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    1. #1
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      Need advice about withdrawal, tapering, meds. LONG POST PLS help (X-post from intro)

      Hi I'd like to keep this short, but I imagine to be properly helped It might turn into an essay. Sorry in advance. I've been a lurker on these forums for a long time.



      Backstory: Have been a heavy nightly drinker for around 10 years (approximately 8 - 12 standard drinks). Have quit cold turkey without knowing the dangers of it many times, for antibiotics, personal reasons or whatever.

      I would have considered myself a functional alcoholic, as I never felt like a drink in the daytime, nor did it interfere with any social interactions. It helped very much with getting to sleep with health problems. I have chronic pain and latent ( > 20 year old ) anxiety disorders. Also have heart palpitations that seem to be so far clear but can be exacerbated by over indulgence. I started drinking as a way to manage the former, and it became something I looked forward to every night after work. I am also a pack a day smoker.

      About three weeks ago I had a course of antibiotics. Quit cold turkey on the saturday, fine and no symptoms (in fact billiant sleeps and the lovely feeling of waking up at dawn sober) until the end of the course on the following saturday. Celebrated on the sunday night with 2-3 beers, no troubles. Monday night, didn't feel like a drink, went to bed early.

      Tuesday morning, approximately 3am, woke up in an incredible sweat. Shrugged it off, tried to go back to sleep. By 3.30 I was about to fall asleep and my heart went MENTAL. Maybe 115bpm (I'm reasonably fit, so 70-90 is normal for me). This triggered the first panic attack I'd had in 15 years. Drove myself to hospital at 110mph, literally. My supercharger was cooked by the time I arrived.

      Got into ICU, heart was at 140bpm. They didn't administer anything. Did tests, scans, etc etc etc. About 2 hours later, heart spiked to 160. Calmed down after a short while. Didn't mention anything about cold turkey over the years, nor nightly alcohol consumption. I imagined it was just simply the stress I'd been under over the last week during the course of antibiotics.

      Over the next few days, drank the usual 6-8 beers (1.4 std drinks each), starting after 5pm and finishing around 10. Normal sleeps, 4-6am waking as normal, no dreaming (only dream when sober). Heart test results showed some weird things, as long as some other strange health signs, and anxiety kicked in about a day later.

      Driving around anxious, I would work myself into a frenzy about having a panic attack. Could constantly feel heart palpitating (has been doing this most of my adult life under times of extreme stress) and I would eventually have a panic attack, each day for the next week. I became obsessed with my health, and test results. Began to drink slightly more than normal at night, and had a few visits to hospital. After one visit, where I was having more than 10 palpitations a minute, I came home exhausted and drank two beers.

      This was where it started. The test results were inconclusive and I was asked to do a holter monitor. Anxiety, stress from work and home, and everything was causing me to sleep very little. On the thursday night of the monitor (24h) I drank my usual 8 beers, went for a jog in the afternoon and in the next morning, and did all my usual stuff. It was becoming difficult to walk during this time, I would have a lot of strong head pressure and buzzing. It seemed to only happen when I drank. I never get hangovers.

      The next day (the weekend before last) I woke up on the friday morning with the usual extreme panic. This is where I lost control, for the first time in 10 years. I called in sick, and drank 5 beers. By evening, I was desperate for resolution to my problems, but blood tests and CT scans all all of this stuff takes time. I would find myself driving to the hospital, drinking two beers until I couldn't feel my heart or my pain, sitting outside until sober, and then quickly downing 5-7 when I got home.

      The saturday, the same, but the anxiety was much worse. I was scared of not being near a hospital or medical clinic, even though they could not help me unless I was really having troubles. I had every trouble imaginable, probably chronic pain exacerbated by extreme anxiety and more drinking. Over the weekend, I would consume 3 beers (5 standard drinks) in the morning, by lunchtime I would have another 3, then at dinner I would drink until I passed out. Unless I was drunk, I was constantly scared of having a panic attack, and did have many. I was terrified of not being near a hospital, and terrified of staying at home unless I was wasted. By monday the quota had increased to 8 beers at night, 4 morning, 4 lunch. I went to get test results, and everything was almost completely normal, except for the pain and the heart, which seems like it will be symptomatic, not problematic. Having to deal with these type of palpitations is apparently quite common.

      So monday night I resumed my normal drinking schedule. I had 8. The two - three weeks of abject terror and hell were over and I was peaceful and happy.

