Just over the hill from where I live is a surfing area called  Mavericks. When the weather/wave gods decide to favor the area with some badass waves, surfers from all around the world converge on the coast to show off their skills in a contest known simply as Mavericks.

Tuesday I ate BBQ pork sliders, outside at a restaurant where I could see the surfing area. The waves were so gentle that afternoon it was hard to imagine the 70 foot swells that area can churn up.

That’s what it’s like these days for me. I’ve had some amazing days where I feel that withdrawal is finally on its last legs. I feel so close to shore and the nasty chaos behind me. Then, a wave comes and I am reminded that my GABA receptors aren’t completely recovered. Sometimes, the wave builds and I feel like I’m riding a chicane that could qualify for Mavericks. Like the wave I’m riding now.

I attended a workshop Wednesday morning. It was stressful getting to it, and I hadn’t slept the best the night before. But, I wasn’t in the hurt locker. I was having a great time until 11 A.M. when the benzo symptoms started roll call. Tingles? Here. Bone pain? Here. You get the picture. I fell into bed when I finally got home. And its been this way since then. A lot of couch time as it’s uncomfortable to walk. I’m woozy and weak, the head pressure too overwhelming. Bone pain comes and goes. The tingles are back with a vengeance. I’ve muttered “Fuck!” under my breath a few times, but for the most part, I’m doing what I’ve learned to do: roll with the punches and know that I’ll bounce back one of these days.

I refuse to let this illness define me or my life. So I keep moving forward. I feel like crap in my body, but my heart and soul are good. I’ve been getting caught up reading Humans Of New York on Facebook. (How did I miss this for four years? I just discovered it!) I am working too, putting together the slides for my resilience training courses and of course, I’m writing.

Thanks to everyone who emails and asks how I am doing. I appreciate your care and concern. I’m healing, just like everyone else. Riding waves, enjoying windows and feeling confident that one day, I can retire this wetsuit for good.

Be well. Hold on.