THE LOVELY GRIND

SURVIVING THE WORLD'S INSANITY . . . LIVING LIFE MORE SOULFULLY

Spiritual Inspiration

&

Better-Living Ideas

New "Tools for Healing" Now Available!

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Are you dealing with prescription drug withdrawal and/or high stress levels? Are you looking for support, direction, and a plan? Message me for more info. if you are struggling with Antidepressant Withdrawal, Benzodiazepine Withdrawal, or issues related to chronic stress. There is a way forward.

CLICK HERE TO REQUEST MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THE LOVELY GRIND COACHING SESSIONS.

(Sessions conducted via Skype, phone, WhatsApp, or e-mail)

"“Michael helped me in a way that no doctor or therapist has been able to! His personal experience combined with his optimistic, constructive input and guidance is priceless. I highly recommend his coaching sessions to anyone going through withdrawal.” Shelly, Ohio

"Because of Michael I feel supported and not so alone. It's comforting to talk to someone who has gone through the same ordeal and actually healed from it. The feedback he sends after our talks is very useful and encouraging, and I would definitely recommend his services."

 Kathy, CA

"Michael's Personalized Progress Plan and session notes are extremely helpful; not many coaches online do that sort of thing at all. I would absolutely, 100 percent recommend his coaching services." 

Brooke, OH

"Michael is very encouraging and motivating, and his follow-up notes are invaluable. I would absolutely recommend his services to anyone out there who is going through tapering or withdrawal." Brett, CA

July 2021  at The Lovely Grind

THIS MONTH WE ARE FOCUSING ON

Overcoming
Fear

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“The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” That is perhaps the most famous quote about overcoming fear, and it comes from the 1933 inaugural address of Franklin D. Roosevelt.


So what does that quote mean? Well, when we stop to examine what exactly makes a fearful situation crushing versus survivable, we find that oftentimes it comes down to either feeding the fear or making a conscious choice to focus instead on faith and solutions.


The tough situations in our life usually don’t kill or cripple us; instead, it is the fear about those situations that can shut us down and bring us to our knees.


The tough situations in life will come our way one way or another, but they are survivable with support, faith, and creative approaches.


However, when we are faced with a difficult situation and we chuck everything good into the flames of fear, thus stoking the fire, then the situation can burn out of control mentally and emotionally, robbing us of strength, peace, joy, and logic.


That “out of control,” hysteric state that bows down to fear is what we ought to be scared of—and it is something that we ought to fight tooth and nail to keep out of our lives. For the sake of our health, for the sake of our future, and for the sake of our very souls.


One illustration regarding fear “burning out of control” that I can think of is very personal. Back when I was just twenty-one years old, I began experiencing panic attacks in college. Now, if you’ve ever had one of these panic attacks, then you know just how terrifying they can feel. There is nothing fun at all about a dizzy head, buzzing nerves, stomach distress, sweating skin, a pounding heart, and a racing mind all put together and turned on overdrive.


There is nothing fun about a panic attack. But it can’t kill a person! And ultimately, what caused me the most trouble back then wasn’t the panic attacks themselves (although those needed to be remedied, for sure), but what caused me the most trouble was worrying about the panic attacks beforehand. Anticipating them. Thinking about the fear before it happened, and then fearing the fear itself!


It took me many years and a long healing and wellness journey to learn about proper ways to manage and reduce anxiety, but in a nutshell one tip is to stop fearing the anxiety itself. Stop fearing the fear. Stop fearing the physical discomfort. Stop anticipating the bad and thus creating it in your mind before it even happens.


Find a daily lifestyle that cultivates calm, faith and strength instead, and if and when discomfort and anxiety do arrive, allow those things to arrive as they will and then pass like a fleeting rain shower.


I think that Roosevelt’s idea of “not fearing fear,” is an important one if a person wants to break free from a life that is controlled by anxiety and worry, and here are a few more quotes about overcoming fear, which is really a key concept to being happy, healthy, successful, and faithful.



“Fear is never a good counselor, and victory over fear is the first spiritual duty of man.” Nicolas Berdyaev

We shouldn’t make decisions from a state of fear. We shouldn’t make decisions based upon the “flawed logic” (the confusion) that fear speaks as its language. Fear almost always points us into reckless directions that weaken us and then lead us to additional problems down the line.


