THE LOVELY GRIND

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

Spiritual Inspiration

&

Better-Living Ideas

New "Tools for Healing" Now Available!

More than a glimpse of hell cover.jpg
I Call You Friend E-book Cover.jpg
outside cover 2.jpg
Show Me the Way of Life E-Book Cover.jpg
The Uncommon Grind Cover.jpg

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

January 2021  at The Lovely Grind

THIS MONTH WE ARE FOCUSING ON

GOALS & FITNESS

The Lovely Grind Giveaway Thumbnail.jpg

Where do our biggest mental and emotional problems come from? Well, they often begin and end with our own perceptions and opinions of ourselves. Happiness and fulfillment are less about what happens to us than they are about how we interpret and react to people, events, and surroundings.

A rich man can be poor in spirit, and a poor man can be wealthy and satisfied. Someone with a hundred “friends” can feel all alone and angst-ridden, and a person who lives alone can feel connected and comfortable. If someone pays us a compliment, it only makes us feel good if we internalize that compliment, and if someone throws judgement or harsh words at us, those things only make us feel terrible if we cling to them and take them seriously.

Last month I began writing about little pieces of wisdom that I’d seen over the years printed on Yogi brand tea packages, and this month I continue with that reflection. The aphorisms that I’m focusing on in this post are specifically geared toward making us stronger and more content internally. Because if we don’t have that inner love and strength—that comfort level with ourselves—then the stress and vagaries of the outside world can toss us this way and that. Love yourself more this month. Get more comfortable with yourself, and the rest of the world begins to look a little brighter, too.

“Practice compassion, forgiveness, and kindness.”

If you want to break away some of the “sludge” that might be clogging up your mind and heart and preventing you from experiencing calm, joy, or optimism, then this is a good place to start. And we need to apply this dictum of compassion not only to our family, friends, and the outside world, but to ourselves.

How much time and energy do we waste dwelling on ways in which others have wronged us (in ways real or perceived)? How often have we allowed those wrongs to affect our self-perception? Also, how much time do we waste in a “spirit of competition” with the outside world? And how often does all of this add up to us dwelling on our own past mistakes or allowing a mean-spirited voice to infect our head in a given day?

Get past the negativity and move forward with compassion, forgiveness, and kindness. Both toward others and toward yourself.

“Self-reliance is the greatest art.”

We all need love and support. And at times—especially when we are on our last dollar or at the end of our proverbial mental and emotional ropes—we need to rely on the compassion, advice, and even charity of others. But in the long run, a spirit of self-reliance is going to ensure that we can survive future calamity and, at the end of the day, be content with our own company during prosperous times.

Learn how to rely on yourself more, learn how to trust yourself more, and learn how to love yourself more. That way, no matter where you go and no matter how good or bad the fortunes of the day, you will be okay.

“Socialize with compassion, kindness, and grace.”

I think that this one is especially useful for people like me, people who have traditionally struggled with a little bit of social anxiety. Because what is social anxiety, at its heart? It is often a fear that we are being negatively judged, that we aren’t good enough. It is a hyper-focus on self instead of a healthy focus on the needs, opinions, and companionship of others.

No matter if social anxiety is a struggle for you or not, take this one to heart and try to truly “connect” with those around you the next time you are socializing. Ask questions about them, and really listen when they give answers. Give them compassion, kindness, and attention, and see if that has the pleasant byproduct of putting you into a better emotional place.

“Experience will give you wisdom.”

The beauty of this phrase is that it allows you to envision yourself growing with each day of your life. Succeed or fail, we are constantly able to gain wisdom just by existing and trying. I know from experience that the greatest wisdom in my life wasn’t gained from school curriculum or work training. Rather, it was gained from experience. From personal triumphs, and mistakes.

Approach each week of your life with an open heart, knowing that succeed or “fail” you are getting wiser. Keep gaining little bits of life experience each week, and think about how that is making you stronger.

“Happiness comes from contentment.”

Usually we spend our days thinking about how are advancing. Or about how we ought to be advancing. We think about how we can elevate our educational or professional standings, we think about how we can improve our social standing, and we think about how we can earn more money. We plan for newer cars, bigger houses, more efficient personal routines, and on and on.

But do we take time to simply be content?

Today, take a deep breath and forget about advancement for a moment. Forget about proving yourself. Think of everything you have to be grateful for—your home, your car, a relationship you treasure, a little bit of free time, the fact that you aren’t in the middle of a war, your health, etc.—and allow that focus to bring you contentment. As I try to remind my coaching clients (and myself), “You are right where you need to be in God’s plan for you today.”

