Step 19- Setting Up a Taper Journal
Why this step is important
As you get ready to begin your taper, one of the most important tools to have on hand is a daily taper journal. It serves two primary purposes that are key to tapering as carefully and responsibly as possible, and in sync with the messages of the body: (1) It helps you accurately record your various calculations and amounts dose by dose so that you can keep track of where you are and avoid confusion over the course of your taper, and (2) It helps you systematically monitor any mental, emotional, physical, or sleep-related withdrawal symptoms that may emerge during your taper. Together, these help you stay on top of what your body is communicating so that you can tweak your rate accordingly and keep your central nervous system as stabilized as possible.
What should go into a daily taper journal? There are as many styles and forms of daily taper journals as there are people tapering, and there’s no one correct way to set one up. Some people prefer slick computer spreadsheets and others like writing by hand in a notebook. Some opt to keep both their dose calculations and their symptoms all in one place, while others create a separate journal for each, making their “calculations journal” simple and their “symptoms journal” more open-ended and diary-like, with room for expansion. The best form of journal for you is the one you’re most likely to keep—one that feels the most comfortable, is the most convenient, and contains the information you personally feel you need to help you navigate your taper. This step will walk through some options, which you can use as a basis for designing your own journal. We’ve divided it into two sections: Section 1 will explain how to track calculations and amounts, and Section 2 will explain how to track symptoms during the withdrawal journey.