The aftermath: from windows to open door

An excerpt from Benzo-Wise: A recovery companion — by Baylissa Frederick who operates the website Recovery Road that has many resources for successful withdrawal and recovery from benzos. Baylissa has been fully recovered since this excerpt was written. She is one of my greatest inspirations and has written other inspiring and healing posts on this blog too.

Editors note: for those of you who are not familiar with the terminology used in benzo withdrawal groups I’m putting this little glossary here as an intro.

Windows are periods of relative well-being after having been very sick. For some people they are “normal” periods, for others who are struck harder by the withdrawal syndrome they are simply periods of some improvement. Windows often come and go throughout the tapering and the post withdrawal period both.

Waves are markedly worse times and they also come and go, more often during the recovery process.

An open door of course is the resolution of the healing process and that is Baylissa’s own word to celebrate her healing.

The Aftermath
February 10, 2008
From Windows to Open Door

“I am writing this for anyone who is still trying to cope with the brain fog, depersonalisation, derealisation and other psychological and physical symptoms. I am thankful for my current window of clarity which I think has become my open door to recovery. It has now been ten weeks. The continuous lucidity and clarity of thought are still slightly unfamiliar. It feels pleasantly strange after having spent the last ten years in a blurred reality. My recovery still makes me feel emotional and extremely pleased. I feel as if I have been given a second chance at life.

Not very long ago, I was having one of my worst withdrawal waves. Despite affirming and remaining positive, there was a tiny part of me that wondered whether I should just accept that I may either have permanent brain damage or, that I may have a few more years to wait for my recovery. A little voice tried to reason that maybe it was part of my reality, a path I needed to take, and if I affirmed otherwise, it was my ego getting in the way. I resisted those fears and continued affirming my healing and speaking positively to myself. A bigger voice inside responded saying, “Be patient; you will make your own happy ending.”

I started challenging myself to do a lot of the activities I had postponed for when I got better – anything that I was capable of doing. I stopped giving attention to the symptoms, acting, even if in mind only, as if I had no symptoms. This was difficult with the dizziness and hearing problems but there was a part of me that just would not give in to that other voice telling me withdrawal has gone on for much too long and it must be something more.

If any of this resonates with you, I cannot tell you with any more conviction that your healing is taking place, now, as you read this. When a symptom seems unrelenting and you have done everything possible and nothing seems to be working, trust that your brain is in the process of readjusting to being functional without the drug. Then imagine what you will be like (go into as much detail as possible and feel it as well) without the foggy brain or whatever your symptoms are. See yourself doing all the things you cannot yet do but will be able to when the symptoms go.

When I read what I had written in November and think of how I feel now, I cannot help but write to remind you that every day in every way your body is recovering. Your healing has already taken place.”

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