      The next morning, I woke up and felt just fine, like I used to. I decided I wanted to quit drinking, as the escalation was far too much for my older mind and body, and despite having had so many good times, all good things must come to an end. It was also bothering my that my head was starting to buzz and crawl when I drank, sarting from the top of my head and extending to my right temple. I put this down to chronic sinusitis.

      That's when I started reading extensively about tapering off, and realised that after so much abuse to my body, it would be safe. I set up a reasonably agressive taper schedule, and wrote everything in a diary (which I won't post here, as it's about 6 pages long).

      So tuesday night drank 2 in the morning, and 6 at night. Wednesday I had nothing in the morning, and 5 1/2 at night. Thursday, nothing in the morning and 4/12 at night.

      On thursday morning I woke up without panic, but with extreme pain in my liver and a feeling of severe anxiety. I calmly drove myself to hospital, and they said "look, you're anxious about your last set of results (blood tests) and you have no physical withdrawal symptoms, apart from a little sweating.

      I went home, and given what I'd been through for the last three weeks, I was exhausted. Probably no more than 3 hours of sleep a night for 3 weeks. I was so wired with exhaustion I couldn't sleep. By 6am of tossing and turning, I had some very strange "brain zaps" that felt like it feels when you haven't slept for 48 hours. One of them stopped me breathing and triggered a panic attack. I got up, drank 3 beers in 5 minutes, and passed out

      Woke up at 9 with the most extreme head buzz and disorientation. Struggled to make it, so I called in. Had a doctor's appointment to find out my results, and was constantly panicky and terrified. Had a panic attack, and the same anxiety and fear I had felt over the last weekend's binge. But this time it was different. Arrived at the doctor's office and waited half an hour with the same incredible buzz in my brain, and very shaky. Still thinking straight. Doctor took me in, registered me at 115/80bp and HR 90. Checked me up, looked at my history, proscribed me 5mg benzos. I said "no thanks, I have a plan, a diary, and a schedule, I'll stick to it. I'll take them if it gets really rough. He said "it IS really rough, your anxiety is through the roof.

      The whole drive home, I felt like I would seize then and there. I smoked like a chimney until I got home, ate something, had a beer and a half, and tried to sleep. 7pm came around, still wired as a motherf*****. Drank 4 beers (for a total of 8 1/2 in the day), went to bed after chalking it down to a slip up. Slept until 3am (from 8pm). First drunk dream even, went back to sleep after 4 hours. Got 7 hours total. From 3am, had two beers. My plan was to reduce by 1 per day until 0.

      12pm, feeling fine, drank 1 1/2 beers.

      4pm, mother of all ****ing panic attacks hit me like a ton of ****ing bricks. Drank 5 beers in a row, slowing down to drink the last by 7. Went to bed at 8:30. Total for the day was 8 1/2, no increase, but no decrease. Noted in diary that switched in two days from drinking only at night to drinking during the day. The huge head buzz and difficulty walking, as well as temple pain and pressure was there in full force.

      Within 5 minutes of lying down (realtively sober) I had this HUGE JERK! Involuntarily made a weird "UNNNGH" noise, arm flailed wildly. From all of my readings, I knew what was going on. Mouth started clenching. I asked my friend not to panic, but to drive me to the hospital IMMEDIATELY. No panic attack, pulse couldn't be more than 100, but I couldn't control my muscles correctly, and felt like my brain was going to explode, from the roof of my mouth to my nostrils. Like what you feel after extreme exhaustion. No pain whatsoever.

      Got to ED at 9:15, bp 178/110, pulse 110. Calm and collected, but constant extreme shivers and impossible to stop moving. Got into ward instantly, they asked me many questions, felt quite confused but was able to answer to the best of my ability. Friend totally freaking out. Within 10 minutes around 10pm, they gave me 5mg diazepam. Within half an hour, I felt slightly high, and no more symptoms. Bp down to 150/100, pulse steady at 100. Slept 10 minutes while doctor was talking to friend. Stayed overnight, woke up 3am in sweat. Very uncomfortable. Buzzing and symptoms returning.

      Given another 5mg diazepam, slept more than 2 hours for first time in 3 weeks. Next morning, breakfast - amazing. Cigarette after breakfast, even better. Discharged after next dose at approximately 9:30am. Prescription for 4x5mg diazepam, follow ups with doctor to find schedule and check bp/progress etc.

