I turn 56 in an hour.

I am hopeful that 56 will be an amazing year. There is no reason why it should not be. I am writing a new book, tieing up the loose ends to get my non-profit off the ground, and getting my recovery coaching and conulting company up and running. I also have the Benzo withdrawal summit to work on as well. A few years ago I didn’t think that I would ever work again. I didn’t think I would ever feel anything other than terror, anxiety, or pitch black depression.

All of that has lifted.

What I have left is the body stuff. It has been pretty bad the past two days. But hopefully, I will continue to get better. I have learned how to cope with it better. But it is a pain in the ass, to be honest. Actually, it’s a pain in my joints, neck, lower back, back of head, jaw, tongue, fingers, hip bones, muscles… I still have crushing fatigue too. This morning I felt like death for hours. Sitting in my garden helps, as does reaching out and helping others.

I still can’t believe that benzo withdrawal happened to me. It seems so surreal to look back on the early months first off. I was a completely different person. I was  sick in every way a person can be sick. I am deeply grateful that I am past those very dark and brutal days. Very grateful indeed.

I celebrated tonight with my four children and friends. We went to a Shabu Shabu restaurant. Quite fun! One of my sons texted me when I got home, that he thought I looked the best I have looked in years and that it was good to hear me laugh. I was laughing tonight. With gusto.

After dinner we all walked to an ice cream store called Cream. They hand make ice cream sandwiches on wonderful different kids of cookies. (Very california!) I suddenly realized I was talking to my daughter in our special “baby” voice that she and I used to use when we were playful and loving. I stood behind her and put my arms around her and held her tight. For a moment, she was no longer 26, she was 6. I felt the deep love I have for her well up inside of me. I knew right then, standing in that ice cream store, that I had turned a huge corner in my recovery from benzo withdrawal.

We walked back to the car, laughing, eating our ice cream sandwiches. I hugged all of my children goodbye and drove home knowing that good things are afoot. I’ve paid my dues to the benzo beast. It’s time to be happy, joyous and free.

Maybe my body symptoms will drop off this year. That would be nice. But if they don’t and this is my life forever,  I accept that. With the love I felt tonight for my children, I can face anything.

If you are sick in benzo withdrawal and wondering if you will ever be your old self again, or feel happiness, joy, creativity… the emotions that make life worth living, the answer is yes, you will. I was  as sick as anyone can be in withdrawal. And I am here to tell you, it gets better. It gets way better.

Welcome 56! Let’s go do some good in the world!