jboy, I'm SO sorry you're having such a rough time right now :( I know how tough this is (and how much fun it definitely is NOT), and I really feel for ya (and I also admire your courage and your stick-to-it-iveness)!
What you're reporting is very common when coming off benzos (either with or without Superfood). One has to play in 1) the increasing adverse-effects from continued usage; and 2) the side-effects of withdrawal (that definitely do change along the 'withdrawal road' and many times worsen); and 3) the fact that you are making increasingly "stronger" dose cuts because you're sticking at 1mg dose cuts (***see below for a better explanation about that). But first, your Superfood question & concern...
If the spirulina & chlorella are chelators of metals (and they are) and you've been taking Superfood for months (and you have), then you would have experienced heavy metal toxicity & the symptoms of it within a few days of starting to take the Superfood.
If you think something in the Superfood is causing you to experience increased symptoms, then you can stop taking the Superfood for 3-5 days, see how you feel, then start it again and see how you feel. That experiment might give you some idea.
The thing is you have two MAJOR variables at play...
#1 The plasma level (blood level) of the Valium varies *substantially* from day to day (as the cut you made a week ago substantially affects 'todays' plasma level of Valium, due to the extraordinarily long half-life of Valium). So what you experience as 'symptoms' over any 3-5 day period can vary greatly (no matter what you ingest). AND what you experience *this week* in any 3-5 day period may be substantially different from what you experience *next week* in any 3-5 day period, because one week you're have Xmg daily, then 2 weeks later you're having X -1mg daily...and since the half-life is so long, your levels are extremely variable from week to week :(
#2 There's not just two ingredients in the Superfood that can cause reactions, there's 11 ingredients. And without testing each one separately, there's simply no way to know 'what is causing what'.
What you do have as a "solid" is that you've been taking the Superfood for several months, and (it seems to me) that you're saying that you're experiencing a 'new' symptoms or symptoms...so that's most likely not being caused by something you've been taking a long time.
What is FAR more likely is the fact that because you're making 1mg cuts, with each cut you make you're making much stronger dose cuts than you made initially...so you're having much worse symptoms (and it's taking longer to recover after each one). You initially stabilized at 30mg (right?) and tried a 10% cut (which would have been 3 mg)...or was it 25 mg to start and then a 2.5 mg cut? Either way, a 10% cut was too much at the time for you to handle, so you went to a set cut of 1mg instead of a percentage. (1 mg is 3% of 30 mg, or 1mg is 4% of 25 mg). That means your first cut was either 3% or 4% of (what was then) your "current dose".
Every time you lower your current dosage and take a 1mg cut in dose, you're taking a BIGGER percentage of a cut...so each cut becomes more eventful & stressful, and takes longer for you to recover & stabilize from.
Think of it like your stomach and hunger...your stomach doesn't care about how many "milligrams of food" you eat, your stomach only knows if it is empty, 25%, 50% or 100% full. Your body doesn't care what "size of milligrams" your Valium dose cut is...it only cares about what percentage you're taking away from it.
Let's look at this (and the reason the benzo experts insist folks cut "by percentage of your last dose" rather than "by a set amount of milligrams")
Last Dose -- Percentage of cut (taking a 1mg cut each time)
30mg -- 3%
25mg -- 4%
20mg -- 5%
17mg -- 5.8%
15mg -- 6.6%
13mg -- 7.6%
10mg -- 10%
7mg -- 14.3%
5mg -- 20%
3mg -- 33%
2mg -- 50%
1mg -- 100%
So, when you started cutting (with a 1mg cut) you were cutting either 3% (if from 30mg) or 4% (if from 25mg) of the dose you were taking. But if you're now at 17 mg daily (guessing), when you take the same 1mg cut, you're cutting almost 6% of your dose (which is 25% or or 50% "stronger & bigger" of a cut than you were making at the beginning). So you're going to have at least 25% more symptoms than you did with your first dose cut.
