I couldn’t find my computer glasses. I looked high and low for them. Considering that my little cottage is just that, little, it seemed odd to me that my glasses had just up and vanished. The next day, I woke up and my distance glasses weren’t on the nightstand where I normally leave them. Again, I looked high and low, but nope, no glasses. Now, having a rather creative mind, it concocted a story about the dog named Davey who comes in every day to curl up on my bed and visit with me. He belongs to my landlords, but leaves their house and mosies on over right around breakfast time. On most days, he has a ball or a toy of some sorts in his mouth. He carries things all over the property. The story my thoughts told me was that Davey must have taken the glasses and carted them off somewhere. I mean, what else made any sense, right? Glasses don’t up and disappear on their own. Or do they?
The truth is, yes, they do! I finally applied some logic to the situation and remembered that I had taken off both of the glasses while reading a book on my bed. I pulled back the bed covers and there they were, tangled up between the bed and the wall. Davey hadn’t helped himself to them after all. I chuckled at myself and my storytelling abilities. What a whopper that story was. Who would have suspected a labrador retriever as the glasses thief, other than me?
The moral of this story is that we tell ourselves crazy stories, and sometimes, we believe them, no matter how preposterous they are. The human brain is a make-meaning organ. We fill in the blanks, even if what we fill them in with is irrational or illogical. When we are in benzo withdrawal, our brain can make meaning out of our symptoms and circumstances that aren’t reflective of the truth. We may tell ourselves that we will never get well. We may tell ourselves that we are an outlier, an anomly. Others may heal, but we surely won’t. We tell ourselves that we are going to suffer the rest of our lives, and that nothing will be good in our lives ever again.
If you are telling yourself such a story, please do as I had to to in searching for my glasses. I had to look again to discover the truth, that the dog had not run off with them. Please, look again at your situation. Look at the facts, the truth, which is we all heal. In time. Just as Davey isn’t a glasses thief, benzo withdrawal isn’t a thief that will steal the goodness from the rest of your life. You will recover! In time.
A good way to cope with our disturbing stories is to simply observe them. Don’t argue with them. They will fight back harder and more powerfully. Don’t ignore them either as they will jump up and down on the sidelines to get your attention. Meet them head on, but with a detatched attititude. Just observe. I used to tell myself, over and over, and over again, “It’s just my benzo brain.”
You are healing. You will one day be out of benzo withdrawal. And then, you may make up crazy stories about other things, like most of us do, but you’ll have the tools to use to cope with them.