Generosity goes a long way in benzo withdrawal.
Many people around us ask: What can I do for you?
Instead of really searching, thinking, many scurry away in fear. They feel helpless to our immense suffering, They are possibly even disgusted by it.
I've mastered the art of faking it. But if you really pay attention, if you really look into my eyes, you'll see what I'm covering up. It's there in plain sight, it just depends on if those around you are paying attention or not.
I fake my way through life. Then when I get in my car, close the doors, the breakdown comes. The panic comes. The relentless OCD thoughts appear.
How the hell am I going to make it out of this alive?
For me, this panic comes because of the sheer intensity and relentlessness of my physical symptoms.
So how can you be generous to someone in benzodiazepine withdrawal?
1. Don't wait until someone ASKS for help. Just perform random acts of kindness.
It is very humiliating to be this disabled for so long. I am speaking for myself. I was always independent. I made my own money, paid my way through school, worked several jobs at once, owned a successful business, parented, traveled the world etc. It is horrible asking for help. I hate it. I hate any kind of attention like that. This is the ultimate lesson in receiving....
Words of advice: Just DO for the person, Do what you can: cook a meal, get them flowers, visit them or take them on a drive, sit and rub their feet or try to watch a show together, give them a place to stay, write them a check if you have the money to spare, or just LISTEN with no judgement, no expectation.
2. Don't create more stress in this person's life. I understand their behavior might be erratic, it might be unkind, it might seem selfish, or withdrawn. For once, don't make it about YOU. They have zero reserves. I mean ZERO. This is a brain injury. They are disabled. Just make it about them, and take space when and if you are getting resentful. Cut them some slack.
3. You might need to pick up the slack with parenting, with the finances, with basic tasks of daily living like paying bills, running a household, driving them to appointments, helping them collect their medical records. I know this is a lot. Just pick one thing that you're good at and offer to help your benzo injured friend with this. If you're a great organizer, come organize their kitchen or bedroom. If you're great at dealing with insurance companies offer to help with that. Use your skills any way you can to advocate for your benzo injured friend.
4. Provide calming physical touch. Offer to have a reiki practitioner or massage therapist come to their house if they are bed bound and housebound. Just simply hold their hand. Keep them company and give them much needed hugs,care and understanding.
5. Be curious. Ask questions. Not in an interrogative way but in a curious, open way. At this point I sound like a conspiracy theorist when it comes to Big Pharma and benzodiazapines and believe me, I am not. But it is really hard when you know what you are dealing with is REAL and it is being denied by the people around you or if they are too afraid to do research, watch you tube videos and understand this injury a little better. I get it, People have their own life. But it really doesn't take that much to be generous. No one is looking for grand gestures, just small acts of kindness go A LONG LONG way.
For example, a fellow therapist that I don't even know that well commented on my benzo fb posts. He said he had some ideas he wanted to share with me. I was really touched that he wanted to share some thoughts and referrals with me.
That is really all it takes folks, just a little attention goes such a long long way.
Remember also how important it is to continue to fight for yourself and do small self care tasks daily to keep your mind and body sharp. Don't give up on hygeine, taking out your trash, cleaning your house if and when you can. All of this can help one feel better to be in an organized space. Can you detect any OCD here? LOL. Do as much or as little as you can and pace yourself.
The other day I was in my home and my husband who has been taking on the brunt of the parenting and working at the moment was sick with a cold. I stupidly went on a manic cleaning binge and vacuumed and wiped down the entire house. It's this painful feeling of false energy that takes over and at the end of it my entire body was left vibrating and my head pressure was so bad I'm about ready to go to the ER. I prayed for sleep, and tried to calm my CNS for the rest of the evening. The next day I was too sick to see my children. When will I learn?!!
I was never one to pace myself. I over did EVERYTHING. I over worked, I worked out incessantly, I saw too many patients, slept too little, didn't see my children enough, shopped too much and had a life that was totally out of balance.
Now life is forcing me to slow down whether I like it or not.
And I don't like it one bit.
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.