The Beauty of a New Way of Living

Jul 02, 2024

Have you ever felt as if existence has become stale—monotonous, draining, a chore?

That is basically where I found myself when I made the decision to get off medications back in 2012. I was, to varying degrees, tired, bored, stressed, anxious, depressed, and disappointed.

I was disappointed in what life had become for me. As a younger man, I’d had grand dreams of living a creative life and being of consequence.

However, as often happens in life, the responsibilities and stresses had little by little overwhelmed the light of my inspiration.

And guess what else? The side effects and tolerance withdrawal that came with long-term SSRI and benzo use further blurred any youthful exuberance.

I will be careful to say that my life wasn’t terrible. I regard each and every year of my life as a gift from the Lord, and meaningful, and I had many great times with family and friends.

Still, by my mid-thirties I was in mid-life crisis mode. I desperately wanted a new way of living, and in my mind a big part of finding that “new way” was going to involve getting off the medications.

But that wasn’t the only thing. As I was working to taper medications and make sense of and endure withdrawal, I was immersed in discovering what that “new way” meant.

I spent a lot of time getting back in touch with my sense of creativity: writing short stories, creating humorous Facebook memes that provided wry commentary on life, making personal journal entries, and taking notes for websites I might build.

I spent time reading books about soulful living and triumphs of the human spirit. I spent a lot of time thinking about how treacherous the effects of stress—especially chronic stress—can be to a person’s energy and sense of inspiration over time, and I began researching and writing about the effects of (and how to remedy) professional stress and lack of fulfillment.

I spent a lot of time in the word of God, reading the Bible and especially the Gospels, and I wrote a devotional book entitled The Lovely Grind: Spiritual Inspiration for Workdays.

At the front of that book I open with four quotes: one from spiritual author Thomas Moore, one from Gandhi, one from the movie Office Space, and one from Jesus.

Today, I’ll focus on that quote from Jesus, which is from Matthew 11:28 (The Message Translation). It says, “Are you tired? Worn out? Burnt out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me, and you’ll recover your life.”

That was the most gripping, most wonderful invitation I could have received in those years. It was beautiful, and it gave me hope.

Yes, I was tired—tired of being a slave to the medical establishment and big pharma with their mental health labels and life-draining prescriptions. I was tired of having my personality dulled and my energy drained by the pills. I was tired of wondering who I was with them and without them. I was ready for a life that no longer included them at all.  

Yes, I was worn out. Worn out from years of commuting and cubicles and professional stress and a lack of true creative fulfillment. I was worn out from letting my physical health slip, neglecting exercise, fresh air, and good nutrition to varying degrees.

I was burnt out on religion, too, so exhausted from pretending that I had to “fit in” at a conservative church environment that just left me feeling anxious and numb.

I wanted to get away to a new way of life. One that was more chill, more spiritually connected, and more meaningful. And what Jesus was offering sounded pretty darn wonderful.

Once I got off the pills I continued with my health and wellness goals, and my creative and spiritual goals. I kept healing and growing, and in effect I truly was able to recover a way of life that I dreamed about as a younger man. One that excited me, fulfilled me, and brought peace to me.

This “new life” didn’t involve fortune or fame, but it involved personal freedom, holistic wellness, creative inspiration, lower stress levels, daily joy, a stronger connection with God, and a mindset and “soulset” that brought light back into existence on a regular basis.

As you move forward in your healing journey, I urge you to focus on discovering a “new way of life” – one that is lighter on stress, heavier on creativity and self-love, nourished by self-care, peppered with daily moments of joy, and anchored by a personal connection to God.

Yes, at times this journey looks like it is about simply getting off medications and enduring withdrawal symptoms, but it truly is about so much more than that.

This journey is about recovering youthful optimism and inspiration, and it is about truly discovering a better, more peaceful and joyful way of living.

Here’s to another week of healing and growth.


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About the Author

Michael Priebe is a writer and wellness coach who has helped people from all over the world understand antidepressant withdrawal, benzodiazepine withdrawal, anxiety, stress, and healing. In coaching he has worked one-on-one with individuals from nearly twenty countries, and his Lovely Grind YouTube videos inspire thousands of viewers each month. He invites you to inquire about his coaching today to find the knowledge and inspiration needed to fuel your own wellness journey. 

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