Today marks FIVE years of being free from a benzodiazepine! Why is this such a momentous occasion? Because my journey to get free from the benzo I took as prescribed for nearly 18 years was hell on Earth. There were so many days during my taper that I thought I wouldn’t survive. I was bedridden; deathly ill. Then there was the decision to jump; to go cold-turkey and all of the unbelievable suffering that it caused. The first two years off were beyond anything I could ever have imagined. It was a very long, arduous, frightening, lonely, and utterly humbling journey.

But that’s behind me now. Thank God. Yes, I still have some lingering physical symptoms. However, I don’t let them slow me down too much! I have a full and happy life. I’m not the person I was when I started taking a benzo, or when I started tapering. I’ve changed. Remarkably. Benzo withdrawal allowed me the opportunity to become the person I always hoped and dreamed I could be. I’m strong. I’m loving. I’m compassionate and kind. I don’t get easily worked up about things anymore. Not much ruffles my feathers. I’m content in my skin, just as I am, flaws and all. You too can use this time in your life to become better (instead of bitter over what has happened to you because of a benzo).

Benzo withdrawal is an incredibly horrific thing to have to experience, I know. However, we do get to the other side of it. We do stop suffering, and we start living again. Life is SO SWEET on this side of recovery; I assure you.

Please help me celebrate five years of freedom today. You can help me celebrate by telling yourself that you are doing to get through this. You can help me celebrate by being kind and gentle with yourself. You can help me celebrate by reaching out to someone in your life who needs a helping hand or a listening ear and being there for them. Any act of love, kindness, or compassion, aimed at yourself or others is how I hope you’ll celebrate my five-year watermark.

If you are suffering today, know that it will come to an end. In time. Hold on. Keep going. Have faith. There were so many dark days I didn’t think I would survive. So many dark days I thought I would never heal. So many dark days I thought I was broken forever. Those thoughts and feelings were just withdrawal messing with me! They were all lies! Let my life be the proof you need to know that you will regain your ability to think, feel, and function normally again. You will be better than before. You will be brand new!

Thank you for celebrating with me! I love you all so very much,