I’m helping my daughter prepare for Thanksgiving dinner. She loves to host our family events, and she does a fabulous job. This Thanksgiving is special because my four children and their families will sit at the table. For the past few years, we weren’t able to be together. One of my sons had moved to Austin, Texas. But he and his family recently moved back to the San Fran Bay Area! So there is much to celebrate. I have my four “babies” and their babies (six grandchildren!) close by. What a gift that is!

There are more gifts for which I am thankful. I live in a new apartment, a guest house with everything I could want. I’ve moved a lot over the last few years, trying to find a place that fits my needs. I finally found it!

I’m also thankful for my parent’s health, who are in their nineties. They are going strong!

I’m thankful for being able to help others going through benzo withdrawal/BIND. It means so much to offer advice and comfort to those who are hurting. Last February, with the help of Jay, an IT genius, I moved my support group/group coaching to Discord. The group has become part of my heart and soul— I love the members so much! I look forward to our live sessions, answering questions, or offering support. I’m so thankful Jay keeps the technical parts running smoothly so I can focus on the members.

This Thanksgiving, when we go around the table sharing what we are thankful for, I will offer that I am grateful for going through benzo withdrawal. As horrible as it was, it was a gift. Benzo withdrawal/BIND allowed me to be polished into the best version of myself. Yes, it was painful being in the “threshing” room. But I learned so much. I healed so much! Not only from the brain damage the benzo caused but also from my past traumas. I am thankful for “the horrible gift” of benzo withdrawal/BIND.

You may not be able to see that your recovery is a gift. You may be so sick, overwhelmed, frightened, feeling defeated, or disabled that you don’t believe you’ll get better. Or, you may think you’ll be tortured for the rest of your life with memories of your withdrawal. Those are fears, not facts. You will get well. The memory of your withdrawal will fade. What you will take into the future is “post-traumatic wisdom.”  You will come out on the other side a better person.

I know it may be impossible for you to give thanks for your benzo damage and recovery process today, but you will one day. Like me, you will look back and feel great compassion for yourself and for what you went through. You will have a new appreciation of life, a new perspective that allows you to feel grateful for even the smallest things and to shrug off things that don’t truly matter. One day, you will be thankful for “the horrible gift.” I am. Incredibly so, for it gave me this amazing life I now have.

Happy Thanksgiving, my dear, dear friends.
From my heart to yours,