Gather your journal and pen, and take a few minutes to sit with each of the four questions below. In your journal, write down anything that comes to mind in whatever form or style you prefer— free-flow prose, bullet points, loose notes, poetry, and art if you’re feeling creative. But please do be sure to write things down, because you’ll refer back to them in later steps of our Companion Guide. Don’t worry about analyzing or unpacking your responses here; just put words to whatever is emerging for you in the moment. Let go of any judgment of what you’re noticing and be gentle with yourself. Focus solely on paying attention to and really hearing what your instincts are telling you, what your body is telling you, and what your heart is telling you. You’ll have a chance to explore these feelings more deeply later on. Remember: There is no “right” or “wrong” way to answer these questions— or anything else in this guide, for that matter. What matters is that you listen to yourself.
- What does the idea of coming off psychiatric drugs mean to me?
- What thoughts and emotions come up for me when I think about coming off? (Be open and receptive to the full spectrum of your thoughts and emotions, from powerful to subtle, dark to light, painful to pleasant.)
- What is my physical body telling me right now as I think about withdrawal? (Stop for a moment and feel each part of your body, noticing what you feel in relation to each part and to your body as a whole.)
- What, if anything, are my instincts saying to me right now? How loudly or softly are they saying it? (Close your eyes, take a deep breath, and try to listen to what the deepest part of your being is saying in this moment—whether about the idea of withdrawal, yourself, or anything else that might come up.)
In this section
- Introduction: The Vital Role of Good Preparation
- Step 1- How Do I Feel About the Idea of Coming Off Psychiatric Drugs?
- Step 2- Learn About Psychiatric Drug Dependence, Tolerance and Withdrawal
- Step 3- What is My Withdrawal Beacon?
- Step 4- Managing Day-to-Day Responsibilities and Tasks
- Step 5- Building a Support System
- Step 6- Communicating with Prescribers
- Step 7- Listening to the Body and Its Messages
- Step 8- Being With Pain and Darkness
- Step 9- Is the Time Right For Me to Taper?