First, let me say if you missed Don’s post on the 14th, please scroll down below for it. His book is finally out! I am so proud of him! It takes a lot of discipline to write and publish a book. I appreciate his efforts to help make visible the suffering in withdrawal and to share his experience, strength and hope. I can’t wait to get home and order one to read. I know it will be good.
I am now back at our family farm in Georgia after a week of being beachside in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. (I traveled from sea to shining sea!) I didn’t post anything while I was there as it was very sacred time with my parents. It is tradition to hunt fossils that wash up on the beach. It is extremely relaxing, yet tiring, as you walk hunched over, and have to bend to pick up anything that is shiny/black to discern if it is a fossil or not. My mother has been a rockhound since I was a little girl, and she got me into the fossiling.
I had a few benzo symptom flare ups from the effort it took to find the fossils, but I am so grateful I had the opportunity. I used to think I would never be well enough to travel and visit with my parents ever again. That thought was just a lie that my very damaged brain told me. I have been receiving a great many emails from people who are still quite benzo sick, asking if I worried I would never recover. Of course. I think most of us have that fear. I had it for a very long time, as my recovery took years. I know I still have some healing to do, and I trust that it is going on every day. I know I will be healed.
I firmly believe what the scripture Romans 8:28 (KJV) promises: “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” I can look back now on my years of suffering and know that God was using the experience to polish me, to make me better, to make me whole. Often we can’t see that what appears as disastrous or negative on the front end, ends up as good on the back end. I’m reading the most excellent devotional, written by Os Hillman, http://www.marketplaceleaders.org/tgif/ (online) (Purchase) http://www.tgifbookstore.com/TGIF_Pocket_Devotional_p/bk-1015.htm and today he speaks of this very thing. Perhaps you may be able to see, in time, that your walk through this “valley of the shadow of death,” was a path that took you to greater things. I know it may sound hard to believe right now in the midst of your suffering, but trust me, God can use your suffering to a much greater end. I know he is in my life.
I start back on the open road soon. I am waiting for the weather to warm up as I don’t want to drive in unsafe conditions. I am writing, speaking to people by phone, and savoring every moment with my parents. Shakespeare, my service dog is doing well and we have bonded deeply. I am so very grateful for him and his help.
If you are still suffering, please hold on to the hope and the TRUTH that it does indeed, get better. I’m sitting in the sunroom, looking out over the forest behind the house. The bare trees are covered in ice from a storm we had last night. The ice is slowly melting, small chunks falling down now and then. Our healing is much like that. We slowly “thaw” out, back to, or even better than, normal.
Nothing stays the same in life. And this season of suffering you are in will surely give way, and God will lead you to something better. I truly believe that. I hope you do too.
Blessings to you all on this icy Tuesday in northern Georgia.
Thank you for your encouraging words and wisdom. I, too, can’t believe yet that I will improve let alone feel human. It’s only been 5 months since CT klonapin after 20 yrs prescribed by my physician. I’m still holding on the xanax dose. With out the Xanax, I would not be able to tolerate this. Everyday I feel like I probably will die and I’m surprised I’m alive by the evening. I guess that could be rather uplifting knowing your body can withstand such horror. Anyway, I love hearing about your travels. The fossils are so cool. I love nature. I use to collect desert rocks when I could take walks. My yard is holding those memories of each walk and hope someday to continue my collection. Thank you for your strength and showing us God’s grace that is all around us everyday.
Hanging in there, determined to see my identical twin grand girls in April be born.
Thank U so very much this post. I NEEDED!! My hope gets lowered by such states..Had some very OFF days n nites a lil scary..my sleep still little ; ( I have good counselor this time n i cant afford 2 c her..shes been there as she can. Hopes c her soon n more often. I picked up anothr hr job same place as 1st n not bad. Tho 1st day well..YIKES!! Wonder i anx 2 socializ but want job done n my hlth ok as my hernias been bothrsome. I do jobs n kinda ok there. Come home n..CRY 🙁 But..Im Glad ur do’n better n such a memorable n enjoyable time w/ur parents n travels 😀 Nice. I couldn’t talk 2 my mom on phone n off n on..but thgs r lil bettr just those off waves..I like the fossils n cool. C teeth n a skull..yes Dons writing! Good job. Hard. Me sitting still, still 2 read a book. Thank u n b safe on ur trip homeward bound 😉
Hi Jennifer.Wonderful post.
I was already missing your comunications.
Believe it or not, today I was thinking of you, and your post came in right in that moment…
You are a blessing and a light to many people struggling with psychiatric medication.
Your parents look lovely.
2 and a half yrs off Effexor, still struggling, but a lot better.
Dear Jenn, Thanks for your ongoing posts of encouragement. I look for them daily as they give me great hope and keep me going. I keep riding bad waves and while in them wonder if I’ll ever heal. I am so happy for you. Your parents look like lovely people and the fossiling looks like a blast. I used to collect sea shells whenever we were on beaches and miss that so much, not being able to travel in the past year of wd. It’s so cold here in the midwest and we can’t get away because of this.
More than anything, on days like today when I am so sick, I lose hope of ever getting well and become so sad because I miss being with my husband and sons in a fun way. I really miss them and it makes me tearful.
I have tears of joy for you and am thrilled to hear that you are having fun and enjoying life once again.
I am so sorry you feel so bad. I used to have many, many days (years!) like that. But not any more!
You will heal. In time. We all do. Don’t give up hope. Keep going. Find something to do to pass the time. Distract. Your brain is healing even as you read these words here. 🙂
Hi Jenn, Thanks for your kind words. That’s sweet of you to comment. Yes, to distract I watch tv and movies that can really hold my attention. If it’s boring tv or movies I can’t get my mind off the pain and suffering. Lately I’m watching all the Bachelor and Bachelorette shows on Amazon but will finish those soon and will need to find something else. Know of anything really good?
Every time I get a few good days bunched together I think this is getting better, but no such luck yet. It’s so scary and disappointing. Even my good days now are so anxiety filled and I can’t tell it that is wd or just me. It’s awful.
I’m sorry we won’t get to meet as planned, but the weather is really not good for your health here in the midwest and you are wise to avoid traveling in the northern portion of the US. Much love to you.
Those fossils look awesome! So happy you shared photos!! Happy your feeling so much better and have shakespear by your side! Hugs!