My recovery was hell, I’m not gonna lie. While tapering, my benzo withdrawal symptoms were debilitating. After my cold-turkey, they were unimaginably horrific. I never thought I would heal. I suffered for years. But ever-so-slowly, as the years passed, I got better. Then, at three years off, I got hit with a wave that shook me to my core. Any healing I had done seemed to vanish into thin air. I was certain that I was damaged and doomed for life. I didn’t think I’d make it. But I did make it! Now, I have a great life. What helped me cope with years of recovering and that last wave from hell? These five P’s helped me a great deal.

The power of words. That’s the first P: power. I know we don’t have a great deal of control over the words we think in withdrawal, but we can control what words we speak. Choose the words you speak carefully. Your mind may be filled with doom and gloom but you don’t have to share those thoughts so frequently. Respecting the power of words helped me to use my words to create a better environment for my healing.

The present moment. When you find yourself projecting into the future and saying negative things like “I’ll never heal,” come back to the present moment. Say instead, “I am healing!” Remember words are powerful so use their power for good! Which takes us to the third P.

Positive builds, negative destroys. I know it’s a challenge to have positive thoughts in withdrawal; the negativity is a withdrawal symptom. But that doesn’t mean that we can’t try our best to sneak in some positivity! Be mindful of how much negativity you speak. Do your very best to ignore the negative thoughts you have. Keeping your hands busy with a creative endeavor may be helpful. The mind will often follow what your hands are doing.

Pause. When you are overwhelmed, stressed, panicked, baffled, befuddled, etc., take a moment and pause. Take a deep breath. Exhale slowly. Stay in the present moment. Look around you. Get grounded. Next, you may want to use the fifth P.

Pray to whatever you believe in. Take this present moment to share what is in your heart as honestly as you can. Prayer doesn’t have to mean that you are asking for anything. Prayer can be just a simple confession of what’s in your heart. Building a relationship with that which is greater than yourself helps us in so many ways!

The five P’s: 1. the power of words. 2. Speak (think) positive things. 3. Stay in the present moment. 4.Pause when upset. 5. Pray to whatever you believe in. Those are the five P’s that helped me in benzo withdrawal and help me now to create a great life! I hope that they help you to better navigate your life during benzo withdrawal and beyond. Remember, we heal. Your brain is putting itself back together again even as you read these words.