not sure it’s healthy per-say.
I’d knock over a nun for my antidepressants but I’d probably end up in more trouble than it’s worth and I can’t afford them either. I feel like I’m going a bit insane.
I feel you about the withdrawal. I accidentally cold turkeyed myself off Ativan. It wasn’t even that big a dose, but it sucked. I couldn’t stop shaking, couldn’t keep food down, and was peeing constantly (discovered that was a withdrawal symptom when I went looking for info in a psych book I have…)
I hope it smooths out quickly and that you feel less squirrely (ha ha ha…)
I take a small dose of Xanax as well. Usually for travel anxiety, I’m not a great passenger!! I hate to do the driving but am much less anxious when I am. Weird, huh?! I honestly have NO idea how my husband gets anywhere without me. How does he know when to slow down? Or change lanes? Good God, he needs me!!!
interesting to hear someone else say they have memories with their behavior meds. At my “peak” i was taking a cocktail of 3 different medications and after about a year on them i starting losing short term memory. It first it wasn’t noticeable to cause concern, but then my sisters visited me and I swear a couple hours later i called them asking to get together because it had been too long. I stopped the physician prescribed cocktail pretty soon after. If i remember correctly (haha, but seriously) i think i dropped everything, but my antidepressant until i was able to not take meds. I lost 100 pounds and luckily for me i haven’t needed meds for 5 years, but i always say “this year i don’t need meds” because i always see myself as a recovering antidepressant.
The last two months I’ve been sick AND psychiatrist has been changing things up. Besides the withdrawal symptoms for what I’m coming off and new side effects to what’s new on board, I’m kind of a train wreck. Hang in there.
I took up running this year, to improve my health, and now I suffer from “fitness constipation.”
Which is a thing.
A thing that makes me feel un healthy, and also rather cranky, most of the time.
Just sharing the I-can’t-winness of it with you.
I have adivan for anxiety attacks but I’m so worried about becoming dependent on it, that I don’t take it very often. I get anxiety over whether to take anxiety meds or not. How screwed up is that. 🙂
I really hate healthy eating. I really want to eat Pop-Tarts for breakfast every day. But I’m hoping that if I lose some weight I’ll feel better physically. So far I don’t think that the weight-loss-feeling-better outweighs the I-hate-healthy-eating, but I know I need to stick with it longer before I give up.
Have you considered marijuana???
I know you live I Texas, but whenever you’re in various other parts of the U.S., try CBD or a mellow, indica strain of cannabis. Cut down my chronic nightmares. No hangover.
I’m in another depressive episode, so I’m currently off alcohol as well. Restoril is saving me right now by letting me get some sleep. My best to you!
Sending you loads and loads of hugs and comfort. Going off meds is the worst. I have had uncontrollable asthma and lung issues all my life. When I gave up dairy and gluten last year they went away in under 24 hours. Turns out I was severely allergic and no one thought of it (I’m 45). Then we found out I have a terrible shellfish allergy (MRI Dye tipped us off). So I quit the crustaceans. Now I’m pre-diabetic with insulin resistance so I have to go off all sugar and carbs. I feel super-pissed off and trapped. Like chew-my-arm-off-to-run-away, trapped. I love making healthy decisions… I just HATE having them made for me.
I would love to make a hated healthy decision with you…..except I don’t want to so I won’t! But I support you 100%.
Had to give up alcohol cause of my IBS. didn’t miss it nearly as much as Hagen dazz coconut pineapple ice cream. Or eating out. My Triggers include corn and soy, so I even have to make my own crackers. They are darn good crackers tho. And I started canning (mostly in self-defense) so I guess I learned a life skill from it.
I’m gonna quit…. eating chocolate in bed for at least a month. That seems like a reasonable thing to do. And it’s not like I can’t eat chocolate everywhere else… Just not in bed.
I [hate/distrust/fear/panic at the thought of] body doctors. I have gone to one twice in the last 5 years: once for pneumonia and once because I was afraid of getting pneumonia again.
That said, I have a list of numbers and I am going to call one and make an appointment. Maybe this week. Or next. As soon as I stop crying every time I try to dial the phone. Definitely by the end of this month.
I have a long list of issues to address and I’m sure there will be lectures and I’m worried about ending up on a long term care plan or hearing the C-word but am I living my best life if I’m potentially shortening it by not going? -_- probably not.
I’m starting week 2 of a new medication and it is kicking my ass…life was much simpler when I just took xanax every day, but then my docs decided it was “masking my problems.” Which, you know, so? Nothing wrong with masking debilitating anxiety, is there? Why is that bad?
Best of luck getting through the weaning off stage.
Could not go to the dentist without it.
I’m trying to cut back on sugar (I consume A LOT), but it hasn’t been working really well. I’ll keep trying though…
Here’s a healthy decision for you: I got an app that gives you seven minute workout routines. Today was my first day and I got through nine of the twelve exercises before being like “nope”. Honestly it was mostly because the third to last one looked complicated and at that point I could either use my brain or my body and ended up getting too confused. They should put the confusing ones at the beginning while your brain still kinda works.
Have you tried essential oils? Not the ones from the drugstore or grocery but good quality oils. I’ve only been using them for a couple of weeks but if you treat them like food (use a variety multiple times throughout the day) versus medicine (only use when something is wrong) they are super beneficial for everything!
Quitting smoking………….again. Blarg. Smoked for 20 years. Been on and off the last couple of years. Smoking during depressions. I have Bipolar and cigarettes are my go to when life gets rough. I wish you luck lady! Love this post and the comments are inspiring. Thanks,
Well, here’s my two cents. You don’t have to quit forever, just for today. If you think of it that way it makes it a LOT easier. Stay in the moment and remind yourself (frequently) that you can do it RIGHT NOW. If one day is too much then quit for an hour, then in another hour quit again. Keep quitting every hour. I’ve used this method and it works. It really does.
I despise people who think that what’s right for them is right for everyone. You know, the “I take it daily so you should too” type.
What’s right for one person, especially when it comes to medicine, is rarely right for all. You do what works for you. None of your real friends will judge you. And the rest are people you can do without. 🙂
I taken Xanax for years for OCD and anxiety. I have run out or made my Doc’s appt too late, and yeah it wasn’t pretty
My Doc said go to the hospital if that happens again you could have seizures. If tou can do this you are one badass woman.
My healthy resolution is to go walking (once my new puppy arrives) and to work on my mental health by working though some workbooks.
Quitting being so angry at the politicians I can’t see straight, finding a balance. Sucks. Sending love and hugs Jenny!
I have a medication that has a label that says, “May cause drowsiness and dizziness. Alcohol may intensify this effect.” I never could figure out if that was a warning or a suggestion.
Quit quitting booze seems an excellent idea to me! 😉
I’m in the process of quitting a certain kind of pain med so I commiserate with you. Especially because I’m replacing with Lyrica which causes me to fall asleep during day. Like whenever we go to the movies.
You do what you have to to be healthy and happy. Me, I’ve got the white wine. Hope I never have to quit that.
I would ditch the Ground. Squirelly Mclaine is super cute.
