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What's your benzo superpower?



“Do not judge me by my success. Judge me by how many times I fell down and got back up again.”

Nelson Mandela'


I've found some kind of unique gift, skill, or attribute in everyone I've met going through Benzo withdrawal—a hidden tool they often were unaware of, usually buried beneath their suffering. I see it so often that when working with a new client, I always look for it.

I ask myself, "What is this person's unique benzo superpower?"


For example, in many people, it's their heart.

SUPERPOWER: HEART


People with huge, loving hearts are some of the most beautiful and courageous. They're compassionate and loving to those around them, such as their friends and families and those suffering in the Benzo community. These are the people with the patience of saints. They go the extra mile for others and try their best not to make their burden be someone else's. People with the superpower of heart can endure great suffering and climb the tallest mountains, just with their hearts alone. The greatest fighters that ever lived have all had heart in common. A person with heart can often overcome the bigger, stronger, more difficult opponent. Their heart keeps them getting back up every time they're knocked down to the ground. And their ability to love and see the greater lesson or treasure waiting for them on the other side of their journey off meds pushes them across the finish line when their body wants to tap out and their mind is telling them it isn't possible.




Heart may be the greatest superpower one can have going through benzo withdrawal and recovery. For these people, the mission off benzos is bigger than themselves, it's about the greater good. It's about their families, their loved ones, and those suffering a similar fate. For these people, becoming a better version of themselves is paramount. They want to be good people. They want to do good things. They yearn to exercise their heart muscle and love deeply and fiercely. And while these are amazing attributes, there is a downside to having so much heart.


People with the superpower of heart often are way too hard on themselves. They hold themselves to very high, even saintly, moral standards, and if they don't live up to those standards, they feel like total failures. It's rather unfair. They love others so much but often struggle to extend that same love and patience to themselves. This presents a profound risk, my friends. The same superpower, when turned against one's self, can become very disabling. Suddenly, the thing that made us super becomes an incredible barrier to our recovery. Heart is funny that way. It's like a powerful laser, but it can burn us deeply if not focused the right way. And once we feel like we have lost our heart, the fall is unbelievably far down. It becomes profoundly sad. But here's the thing about having heart... you never truly lose it.


You're born with a great capacity for love. Your heart still resides somewhere under the hurt, pain, and fear. The key to keeping your heart intact is to nurture it, extend to yourselves the same love you give to others, and stop setting unrealistically high moral standards for yourselves. Be fair and kind to yourself, and don't fall in love with some false virtue of martyrism. If you recognize and nurture your heart, you will succeed in protecting your Benzo superpower, and it will likely serve you well. It may just restore you and put you on the trajectory to a better tomorrow. The sky is the limit!


Now let's talk about another benzo superpower.

SUPERPOWER: STRENGTH


During my time as a Benzo coach, I've met some of the strongest people on the planet! I don't just mean physically strong, but mentally, emotionally, and spiritually strong. These are people who have an unbelievable capacity to take pain and persevere. Like miners, these are people who somehow can beat their hammers through every boulder and every wall they meet on their journey to benzo freedom.

We see these people and think, "How the hell did they do it!"



Nothing seems to stop them. They can be hit with one tragedy or obstacle after another, but they keep taking the hits and moving forward. They're often stoic and know how to compartmentalize their emotions when needed or how to access and lean on other motivating emotions. These individuals usually have their eyes fixed on the larger goals. They don't get taken or defeated by the obstacles on the road to recovery because they refuse to lose.


These individuals are usually mistaken for people who "must not suffer that badly" due to the illusion of well-being reflected in their great strength. But this isn't true at all. In fact, these individuals usually suffer the most! Their superpower of strength wasn't just some accidental gift they inherited. It's something usually forged along the way as they endured many battles throughout their life. It was the battles and hardships that made them so strong, not an easy life.


These people are profoundly resilient, and they know how to protect themselves from abuse. They understand self-preservation very well and normally do not get caught up in trivialities or nonsense. These are the people who can take a beating and keep fighting. You could cut off one of their limbs, and they'd pick it up and use it as a weapon to fight back!


However, no superpower is without its limitations and risks.


Strength, as a superpower, can often lead to fixed or rigid patterns of behavior. The person comes to rely on their hammer so much that inevitably, everything becomes a nail! Well, the truth is, not every job requires a hammer. Strength is often misunderstood and mistaken for sheer force when it isn't about that. Real strength doesn't operate like a hammer, beating down boulders and walls. Real strength works like water. Water seems soft, but it can erode canyons.


The risk of being so strong is that we can get locked into our fighting modes, like some boxer that keeps moving forward and going for that one knockout super punch. As they say in fighting, "If you're looking for the knockout, you likely will never get it." The thing about getting the knockout is that it's a game of opportunity. One must learn how to bring great awareness and patience to one's strength, harnessing one's superpower and focusing it in just the right areas. Otherwise, we become clunky, rigid, fixed and tend to put too much into everything we do. We push too hard and often aggravate our limbic system. We tend not to counterbalance the strength with acceptance and surrender. Very strong people tend to do wonderful at "pushing" exercises but often lack real "lulling" abilities. These people risk being one-sided, headstrong, and too prideful. But if they can learn to temper their strength and focus it like a well-balanced and sharpened sword, well, my friends, there's simply no stopping them!


That's all for now. We will revisit this topic in the near future and explore a couple more benzo superpowers. For now, reflect on yourselves and ask what your superpower is. I'm sure it's there. It just may be difficult to see at the moment. Give it some thought.


-Coach Powers

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