The side effect that has become the bane of my existence in the past several days is the heart palpitations. Between those and feeling as though I’ve just run a marathon at the rate my heart is racing, I have truly believed on many occasions that I’m dying of a heartache. Yes, dramatic, but as my doctor told me yesterday (I finally relented and called him) abrupt stopping of Xanax consumption can, in some cases, lead to death. The hypochondriac in me did not need to hear that.
The palpitations are so strong and feel as though my heart is residing right behind my larynx, that this has led me to cough unnecessarily. It’s this bizarre way of coping or trying to drown out the feeling that my heart just might explode out of my mouth at any given moment. I fully expect to throw up and see my heart floating in the toilet any day now.
These are not pretty things; these are not glamorous and they’re sure as hell not doing anything for my already wonky social skills. The problem with Xanax withdrawal is that you’re experiencing what the drug was prescribed to alleviate in the first place. You are living an ongoing anxiety attack, but if you want to get it out of your system, you need to be strong, accept that you technically did this to yourself and push through it like a champ. It’s hard to be a champ sometimes.
So here I am on an extremely low dosage of Xanax so I can get through these final days of withdrawal with as little discomfort as possible. It’s still not easy, but at least it softens the intensity of the symptoms so I can get through the day without screaming into pillows and admiring my reflection in the toilet bowl water.
The point is, my dear readers, is just say no to drugs. Seriously. Something that’s prescribed to you, a fact we should all know by now since we live in a pill-popping society, can be intensely harmful when overused, and even deadly should you decide to give it up without regard to just how badly your body needs it. I can’t stress this enough. It might not be heroin, but it’s still a drug that has taken hold of your nervous system and will not let you go without a fight.
While we can all agree that some of us need certain pills to keep our heads in check and from feeling sad or even hurting ourselves, we need to tread lightly. We need to be aware that sometimes a tiny pill is stronger than us. Xanax is the most misused benzodiazepine in the U.S. market of prescription drugs because it does work so effectively and immediately in the beginning, but at what cost?
What it comes down to is that Xanax is a horrible drug. Its intentions are good, but the aftermath is hell. I wouldn’t give Xanax to my worst enemy. No one deserves to feel like they’re mid-anxiety attack 24-hours a day – not even the evilest of evil. Although, you’ll agree with me if you’ve been there, the evilest of evil is Xanax itself.
Photo: Valley of the Dolls/20th Century Fox