I woke up hyperventilating. I wasn’t aware that I was breathing fast, but I did register that I felt like I was suffocating. My hand tingled, and my chest felt as if a Mac truck was parked on it. My spine burned, and my knees throbbed with cold tingling pain. My upper back tingled, and my elbows burned and throbbed. My eyes were dry and sore, tongue burning and jaw aching. The bottom of my feet felt as if I had stepped on a bee hive. I’ve been awake for over an hour and still feel like shit. As I type this, the bones in my hands scream in protest. I have been waking up to pain, anxiety, burning, tingling and muscle aches for so long it really is hard to believe that it is ever going to go away.

I have to clean my house today to get ready for the rescue dog. That feels like an uphill battle. All I want to do is go back to sleep and set my alarm clock for year or so from now. Wake me up when this shit is over. I have been in this wave for a while now. Not that I have ever had a full window with no symptoms. It’s been years since I have had a day of “normal.” I can’t remember what it feels like to wake up and bounce out of bed, ready to face the day, without hurting, burning or tingling, or thinking the existential thoughts withdrawal can cause. When I am in a window, I have such high hopes that I can get my company off the ground and do some good in the world. When I am in a wave, I feel that I ruined my life trying to shake free from that little green pill I dutifully swallowed every night because a doctor told me I had a bad brain and he had just the pill to fix.

It’s foggy this morning. Maybe I will hobble outside and put a fire in the chimenea. Sip a decaf latte and watch the world wake up. I know better than to stay in bed and wallow in self-pity. That gets me nowhere.

I am hoping when the dog arrives that taking care of him will help me distract from my symptoms. I hope so. ‘Cause it’s tiring to wake up, knowing that every day is an uphill climb.

Maybe I will get another window soon. Who knows? Matt Samet said he had “foregrounded withdrawal symptoms for three years.” If that is what my recovery looks like, I better get ready for 10 more months of this crap. Someone wrote to me and said Jack Dobson said he didn’t feel like himself for 5 and a half years. If that is going to be my story, I can’t do the math in my head as to how many months that is. It’s too damn scary.

Ok. Throwing off my linen sheets and pulling on my overalls. A crackling fire might be nice this morning. It will make me think of Aspen. I miss living there. God, do I miss it. I used to dream of driving back and staying for two weeks in the fall. But I can hardly drive for more than 30 minutes the DR is still so thick. Maybe I can make it back in the winter. I loved watching the snow dance its way to the ground. I pray with my whole heart that one day I will be well enough to travel back to the mountains I love so much, my dog by my side, and a pain-free body to walk around in.

Until then, I climb the mountain of withdrawal. It’s still an uphill climb.