      48 hours without alcohol now. No cravings, don't feel good from the diazepam, but certainly can walk again properly without feeling like I'm wading through concrete. Head is much clearer, like it used to be when I was sober during the day. Slight headache.

      So this brings me to my questions (hopefully you read it, but here's
      TLR
      In case you just want to get to the meat of it.

      1. Have I done the right thing? Am I on the right medication to control my "withdrawal"?(xanax is banned here, and 20x stronger than the tablet I'm taking).

      2. Is the "kindling" process the reason for the sudden and abrupt apparent neurotoxicity and near-seizure-like behaviour that I experienced? If so, why, how, and what mechanism caused it to onset like this? Why am I not experiencing classic withdrawal symptoms such as trmors and hallucinations, or depression etc?

      3. Why has the combination of my last cold turkey, my extreme binge over the weekend, and all of this caused a sudden onset of extreme anxiety and panic attacks? They are gone on the diazepam, and I'm just as I was.

      4. Am I on the right dosage to prevent any seizure activity occuring? 5mg 4x a day seems very little from what I've read online.

      5. Sometimes in the last day, if I am an hour before a dose, the head buzz, temple throbbing, and pressure in head increases and I feel the need to take it early. No clacking of teeth or strange jerks though. Should I? Also, if I feel none of this, should I try to add an hour to my doses?

      6. How long is a reasonable time to stay on this regimen, assuming I'm on the right dose? When is the latest I can have a seizure from the alcohol withdrawal? Or have I done permanent damage? When I come off it, I plan to taper off, and abstain from alcohol forever. I have no desire to ever touch a drop again, not even socially. I prefer cups of coffee socially, or I did before my chronic pain.

      7. Is it okay to continue smoking (from a chemical perspective) and can I have 1-2 cups of tea a day? Will this impact the effectiveness of the medication I'm on? Can I begin to go for my jogs again? Can I work out?

      8. Last night, I had a sensation of consciousness as I was about to fall asleep, but my arms simply wouldn't move. I didn't panic, but it took 20-30 seconds to be able to move them. Is this something I should be concerned about? Is it related to the medication, or the fact that I've probably only slept around 40 hours in 3 weeks?

      9. Is it okay to sleep 8 hours, or should I be setting an alarm to take a dose of the medication?

      10. When I taper off the benzos, is there something I can take that is not an anti-depressant (I feel emotions very strongly, good and bad, and would like to keep it that way) to control my anxiety? The doctor said tentatively a 2mg dose of diazepam, but I feel an addiction like that would be uncontrollable given my past need to self medicate. I can already feel the benzos making me comfortable with just existing.

      Thank you so much for listening everyone, and I hope you can see I've thought, read and researched long and hard about this and still have many questions. I hope someone can answer most of them, even though I've probably posed 20-30, all are as important as the last to me.

      Looking forward to the possibility of dealing with my other serious health and minor emotional issues in a way that I used to - smoking, drinking, exercise and sex. Regards, A

    2. #2
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      Need advice about withdrawal, tapering, meds. LONG POST PLS help (X-post from intro)

      Hi Allen. I am no expert about any of this but it sure sounds like you may want to seek some medical assistance NOW! -sooner rather than later. If you have not posted on "Getting Started" or need help immediately, please consider post in those two areas. You have made a great first move in asking for help. Awesome. Soon, you will start getting more replies. Just hang in there until more help arrives and until you get some medical help.

    3. #3
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      Hey dude, welcome.

      I'm glad you posted but extremely sorry for the reason. This all really sucks - but good on you for keeping yourself together and getting medical help.

      There's a lot in your post that reminds me of me - the fear of being too far from a hospital, the waking up in terrible panic early in the morning. I used to get up at about 5 or 5:30, and before I knew what was going on I'd be dressed and walking toward the closest urgent aid. Most of the time I'd walk passed it and back home without stopping - about a mile or so - but even if I didn't stop there it helped to know I was going in that direction.

      So to your questions - I AM NOT A DOCTOR, this is not medical advice, etc., and I won't be able to address them all. Diazepam is Valium. My first medicated-detox I had 60mg of Valium and slept like a baby. Next morning exactly like you described, wonderful. I have sense moved on to Ativan, sort of like Xanax. Usually 0.5mg is enough but sometimes it takes 1mg to calm me down. I don't mix pills and booze and suggest you don't either. I wouldn't judge - if you want to down 5 or 6 beers instead of take a pill one morning, great. Just don't do both at the same time, it's not like 1+1=2. More like 1+1=4. Some days I'd just drink a pint of vodka and pass out around noon.

