When The Beach Boys song Good Vibrations came out in 1966, I was only eight years old, but I understood it meant love and happiness—excitment. Aren’t most of seeking “good vibes” in life? Except that there aren’t good vibes in benzo withdrawal. Good vibrations that is. Real vibrations. The kind that move through our body and jangle our central nervous system and kick up our withdrawal symptoms.

I know, some of you will leave comments saying that vibrations don’t bother you. You’re able to vacuum, mow the lawn, or hold onto your Vitamixer as you watch your berries swirl themselves into a smoothie. I’m glad that whirring, shaking, rotating things don’t bother you. But, they bother a lot of us. And we do well to leave them alone.

I was just weeks shy of six years off my benzo when I had my setback. I was driving across the USA by myself. I pushed hard, driving 700 miles some days. The vibration of the car, plus the constant stimulation to my brain, set me up for a return of benzo withdrawal symptoms. I understand how crazy that sounds—ridicuosly unbelievable—that vibrations can put us into a wave or even a setback. (Heck, most of benzo withdrawal sounds unbeleiveable—that a little pill that can cause such bizarre symptoms!) But it’s true. Vibrations really can increase our symptoms.

Yesterday I used a random orbital hand sander to strip a small tabletop. I was aware that it might kick up a wave of symptoms, but I wanted the tabletop ready for new stain. (I’m refinishing a lot of secondhand furniture I bought for my new home.) Sure enough, this morning I woke up and had a definite increase in the symptoms I still have remaining from my setback. (Thankfully, those symptoms are only physical, which I can easily manage.) I won’t be using the sander again for a bit. I’ll let my central nervous system settle down before I work on any more furniture. Nor will I be using my weedwhacker or lawnmower any time soon. (And jackhammers are completely out of the question!)

What can we do if we’ve experienced an increase in symptoms from vibrations (or any other cause)? We rest. We reduce stimulation to the brain and body, and we allow our nervous system to calm down. We tell ourselves the truth—that our wave is temporary and that it will fade away. We don’t worry about the future. We stay grounded in the present moment. (I usually put on a Pandora station I’ve made called Healing Sounds and lie down for awhile. The music is soothing and helps me relax.) We do all the other things we know that help us heal—eat clean, avoid stress, avoid things that work on GABA, utilize good self-talk. etc.

One day we will be able to live our lives without the restrictions we have in benzo withdrawal. The receptors that were damaged by the benzo we took will repair themselves fully, and we won’t be prone to waves or setbacks. But until then, we take good care of ourselves— and, we do our best to avoid jangling our nerves with things that vibrate. No matter how many benzo withdrawal symptoms you have right now, know that you are healing. Even if you’re in a wave (or setback) from too much activity, stress, vibrations, a viral infection, heat, food, antibiotics, GABA agonists, or anything else that revs us up, know that you will recover. You won’t be in benzo withdrawal forever. It will end, and you’ll be amazed at how good life is after withdrawal. It really, really, is!

 

 

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