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.
This is a great post! Especially the pause suggestion. I am 17.5 months and in a 5.5 month awful wave. However, when I refocus on the present moment and persevere I get through another day of hell. Thank you for your posts and all you do for those of us in the midst of torture. God bless
Thank you Jennifer, another wonderful supportive post! This: “come back to the present moment. Say instead, “I am healing!” was one I really need to hear right now! It is so great to have your support during this time! Dan
Hi Jenn, Thank you for a really helpful post. As you know I am in the middle of the dreaded “6 month wave” and it has made me loose lots of positivity and direction. I could not believe that my existing symptoms could get any worse yet the unpredictable nature of them has left me worse. But thankfully you had written a blog not long ago regarding the “6 month wave”, so I was armed with the knowledge that this is “normal” I don’t know what I would do without your help! Like Dan I will say to myself ” I am healing” and practice living moment to moment.
I am so humbled by your commitment to getting us through this journey, you are always completely honest and supportive, and I thank God everyday that I found you. You have been my compass when I am lost.
Love and Hugs Across the Pond
Thoughts, Prayers and love to all x
Hi Jennifer, ok now I’m getting a little scared. I will be completing 3 years in 5 days. I have been looking forward to this milestone because I thought your wave from hell occured at 30 months and lasted about 6 months. That would have put you at 3 years and then you felt healed. My journey has mirrored yours a lot. I know we’re not supposed to compare our healing with others but we do it anyway. I guess we’re hoping. So could you please clear up the timeline for me? You posted your success story at 2.5 years but then said you had a horrible 6 month wave, which would then put you at 3 years. I know I’m nit picking but every day counts in withdrawal and recovery. I just want it to end YESTERDAY. Still battling anhedonia and fear, in addition to other ‘physica’l symptoms. Thank you for your encouragement. ♥ Angie
Angie. it’s been so long since I was in that bad wave, that I may have forgotten the exact month. Suffice it to say, I was in my third year of healing. Don’t compare my healing to yours. You will heal in your own time. Don’t nitpick over time on someone’s story. Your story will be your own! Keep healing! You’ll get here.