One of the best ways to make tapering more peaceful is to reduce drama in your life. That means being clear about your boundaries with others, your own limitations and your reactions to stress. Know your stress patterns. Know what sets you off and avoid those things as much as possible.
As most of you know, my taper hit a really rough patch. I didn’t see it coming and was not prepared for it. It scared me and my doctor. I was so overwhelmed that I turned the forum I had created over to someone who has been benzo free for some time. I also stopped coaching, as it was too hard to be fully present for people.
Looking back, I realize I was overly optimistic about how much I could do while tapering. But that is part of my nature, I always think I am superwoman. A character defect at times, other times a mighty strength. This time, a character defect as many of you were depending on me to show you the way so to speak and I myself got lost. Hindsight, I could have reduced drama by not plowing ahead, and instead, waited until I was benzo free and healed. What drama might you nip in the bud that may backfire and hamper your healing?
Another way to reduce drama is to get a firm handle on what you believe. You can’t stop negative thoughts, but you CAN choose how to respond to them. You can believe them or not. The more you chose to NOT buy into the negative thoughts that usually kick up a lot of drama in your life, you rewire your brain. Literally. For the better.
A personal example of this is I recently thought to myself, using the creation of the blog as evidence that I don’t “walk my talk,” meaning I take on far more than I should. felt miserable about it. Anxious. Then I choose to believe the positive things I know about myself. I have them listed on a 3 by 5 card. They are my “reality check” as I go through the emotional upheaval of withdrawal. The moment I decide to NOT believe the negative thought, my whole body relaxed. My racing thoughts stopped. I was calm. I was calm enough then to make the decision that needed to be made to ensure my health. You can do this too. Write down on a piece of paper or a 3 by 5 card how you feel when you are in the flow of things and feel great about yourself, your work, life etc. You can write a word, a sentence, whatever. Write as many as you can.
The next time you think a negative thought, BE AWARE of it and then read your list out loud to yourself and remind yourself the negative thought is in side of you but it is not you!
It’s a challenge to not allow drama to overtake us while we are in withdrawal. Our brains are highly excitable and our limbic system (the fight or flight part of the brain) poised to spring into action every moment! But you can calm down some of the drama by avoiding actions and situations you know will cause stress, and to allow the negative thoughts but to NOT BUY INTO THEM! (Don’t try to stop them, you can’t and to try to stop them just causes more stress!)
I know many of you are suffering terrible withdrawals. I can’t promise that using some of the tools in this blog will lessen your symptoms. But I do know when you change your attitude to one of feeling more positive, peaceful and loving, you strengthen your resiliency. I write those words not just for you, but for myself as well. I need to remind myself to keep a positive attitude and to choose peace over stress and drama. In actions and thoughts.
See you next week with another tool to think and feel more peaceful.