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What healthy changes have you made to allow for your healing that have helped?


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Hi Everyone,


Looking for answers of how changing a part of your life ie: changing your diet, getting help from others, taking a leave of absence from work, gone on disability, meditation, light exercise, setting up healthy boundaries etc...anything you have lovingly incorporated into your life, that you found has helped you in your journey of WD healing. Looking for strategies you were actually able to incorporate that helped you. I don't mean supplements, CBD oil etc or things of that nature. Not things you ingest or inhale. I mean healthy changes you've made to the structure of your life.


Over a week ago, I tried to push myself because *I thought* I was ready. More so, I was tired of being limited physically, so I pushed myself. Truth be told, I pushed myself to attempt to look good in the eyes of others. Like I was doing it for other people, more so than myself; which was silly because no one had expectations of me; but when we are used to being independent, we long to return to our independent way of life.


Turns out, it did not go so well. I had a few set backs like unsteadiness, low mood (which always feels chemical. I did not have "low mood" pre WD) major weakness (a symptom that I thought was gone for good), dizziness (ugh, so sick of that symptom) and a major WD headache. For me, a WD headache is not a "normal headache". In fact I have not gotten a "normal headache" throughout this whole ordeal. My WD headaches feel like migraines. They start with a stiff neck and the pain is intense and scary. Fortunately, one Motrin, laying down, and hot moist compresses to the neck help this. I have to stop whatever I'm doing and go lay down immediately or it intensifies.


It's been a year since my last Ativan and I feel I've made many changes along the way to help me heal. But, there's always room for more change if need be. If there's a path available to me that I can choose that will help me in my recovery and to heal, than that's the path I'll take.


I came to realize this a week ago when I tried to push it too much, and my body wasn't ready. Therefore, I made the change to take a long leave from my work. It wasn't that difficult to do because I'm the owner of the company, but throughout this last year I felt continuing to work at a part time pace was going to actually help me. At about up to 4 or 5 months into WD, I think working did help me, but I was in the acute phase then and I needed to distract, but l'm no longer in that part of my healing. This wasn't the easiest decision because I love what I do. The only way to find out if it would help versus harming was to put it on shut down 100%. So, for the first time in this entire WD ordeal, I finally shut it down 100%.


I am basically on vacation. A "healing vacation". Instead of getting up daily and filling orders and answering emails, I am walking the dog, meditating in nature, and just doing housework, grocery shopping and light errands. I've also worked out daily "alone time" in the evenings for a couple of hours before bed, and this has helped me wind down to sleep.


It took just a day or two to realize that I should have done this sooner. My body finally feels like it has a real chance to heal. I feel so relaxed that my legs have that feeling you get after you've walked all day at an amusement park and you finally slip into bed at night and feel that - "ahhhh" as you sink into the soft mattress and drift off to sleep. My entire body has let go of being tense, and I feel like I can actually get a good rest now, including guiltlessly taking a nap in the afternoon. Now the nap is actually restful versus feeling like a battle with my "inner voice" pushing me to get up and work.


Because of this, I now have more clarity in my hindsite, as to how stress hormones really play a big role in this. For example: having a quarrel with someone equals more symptoms, spend too much time in the hot sun equals more symptoms, over do it in exercise - more symptoms, eat take out of food with hidden MSG - more symptoms. You get what I mean.


I really had to make this change to "get the ball rolling" for more healing to happen. I resisted the idea of taking a long leave from work for many months because I thought that I had to limp along and push myself. That, that was the best thing to do. To build some "stamina" I guess??? I also love my career, but even with that being said, it was still too much. I still have to deal with customers and complaints etc ... that's not really being restful.


Now, when I walk by my home office, I don't think: "Oh, I miss making a design and promoting it" anymore. It's EASY to forget about it because I've been sick a year and I'm DARN TIRED OF IT. Healing takes precedence now.


Baylissa Frederick said that for her: "The path of less stress was always the one she chose."


What changes have you made that have helped?



