I celebrate 32 months of freedom in a few days. I can’t say that I was exactly celebrating my freedom too much before this, however grateful I was to have swallowed my last benzo. The months, well, years really, before were more about sheer survival.  If I celebrated anything, it was that I made it through another fucked up, horrible day in benzo withdrawal. I used to dread turning out the lights and dragging myself into bed, for I knew that it meant I was only hours away from having to wake up and do it all over again.

It’s the oddest thing. It is like I fell asleep for three years and now I am waking up and thinking that it is still 2010. I look in the mirror and the gray hair and etched lines on my face remind me time has moved on. I can’t tell you anything that went on the past few years other than I survived them. It is almost as if someone else lived them for me, for surely that very sick woman wasn’t me.

Now that the black thick fog of withdrawal is lifting, I remember who I was. The memories are rushing back in to fill the gashing wound that is benzo withdrawal. I don’t know how to explain this phase of healing any more than I can explain the unfathomable journey before this.  It is wonderful and scary to have the memories of myself come rushing in with such clarity and strong emotions. It’s a tad overwhelming. But I know in a few days or weeks, that it will feel more “right sized.”

The overachiever in me wants to jump in and make up for lost time now that I am turning more corners.  I’ve learned it best to take it easy in benzo withdrawal though.  I know that tomorrow I could wake up and be engulfed in the mental misery yet again. I am not convinced I have been spit out on the shore, battered and tattered, for the last time. I respect benzo waves.

Even if I do get drug out to sea yet again, I know with my whole heart, that I will be waiting for myself upon the shore when I am released. This phase of recovery from benzo withdrawal is pretty damn cool. A tad unnerving, but damn sweet. It’s like I have been away for a long time, and now I am back. Everything looks so fresh and new. And the world is brimming with possibility again. Indeed. It is brimming with hope.