With so many people writing to me lately about their friends who don’t understand benzo withdrawal, I thought I’d pen a quick note to my friends. Some have stood by me, some have not. It’s all okay.

To my friends who have stood by me as I healed, I celebrate you. Thank you for caring, comforting, and being there for me. Who knew that the journey would be so long and exhausting, and would require so much of your patience and understanding? I sure didn’t. But you’ve been there, every step of the way, encouraging me, and lifting me up when I was too weak or tired to go on another day. Even though you didn’t understand what I was experiencing (I’m so thankful you haven’t had to go through benzo withdrawal!) you didn’t question me or make me feel that you didn’t believe me. I can’t thank you enough for all you’ve done for me. Now that I feel better, I hope that I can pay your kindness forward.

To my friends who turned away from me, I forgive you. I understand that your inability to stand by me while I was so sick from benzo withdrawal is a statement about you, not about me. I am sad that our friendship is over, but I don’t harbor any resentments. You did what you needed to do to take care of yourself, and I will do what I need to do, which is to surround myself with people who can be there for me.

To all of my friends who have journeyed with me, however long or short—are with me now or not —thank you for teaching me lessons about life and love. As Ram Das said, “We’re all just walking each other home.” Thank you, for walking with me.