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I have gone off caffeine, just having a mug of hot cocoa in the morning.  I make it up myself, with skim milk, cocaco powder and a little sugar.  I drink very little, a glass of wine on occasion.  I really should have none at all. I try to take one day at a time, and distract myself with audiobooks and TV such as Netlix.  Hopefully I will start exercising more.
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I got  cable For the time because of the virus so I fully expected a lot of stay at home periods. I now find I don’t care for it and it’s just background noise. Instead I downloaded several games On my iPad some of which challenge my brain. I find this good to wind down. I stayed off this site for about a year as I felt it was causing me stress to read posts. I came back to write a success story yesterday and I felt that closed this chapter of my life. I work, play and distract. I’m very fortunate to have good close friends who I hang with when I’m not at work. Caffeine went out the window a long time ago, and I won’t go back on it ever. Same for liquor. I don’t miss either but do treat myself to dessert a lot. It doesn’t seem to affect me much.
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I take cold showers and it's been great for me. I know it sounds like torture but It helps me not only to have a good night sleep but reduces my anxiety and sedates me big time.

Diet has also helped me a lot. Way less carbohydrates, sugar and coffee.

I started to see a holistic doctor trying to eliminate bad stuff from my body and heal my digestive system.

And, of course, avoiding complicated people and stressful situations!



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Thank you everyone for your replies.


I like the description: "complicated people". That is a great way to decipher who to avoid until we are healed.. or to avoid forever.


I know some folks can drink alcohol. I definatley cannot. Even one glass and I "pay for it" with migraine type headaches and WD symptoms. In Baylissa Frederick's book, her suggestion is to avoid alcohol until at least 6 months after you are completely healed, and then try very cautiously. I'm going to have to go with that suggestion. Our gaba receptors are healing and alcohol effects gaba. That can be seen throughout BB, but there are some folks who are unaffected. I do miss a glass of wine on the holidays. However, if I'm truthful, the glass of wine was to help tolerate guests and family members who are difficult to be around .... so that goes back the my previous paragraph about avoiding complicated people.


I'm a huge chocoholic.... I had to give that up too. Looking back to the early months of this, when I was still researching and learning and naive, I was eating chocolate still because of it's antioxidant properties. I thought it would help. But it certainly did not. I also cut out coffee (including decaf), but I would take a sip of my husband's. I was still drinking tea too. One day I had green tea and the connection became so apparent as I immediately suffered a migraine and visual disturbances. I've even heard that cammomile tea (supposed to relax) can cause severe WD symptoms. We were eating Chinese still back then in my early days of WD too. I just didn't know better. By cutting these things out of my diet, there was a HUGE improvement in WD symptoms. Now I'm extremely cautious of what I ingest. If the ingredients are anything but basic, I don't eat it. Meat gets cooked or grilled with a bit of salt and pepper, veggies are steamed and plain with a dab of butter. It's not even worth eating out because there's so many hidden seasonings. Salad dressing I gave up on. They contain so many ingredients and the word "spices" in the ingredients ... which usually means MSG. Or they have soy, again more MSG. It's just not worth the potential suffering.


I have not tried to cut back on sugar much. Since it seems to be the only thing that has not brought on symptoms I haven't bothered. I'm not a big sweets person. But, I do have about one and a half cans of soda daily (no caffiene, non diet,  no artificial sweetener). I have ice cream or cookies a few times a week. I don't see any exacerbation in symptoms after consuming these things, but I sometimes wonder if cutting back on sugar would kick up healing a notch or two.


I unfortunately was dealing with complicated people and situations back in those early months. Again, I was too naive to know how much it was all affecting my WD negatively. Now my husband and I have made some concrete healthy boundaries. Some have required letters from a lawyer to give me the space I need to heal. I think that a major part of the battle with WD is getting people to  understand the space, room and TIME and understanding that we need on their part to heal. The sooner these boundaries are set, the better. I waited a year to involve a lawyer. I think if I would have been firm and upfront with people in the very beginning, I would have had less severe symptoms. It came to the point where my husband had to tell certain people to: "Leave my wife alone and let her heal!"


Now I know better what to eat, and who to avoid, and I feel better. Do I feel better because of time and 13 months have passed since my last Ativan? Or because I changed my eating and put my foot down with the a**holes in my life? Or both? I think it's both. But, more so time.


The great thing is that I needed these boundaries with the jerks in my life way before withdrawal, and eating whole foods is such a much better way to live anyway, without all the preservatives. These things are certainly the "silver linings" that come from WD. I call them gifts.

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I took three months of disability leave when I was in acute. I’m really grateful I was able to do that because there’s no way in hell I was able to work. Focusing on my healing and recovery was my full time job!


I also attended a daily meditation class, prayer a lot and leaned on my family for support.

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