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Handing intrusive thoughts/ fear!!!


[Bu...]

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Hi, again. How do I handle overwhelming fear??  I have asked this before. Second I wake up, it all floods in!! Worst in morning. Any small bit of advice is greatly appreciated!

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I know the overwhelming fear can be so difficult.  
Hopefully, others will chime in on how they cope with this.

I practice a lot of self talk telling myself that this is the benzo injury "talking" and this is not who I really am.  I also practice deep breathing exercises in the morning when the fear is bad.  For me it helps to get up and start moving.  

I am hoping you were able to go to the dtore the other day.  If so, would love to know how that went for you.

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Decatur, thank you so much for remembering! No one ever follows up with what i post: it's like my messages go out and get lost in the ether. Yes, I went to the store when there was barely no one there and that's a good strategy. Still, I don't want to go out. I put off moving for another year, too, which saddens me, because I hate where i live. The once nice neighborhood has really slid into the sewer.

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@[Bu...]

I'm so sorry you're feeling this fear. I understand that. Sometimes I'll have this feeling of dread in the pit of my stomach, but it has gotten a lot better for me. Things that have helped are meditation (every morning), breathing exercises, getting outside and going for a walk, distracting myself with "projects", reading, watching light-hearted videos... There are lots of things that can help.

Is the fear emotional or are you experiencing physical sensations that trigger the fear? My psychologist - yes, I'm very lucky that I have a psychologist to help me with Life right now - recommends sitting with the fear and acknowledging it. I try to evaluate my physical sensations and my fears, and I DON'T necessarily try to "talk myself" out of what I'm feeling, but rather sit with it and try to observe what I'm feeling. No judgement. Try not to label a feeling as "good" or "bad". It can be unpleasant, sure, but that's OK.

My psychologist has also encouraged me to DO the things that frighten me (maybe he's trying to channel Eleanor Roosevelt) - in a "safe" way. For example, I was having fears about making a 1.5-hour drive to an appointment, so we talked about what was I afraid of - exactly - and then what would I do if the worst thing happened. How would I handle it? Once I had a plan, I was able to do it. And sure enough, I was LATE, (one of my fears) but the world didn't end. (And none of the other things I was afraid of even came CLOSE to happening.)

It seems that our brains are hard-wired for anxiety and fear because that is what kept/keeps us alive, but sometimes it is inappropriate in today's world. The more we can desensitize our brains by DOING the things that frighten us - and living to tell the tale - the better our coping mechanisms become. It's super uncomfortable but completely doable. In my case, just SITTING in the driver's seat of the car, then getting out, was recommended - as was just taking a short drive around the block every day so that my brain would relearn that I was "safe". (And this driving thing is really weird because I've spent my life driving hundreds of miles by myself, so I have no idea where this recent fear came from, but I'm conquering it! Huzzah!)

You wrote that you put off moving for another year because you don't want to go out, but maybe you could start planning for your move. It's probably never too soon, really. That would give you something positive to look forward to, but without pressure. We did that when we moved (three times in two years - yikes!), I made lots of lists (one for utilities and such, one for change of address notes, etc.) It was a great time to sort through stuff and give things away, donate, or gift. We also did our "inventory" for insurance. Scanned scads of slide, photos, and documents which cut way down on our paper files, which was nice. Then we got all the supplies and packed up the stuff that we knew we wouldn't need, and it just sat around for a while. I guess I'm trying to say it doesn't have to be all or nothing and taking a small step towards where you want to go might be a good distraction AND help you feel like you're moving towards your goal.

Sorry If I've rambled on a bit. I do know how it all feels. My last taper in 2015 wasn't nearly as easy as this one has been for me. I'm grateful this one is going well. I'm sending you Posivibes for feeling better!

Jess

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1 hour ago, [[B...] said:

Decatur, thank you so much for remembering! No one ever follows up with what i post: it's like my messages go out and get lost in the ether. Yes, I went to the store when there was barely no one there and that's a good strategy. Still, I don't want to go out. I put off moving for another year, too, which saddens me, because I hate where i live. The once nice neighborhood has really slid into the sewer.

That is fantastic @[Bu...]!   You need to celebrate the fact that you went to the store.   Baby steps are so important in this process.   I understand about not wanting to go out, but if you can just make yourself go out every once in a while it will eventually become a little easier.   Of course, you know all this, but some times we just need a little push!  I am sorry you have had to put your move off, but as @[Je...] said maybe you can start planning your move.  Do you know where you will be moving?

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Decater & Jess

Thanks for caring! I need to move to the country- I hate it here. People are so disrespectful around me.

