Author Topic: Burn Your Boat  (Read 375 times)

[Buddie]

Burn Your Boat
« on: March 30, 2022, 05:27:13 pm »
I've been reading the book Cured, which is written by Dr. Jeffery Rediger. Now if you're a book reader and you want hope that full recovery from even the most detrimental diseases and terminally ill circumstances is possible, this book is for you. Dr. Rediger goes over the common things all of these people use to radically heal themselves. The further I got into this book the more I realized many of the life changes and practices these people make are very similar, if not identical, to things that we do in WD - radically changing your diet, learning how to lower and manage stress, taking up a meditation/yoga practice, finding spirituality again, exercise, accepting outside love and support, etc. 

In his final chapter he talks about "burning your boat" - He uses the example of the Spanish explorer from 1519 named Hernan Cortes, who arrived on the coast of Mexico with the intention to take over the Aztec empire for Spain. When he and his arm reach the beach he gives the order to burn the boats sitting in the harbor, leaving him and his men no other option than to win because there was no possibility for retreat. He goes on to explain that you can relate this story to yourself and to imagine yourself on that beach, watching the boats burn in the bay. You now have no escape plan and the only way to go is forwards. He explains that this story resonates so much because on some level, we all know that it's possible to overcome any impossible situation, but only if you leave yourself no other option than to overcome it. "Most of us, whether we realize it or not, leave ourselves an "out": a pathway back to old behaviors, habits, belief systems, or ideas about ourselves. We make a new plan, a new resolution, but leave an escape hatch in the back of our minds - a boat in the harbor - so that when the stress gets high enough we can always go back to aspects of our old life, our typical ways of perceiving and thinking". He adds that "survivors of adverse circumstances and incurable diseases don't leave themselves an out. Once they realize what big changes help them feel better and heal faster they rapidly get rid of any pathways back to old habits or old ways of being in this world". 

This perspective gave me a lot of food for thought. Being someone who has healed and then several months later been set back it has me wondering why some of us (myself included) make all of these incredible life changes while we are in WD, to turn around and to toss some, or a lot of them out once we know that we are on the other side. I have read so many stories lately of people who said they were just starting to feel good again so they started slacking on their healthy eating, exercising less, being less mindful and then BAM, they're slapped with withdrawal symptoms again. Why do we wish so badly for the time to come again when we can eat copious amounts of shit food, drink alcohol, consume copious amounts of caffeine, not have to worry about managing our stress, and just generally not taking as good of care of our bodies as we did when we are in WD when we know full well that these things aren't good for us in the long term? This has been the most hellish experience I have ever gone through in my life (as I'm sure you can all agree with), why do we risk delaying our healing or setting ourselves back? Why do we drop, or plan to drop, so many of the good habits and reintroduce so many of the "unhealthy" things into our lives once we start feeling better or once we are over this, knowing that if we didn't it could literally change the trajectory for our future with illness, disease, and how we age.

I'm not at all trying to be judgmental towards those who plan to reintroduce all of the old things and just want life to be normal again (as I sit here daydreaming of a gluten and a margarita  :laugh: ). Believe me, during the 6 month period where I felt healed I returned to my "old" life almost completely, minus touching alcohol or meds of any sort. This time around I find myself wondering if I'll ever consume more then exceptionally small amounts of processed sugar or junk food, alcoholic beverages(if at all) or even go back to taking OTC meds as needed and believing in our medical system. With the risk of delayed healing, setbacks and just the added effects our old life has on future illness and diseases, why after going through something so profound and as life changing as benzo withdrawal do more people not come out of this choosing to "burn their boat"?  
Suggestions, opinions and/or advice provided by the author of this post should not be regarded as medical advice; nor should it substitute for professional medical care. Consult your doctor before making any changes to your medication. Please read our Community Policy Documents board for further information.

[Buddie]

Re: Burn Your Boat
« Reply #1 on: March 31, 2022, 08:34:51 am »
This is so correct, but easier said than done
Suggestions, opinions and/or advice provided by the author of this post should not be regarded as medical advice; nor should it substitute for professional medical care. Consult your doctor before making any changes to your medication. Please read our Community Policy Documents board for further information.

[Buddie]

Re: Burn Your Boat
« Reply #2 on: March 31, 2022, 10:05:32 am »
There are so many reasons we have slips despite our firm resolve to make desperately needed changes that we know will be to our benefit.  One that quickly comes to my mind is marketing - we are barraged daily with advertising telling us that we won't be happy, safe, or accepted if we don't use an advertisers product i.e. alcohol, tooth whitener, candy, life insurance, etc.  Another is that we want solutions to be quick and easy and with minimal effort on our part and the American culture promotes this (!) - and for me, benzos certainly were that (when they were still working for me).   Plus, we are constantly swimming upstream when to decide to do the 'better' or 'right' thing.  Say no to a slice of birthday cake at work and frequently someone makes a snide comment to you.  Refuse a margarita and you are labeled boring.

But back to the burning your boat philosopy - I threw the leftover benzos away when I finished tapering because I didn't want an easy 'out' when I couldn't sleep or was stressed.  Parting of letting benzos go for me was learning new ways of coping which is really hard work.
Suggestions, opinions and/or advice provided by the author of this post should not be regarded as medical advice; nor should it substitute for professional medical care. Consult your doctor before making any changes to your medication. Please read our Community Policy Documents board for further information.

[Buddie]

Re: Burn Your Boat
« Reply #3 on: March 31, 2022, 10:53:14 am »
Hi [...], I was telling your Burn your boats Spanish Explorer story to my sister. I jokingly said that I would be happy to burn my boats but would need to hang on to a float or arm bands!
She said….you won’t need them because you can swim!!!……..referring to relying on our own resources!
I thought that was a brilliant parallel to what we are going through.
Thank you for the input, very interesting.
[...].
Suggestions, opinions and/or advice provided by the author of this post should not be regarded as medical advice; nor should it substitute for professional medical care. Consult your doctor before making any changes to your medication. Please read our Community Policy Documents board for further information.

[Buddie]

Re: Burn Your Boat
« Reply #4 on: April 01, 2022, 10:10:26 pm »
dear [...],
thank you for taking the time to share this --- very interesting and I had heard that saying before but didn't know its origins! 
Suggestions, opinions and/or advice provided by the author of this post should not be regarded as medical advice; nor should it substitute for professional medical care. Consult your doctor before making any changes to your medication. Please read our Community Policy Documents board for further information.

[Buddie]

Re: Burn Your Boat
« Reply #5 on: April 02, 2022, 08:57:11 am »
I think one of the problems is that humans sometimes have short memories when it comes to a pain etc. If this were not the case women would not continue to have children through natural birth. We block out the bad things sometimes
Suggestions, opinions and/or advice provided by the author of this post should not be regarded as medical advice; nor should it substitute for professional medical care. Consult your doctor before making any changes to your medication. Please read our Community Policy Documents board for further information.