I had a health scare recently and so for the past 6 weeks, I have been trapped into being the healthiest I’ve ever been. It’s great that Ive been healthy and all, but it has been hard and it sucks. Boo. (On the plus side, I also started taking antidepressants again and I can now function outside of work hours, so yay!) Tomorrow I go back to the doctor to see if what I’m doing has helped or if the universe truly hates me.
I need to quit buying craft supplies and use up a significant amount of what I already have. It doesn’t help that I live half a mile from the fabric store. And they keep sending me coupons.
Best wishes to you getting weaned off the benzos. I took them for years and they saved me constantly. But my medical group began to wave around that VA study and a few others and really work hard to get everyone off them. As well as Abilify. So after a couple of backslides I managed to quit them entirely over a period of several months. I do feel tons better and the fog definitely lifted. Plus, when I do take them very occasionally now they actually WORK!
Good luck – everyone’s chemistry is unique, so one person’s experience with a med or meds doesn’t necessarily translate to another’s. I’m on several meds for Bipolar I, PTSD, and pain and have had to make changes a few times; right now it’s a chronic choice at night between tramadol for pain or temazepam to sleep. Together they risk stopping my breathing, which would probably be unfortunate.
The no-more-of-THAT one for me was Ambien. I turned out to be one of those people who wander around doing and saying bizarre things with no memory of it later, so I will never take it again, lest I wake up naked in the ostrich enclosure at the Denver zoo.
Hi. My name is Lala and I am a cheese addict. It’s been zero minutes since my last cheese incident. Dr says I should quit to reduce inflammation, but I am weak. Please help me have the strength to quit.
Have you ever been checked for histamine intolerance? Many of your symptoms are on the list. Pinterest has some good info to check out. I have 2 friends with it so it’s more common but not diagnosed often. I hope you start feeling better. Brain fog gets me when I eat a lot of carbs esp bread.
I found that vitamin X helped with sleep but left me anxious & depressed the next day. Back to vitamin V. As needed, not full time. Crocheting helps me. Sending you calm thoughts and best wishes.
You are strong and brave. And even when you feel weak you are brave because you share these things with us. Wishing you loads of luck.
The world is getting more depressing every day. I wish you the at fighting this and I love you!
My Dr won’t give me Xanax, because I’m on a daily dose of Clonopin for Anxiety, along with my depression medication. This has helped me to be semi-human, most of the times. But we did increase my Clonopin up this last visit, and I no longer feel like ants are crawling under my skin…..Love you Jenny
Wow – when I first read the headline, I had a mini panic attack of my own because I thought you were ending the blog!! Didn’t realize how much I look forward to it, until I thought it was gone for a split second!!! Thank you for giving so much of yourself to this community, I don’t have to tell you how much it means to so many people!
I want ice cream for ALL MEALS. I think if it didn’t make me fatter and it might give me diabetes if that’s all I ate, I would SO do it…. sadly, I have only a trough a day after a healthy ( we’ll, healthier than just ice cream) dinner. I don’t count ice cream sandwiches, though.
I was on an entire cocktail of antibiotics for over a month. It killed every good thing in my body, so I’ve been yogurting and acidopholus-ing and probioticing for 3 months now. I still have weird problems, including fogginess and forgetfulness in my brain. I did some digging and found out that I might be low in B vitamins. I started taking a multi-vitamin and feel a whole lot better. This probably hasn’t got anything useful for you but it makes me a little better just sharing it. Also, maybe you’ve inspired a blog post and for that I’m grateful.
PS: Love Xanax. Love it.
I complained to my doctor about chronic anxiety and told me “no Xanax for you”. Then I took my cat to the vet because she has anxiety too (probably caught it from me) and my vet gave HER a low dose of Xanax! Now my cat’s chilled out and I’m still a wreck! Maybe I should take her meds. 😉
Good decision for the day: Not taking my cat’s meds.
Healthy decisions are the worst. So far I’ve had to quit drinking, quit smoking and start exercising over the past 20 years or so. Now I have to stop drinking Diet Coke and cut back on coffee and chocolate–my only remaining vices. My sole vice is now going to be being rude and sarcastic. Fun but doesn’t involve a rich taste or a great mouth-feel. I’m pissed.
Gluten. I think gluten is my enemy, and I must break up with gluten forever, even though I love bread and pasta and cookies and cake and pretty much all things gluteny.
Every med I take adds a bit of memory problems- so I take concerta everyday. Keeps me awake and focused and I can still take all the other stuff I need to put one foot in front of the other every day. It’s been a lifesaver. I’ve always had a crap memory- it’s also been a lifesaver for me. Not remembering awful stuff helped me continue living despite it all. It sometimes confused my kids and people close to me who don’t know about it. But now the kids know if I flatly deny something or forget something very important to them, I need a refresher from them. Somehow it all winds up working out if I keep moving forward. I’m really productive and awesome at work as long as I take it.
I wish you the very best. It’s never easy, but it is worthwhile.
Hey Jenny, I’m currently coming off this medication as well and I totally understand the side effects. I feel like I can hear the inside of my brain moving. Sending you all the healing vibes. Also thanks for signing my book, I just got it in the mails and I love it!! You are magic too! Autumne
I’m cutting carbs even farther because I just want my life back. Diabetes sucks. Low carb/ high fat works for me, but ye gods… I miss not being overly difficult about food…
You have to do what’s best for you. I happen to be a fan of modern medicine and if you need a little help getting through the day, then do what you have to. I’m also finding that I’m more of a fan of liquor than I used to be and that may not be a good thing for my liver but my brain and my tastebuds are really enjoying it. I think I’ll toast to that!
BRAVO! For your decision to get off of xanex. I’m on day 10 of getting off of xanex. I feel for you babe. There is some great info on detoxing off of xanex if you search “xanex withdrawal.” On the internet. Sending you love and comfort on your journey. And bless you for making us all laugh, which is the best medicine of all! !!!!
I have no idea what your other meds are, but if one of them is Lexapro, get switched to something else! For some people (like me, my mom, and my son), it has the WORST effect on memory. Yikes!!
HI Jenny. I found that some side affects of alprazolam for me were tied into the manufacturer of the drug. I had taken .5 alprazolam for YEARS from Sandoz ( peach color pill). suddenly my pharmacy couldn’t get them as a supplier and the .5 alprazolam I got instead ( yellow color– cant remember the manufacturer)– did NOT react the same in my body. I had hang overs and other side effects which I NEVER had with Sandoz. I wondered if it was because of the dye in the pill itself? not sure but I got my doc to request Sandoz only and have been back on for years with the same– no hang overs– no weirdness. just a nice chill. I have a TON of allergies– the only thing I could think was that it was possibly the dye– since the inner workings of the drug itself should be the same. any chance you can try a different manufacturer?
When the world gets in my way, I say…..NAMASTE!!!!! ( SORRY Bon Jovi). thx Sheilala
Having suffered a couple of panic attacks last year, and another one a few days ago, I’m thinking it might be time for me to see the doc and get a prescription. I thought group therapy would be enough but….I guess not. Thanks for raising this issue, Jenny.
I just want to feel good!
I’m going to quit drinking. I can’t do it reasonably anymore and every night is a binge session and I have to do it. I just really don’t want to.
Much love to you Jenny! You are such an inspiration and I can’t tell you how much you and this community inspire me!
