Deep in the throes of benzo withdrawal, I sat at my front window, peering out on a world that I no longer felt a part of. Derealization made everything surreal and distorted. I thought my heart might break from my longing to be healed, to be normal again. Tears pooled in my eyes from my anguish. Just then, a little bird flew down to the bush outside of the window. She perched on a tiny branch and turned her head to one side and gazed at me as if she knew my sorrow. My tears spilled over, streaming down my cheeks. “I want my life back,” I whispered to her through the glass. She sat there for quite some time, looking in on me, while I cried from the depths of my soul, fear, and grief so tangled together I couldn’t tear them apart. When I couldn’t cry anymore, I wiped dry my cheeks. “Thank you for being here, little bird,” I said to her. She turned her head to the other side. I managed a weak smile for her. She looked at me for a few more moments then flapped her wings and lifted off the branch and flew back out into the world. I watched her until she was lost above the tree line. “You’re going to recover,” I promised myself. “One day, you’re going to be as free as that bird.”

Today, as I sit in the coolness of the morning, the sun’s warm fingers spreading over the horizon, I think about that promise and how it came true.  Day by day, I’m creating the life I’ve always wanted— no longer afraid to be me, the real me. Now I’m bold and brave in ways I never was before I was put on a benzo. Like the bird that visited me on that dark day in my suffering, I spread my wings and soar.

I’ve never forgotten her visit with me; her black eyes peering into mine. I’ve often wondered if she was sent to comfort me. I’ll never know. But I do know that I’ve been sent to comfort you. I’ve been sent to remind you that you too are going to heal and spread your wings and fly high. You too are going to soar.

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