Instead, when we are feeling especially fearful and neurotic with worry, we ought to step outside of the storm and calm ourselves down by any means necessary—with exercise, therapy, family support, devotion, prayer, a drive, a happy hour, a weekend getaway, or even an extended break. Then, when we are feeling somewhat more relaxed and logical, we can plan a way forward, usually with the help of someone who is level-headed and loving and can help us to continue to see “outside of the storm.”


Also, this quote points to the idea that victory over fear is so spiritually important because fear robs us of hope, which is at the center of a good spiritual life in the first place. We can find victory over fear by focusing on faith, and faith then increases and makes it easier to overcome fear the next time it rears its ugly head. This idea and practice builds on itself.



“The wise man in a storm prays to God, not for safety, but for deliverance from fear.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

Okay, I have to admit that when I’m “in a storm” so to speak, I definitely pray for safety. I’m only human. However, this quote points to another way. Because it isn’t always the storm itself that makes life so uncomfortable, but it is the worrying, worrying, worrying about the storm and what it might do to us or mean for us. It is the sweating and trembling and screaming that leaves us too weak to even walk to safety. It is the way our muscles tighten and our minds scramble because of fear that lessens our chances of survival.

If we are delivered from the fear, however, we are able to weather the storm and keep our mind, body, and soul intact. During a storm, if we pray for deliverance from fear, we can then find calm and refuge, and the storm will eventually pass.


And even if it is a bad storm, we can survive and rebuild.


Most of the situations about which we feel anxious aren’t nearly as bad as we build them up to be in our heads.


Let’s be honest, each of us: How much time have we all wasted by handing precious and unrecoverable minutes and hours of our lives over to worry and fear? For me, the answer is too many. Maybe it is for you as well.


The storms pass through our lives one way or another, so why not find another way to deal with them, one that doesn’t wreck us physically, mentally, emotionally, or spiritually? We need to pray for deliverance from fear.




“Fear knocked at the door. Faith answered and no one was there.” Anonymous

I think that this quote says that answering a fearful situation with faith distills the situation down to a manageable challenge that can then be tackled with logic and determination. Fear thrives in the absence of faith but shrinks in its presence. Hysteria breeds further pain, confusion, and hopelessness, but faith offers strength, clarity, and even optimism.


When a situation has us feeling anxious, if we focus on fear and worry then the situation grows!


However, if a situation has us feeling anxious and we focus on faith first, then the fear surrounding the situation is removed and the situation diminishes in stature and flees. And then we are simply be left with a challenge to overcome. That’s not so bad.


Challenges don’t kill us. Fear does.


Also, this quote points to the fact that sometimes answering a fearful situation with faith actually makes the situation disappear right away, because sometimes our most fearful situations exist only in our heads. Use the soul to make a “head” situation disappear. This is another important lesson learned from this quote.


Answer the knock of fear with faith and keep your mind, your spirit, and your household protected.




“Fear closes the ears of the mind.” Sallust

If you’ve ever been really, truly worried about a situation to the point of distraction or physical/mental sickness, then you know exactly how fear closes the ears of the mind.


When fear gets to this point, it narrows our attention so profoundly that all we can see or hear is the fear and the hypothetical situations it spins for its own “entertainment.” We can’t imagine a good future or a good outcome in this state; we can’t be in the present moment and enjoy life as we ought to in this state; and we can’t think creatively in this state because the fear has erased necessary components of creativity such as vigor, humor and imagination.


We must move away from fear to open the mind back up.




The bottom line is this: If we want to find healing and wellness, if we want to find present joy and a good future, if we want to enjoy a clear head and a strong faith, then we MUST find ways to manage and overcome fear on a regular basis.


Maybe fear is your biggest obstacle right now. Maybe it is the thing standing between your current situation and how you want your life to look and feel. That’s okay. We’ve all been there.


Just be honest about it. Recognize it. Speak the problem out loud. Say, “My problem is fear and worry.” And then resolve to start chipping away at the fear and worry so that your better future becomes a reality, little by little.


Say, “I refuse to be controlled by fear, and I will instead focus on faith and solutions every day, even if its difficult at times.” Say this out loud, and then focus on ideas and activities that help you to do this each day.


This sort of “faith over fear” practice is necessary to move forward through life’s challenges, and it is actually something we all ought to do every week of our lives for the sake of growing in wellness and faith.