Michael Priebe is a writer and personal development 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 used both fiction and nonfiction formats to write about health, sports, professional life, politics, relationships, and spiritual issues. 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 life coaching here, and he hopes you'll reach out to him on Facebook and Twitter.

“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.


What is it that you are seeking in these unprecedented times? In the midst of pandemic fears, violent riots, government-imposed shutdowns, frightful news reels, social media bickering, and (as always) political mind games, what is it that you are seeking in your little corner of the world?

Although times might seem so different than they were just a half year ago, I’m betting that in some respects your needs are the same now as they were in January or February. Or put another way, perhaps you are still seeking some of the same things in your life now that you were back then, but now you need them more even more profoundly.

Maybe you need clarity of thought, relaxation of body, and peace of soul in your daily life. Maybe you need increased self-love, more faith in God, or an extra measure of physical healing. Maybe you simply need reassurance that everything will be okay. Maybe you’re feeling raw and vulnerable and at your wit’s end.

To that I say, if you are feeling exposed and confused and at the end of a rope or a road, then use that powerful state of being to seek all that you need from life. And by seeking, you will find: you will find your answers, your inspiration, your wisdom, your love, your connection, and your purpose.

A few years back, when I was walking through the difficult and dark nights of healing and personal transition, I was raw. And because I felt uncovered and rather unprotected, the world hurt. My nerves felt exposed, my soul felt heavy, and everything was able to affect me in dramatic fashion.

But as painful as that feeling of newborn bareness was, it was also inspiring. And I was able to find answers and wisdom and growth, because I was constantly seeking safety blankets, solutions, and a way forward.

To give an example, I was, for a period of time, drinking a lot of Yogi brand bedtime tea to help me deal with sleep issues. And it helped. Perhaps it was the root and flower combination in the tea, and perhaps it was the calming ritual of preparing and sipping this drink before bed each night, but in those countless cups of tea I found comfort. And I also found some inspiration and truths that were delivered to me via aphorisms printed on little pieces of paper attached to the tea bags.

For example, one night I might have opened up a tea package and read: “Experience will give you wisdom.” And the next day I might have been told, as I brewed my potion: “Listen and you will develop intuition.”

Now, had I been a bit “healthier,” say in the state I was in five years prior when I was living on prescription medications, cigarettes, coffee and hurried autopilot, I probably would have never been drinking tea and certainly would not have been taking the time to reflect on the “fortunes” stuffed within the packages. However, the universe had other plans for me, so my life was slowed down a bit and I was crying and seeking. And something in my gut compelled me to hold on to all of these sage pieces of tea-time advice for some future purpose, so I stuffed them into a Ziploc bag and waited.

Well, the time to unearth the Ziploc bag has come, and the purpose of those “tea scrolls” is manifesting itself in this blog post and the next. In the course of my next several writings, in fact, I am going to share with you a few of those Yogi brand proverbs and my short reflections upon them. I hope that you’ll enjoy the first batch, and I urge you to keep seeking so that you can find what you need.

“If you ask for nothing, you’ll get everything.”

How spot on is this most days? Admit it or not, we enter into most days greedily. We go into most days with expectations that, if met, will barely satisfy us because like market traders we have already built the meeting of those expectations into the price of our satisfaction.

We ask—and expect—the world from God, from our family members and friends, from society, and from ourselves. But what about if we simply released those expectations and then allowed spontaneity and peace to follow. That is how pleasant surprises happen again and again in this life.

The water can’t boil when it is being watched, so to speak, so if you have been focusing a little too intently on certain outcomes lately, why don’t you try releasing your expectations. Instead, simply focus on doing your part and working toward greater spiritual peace and increased health in your life. Then, when you are least expecting it, you will get everything you really need and more.

“Let your heart speak to others’ hearts.”

This is a principle of the soul that I try to honor each week. In my writing and in my videos, I try to let my heart speak to the hearts of others. And while it takes some courage to do so, that act is rewarded more often than not. By sharing my pain, my joy, my dreams, and lessons learned with others, others are able to find their own strength and hope. And in turn I’m able to grow and find community.

If you’re feeling vulnerable right now, that’s okay. Use that state of vulnerability to open up to others. By doing so you will find support, comfort, and a sense that your own life isn’t as messed up or uniquely tragic as you thought it was.

