January 2020 on
Vulnerability from Beating Benzos Facebook Group...
People in benzo withdrawal are vulnerable. This vulnerability may even lead to updosing, adding further drugs or seeking out that miraculous supplement that doesn’t exist.
The dictionary definition for vulnerability is,
‘The quality of being vulnerable = able to be easily hurt, influenced, or attacked.’
The opposite of vulnerable is obviously invulnerable but also, and far more relevant to members here, are the adjectives bulletproof, indestructible, invincible and strong. These are the attributes that need developing so that you can change the vulnerability, that can be the default mode when tapering or in recovery, from a weakness to a strength.
Vulnerability can therefore be turned into your greatest strength. But how?
It’s not easy but it is possible as you learn more and more how to help yourself through the worst times. Everybody here has come this far, found the group, and is therefore determined to recover. That’s a brave start. Now it’s necessary to decide how best to help yourself. This will be different for each of you but the most obvious is to prevent fear developing by choosing to accept and not to fight. This alone will make you stronger.
Educate yourself to the full on all aspects of Benzos and their withdrawal.
Understand why you were first prescribed them and learn how to deal with this once free of drugs and no longer rely on that little pill.
Don’t believe all those labels for different illnesses that your symptoms may be given, that’s just others searching to verify symptoms and refusing to accept their true origin.
Try not to ‘treat’ symptoms with all that may be suggested as you can’t treat symptoms of recovery because they need to happen to bring you to full health. Treating them could be stopping recovery.
Always be aware other people can play into your vulnerability as well giving triggering accounts of their own withdrawal. Please skim over these as these people are not you and have their own stories which you won’t know everything about. There is no excuse for showing a lack of compassion towards other vulnerable people but your strength is in knowing that your passage to full health is unlike that of anybody else’s.
So accept your vulnerability and let it become your strength through knowing yourself fully. Every day of dealing with recovery is making you a stronger and wiser person. You are you and there’s nobody else like you. Be vulnerable but through this become wise and aware.
So many controversial opinions on Facebook, so much harm can be done with words that it makes me sad but really this is what happens in real life as well. Facebook and other social media platforms are just putting into print the reality of life.
It’s the same in the world of Benzos. The suffering is put into print, the screams for help are made on groups, members answer with their own thoughts and do their best to help. The crux of all this is that we answer from our thinking and our experiences, then those answers get put into print on a page and can be accessed by others perhaps even years later. We don’t do this with the spoken word as this can be discarded and forgotten but not so the printed word.
Please always be aware of what you write and whether it is likely to help or hinder someone suffering severe problems. Avoid giving any prescriptive advice, be gentle, supportive and loving, remember your words are printed on a page that perhaps thousands of people can read and these words remain on that page for many, many years if that group continues to exist.
The printed word creates images just like reading a novel creates images in your mind. For that reason alone the words you put into print are important for they will create images in the minds of those that read them. Make sure your words are loving and kind and will do no harm.
Just some thoughts from me this morning.
I know this is a label that is applied to such people and I do belong to a group for Highly Sensitive People on Facebook. A definition for this personality is....
‘A highly sensitive person is a term coined by certain writers for those who are thought to have an increased or deeper central nervous system sensitivity to physical, emotional, or social stimuli. Some refer to this as having sensory processing sensitivity, or SPS for short. People may have labeled you “highly sensitive” or “too sensitive” in the past and meant it as a negative thing, but this is not necessarily negative as much as it is a personality trait that brings both strengths and challenges.’
I find this interesting and there are various tick box checks to see if you fall into this category. This is one......
As you can see most of us in Benzo Withdrawal can be described as highly sensitive at this time but what if we were already highly sensitive and then suffer withdrawal from Benzos on top?
I’ve been considering this question for awhile as my own recovery has been so protracted and I was and still am a highly sensitive person with most of the boxes ticked on the above test. If we already have a sensitive nervous system it must become doubly difficult to overcome benzos.
