Withdrawal Is Not The End Of The Road!Jan 14, 2022
The above picture is me, a number of years ago, inhabiting a dark space and wanting to escape.
During my withdrawal from Paxil and Xanax, I was often terrified and out of sorts. My body and mind were like lightening rods for all of the negativity and sadness and self-criticism out in the universe, and persistent anxiety had me feeling shaken.
I was trying my damnedest to move toward a better, healthier future, but in order to do that I had to fight back against some massive fears regarding what that future could look like.
That's really what this first entry from my recently discovered withdrawal journal deals with - fighting back against unfounded fear in order to keep moving forward!
Although I’ve written a lot about my prescription drug withdrawal and healing experience in the past, I’ve never actually published something that I wrote DURING the darkest of those days.
Recently I’ve discovered a “withdrawal journal” that I kept in the form of a Word document on a USB drive, and within this document there are dozens of stark entries that offer a revealing picture into exactly what I was thinking and experiencing as I struggled through Paxil withdrawal, approached the end of my Xanax taper, and forged through my first six or so months off both medications.
In this post I’m going to share with you the first entry in that withdrawal journal, and I’m also going to share thoughts as to why the content of the entry might be interesting or educational for you and others who might be in a withdrawal and healing situation.
If you are interested in reading (and watching videos about) more of these withdrawal journal entries and the related commentary, I will be posting all of them over the course of the next year in my new Lovely Grind Support & Success Membership Community.
You can learn more about Support & Success and join today by clicking here: Support & Success.
Now, on to the first journal entry.
Although this particular entry isn’t dated, I presume I wrote it in the first weeks of December 2013, when I was about one year off the Paxil and about two months away from finishing my Xanax taper.
Here it is, in its original form (italicized portions, and some punctuation, have been added for clarity):
My Withdrawal Journal
Unrealistic negative thoughts:
- I will never find a way to enjoy life again.
- I am sure to have a breakdown.
- There is no way to fix or improve what is wrong with me.
- I will never have enough energy.
(And then I went on to list the following desires, or goals, that were in my heart and on my mind at the time.)
I want to get better, and I want to be responsible.
I want to grow as a person and as a couple (with my wife) and manage my stress, anxiety and negative thinking.
I want to grow in my faith and do it with Claudia (my wife), together.
I want to find ways to be continue to be close to my family, maybe even move closer to them.
Why This Journal Entry Is Interesting:
First, I think this “introduction” to my journal is compelling for others because it gives a glimpse into the fears I was having at the time. Fears that I would never again be happy, fears that I would “crack,” and fears that there was no cure for the maladies that plagued me.
These are some of the same fears I hear from so many people in my coaching, people who are going through withdrawal from all sorts of antidepressant, benzo, or other medications.
But guess what, they are just that, fears, and they are unfounded!
I was able to get healthy and enjoy life again. I did not have a psychotic break (even though I felt crazy a lot of the time), and in the end, there was nothing “unfixable” in my situation. If you are grappling with any of these fears right now, I hope this journal entry offers you some reassurance.
I also think this entry is interesting because it shows how I had an eye on self-improvement from the very beginning of my withdrawal and healing process. My journey was never just about getting off the pills. It was about getting off the pills and making other changes in my life, changes that would help me to feel more calm, confident, content, and fulfilled.
I wanted to tame anxiety and stress, I wanted to be more consistently creative, I wanted to be more connected to and available for my wife and other family members, and I wanted to grow spiritually in faith.
All of those deeply rooted desires became goals that helped me to move through a lot of tough withdrawal symptoms and find healing.
The Take-Home Messages From This Entry:
1) You and your situation are not unfixable!
2) Wrapping “withdrawal healing” into a greater process of self-improvement and growth is the path to truly feeling better.
I hope that you’ve enjoyed this post from my journal.
Again, there are many more where this came from. To see all of them as they are released, check out my Support & Success Community today and take advantage of the opportunity to become a member!
I hope to see you in there,
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