I’ll be saying no to wine for the first time in absolute years tonight…..
Ya getting the brain zaps?
Not sure you’re into alternatives, but as back up, I like Nature Restore Wulinshen 500 mg and CBD oil made from Pure CBD Isolate Extract.
Wulinshen contains a unique combination of ‘deep-sleep’ nutrients that research has shown to promote deeper sleep and calmness in the mind. It enhances GABA and I am a raging introvert and when I am taking it, I am actually more outgoing — go figure.
I buy the pure CBD isolate from “Pure CBD Exchange” in 3.5 g and then warm it in 1 oz. grape seed oil to dissolve it and then put it in a 2 oz dropper bottle, and top off with 1 more oz of grape seed oil. 1 dropper is about 150 mg of CBD the recommended dosage for sleep.
I get pee tested and I haven’t had a problem with it. I don’t know if Texas is a “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” state. But where I am, like I said, I haven’t had a problem.
Together, they take the edge off nicely for me and I only use the Klonopin occasionally, not every day.
Terrible and healthy. I’m there with you. Cutting out sugar, carbs, alcohol, sex, and breathing around people I love. I have a couple of opportunistic infections, but no real symptoms. Can’t wait to be declared safe to be around again. I miss the carbs, but not hugging my kids is the worst!
Gals yo are not using Xanax daily, as an LCSW I’ve seen people jumping out of their skin getting off it. The are non- drug ways to manage panic attacks-which never killed anybody anyway
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I went from Xanax .5 to klonopin .0125 for attacked and occasionally to sleep. Less fog/ memory issues. I’m also using cbd oil now and using much less of Xanax/ klonopin, almost none now. The oil calms me during an attack and helps me sleep.
I’m proud of you Jenny! I’m also proud of myself for doing this same thing just yesterday (on a much smaller scale). I was in a good place for just a bit so I group texted my husband and my best friend my 3 commitments and asked for gentle nudging. But not more than that bc my depression will see it as judgement and I’ll get angry and rebellious. They’ve been great these last two days. Sending updates on their own things just as reminders instead of asking about mine. My commitments are: 1) Take my meds EVERY DAY. And ideally at the same time. I take Wellbutrin which needs a stable blood level and needs to be taken in the morning becaus it’s a stimulant. 2) Drink at least as much water as I do Coke. I have serious addiction and have been known to live solely on Coke for days. 3) Exercise. Even if it’s just 5 min of stretching I will use my body more. Extras) Eat regularly and food that’s better for me. And sleep! Both of these will be helped by the first 3, so I’m focusing on them first.
I wish I had the choice to take something for my panic attacks. I live in a small, fairly rural town, & none of the doctors I’ve been to are willing to prescribe anything like Xanax. No one wants the responsibility of giving tranquilizers, sleeping pills or God forbid pain pills. Sucks.
Xanax made my sleep so much better, but I honestly think it made the stillness of my depression worse. So I gave it up. But I do miss not having anxiety dreams. So, so, so much.
I need to stop eating eggs. I know I’m allergic to them, but it’s not severe, like my throat itches but it goes away. It’s like playing Russian roulette with food, because They say it could suddenly get worse. But, I love eggs! It’s hard.
I’m cutting back on my anxiety meds b/c it sometimes turns me into a zombie. Can’t give it up completely though, too many panic episodes.
So proud of you, Jenny! I miss my Xanax, fxcking laws. On a brighter side, a teaspoon of plain old yellow prepared mustard relieves my restless legs and cramps.
Jenny, Xanax has a horrible rebound effect, causing increased anxiety after it wears off. Valium is a much better anxiolytic med. Trust me — I’ve been a psychologist for 26 years.
I had a doctor over prescribe me Xanax. I quit my daily dose since I didn’t want to keep drooling on myself. From what I remember, the initial withdrawals weren’t too bad, although I did have random shaking for quite a while after. I still think it is the best for handling an oncoming panic attack. But I just didn’t do well on the daily dose either, I felt like a zombie.
If you are on a low dose it should hopefully go a lot smother and faster for you!
Can you do buspro (I think that’s how it’s spelled). It’s an add on to other drugs for depression and it shouldn’t make you foggy. I take it twice a day but some people take it only as needed
I don’t know if this will help, but with night anxiety and wanting out of your skin, I just got a gravity blanket (i.e. a weighted blanket) for my husband and he FINALLY got a good night’s sleep. Medications made him too foggy too. I tried it too and it was immediately calming for me too. Good luck as you move through this. You got this. We love you!
Good luck, you are a strong woman. During those times you may need to be propped up you have an amazing support system which includes the thousands of “fans” who love your writing. We are all here for you.
I took baby steps, and stopped drinking during the week – which I might fall back on sometimes, but I think it’s saving me money since I’m not drinking 2-3 bottles of wine a week… I also quit Diet Coke several years ago, and never missed it (surprisingly), so I know you can do it!
Xanax is helpful. Withdrawal terrible. When I have had to go off I took benadryl, I told my brain it was Xanax even though the color.is all wrong. It would help me sleep and slow my brain thoughts a little.
80 percent of my life is finding ways to trick my brain so I can function.
Thank you for always sharing. Listing to you of hilarious depression made me not feel alone. I thought I was the only one who figured dead bodies are in bags on the side of the road. No. There are more of us. Thank you.
Oh, Jenny. You will make it through this. I know it doesn’t feel like it, but you will. Personally I wish I took one Xanax a day. I take 10 mg of clonazepam daily and when I ran out, I felt I was having a heart attack. They don’t tell you how addicting it is when they prescribe it. So now, I have the choice of either taking it or not being able to function. I am reading Barbara Eirenenriech’s Dancing in the Streets. It has a lot of things to say about capitalism, individualism, Calvinism, and the rise of depression and anxiety. You might want to take a look. Best wishes. I wear my Rory leggings to the gym every day and every day someone says how much they like them.
I’m on thrive and feel somewhat like a meh addiction due to the caffeine and B vitamins. Healthyish?
I have an as needed Xanax prescription too. I’ve found if I take it at night with my sleep medicine and lexipro it doesn’t do anything except make me a foggy mess in the morning. For example I’ve had a building level of anxiety all week that was going to end in a a spiral of me crying on the floor, so I took one at bedtime. I spent most of my morning forgetting simple words like degree ‘conferral’, an ‘accredited’ school, and ‘resume'(I work in HR…who forgets the word resume?!?). It’s good/bad to know I’m not the only one experiencing these symptoms. I’m going to the doctor on Monday to see if there is a different alternative to Xanax though because I do not enjoy the come down from it …even if it DOES do well to calming me during a panic attack or anxiety spiral. Best of luck to you 🙂
My Mom just died a few weeks ago, and it was unexpected. I have stopped drinking because I’m afraid I’ll try to drown myself in it if it makes any of the pain go away. I can sleep but have a lot of anxiety about going to bed. I may go to the dr in a few weeks if I’m still experiencing a lot of anxiety.