Take care until next time,


Michael



CONTACT ME ABOUT COACHING HERE


Michael Priebe is a writer and wellness coach who has studied psychology, literature, and print journalism. He holds a journalism degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he graduated with honors, and over the years he has helped people from all over the world understand antidepressant withdrawal and benzodiazepine withdrawal and find healing in their lives. He puts out a variety of spiritually inspiring content at The Lovely Grind, and he blogs about his life at www.michaelpriebewriter.com. He invites you to find out more about his coaching here, and he hopes you'll reach out to him on Facebook and Instagram.

“Michael helped me in a way that no doctor or therapist has been able to! His personal experience combined with his optimistic, constructive input and guidance is priceless. I highly recommend his coaching sessions.”

Shelly, Ohio

“I contacted Michael for coaching because he has the ultimate credential of having been through it all himself! I liked his warm, empathetic manner. He is easy to talk to, and I felt as if he were a family member in his warm caring toward me. Michael has a very reassuring way of communicating, and I would highly recommend him.”

Jon - British Columbia, Canada

“I came across Michael’s videos by chance while looking up information on prescription drug withdrawal. I found his YouTube videos to be very informative, honest, and consoling. I was watching one after the other and even converted the sound on the videos to MP3 so that I could listen to his advice while going for walks. That was very soothing for me, and therefore I decided to try his coaching services. Great decision.

"Michael is a great and patient listener, and during our time together I felt that he sincerely cared about my healing progress and had genuine empathy for all those going through withdrawal. He is a positive-minded individual who disseminates hope, and I appreciated the useful, personalized follow-up notes he sent after our session. Most certainly I would recommend his coaching.”

Yasmin - Cairo, Egypt

“No one else is doing what Michael is doing. It truly is a ministry! Michael is willing to make himself vulnerable to help others during their journey in the valley. He is very easy to talk to (I felt like I had known him forever), and I would most definitely recommend his coaching to others.”

Andi, North Carolina

“Michael’s coaching is truly a game-changing experience. I appreciate the level of understanding he brings … tons of knowledge on how to survive the days and get closer to recovery. When you finally get to look someone in the face and know they understand exactly what you’re going through, it can bring a different level of comfort; that is what Michael’s coaching provided me, and without a doubt I would recommend it to everyone going through this.”

Alex, California

“I decided to use Michael’s coaching services because he seemed very genuine and trustworthy. After speaking with him a couple of times, I realized that I am strong enough to overcome certain obstacles, but also realized that I need not rush the process [of becoming medication free]. It was comforting talking to Michael about my withdrawal issues so that I could realize that what I’m going through is common, and it was also useful that Michael took the time to give me feedback in specific areas—like making a schedule and forming realistic expectations for myself. Michael gave me more useful feedback than a lot of mental health counselors I’ve had. Michael has helped me, and I hope he continues to help others. I would definitely recommend his coaching services.”

Catherine, Virginia

“I learned a lot from Michael. At first I was so confused by withdrawal (wondering what I was going through and if I would be this way permanently), but Michael helped me to realize that we do heal and that things do get better. I had a lot of worries, but he helped to ease my mind and he gave me positive feedback regarding how to approach each day in this process. Michael has a caring heart, and I would 100 percent recommend his coaching to others going through this.”

Erikka, South Dakota

“It can be frustrating having to deal with [withdrawal] symptoms for months on end and getting next to no support from doctors or anyone in the medical community (people who for the most part are clueless). Simply getting a chance to speak with Michael—someone who has gone through what I have and is able to offer support—was comforting. I also really enjoyed his follow-up notes. They were insightful and helped me to consider things I hadn’t thought of. I very much enjoyed working with Michael, and I would recommend his coaching to anyone who is going through this process and looking for support.”

Kim, California

“Michael is relatable and non-judgemental. I liked his positivity and follow-up notes. He provided good support overall. I believe that if a person really wants to withdrawal from medication, then support like this, from someone who has personal experience, is invaluable, and for that reason I would recommend Michael’s coaching to others going through this process.”

Leanne – Ontario, Canada

"Because of Michael’s own experiences, he knows what serves and what damages. He helped me to control my intake of negative information, he made me more optimistic, and he gave me a sense of the “whole [healing] picture.” Michael is a good listener and his comments are very precise. I would definitely recommend his coaching to others going through withdrawal."

Miguel, Atlanta, GA

"I really enjoyed my coaching sessions with Michael and looked forward to each call. He is very easy to talk to and offers very good advice. Our conversations gave me hope and coping skills, and his follow-up notes and progress plan were very helpful; I reference them often to stay on track. I found it comforting talking to someone who has been through this and really understands the struggle. I now look at withdrawal as something that can be overcome, something that I can heal from. I felt very comfortable talking to Michael, and I would recommend his coaching services to others going through the withdrawal and healing process."

