The reason I haven't been on benzos for very long is because it was only about a year ago that I finally realized what was wrong with me. I've known for as long as I can remember that "something" was wrong, yet as intelligent as I am, I had no way of describing what was wrong.
Insonmia is a problem that's run through our family for (at least) four generations, and nobody has ever been able to figure out why. In hindsight, you could tell there was anxiety and other issues as well, but we were normal enough and productive enough that nobody really seemed to notice. Now, with the insomnia, other people in my family have tried sleeping pills and other antidepressants before and they failed miserably. I even had a sleep study done, and they concluded that it was due to my weight (barely considered overweight by BMI, even though lots of that weight was muscle). I knew that was crap, because in my early teens I was about 150lbs, couldn't sleep. At my absolute biggest, about 250lbs, couldn't sleep. At my current weight range, usually between 205 and 215lbs, couldn't sleep. That's when some super crazy OCD kicked in and I found out what was wrong, "Seratonin deficiency". On the list of 14 symptoms, our family had 13 of them.
But getting back to the benzos thing, nobody ever knew I had anxiety problems, not even me (mainly because I had no way of describing what was wrong, or so I thought). When you lack any real emotion, anxiety really doesn't show at all. It was only after I started taking antidepressants that the anxiety really showed, and that benzos killed that anxiety. I realized this when Ativan was prescribed to me to try help me get to sleep while I was on Zoloft, since I had trouble getting to sleep, but was fine once I got to sleep. Ativan was useless for that, but at this music festival I was at I was as socialable as I've ever been because of the lack of anxiety.
That was in the summer last year. Only twice have I been able to get benzos out of my doctor. I got Valium in the fall last year (not prescribed), and it was better than Ativan at killing my anxiety, and didn't have amnesic effects. Both times I've gotten prescibed a benzo it's been Ativan, even after asking for Valium.
Just recently I moved, and my anxiety started going up again. Getting the doctor here to prescibe me a benzo took like 30 minutes of convincing, and even then he only gave me 20 pills of Ativan, when I would've preferred Valium. So yeah, when it's a ***** even getting prescribed benzos its hard to be on them for a long time