Jenny, I wish you a smooth transition with letting go of Xanax. I was forced to do the same a couple of years ago when the clinic I went to closed abruptly and the new psychiatrist I was set up with absolutely refused to prescribe it, even though I was only taking HALF of a .25 tablet at a time, for anxiety/panic attacks with agoraphobia. I hoarded the little bit of Xanax I had left, and went without it way more often than I should have because anxiety & agoraphobia make it difficult to just go doctor-shopping. One of the most difficult symptoms I had in stopping Xanax was “noisy brain” (felt/sounded like a hive of angry, judgmental hornets in my head). Anyway, after the worst of it passed, I found a non-prescription substitute that works for me: an herbal tablet called Hyland’s Calms Forte. (I’m not affiliated with them in any way. It just works well for me.) I know it may not work for everyone but I thought I’d throw it out there in case it might be helpful to you or someone else. Do check the ingredients, as it’s a blend of several different herbs, and no one needs allergic reactions on top of debilitating anxiety. I also found that listening to Delta Wave binaural beats (around 432hz – easily found on YouTube) with headphones for an hour or so a day seemed to help. Good luck!
I get it Jenny, i have always had anxiety and depression but the last 3 years have definitely been harder to the point where I had to go on depression medication along with my thyroid meds. And then I couldn’t find work while I was in school so I had to take myself off them recently because I just can’t afford them and it’s a struggle. I debate getting out of bed, some days everything is too loud, i am too itchy, and the thought of talking to any e is enough to make me run for the hills. Unfortunately when I get temp jobs I need them, outside of my other health issues, and putting that mask on is painful. But at least I can drink on weekends, so tomorrow night my bottle of wine is dedicated to you!! Until you can join me of course!
Ironically I just started on Xanax daily for the first time. I’d had it for panic attacks before but I’m trying the time release one now. It’s making me a little foggy, but it’s the first time in like a month I haven’t ended the day with a stress headache. I guess I’m giving up being fully alert for a bit, which doesn’t actually sound like a bad thing I guess. Wishing you well. It’s so hard to find the right thing to poke the brain weasels with.
I quit Xanax a while ago but then had to go back on. I’m sure you already know this but melatonin really helps with the withdrawal symptoms.
I had to stop Xanax because the side effects were worse than the anxiety I was taking it for. Every medication affects every person differently. You’ll find the best one or ones for you.
It’s a scary thing to quit a thing that’s been helping you even though it’s also been hurting you for something that MAY help you but for sure is going to hurt. And how bad is it when that scary thing takes away the thing you use to stop scary things?! But you’ve survived a lot of scary things, Jenny, and you’ll come out the better for this, too. Memory’s kind of important – unless you want to get a headstart on old age… Chin up, we’re with you on this. Ground-Squirrely McLaine though? She deserves better. Madam Macademia, perhaps, or just Squirrely McLaine.:-)
Jenny………I am 65 yo and have been on Xanax for around 30 years. I take 4 mg a day. You read that correct……..4 mg daily. I do want to try to get off it also, but the withdrawal symptoms are terrible. Please say a little prayer for me or feel free to email me. ( firstname.lastname@example.org)I was/am a musician and literally quit playing the piano in public for 30 years. Please get off that drug. I want to if I can.
Love from Alabama…..Rodney
A good Doctor is worth their weight in gold.
This does not mean- have your Doctor weighed, murder them, and then collect gold.
Follow your Doctor’s orders, have lots of blood exams, and do not cheat on the exams.
I feel your pain. My life is sucking very hard right now too. I tried deviating from my very strict medical diet and got painful severe bloating from La Croix water (which is just carbonated water with flavoring). It would appear my “delicate” system can’t even handle carbonated water. FML.
Hey Jenny! I’m a huge fan of yours and have been for some time. I deal with chronic pain issues related to rheumatoid arthritis and Sjogren’s syndrome and have depression and anxiety disorder as well. I have been on Klonopin which as you know is a Xanax like drug for about 20 years and I recently got off of it completely except for use in emergency situations I found out I’m a much calmer person than I used to be but I also scaled back on another medication that I know I’m not a lot of people are on these days called Lyrica. From reading your posts and what not I believe you have an autoimmune disease as well and what I’ve come to find out is that Lyrica is a very very slowly in the way it does it but it almost killed me and it was causing such bad memory issues I was being tested for dementia and early onset Alzheimer’s disease. And because I do take an opiate for my joints and other pain inducing fun things doctor seem to focus on that more than anything else. But in a happy coincidence over the holidays I was unable to fill my prescription for Lyrica and after two weeks I realized I felt like myself again I hadn’t even realized what it happened to me I didn’t really experience joy in the same way I used to and it wasn’t that I was depressed it was that I was numb and because the drug tries to interrupt your neural Pathways to help you not feel signals for pain it also affects all of our sensory perceptions my eyesight was way worse than it is now my hearing was worse I couldn’t taste things things that were sweet I thought you had sugar on them and now when I taste them I go oh my God how did I do that really blows my mind and I lost over 12 hours one time and that was truly frightening I could not remember what happened at all and I was out driving and doing things. So I don’t know if that’s a medication you were on it all but it’s hard because they are so combined and all these medications together and nobody really, but if you have any questions about my experience is please write because I’ve been on many medications gotten off of many medications and have no judgement or preconceived notions that people should or shouldn’t take any other medicines either but just having been doing all of this for 20 years and trying to get it right somehow or at least feel someone in my skin and normal I think we might be able to teach each other a lot I know you have a lot of fans on a lot of people replying but my experience finally getting off the Klonopin on a daily basis has been good for me and it took a lot of time and I would love to share things with you in a more detailed way if need be. If you’ve already found some things that are working for you and you’re not needed anymore folks to bounce some ideas off of, just know that there’s a girl in New Mexico who loves you and thinks that you are the bomb Biggity, the cat’s pajamas, the bee’s knees… Add other cute animal appendages and clothing sayings as you please. Stay furiously happy my lovely friend thank you for everything you do Jenny! Please write me anytime
Good choice, hang in there. I hope you feel better soon, not having a good memory is only fun after a good hangover. So stay strong. And Booze is tasty, just lay it a little slower and it will all be good.
My liver is mad at me too from meds related to thyroid, panic attacks, depression, and a fat ass. Anyway, I can’t wait to quit quitting rose either. So here’s to healing pissed off livers and foggy brains-may they be benzo related or or not. And let me tell you, someone would have to pry my emergency bottle of Xanax from my cold dead hands before I would go on a plane without it as backup to my daily klonopin.
Ahhh, Jenny! You totally captured the thoughts I’ve been having about being trapped in a cycle of having to make the right decisions by quitting or starting things in my life. I’ve been physically ill for a couple of months and am now beginning to feel human. I’ve spent all this time helping my couch not float away and being the personal lap person for my cat. I’ve put on 10 pounds and I’m already overweight so that extra luggage is really affecting my mood and my clothes. Some days I jump up throughout the day and exercise (walk or swim), but most days I pout about having to do these things alone. I’ve come to realize that when I’m traveling with friends or when I have guests staying with me, I never over eat and I’m constantly moving and/or exercising. I have had to accept that I am truly a pack animal and without my pack, I’m unmotivated! P.S. My furball prefers my lap and scrubbas so she isn’t helpful about talking me into walking. I’ve told her that I should have adopted a dog.
