My coaching withdrawal clients who live alone usually have a tougher challenge. Withdrawal is a time of such deep vulnerability. The long sleepless nights seem to be the toughest hours.

If you are in benzo withdrawal and live alone, here are some things you can do to reduce your suffering and have more peace. One of the best things you can do for yourself is to connect with people. We are social creatures. Our brains do not work at their best when we are alone for too long.

  • Ask at least three people to be your “life line” you can call at any hour should you need reassurance. These can be friends, loved ones or members of the benzo withdrawal community you have grown to trust. Don’t worry about being a “bother.” Call when you need help. Know that one day, you will “pay it forward” and help some one in need.
  • If your health permits, get out among people as often as you can. Immerse yourself in other things besides withdrawal. Life is going on all around us. If you are bed bound or house bound, invite trusted friends and loved ones over for a visit, even if it is brief. Don’t worry what the house or you looks like. It doesn’t matter. Connecting to others is vital to good mental health.
  • You can call and speak to someone for a prayer request at Silent Unity, 24 hours a day. 1-800-NOW-PRAY (1-800-669-7729) Just hearing someone pray for you helps the dark moments.
  • Plan your day. Wake up with a goal in mind of things to accomplish. Create structure, even if it only to shower, eat and read a book. The trick is to feel you are in charge of your time.
  • Break the rumination cycle. When you find yourself in the mental hamster wheel, say “Stop!” and redirect your thoughts. Get busy with an activity, or call and ask how a friend is and listen!
  • If you can not get out, hire a grocery delivery service or ask someone to buy your groceries when they are shopping. Make sure you have fresh fruits and veggies on hand. Eating clean is important.
  • Take care of your personal hygiene. It can be tempting to lounge in your bathrobe day after day, but the psychological benefit of getting dressed, even if it is to put on sweats, helps lift spirits.
  • If you work outside of the home, connect with people as much as possible. Listen to their stories.
  • If your health permits, join a yoga or meditation class.
  • If you belong to  a religious organization, do your best to particulate.
  • When symptoms flare, surrender to them, and know in your heart, you are healing.
  • Create a Benzo Free Journal. Write down all the things you are going to do when you are healed.
  • Keep an “I can” journal. Daily log  what you can do. Even if it is simple, “I can brush my teeth.” Focusing on what you can do, as opposed to focusing on what you can’t do, helps us feel better.
  • If you enjoy nature, put a bird feeder where you can sit and watch the birds.

If you are a withdrawing and live alone, what things are you doing to make sure your isolation doesn’t increase your depression or keep you from eating well? Please post a comment and share you ideas with others.

Sawa Bona,

Dr. Jenn