I started this long and winding road way back in 2010. Well, that’s not entirely true. I started it way, way, back in the mid-nineties when I walked out of a doctors office with a prescription for clonazepam in hand, twenty-something years ago. It’s been quite the adventure, if I must say so myself. Not the type of adventure I would have wanted for my life, but apparently it was the one I had to go on.

In 2010 when I began my taper, I thought I’d be off the drug and well on my merry way in no time. Little did I know… which was probably a good thing. If I had even a glimmer of the hellish nightmare my life was going to descend into, I’m not sure I would have been strong enough to do it. The taper was brutal and I finally gave up, eight months into it, and jumped from .325 mgs of clonazepam. (I don’t recommend this as a way to get free.) There really are no words to describe what it was like in the beginning. If you read my blog, you’ll notice that there is a big gap of months when I posted absolutely nothing. I couldn’t. Every single second of every single day was consumed with simply surviving. I don’t like to look back on those days too much as they are still too close in my rear-view mirror.

I recall every year when a holiday came around, I’d be brokenhearted that I had to celebrate it with a broken body and a broken mind. I longed to be whole, healthy and happy. It felt as if it would never happen, ever again. The years  slowly crawled by. 2010. 2011. 2012. 2013. 2014. And here we are, Memorial Weekend, 2015. I can say that this year, I can truly celebrate! My mind is clear. I am happy. My body isn’t *quite* where I would like it to be, but…. that’s okay. I am able to do most things that make me happy, and I am grateful for that.

I had a wonderful day yesterday with a new friend. Ate an amazing three-grind hamburger (no bun), saw fabulous flowers and sat under a group of majestic redwood trees. Even went down a slide off of a children’s two story playhouse! It was a magical day. Simple activities, but so special because I can be fully present for them. I appreciate them. That’s one of the gifts of getting to the other side of this nightmare, you appreciate life so much.

Today I am celebrating a friend’s new book launch. A small gathering of like-minded spiritual women. I’m looking forward to it. Tomorrow I’ve crossed off as a full day in the garden. The blossoms need deadheading. A few rouge weeds have thrust their fists up though the ground. I may even drive across the San Francisco Bay Bridge and go poke around Annie’s Annuals in Richmond and see if there is a new plant I want to tuck into the garden (where I’ll find the room I have no idea…).

This weekend will be memorable if only because I am living again, instead of just existing, waiting for healing to happen. I’m not 100% healed, but I’m healed enough that life feels pretty freaking amazing these days. I do my best to stay in the present moment. I don’t allow myself to look back on the years of darkness. I try not to time-travel into the future either. Right here, right now, is pretty damn sweet. Besides, it’s the only place I can access God. And after all I’ve lived through, let me tell you, I don’t want to be without God for even a split-second.

To all of you who are still in the darkness, the light is just up ahead. Keep going.