Let your heart do the talking, and others will respond.

“You will always live happy if you live with heart.”

How many instances of modern neurosis occur because we are living in direct opposition to ourselves? We are afraid to pursue the things that make us happy, we are afraid to speak and act as ourselves, and we are afraid to admit that we are unique and have unique needs and ideas. This all results in pain and confusion. However, if we can get closer to being in perfect union with our heart and soul, then we can find joy and excitement and that elusive contentment. Live with heart. Be yourself more and more each day, and find happiness by doing so.

“May this day bring you peace, tranquility, and harmony.”

When I was going through periods of high stress and confusing illness, more than anything I simply desired peace in my life. Tranquility, calm, and relaxation: Those were the things I dreamed about. And if you are currently feeling as if your hope is diminished and your nerves are frayed, I think that peace and tranquility are what you desire most of all, too. More than money, more than a promotion at work, more than adventure, more than fame, more than being proven right in some argument, we all just want peace in our lives!

May you find your peace and tranquility today. As you are reading this, I’m sending both of those things to you.

“Appreciate yourself and honor your soul.”

There are too many people out there who are either living in self-hatred or living a life that denigrates the very idea of their own soul. Some people give up on their dreams, and some get forced into a state of learned self-loathing because they’ve been abused by the actions or words of others who deep down aren’t feeling very loveable or satisfied either.

But there is always a remedy for such pain. Love, both from others and of self.

Love yourself today. Appreciate yourself. Take a moment to marvel at what a wonderful creation of God you are. Take a moment to appreciate the talents you were born with and those you have cultivated. Think of all that you bring to the world, and appreciate yourself.

Honor your soul by vowing to make the most of your life. In ways both large and small (and in some ways that are as of yet unimagined), vow to make greater use of your unique talents and energy. Make your contribution to the world. Do the things that interest you, and contribute to the lives of others in a way that only you can. Get closer to God, and allow Him to show you why He created you. You are unique and one-of-a-kind, so honor your soul.

Michael Priebe is a writer and personal development 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 used both fiction and nonfiction formats to write about health, sports, professional life, politics, relationships, and spiritual issues. 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 life coaching here, and he hopes you'll reach out to him on Facebook and Twitter.

“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.

What does it mean to be free? Does it mean simply living in a democratic country, one that offers all citizens inalienable rights like voting and the freedom to worship as they see fit? Does it mean living in a capitalist country, one that ostensibly provides everyone the opportunity to be upwardly mobile and perhaps even rich?

Does being free simply mean not being a slave or a servant, or not residing behind the cold steel doors of some prison?

Surely these things are all a part of being free, but certainly freedom is about much more than just checking ballot boxes in November or avoiding servitude or lockup. I think that true freedom is about personal freedom, a freedom of the mind and spirit. It is about the freedom to live as ourselves and the freedom to be vibrant and healthy through means of our own definition.

It is about the freedom to believe that the battles we wage in our everyday lives mean something. Let me say it again! The battles we fight to find better health and happiness—the battles we wage to become better people or to affect our own little corners of the world in a positive way—are meaningful. They things should never be dismissed as inconsequential.

True freedom means living as if our every day is extremely consequential.

Most people in America aren’t residing in physical prisons, but there are many who are living within prisons of their own construction: mental prisons, emotional prisons, and spiritual prisons—stifling fortresses built of limited ideas about what life in general ought to be, and about what their lives in particular can possibly be.

Too often we don’t recognize or take advantage of our freedom. Too often we are led to believe that our struggles and emotions and dreams are inconsequential. Has that ever happened to you?

At times I bet we’ve all been guilty of squandering our freedom by living as trapped individuals—scared human beings trapped by spiritual obtuseness, addiction, debt, needless guilt, misguided ideas about health or self-worth, unfulfilling jobs that consume our energy, or simple lies that other people tell us regarding what “reality” is.

But what if we all worked to shed our own individual shackles? What if we each made a resolution to become more personally free this year, to believe more fully that we are indeed entitled to the pursuit of happiness in all its forms (personally, professionally, and spiritually)?

How good could life be then?

THE LEGACY OF SACRIFICE: THE RESPONSIBILITY TO MAKE THE MOST OF OUR FREEDOM

Freedom was on my mind during my run the other day, and so was sacrifice. The sacrifice of so many young people who’ve fought in this country’s wars over the years.