Eric, MI

“I decided to try Michael’s coaching because, in his videos, he seemed so honest, relatable, upbeat, hopeful, and knowledgeable. I believe I got more out of Michael’s videos and coaching than I got from years of professional counseling. It is very comforting talking to him because it is like talking to a very knowledgeable, long-time, close friend. I have more hope for the future after talking to Michael, and that helps me to survive the times when I am feeling blue. I would recommend his coaching to those going through the withdrawal and healing process.”

John, WA

“I really enjoyed the care that Michael put into every contact with me. I appreciate how he shared his own experiences, found out about my overall context, and made direct suggestions; it was so important to believe that I was not losing control of my mind and body and that I could carry on with living while going through the process. It was also helpful to set goals and a plan and check back in on these things. Michael’s coaching is very professional and authentic, and I would highly recommend him to anyone who is going through the withdrawal and healing process.”

Emma, United Kingdom

“I always refer back to what Michael coached me on in the past regarding dealing with such times during the recovery and healing process. I enjoy working with Michael because he takes his time answering each of my questions in detail. Michael has true answers and guidance. It is comforting being coached by someone who understands my symptoms, and also Michael is a very compassionate person. I would definitely recommend his services to a person in need of help during the withdrawal process.”

Ram, AZ

THE LOVELY GRIND: SPIRITUAL INSPIRATION FOR WORKDAYS offers 90 devotional messages that will help you find rest, renewal, and perspective for your workweek and beyond.

WHAT IS YOUR STRUGGLE RIGHT NOW? Difficult coworkers? A lack of professional fulfillment? Financial concerns? Balancing work with the rest of your life?

By discussing a variety of professional stressors and life challenges and then offering spiritual and thought-provoking perspective on each, THE LOVELY GRIND gives readers a truly unique devotional experience.

Get a copy for yourself and don't forget to order one for a friend or family member who has been feeling fatigued or stressed out lately. Come join THE LOVELY GRIND & start living lovely!

CONTACT ME ABOUT COACHING

If you or someone you know is struggling to survive the pain and confusion of prescription drug withdrawal or chronic stress, I would like to offer my coaching services. Stress can suck the joy out of life, and the withdrawal process can be challenging (I know from experience). However, with the proper tools and mindset, these things can be survived and even used for greater growth. If you or someone you care about is trying to quit antidepressant or benzodiazepine medications (or simply trying to reduce stress levels), please click here to email me about coaching options and availability.



Let your faith be bigger than your fear. Perhaps you’ve heard that phrase before, but what does that mean in a practical sense?


Even if we claim to be people who practice the idea of putting faith out front in daily life, those tentacles of fear can still snake around our strength and our attention when we are faced with illness, financial uncertainty, job stress, or troubling interpersonal situations.


And fear, after it gets its hands on us, can slowly tighten its grip until we feel light-headed and desperate—unable to breathe, concentrate, see clearly, or feel calm or joy.


Many times it isn’t easy and breezy to “let your faith be bigger than your fear,” and this is where discipline comes in. It takes discipline and practice to focus on faith when we are in the middle of a frightening situation that is wrapping itself around our windpipe and making us see stars.


But hopefully, with practice, the faith part comes into the picture earlier and earlier in times of stress, long before any situation actually has us feeling on the verge of “strangulation by fear” in the first place.


Letting your faith be bigger than your fear, in my mind, means making a conscious effort to turn our attention away from fears and toward spiritual promises when we first begin to feel under attack, which we all do in ways both small and large throughout our lives.


Letting our faith be bigger than our fear means we wake up handing our sources of anxiety to the Lord, and we do so again in the afternoon, and again before bed. It means we get better and better at focusing on the remedy for fear rather than on the sources of the fear.


Fear is not from God, and when we focus intently on the earthly sources of our fear, we inadvertently fan the flames, and in effect we then give unhealthy attention to the unearthly evil that feeds on fear as well.


This all adds up to us feeling worse.


So, to put it simply, we must stop putting our attention on the fear. In 2 Timothy 1:7 it says: “God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love and self-discipline.”


And again, discipline is important here. When you feel the first signs of some situation beginning to overwhelm you with fear, you must take your eyes and mind off of that situation—i.e., stop turning it over in your addled brain, stop planning how you will respond to it, stop thinking about how happy you’ll be when and if it’s resolved, etc.—and instead put your thoughts on the One who allows you to find protection, transcendence, and that spirit of power spoken of in 2nd Timothy.


