Waves & Windows

The terms “Waves” and “Windows” can be contrasted with terms such as “Good” and “Bad” or “Bearable” and “Unbearable”.

During withdrawal and recovery, individuals often experience an irregular, unpredictable cycling between relative lessening and exacerbation of symptoms.

This cycling can occur in a very short time (minutes), and can range to a substantial time (months). Which symptoms increase or decrease in any of these cycles is also unpredictable.

The lessening of symptoms is termed a “window”, as in a window to the individual’s condition prior the withdrawals.

The increase of symptoms is termed a “wave”, as in being engulfed in a wave of symptoms.

When I was in treatment in 2012 for long-term exposure to the prescription Klonopin, I learned about a physiological phenomenon referred to as “Waves” and “Windows”.

Looking back at my experiences going through the withdrawals, I realized that over time the Waves I experienced diminished and the Windows I experienced increased in duration.

Today, I recognize that life experiences as a whole have the same “Waves” and “Windows”. Going through struggles and trials seem overwhelming at first (the wave) but eventually, in time, the experiences diminish and life stabilizes (the window).

The wave may seem unbearable and painful. It may seem that the circumstance will never change. All hope may seem lost. But over time, the circumstances change.

When we catch the flu or become sick, we move from a window into a physical challenge where we may experience fever, hot and cold sweats, headache, vomiting and diarrhea, body aches, etc., (the wave).

But after a few days or weeks, our body recovers and we begin to notice a decline in the number of symptoms and we grow stronger. It may feel somewhat euphoric (the window).

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