It was about 85 degrees and muggy—just another in a string of topsy-turvy thunderstorm days, the sort where you might get hours of brilliant sunshine or you might get pummeled by torrential downpours punctuated by frightening winds and jagged lines of lightening.

Thankfully my wife, Claudia, and I were able to avoid the storms. We loaded up her bike into the back of our truck and drove over to one of the ill-marked access points of the southern Wiouwash trail, a rustic dirt and gravel biking/running path that runs from Hortonville to Oshkosh, WI and that winds through wooded areas and open farmer’s fields.

It must have rained on the trail that morning, because I immediately spotted a wealth of puddles and decided to change into my “backup” pair of running shoes, the navy pair of Saucony shoes that I don’t really care about getting dirty like I do my precious gray Brooks.

It’s only a couple of miles into the run, and the heat and humidity are already enveloping me like a blanket. I’m soaked with sweat and my legs are beginning to feel heavy. My pace is slowing down, and I’m wondering if I shouldn’t have shot for six miles today instead of eight.

But I’ve already told Claudia that I’d be turning around at the four- mile mark, which is just past that brewery we once biked to, and she’s already well ahead of me and now there’s no stopping early.

Miles three and four are a chore, almost unenjoyable—there’s no other way to put it. But about a half mile after hitting the turnaround, that emotional surge happens for me—that endorphin-flooded feeling when reality simultaneously becomes more lucid and dreamlike.

As The Rolling Stones Gimme Shelter plays on my MP3, I find myself running through a marshy area of the trail and thinking about war. At first I’m thinking in breezy modern metaphors—things like “This run is my personal battle” and so on—but then I find myself being transported back in time. Back to the late ‘60s or early ‘70s, a time before I was born. The landscape I’m inhabiting looks like Vietnam, and I begin to see young soldiers in front of me and behind me. We’re plodding through never-ending recon missions in perpetually damp boots while trying not to step through tripwires that might set off grenade explosions.

Suddenly I’m seeing Vietnamese enemies lying in wait—waiting to rip my guts out or to maim my limbs and my friends.

I’m wondering how I feel about killing now.

My first-world life in 2020 puts so much distance between myself and actual poverty or warfare—I’m a writer, a running enthusiast, and a cat lover—but what if there was no distance. What if poverty-stricken enemies in a godforsaken land were trying to end my existence on this earth, and it was me or them? Would I be able to end a life to save my own or those of my friends, and what would that do to my soul?

The lyrics from Gimme Shelter lend color to my Vietnam imaginings: “War, children, it’s just a shot away. Rape, murder, it’s just a shot away.”

I see helicopters thundering overhead like mad, prehistoric birds, and I see mutilated young Americans lying beside my feet in the hot dirt crying for their mothers. Crying to go home.

If I were one of those young soldiers, perhaps I’d be trying to numb the pain with whatever drug was available. Hell, I’ve never even been to war and I’ve already been through periods like that in my pampered life.

If I was one of those young soldiers, I think I’d just want to go numb or go home. But I’d be forced to continue fighting for freedom.

I guess we’re all forced to continue fighting for our freedom—fighting for our survival and a better tomorrow—because we have no other choice.

As I continue running, I see that my wife is waiting ahead for me with a water bottle, and my mind snaps back to Wisconsin. A couple of slugs of H2O and I’m returned to reality. I take off my waterlogged shirt, wring it out, and continue my eight-mile trek as she once again peddles ahead or me.

The next song on my MP3 is a live version of All Along the Watchtower by the Dave Matthews Band, and when the bass player, Stefan Lessard, starts in with a solo rendition of the Star Spangled Banner, my thoughts return to war and to the millions of sacrifices that have cumulatively given me the freedom I enjoy today.

Now I’m not some fool given to blind patriotism—I’m a skeptic and a dove, for the most part—but today the Star Spangled Banner is giving me shivers. I’m emotionally wobbly to think of those many young men who were splintered and torn and ended by the Civil War, the World Wars, the Vietnam War, and the wars of this millennium in Iraq, Afghanistan, and other lesser-reported locations.

I hate war, but I love those young Americans who fought in them and what they sacrificed for me—whether it was necessary or not.

