by Amy Gaither
Leading up to W-BAD 2017 my boyfriend and I were trying to strategize an effective means to spread the word about the dangers of Benzos. I give my longtime boyfriend the credit for coming up with the flyer idea.
Innovative, creative “pull-tab” flyers
Amy and her boyfriend created these flyers in the form of Amy’s personal story and email address for anyone wishing to reach out for emotional support. Pull-tab flyers created by Amy with W-BAD information and directing people to w-bad.org can be found here.
I learned how to add the tear-offs at the bottom from a short YouTube video. I printed out 50 copies of my flyer and used discretion from my higher power in where these flyers should go. I approached business owners and asked for their permission to hang my flyer. I only had one refusal – a law firm.
With each business owner that I requested permission from, I received different responses.
Some were in utter shock that I was the “stranger” in the flyer. Some became emotional as they read the flyer. Many embraced me with a hug. Most business owners offered to hang the flyers for me – I refused.
I had my duct tape on me and wanted to hang them myself for two reasons:
- I wanted to make sure they actually got hung.
- With each flyer that I taped – healing occurred.
Tears flowed profusely as I was forced to feel the pain that Ativan has caused me – both physically and emotionally. At one particular shop I had an all out break down. I had to sit down for several minutes before I could continue with another piece of tape. With each piece of tape, healing took place: as I stared at each flyer as I drove away – I said goodbye to a chunk of pain. At the end of the day- I felt like I had literally run a marathon. I ran through a downtown area in 90 degree heat as I sprinted to the end.
Places where flyers were hung and conversations began
I asked for one gift. I asked for one email to hit the Gmail address that I set up. If I personally received one email then it was all worth it. That gift was given to me about a week ago. This individual is now on their road to recovery and will become another Benzo survivor – just like me.
On July 21, 2017, someone reached out for help via email. For privacy reasons, their name will remain anonymous.
I wanted to hear more about your story and how to fully get off benzos as I was falsely prescribed Xanax to go to sleep at night, took it for a year and now when I try to not take it I have way worse anxiety all day long when I never dealt with this in my entire life.
The Linear Trail
I’m ending my day here. This is actually the longest running linear trail in the United States. It’s called the Linear Trail. Hopefully joggers, walkers, whoever, can go ahead and see the flyers.
I am early on in my own personal journey to getting off of Benzodiazepines – but I will survive this fight! I refuse to let this drug control my life. I will no longer be a victim of this drug. I have many dark days. I would not wish this struggle on my worst enemy, but participating in W-BAD 2017 was very healing and I am grateful to be a part of a loving community that wishes to spread the danger of this class of drugs.
Amy was born and raised in the northern suburbs of Atlanta, GA. She relocated to Connecticut in 2009 for Graduate School. In 2011, Amy earned her Master’s Degree in Industrial and Organizational Psychology. Amy was diagnosed with PTSD in 2011 as a result of kidnapping and attempted homicide by an abusive ex-boyfriend in Georgia. Currently, Amy works in the sales of Employee Benefits. In July of 2017 Amy earned her Series 6 License and plans to sit for her Series 63 in the next month. In her spare time Amy enjoys gardening, the outdoors, and DIY nails. Amy is an avid lover of music and in her darkest hours music brings Amy peace and healing. Amy is also a proud Christian, and strongly leans on her connection to a higher power.