A Few Tips for Quitting Medications (Or Reaching Any Life Goal)Feb 02, 2023
During the course of my battle with prescription drug withdrawal, by necessity I found a number of strategies and tools to survive dark days and move forward toward progress. In this post, I’d like to share some of those things with you. These are thoughts and tips that you can use in any life challenge (their utility isn’t limited to a specific situation), but they will certainly be helpful to those struggling through antidepressant withdrawal or benzodiazepine withdrawal. I know they were useful to me, and I hope you’ll find them useful as well.
- Set Your Focus (i.e., Decide on Your Goal or Outcome).
Be specific here, not about a timetable per say for reaching the goal, but about the goal itself. Is the goal to quit pills, to begin or finish a taper? Is the goal to continue to survive withdrawal and implement steps toward better health & general wellness? Or is the goal something else entirely, something like finding a new job in a new field or setting up a new life in a new city? Plant the focus – the goal – in your mind so that you . . .
- Set Your Resolve.
People tell you that you can’t or shouldn’t do things. People say they know what’s best for your future better than you do. People say you’re crazy. None of that matters.
If you have a goal that you feel will move your life forward in a better direction, then resolve to move toward your progress no matter what the naysayers opine.
In my case, doctors told me that withdrawal didn’t exist or didn’t exist to the extent that I was (supposedly) experiencing. One doctor said my physical pains were due to stress and drinking beer. Another doctor suggested that I replace my old pills with new ones. I was often tempted to try that advice about new pills (and actually did, to my detriment, for about a short amount of time), but at the end of the day I knew what my situation was (pill tolerance and then withdrawal) and I knew that my life would be better without medications. Eventually, my resolve to live a pill-free life was so strong that any new problems—be they mental, physical, or emotional—would not change my path. I set my resolve, and the opinions of others wouldn’t dissuade me.
I plowed (and at times crawled) forward one step at a time, and sometimes those steps were made possible because I allowed myself to GET ANGRY.
- Get Angry.
I believe that being angry at everything—God, family, the news, shoppers at Walmart—is eventually a part of the withdrawal process. But that’s not what I’m talking about here. I’m talking about getting productively angry at something that can be linked to your problem and then help your goal.
So, for example, if you truly want to quit pills, then get mad at Big Pharma and the mindless (or moral-less) doctors and pharmacists who do their bidding for nice salaries.
If you want to quit cigarettes, then get angry at the tobacco companies and the stores everywhere that profit from selling death devices disguised as “relaxing little smokes.”
If you want to lose 50 pounds, then get mad at people who called you fat or lazy or whatever. Then use that anger to fuel your progress. Use it like jet-fuel to propel you to new heights of accomplishment, as that relates to your goal(s).
Just get angry at something other than yourself and then harness that anger in a productive way. And don’t let the anger overtake your life, by the way, just use it for a while and allow it to fuel your movement forward, and . . .
- Keep Perspective.
Whenever you feel ready to give up, give it more time. Don’t be impatient. The worst messes of our lives aren’t created overnight, and neither are the biggest recoveries and improvements. Be patient with yourself. Focus on the big picture. If you have a tough day, chalk it up to just that—one tough day—and then try again tomorrow. This isn’t a race, and it isn’t about getting caught up in the fluctuations of the day or how you feel.
Stay steady, keep focused on the larger goal, and find others who will help you to keep perspective when you are temped to lose it.
I hope the above tips help you along your journey!
Until next time,
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