As the Star Spangled Banner plays, I begin to question the worthiness of my life. What have I sacrificed? What have I accomplished? Those young soldiers fought true battles, I think. The kinds with bullets and bayonets and bombs and flame throwers. Not the pampered sorts of wars that so many people fight in this country today—the internecine wars of the mind that result from too much privilege and too much free time. The narcissistic wars to become a personal brand or get a beach body or get promoted at work. The athletic “wars” talked about by professional game-players in the NFL and NBA and Olympics. The “my workout is my battle” sorts of wars that me and so many privileged others are accustomed to.

I’m struck by the realization that most wars nowadays are personal wars—wars of one’s own creation. What do the stakes of those wars mean anyway? My generation and those below me are mostly fighting with own fears and self-image issues; we are fighting with our own cloistered anxieties and sadnesses and pressures, because we have that luxury.

But as much as I want to say, “Okay, the wars of those soldiers were real and these other wars that the rest of us are fighting now aren’t,” I can’t say that. Because I know from experience that personal wars of the soul and mind and body can be hell—and triumph—too!

I know that a part of appreciating our freedom—the freedom that was won with bullets and blood—is taking our own personal battles seriously, taking the quest to improve ourselves and our corners of the world seriously. We each need to make the most of our lives, whatever that means for each of us individually.

Through the unspeakable sacrifices of others, we’ve all been granted unimaginable freedoms, so now we each have a responsibility to make the most of that freedom.

And God has gifted us these precious lives—and the greatest latitude of all, free choice—so we need to start choosing health and happiness!

I guess I’m saying, take your own battles seriously! Do something with your life! Appreciate it, and nurture it!

Don’t for a second think that the battles you are fighting right now don’t mean something. Own them.

Define your objectives. Plan your attacks. Make progress. Experience victory and freedom for yourself.

That is the legacy that those brave souls who made the ultimate sacrifice left us: The freedom, and even the responsibility, to fight our personal battles and make the most of them. The ability to free our minds so that they aren’t enslaved by demonic prescription medications or manipulative political rhetoric or soul-numbing corporate BS or brainwashing entertainment or small-minded ideas about God.

You have the freedom, today and every day, to pick your own battles and work toward victory. So just pick battles that mean something. Pick ones that make you—and the world—better, and then take them seriously. That is your freedom.

Michael Priebe is a writer and personal development 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 used both fiction and nonfiction formats to write about health, sports, professional life, politics, relationships, and spiritual issues. 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 reach out to him on Facebook and Twitter.

Tags: Benzodiazepine Withdrawal Support, Withdrawal Counseling, Benzo Withdrawal Coaching, SSRI Withdrawal and Healing, Paxil Withdrawal, SSRI Withdrawal Support, Antidepressant Withdrawal Symptoms, Symptoms of Benzo Withdrawal, Xanax Withdrawal, Klonopin Withdrawal and Healing, Spiritual Support for Antidepressant Withdrawal, Spiritual Support for Benzo Withdrawal

Did you enjoy this article by Michael Priebe? If so, you will enjoy his new e-books & videos about prescription drug withdrawal, healing, and spiritual connection. Just click on the links or photos below to order one or all of these new healing tools today!

Show Me the Way of Life

Based on the powerful poetry of the Psalms, Show Me the Way of Life offers fourteen daily devotions for those going through benzodiazepine withdrawal and/or antidepressant withdrawal. These devotions help readers to stay spiritually connected while finding emotional and mental relief from antidepressant withdrawal and/or benzodiazepine withdrawal symptoms.

Tags: Antidepressant Withdrawal, Benzodiazepine Withdrawal, Prescription Drug Withdrawal & Healing, Paxil Withdrawal, Xanax Withdrawal, SSRI Withdrawal, Benzo Withdrawal Support, Gospel Hope, Christian Devotions

I Call You Friend

Based on the powerful & comforting Gospel words of Jesus, these fourteen daily devotions offer peace, perspective, and healing to those who are going through antidepressant withdrawal and/or benzodiazepine withdrawal. The messages in this book allow readers to find spiritual connection while helping to ease the mental and emotional symptoms of SSRI withdrawal and/or benzodiazepine withdrawal.

Tags: Antidepressant Withdrawal, Benzodiazepine Withdrawal, Prescription Drug Withdrawal & Healing, Paxil Withdrawal, Xanax Withdrawal, SSRI Withdrawal, Benzo Withdrawal Support, Gospel Hope, Christian Devotions

Lead Me Beside Still Waters

Based on the powerful poetry of the Psalms, Lead Me Beside Still Waters of Life offers fourteen daily devotions for those going through benzodiazepine withdrawal and/or antidepressant withdrawal. These devotions help readers to stay spiritually connected while finding emotional and mental relief from antidepressant withdrawal and/or benzodiazepine withdrawal symptoms.