If some situation has had you feeling weak and achy with fear lately—just dizzy and beside yourself thinking how you will ever survive it—then now is the time to spend more time in God’s word focusing on the very opposite of fear.


One great way to facilitate this change in focus is to get out of the office or house (something about being indoors can seem to feed worry and anxiety at times) and go to a park with your Bible, devotion book, and a notebook. Select five verses that help you to feel better and then, in your neatest handwriting or print, put those verses into your notebook. Do this slowly, so that you are forced to process the words.


Then, after you’ve written out your five verses, write a sentence or two about what those verses mean to you specifically.


Here are a few verses that I’ve focused on lately and what they have meant to me. I hope that maybe you’ll find something important in them as well.



God has not given us a spirit of fear & timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline. 2 Timothy 1:7


Notes: This verse reveals the true origins of fear. It isn’t from God, but rather it is a tool used by evil to steal our hope, joy, strength, and faith. Also, it takes self-discipline to turn your focus away from fear and toward faith. Don’t expect this to be easy when you are stressed! Do it anyway!


I trust in God, so why should I be afraid? What can mere mortals do to me? Psalm 56:11

Notes: This is a reminder to put our fears in perspective, i.e., measure them against the Creator of all time and space. Oftentimes we build earthly situations—and/or intimidating men and women—up into supernatural villains in our minds; we give them power they don’t have by doing this. If we want to take power away from our fears, we must measure them side by side against God. Then they no longer seem so intimidating.



Don’t be afraid. Just stand still and watch the Lord rescue you today. The Lord Himself will fight for you. Exodus 14:13-14

Notes: These verses are especially comforting when we are feeling too weak, confused, or over-matched to fight for ourselves. These verses paint a great visual for us to turn to when our knees are absolutely trembling in some situation in which we don’t necessarily have a lot of control. These verses say to not be afraid in such situations. They say to watch the Lord rescue us.


I prayed to the Lord and He answered me. He freed me from all of my fears. Psalm 34:4

Notes: Fear enslaves. This enslavement is its great and horrifying power, and this is exactly why fear is so dangerous. It enslaves our minds, taking away our ability to concentrate. It enslaves our bodies, sapping our strength and leaving us feeble. It enslaves our imagination, leaving us unable to see solutions. It enslaves our hearts, leaving us unable to feel joy. And it enslaves our souls, leaving us without hope. But the Lord emancipates us from this slavery. He sets us free. All we have to do is ask. Don’t allow fear to enslave you. Instead, allow God to free you. This is what He does



God is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble. So we will not fear when the earthquakes come, and the mountains crumble into the sea. Let the oceans roar and foam. Let the mountains tremble as the waters surge! Psalm 46:1-3

Notes: God is at the ready, able and willing to assist in times of disaster, stress, and dangerous surprise. We can take refuge in His presence and power during those times when it seems as if the world is ending around us. He is in control, and He offers protection for every situation.




Fear is a normal part of the human experience, but allowing fear to become all consuming is simply not an option if we want to enjoy wellness and grow in faith.


Today, no matter what situation might be bringing fear to your doorstep, make a conscious effort to surround yourself with more faith than fear. Put faith in front of your eyes, in your mind, and into your ears. Let verses like the above soak into your attention, nurturing the soul. As Jesus said, calming the “troubled heart.”


And if you’re still feeling afraid, then repeat the whole exercise of focusing on verses that give you courage and calm. And pray about the fear, hand it over. This is how you make your faith bigger than your fear—with conscious effort—and when you do this, you can then experience a peace that makes no sense in this world. A peace that “the world can’t give.” A peace that is bigger than earthly fears.


Practice making your faith bigger than your fears today, and you will feel the benefits.


Take care until next time,


Michael



CONTACT ME ABOUT COACHING HERE


Michael Priebe is a writer and wellness coach who has studied psychology, literature, and print journalism. He holds a journalism degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he graduated with honors, and over the years he has helped people from all over the world understand antidepressant withdrawal and benzodiazepine withdrawal and find healing in their lives. He puts out a variety of spiritually inspiring content at The Lovely Grind, and he blogs about his life at www.michaelpriebewriter.com. He invites you to find out more about his coaching here, and he hopes you'll reach out to him on Facebook and Instagram.