Also, is it because we may be highly sensitive in the first place that benzos are prescribed? This would obviously mean the majority of sufferers in the groups feel bad symptoms because they’re already sensitive.
This is only conjecture but it makes for interesting research. I do think individual sensitivity plays a large part in how we deal with symptoms and react during recovery. From what I’ve learnt being an HSP makes us more compassionate, loving and understanding of others but it’s also going to make us easily upset when other people are suffering and to feel greater emotional and physical pain ourselves. Anyway, I’m just ruminating on this subject really to see where it leads us so please comment. Are you an HSP in benzo withdrawal?
Even highly sensitive people can go on to become stronger,
wiser and calmer with all we learn while in benzo land! ❤️
Anger is a symptom of benzo withdrawal. Whether you are angry at doctors for prescribing these drugs in the first place and causing this to happen to you or whether you are angry at your immediate family and friends for not understanding, it shows itself in many guises.
Anger is a reaction to a feeling within yourself. When recovering from Benzos our whole emotional system is turned up aside down and our feelings are far more intense and perhaps exaggerated. Anxiety is another good example but other feelings such as anger and hostility for another person can become more pronounced and cause some disruption in our lives.
Being human means it’s natural to be angry at times as it’s a healthy emotion which we use to defend ourselves if we feel emotionally attacked or treated unfairly. Anger only becomes a problem when it gets out of control, which it can do while we’re in our fragile recovery state. You may find your behaviour becoming destructive and hurting others emotionally, or perhaps even physically, as well as hurting yourself by hating yourself for what you’re doing or even physically damaging yourself.
Outward expressions of anger show themselves in shouting, slamming doors, argumentative behaviour, throwing things and so on. Inward expressions of anger may cause you to become sulky and silent, even harm yourself physically (banging head etc).
The best way to help control these anger surges is first to recognise them. The physical signs may be churning in the stomach, weak legs, feeling hot and sweaty, dizziness, rapid heart rate and so on. The mental signs may be an inability to relax, being easily irritated or even humiliated, being argumentative, unable to see the other person’s point of view and so forth.
Once recognised you can try some techniques to help control this anger. These techniques are most of those that we also use to control anxiety and any other bad symptoms such as breathing slowly, removing yourself from the situation and distracting, going for a walk or other physical exercise, mindfulness meditation in a quiet room, even hitting a pillow if you feel aggressive towards yourself. Find what works for you but definitely try not to react to the anger and do anything you will regret later because it’s going to pass as your brain calms and you no longer get these anger storms as I call them. All will become calm again and then you can think rationally and deal with any situation that arises with a clearer, peaceful mind.
Over the next few days I will be adding some of the motivational posts I've written on the Facebook, Beating Benzos group....
Once again I say please don’t put a time frame on your recovery as this way can lead to disappointment. I urge you to live one day at a time and not expect symptoms to miraculously disappear after a certain time whether that be weeks, months or years.
There is no time frame for your recovery so please ignore remarks from those that refuse to believe your symptoms may still be caused by recovery from benzos, even years off. I’ve never hidden the fact that my own recovery has unfolded over several years and I’ve been supported in this by others who are protracted and by those who now voluntarily support sufferers through benzo withdrawal after their own recovery. It does keep getting better but it can take longer than may be recognised, even amongst the benzo community sometimes 😢.
Of course get checked if you still have occurring symptoms many months or years off but, also be aware the brain remains sensitive for a very long time even for those who consider themselves recovered after a couple of years.
On a brighter note, you could be well tomorrow. Things can also turn quickly for a few and the worst of waves may be followed by a complete recovery. More common, from my experience, is that waves get lighter and less frequent until they disappear. The time frame for this is entirely individual so please don’t get despondent when you are still suffering after seeing friends recover because you’re still healing regardless of their time frame.
Move forwards one day at a time, don’t look backwards or compare with others as your recovery from benzo damage is unfolding in the time that is right for you. 💜