Reflections: Listening to Yourself

path ahead

Once you’ve written down all that you wish to get out onto the paper, take a few minutes to sit with whatever is happening inside you. How are you feeling? What did these reflections bring up for you? Perhaps you’re feeling distressed right now—or maybe you’re feeling at peace, energized, or even exhilarated. Maybe you’re feeling completely clear-headed or entirely overwhelmed or somewhere in between. Your body and mind may feel restless and uneasy, or centered and grounded or something else entirely.

Whatever you’re experiencing, as you stay with yourself, check in again specifically with where you’re at with the idea of withdrawal. Are you unsure about whether you want to come off your medications, wondering if maybe it’s better to just reduce some of them, or maybe even none at all? Or are you convinced without a shred of doubt that you want to come off fully?  

What you’re feeling in this moment is meaningful. Make space to be with it, because it’s arising from the innermost parts of yourself. And wherever you may be right now—however sure or unsure you may feel about what lies ahead for you in the context of psychiatric drugs—know that you’re in the right place.

This is because psychiatric drug withdrawal isn’t just about removing pharmaceuticals from your body in as careful a way as you possibly can—it’s also about reconnecting with and learning how to listen to yourself once again. Your body is a wise sage, communicating with you constantly about what’s helping it heal or hamandalarming its state of well-being. Your emotions are emerging from very deep places within you that have been shaped by the things that have happened and are happening in your life. And your intuitive wisdom—your inner compass—is always working to orient you away from what may injure your spirit and towards what will help it come back alive. Developing or deepening the practice of listening to all of these internal aspects of yourself is what the withdrawal journey is all about.

So no matter what you’re feeling, we encourage you to accept and embrace it for the time being and to continue on through Part 1 of TWP’s Companion Guide, because whatever decisions you ultimately make about staying on, reducing, or fully coming off psychiatric drugs, going through these self-reflective steps will help you feel more in touch with yourself and confident in your decisions. And certainly, if you do choose to taper off, having spent time with the learnings, reflections and practices in Part 1 of our Companion Guide will dramatically increase your odds of a successful withdrawal journey as you move into Part 2: the more you understand and prepare yourself physically, mentally, and emotionally for the process, the better anchored and more powerful you’ll feel each step of the path towards a future free from psychiatric drugs.