I take Xanax for panic attacks so l agree with you that they are wonderful. I think you need to be brave and do the trial as then you will know whether the memory fogs are just getting older or the meds. Like you l have been on antidepressants since the 80s and will be on them for life. l still get down patches too but now l am hitting the mid 50s l have found my memory is not the same as it was and its depressing to know its not the same
I had a massive anxiety attack back in November, after I quit smoking (in August) and failed to replace the smoking with something healthy to read the anxiety I didn’t know I had. That attack in November triggered an atrial flutter episode (that I’m susceptible to, but never had), because of my congenital heart defect. So, I miss coffee, and having a drink once in a while, and chocolate. I did have surgery a week ago to correct the atrial flutter, but I may never be able to drink coffee or alcohol again. Or have chocolate. I feel your pain. I wish I would’ve known ahead of time. I did get to have Xanax to help with the anxiety of the sudden heart problems and impending surgery.
PS I’m totally functioning much better without those things, and I’ve lost 13 pounds, so there’s that.
I have been using CBD oil without the THC component. I have found the benefits to be 100% for the anxiety and break through panic attacks. absolutely no side effects and my pain has been next to zero. I live in TX and it is available now. just a suggestion
^^^ apparently I like to leave out sentences when I’m tired. I was told I can’t have those things because of how they after my heart right now.
I’m glad you’re cutting back. Brain fog sucks.
You don’t have a brain cloud, do you, Jenny? I hear those things can turn you into a flibberty-gibbet…
I feel like I’m the only person Xanax just doesn’t work for? I took the generic (what my insurance would pay for) for awhile but it didn’t really seem to help much… The Hydroxyzine I’m on now actually noticeably calms my attacks, while I didn’t really see any noticeable effect with the Xanax. Anyways, I definitely hope the Xanax is actually the issue and the memory issues will go away now that you’ve stopped taking it daily. I guess I could get on the ‘healthy decision’ bandwagon, I’ve sort of been forgetting to take my thyroid medication in the morning, I just did bloodwork and my levels are okay but I should probably be more disciplined about taking it.
Girl, I feel you so much. I decided after 15 months I needed to take my life back and get off my huge doses of opioid painkillers for severe arthritis and fibromyalgia. I’d been a depressed zombie, living in a black hole. I fired the doctor prescribing them and titrated down over two months. The days after I completely stopped were hellish. I wanted to jump out of my skin, and it felt like my whole body had restless leg syndrome. I didn’t sleep for two days. A friend recommended low dose Benadryl and pushing fluids. It really helped. I’m now dealing with a lot more pain and some insomnia, but my mood has improved and I feel so much more alive. I hadn’t driven myself anywhere in 8 months. But I got to drive myself yesterday!!
I, too, can’t have alcohol due to a liver condition I developed. But the damage may be reversible. I also started a low carb diet. You can do this. And feel free to message if you need more moral support from someone who’s there too.
I feel your pain. I took Xanax, one a day, for nine years. Then a new doctor told me I was addicted, and made me quit them. It was a slow process, halfs, then quarters, but I did it. I still miss them, but I have found other ways to handle the panic. I wish you a speedy recovery!
Good luck! My anti-depressants have been leaving me in an all day fog, but with the NHS strapped for mental health resources, I’ve not seen my psych about it in four months. It sucks, but I’ve weaned off this drug in the past and that sucks more. Drugs can work miracles, but they can also deliver a giant load of suck. I’ll be sending good thoughts across the pond to you.
In January, my health insurance got cancelled for a month because Trump and that meant I couldn’t get any of my 12 prescriptions for RA meds or crazy pills or all the others. So, I had to quit Celexa (depression) and Buspar (anxiety) cold turkey. The brain zaps from withdrawal were a trip that went on for the entire month and then some. But, by the time I got insurance again in mid-February, I really didn’t want to start those f’ers back up again after suffering through the worst of it. I’ve been sort of ok until last week when a “friend” was rude to me for caring enough about her dog to let her know the dog food she’s been feeding him had been recalled. That put me in a tail spin and I thought about starting up the antidepressant again. But, I just stayed in bed for a few days and finally came out on the other side. I can do with one fewer asshole in my life, I think. She’s not worth getting back on that choo-choo train to dependency.
*I support anyone needing prescription drugs to mitigate their mental health issues. You do you, y’all.
I don’t remember if I ever took Xanax. Which is sort of funny…
I thought my brain for, memory loss, and word recall issues were from meds (or brain tumor! Or early onset Alzheimer’s!) But apparently it’s fibromyalgia. Boo!
I have a lot of friends who swear by Xanax. I don’t get it, but then again, most medications don’t work on me. I was prescribed Xanax when I was going through some marital issues. I think it was 5mg or 10mg. Not sure. But it didn’t give me the warm fizzles that my friends raved about. Hell, opioid-based meds make me feel like I’m burning from the inside out. The one exception is straight morphine, ffs! I took Naprosyn after my c-section!
Yes, I’m that weird friend. Sorry.
I’m going to try to quit feeling so overwhelmed and in pain all the time that I just think about doing yoga, instead of actually doing it. The yoga, I mean, not “it.” My goal, other than a b ack and hips that no longer spasm from standing for longer than 3 minutes, is to get Ro to join me. Yoga is excellent for helping POTS symptoms. Or so they say. The trick is actually getting Ro to not have an aversion to exercising with her Mama. Pray for us?
I hope this new plan works for you and cl ears the brain fog. That’s something that Ro deals with daily from the POTS. It’s so not fun. Are there any other meds you can use in place of the Xanax?
I can’t wait until you’re no longer diseased with Consumption and can drink again. Maybe you could work on getting winemakers to make bottles that fill more than three glasses? That would be fabulous.
My creaky knees have forced me into exercising. I hate sweating. I hate that it takes up so much of my time. I’d rather have a robot body and watch cat videos all day.
Ask your doc first, but I use Benadryl to take the edge off skin-crawlies during med adjustments.
Thank you for your post. I am on Ativan regularly and have memory issues. I did not even know that was a side effect. I think I’m going to try the as-needed thing.
I’ve recently discovered that chocolate causes some of my stomach issues, So I’ve decided to reduce my intake even further than I already did when I cut back on fat intake & gluten/grain consumption for the same stupid stomach problems. So no cupcakes or candy bars for me. It’s bs, but I can do it… those aren’t the only things I’ve had to eliminate from my diet. I’m pretty much down to eating just salad greens and vitamin shakes with peanut butter powder now.
Also I’ve committed to taking vitamins every day; they make me healthier since I can’t eat as much as a normal person.
I guess I’ll consider seeing a therapist, too, since literally every doctor I’ve consulted thinks my physical problems are due to stress & anxiety, & frankly they are really stressing me out. I think I’ll ask for Valium, though, because Xanax makes me super drowsy & foggy for days, even if I take a tiny dose. It is pretty great for anxiety & sleep, though.
Ps – thanks for the twitter advice the other day & good luck!
I gave up pork and beef about a year ago. I haven’t seen any real benefit and I miss bacon. But I can still say I will most likely never eat pork again. Beef is now a special treat that I allow myself once or twice a year. This was both a medical and ethical decision that I am fine with except at breakfast on the weekends…on a related notw anyone have any good vegetarian sausage suggestions?
