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Before I walked off the cliff called benzo withdrawal, I was a leading authority on teen girls. I had written four books and had a wonderful coaching career.

True, I was sick in tolerance withdrawal, but I was unaware there was a singular cause to the myriad of health problems I suffered. (Now I understand that my years of ill-health were the direct result of following my doctor’s orders and swallowing a benzo every day.)

Without going into the gory, gory, gory details of my taper and cold turkey off of clonazepam, I will simply say that benzo withdrawal was hell. I was terribly mentally and physically ill. For a very long time.

(I keep promising that one day I will write my story in intimate detail, but not yet. It’s too soon. It’s still too fresh.)

Believe it or not, I am grateful I have had to walk through this valley of the shadow of death. I needed this immense lesson in how to surrender so that I became willing to turn my will and my life over to God.

I wake up every morning and commit my life, for the next 24 hours, over to God as I understand God. During the day, I pause when troubled and ask for help and guidance. For the past few months, I have been asking God what shall I do with my life, now that I am closer to healed.

I feel very led to work with people in recovery from substance abuse and benzo withdrawal, of course. I want to help them get their lives back on track. The more I focus on this path, the more it opens up for me.

I have started a recovery coaching/consulting company to help people in recovery from substance abuse and help people in benzo withdrawal. My friend and colleague, Dr. David Rusen, a psychopharmacologist, is benzo-wise and has agreed to come out of semi-retirement to help benzo patients. (Thank you David!) I am looking forward to seeing where this all goes with David on board.

If you had asked me a few years ago what I would be doing for work when recovered, I would not have said working with people in recovery. Nor would I have thought that therapeutic gardening would be a part of my toolkit, but it most definitely is!

My life has changed 180 degrees for the better. I am a much better person than I was before I started my journey into recovery from alcohol and benzos. God humbled me and I now humble myself before God. I am grateful and I am deeply fulfilled with my new work and my new life. My happiness is something that is now organic in my heart and not dependant on outside events. I am, as they say in AA, happy, joyous and free.

BTW, I understand that in withdrawal it is often very hard to feel that God is present. For me, the mere thought of God sent total terror down my spine. It took over 2 years before I was able to ponder God without a mental freak out. I was often angry at God and I wondered if s/he had grown tired of me. If you are in that stage of benzo withdrawal where you can’t feel God’s love or the thought of God terrifies you, know that those feelings will fade away.

Please keep holding on. Everyday your receptors heal a tiny bit more. Don’t quit before your miracle. I am here to tell you that life keeps getting better and better and better. God is working in my life in mysterious ways. All I can say is “Thank you God. Thank you.”

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