When I was swimming through wet cement, you know, the first 18 months in benzo withdrawal, I thought I had to summons my courage and be confident. God knows I tried and tried and tried to feel both of those things. Mostly I just felt scared, alone, and utterly hopeless. My family kept telling me I was brave. But I sure as sugar didn’t feel brave. Looking back I can see now that courage had very little to do with my recovery. Neither did confidence. Heck, I wasn’t confident that I could spell my name right, let alone navigate through such a horrifying health/mental/spiritual crisis like benzo withdrawal.

The two things that I relied on everyday were determinationn and commitment. They were much easier to manifest than courage and confidence; all I had to do was wake up and promise I would not kill myself, and that I would not take anything that worked on my GABA receptors. I was determined to see my situation through to the very end, no matter what that meant. 

Sure, there were times I would text Mary or Sherry, my fingers flying a mile a minute, screaming  “I can’t take this shit anymore! I want something to make it go away!!” It’s okay to give voice to our frustrations. It didn’t matter how much I talked about throwing in the towel. The reality was that I was determined and committed to my journey, even when I was in a melt down (which was often, the first 18 months).

I was determined Benzo withdrawal was NOT going to win. Even if I NEVER heal anymore than I am right this moment, withdrawal doesn’t get to win. I am determined to be of service to others and to bring value to the world in my own small measure. I am committed to living a life of purpose and deep satisfaction, gratitude and serenity. (So far, so good.)

I took a break from writing today and took a long walk through my neighborhood. I saw this tree. I couldn’t decide which was more determined, the tree or the sidewalk? Both seemed committed to their space. And that may be how it goes for me for a bit longer: withdrawal body pain and I living side by side, each accommodating the other in our own way.

All I know is I keep going.

I keep waking up asking God what he wants me to do today. And I put one determined foot in front of the other, and I stay committed to doing the next right thing.



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