Here it is: I’m entering into my fourth week of benzodiazepine detox. This is the detox that my doctors have told me is far harder than heroin. Harder, in some ways, because there is no quick cure and there are few centers and little research to support getting off these legal anesthetics. Harder, because you have to go slow. You can’t rip the bandaid off or you risk brain damage. Harder, because there’s so little information or understanding in either the lay or the medical landscape.
And here’s the surprise beauty: I have gone to hell and back (shock, near seizure, drastic weight loss, overwhelming rage and confusion) and I’m riding that horse back to sanity. Today, four weeks into what will be a six to ten month process, I’m steady. Not only that, I took a hike up Millcreek Canyon with an ex-boyfriend, and the love that we shared when we were together was magnified in the friendship that we have now. The heart doesn’t forget why it loved. I showed him the fairy tree that I found on my last trip on that trail. We talked about the powerful, tangible thread that ties us together, the kind of thread that you can feel even when someone is across the room. It’s a gift. I was ecstatic, stumbling over roots to show him the Lord of the Rings waterfall of green, the overlook that gives you a glimpse of the Great Salt Lake and further.
Another beauty: this past week, I’ve met Peter of the music group Peter, Paul and Mary and Jonathan Talat Phillips, author of the book The Electric Jesus, and multi-faceted hipster visionary, who heads Evolver.net, a “global network of inspired evolutionaries” that want simply to bring joyful activism and utopian pragmatism to the world, spore by spore, person by person, network by network.
The friends that host me open their house to many, many beautiful people. And I get to receive. We sit at their long table with the chandelier that dangles with glass stolen from Chihuly’s driveway (he tosses the imperfects like fairy shards out his front door), and we talk. Deeply. We talk about Occupy Wall Street and the Move to Amend – a
grassroots attempt to revoke the Supreme Court’s decision to give Corporations the same rights as individuals. We talk about music. (Puff the Magic Dragon was not a drug song. I have this from the source.). We talk about transformation and healing and benzodiazepine addiction and light.
And today, I hiked to a fairy tree and saw the great Salt Lake and I could feel the sun rising in my heart. A gift. I could feel myself coming to life again. Four weeks in and I have a long way to go. I’ll still struggle, I know, but I am being gifted beyond measure as I recover from this devastating addiction. And I will receive, because I will be able to gift others when I am done. This dismemberment is reconfiguring my entire being. I can shiver with anxiety and know that it will shift. Its toxic residue will leave. And eventually, I’ll be able to help others. Because I’ll know. In my cells, I’ll know what it is to be torn apart and what it is receive the gifts that help you sew your body together again.