When you get to 10mg, if you take a 1mg cut, you'll be taking a 10% cut...which is the same percentage of a cut in dose that you couldn't handle initially. A 10% cut is 2 1/2 - 3 times bigger/stronger than the first dose cut you made...so naturally, your symptoms will likely be even worse (and it will take even much longer to recover). BUT, if you were taking the same percentage off each dose, the symptoms would be about the same each time.
jboy, I've helped a lot of people get off benzos & psych-drugs, and with the benzos every person (at some time or another), had to either 'up their dose' or take a several-week break from cutting (or both). And that is consistent with the thousands of stories & testimonies I've read. I've never known or read of anyone "picking a millgram size" and being able to successfully withdraw. That's because (as you can see in the table I made above), if you stick to just 'one size of a cut', then when you get to the end you'll be making HUGE percentage cuts in each dose. And your body just doesn't care about 'the numbers', it cares about what "percentage less" you're asking it to deal with.
Benzo Rule - Every two weeks reduce your dosage by 10% (or less) of the dose you're taking at that time. You can take longer between each reduction; you can reduce by less than 10%. Never reduce faster than this unless your symptoms are proving that you can safely & comfortably handle it. This site http://benzowithdrawal.com/forum/index (you may already be a member) has a spreadsheet you can download -right hand colum - Water Titration Spreadsheet, and Instructions...that you can use to figure out exactly 'how much' and how to measure doses properly when making cuts by percentages instead of milligrams.
This horrible class of drugs simply doesn't come with a user-friendly "option plan" for withdrawal. Sheer willpower and desire-to-get-off don't have anything to do with what anyone's physical body can handle or not handle. Anybody that tries to cut their dosage too rapidly for what their body can handle ends up with symptoms that no willpower can overcome, and then they have no choice but to 'up the dose' until they stabilize and start cutting the doses again.
I'm seeing all of this...
>>> I called in sick today, an have slept all day, sweating really bad in my sleep an feeling like crying. Still havin trouble with the nutrition, i've yet to make the barley stew thing i was told about i always forget or don't have time or money....this is gettin outta hand, tired of people commenting on how skinny i am. i'm like 5'10 120lbs. my wrists look like you could snap them they are so tiny....i've been slippin on the diet more then usual, jus cause i'm more worried about getting off the valium then about candida or parasites <<<
...and I've gotta tell you, I agree - this IS getting out of hand, jboy! And it sounds to me like (maybe?) you are SO focused on "getting off the Valium" that you're NOT focusing on the very real fact that you are literally starving your body because you're likely either 1) withdrawing too quickly; or 2) even though you're not cutting too quickly now, you did in the past, and you need to go back up a few milligrams. Your symptoms are causing you to not be able to prepare adequate amounts food for yourself! Hello? :::big hug & a thunk on the head:::
It seems that you're missing the very real fact that if you withdraw too quickly that you can easily end up 1) having to go back to 30mg or more to stabilize, or 2) end up in Protracted Withdrawal Syndrome (PWS, which means you'll have symptoms for years after your last dose)....or BOTH Most people have some sort of fading symptoms for up to 2 years after their last dose anyway. But people that withdraw too quickly (and/or don't support their body adequately during withdrawal), still have significant symptoms for years AFTER they've been off for 2 years!
I know you're sick of this (and probably sick of me, too), and I know you want to get off as quickly as you can...and I certainly know that you do not deserve to have to be dealing with all this. But the truth is, no matter how sick of it you are now, if you cut your doses too fast and don't support your body adequately through this process (i.e. starving yourself), you will be dealing with it a LOT longer than your last dose. It is FAR better to up your dose a few milligrams now (restabilize) while 'taking a breather' from cutting - and focus on getting your body out of starvation-mode...than it is to push your body to the point that the benzos will force you to 'take a breather'. Because if the benzos & your weak body 'force you', then you could end up not being able to function or work (and having to go back up to 30mg or more to re-stabilize and start all over again). Can you handle it if that happens? If you take control now, YOU get to control your own withdrawal and the symptoms (while getting some desperately need nourishment into your body)....and that's a much better plan of attack than >>>jus cause i'm more worried about getting off the valium<<<
I know you've got a spine of steel with willpower to match, but you've got to use them like a seasoned military general. This is a war; this is not a race, and it definitely requires strategy (and gung-ho rookies without strategic planning & discipline commonly get their asses shot off!). Your human body can only take 'so much' before it starts to fail you...you've GOT to stabilize enough that you can put on some weight and replenish your body (and until you're sure you can provide your body with adequate nutrition once you start cutting doses again).
