I know I keep writing about how sweet life is at this point in recovering from benzo withdrawal. I hope I don’t sound like a broken record. It’s just that life really is incredibly wonderful. Even with the remaining symptoms, life is really, really nice.
I am now able to hold ideas and thoughts together and make sense of paper work that until even recently, was total Greek to me. I have enough energy now to sustain projects to birth the non-profit I am creating. I am creative again. In fact, I feel even more creative than ever as I was in tolerance withdrawal from Klonopin for so many years that the clarity I have now is pretty amazing. It will keep getting better too, I know. Yippee!
I remember the last year before I began my taper I spent a large portion of it in bed in the mornings and afternoons. I didn’t know what was wrong with me. I always blamed my fatigue and foggy thinking on stress. Or the red wine I drank every night to stave off, what I now know, was tolerance symptoms. I still fight fatigue, but it is a different fatigue than what I had years ago.
I read success stories on Recovery-road.org. One woman wrote that post recovery, life was great and “nothing sucked.” I feel that way too. Even with the stress of having to rebuild my career and finances, life doesn’t suck. It feels wide open with hope and possibility.
Being benzo free is worth the pain and suffering I experienced. And boy, did I suffer. The endless hours of sheer, awful, indescribable terror. The paranoia. The anxiety. Panic attacks that made my old panic’s seem like child’s play. The body symptoms were like nothing I have ever experienced in my life. The full body tingling like I had fallen into a beehive. The crushing sensations, burning, the pain that literally dropped me to the floor. The head pressure, dizziness…. you know that stuff I am talking about. It was agony to hold on most days. I often prayed for death. But I am so glad I didn’t die. Now that most of the symptoms are gone and my mind is clear, I look forward to the start of the day. I used to dread going to bed as I knew it meant I had to wake up and live another day.
I am writing this out in my garden. The breeze lifts my hair. The birds sing. A butterfly, the first one I have seen this season, just danced by. Bees are busy visiting flower after flower. All is right with the world. I used to think this moment would never come. Now it is here.
If you are in that place where you feel that withdrawal will never get better, I am here to tell you, it will. GIve it time. I will be 33 months off on the 23rd. I tapered for 8 months before my cold turkey jump. I have lost a lot of years to benzo sickness. Now I can embrace life again and start over with a clear mind.
Someone asked me recently if I am angry I lost so much because a doctor put me on and kept me on a very dangerous drug without informing me about the dangers. Now that I am so much better, the answer is no. I am not angry. I don’t want to waste anymore of my precious life on negative emotions. Anger won’t give me back the years I spent recovering, unable to work, unable to think properly and suffering emotionally and spiritually, so why bother? What I like to do most is to practice gratitude. I am grateful for the things I have. I don’t focus too much on what I don’t have. I don’t worry about what I might lose, or what I might not get. I stay in the present moment, open, grateful, and happy to still be on the planet.
Keep fighting. One day, you will sit down and write an email to me and tell me that you are experiencing a day you thought would never come, a day where you feel vital, alive, happy, and whole. It’s coming. Hold on. It’s coming.
All the best on this magnificent day, March 15th. My very best friend ever was born on this day, 56 years ago. He died on March 30, 1991. I know his spirit is with me here in the garden. I can still feel the love we used to share. Be well in heaven Kenny. I am thinking of you today. I love you. Still. Very, very much.