When the wheels of the wagon started coming off, so to speak, when I was tapering, all I wanted was for the withdrawal symptoms to go away. I’d have made a deal with the devil, if I could have, to be free from the suffering of benzo withdrawal. Thankfully, deals with the devil are mostly Hollywood lore. I didn’t have to trade my soul with some scruffy scoundrel in the back of some smelly dive bar. If I had, it would have been a huge mistake, for obvious reason, but also for a reason perhaps not so obvious.

I wanted to be free from benzo withdrawal. But what I didn’t realize at the time was that true healing wasn’t just about getting over withdrawal symptoms. True healing meant that I had to heal the trauma/wounds that propelled me into the office of a psychiatrist in the first place. I had to heal myself, my entire being, not just my nervous system. How in the world would I do that? Hadn’t I spent year and years working with therapists to talk about my traumas? It hadn’t done much good, as I ended up on anti-anxiety medication after all those hours of spilling my guts.

As time went on after I was off the benzo, and my brain and nervous system began to settle down, I knew what true healing was all about. It wasn’t about talking. It was about doing.  Doing things for others. Eating the right foods that nourished my body. Moving my body more. Avoiding stress. And loving well—fully opening my heart to the wonders and mysteries of life and all the beings here in creation.

But I couldn’t do any of those things very well until I did one very important thing. I HAD to learn to love myself. That was the key that unlocked the doors of true health and happiness that I had never been able to open before. Learning to love yourself isn’t difficult. It starts with making the decision to love yourself and being aware of your daily thoughts, feelings, and actions. Are they in alignment with love and compassion for yourself?

As you stand at the edge of 2019 and peer out onto the horizon of 2020, what do you wish for? Do you wish for your benzo withdrawal symptoms to go away, or do you wish for true healing? If you wish for true healing, I hope that you will take the steps necessary to learn to love yourself—to treat your body, mind, and spirit with care and compassion. I hope too, that you will eat right, move more, stress less, and love well. If you’d like to start the New Year off learning how to better accomplish these things, please join my Mornings With Jenn support group. I’d be honored to help you move forward with actions that result in true health. Here’s to a New Year and a new you! A wonderful new decade to fill with love, laughter, and true well-being.