“Michael helped me in a way that no doctor or therapist has been able to! His personal experience combined with his optimistic, constructive input and guidance is priceless. I highly recommend his coaching sessions.”

Shelly, Ohio

“I contacted Michael for coaching because he has the ultimate credential of having been through it all himself! I liked his warm, empathetic manner. He is easy to talk to, and I felt as if he were a family member in his warm caring toward me. Michael has a very reassuring way of communicating, and I would highly recommend him.”

Jon - British Columbia, Canada

“I came across Michael’s videos by chance while looking up information on prescription drug withdrawal. I found his YouTube videos to be very informative, honest, and consoling. I was watching one after the other and even converted the sound on the videos to MP3 so that I could listen to his advice while going for walks. That was very soothing for me, and therefore I decided to try his coaching services. Great decision.

"Michael is a great and patient listener, and during our time together I felt that he sincerely cared about my healing progress and had genuine empathy for all those going through withdrawal. He is a positive-minded individual who disseminates hope, and I appreciated the useful, personalized follow-up notes he sent after our session. Most certainly I would recommend his coaching.”

Yasmin - Cairo, Egypt

“No one else is doing what Michael is doing. It truly is a ministry! Michael is willing to make himself vulnerable to help others during their journey in the valley. He is very easy to talk to (I felt like I had known him forever), and I would most definitely recommend his coaching to others.”

Andi, North Carolina

“Michael’s coaching is truly a game-changing experience. I appreciate the level of understanding he brings … tons of knowledge on how to survive the days and get closer to recovery. When you finally get to look someone in the face and know they understand exactly what you’re going through, it can bring a different level of comfort; that is what Michael’s coaching provided me, and without a doubt I would recommend it to everyone going through this.”

Alex, California

“I decided to use Michael’s coaching services because he seemed very genuine and trustworthy. After speaking with him a couple of times, I realized that I am strong enough to overcome certain obstacles, but also realized that I need not rush the process [of becoming medication free]. It was comforting talking to Michael about my withdrawal issues so that I could realize that what I’m going through is common, and it was also useful that Michael took the time to give me feedback in specific areas—like making a schedule and forming realistic expectations for myself. Michael gave me more useful feedback than a lot of mental health counselors I’ve had. Michael has helped me, and I hope he continues to help others. I would definitely recommend his coaching services.”

Catherine, Virginia

“I learned a lot from Michael. At first I was so confused by withdrawal (wondering what I was going through and if I would be this way permanently), but Michael helped me to realize that we do heal and that things do get better. I had a lot of worries, but he helped to ease my mind and he gave me positive feedback regarding how to approach each day in this process. Michael has a caring heart, and I would 100 percent recommend his coaching to others going through this.”

Erikka, South Dakota

“It can be frustrating having to deal with [withdrawal] symptoms for months on end and getting next to no support from doctors or anyone in the medical community (people who for the most part are clueless). Simply getting a chance to speak with Michael—someone who has gone through what I have and is able to offer support—was comforting. I also really enjoyed his follow-up notes. They were insightful and helped me to consider things I hadn’t thought of. I very much enjoyed working with Michael, and I would recommend his coaching to anyone who is going through this process and looking for support.”

Kim, California

“Michael is relatable and non-judgemental. I liked his positivity and follow-up notes. He provided good support overall. I believe that if a person really wants to withdrawal from medication, then support like this, from someone who has personal experience, is invaluable, and for that reason I would recommend Michael’s coaching to others going through this process.”

Leanne – Ontario, Canada

"Because of Michael’s own experiences, he knows what serves and what damages. He helped me to control my intake of negative information, he made me more optimistic, and he gave me a sense of the “whole [healing] picture.” Michael is a good listener and his comments are very precise. I would definitely recommend his coaching to others going through withdrawal."

Miguel, Atlanta, GA

"I really enjoyed my coaching sessions with Michael and looked forward to each call. He is very easy to talk to and offers very good advice. Our conversations gave me hope and coping skills, and his follow-up notes and progress plan were very helpful; I reference them often to stay on track. I found it comforting talking to someone who has been through this and really understands the struggle. I now look at withdrawal as something that can be overcome, something that I can heal from. I felt very comfortable talking to Michael, and I would recommend his coaching services to others going through the withdrawal and healing process."

