Who would have thought, one tiny decision could not only
nearly kill you but take 9 months of your life away.
This was what thought would be a
painless, ultimately beneficial decision made November 19th
I decided to quit taking my 2 1/2 mg of Valium.
I had been taking it nearly every night at bedtime for
the last 3 years. My first BIG MISTAKE!
I, in my naivety didn't have the slightest clue that I
was totally dependent on the little yellow pill.
Who could ever have thought something so small could be so
Let's just say 2 weeks later I ended up having to dial 911.
I was alone, it was nighttime and I thought I was dying.
I ended up in the emergency room, the doctors not having a
clue what was wrong with me.
I had told the paramedic I had stopped taking my Diazepam.
He either didn't think it was important, or didn't tell the
doctors in the ER. For 3 hours I was hallucinating and going
literally insane all alone in that ER surrounded by a
curtain that was breathing and moving.
I thought I had slit my wrists when I looked down and the
doctor was trying to take blood. My brain wasn't
working properly. Finally I was able to call my husband and
he told the attending that 2 weeks prior I had quit taking
Valium. I had to convince the doctors to talk to my
husband, since I wasn't making much sense anymore.
They finally spoke to him.
I still remember the female attending saying" Oh, why didn't
she tell us that." Well try thinking clearly when
everyone around you is speaking Russian and the curtains are
alive and breathing. Try thinking when the staff are
treating you like a common junkie. The Doctor quickly
gave me a shot of something and my world came back.
Literally 10 minutes later they were talking about
discharging me and I was calling a taxi.
I though the worst was over. My second BIG MISTAKE.
I went with the ER doctorâ€™s advice of reducing my pills by
50 percent every 2 weeks. This took 6 weeks. I
extended it to 8 weeks because I didn't feel great.
My family doctor sent me to a neurologist who agreed with
the reduction. I basically got worse and worse the
longer I was off the pills.
I had to go on an emergency Xanax prescription because I had
been nominated for an Oscar and wanted to go to the
ceremony. Oh ya, didn't I mention this, while all this
hell was going on... I got nominated for a Oscar....
Stressful......Oh just a little.
I wanted to go to the ceremony and had been feeling worse
since quitting the pills. I went on the Xanax for
about a week, made it thru the ceremony, then 5 days later I
crashed again. Not as bad as the time before, no 911,
no hallucinating, but very scary. I had to go back on the
Ok, I was in trouble again. I didn't
understand why... what was going on? Why wasn't I
better? How could I be getting worse? None of it
Back with my neurologist, he thought I was feeling bad
because I didn't win the Oscar. Dear god, you must be
joking... that was it for him. Time for a new doctor.
He thought I was under stress, which I was, but wanted to
put me on Buspar. I didn't want any more pills.
Couldn't anyone understand that, look where pills had gotten
My husband and myself spent hours on the Internet looking
for help and advice. I was now back on the Valium but
didn't feel well. Didn't feel myself anymore. I
felt like I was constantly falling into myself. It's
hard to describe, but I literally felt like I was
imploding. Headaches, breathing problems, depression,
anxiety, chest pains you name it I was experiencing it.
I was now on over 3 mg a night and still no relief.
What was happening, why didn't it all go away and I feel
better like my GP and neurologist said it should.
Why was I feeling worse and worse?
Then something happened... Independently, but on the same
day, both myself and my husband came across the Road Back on
the Internet. Finally, something that made sense, something
that actually spoke to me, addressed my problems,
acknowledged this was happening and had been happening to
thousand and thousands of other poor souls.
Nirvana! I had found my road back.
I called one of their recommended doctors and went to see
her within a week. She spoke my language, she
understood, I wasn't invisible. There was hope. This
was at the end of March 2007.
I immediately went on the program, the Essential Protein
Powder helped immediately. The Body Calm capsules I
had to get used to, I was afraid of anything that might have
power over the body. I felt I had lost control of. I
had to trust the doctor and let go. All the other
powders and pills came and I started to feel a bit better.
A bit stronger. It wasn't some over night miracle, it
wasn't a flash of lightning. But, it was working.
I realized how dangerous all this had been, I realized the
dangers of the drug from the Road Back Web Site, and now I
had to come to terms with the fact that I was still taking
the evil Valium. The pill I had felt nearly killed me. I was
having not only to take every night but increase it.
I finally got to 4 mg per night.
Why wasn't I able to stabilize?
Why wasn't I getting better quicker.
Basically, I had to stabilize before
I could start to reduce the Valium.
It just wasn't happening. I wasn't
stabilizing. Sure, I was feeling better, but I
wasn't coming to the place where I could start to reduce.
I made my 3rd BIG MISTAKE!
Through the advice of a friend, I went to see a
pharmacological psychologist. The doctor basically
told me this all was a sham and I needed to go on multiple
drugs. Anxiety pills, antidepressants and god knows
what else. She basically told me I wasn't still having
problems from the Valium, I was the problem. It
couldn't still be from the pill, because I was taking it
every night. I had psychological problems and needed to take
more pills! Are you kidding me? More pills?
I was mentally sick? I was the problem?
I went to see the doctor again, I was a mess. I was
now freaked I was going insane. She was wonderful, she
hugged me and held me, she said how sorry she was that I had
to hear those things. She was disgusted with the
psychologist who told me those things.