      Anyway, as far as the anxiety and the blood pressure go, it takes about a week of sobriety to get that all under control. Don't worry so much about kindling - I went through a period like you're in now, and my withdrawal isn't so severe anymore, at least right away. It gets bad again quick, but that's something to worry about later. Right now I'd say focus on trying to get some sober time. Use the benzos as prescribed, and you won't get hooked on those for a while.

      Smoke away, drink your tea or whatever you feel like, but make sure to have plenty of water too. Maybe wait for a bit to jog, maybe get a home blood pressure monitor. Don't lift weights if your BP is high. Walks are really, really good.

      Guess that's about it from me for now. Hang in there, brother.

      EDIT: oh and #3, I don't know if this is the answer or not, but there is a difference between chronic and acute withdrawal. So the weekend binge might be to blame, but maybe not. Sometimes the worrying about withdrawal brings on even more anxiety - does for me, worrying makes the first couple drinks ramp up my anxiety a lot and it takes 3 or 4 more to calm me down. Let's not blame psychosomatics for everything, but mindset can have a big influence.

    4. #4
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      Need advice about withdrawal, tapering, meds. LONG POST PLS help (X-post from intro)

      spiritwolf333;1665024 wrote: Hi Allen. I am no expert about any of this but it sure sounds like you may want to seek some medical assistance NOW! -sooner rather than later. If you have not posted on "Getting Started" or need help immediately, please consider post in those two areas. You have made a great first move in asking for help. Awesome. Soon, you will start getting more replies. Just hang in there until more help arrives and until you get some medical help.
      Hi Spiritwolf :new:

      Thanks so much for your opinion. Getting started asked me to x-post here, so I will x-post my reply in that section:

      "
      Unfortunately, most of the doctors here are vague and symptom-related rather than underlying cause or long term plan related.

      I have seen a specialist in drugs and alcohol a day after discharge and he was similarly vague ("oh, you know, one week isn't so bad, you'll be fine, just stick with the same dose until you feel better") so basically I'm left to my own dosage, addiction prevention and tapering regimen.

      I asked him, and most of the doctors that saw me all of the same questions. Unfortunately I think they're all overworked, understaffed and have little relevant knowledge to my specific case

      "

      So basically, I guess even if it's not strict medical advice, I'd hope someone here would be able to answer some of my questions based on their own experiences. My main goals are to be out of seizure territory, and to be non-drug dependant for the rest of my life, in as little time as is safe for my body.

      Thanks again!

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      StuckinLA;1665027 wrote: Hey dude, welcome.

      I'm glad you posted but extremely sorry for the reason. This all really sucks - but good on you for keeping yourself together and getting medical help.

      There's a lot in your post that reminds me of me - the fear of being too far from a hospital, the waking up in terrible panic early in the morning. I used to get up at about 5 or 5:30, and before I knew what was going on I'd be dressed and walking toward the closest urgent aid. Most of the time I'd walk passed it and back home without stopping - about a mile or so - but even if I didn't stop there it helped to know I was going in that direction.

      So to your questions - I AM NOT A DOCTOR, this is not medical advice, etc., and I won't be able to address them all. Diazepam is Valium. My first medicated-detox I had 60mg of Valium and slept like a baby. Next morning exactly like you described, wonderful. I have sense moved on to Ativan, sort of like Xanax. Usually 0.5mg is enough but sometimes it takes 1mg to calm me down. I don't mix pills and booze and suggest you don't either. I wouldn't judge - if you want to down 5 or 6 beers instead of take a pill one morning, great. Just don't do both at the same time, it's not like 1+1=2. More like 1+1=4. Some days I'd just drink a pint of vodka and pass out around noon.

      Anyway, as far as the anxiety and the blood pressure go, it takes about a week of sobriety to get that all under control. Don't worry so much about kindling - I went through a period like you're in now, and my withdrawal isn't so severe anymore, at least right away. It gets bad again quick, but that's something to worry about later. Right now I'd say focus on trying to get some sober time. Use the benzos as prescribed, and you won't get hooked on those for a while.

