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A Holiday Hiatus

There are times in life when our bodies and minds tell us that we need to take a break. For me, this is one of those times.


A Tough Year


A year ago, I had my third bout of COVID. That lead to long COVID and a year-long wave of symptoms. While I've had some very hard times in the nine years I've been benzo-free, things had always improved year after year.


This year was different.


Long COVID seemed to make everything worse. Brand new symptoms I'd never had before found their way onto my playlist, along with the return of some old symptoms with new found severity. When I first mentioned this on the podcast, I received several responses of similar experiences from my listeners, and I soon realized I wasn't alone.


I spent the first half of the year trying to find answers — as we so often do — including several medical tests and procedures. I found a few factors, but couldn't identify the a recognized cause. My best guess is a combination of psychological stress, long COVID, and of course, BIND.


Then, on Thanksgiving Day, I hit my limit.


Our house was full of my wife's family — nine people, three dogs, and too much food. The hours of chaos was more than I could handle, and I had a mini melt down. I isolated myself for much of the remaining weekend trying to recover. Something had to change.


Time for Self Care


I'm taking a hiatus.


I wish I could say this is the first time I've done this, but it's not. If you've been a listener to my podcast for any length of time, you may remember that I've taken a break from it a few times before. I guess you could call it a pattern. Like so many of us, I have a tendency to push myself until I start to break. That was the case again on Thanksgiving day.


So, here's the thing: I'm taking a break for the next six weeks.


I'll still attend essential meetings for my research teams and the Benzodiazepine Action Work Group (BAWG) —but everything else, especially the work we've done building up the infrastructure here at Easing Anxiety, is on hold for a while. For the month of December, I'm going to focus on my health and spending time with my family. This will be followed by a two week road trip (part work / part vacation) in January that was already on my calendar.


The truth is, I'm not good for anyone else, if I don't take care of myself first.


Many of you have told me that recently, and I thank you for the constant reminders. And one of the reasons I'm sharing this with you now is just in case someone else needs that gentle nudge to step back a bit, and give yourself the gift of self-care for the holidays.


Remember — It's My Story, Not Yours


I realize that this message may be triggering for some of you.


Whenever I share a difficulty with my journey through BIND, I receive some critical feedback. As I've mentioned many times before, it is a tenuous path we take deciding when to share and when not to share, especially when things are tough. But, I always fall back on honesty and transparency. If I don't share the truth about the bad times in this experience, why should you trust me about the good times.


There are so many factors that feed into the severity and duration of a person's experience with BIND. The fact that I'm still struggling at nine years out already puts my in a very small minority of individuals going through benzo withdrawal. I'm an extreme case. I also updosed during withdrawal, took a fluoroquinolone, had three bouts of COVID, have moderate to severe ADHD, have dealt with chronic gastric distress since childhood, recently discovered I have low vitamin D and low testosterone, and several other factors that add to my story. Remember, it's never just about the benzos.


The odds are in your favor. Your journey will most likely be easier than mine.


Closing


So, take care for the next six weeks. If I feel up to it I may still put out a blog post, but I can't make any promises. Doryn may also post during the holidays, so keep your eyes peeled for that.


Thank you all so very much for your kind patience. We all go through difficult times, even setbacks in our lives — it's just my turn. I'll be back soon.


Take care and Happy Holidays, D :)



For Informational Purposes Only


All information presented on Easing Anxiety is for informational purposes only, and should never be considered medical or health advice. Withdrawal, tapering, or any change in dosage of benzodiazepines or any other prescription drugs should only be done under the direct supervision of a licensed physician.


This article was written by a living, breathing human.


Please read our site disclaimer for more information.

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3 Comments


I hope you are healing. You were my first Benzo contact online. Bless you!!!!

Stephanie Bondy

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Naftal Benisty
Naftal Benisty
Dec 16, 2023

Take care, D! Good that you're prioritizing your health. Wishing you good holidays. Greetings, your colleague Naftal from the Netherlands 💜💜💜

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Char Grady
Char Grady
Dec 20, 2023
Replying to

Happy Holidays. Peace be with you always. Char.

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