Jenny… you are SO loved!!…. Please take care.
Everyone’s body is unique, and responds uniquely.
My father loved his Xanax… but, his “brain fog” developed to a point at wihich he was diagnosed with dementia, “like Alzheimer’s, but not Alzheimer’s”, and we were told the husband and father we knew was gone. A wonderful doctor suspected he was having a reaction to Zanax, but said that he would have to be hospitalized to come off it. Somehow my mom got my dad to check himself into the Ann Arbor VA hospital, where he was weaned off his Zanax. My dad completely recovered (!!!), “came back to us!”, and had no memory whatsoever of the whole experience!
Side effects are not to be taken lightly…
I am a widow because of the side effects my husband had to the Reglan his dr. had him on for a year… we just did not know until after his death, what was happening to him.
You go girl!
Xanax helped me so much when i had to deal w/ my husband’s ex-wife over their daughter, of whom we had custody. life saver. now tho, i weigh more than i ever have & i think my husband wants a divorce after many years. i’m so depressed. vicious cycle. i will agree to find a way to work out. some way, some how. i will get my life back on my terms. terrible healthy decision. now i just need a table to go hide under……
I’ve tried not drinking as much because on the psych and muscle drugs I’m on, it makes me feel awful, even just one drink, but it’s hard because one drink also relaxes me in a way nothing else does and I miss that.
I’m sorry you’re going through the wringer with these drugs. I looked up Xanax and found out that it’s on the list of anticholinergics. Anticholinergics can rob you of your memory. Being of a certain age (:D) I was on a high dose of bladder medication, Ativan and respiratory drugs. Woke up one morning and couldn’t remember my name. Scared the bejesus out of me so I took to Google. Came across an article that set off alarms. I was taking too many drugs that cause Mild Cognitive Impairment. Most of the drugs that cause MCI have a property called “anti-cholinergic.” They inhibit activity of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, which plays a critical role in memory and cognitive function. I immediately stopped the bladder meds and talked to my doctor about reviewing and replacing my current prescriptions with drugs that do not impact memory.
Your blog today reminded me to review my meds again and I see that lorazepam needs to go since I just started Wellbutin. I should have see this coming since my memory has been shot again but I was blaming it on age and having dementia in my family. Insert cussing here.
There are several articles out there with lists of drugs/herbs that have MCI properties. If you or your parents are on any of them, I would recommend reviewing with a doctor.
Good luck and have a Margarita for me. Or two.
A Fortune telling chipmunk!LOL! You are so creative! You have had quite the time recently-I am so sorry to hear about your struggles. I think you help a lot of people. Brain fog can be so frustrating. You seem to accomplish a lot despite your struggles. Thank you for your humour.
I’m with you on the whole medication thing. I’m trying to get my doctor to take me off some of my meds because I’ve gained 30+ lbs on them and am now overweight but every time she decreases one, she increases one of the others. And I’m still having anxiety, depression and anger issues so what’s the point? Hang in there…it’s good that you’re weaning yourself off. It’ll get better soon. Then you can get back to visiting with Dr. Jack Daniels and his partner, Dr. Morgan!
I’m doing a whole30 which means I quit booze and sugar 10 days ago. The first week was hell but the last two days I’ve felt so good I actually accused my boyfriend of dosing me with Prozac, which I quit very carefully and somewhat painfully 2 years ago. Unfortunately, feeling good just makes me want to go grab a drink with friends?
I am desperately trying to quit being fat. Unfortunately it requires a skill set that I do not possess such as: will power, liking salad, and exercise. The fat is winning.
i need to lose weight because I am getting old and being old and fat means not being able to do anything fun, so I am on the Keto diet. Which means no bread. I can handle all the other no carb things, but the bread part is killing me. I sniff the bread sack, I linger outside bakeries. I hate that bread makes me fat. If i hadn’t already dropped weight quickly because of this, I’d have some toast. And make a loaf of homemade bread. (Honestly, thinking of cutting off a slab of freshly baked bread and slathering it with real butter feels sorta like watching an almost porn romance–all slow and tender and music building.)
Thanks for the post I needed to see today. Think I’m in withdrawal from all of 9 days of codeine with RA pain. And it didn’t even help. Can’t even eat but I bet I don’t lose any weight anyway. Fucking body.
Have you tried/considered CBD oil? I don’t know much about it, but I have been hearing impressive things from real people I actually know.
Sending magic calm energies to support you in your endeavors.
Good luck to you. It always sucks having to get rid of a tool in your toolbox because it’s not getting along with others (wow, mixed metaphor for the win). I too use it to keep the night jitters away. Risperdone helps for specific panic attacks, but not anxiety the way Xanax does.
I feel your pain. I made the mistake about 10 years ago of going cold-turkey off of my antidepressant. I had been up to twice the daily recommended dose just to control violent fits of rage. Weird how depression affects different people, isn’t it. I went through absolute hell for almost 6 months. The next time I saw my doctor she wanted to give me a new prescription since my old one had run out. I told her I was no longer taking any of the antidepressants or anti-anxiety drugs. She was absolutely horrified that I didn’t taper off on the dosage before quitting completely. I still suffer from major depression and major anxiety disorder but refuse to take a daily script that will cause the ‘brain fog’. Medical professionals prescribe medications to help, but many of those medications have long term affects on our brains that they are just now realizing. I still have depression, I still have panic attacks and I still can’t sleep. But, my thought processes are much clearer now than when I was being treated with various antidepressants, anti-anxiety drugs and anti-psychotics (to help me sleep). I have many issues, but at least I can focus enough on my day to day activities that when I start to get a little more squirrely than I naturally am, I can talk myself down, somewhat. I’m glad that many people have the option of using modern medicine to help them live a happier and more peaceful life. I made the right decision for me, but it’s hard, some days almost impossible to take part in a ‘normal’ life.
I feel your pain — er, I mean, your skin jitters thing. I take Klonopin, low-dose, to keep away feeling like my shirt collar is trying to choke me and that I have to rub my wrists against something every 2.43 seconds. More if it’s a panic attack, but thankfully that is rare now. The tactile part is AWFUL and it sounds like it should be the minor part compared to the other stuff but it isn’t minor at all because it Won’t. Stop. I mean, skin is everywhere. May it cut that shit out quickly, like maybe tonight. Or now. Now’s good.
This year has been all about quitting unhealthy habits and attempting to start good ones for me. I have abandoned Facebook, severely cut back using Pinterest, only post things that make me feel happy to Instagram, and rarely swim through the depths of Instagram’s “recommended for you” section. I also stopped manically checking the news for the next awful thing. I gave all of that up because I realized Social Media and News were fueling my depression and anxiety. I tried exercise, meditation, and yoga to help, but weirdly my symptoms got even worse. My anxiety is now so bad that my Vocal Cord Dysfunction is back, which is awesome, because who doesn’t enjoy feeling like they are being choked to death for hours every day. So, now I’m making the healthy decision to go on meds. I’m trying bupropion for the depression (it worked for me before about 10 years ago), and I’m using a combination of 100% CBD, Ativan, and the amino acid Theanine to treat the anxiety. I was trying to eat healthier too, but recently gave that up and am treating the anxiety with comfort foods. That may sound weird, but I gave up Campbell’s soup, Rice a Roni, and similar processed foods years ago to be healthy. The thing is, that’s the stuff my grandma cooked for me as a kid, and I have nothing but good memories of that crazy old German woman. This week, I had Tuna Casserole made with gloppy Campbell’s soup for the first time in probably 15 years, and I swear, I was less anxious that day than I had been in months. So, I guess what I’m saying is that I will join you in doing something positive for my mental health even though isn’t so good for my body health. Good luck to you Jenny. You are not alone, and you are absolutely the best and bravest for reminding all of us out here that we are not alone. I’ll soldier on today and go to work , even though I don’t want to get out of bed, in part because you reminded me that I’m not alone in my struggles.
