I left Tennessee and made my way to my parents farm in northeast Georgia. I was pretty beat up by the time I arrived last Tuesday. The constant brain engagement of driving for weeks had taken a toll on me. It was wonderful to be able to rest and relax in the comfort of a home that I have loved for many, many years.

I’m much better now after having rested for a week. My bone and muscle pain is now back to levels I can cope with. The fatigue and dizziness is much better too.

It feels almost dream-like to be back in a home that I love so much, surrounded by family. There were times when I was so benzo sick that I thought I would never visit our farm again. I couldn’t imagine being well enough to travel. But here I am, enjoying myself and enjoying the company of my parents.

My mom and dad and I travel to Florida in a few days to stay in a condo at Ponte Vedra beach. (I grew up in Jacksonville.) It is a family tradition to walk the beach and hunt for fossils. We find fossilised sharks teeth, inner ear drums from porpoises, horse teeth, tapir teeth, sting ray barbs, mouth pieces from puffer fishes, and other fossils. It is good family fun and exercise. While I spent so many years on my couch in benzo recovery, I used to go through my fossil collection and dream of the day I could travel to Florida and walk the beach again. Now that dream is coming true. I can’t tell you how excited I am!

I know other dreams will come true as well: Finding a partner to go through life with, rebuilding my career, writing more books, and reclaiming my life and financial success again. When I was deep in the throes of withdrawal, the future looked very bleak. I was so deathly mentally and physically ill from the damage the benzo did to me, that I didn’t think I would ever recover enough to have a normal life. It’s exciting to see my life now coming back together in a good way.

One of the lessons I have learned in withdrawal is to let go and trust God. I know that God is using my suffering over all those years in benzo withdrawal for good. I know that the experience polished me as a person. It helped me grow closer to God and to appreciate God’s work in my daily life. I don’t take any of God’s creation and power for granted anymore. I am totally in awe of God’s amazing love and grace. I am grateful for my life. Grateful for this day, this moment, this inhale and exhale, this heartbeat.

If you are in the southern states of the USA and would like me to stop by on my way home, please let me know. I doubt very much I will attempt to make it up the east coast. The weather has been so bad that I don’t want to risk driving there. I am saddened to not be able to get up to the people I wanted to see, but I am putting my safety first.

I am learning a great deal about resilience from the people I am meeting and talking too. I am learning so much about the people battling benzo withdrawal. I am deeply honored to listen to your stories and to shoulder your pain with you.

I do hope my journey gives you hope that you too will heal and be able to reclaim your life. I was sick for so very long. I am well enough to travel and slowly rebuild my life. I am grateful.

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