You may have noticed the old weathered boxing gloves you see on most of my branding, for lack of a better word. It's the iconology of my work in Benzo recovery. There's an interesting story behind these gloves that is worth sharing.
When I began thinking of taking my work here in the Benzo community more seriously, I mean really dedicating myself to it. I began looking for some symbols. Something that would capture what I was about or wanted to say in an image.
You see, I didn't want to work as a Benzo coach. It was never on my radar when I went to college and took all those psychology courses. I envisioned another path for me. Additionally, I was an artist, and I wanted to keep my image quiet and focused just on the artwork.
In fact, my YouTube channel began as an art channel. Hence, if you scroll all the way back to the oldest videos, you'll see artwork. But, benzos quickly became a calling, a mission I couldn't deny.
I kept dabbling, thinking I would release a few positive videos and disappear into the sunset. But people kept responding, and they responded wonderfully. They kept asking for more content. More videos, which I obliged. This eventually led to people asking for more detailed information on my experiences and opinions on recovery. So I released a book. Of course, the book needed a cover.
That's when I began thinking about the symbol I wanted to convey my work with Benzos.
I thought about many different things, such as the transformation of butterflies. I thought about how lighthouses guided lost ships safely from the fog and ocean storms. I considered rainbows as a symbol of a promise of better days.
These felt cliche, and many other coaches were already using them. Being an artist, I wanted to be unique, if possible.
I thought long and hard about what symbol I would use. I asked myself, "David, what do you truly want to say?" As if I were delivering an elevator pitch to some big film producer and only had moments to convey who I am, what I am about, and what the project is about. And that's when it hit me.
I said to myself, "Benzos is the hardest fight of our life, and it begins with us fighting to just get out of (and stay out of) bed!" And from there, a lightbulb came on. I knew I needed to photograph some boxing gloves on the bed. Of course, I wasn't sure if this would come out right. Would it look decent or abstract? Would it make sense? I wasn't sure. I also knew I needed some really old weathered gloves. Because that's what Benzo withdrawal is genuinely like. It's a 200-round boxing match! We box so much that the leather on the gloves begins to fall off!
So I searched the internet for old boxing gloves until I found the ones in the image above. They were from, if I'm not mistaken, 1910. Over 100 years old! They were perfect. Weathered and cracked, falling apart, and yet somehow beautiful. They were a piece of art. I looked at those gloves and thought, YES, this symbolizes my journey perfectly!
I ordered the gloves, placed them on my bed, and took photographs until I found the right one.
The symbolism of weathered gloves on the bed is so important to me because so many of us become disabled, and we become bed-bound. This is understandable given the situation, but something terrible can manifest without being careful. Our amygdalas associate the bed with our suffering as if the bed were somehow responsible. No different than some patch of wilderness where we frequently encounter bears. The amygdala becomes hyperaroused, and that, in return, amplifies our symptoms. A very important thing to remember. Indeed, our first battle is in peeling ourselves out of bed and gradually learning how to lull down our symptoms in a healthier way. That said, this doesn't mean we cannot rest in bed! I don't want to send that message and make you worry. Resting is fine. The bed is fine. But the risk is there if we stay too long in bed. Also, the bed can be a bit enabling. It's easy to sort of give up and succumb to our symptoms. Of course, I believe in creating a program for recovery. One that helps lull down our hypervigilant nervous system while eventually gradually pushing back against the debilitating symptoms.
I still have the boxing gloves, which sit next to me on my office desk. I don't touch them much because they're so old that any movement and they begin to fall apart. But they've served their purpose. And I can only imagine those gloves' history in their 100+ years.