This morning I woke to the sweet smell of citrus blossoms and sunshine. It was a gorgeous, spring day in the desert and the very first day that I was almost completely symptom free since acute, benzo withdrawal almost fourteen months ago. It had also now been five months since my Lunesta taper, and with the acceptation of a small dose of phenibut that I had left to taper off of, I felt totally liberated. I finally felt really free from the shackles of darkness that had plagued my life for almost seventeen years of benzodiazepine dependence. I prayed to god that this would be the end of the really horrible symptoms for good.
As many of you who are still in the worst of your healing process, I too read the many online articles and stories that gave me promise of the healing to come. I know there are many of you that think you will be one of the rare few that would never recover, and that there just has to be something else wrong with you. I too thought it was impossible that any legal drug could in any way cause the amount of problems that benzos did. It's a confusing and lonely journey that in time you will be grateful you took.
This wonderful spring morning was the first morning that I felt an abundant joy and appreciation like I had never felt before. I had been working for many months toward getting back to my music, and I had just completed the vocal tracks for my newest recording "Return From the Abyss." I was savoring the taste of accomplishment after a long, painful healing process of memorizing compositions that I could barely get through a year ago. It was one of many goals I gave myself in an attempt to steer my focus away from the pain of my past and look to all the things I wanted to accomplish in my future.
For those of you that have something in life you are passionate about, this is the best time to direct your focus on it. For those of you that were always afraid to try something that you always wanted to do, dig in and do what ever it takes to find that path in your life right now. I know you are thinking that this is impossible as sick as you feel, and at times it is. However, when you have those windows no matter how short, that is the time to move your mind in a better direction.
There were days that all I could do was lay in bed and stare at my keyboard. I never in a million years thought I would be able to play and record again, but that first step probably is what saved my life and my sanity. I might only have the energy to play and sing for even fifteen minutes, but I kept telling myself that if I just made baby steps and tried a little each day, that maybe I would be able to regain the ability I had lost.
The first few months of playing again was very painful. Some days I would sit at my keyboard and just cry because my brain was just fried and I had zero enthusiasm. However, this was when I first began to discover the resiliency of the human body to heal itself. Slowly, I began to memorize one song at a time, and before I knew it I had ten and then twenty more songs that I could play. After months it started to become as effortless to play as it had always been.
During the last few years of my taper, I quit seeing doctors for anything other than emergencies or injuries I had sustained from the blackouts that I had been having. I started really digging into my spiritual growth by doing yoga, meditation and listening to anything positive I could find on You Tube that had to do with letting go and accepting. I listened to Abraham Hicks, A Course in Miracles and just about anything that would give me some kind of grounding and that would take my mind off of the horrendous pain and grief I was experiencing from losing everything in my life.
There was a point that I just couldn't accept what had happened to me, and I kept trying diets, acupuncture, supplements and any other alternative treatments that I had read about. The hard reality hit me each time I would read another article about people that said only time and patience could heal the horrible withdrawal symptoms that so many of us have experienced. I wish I could tell you that they were wrong, but the truth is that the only people that know the hard core truth about these drugs, are the people that have come off of them. They are the ones that will see you through this as many of them have with me.
Once you decide that you want off the drugs, few doctors will be there for you. The medical community will look at you like you are crazy, and sadly many friends and family members will be long gone before you ever heal. I actually found that was a good thing because I found my own power in letting go of all of those things that weren't serving me in my life any more. I got my bliss back, and I felt stronger and more passionate about life and my music than I ever had before.
Ultimately, I discovered that I was my own best healer. Feeding my joy and my soul for many, many months during my recovery got me further than any doctor or healing method I had tried. There were things I did that I feel helped in combination with the spiritual work such as massage and exercise. These things maybe very different for each person, but many of the success stories that I have read went through a lot of the same transformational experiences and realizations about their health that I did. Many of them describe the experience as an awakening that brought them profound peace they had never had before. The one common thread was that all of them said that nothing in life felt difficult anymore after benzo withdrawal. Stay tuned for my next You Tube video that will talk all about the spiritual journey I went on, and all of the different resources I used to access my own inner healing resources.
Today I had the opportunity to have a taste of that sense of well being I have been reaching toward for many months. Even if I have a few more waves, I will now know what I have to look forward to even more than I did after the first miracle I had when I finished memorizing that twentieth song.