      Smoke away, drink your tea or whatever you feel like, but make sure to have plenty of water too. Maybe wait for a bit to jog, maybe get a home blood pressure monitor. Don't lift weights if your BP is high. Walks are really, really good.

      Guess that's about it from me for now. Hang in there, brother.
      Thank you so much for your post StuckinLA, somewhat of a kindred spirit if I read it correctly.

      Your post has resonated very strongly with me. I feel that 5mg x 4 diazepam is a little low, as sometimes I feel the dosage needs to be upped, but I remind myself that I just need to stabilize myself from the years of abuse, and if any serious symptoms crop up I'll know what to do. My main aim is to prevent the development of seizures or seizure related activity, and to not gain an addiction to benzos, so I'm hesitant to increase my dosage (0.5mg xanax = 10x5mg diazepam pills!).

      I don't plan to ever drink alcohol again, despite 10 years of drinking every day, I feel that my mind is too old to ever go through this again. I've always been happy sober, especially during the day, and I just want to get back to a feeling of normality (maybe too much to expect with barely 50 hours of sobriety under my belt! But last time, cold turkey, before the withdrawal-drink-withdrawal-panic cycle started, after 1 day I'd feel fantastic).

      I think a blood pressure monitor is a great idea, but sadly I am not able to afford such a thing. I'm a short walk from the local drug store, so hopefully they can do it for me if I feel as if things are elevated a little. I felt quite balanced and good yesterday, but today is another story, I can feel anxiety and panic, along with elecvated heart rate creeping in only 5 hours from my last dose.

      Overnight sleep was much better this time. Solid 6 hours, no sleep paralysis, even rested in bed for half an hour instead of jumping up like I'd been shot through the abdomen and running around like a decapitated chicken. I've also had very little of the pre-seizure-like symptoms I described.

      I believe I may have some sort of hypochondria due to the drinking and anxiety related binge/withdraw/drink solid for a year/binge/withdraw. So even if I have no other symptoms, when my heart rate elevates it creates all sorts of ****ed up stuff in my mind.

      I wonder to myself, how long should I wait before attempting to wean off the pills? I don't mind a bit of anxiety or panic, as long as I avoid seizures. I had the idea that 7 days to 10 days would be ideal for the prevention of anything life threatening (based on bp/hr etc of course)?

      Thanks so much for your post

      -edit!-
      stuckinLA wrote: EDIT: oh and #3, I don't know if this is the answer or not, but there is a difference between chronic and acute withdrawal. So the weekend binge might be to blame, but maybe not. Sometimes the worrying about withdrawal brings on even more anxiety - does for me, worrying makes the first couple drinks ramp up my anxiety a lot and it takes 3 or 4 more to calm me down. Let's not blame psychosomatics for everything, but mindset can have a big influence
      I really feel you there. The brain is such a bizarre organism, it treats us as if we are children despite filling us with more memories and desire than we can cope with. It's funny to think that anxiety begats consumption which fuels anxiety. I know exactly the feeling, as despite the fact that my heart isn't completely right, I can actually cause myself to have 2 - 3 times the normal amount of palpitations if I'm even just thinking about having them. Awesome

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      You are welcome Alien. It truly is my hope that one day most all doctors will have a much greater understanding of alcoholism and other addictions.

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      I say don't worry about weaning off the diazepam right now. There are other forums and resources where you can lean a lot about benzos (benzobuddies is one such forum, but hypochondriacs beware going to that one) - but I don't think you'd develop an addiction until well after a few weeks or month taking them consistently. Again, not a doctor.

      Also try to prepare yourself for some anxiety and a little panic - it's gonna happen. Go for a walk outside. Think about other things. Do you have access to Alcoholocs Anonymous? I do not care for them (at all) and take issue with a lot of what they preach, but I've also taken a lot of comfort in the early days of abstinence being around people who've been right where I am. And it's free.

      OK I gotta run, but I'll be around later tonight.

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      Wow, A. That's a lot going on.

      I can't answer even one of your questions. Sorry.

      I hope you feel better, soon.

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      spiritwolf333;1665033 wrote: You are welcome Alien. It truly is my hope that one day most all doctors will have a much greater understanding of alcoholism and other addictions.
      Mine too. If only doctors had the time to access forums for people suffering like we do, and the common sense to not always be completely rigid. Or maybe I'm just cynical. Addiction is a funny thing, and the brain is very a very complex set of rules and regulations governed by chemicals and electrical signals.

