Benzodiazepine withdrawal symptoms can be challenging. (Understatement, I know!) One of the symptoms that people ask about is the sense that they are living detached from others. They are stuck in their own thoughts and feelings. I used to feel as if I lived behind a veil that I always wanted to lift. I wanted to be able to go from one activity to the next without the hyper-awareness of my thoughts and actions. I wanted life to feel fluid again. We call the sense of isolation and detachment the “benzo bubble.” I wanted to pierce the veil, or rather, burst the bubble, and be a part of the world again. Living in the benzo bubble caused me to feel intense jealousy.

I’d watch people walk by my garden. They’d smile and wave. I’d return their cheeriness, but all the time, my heart would ache. I was jealous that they were living in a world where they weren’t tormented by their thoughts, feelings, or their body. I’d see couples holding hands, and my heart would break. I was jealous of anyone who could feel love. My brain was only capable of feeling either negative emotions or a chasm of darkness. I was stuck living with the constant chatter in my head about everything I thought, felt, or did. It that was exhausting. I was jealous of everyone out living their lives without the mental gymnastics I had to go through minute by minute.

There isn’t much we can do about the benzo bubble other than to realize what it is and to know that one day, it will burst on its own and we will emerge from its confines. We don’t stay in the benzo bubble forever. I am no longer jealous of anyone. The incessant chatter is silent. I go from one activity to the next effortlessly and easily. I’m not hyper-vigilant. I’m not aware of my being aware. I’m no longer in the benzo bubble. I’ve burrowed down into the lusciousness of life. You will too, in time.