Love letters to those of us in withdrawal

I wrote the below in a withdrawal group I’m part of. Sometimes people find us when they have gone off too quickly and are suffering terribly and are very much afraid. Fear is our worst enemy:

I am going to say some stuff that might be hard to hear but it might help so I’m going to give it a shot.

Us old-timers…those of us who have been withdrawing for a year or more (it’s been 4 for me) We’ve all been in the freaked out—out of control states some of you are in now—and what’s more we still are quite often. What changes is we learn that we are NOT going to die and that we WILL make it through. We feel just as bad, and miserable, we often want to die, but we actually get used to it. And the way that happens is through acceptance that yes, we are suffering and it’s okay.

We come to know it’s okay because we see people not only survive it but they recover and thrive and we see that WE indeed survive it too…again and again on our path to wellness.

We are not alone and we are not terribly unique in our suffering. In fact we are all very much alike.

We need patience—for this is an endurance test. But it’s one that comes to an end. And it’s one that varies in intensity and pain.

We can sit back and experience whatever we’re experiencing and welcome it as our human experience or we can kick and scream and cry and make ourselves more miserable. It really is a choice to some degree…

I still have days that I kick and scream and make myself miserable and others in which I accept this bizarre fate that is mine and ours. And other times when I don’t feel oh so awful too. Life guarantees one thing and that is change. Think about how we can change in order to accept our situation so that we can do all the things we need to do to make ourselves healthy so that this time will, indeed, pass.

I send much love to everyone who is suffering now.

Later I was asked is it possible to heal even while on the drugs and sick from taking them and from the subsequent withdrawals. I answered:

The first way we can grow and heal is spiritually through acceptance. Acceptance of reality. Your reality.

That doesn’t mean you have to like it, because in fact it’s pretty shitty right now, isn’t it? But through acceptance we can start to resist less and as we resist less we start to be open to having a different attitude about our difficult situation.

And the spirit returns. It’s taken a long time for me. It comes in little glimpses…and sometimes it disappears and I despair…but we really have no choice but to accept…that or die and I’ve ceased really wanting to die, though I am very ill and I often despair I’ve developed some hope.

That hope comes from all the people I’ve watched go before me and all the people including you making this journey with me.

The human spirit is profoundly resilient.

And I now pray and meditate…though I don’t know what I’m praying to…and I feel like something is out there with me and loving me…this has happened as I recover, even as I’m often in bed…as I happen to be now…healing while ill…yes…

5 thoughts on “Love letters to those of us in withdrawal

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  1. I tend to “forget” about acceptance. – Maybe the greatest challenge in life: accepting oneself, while withdrawing from drugs or not. – I still often end up fighting myself. The source of suffering. Thanks for underlining the importance of (self-)acceptance!

  2. A very important post. There are moments when we all feel so terrible that it’s difficult to remember when we felt well. It would probably be a great idea for everyone to write a piece like this for themselves so they could read it in their darkest moments!

    Or maybe they can just read yours!


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