This October marks twelve years that I have been a part of the benzo community. Those first few years were challenging: tapering, bedridden, cold turkeyed, psych ward, etc. A whole lot of fun. Not! I’ve been doing my best to help people throughout my healing journey, using my doctorate in psychology, post-doc social neuroscience studies, and my lived experienced, along with the stories I’ve heard from so many others.
I’ve created online courses, Facebook groups, and a live support group to help because I care about you more than you know. For all the years I’ve been in the community, it’s been my policy to answer emails, texts, Facebook messages, and WhatsApp messages from anyone in the community who needed help. I invited and encouraged people to reach out. Now, I can’t. I don’t have the extra time as there are so many messages. But more than that, I am dancing on the edge of burnout. I listen to, read, and respond to so much suffering seven days a week. I can no longer enjoy time to relax or enjoy my family without someone in distress reaching out to me. And I GET IT! I do! I was there, too, for a long time. I know I drove Baylissa, Geraldine, and Matt crazy with my emails and calls. I was desperate for help. So I understand.
But I also understand I have to do something for my well-being. I need to step away from answering questions about symptoms, giving reassurance, etc. I am happy to answer questions about my work or support group, but please book a coaching session if you have questions or concerns about your symptoms, tapering, etc. If you need urgent medical help, please get it ASAP. The same goes for mental health care. Reach out to someone you can trust to talk to. The National Suicide Prevention Hotline is 800-273-8255.
I’m still offering one-to-one coaching Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. You can book any available time slot. I’ve added urgent sessions on Monday evenings from 5:00 to 5:30 p.m. and 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m, Thursday mornings. (The cost is double my usual fees.) You can sign up for an urgent session if available; you do not have to ask permission anymore. I will not be offering any other times for urgent sessions.
I pondered a long time about writing this post. I don’t want anyone to feel I am upset. I am not. I am just tired. I need better work boundaries. I want to be there for everyone, but I can’t be. I need to take care of myself, just as I always encourage everyone else to do.
If you need ongoing support, I encourage you to join my Mornings With Jenn support group. It’s a wonderful, positive, loving group of people. We are a unique group. I am proud of all the members; everyone is incredibly compassionate.
I am creating a few online courses for benzo withdrawal and the medical community. (The book I’ve been working on (for years!) about benzo withdrawal is turning into a course.)
Thank you all so very much for understanding. I love you very much. I know you are hurting, and I want to be there. I can be there on my normal coaching days, Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, the Monday evening and Thursday mornings for urgent sessions, and my Mornings With Jenn support group, 9 a.m. Pacific, Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, (and my courses I’ll teach).
Outside of those times, I cannot hold your hands as I used to. Please take good care of yourself, and know that benzo withdrawal is just a season. We do heal. You will, in time. Keep going!
From my heart to yours,
Good for you. It is important to tend to your own health and well-being. Thank you for all you have done for those withdrawing from benzodiazepines.
Morning Dr Jenn,
I just wanted to share with you that I am now 63 months post 15 years of taking benzo’s daily and now living life to the full again.
I wanted to thank you for getting me through this when the medical community turned their back on me when I needed them most.
You were my guiding light in the darkest nights and I slept with your blogs under my pillow to help me to feel safer.
When new symptoms came, I checked your list and accepted them.
I will never take another benzo in my life and although I still practice acceptance, I cannot believe that benzos are still prescribed, humanity deserves better.
My life has changed in such a good way, and I am forever thankful to you for raising awareness and supporting the benzo community until their healing happens.
I would not be writing this if I had not found you.
Love & hugs accross the pond
In my heart forever ❤️
Jenn – No one has served the benzo community more selflessly than you, for as long as you’ve been doing it. I’m glad you stated what you need. You said it with love and grace, and no one should fail to understand your position. I am so grateful for all you’ve done, and for what you continue to be willing to do for us.
Thank you, Jeff. I feel sad to not be able to continue to receive texts, emails, etc. as I want to help everyone. But I am teetering on severe burnout. I hope everyone understands. The past two weekends I’ve had serious family obligations and my phone pinged dozens of times, and I’d take time to read and answer. I realized I’m not able to be present for my family anymore as I receive too many messages 24/7. One day I had 8 people asking for an urgent session for the same evening! I had to decline them, I had already worked a full day, but some got upset with me and implied that I’m not a caring person for turning them down. Yikes! The emotional toll of trying to be available for everyone has gotten to me. I’ve had sloppy boundaries for years. it’s my own doing. Time to take responsibility and clean it up, or risk my health. I am relieved that peopled understand. I’ll be keeping my communication to business hours. I can’t imagine what a weekend of enjoying my family will be like without my phone pinging, but I’m excited to find out. 🙂
I am so glad that you are feeling better, with positive changes in your life! It will continue to get better, I promise. I’m 10.5 years off and although I’m healing, my life continues in an upward spiral of all good things. Life is precious. I love you. Thank you for your kind words.
