I'm so sorry you're feeling so bad and having so much pain. Try not to let this get you down. Actually, you're doing pretty good for a person who has taken Ativan for 8 years. It's unheard of that someone can take it for that long and it be effective, and to keep it at such a small amount.
Do you feel like it's actually become a true problem for you?
I don't know, but it almost sounds like it wouldn't be such a bad thing for you to continue to take it. Unless you feel like it's controlling you, or becoming problematic in your life.
I trully have never heard of anyone taking Ativan for that long without really abusing it.
But that's gonna have to be a call you make for yourself, of course.
Please don't let this upset you. It's part of taking many meds that control discomfort. And many times it's very warranted.
Alot of people here really need the pain relief, and like you said in your post, have gotten their life back from medication.
I guess you just need to look at the pros and cons of using it and decide for yourself really what's better for you...with or without.
Hope you get to feeling better!
P.s. Have you checked out the chronic pain board?