Eric, MI

“I decided to try Michael’s coaching because, in his videos, he seemed so honest, relatable, upbeat, hopeful, and knowledgeable. I believe I got more out of Michael’s videos and coaching than I got from years of professional counseling. It is very comforting talking to him because it is like talking to a very knowledgeable, long-time, close friend. I have more hope for the future after talking to Michael, and that helps me to survive the times when I am feeling blue. I would recommend his coaching to those going through the withdrawal and healing process.”

John, WA

“I really enjoyed the care that Michael put into every contact with me. I appreciate how he shared his own experiences, found out about my overall context, and made direct suggestions; it was so important to believe that I was not losing control of my mind and body and that I could carry on with living while going through the process. It was also helpful to set goals and a plan and check back in on these things. Michael’s coaching is very professional and authentic, and I would highly recommend him to anyone who is going through the withdrawal and healing process.”

Emma, United Kingdom

“I always refer back to what Michael coached me on in the past regarding dealing with such times during the recovery and healing process. I enjoy working with Michael because he takes his time answering each of my questions in detail. Michael has true answers and guidance. It is comforting being coached by someone who understands my symptoms, and also Michael is a very compassionate person. I would definitely recommend his services to a person in need of help during the withdrawal process.”

Ram, AZ

THE LOVELY GRIND: SPIRITUAL INSPIRATION FOR WORKDAYS offers 90 devotional messages that will help you find rest, renewal, and perspective for your workweek and beyond.

WHAT IS YOUR STRUGGLE RIGHT NOW? Difficult coworkers? A lack of professional fulfillment? Financial concerns? Balancing work with the rest of your life?

By discussing a variety of professional stressors and life challenges and then offering spiritual and thought-provoking perspective on each, THE LOVELY GRIND gives readers a truly unique devotional experience.

Get a copy for yourself and don't forget to order one for a friend or family member who has been feeling fatigued or stressed out lately. Come join THE LOVELY GRIND & start living lovely!

CONTACT ME ABOUT COACHING

If you or someone you know is struggling to survive the pain and confusion of prescription drug withdrawal or chronic stress, I would like to offer my coaching services. Stress can suck the joy out of life, and the withdrawal process can be challenging (I know from experience). However, with the proper tools and mindset, these things can be survived and even used for greater growth. If you or someone you care about is trying to quit antidepressant or benzodiazepine medications (or simply trying to reduce stress levels), please click here to email me about coaching options and availability.



To date I’ve worked one-on-one in Healing & Wellness coaching sessions with individuals from nearly twenty different countries. I’ve worked with people from all over these great United States of mine, and also from Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zeeland, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Nigeria, and Israel, to name a few locations.


The personal stories of prescription drug withdrawal and wellness rebuilding that I encounter are at once heart-wrenching and inspiring, just as mine was when I quit Paxil and Xanax years ago after more than twelve years of taking the medications to “help” anxiety. (You might note the sarcasm in those quotation marks.)


The situations I encounter in my coaching are unique, each of them. Some people were on one medication, and some on many. Some people were on the medications for a relatively short amount of time, and some took them for decades. Some people that come to me are in their twenties, and some in their seventies. Many are somewhere in-between.


There is no one professional situation that defines the people with whom I’ve worked. There have been doctors, psychiatrists, nurses, school teachers, entrepreneurs, salespeople, IT professionals, finance experts, creatives, truck drivers, homemakers, retirees, students, and those still finding their own best professional fit.


Some people are dealing with high pressure, high profile jobs, and others might be on some sort of leave from work. Some have much in the way of material comforts, and others have little.


There is no one particular race, ethnic, or cultural situation that finds themselves needing support because of medication use and discontinuation. My clients have been white, black, Indian, Asian, Arabic, Hispanic, and I’m sure “other.”


There is no one sexual orientation or family situation that finds themselves going through the wringer of antidepressant withdrawal and/or benzodiazepine withdrawal. My clients have been gay and straight. They’ve been married, divorced, dating, and single. They’ve been empty-nesters, new parents, and those for whom children might never be in the cards.


They’ve been dog people and cat lovers. They’ve been extroverts and introverts.


The withdrawal and healing stories I’ve encountered are as diverse and unique as the flowers that bloom across this great earth of ours in their respective seasons.

But they do all have one thing in common: Fear.


Everyone who has ever experienced, or is currently experiencing, a withdrawal situation knows exactly what I’m talking about.




There are many symptoms that a person might experience when they hit tolerance withdrawal to a medication or begin reducing their dosage, and these symptoms might be a little different for everyone. Some people might have head pressure and nerve pain, others might have terrible depression or agitation, and still others might have all of these things and more (I know I did).