I can so relate. I’ve been taking klonopin nightly for years to fall asleep and the first time I tried to wean off of it, I apparently didn’t go slowly enough and the withdrawals were terrible until I realized what they were and consequently took a klonopin, which made me feel “normal” again about an hour later. I also self medicate with alcohol, but that’s become quite an issue for me. So starting tomorrow, no alcohol, and I’m getting back to eating healthy. Because when I drink I don’t give a shit what I eat, but my body sure does.
Take care, and best of luck with all of it. My healthy decision is to write more and bitch less which is hard for me. I am also trying to be nicer to myself which doesn’t come easy and is a bit of a fucking chore.
Sending you lots of good vibes
My Human and I did a five day fasting mimicking diet and I think it was healthy. Supposed to decrease inflammation and, I don’t know, purify. We complained the whole time and ultimately felt SUPER virtuous so it was totally worth it. I also loved telling people about it and having them say things like ‘oh I could never do that’ (see – super virtuous above). So if you’re looking to drop 5 pounds the really hard way you can eat 2 mini vegan meals per day, feel hungry all the time, think about food obsessively and then feel superior when you’re done. Win win.
You seem like the sort of person who would appreciate the March Mammal Madness bracket. It’s half way done now, but it’s annual, and it’s awesome. I think the Twitter feed is @2018MMMletsgo and they have a blog with updates, etc….just seemed like the sort of thing that someone who collects dead stuffed mammals would like.
Very good decision. All benzos are extremely addictive and can cause memory problems. I believe I read it’s because they prevent you from getting REM sleep. It’s best not to take them if at all possible. Withdrawal is awful but the benefits make it worth it. At least, that was the result for me. Hang in there. Good luck!
I’ve quit soda and half of my usual intake of calories. Does being hungry cause overheating? I feel like dieting is making me feel like I’m dying. Kudos to all of you who have cut calories before me.
Xanax. I was one very low dosefor 25 years. Started weaning off 9years ago.
I now swear by Bergamot eo. No, I’m not going to sell you a membership in my mlm. I am Suggesting you talk to an aromatherapy professional.
Last summer my husband and I went low carb on a trial basis for three months and both of us lost a lot of weight. He lost30 lbs (and lowered his goal three times bc I was going slower than him) and I lost 25. Then I ate more Christmas cookies than I should have and put back on 5. So I still have 10 to lose and a few of my new clothing purchases I made when I was excited don’t fit so well now. The good news is I’m maintaining it really well, but the bad news is my husband keeps asking when I’m going to get serious again (he’s being nice and supportive, not just a dick) and I stress eat and my mother is living with us for another month. So I’m trying to be healthier now and it sucks and tomorrow is my husband’s birthday and he doesn’t evenWANT a cake bc he’s a mutant who was totally happy going on this diet. 😝
Everyone’s experience with “brokeness” is different, we need to work with our professionals to find what works best for each of us. Sometimes the process sucks. I take ativan along with my med cocktail.I miss my margaritas too.
I have to give up dairy. I’m allergic and lactose intolerant. That sucks because i love me some cheese. I already had to give up sugar, so the ice cream is already gone. Damn this is hard.
Jenny, do you even read these so far down the list?
What a coincidence! I am going through Benzo detox myself. The hot flashes are very irritating. I’m wondering why my joints have to ache so much. I guess it could be worse, and every once in a while I can sleep for a few hours at a time. One week in and I hope I’ve seen the worst of it?
oh, lord, “i feel my skin too much” is the best description of coming off a med i’ve heard. (or forgetting to take your meds cause you can’t remember whether you did or not; or because you took the cat’s meds instead of your own.) be sweet to yourself and stay in your pjs all day.
I’m trying to come of mirtazipine. It saved my life when I first got sick but 7 years later it’s making me tired and overweight so I need to switch. Down to 15mg from 45mg but it’s dark and cold so I’m reluctant to quit the last bit. Does help to know I’m not alone! Going to knuckle down and do it. Good luck Jenny!
I’m trying to come off of mirtazipine. It saved my life when I first got sick but 7 years later it’s making me tired and overweight so I need to switch. Down to 15mg from 45mg but it’s dark and cold so I’m reluctant to quit the last bit. Does help to know I’m not alone! Going to knuckle down and do it. Good luck Jenny!
So, I’m one of those high dose xanax users. 2 and a half mgs per day. It is the only drug that has worked for panic disorder, moderate OCD and gen. Anxiety disorder. I’ve been on it over 12 years. My psychiatrist feels that considering how well it works and how intolerant I am to pretty much everything else, it’s the best drug. The biggest downside is that you do slowly become used to it and have to increase the dose over time, and I’ve been lucky that I don’t have an addictive personality or I would be screwed. I don’t drink at all. The other problem is that if I miss a dose, I have physical withdrawal symptoms. One time my old shrink closed up shop and gave us no referrals so I scrambled to find a new doc and they were anti xanax. I ended up going through horrific panic attacks and withdrawal symptoms. I found another shrink 8 years ago who felt it was still the best drug for me. So, every day I wrestle with anxiety that my doc who is at retirement age will disappear and then I’ll be in bad shape if I am forced to withdrawal. It’s a tough drug to get off of, especially when there isn’t another drug I can go on. I can’t take antidepressants. Benydryl makes me have terrible hallucinations so I’d have to get off the drug slowly. So far, it hasn’t been worth it to do that. I see my doc once a month and we discuss it every Damn time. So. I understand. My healthy habit is going to be eating less sugar.
Xanax is a mast cell stabilizer. Maybe your mast cells are really angry? When mast cells get angry, they release prostaglandins. And too many prostaglandins = borken brain. Aspirin inhibits prostaglandins. I know way too much science from this bullshit disease. Like the disease is bad enough… but I was force to learn biology and chemistry too. Ugh.
On a positive note, brain fog is great writing material.
Jenny, I’m sorry. I wish I had a Unicorn solution for it. I rely on Xanax too. And I understand what it means to have to take it.
Whoa! This post makes me want to take an Ativan, my goto pill for anxiety. I only have on left though and might need it if I wake up in the middle of the night which has been happening lately. I’ll walk the dogs instead. Exercise is my natural cure to anxiety. Hard core cardio really helps with the depression. Good luck, Jenny!
If you’re having trouble sleeping, try the app Calm. It has sleep stories. I’ve started listening to them over the past week, and it has helped my anxiety a lot and my sleeping.
