Some reminders for myself that I thought I would share:
1.Accept the pain/suffering. Lean into it.
2. Accept the change that is happening in your life because of this or before this....
3. What shadow material is coming up. Work with it. Don't ignore it. Face it. Gently.
4. Don't unpack too much emotionally but stay connected to the ultimate lesson or purpose here. Finding meaning and purpose will help me get through anything. Sometimes we don't know what that is for years to come, but it will emerge.
5. Ask yourself--is this good for my recovery before you take any action, make any comittment, or say yes when you might mean no. This is a time for healthy narcissism. This is a time for complete self-love.
6. Forget about your looks right now. Don't worry about your clothes, your hair, your skin whatever. It will all come back into balance when your brain and body heal.
7. Visualize yourself well everyday. I imagine myself doing cartwheels, yoga, hiking in nature, playing with my children and making out on a desert island. Imagine yourself in pure bliss, enjoying life to the fullest.
8. Do what you can to be comfortable---reduce hours at work or quit if you need to. Try to get up and do one different thing everyday. Even if it means going in the yard and looking at a flower or listening to the birds.
9. Listen to 15 min of comedy everyday. Laugh. Laugh Laugh.
10. Turn the music on. If you can dance, try to dance, Or just put on your favorite music and imagine yourself dancing and free.
11. Cry. Let yourself be vulnerable. Remember THIS IS NOT THE REAL YOU. THIS IS YOUR BRAIN ON THIS POISON. THIS WILL PASS.
12. Listen to positive words, spiritual prayer, meditation, talk to god, angels, spirits, nature, your higher power.
13. Once you have a comfortable taper, stop going to doctors unless there is a medical issue you are very concerned about. Likely it will make you feel worse because they minimize or deny this experience or make you feel like you have multiple diagnosis or you will never get well. We are getting well everyday. People heal from strokes, brain injury, so many issues. What would make us different?
14. Stay off forums, find your friends or support and minimize your time there. Personally it feeds my fear comparing symptoms and progress. We all have symptoms, best not to be scared by them.
15. Try to find a quiet place to sleep. I am considering moving to get time and space away
16. Consider joining a support group in your area if there is one. Be coached or counseled by people that understand and others that have been through this themselves.
17. Savor the good days, the good moments, the good windows.
18. Try not to write the end of the story. You don't know if you will end up in acute, you don't know how long it will take to heal, you don't know where this will lead you. Stay open. Try to stay positive. It will be what it will be.
19,.Meditate meditate meditate. Get foot massages or have your friends or partners massage and ground you through your feet.
20. There is no other way out but through, much like giving birth. The only way out is through. Trust that you are giving birth to something new--a new awakened you, a new way of living, thinking, feeling, acting. This experience will forever change you but it doesn't have to scar you. It can renew your love of life, love, simplicity, and inner peace. Every moment will be appreciated when you are through this.
I just had a consult with Bliss Johns or Baylissa Frederick, the famed benzo angel who wrote Recovery and Renewal and several other books. I am sure everyone knows who she is and she said she has counseled over 8000 people in benzo withdrawal and noone has died and everyone has recovered! Hallelujah. It's hard not to try to write the end of the story.
After kindling and shocking my system and having protracted symptoms last year (before I had any idea what was happening to me) I am so so scared of what will come.
Today has been a good day though I am operating on little sleep. I alternate between overly fatigued to amped and back and forth again and again. These mood and energy shifts are common and definitely not who I was prior to this situation. I am going with it and today I did not check benzo buddies site at all! Victory to me! I actually went to a doctor recently who wrote on his prescription pad "Benzo Buddies is NOT YOUR BUDDY".
It was kind of funny. Now look, it's been a life line and I have talked to some fantastic people on there and there is nothing like talking with someone who totally GETS IT.
You cannot get this if you haven't experienced it, sorry. You can empathize, you can be a good friend, but you can only understand if you have experienced benzo terror or the mother of all symptoms AKATHESIA. Bliss had a rough go of it, and she has committed herself and her life to help the lives of others. She is a true angel walking this path shining a light for others. She has a wonderfully soothing voice and is a reassuring person with good common sense. I will be setting up some further calls with her.
In the meantime, we cannot predict what the outcome will be. Today, it's like this and it's a pretty good day. My family is out of town and I only have to look after myself. I hate to admit that I like my family being away. It feels so much to juggle the daily tasks of life with this sort of physical unpredictability. But I feel good today. I am meditating each day, laughing with my 15 minutes of comedy, staying away from forums for now, and staying away from the rabbit hole of chasing other diagnoses and other symptoms. I have discomfort trust me, But right now it's manageable, and who doesn't experience physical discomfort?
We will see what happens as I truck downward. I am using Gupta's STOP STOP STOP to stop myself from telling myself scary stories. I am REALLY good at making up dramatic scary stories in my head of complete and total life ruin. Bottom line is, have faith, all will come together in time. The body and brain heals. Keep remembering that this isn't YOU, this is your brain in withdrawal.
Years ago when I was struggling daily with chronic pain I found this book by Norman Cousins. He came down with some unknown illness and was hospitalized unable to walk for over a year. I think it took him several years to recover. His book is about his own healing and he discovered an innate wisdom in the body/mind. He was given large doses of vitamin C and began listening to comedy day in day out. All the best comedic tv shows and movies ( I forget when the book was written).
So, part of my healing strategy is to listen to comedy you tube videos and movies every day for at least 10-15 minutes.
Comedy has always been a saviour to me. As you can see, I like dark comedy. I like raunchy comedy. I like Chris Rock, Louis CK, Sarah Silverman, Little Britain, Richard Pryor, Eddie Murphy and many more...
If you are offended by any of the comics, please pass them on. This is an experiment in joy and laughter. Try to listen and watch comedy every day. Check out that book by Norman Cousins. It took him several years to heal, but he did it and he did it through laughter!
I know many of us have many heavy things going on in our lives, prior to withdrawal and because of withdrawal.
Even if you are in the depths of darkness, let these guys and girls break you open so you can laugh hysterically :)
It's the best medicine there is.....
Someone who found themselves accidentally dependent and suffered an iatrogenic injury from medications that were prescribed. Sharing experience, strength and hope with others. This is written as a person on this winding path and NOT as a professional. Please contact a licensed professional for any medical/psychological care or advice. This is NOT a substitute for medical or psychological care. What is written here reflects my own personal experience ONLY.