The psychologist didn't understand withdrawal and obviously
wasn't part of the Road Back. The doctor wanted me to
speak to Jim Harper, the founder of the Road Back. I
talked with him the next day. My world changed that
day and again 2 days later.
Jim was very gracious and very understanding. He
listened and then said he thought he could help. He
was going to send me a new herbal product he had been
testing. It was made from the Passion Flower plant. A
Great, I'll give it a shot, as long as it doesn't come from
a pharmaceutical company. He talked with me for over
an hour and made lots of suggestions and just listened.
The Passion Flower arrived the next day. I took my
first pill that night around 5 pm. That was when I had
been having to take a 1/2 mg of Valium.
I hadn't been able to wait until bed time, my brain felt
like it was falling out, I had been taking Valium during the
day since my visit to the psychologist. She really
freaked me out. Now I was anxiety ridden, I was a
The passion flower arrived and I took it at my usual brain
falling out time. Something happened! Well, more
accurately nothing happened. My brain didn't fall out.
I felt normal....The passion flower 100% worked.
It calmed me down without making me feel drugged. It
acted as a natural Valium in a way. It
completely relieved my withdrawal symptom! My god, a
Over the next few weeks I tweaked the pill size and amount
of times I took it. I had to find the balance. Jim was
there for me on the phone or our preferred way, via email
the entire time. He wanted to know how I was doing,
how my symptoms were and my anxiety levels. I was his
lab rat. Oh what a happy rat I was!
For the first time in 6 months I felt like there was hope
for me. Hope that I would again be normal, hope that this
wasn't going to last forever. Jim gave me that hope
back. He saved my life. I know that sounds
overly dramatic, but it's true. The road back saved my
sanity and my life. I no longer cried everyday, I no
longer thought every pain would end up with me in the
hospital. I was no longer afraid.
I have been taking the Passion Flower now for a about 2
months. I began to finally stabilize. I
could finally start reducing the Valium. The day I was
waiting for: 6 months came a few weeks ago. The day I could
go to a compounding pharmacy and start reducing the pill I
had come to call Satan. The passion flower; now known
as Body Calm Supreme, is now available thru Neuro Genetic Solutions.
Don't get me wrong. It's not all happy shiny clouds
and little newborn kittens. I still have bad times.
But that's just it now. They are times. Not full time.
When I first started reducing I got a little over zealous
and reduced too much. I slowed down after talking to
Jim. Then I reduced every week, again, it was too much
for me, and after talking to Jim I am now reducing every 2
weeks. Sure it's slow, sure it will take me the rest
of the year. It will take me 8 months not 8 weeks.
But you know what, when you feel good again, when you feel
hopeful, time doesn't really matter so much.
When you have come so close to the edge, when you have given
up all hope, what's a bit of time? What's a few months
when you have been given those months back. You can actually
live those months out in the real world, not at home shut in
I can't stress enough what life is like now. How
precious every moment is. How all that really matters
is your health and well being. How much love you have in
your life can actually save your life.
For months I was angry, I was angry because unless your some
crack addict or celebrity drunk, you don't exist. I was
angry because I felt invisible. There just wasn't any
help out there for me.
Valium isn't a trendy drug, no one cares if youâ€™re dependent
on it. I was a functioning addict without even knowing
it. The film business is so stressful, I took the
Valium to relax and be able to slow my mind down so I could
sleep. I have had trouble sleeping my entire life.
I was an accident waiting to happen. Now, I'll take
the Body Calm and the Body Calm Supreme, thank
you very much.
Jim listened to me when I needed it most. The doctor cared
for me when I needed it most. My husband stood by me
the entire time. My family never judged me. My
friends listened and offered their support. I have
seen a new way to deal with stress in the future.
You have to realize it's a slow, slow battle. As Jim
always says, slow and steady wins the race. You can't
forget that even though you feel as if your not getting
better quick enough, or you don't even feel you'll ever get
better. You will, just follow the plan, stick to
the rules, listen to your body.
I'm sure the route I chose to go, the non-multiple drug
route cost me time in the end. I'm sure the drugs
would have been a quick fix, I probably would have felt
better quicker. But that wasn't my way. No more
drugs, no more pills. I wanted to do it under my own
steam, for better or worse. I didn't want to swap one
addiction for another. It's what everyone seems to do.
Just take another pill. Not me, no way!
No film is worth this stress. An Oscar nomination
doesn't take the pain away. I will manage my stress
better in the future. I will take my health more
seriously from now on. I will never take any
prescription pills again. I will listen to my body.
And, I will always listen to Jim.
Note from The Road Back - The Body
Calm and Body Calm Supreme mentioned in this story are still
made by Neuro Genetic Solutions. However, with new research by Jim Harper
formulated the Body Calm was replaced by a supplement called
Body Calm Daytime Relief and the Body Calm Supreme was replaced by Body Calm Supreme. Both of the Relax supplements still have the same
amount of Body Calm and Body Calm Supreme that is found in
the capsule form of the product but the Relax products
include a few additional supplements to quicken the time it
takes to promote sleep and relaxation during the daytime.
The Road Back Program does not sell supplements.
These products are available at Neuro Genetic Solutions.
Click here to visit Neuro Genetic Solutions.