I’d stand in the kitchen and crush my one-milligram clonazepam tablet and carefully put it in the water I had measured. I was doing a liquid titration, which made me feel like some crazy chemist. The counter was littered with beakers and syringes. If a stranger had popped in, I am sure they would have thought that I was a drug addict, not someone desperately trying to get free from a drug that they had taken only as prescribed. I’d plunge they syringe into the water and pull out what I wasn’t going to ingest. “Take that, you beast!” I’d say as I squirted the liquid from the syringe into the sink. I was the boss, not that stupid pill. I’d show that damn pill who was in charge. No way was it going to win.

Of course, in the end, I did “win”, but that pill whooped my ass for a long time, which brings me the title of this post: Getting Benzo Free Is A Dance. For those of us who treated it like a contest, where we pushed our willpower all over our taper, going too fast because we were damned and determined to “show that pill who was the boss,” we paid a price. Those who took their time and listened to their body, and didn’t let their egos get tied up in the process usually fared better.

A dance with a partner is a cooperative endeavor. There’s a leader, sure, but the leader takes cues from his or her partner. It’s not an “It’s my way or the highway,” situation. We can be the leader in withdrawal, but we’ve got to take cues from our body. We’ve got to listen very well and honor what it is telling us. We’ve got to respect that the pill we are trying to get free from is powerful. We’ve got to untangle ourselves from our benzo gracefully. We don’t fight it. We gently work our way free.

If I could go back and retrace from of my steps in benzo withdrawal, I’d redo my taper. Instead of trying to bully my way free, I’d dance. I’d ever so gently untangle from the clonazepam I took for so many years. I wouldn’t view my taper as a “fight”, something I had to prove, something I had to “win”. I’d see it for what it was, a chance to practice extreme self-care and love, and to be kind and compassionate with myself. Fortunately, I learned how to do those things once I was off. I guess it’s better late than never, right?

Dance. Don’t fight your benzo. Gracefully untangle yourself. Lead, yes, but listen to your body. There is no rush. You’ll get free. In time.

 

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