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Why you shouldn't worry about sharing your success stories!

A wise man once said, "Show me your friends, and I'll show you your future."

This is going to sound braggadocious, but I'm sincere when I say that I've seen more success stories in our Benzo Recovery School than anywhere else. And believe me, I've lived on all the forums, groups, and live meet-ups.

Still, with all of the positive success stories, big wins, goal-reaching, mindset shifts, trauma healing, and self-growth, there's an ocean of inspiration so many people are holding back from sharing.

I see it almost daily.

"Coach. I was going to share my recent big win, but I didn't because I was worried about how it might make the others feel."

Everyone is such a kind-hearted person that they're worried their success will somehow overshadow the struggles that others are experiencing. While I can empathize with this, I think you all are looking at this with a limited vision.

Your fear and protectiveness may be doing a disservice to the greater good.

Let me reiterate the importance of sharing. Your stories have the power to inspire, to heal, and to unite. Don't underestimate this.

First, let me say that it is true that some people will see your successes or "wins," and they might feel jealous or even saddened by them. Others might feel angry. I was one of the angry ones. I'd see people walking their dogs down my street, and I'd stare at them from my window with almost a sense of disgust.

How dare they flaunt their happiness and freedom in front of me! Don't they realize I can't even walk to my damn mailbox without fighting off a panic attack, and here they are walking their dog, smiling, listening to music, enjoying their day, going wherever they want to go...

No, David, they didn't. They couldn't. That's what I realized.

I realized I needed to change the way I looked at things. I needed to realize that my suffering, pain, and sadness were painting a dirty black film over everything I saw, including how I saw myself.

Benzo withdrawal and recovery is serious business. If you know me then you know I don't take it lightly. I'm not here to make friends. I'm here to help people save their lives. Some people will respect that, and others will be annoyed. But I'm not here to tell you what you "want" to hear. I'm here to tell you what you NEED to hear.

The truth is, our suffering has made us become a bit of something we truly aren't. It's found a way to amplify our smallest imperfections and make them extremely loud. But this is okay because it also alerts us to what we couldn't see before—that which snuck beneath our detection or radars.

There are two ways of looking at someone's success story. Even if their success story is just them sharing how they finally made it to the grocery store to do some shopping and, they didn't panic or lose it. Whatever their victory, we can allow it to overshadow us and amplify our false perception of how small and hopeless we are or how much we have lost. Or we can use it as motivation. We can use it as evidence of what IS truly possible.

99.9% of all Benzo "support" forums are toxic or at least have some degree of toxicity in them. Granted, things have improved somewhat over the years. Part of the reason for this toxicity is that misery loves company. You see, in those spaces, we all made a silent pact to allow our demons to stretch and shout out from time to time. It takes real courage and effort to peel ourselves away from that unconscious maladaptive coping strategy.

That's the first step, to peel ourselves away from the negative instincts.

Step 2 is to open our hearts a bit. One should be able to see another person's success without envy, jealousy, anger, or sadness. Right? After all. We are better than that.

Step 3 is to reframe how we perceive their success.

Think of it this way. It's not a problem for us. It's a challenge.

You see, that's part of the reason we pull away from their success stories. Their success amplifies our perceived problem, which overshadows us. And we despise it or even them for it.

Reframe this, my friends. You don't have a problem. You have a profound challenge. Use their success or small victories as fuel to push you further in your own journey now that you know what is possible.

And before you judge them, assuming they didn't have it as bad as you, or that they somehow are lucky or that you're somehow different.... instead, dive deeper into their story. You will likely find that these people are struggling more than you realize. They're not just lucky. What a sad way of viewing them, and it reduces their suffering and hard work.

That's a foolish thing to assume.

The truth is this. There's likely a reason why those individuals are experiencing "wins," but we don't want to see those reasons. We don't want to acknowledge them. It's not that we are overshadowed by their victories. No. We are overshadowed by that which we do not want to face. The reality. The truth. Which is that we should probably be doing more, that we should be focusing harder on our own recovery.

Ask yourselves what you truly need to be working on before you just blame the drug.

Are you still agoraphobic? Are you still giving in to health anxiety? Are you still trying to control your sleep through hygiene and supplements? Are you still entertaining the old version of yourself and your behaviors yet expecting different results today?

And don't take any of this personally or feel attacked, as we are all in the same boat. It's the same for us all. We all have blinders on, quite literally. Part of how our minds work is that they have defenses installed that help us not see that which creates distress for us. This is why it's almost impossible for us to admit we are wrong at times. We don't want to see it. We can't see it.

Please understand this profound truth in our recovery.

Healing from benzos means furthering ourselves. I mean growing past the point where we were when we got on the drug in the first place. It also means healing from the trauma and manifestations that arose during withdrawal. And again, this requires serious self-growth!

If you are successful, my friends, you will have succeeded in becoming the manifestation of every self-growth inspirational film or book you've ever experienced. It's really that tall of an order, which is also why I, as a Benzo coach, often feel so inspired watching you conquer these mountains because I know very well how tall these mountains are.

I'd argue that I understand this more than any of you until you also reach the top of the mountain.

The takeaway from this blog is this. If you're worried about posting your success stories or wins, please don't be. While it's true it may trigger some people, I'd argue this is what they need to grow. This is what their limbic systems need to realize, that we're not in a hopeless situation. And that's damn important. It may be the difference between deescalating your locked-in fight or flight limbic system or not.

We need success stories. The same people we might resent for sharing their wins are our real heroes.

So, don't be afraid to share your victories, no matter how big or small. Because for every one person who feels overshadowed by them, ten more will feel inspired. And what is the alternative? Think about it. If not success stories, what do we have? Struggles, losses, and misery? Has that ever helped anyone to heal? I think not. In fact, it's a recipe for creating a black hole of suffering, with a gravity so strong it can pull others into it.

Never feel bad for your victories. Embrace them. This is part of your recovery, part of this profound rollercoaster you've been on, and it is very necessary.

And if you're on the other side of this, reading and watching other people's victories, then be inspired. Know that this is what's possible. This means it is possible for YOU as well!

I'm sorry, but you're not different. I know you might think you are, but you're not.

I have seen people grow and heal from almost every Benzo story and set of variables you could imagine. It's ALL possible. I don't care how old you are, how quickly you were tapered, if you took other meds, if you're bed-bound, etc. You can heal and recover.

I repeat. You can and will recover, too.

Share your success stories. It's for the greater good. And people will thank you for it. Let's flood our world with winning and growth.

Part of what makes our Benzo recovery school so unique is that winning is contagious. Finding peace, lulling down fear and rumination, and self-growth are all contagious.

I've always loved the quote, "Show me your friends, and I'll show you your future."

Think about the company you kept in the other groups. Think about the company you keep now. Are those around you where you want to be? Because wherever they are might be where you'll end up.

Hence, show me your friends, and I'll show you your future.

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