Tags: Antidepressant Withdrawal, Benzodiazepine Withdrawal, Prescription Drug Withdrawal & Healing, Paxil Withdrawal, Xanax Withdrawal, SSRI Withdrawal, Benzo Withdrawal Support, Gospel Hope, Christian Devotions

More Than a Glimpse of Hell

What was my life like during my Paxil Withdrawal and my Xanax withdrawal? What lessons did I learn as I healed? In this book I offer candid word portraits of my daily life during withdrawal. I show readers how I struggled to manage my many symptoms, how I dealt with frustrating doctor's appointments, how I kept my job, how I maintained my family relationships, how I made sense of my newly resurfaced emotions, and ultimately how I found the courage and motivation I needed to secure healing and happiness.

Tags: SSRI Withdrawal, Benzodiazepine Withdrawal, Benzo Withdrawal, Antidepressant Withdrawal, Prescription Drug Withdrawal, Withdrawal & Healing, Paxil Withdrawal, Xanax Withdrawal, Healing from Antidepressants, Healing from Benzo Medications

PREMIUM VIDEOS ABOUT WITHDRAWAL & HEALING

"The Healing Power of Thinking Outside the Box" (Video)

The Healing Power of Thinking Outside the Box

Antidepressant/benzodiazepine withdrawal is a unique challenge, and so it stands to reason that our approach to healing from that withdrawal must be unique as well. After taking Paxil & Xanax for nearly 15 years I decided to stop the medications, and the resulting withdrawal and healing process, while difficult, taught me important lessons about finding better health and happiness. In this video I discuss the dangerous groupthink that exists in the health-care and withdrawal communities, and I go on to talk about the importance of independent thinking when it comes to healing. If you're ready to find better health and greater measures of healing, then check out this new video is my Outside the Box Healing series!

"Avoid This One Thing While Healing!"

(Video)

Avoid This One Thing While Healing!

There are a lot of confusing and conflicting opinions out there regarding the things we ought to do or ought not to do in order to find healing from antidepressant withdrawal and benzodiazepine withdrawal. While I myself don't subscribe to a rigid list of "Dos and Don'ts" regarding healing, I do believe that there is one thing that everyone going through withdrawal needs to avoid! Find out what that one thing is in this new video from my Outside the Box Healing series!

WORKDAY DEVOTIONALS

The Uncommon Grind

Are you seeking ways to better cope with the stress and hectic pace of the daily grind? Are you seeking greater meaning and fulfillment out of it all? The Uncommon Grind: Spiritual Motivation for Workdays offers readers fifteen daily workday devotional messages meant to aid spiritual growth, personal development, and professional fulfillment. Each message includes two applicable Scripture verses, a discussion of a particular professional/workday challenge, and a motivational idea meant to spur personal growth. Readers will love this new e-book from Michael Priebe, author of The Lovely Grind: Spiritual Inspiration for Workdays.

Tags: Christian Devotional, Workday Devotional, Stress Relief, Professional Development, Personal Development, The Lovely Grind, Christian Workday Devotional, Christian Daily Devotional, Professional Growth, Personal Development, Spiritual Growth

True Professional Development

Are you seeking ways to better cope with the stress and hectic pace of the daily grind? Are you seeking greater meaning and fulfillment out of it all? True Professional Development offers readers fifteen daily workday devotional messages meant to aid spiritual growth, personal development, and professional fulfillment. Each message includes two applicable Scripture verses, a discussion of a particular professional/workday challenge, and a motivational idea meant to spur personal growth. Readers will love this new e-book from Michael Priebe, author of The Lovely Grind: Spiritual Inspiration for Workdays.

Tags: Christian Devotional, Workday Devotional, Stress Relief, Professional Development, Personal Development, The Lovely Grind, Christian Workday Devotional, Christian Daily Devotional, Professional Growth, Personal Development, Spiritual Growth

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 personal-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.

RSS Feed
GET THE NEW BOOK NOW, FOR FREE!

Subscribers to The Lovely Grind will receive this free e-book along with the free newsletter featuring growth & better-living tips. It's all inspirational and it's all free, so join now.

Recent Posts

RECENT POSTS
  • YouTube Social  Icon
  • Instagram
  • Facebook Social Icon