I’ve always loved the John Denver song, “Back Home Again.” I sang along with it as it streamed on my Pandora station as I made my way back from our family farm in Georgia. Thankfully, no one was in the car with me, so I didn’t hurt anyone’s ears! I drove 2,500 miles in four days. Traveling cross country alone gives one a lot of time to think. It also gives one the opportunity to have to push through the intense wanting for the long journey to end. It’s sorta like benzo withdrawal in that way. There were many times I wanted to blink my eyes and instantly be back home, away from the 18 wheelers rumbling past me on the curvy mountain roads I drove at a snail’s pace. It was a good lesson in acceptance and patience, and self-care, too.
Getting through benzo withdrawal takes a lot of patience and acceptance. We desperately want the journey to come to an end so that we can get on with our lives. However, we forget that what we are experiencing in benzo withdrawal IS our life! It may not be the life we particulary want, but it is what we’ve got to deal with. That’s the “trick” to manuvering our way through benzo withdrawal; dealing with what we have on our plate this very instance. We don’t look back at what we had and feel regret, and we don’t look ahead and feel anxious. We live each day in the moment, coping with whatever symptoms(s) we have at the time. And, we practice extreme self-care. We do what we need to do in order to survive another day.
What can you do today to cope with your withdrawal symptoms? Do you go outside and garden (as I did for so many years)? Do you take a walk? A warm bath? Do you call someone who understands and ask them to listen? Do you find ways to distract with creativity? Or, do you find ways to be of service to someone else, so that you aren’t focused on your own suffering? As you decide on what you can do to cope with what’s on your plate today, use these six words as a good tool for discerning the best outcome: “What is the most loving response?” What is the most loving thing for yourself or others that you can do? On my third day into my trip, I wanted to push a bit farther, and cover another fifty miles. But I was tired, and my driving skills were decaying by the second. I asked myself “What is the most loving response?” The answer was plain and simple, “Stop for the night and rest.” My ego wanted so much to keep going, but I knew the most loving thing to do for my brain and body and the safety of those around me was to get off the road and into a warm bed. The most loving response might be contrary to what your ego wants, but that’s okay. We don’t always have to give into the demands of our ego!
Now that I am back home, I’ll be working in the Pacific time zone. The office number is 650 372 5880. Feel free to leave me a message, or to book a coaching session through the new scheduling calendar. I’m still working on my benzo book. Hopefully, it will be out this fall. I’m looking forward to writing more blog posts here to help you cope with your symptoms, and to help you move forward once withdrawal is over. Let me resassure you that we do heal. In time. I was convinced that I would be broken forever. I was sure that my life was over. In so many ways, it’s just starting. Life is so good. Know what else is good? Being back home!