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4 hours ago, [[B...] said:

Decater & Jess

Thanks for caring! I need to move to the country- I hate it here. People are so disrespectful around me.

@[Bu...] I'm so sorry about the disrespecting. People can sometimes be completely oblivious and rude. For years I lived in a major metropolitan area and then finally moved, the FIRST time, to a community of around 3,000 people. It was nice. Then we moved in with my parents for several months, and them finally to where we are now, which is a small community, and we love it. The people are SO friendly and kind. I sure hope you can move to a place that is perfect for you. I told my husband when we moved here that in this place, I really felt like I could heal. Time for you to start your planning! :clap:

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Thanks, Jess, for sharing that with me. There aren't many places where I am but I'll have to find a smaller town. Blessings.

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Thank you, Decatur. It's so hard being negative all the time. I'm not me anymore. I hope I find myself again one day. I don't know myself. 

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You will find yourself again.   You are still there; but part of your brain has been hijacked.   Acceptance and patience have been so important for me.  This is a difficult journey and I applaud your courage and hope!

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Decatur, I'm so, so sorry but I forgot to to you well, too!!! I'm in survival mode as I think only about myself thse days.

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Fear of unknown and future is my problem. The intrusive/ruminating thoughts . It was so bad once I thought I was literally gonna jump out of a window and start screaming taking off running. It wasn't anxiety or panic attack no....it was full on fear, fear of more loss, more pain physically and emotionally and sickness etc. Fear of yearning for the past so bad, my old life thinking I'll never get that back again.

 

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19 hours ago, [[B...] said:

Decatur, I'm so, so sorry but I forgot to to you well, too!!! I'm in survival mode as I think only about myself thse days.

No worries, @[Bu...].    When you are in survival mode, it is really tough to think of anyone/anything else.    These days I am trying really hard to think about all the good things in my life, and there are many good things.   Life can be really tough at times, but if I am honest, I have it better than most, even while going through the benzo stuff.    Today I was just thinking how grateful I am for all my friends who have stuck by me!   They may not understand what I am going through, but they are so supportive and kind.   Anyway, just musing about things this process has "taught" me.......not taking the small things for granted.   

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On 21/08/2023 at 21:23, [[B...] said:

Decatur, thank you so much for remembering! No one ever follows up with what i post: it's like my messages go out and get lost in the ether. Yes, I went to the store when there was barely no one there and that's a good strategy. Still, I don't want to go out. I put off moving for another year, too, which saddens me, because I hate where i live. The once nice neighborhood has really slid into the sewer.

@[Bu...]

I hate going out as well. But once I'm out and about, the only thing that makes me really want to go home is my Kitty. I know she misses me. And I miss her. As @[Je...] mentioned, deep breathing exercises do wonders for paralyzing anxiety.

Try to observe the sensations in your body. Where is the fear located? For me it's usually my chest and abdomen. Try to be mindful of your surroundings, discreetly observing people and everything around you.

Try to mentally connect with others, they are not self-assured either. They often pretend. You lost the ability to pretend and you're too focused on this overwhelming fear, which is irrational.

It all takes practice, going out many times, trying to feel good in your skin, dress nicely, appear self-assured. These are just appearances. But others do the same.

Do you have such a low opinion of yourself that you cannot be in a grocery store? Why? Concentrate on groceries, on the task ahead. On everything genuine, like pets and babies. Babies decipher you in one second, they have this gut instinct. But they will never judge you.

But first of all, concentrate on your breath. Inhale slowly, counting to four. Then exhale also counting to four. Try to practice abdominal breathing, it will calm you down. Concentrate on Nature, you're a part of it and it protects you. Try to tighten then relax your muscles, assume a self-assured posture.

You are not in any way inferior to those people around and you have no clue what demons they face. Eye contact is always important, but not too much of it. The eyes are windows to the Soul. You're part of this human community and have every right to be here.

I'm naturally curious of people, which makes me forget about myself. But everything starts with the breath, with carefully watching your surrondings. Other people are scared too, they are just used to going outside. It's desensitization, exactly.

Always try to look your best and keep your head up - you're a Survivor of a great tragedy. Those people didn't go through Hell, like you had to. Get out of your head and look outside, try to notice as much as possible. This is all easier said than done. But people have no idea what's going on inside you, unless you show them.

I hope this was useful just a little bit. We are all actors in this big theater which is life. Only those closest to us know about our fears and insecurities. 

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Thank you for your kindness, Estee. I've lost what little wisdom I ever had in all this. Withdrawal for 3 1/2 years. I feel so alien here! I think I forgot how to act: in fact I know i have. Lifesbeen depressing sin emy benzo journey began 28 years ago. I really am isolated and lost much. This 8s really the way it is.

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