Benzodiazepine withdrawal can be a challenging time. Coping with benzo withdrawal/BIND symptoms can be exhausting, requiring much effort. Physical symptoms can be very frightening, stirring up intense health anxiety. But the emotional and spiritual symptoms can be equally scary, especially when we lose our sense of self, identity, and purpose. We may feel that we have nothing to hold onto. But we can foster a sense of purpose—ballast for our healing journey—with a few simple activities. Whether you are bedridden or able to move around, finding ways to cultivate a sense of hope and meaning during your recovery is essential. In this blog post, we will explore various ways you can find purpose, even amid disabling withdrawal/BIND symptoms.
Connect with others
Building connections with others can provide a sense of belonging and purpose. While you may be physically limited during withdrawal, consider using technology to stay connected with friends, family, and support groups. Video calls, social media, online book clubs, and forums for your interests or hobbies can be great ways to stay in touch and build community. Connection is a biological imperative; it is a have-to-have, not a nice-to-have.
Learn something new
Learning is a powerful way to engage the mind and find purpose. It gives you a yummy burst of dopamine, which feels good. Even if you are bedridden, you can still explore new topics and ideas through various mediums. You might choose to read books, listen to podcasts, or watch YouTube videos or documentaries. Choose subjects that spark your interest (or used to spark your. interest) and feed your curiosity. I learned how to become a better gardener during benzo withdrawal/BIND. I also learned how to draw by watching YT videos.
Engage in mindfulness practices
Mindfulness can help you navigate the difficulties of benzodiazepine withdrawal/BIND by fostering a sense of acceptance and self-compassion. Practices such as meditation, deep breathing, gentle stretching, or yoga are helpful and can be done in bed or a chair. By focusing on the present moment and allowing yourself to experience your emotions without judgment, you can develop a sense of inner peace and resilience.
Express your creativity
Creative expression can be a powerful way to find purpose and meaning during challenging times. Consider exploring different artistic outlets such as writing, drawing, painting, or playing music. Even if you have never engaged in these activities before, you might be surprised by the sense of satisfaction and accomplishment they can bring. Creativity can be an effective way to process your emotions and make sense of your experiences during benzodiazepine withdrawal/BIND.
Keep a gratitude journal
Gratitude is a powerful tool for cultivating a positive mindset and finding purpose. By focusing on the aspects of your life that you are grateful for, you can shift your perspective and foster a sense of hope. Consider keeping a gratitude journal and writing down three things you are grateful for each day, even if they seem small or insignificant. This practice can help you recognize the goodness that exists in your life, despite the challenges you are facing.
Set realistic goals
Setting achievable goals can provide a sense of direction and purpose during benzodiazepine withdrawal. While it is important to be realistic about your physical limitations, consider setting small, attainable goals that can give you a sense of accomplishment. Breaking your goals into smaller steps can make them more manageable and help you maintain motivation.
It is essential to treat yourself with kindness and understanding during benzo withdrawal/BIND. Recognize that your healing journey may be difficult at times, and it is normal to feel overwhelmed or discouraged. Allow yourself the space to heal, and remember that progress may be nonlinear but slow but steady. Practicing self-compassion can help you maintain a sense of purpose by focusing on your well-being and recovery.
Seek out sources of inspiration to help you stay hopeful and motivated during your withdrawal. This might involve reading inspiring books, watching uplifting movies, or listening to music that resonates with you on an emotional level. Surrounding yourself with positivity can serve as a reminder that you are not alone in your journey and that there is hope for a brighter future. You might also find it helpful to create a vision board filled with images, quotes, and affirmations that inspire you and help you stay focused on your goals.
Be of service
Being of service to others can be an effective way to find purpose and meaning during your withdrawal process. (It takes the focus off of self, and where there is self, there is suffering.) Even if you are bedridden, there are ways you can offer support and encouragement to others. Consider writing someone a letter (remember how nice it felt to receive a handwritten letter?), creating a scrapbook or photobook, adding a positive comment on a social media post, or simply listening with an open heart can be of enormous help to someone. If you are up for it, you can reach out to others going through benzo withdrawal/BIND and offer support, but be mindful of how it affects your nervous system. Service to others doesn’t mean becoming a doormat or a martyr. Keep healthy boundaries.
Reflect on your values
Reflecting on your core values and what truly matters to you is helpful. Consider creating a list of your values and the aspects of your life that bring/brought you joy and meaning. This exercise can help you clarify your priorities and guide you in making decisions that align with your true self. By focusing on your values, you can cultivate a sense of purpose and direction, even during the most difficult moments of your withdrawal. I asked myself, “Who am I?” and, “What do I stand for?” during benzo withdrawal/BIND. I discovered that I wanted to be love in the world and that love was what I stand for. Learning that changed me on an immensely deep level, and that change began even in the midst of some of my most severe and disabling symptoms.
Finding purpose during benzodiazepine withdrawal/BIND can take effort, but it will be a rewarding process. Remember to be patient with yourself during this journey, and know that your resilience and strength will guide you through this difficult time. Embracing a sense of purpose can lead to a more fulfilling and satisfying life far beyond withdrawal/BIND.
Add your voice
Add your voice to the conversation. What has helped you to maintain a sense of purpose? Did you lose your sense of purpose? What are your thoughts and feelings about this symptom of benzo withdrawal/BIND? We’d love to hear from you. Thank you for participating.