There have been a few life-changing realizations in my life. One of them—perhaps the most life-changing—was the realization that I was either for myself of against myself. I had the choice to decide how I wanted to respond to my thoughts and feelings. I couldn’t always be in control of what bubbled (or quickly burst) up in my nervous system, but I could pause and make a decision as to how I wanted to respond. That decision would either be for me or against me. Every thought, feeling, and action we have are either for us or against us. That is a vital key to reducing our suffering in benzo withdrawal, and hopefully, shortening our recovery as much as it is possible to do so.
Common thoughts in benzo withdrawal are “I’ll never heal.” “I can’t cope.” “I can’t…(fill in the blank), “No one understands me.” “I am all alone.” “I’ve lost everything.” Those thoughts work against us. They add fuel to the already burning fire of our excitable nervous system. Those thoughts are generated by that very same excited nervous system, and we aren’t in control of the thought’s generation, but once they make themselves known, we can decide how we want to respond to them. This is where we have the chance to be for ourselves, not against ourselves. We can choose to respond to negative thoughts that appear by simply observing them and allowing them to pass through us. We can choose to not believe the negative things they tell us.
When we don’t allow our threat detection circuitry—our limbic system and adrenal glands—to run our lives, we are so much better off. Our threat detection circuitry fires often in benzo withdrawal, however, there is usually no real threat. But our adrenals convince us that we are doomed. Don’t allow your adrenal glands to make you their bitch! Choose to respond to the doom and gloom thoughts with thoughts, feelings, and actions that are for you, not against you. Be as kind, gentle, compassionate, and loving to yourself as you can be. BE FOR YOU!
Today I challenge you to get a piece of paper and a pen. On the upper left-hand side of the paper, write FOR ME. On the upper right-hand side write AGAINST ME. Go through your day paying attention to your thoughts, feelings, and actions. Write them down under the appropriate heading. If you add a thought, feeling, or action to the AGAINST ME side, ask yourself what you can do to change whatever is necessary so that it is for you.
I know we are not ourselves in benzo withdrawal. We are frightened. Overwhelmed. Needy. Despondent. If can feel that life is against us. I assure you, it is not. You are safe. You are healing. You will recover. Help your nervous system settle down by being for yourself, not against yourself.
I share polyvagal theory, as well as spiritual teachings that help us regulate our nervous system and ultimately rewire it. If you want help in learning how to be for yourself, not against yourself, please join my Mornings With Jenn support group. I am live on Facebook, Wednesdays and Fridays, 9 AM Pacific, for 45 minutes or so. You can ask any questions and share any concerns. But the focus of the group is on solutions, not staying stuck in the problems. Can’t join us live? Watch the video later at your convenience. The cost is $59 a month for 6 hours total time with me and written content designed to help you heal and thrive!
Please note: my coaching fees will increase on February 1, due to the rising costs of doing business. I’ve avoided raising them for a few years, but need to do so now. A 15-minute minute quick check-in will be $40. A half-hour session will be $60. An hour will be $120. Some people want to connect with me outside of my normal business hours (9 AM – 5 PM Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday), that I am making available after hour sessions for urgent needs BY PERMISSION only. Please text or email me to see if I will be available. (I am not available on Sundays.) My time to answer non-coaching client’s emails has grown considerably shorter. Please be patient if you have emailed me and I haven’t responded. If you have a burning question, feel free to book a quick check-in session with me. Thank you for allowing me to continue to be of service. I am very grateful to be a part of your healing journey. And yes, you WILL recover.