You are most welcome. I’m not done yet. :). Just need some clean boundaries with communication. I’m excited about the courses I am working on. Coming soon, I hope. Take good care of yourself.
We completely understand that setting these boundaries are good and necessary for you and your followers. Do stay strong in realizing your limits. If you go into burn out, I might plunge into a wave (just kidding)!
We love you. Be well. You’re only one [truly remarkable and exceptional] person .
I was wondering how you could even attempt to reply to emails and messages from all the various sources in addition to what you already offer with your coaching sessions and “Mornings with Jenn”. Absolutely it is the right thing for you to do to set work boundaries so you can enjoy your life.
You have done so much for so many. I want you to enjoy your free time and your life. Setting boundaries to prevent burn out helps you, and also you lead by example – it teaches us the importance of setting boundaries too.
I love that you are making online courses. I think that is a great idea! So very grateful for you.
Thank you so much for your comment. I am so happy for you, for how far you have come. Reading your post made my day 🙂 You are an inspiration.
Hi Jennifer I submitted a comment a few days ago ,but it hasn’t showed up.im not sure if I did it right. So I’m trying again. I want to thank you for all of your caring support you give all of us! I was in tolerance and interdose withdrawal for about 2 years and now I am almost 6 months off xanax. This whole experience has been brutal and continues to be so! We have alot in common and I’m a 63 year old grandmother like you. Unfortunately I’m terrible with technology and don’t do Facebook or virtual. I’m hoping that you will continue your blog because it helps me so much to read it. Your positive, encouraging writing helps me and I’m sure many others feel not so alone! Please take great care and enjoy your life!God’s blessings to you and all!
I don’t see a comment from you earlier. All comments are held for moderation. I want to make sure they are appropriate. I will continue to blog. I am also creating online courses for people in benzo withdrawal and for the health care community. I am excited!
Thank you so much! I probably didn’t submit it properly. Thank you for all of your help!
Well done! I applaud you for this. I’m so thankful for all you offer to our community and honestly, it makes me feel even better to know that you are taking the best possible care of yourself. You are truly a gift.
Thank you for your kind words! I have to walk my talk. Stress-less is the third cornerstone of well-being. I sometimes slack on it. 🙁 But eventually, I course-correct. I hope you are doing well.
You are 10.5 years out and still not completely heal? I’ve read that Matt Samet isn’t healed either. This is discouraging.
Not sure where you get the idea that I am not healed. I have been well for a few years now! I feel great! I changed my contact policy because I am overwhelmed with the volume of mail. I get hundreds of questions and cannot keep up. It has nothing to do with my health. It’s a time situation.
Have you thought of taking on an assistant? Isn’t there someone you know who is well, who has some credentials, and would be happy to assist you? That seems like it might be better than leaving a bunch of people with nowhere to turn.
John, I’m not leaving anyone in the lurch. Anyone can book a coaching session or join my support group. My blog is always here as are my YouTube videos. I no longer answer tapering or symptom questions outside of coaching or my support group. I was getting hundreds of questions a week that came in 24 hours a day that I answered for free. It was not a sustainable business model or healthy for me. I wish I could help everyone the moment that they need it. But I cannot. I try my best to share free blogs and videos that help. I am available either one or one or through my group coaching Monday through Friday and Sunday! I’m here to help.
In reply to Karen’s comment because I was curious. I haven’t followed Matt Samet’s story much at all. I did see an interview with him somewhere from as recent as Dec 2021. It appears that he is still rock climbing??? How would someone still suffering from withdrawal symptoms be able to do this?
I had vertigo early on. Woke up with it pretty bad. Now it’s diluted down to “boatiness” that comes and goes. I’m not fully knowledgeable of Matt’s symptoms or his story, but I can say that at this point, I can’t even look at someone on the television set standing on something tall, like just a high building on a patio, without thinking: “Wow. wonder if and when I will ever not feel the dizziness when I walk on a bridge or ride an escalator” – let alone go rock climbing.