Even though I live in California, my heart longs for a Bing Crosby White Christmas! But instead, looks like it’s going to be a Beach Boys Christmas. Not so much because of our warm weather, (65 degrees today) but because I’m “Surfing USA”. Yup, back in a wave. Oh well.

I have been feeling about 90% healed most days, all day! Even mornings have lost their benzo withdrawal agony. It’s been nothing short of miraculous actually, compared to how gruesome life used to be.

So it was with a jolt of shock that I felt the cold hand of benzo wd sx grab me last night. I was in my art studio painting (yes, the fumes may have contributed). I have spent the past three days mostly holed up enjoying the creative process of painting. It started with a wave of fear that came out of the blue. There was nothing to attach it to, it was just a feeling. Next, the bees stings started. The muscle twitching. My ribcage so tight it was hard to take in a deep, full breath. The head pressure kicked in. Pain flooded my bones, my joints. My foot curled into a tight spasm. I watched it all unfold, like a distant observer. Part of me wanted to chuck everything and scurry home. The other part of me was like, “Dammit. I am NOT leaving until I finish what I am painting.” That’s exactly what I did. I held my ground. When I finally got home, I cooked a simple meal, read and curled up in bed.

The sx got worse until about 1 a.m. when I finally turned off the light to sleep. My mind was racing with catastrophic “What if….”  thoughts. What if I am still feeling bad tomorrow?What if this wave gets worse? What if I feel as sick as I did a year ago? What if the benzo wd anxiety returns? I decided to give those fears over to God. So I did. Just like that. “Here God, I am tired of dealing with this shit, so you take it, please.” I fell asleep shortly after that prayer.

I woke up with morning and did a quick body scan. Yup. Still surfing the wave. Part of me wanted to cave into feeling sorry for myself, but the emotionally healthy part of me said gently and kindly, “It’s Ok. You are OK” My BFF called and asked if she could pop over to see my tree and share a cup of tea together. “You bet!” I shouted into the phone, eager to see her and eager to get out of my thoughts.

I had a great morning with her. We talked about gratitude, art, creativity, God, life… the important things (to me.) Sure, I was a bit dizzy and weak as we walked to the cafe. The tingles weren’t all that much fun and the pain in my joints and bones wasn’t something I wanted to have to feel but so be it. IT IS WHAT IT IS.

That’s what I have learned. That it is what it is. If I try to run from it, I suffer. When I turn to towards it and embrace my life EXACTLY as it is, I can live it to the fullest, even if I am in pain, weak, dizzy etc. For after all, it is my one wild and precious life!

I may be having a Beach Boys Christmas, surfing this wave. That’s OK. This is my fourth Christmas in withdrawal. So what. I am still alive. I am still capable of feeling joy, love, gratitude and humility.  It doesn’t matter if its Beach Boy Christmas or a Bing Crosby Christmas… it’s going to be a GREAT CHRISTMAS because I CHOOSE to experience the greatness inherent in the holiday. I will be surrounded by my family: my children, sister and her family, and my parents (whom I rarely get to see as they live on the east coast).

What more can anyone ask for?

I can sum up the meaning of the holiday and life, for that matter, in six simple words.

IT’S ALL ABOUT LOVE. FULL STOP.

Love to you all my dear benzo buddies. I know many of you are suffering. It’s going to be OK. I promise. Enjoy the love today, tomorrow, and forever…

Jenn

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