I hope you had a Memorial Day filled with family, friends, and fun. If you are still in the clutches of benzo withdrawal, you may not have been able to enjoy yourself very much. You may feel even worse today, after a day of excitement. When you are healing from the damage caused by a benzo, even good stress, called eustress, can freak out your central nervous system. That’s Incredibly unfair, I know, but it’s what we have to contend with. In benzo withdrawal, we pay a price for simply enjoying ourselves. And, of course, we pay a price for eating foods that rev up our symptoms.
If you feel as if you are in a bit of a wave today, it could be from being engaged in too much activity, the heat, emotional upheaval, or your Aunt Patti’s potato salad that was laced with MSG. I remember years ago, reading a thread on BenzoBuddies.org about people having setbacks after attending Fourth of July parties. Everyone pointed their fingers to different foods as being the culprit. I rolled my eyes. Come on, how can a hotdog make you worse? I thought. That was before food about knocked me on my butt after each meal. Once I experienced the increase in withdrawal symptoms that some foods brought on, I totally understood the concept of food sensitivities in withdrawal. I believed the people that had a hard time after they ate.
And that my friend, is one of the biggest challenges we face in our healing. It’s not the MSG. It’s not the preservatives, food colorings, additives, or GMO’s that are our biggest challenge. It’s the disbelief of our friends and family that hurts the most. It’s the disbelief of the medical community, the very reason we are so damaged, that grieves us so. I suggest to my coaching clients to avoid trying to get people who haven’t experienced this type of brain/body damage to understand. It’s humanly impossible for someone who hasn’t been here, to understand. I suggest that they find a really good network of people who love and support them, and are willing to stand by them as they heal. Your support team doesn’t have to understand your suffering; they just have to understand that you are suffering. Also, joining a benzo recovery group that is positive and hopeful, can help you navigate through the challenges as you heal. (Avoid the ones that are high on drama.)
If you are in a wave today, please hold on. It will pass, in time. Find ways to distract. Keep your hands and your mind as busy as you can. Be kind and gentle with yourself. Shower yourself with love and acceptance. Take it easy. And whatever you do, don’t let go of the belief that one day, this healing journey will come to an end. Life will be, once again, so very sweet! And the best part? You won’t have to worry about the sweetness revving up your symptoms!