I retired in 2012 and thought I would be spending my time meeting friends for coffee and lunch and travelling the world.  Well, a bit of it at least.  I did manage to fly to London and New York to enjoy the music of the best rock band in the world – The Rolling Stones.

Then life came to an abrupt halt.  I have spent the best part of five years in bed suffering from protracted benzodiazepine withdrawal syndrome or a benzodiazepine-related brain injury which is a more accurate description and all because my GP suggested I stop taking nitrazepam, a drug which I had taken for 40 years for myoclonic epilepsy.  Withdrawal has been a dreadful experience but had undoubtedly been made slightly easier by the fact that my symptoms have been predominantly physical. I have not had to endure the terrible anxiety, panic or depression that many others suffer.

In fact I am now largely free from depression for the first time in four decades and I no longer suffer from epilepsy.  I now only take prescription medication for hypothyroidism.  I am however left disabled as a result of withdrawal and require a walking frame and wheelchair outdoors.  My memory is also adversely affected and my ability to process speech and written text.

I hope my website can offer some hope and inspiration for anyone who is suffering from depression or who is enduring benzodiazepine withdrawal.

Enjoy the music!!

“It is never too late to be what you might have been.”   George Elliot


32 Responses to Welcome

  1. Hi Fiona, congrats you look good, like your web site…just came by to say hello.
    all the best hen….lots of love and Sauerkraut from Claudia. xxx


  2. Nicola Morris says:

    Hi Fiona, its lovely to see you and hear your fine Scottish accent. You look lovely and have done so well. Nicola xx


  3. Jewels says:

    Fiona so nice to see you in person. I dream of a world where no one is ever prescribed these meds. Thank you for giving us hope!!! ❤️ Jewels

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Lorna Milton says:

    Very proud of my ‘little sister’ as you’ve soldiered on for years with no sign of self pity. The last two years must have been a nightmare and we just can’t wait for the day when you can come and stay with us again xx


  5. Greetings Benzo Buddy, thank you for getting the word out.


  6. Aft35 says:

    Hi Fiona, Your work here and in the media gives me hope that our youngsters may indeed grow up to live in a world that is benzo-free. Won’t it be incredible if they never have to know of any other way to be?…Thank you, and you have my support and gratitude.


    • fhfrench says:

      Thank you so much, Aft. And thank you for popping into my website. I just hope the TV broadcast attracts some public interest here in Scotland. Take good care of yourself.


  7. Helen says:

    Dear Fiona – It’s almost a year ago, since we met on a forum for those who were bedridden whilst enduring the inhuman condition of Protracted Benzo Withdrawal, and in this time we have shared pain, tears, frustration and latterly a little laughter as we begin to, hopefully, see our progress into recovery getting nearer – It’s been a long hard journey every step of the way, but one made so much easier with a friend like you to keep me company – Thank you.
    I wish you success in your brave endeavour to bring .this dreadful experience to public attention.in the hope of saving others in the future from having to go through this hell.

    luv & Hugs,



    • fhfrench says:

      Hi Helen. Lovely to see you on my website. Yes what we have endured has been horrendous but we have never lost our sense of humour, well not for long anyway. We will keep getting a little bit better every day even though we don’t even know it. Lots of love. Fiona xx


  8. Kate Davis says:

    I am happy to have found kindred to go through this
    time of my life with. I’m alone and the boogie man lurks.


    • fhfrench says:

      Hi Kate. I am glad you have found my website. Believe me I have been in despair many times and have lost hope at times. It is only natural. To be unable to function physically or cognitively is a double blow. One would be difficult enough. The cognitive side is the worst I would say. I am so happy I can use my brain again. I don’t mind still being in bed because I can occupy myself quite well now on the laptop. I think for us older folk it is more worrying to lose our cognitive abilities though I see many younger folk terribly worried too. Look forward to chatting again. And do share my experience with your family if that will help. I cannot believe what I have had to go through in the past two years.


  9. Betsy Scala says:

    Hi: So nice to see your face after so much time on BB. I follow your posts and you are a trooper! I wish I could be like you. Good luck with the press. TY
    Betsy aka benzogirl


  10. Marian says:

    Hi Fiona,

    It was nice to see you on my FB. I have been spending all morning looking through many postings, benzo articles etc. What a wonderful feeling to find people with the same problems.
    as am sure a lot feel isolated with this condition. You are doing a great job and a big thank you. It is hopefully a turning point for me as it will be for many others.
    Bless you. xx



  11. guedjdal hand says:

    thank you very much fiona for your nice nice video which gived me a hope ! i m on withdrawel of valium cold turkey since 14 months i m 59 years old from kabylia (algeria ) i was on valium about 20 years.the symptoms are very hard but you are for me a exemple of hope !god bless you from me ! my name is hand !


    • fhfrench says:

      Hello Hand. I am sorry you are having such a hard time. 20 years is a long time to be on valium. It is a very difficult process to get off these drugs but I am still improving, just very slowly. God bless you and I hope your symptoms will get easier very soon.


  12. wendy caron says:

    Hi Fiona,you inspire me to keep going and fight the good fight.You are so real,and I so appreciate that!!.wen


  13. betsyscala says:

    Hi Fiona: Glad to see you here. I will also see you gain on BB!



  14. Jason says:

    Hi Fiona! Thought i would have a wee look at your blog! You are an inspiration and a gem!!

    hopefulscot 🙂


  15. Having read this I thought it was extremely informative. I appreciate you taking the time and effort
    to put this content together. I once again find myself spending a lot
    of time both reading and posting comments. But so what, it was still worth it!


    • fhfrench says:

      Thank you so much. It has been an extremely useful way for me to spend my time whilst recovering from benzodiazepine and antidepressant withdrawal and I hope it will help to raise awareness.


  16. bennotzogood says:

    Really enjoyed reading this. Thanks for sharing. Check out myvaliumstory.org, I hope you find as interesting as I found yours.


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