One of the questions I am often asked by people seeking information about benzo withdrawal is, “How do the thoughts about the things we fear go away?” I used to wonder that myself. I had obsessive thoughts about death and dying in benzo withdrawal that lasted from the moment I woke up to the moment I went to sleep. Even then, I had nightmares about dying. My thoughts sent ice-cold terror through me. Sometimes, I’d shake for hours I was so frightened. I couldn’t understand how thoughts that powerful were going to fizzle out and not have any emotional impact. But that’s exactly what happened. And that is what happens for the vast majority of us who recover from benzo withdrawal. The crazy, intrusive, fearful thoughts, fade away. We get control of our thoughts and our emotions. If by chance a strange or fearful thought does manage to creep into our consciousness, we simply brush it away.
Today I explained the process to a friend of mine. “Think of GABA receptors as controlling the drawbridge to your fear region of your brain. With enough working GABA receptors, the drawbridge is up. No crazy, scary, oddball thoughts are going to cross and enter the kingdom. But in benzo withdrawal, with so many GABA receptors damaged, the drawbridge is down. Every thug of a thought crosses over and plunders the kingdom. And there isn’t much you can do about it except watch and accept. But, as your receptors heal, your drawbridge slowly goes back up. Only a handful of the hardiest fearful thoughts can jump up high enough to swing themselves onto the rising bridge and get across and into the kingdom. But eventually, the bridge is up all the way, the kingdom is secure even from those thoughts.
Sure, once in a while, after you feel healed, a rogue thought will bravely swim the moat and make it into the kingdom. But by that time, you’ll be so thrilled to be back in charge and leading a normal life, that you’ll pay it no attention. It won’t disturb you in the slightest little bit. (You’ve survived benzo withdrawal! Not much will bother you.)
If you are plagued with intrusive, scary, crazy, horrible thoughts, know that they won’t last forever. Your drawbridge is down right now, that’s all. But as your brain recovers, it will rise back up. You’ll be in charge of the type of thoughts you want to entertain and no longer will fear be attached to your thoughts. You won’t be tortured by intrusive thoughts forever, just like you won’t suffer from all the other benzo withdrawal symptoms forever, either. We do recover. In time.
I’d like to add to this post that I am creating a private group for anyone who wants to incorporate their spirituality in their healing. Healing With Love will be a members only group and will also include a forum where members can interact with each other. Healing With Love is a spiritual place, not a religious place. It is open to all who believe in God as they understand God, their Higher Power, etc. It is not the place to debate religion, but rather to strengthen your own faith in what you believe in order to help you heal. If you’d like more information, please feel free to contact me with any questions. I am hoping to start the group July 2 if there is enough of a demand. The cost will be 39$ a month. You’ll receive Monday through Friday videos, a weekly webinar/meet up, posts just for members, and the ability to share with others and myself in the forum.