Updated: Mar 23
For all those who feel alone in benzo withdrawal, I just wanted to say, “hi.”
Benzo withdrawal is an incredibly lonely illness. Even if you have a loved one to take care of you — and I know many of you don’t — you still are the only one trapped in your benzo-addled brain yearning for someone to climb in there with you and help you find your way out. But it doesn’t work that way — does it?
So, I just wanted to say, “hello.” It’s just me. I don’t want anything. I don’t need anything from you. I just want to say hi, and let you know that I’m thinking about you.
Benzo withdrawal is an incredibly lonely illness.
Benzo Free, and the entire benzo community for that matter, are a group of friends. That’s all we are. Friends who look out for each other. Friends who understand each other. Friends who share a common bond — the bond of experiencing benzo dependence in ourselves or a loved one.
You are not alone. One more time. You are not alone. There are thousands of us out here to help. All you have to do is look for us. Perhaps I can help you in your search.
One option — an option that helped many of us through this trying period in our lives — are discussion groups like Benzo Buddies and the Benzodiazepine Recovery, Beating Benzos, and Blazing Benzos Facebook groups among many others. These groups have helped thousands of people find information, solace, and companionship. They helped me more times than I can count, and I’m so glad that they exist.
Unfortunately, they also have a downside. Discussion groups can be a trigger for some. They can contain a disproportionate amount of horror stories which may be very difficult for patients to read. Still, these discussion groups are excellent resources and provide support for so many.
Mentors, Friends, and Coaching
I’ve had some experience with support groups in my past, and I’ve found that the best gains achieved from these groups are often just the human connection. The connection to someone else who knows what you are going through. Or even better, the leadership from a mentor or sponsor who has been there and learned a few things along the way.
…the best gains achieved from these groups are often just the human connection.
Some benzo groups have already started to move in this direction. World Benzodiazepine Awareness Day (W-BAD) identifies representatives from different parts of the world who can be contacted directly by people in the benzo community. There are also wonderful coaching services and workshops like those provided by Baylissa and Jennifer Leigh. And, there are several localized groups which provide support. You can find some of these on resource pages at Benzo Free and Benzodiazepine Information Coalition (BIC).
Another amazing resource for finding connection during withdrawal isTWP Connect at The Withdrawal Project. This is a free online platform sponsored by Inner Compass Initiative which helps “people who are thinking about, in the process of, or have past experiences with partially reducing or fully coming off psychiatric drugs.” Members can connect, meet in person, or just learn new tips about withdrawal. Learn more at TWP Connect.
You Are Not Alone
Loneliness, especially during benzo withdrawal, can make life seem hopeless. On top of the misery of your withdrawal, you also feel separated from the rest of the world. The isolation can be near absolute — but there is help.
There are things you can do. It might take a bit of effort, but there are many wonderful resources already established to help you find the support you need.
You have friends. We are your friends. If you want to reach out to us at Benzo Free and just say hello, we’d love to hear from you. Just send us a message on our Contact/Feedback Form. I promise we’ll respond.
Keep calm, taper slowly, and take care of yourself, D :)