So let's get started - here's another super-easy (super-cheap, super-awesome) recipe you can make and then freeze in individual servings - Cuban Black Beans & Rice.
4 cups dried black beans
1/3-1/2 cup olive oil
1 huge onion (or 2 medium sized ones)
4-6 cloves of garlic
2-4 Tablespoon of cumin
1 T paprika or chili powder
1 T black pepper
(optional) 1-2 bags of frozen corn
Use a dutch oven or big pot you can put atop the stove (that has a lid).
Take 4 cups of dried black beans, cover them with water (at least twice as much water as beans - they're going to SWELL) and soak them overnight. Then when you're ready to cook them, strain off the 'soak water', rinse them, and set them aside.
In the (now empty) big pan, put around 1/3 cup of olive oil (up to 1/2 cup), then add 4-6 cloves of chopped garlic and a huge chopped onion (or two medicum sized ones) and turn on the heat to medium. Cook that until the onions are starting to get soft (just a few minutes) Then add 2 Tablespoons of ground Cumin; 1 Tablespoon of Black Pepper; 1 Tablespoon of Paprika (or Chili Powder) and stir that in to the onion/garlic/oil mix (I usually use 4T of Cumin :) Now add the soaked beans to the pot and add enough water to cover the beans by about 2 inches. Stir it all up, bring it to a boil, put the lid on the pot, turn it down to low heat on the stove and let it cook until the beans are done (a couple-three hours). After cooking for a couple-three hours, the water will become thicker (you want it to end up about the same consistency as the 'juice' in a can of beans...but you'll have LOTS more of it). If it's too thick (or there's not enough water to make it look like a heavy/thick bean soup), then add more water - if it seems like it's too watery, then take the lid off, turn up the heat a bit, and let some of the water cook-away. (Optional -- once the beans are soft enough to eat and it's good and 'soupy-thick', you can throw in a bag or two of frozen (but thawed) corn kernels). Then cook up some rice and fill a bowl with about 1/2 rice and 1/2 beans. You can top it off with raw onions or cilantro or cayenne or a squeeze of lime (or all of them) TOTAL YUM! After you're done munchin', get a few plastic bags or freezer containers and put about 1 1/2 - 2 cups of the black beans & sauce into each bag/container, seal them and put 'em in the freezer (you'll likely have 4-5 containers/baggies to freeze!). Then whenever you want some, all you have to do is warm it up and put it over rice.
jboy, I've always known that you're going to make it through this - the only thing that's ever concerned me is that you'd (understandably) try to cut too quickly and end up either crashing & burning, or having to start totally over. I'm tellin' you honestly, at your weight and with your symptoms it seems very clear to me that you NEED a break from cutting your dose (and it's obvious at 5'10" and 120 pounds that you MUST stop cutting long enough to feed yourself adequately). The absolutely fastest way out of benzo hell is to use strategy blended with your incredible willpower. You've got the willpower for sure, and your strategy has been reasonable, for sure. But I'm looking at the battlefield and it looks like the benzos are getting the upper hand. So you need to change your strategy!
By adding back a few mgs and taking a break from cutting you can refuel your body (while stockpiling even more ammunition/fuel) and train yourself how to cook/make more ammunition/fuel when you get back in the fight. Making sure your body has enough fuel/ammunition to keep living & fighting (and continue living & fighting until you win) is a strategy than cannot do anything but make you stronger and even more capable of winning!
'Need recipes? I've got more in my head than most people have in their cookbooks! (lol, although I don't 'cook by exact measurements'. And I'm sure if you'd post 'that you need easy recipes' that you can make in advance (along with what you can eat and what you like to eat) that a whole bunch of folks would share their favs.
Battle Strategy!!! Take a break - restabilize the troops - get some meat on their bones (and get more stockpiled in their bodies)...and get that cook a little better trained so he can keep 'em "fed & fighting" when they're ready to get back onto the battlefield! Oooh-rah!
