Anxiety must be one of the biggest problems those recovering from benzos have to face. There are numerous coping tips to divert away from the feeing of anxiety but sometimes these are just not enough. The anxiety returns in full force and the desire to pop a benzo may dominate your thinking. Of course you won’t do this because you will have learnt that way only increases the anxiety eventually.
The easiest and most successful strategy to prevent anxiety overcoming you is to understand what it is, why it’s happening and why you should just sit with it and face it rather than trying to control it.
Anxiety is just a feeling like any other feeling you may have such as happiness and sadness, it doesn’t need drugging. Your own thoughts can give rise to anxiety and cause you to latch on to a behaviour pattern that repeats itself again and again in a roller coaster ride. When you think about it the whole of life is a roller coaster of ups and downs and riding these successfully is how we live our lives. You need to do the same with your anxiety and not try and jump off the ride!
So don’t attempt to escape from anxiety just sit with it and watch it from within. It can’t hurt you and the less you try to run from it the faster you will help it to pass. Wait and watch and let it go. Feel the rapid beat of your heart, the electrical vibrations and buzzing in your body, the sweating, the shaking, the scary thoughts, the nausea and the fear. If you wake at night to feel it at its greatest intensity, perhaps after a nightmare, try and go with it, don’t jump up with fear, lay on your back and breath slowly, watching from within and letting it pass. It is a common and normal part of recovery and needs to play itself out to help you return to peace.
Knowing that an attack of anxiety will eventually pass on its own and doesn’t stay with you forever is calming in itself. Letting it move through you without trying to control it or battle with it is your most powerful weapon towards the eventual lessening of this symptom.