But everyone, to a person, has increased fear that they are dealing with. Fear of the past, fear of the present, fear of the future. Fear of the symptoms, and fear AS a symptom.


The roots of this increased fear might be part physiological, part psychological, and part environmental, but persistent or overwhelming fear is a hallmark and often dominant symptom of prescription drug withdrawal, and if a person can learn to tame and overcome this increased fear, then they are well on their way to finding important measures of healing.


Taming fear—managing it, chipping away at it, dispelling it, replacing it—is one of the things I work with people on in my coaching sessions, and it is really one of the one of the biggest challenges in life for all of us at any stage of the game, isn’t it?


Fear can sneak up on us in times of stress or struggle, and if we aren’t careful, it can slither its way into our daily life before we are even aware of it.


Fear is a dirty scoundrel. It is usually a liar. It does not value truth.


Fear is lazy. It doesn’t value goals or want to see improvement.


Fear is lonely. It lives in isolation and darkness and wants to bring you down to those places.


Fear is a simpleton. It is not inspired. It has no imagination. It does not value creativity or solutions.


Fear is not your friend. It wants to see the worst for you and your family and your future.


Fear is that kid in high school who had no talent, discipline, or intelligence, and so he tried to get those people who were on the right track to fail, because that is what made him feel better about himself.


Seeing people fail is what makes fear happy. Peer pressuring others into making the worst choices for themselves when faced with adversity is what fear gets off on.


Maybe your parents always told you to be careful the company you keep. Well, this is the same thing here. I will tell you right now to be careful about keeping consistent company with fear. Fear is a loser, and if you consistently hang out with fear, then you will be dragged down to its miserable level.



So what sorts of things help to manage fear? How are we able to conquer it?


Well, faith is one important part of overcoming fear—I would argue the most important part—and that will be addressed in an upcoming post of its own. Another is lifestyle.


Another is mindset, which can include the rewiring of negative neural pathways that have been dug like the Grand Canyon through years of stress, illness, poor experiences, or fear-based thinking.


And gratitude and positive emotional experiences are a couple of great ways to crowd fear out of your picture, too. When you are listing what you are thankful for in life, then you are forced to admit that you have enough “daily bread” to survive the day, so to speak. You then know that you’ll be okay. And when you are with people or settings that encourage and calm you, or even make you laugh—positive emotional experiences—then fear is so out of place that it begins to slink away.



If you are someone who has been experiencing increased fear lately, don’t worry. It isn’t just you. Especially if you are in an antidepressant withdrawal or benzodiazepine withdrawal situation (or withdrawal from some other class of drug), it is a common struggle.


And it is a struggle that can’t be ignored in the hopes it goes away on its own. It must be acknowledged and faced proactively, with faith and determination.


If you have been experiencing increased fear lately, then today tell yourself that you will not let fear win! Make a promise to yourself and to your loved ones that you will not let fear defeat you and rob you of your dreams, your joy, or your future.


Just as you would resolve to exercise several times a week if you wanted to lose weight, you must resolve to take proactive steps to conquer fear if it has been a negative presence in your life lately. And that is what we’ll be talking about in coming weeks at the Lovely Grind: taking proactive steps to begin putting fear in its place.


Today, you can begin putting fear into its proper place by remembering that, first and foremost, it is a liar and a loser. If you hear the winds of fear beginning to whisper negative nothings into your ear, then talk back to them! Label them and denounce them.

Also, imagine a positive outcome for the thing you might be fearful of. Usually our minds wander to “worst case scenarios” when we are feeling fear, so flip that worst case scenario on its head and picture a better outcome instead. In most cases, this better outcome is much more likely to be a reality anyway, and this is especially true if you are taking proactive steps to make it so!


Do not let fear be your master. Rather, make a resolution to master it by getting better at crowding fear out of your emotions and thoughts. This takes practice and effort, but it is possible and you will feel incrementally better as you work at it!


Take care until next time,


Michael



CONTACT ME ABOUT COACHING HERE


Michael Priebe is a writer and wellness coach who has studied psychology, literature, and print journalism. He holds a journalism degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he graduated with honors, and over the years he has helped people from all over the world understand antidepressant withdrawal and benzodiazepine withdrawal and find healing in their lives. He puts out a variety of spiritually inspiring content at The Lovely Grind, and he blogs about his life at www.michaelpriebewriter.com. He invites you to find out more about his coaching here, and he hopes you'll reach out to him on Facebook and Instagram.