Blessings aplenty --
According to the Ashton Manual and all the benzo-withdrawal experts, the withdrawal/dosage guidelines have always been: "cut 10% of the current dose every two weeks". It is recommended to never go 'faster' unless one is absolutely sure there's no problem, and most people either choose to cut slower (or symptoms force them to slow down and/or take a break from withdrawing and/or up the dose to restabilize before withdrawing further).
This "taking a break from withdrawal" along with going back up a few milligrams is a COMMON & NORMAL part of benzo withdrawal. It is very typical and it doesn't mean anything in particular...except that benzos are THE most insidious & addictive of all chemicals ever created. Some people sail along making very large cuts very quickly and then out of nowhere...BAM...they have to increase their dose slightly and lay-off the withdrawal for 'a time'.
I recall that your doc was familiar with the Ashton manual/protocol (which is why it was so easy for you to get the xanax-->valium perscription/switch), so why he'd suggest you were withdrawing too slowly (no such thing), and recommend a 2 mg cut on a 17 mg dose (more than 10% of your current dosage) is totally beyond me.
>>>what do i do!!!!!...i won't deal with this for 2-3 years i'll put a bullet in my head i swear to you.<<<
Awwh, jboy, d*mmit-all, I understand (so much!) what you're feeling and experiencing! You have every right to feel all the frustration & despair that you're feeling...you really do. I'd give anything if I had a 'magic herb' or protocol that could take away the road you must travel and the battle you must fight to win this victory. But I don't...as they say on ALL the benzo-support forums: "the only way out is through"...
What do you do?
--The very first thing you must ALWAYS do is ensure that you have enough Valium 'on hand' to withdraw at the rate that your body can live with. The absolute worst-case scenario is that your doc would force you to withdraw faster than your body is able to handle. So, if I were in your shoes right now, I would definitely be sure my doc had a copy of the Ashton Manual and be pointing out/highlighting the sections where it's clearly written that a "10% reduction from the current dosage" is the MAXIMUM dose cut that should be made every two weeks.
--Do whatever you have to do to accept the truth of your situation. No battle is ever won unless that foundation is firmly in place. You ARE going to win! The truth of your situation is that you were prescribed and became addicted to benzodiazepines, and that if you attempt to 'cut' faster than your body is able to tolerate, you will get weaker and your withdrawal and recovery will be much longer & much more difficult. I'm sorry this is the truth, but it IS the truth. And once you accept that, you will be able to start creating a successful & victorious strategy (and life). You've now proven that 'Strategy I" has ended with you so unable to function that you're unable to prepare enough food to nourish your body adequately (you're starving yourself).
I don't know if that's because of the benzo-reduction being too fast (or the side-effects are too harsh), or if it's because you're choosing to use what 'leftover energy' you do have in a manner that doesn't support your withdrawal (or a combination of everything). I k-n-o-w know & realize that socialization and 'getting out with friends' IS a healthy part of life & living...but if the choice is "socializing or starving', then you have to accept that making sure that you're nourishing your body adequately is the choice you need to make. And making that choice will ensure that (in the future), the 'leftover energy' you have after working 60 hours a week CAN be used for your enjoyment.
I know you do not want to 'put a bullet in your head', jboy! We've all come to know you as the talented and vibrant spirit that you are...and you are needed, loved and wanted by your family, friends and this entire world. If you want to make sure that this stage of your life 'sails by' in the shortest amount of time, you CAN make sure of that. But if you try to force your body to do it in a short amount of time, you will end up dealing with the consequences of those actions...and that means a longer and more frustrating withdrawal.
So I suggest hitting the EFT with phrases like: "Even though I want to be off the Valium faster than is working safely..."; "Even though I'm SICK of this and wanting it to be over..."; "Even though I'm at the end of my rope..."; "Even though I swear I'm going to put a bullet in my head..."...etc., etc.
I also suggest going to all the benzo forums and reading all the success stories. There are thousands of people that have walked in your shoes (and worse) and made it through. You NEED to know how they did it and what they experienced...so that you can create your OWN successful strategy.
Right now, your body is starving for nutrition; it's starving for a break; it's starving for TLC and it's starving for your love & compassion. Take the time to give it what it needs (and take the time to feed your mind with the truths & winning strategies of others that have been where you are), okay? You can do it, jboy...I know you can!
All my love -