      Maybe one day we'll have a matrix-style brain interface that can inject a whole community's thoughts and experiences relevant to a condition into someone with the authority to help. In the meantime, well we just have to use all of our information we gather ourselves correctly, and listen to our bodies. Which can be very difficult when we feel as if we've lost a loved one when we have no chemical comfort to turn to!

      StuckinLA;1665035 wrote:
      I say don't worry about weaning off the diazepam right now. There are other forums and resources where you can lean a lot about benzos (benzobuddies is one such forum, but hypochondriacs beware going to that one) - but I don't think you'd develop an addiction until well after a few weeks or month taking them consistently. Again, not a doctor.

      Also try to prepare yourself for some anxiety and a little panic - it's gonna happen. Go for a walk outside. Think about other things. Do you have access to Alcoholocs Anonymous? I do not care for them (at all) and take issue with a lot of what they preach, but I've also taken a lot of comfort in the early days of abstinence being around people who've been right where I am. And it's free.

      OK I gotta run, but I'll be around later tonight.
      I think I may avoid any forum that deals with people on high doses that are having nightmarish withdrawal. I just want to go until it's unlikely for me to have an alcohol related health mishap, and then find a way to get off them. Midterm goals!

      AA is something I'd probably stay away from. I'm a man of science and established psychology and strongly believe against the use of fear or religion as a motivator for "behavioral correction" or detractor for "the devil in the bottle". Everyone is different and I hope everyone can find the strength like I am trying to. But I'll tell you what, the fear has to come from within. Coming close to losing my mind, my health, and everything has put that fear into me. I hope I can keep things on an even keel, even in these early trying times.

      On another note, It's day 3 now for me (60 hours into abstinence, have taken a total of 55mg diazepam, in between 4-7 hours between doses.

      I'm starting to feel more balanced, apart from the odd physical symptom, racing heart, a little anxiety. Occasionally if I wait too long between doses, the pre-seizure feeling comes on, and I get a slight tremor.

      So your advice is bang on.. the way to do it then, is just patience and mental fortitude for me, as long as the 5mgx4 diazepam is keeping me reasonably grounded I'll stick with that for 5-7 days. Does that sound reasonable?

      -edit- bout of crippling depression yesterday the first day out of hospital, around dusk (which is when I'd usually start my evening tipple). Not suicidal depression, but terrible crushing emptiness. It really is a grief process. Has anyone else had this experience, and then recovered within an hour realising that all of a sudden they can hop in the car and go for a boost, enjoy the city lights and the roads without having to worry about being chained down at night?

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      Alien;1665094 wrote:

      So your advice is bang on.. the way to do it then, is just patience and mental fortitude for me, as long as the 5mgx4 diazepam is keeping me reasonably grounded I'll stick with that for 5-7 days. Does that sound reasonable?

      -edit- bout of crippling depression yesterday the first day out of hospital, around dusk (which is when I'd usually start my evening tipple). Not suicidal depression, but terrible crushing emptiness. It really is a grief process. Has anyone else had this experience, and then recovered within an hour realising that all of a sudden they can hop in the car and go for a boost, enjoy the city lights and the roads without having to worry about being chained down at night?
      I hate to say "advice" but yes. Diazepam has a long half-life - longer than most benzos - so it's the one you want, and also the one that's easiest to wean off of. It's the one they use to wean people off other benzos, in fact.

      And yes to your edit - the emptiness, the depression. It hits at night or sometimes when you see an ad for a beer or sometimes out of nowhere. But it does get better.

      I'm actually glad to be on MWO tonight - I went out this evening and drank quite a few NA beers while watching some sports, and being next to people buying rounds of shots, well, it was fun and I was glad to be around people having a good time, but emptiness is exactly the right word for it too. Got home a few hours ago and called my girlfriend, and even as I'm now putting my pajamas on I'm thinking how easy it would be to run down the street to the bar and get some drinks. It's only 11pm. I could have a few shots and beers, stop at the liquor store on the walk back home. I've got ativan here and wouldn't have to worry about withdrawal tomorrow. It's tempting.

      But instead I'll finish getting ready for bed and call it a night. Thanks for listening to me ramble on. Hang in there - it does get better and the empty feeling comes less and less frequently.

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