Dangerous Compassions

how to survive medication withdrawal

I know a thing or two, about how to survive medication withdrawal.  I’ve done it a few times!  Jonesing is wretched, but there are lots of behaviors that can help.

This is a list from an email I sent Ming, recently.  An internal memo of the Ming and Laura-Marie Mini-fam!

list of how to survive medication withdrawal
make day plans
shower and brush teeth twice a day
trike ride, walk, or dancing every day
get sunshine half hr afternoons
eat foods I don’t react to
agree to do less–one social thing a day max
take days off
check in with people
stay warm
physical contact with Ming
plan meals
ask for help
gratitude journal
emotional first aid kit
magnesium glycinate
oatstraw tea
bendryl to sleep if needed
increase protein intake
amino acids
vitamin d

Yep, that’s the plan, along with patience, kindness, and reminding myself it’s temporary and for a good cause.  I like it.

Is all that self-explanatory?  A day plan is just being explicit about what I need to do in a day and when.  A schedule.  In the crisis mode that is med withdrawal, I need to be really clear with myself about what needs to happen, and when.

in the middle

I wish the world was full of resources.  People in crisis are woefully neglected!  Seems like you can be 100% well, or you can be Ill and go to the hospital.  Really, many of us are in the middle, half-ok some or much of the time.

Tapering off a psych med, I knew I would need extra support, but no way in hell would I want hospital for that.  Hospital is hell.  I can’t lose my freedom, risk abuse, lose the cuddles and care of Ming, eat that food, or risk forced medication, isolation, and horrors I will not speak here.

I wish I could have asked for the help of a team of people, who would come to my home and take shifts.  Friends to be here for me, for four hours–hold my hand, maybe make comforting food, care for me as I feel my feelings, and give Ming a break.

Covid means that wouldn’t have worked so well.  But also, I don’t see people around me asking for stuff like that.  It’s painful, to need help that my culture doesn’t think I should need.  Making my own path is too much work, when the reason I need help is that I have too little strength.  I wish there were paths for what I need already.

I speak up about what I experience, who I am.  But being honest about my differences when my facts are unwanted is vulnerable!  Exhausting!  Many people want to pretend capitalism works, mainstream medicine is great, nuclear family is desirable, and mental health struggles are for the bad people over there.  But anyone can suffer intolerable emotional anguish.  It’s all Us, not us vs them.

thank you

Thank you to Ming, friends, community, and all who support me.  I love community care, which is why I do radical mental health.  There are ways to love that are more helpful and hands on than the usual ways, and we can create what we need.

Thank you also to Chaya Grossberg, who is an expert on getting off psych meds.  I’ve been reading her website for years, and I finally consulted with her recently.  Her ideas helped me make a good plan!  I felt way more prepared.  She is a brilliant lady with experience and compassion.  Please visit her website at for tons of ideas and to hire her to consult with.

I am on earth to feel, try new things, learn, enjoy pleasure, help others, and love.  How to survive medication withdrawal is an important skill many people need.  Thank you for being open to truth.

By Laura-Marie

Good at listening to the noise until it makes sense.

3 replies on “how to survive medication withdrawal”

I love you! Your work, your ability to be so honest and share with us all. I feel blessed that our paths have crossed. Thank you for this post, I don’t need it at this moment but have been down this path many times, watched those I love navigate it. Talking, sharing, and being open is how we are going to let more people speak their truth and heal.

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