Life in benzo withdrawal is far from ideal. There are so many things that we can’t do like we used to be able to do. Even things like going out to lunch with friends, watching a movie, or even driving to the grocery store, are tasks that we may feel that we are not able to perform. The secret to navigating this new (temporary) life is to let go of your ideal and to discover and aim for what is possible.

What does possibility look like? Instead of saying to yourself, “I can’t go to lunch with friends,” you say, “I’ll go to lunch and sit by the door in case I need to leave if I become overwhelmed.” You allow yourself to go and explore the possibility that you can get through it. Or you explore the possibility of cooking and having friends over for lunch. Or you use a food service app and have lunch delivered to your home. Better yet, you suggest a pot-luck lunch.

When I lost the ability to work in benzo withdrawal, which was my ideal life, of course, I turned my gardening into my daily endeavor. It wasn’t the incredible career I had pre-withdrawal, nor did it bring in an income. but it was what was possible for me to do. My gardening became the fuel that kept me going. It was what helped open my heart. It was what created healing relationships. Sometimes, letting go of our ideal and embracing our possibilities opens some amazing doors in our lives!

Almost everyone in life has a time when they can’t live their ideal. Whether that has occurred due to illness, financial woes, a natural disaster, war, etc. it doesn’t matter. We have to let go of what we’re used to being able to do and to become creative to find what we can do with our new limitations or boundaries. It’s about shifting our perspective. Pining over the loss of our ideal keeps us stuck in victimhood. That hinders true healing. When we shift our focus to figuring out what is possible, we not only open up our lives, we begin to feel more victorious. We are able to feel more gratitude, which is incredibly healing. We may not be able to do X, but we realize we can do Y and we are grateful for that.

True recovery is more than our GABA receptors coming back online. True recovery is about how we view the world. It is about how we take care of ourselves. If want to heal and thrive in life, we must be mindful of how we view the world. Do we see all that we can’t do or do we see all that we can do? Do we grieve and complain abut the unfairness in life, or do we practice gratitude for everything? Do we set the intention every morning to take good care of ourselves or do we ignore what we know helps us to heal?

Your possibilities are far more powerful and healing than you know. Embrace what you can do. You will find that once you recover, your ideal life may be better than ever because you’ve developed so much through embracing your possibilities.