Jenny, I too suffer from anxiety and panic attacks, along with OCD. I can’t take Xanax because they make me have a terrible hangover and I get moody coming off them. I now take Valium 10 mg or break them up into smaller doses. They are wonderful and NO brain fog! And BTW, I love your work. You are awesome and I’m thankful I can get your blog on fb and emails.
just solidarity on the brain fog. i have it because of fibro. it’s been really bad the last month or so and i can’t convey to folks who don’t have it how frustrating it is to just try to make your brain think and have nothing happen.
on top of that it ramps up my anxiety because i could be screwing something up every day. even when i know what im supposed to do, sometimes i can’t make my brain do it when i should.
i’ll commit to working harder at eating better meaning in my case eating at regular intervals. keeping my blood sugar even is the best thing i can do to control my anxiety and mental fog.
I suffer from brain fog and memory problems due to migraines and my migraine medication. Unfortunately I can’t quit either of those things, so I know how you feel.
I’m not completely sure if you read these comments or not but here it goes. You are AMAZING! I feel like someone finally gets me when I read your thoughts. I’m writing this for a purpose though. I have been sick 4 times just this year alone and we are not even in the 4th month of this year. Not complaining, just explaining why I’m requesting this. Will you ever consider making face masks for your shop with funny sayings or a furiously happy raccoon smile?
Try Ayurveda – from a good, qualified practitioner (verify credentials). Continue your regular medication for the time being. Or better still, an integrative medicine specialist that is an MD + Ayurvedic practitioner. I am studying the system, applying to my life and it has been awesome.
Not a quick fix, nor a one size fits all, works on healing from within. Western medical system is awesome for acute issues, but its a lot of symptom chasing, not exactly fixing anything, or you wouldn’t be needing it 24/7/365/whole life. What is the root cause? That is what ayurveda tries to address. It can’t fix everything, but it would still be a plus for quality of life, rather than being constantly tweaking one med or another for side effects, and never really feeling healthier.
Please feel free to ignore if not interested in holistic medicine – lots of people are not, and in all honesty, there are a lot of dubious practitioners around, with no proper training. Avoid those.
ayurvedanama dot org – if interested in learning more.
Girl, amen! I was prescribed xanex while I changed antidepressants to make it easier but I have had so many anxiety attacks lately, like a weekly occurance Soo I just wake up and take it right away! I probably should not be drinking while I’m at it but isn’t that more healthy than taking a second xanex to sleep? 😉 I’m surprised my heart hasn’t completely boycotted with all the anxiety palpitations. 😵
I have a case of all of the things all the time right now. I started the keto diet about 2 weeks ago on the advice of an ND friend of mine to help with eczema, digestive issues, heal my gut, and maybe help with PCOS.
However, since that was the exact same time my mother went into the hospital and then I had to make the decision to get her kidney surgery since she had a huge kidney cancer, I naturally fell back into my old habits to cope. But drinking on keto means hard alcohol with weird stevia soda that gets me messed up sneakily, which is less fun. My other standby of trying to eat my way of panic is hard, because avacados make terrible binge food, and beef jerky and macadamia nuts are horribly expensive.
All of this is making me very cranky, which I would normally plaster over with junk food and sugar, but pork rinds and stevia do nothing for me. So, I have now become a flaming bitch. And I think I’m gaining weight on this diet because if you eat a whole bag of macadamia nuts, then finish off marcona almonds, and have a finally of cured meats and cheese, you are not doing your waistline any favors no matter what fuel your body happens to be burning.
I wish you luck on your med journey and healthy decisions. May you have much happier results than I, or if not, prove less stubborn and give up during catastrophe.
Benzos kill memory. It took me a very long time to get off my .5 dose for insomnia – noticed the memory issue after a year. Had to quit, unable to analyze jack shit, short term memory shot. Been off 2 years and I am not sure I’ll ever get it all back. There are plenty of studies showing this is an issue, especially the older you are.
Xanax withdrawal was bad, took me paring it down for a long time and still the final stop was horrible for 2 weeks. And it didn’t just help with sleep it evened me out all day long, I had no idea how big a difference it was making in my brain until I quit. Worse, I was then given Ativan a year later and it’s the same damn thing with memory. There should be a huge warning label on benzos about addiction and memory loss.
Best of luck quitting Jenny, take it slow and don’t switch to another benzo. One thing that helps pare down is to switch to Valium at the end. Unfortunately, my Dr. refused to give me any. Maybe yours will help you.
Thinking of you. It does have an impact! Trade-offs to balance, always. If you do make changes I encourage very gradual reductions to minimize negative side effects. Pharmacists can often create customized doses to help you step down gradually. Sending ❤️ and well wishes from Northern Minnesota…Amy Bean
Potato chips are the Devil’s work and I have a sugar addiction, to boot.
I’ve quit both.
I am an utter delight to be around this week. AN UTTER DELIGHT!!!
thank you, Jenny, for being you – for being open and honest about everything. Some weeks I need it more than others, but you are always there to make us feel less alone. You are so appreciated. Thank you for that.
Well, then I guess my 2mg up to three times a day is a bit more than normal? I think I have more anxiety now than when I started reading this post and the comments!
Daily Xanax causes memory loss. Once you have been off awhile, you will find all kinds of things you forgot or didn’t finish while on it. It’s great for panic attacks and extreme tension, though.
I love your blog–you are a life saver and a chuckle inducer. And real. Xanax has been saving my ass through a divorce and serious sleep issues. I also tried to quit (for one night!!) and was totally and completely F$&%(. I was jittery and tossing and turning and heart-poundy until 3am when I decided to drug myself again. I’m trying to find some alternatives–because I mainly use it for sleep issues (which are intense). If you have something that works, let me know! I also don’t like a lot of the other drugs–brain fog, dizziness, etc. A girl has to work and muddy brain waves do not bloody help!
I’m super late to the show, but I just got diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, which I kinda knew I had but had been doing a great job of ignoring BECAUSE CAKE. Now that I have actually been diagnosed and started medication, I figured I might as well actually change my diet. I feel better overall (and lost a few pounds), but the adjustment period for the medication is just weird as hell, and damn, I miss cake.
Unfortunately, just now reading this. In case you are looking for a possible alternative, my psychiatrist prescribes Gabapentin for me to take daily as opposed to Klonopin. Apparently, it’s less addictive, fewer side effects, basically impossible to overdose on, etc. I sincerely hope you find this change to be beneficial. Best of luck.
I love Xanax. I was first prescribed a daily amount, and now I just take it for panic attacks. But I’m getting better now even with the panic attacks, like I calm down enough to walk it off in reality without the Xanax, more and more as time goes. I hate that choice between perpetual zombiehood and feeling alive, it’s like I’m never going to feel normal again am I?
I spent the last 3 years in a bitter depression with crippling anxiety after a miscarriage and subsequent break-up. I spent those years eating my feelings (gaining about 50 pounds) and avoiding as much of anything as I possibly could. This year, I started working out…like a fucking maniac…at 5:30AM every morning. I’ve lost 30 pounds. Most of the days I’ve worked a large majority of my anxiety out of me first thing in the morning. I am happy to be around people, though they still exhaust me. I’m crawling my fucking way out of this and it feels amazing!