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Updates... and My First Blog Post in a Long, Long Time

Welcome to our new mailing list.

You may have noticed that this email has taken on a different look than our newsletter and updates from the past. I spent the entire weekend migrating our email list from Mailchimp to the website platform on Wix, further simplifying more processes. Now, whenever I create a new post on our site, whether it be podcast, news, blog, video, or other content, you will be notified instantly when it is published. No extra steps.

I'll try and publish something 2-3 times a week on our site. Hopefully that won't fill up your inbox but will still keep our content flowing. If you believe this is too much content, or have any suggestions, please let me know.


Return of the Blog

Now, if I can only remember how to write one of these things.

I'm so used to recording my thoughts on the podcasts that writing them down seems a bit foreign to me now. Still, with the new website and all, I thought it would be good to return to some blog writing now and again. In an effort to produce more content with this new structure, I also want to mix up how we communicate. This post is actually part news and part blog, so I hope it's okay if I mix the formats a bit.

I'm doing pretty good. My current wave of symptoms comes and goes (tinnitus, throat tightening, dysphagia, anxiety, overwhelm, etc.). But, it all makes sense. And it's definitely not all benzos and BIND. I want to make sure I make that clear. The cocktail of stress and BIND can create problems. But, mix in long COVID, grief, and other factors, and it all makes sense. So many of you have shared similar struggles in recent months.

I did see my gastroenterologist last week and he urged me to ease up on things to reduce stress, and I have a feeling I am not alone in this situation. I find it's rare to meet someone who doesn't feel overwhelmed, overworked, struggling to find some time for themselves in this life. Whether it's work, family, parents, kids, sports, social media, you name it —there is so much we want to cram into each day that we can spend much of our time anxious, tired, and frustrated. And far too often, we spend more time on the things we don't really value or enjoy, and less on the things we do. This has been me for the past few years.

But, it's never too late to change — right?


Learning to Say "No"

For me, one of the key steps in the right direction is learning to say "no." I am a born and bred people-pleaser. Maybe some of you are the same way. Call it low self-esteem, call it insecurity, call it whatever you like — but I want... no, I need everyone to like me. This means that one of the biggest fears in my life is disappointing someone. I won't bore you more than I already am with how this came to be, but it's who I am.

Now, I'm 57 years old, so I'm not going to change my personality significantly. But, I can learn how to manage things better, and learn how to reduce the negative affects on my life. And one of those, is learning to say "no" to people when there is already too much on my plate. And in particular, learning to say no to things that are not a priority in my life. I'm working on this, and getting better, but it will take time.

Taking care of ourselves, especially during BIND and other psychological and physical hurdles, is essential. I've been terrible at that these past few years, and I am now paying the price. But, as I mentioned earlier, it's never too late to make small changes.


Podcast Status

Now, regarding the Benzo Free Podcast, this is where I would normally apologize for being late in getting the March episode out and promise it will be out very soon. And trust me, as I am writing this right now, I so desperately want to do that. But, I won't.

Instead, I'll take a deep breath and tell you I will get the episode out when I can. And, that I appreciate your patience. How was that?


Closing Thoughts

Well, thanks for taking the time to read this blog, or news post, or whatever it was. Now that the new website is live, I can expand it as I have time and add in all those features that I've been talking about for oh so long.

Life is good. It really is. It really, truly is. Even though I may complain on this site, please know that I am still optimistic and happy most of the time. I have an amazing, loving, beautiful wife, a lovely home, a job I love to work at, and so much more. I am truly, truly blessed. Enough said.

Keep calm, taper slowly, and be at peace,

D :)

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