Last night was my second night of natural sleep in quite a while. This means it was not induced by Klonopin, Melatonin, Xanax, Ambien, hydroxyzine, nighttime cold medicine, or red wine. The last 27 years of my life ended with one of those or a combination of several of those every night.  Most of the time, it was just one – Klonopin.

The idea that I might actually fall asleep at night without the help of some drug is a foreign concept to me. More foreign than anything I had experienced during my 10 years in Japan. It seemed like that was just the way life was. Everybody likes to talk about insomnia. So taking pills to achieve it didn’t seem like a big deal. Besides, our bodies need sleep. It’s frustrating and depressing to try and function normally without it.

when I woke up this morning, I felt so amazed. I am still in the tapering process. I take a low dose of 0.125 mg of Klonopin per day. It’s just a crumb. I have to cut and shave the pill with a knife and wait on a milliliters scale to ensure that I’m taking the correct dose according to schedule. And while it might seem like a small amount, I assure you if I were to screw up the schedule or try and quit cold turkey, my body would not be able to handle it.

Klonopin destroys the GABA receptors while trying to pass itself as the good bandaid for the damage it has actually caused.  If you tear of that Band-Aid, there is nothing left to control the signals throughout your nervous system. It is a sensory overload that can result in seizures and death.  That is a floodgate that needs to be opened with precision and care.

this morning when I woke up, I was struck by how different my body felt. The way I think is different. The way I talk is different. Things that once frustrated me are now becoming enjoyable. For example, give me a piece of wooden furniture in a box with 100 screws. I used to get so upset with the horrible instruction manuals and the pictures that did not match up with what I received.  I would curse and feel like I didn’t have time to waste on such a dumb project.  Now, such an activity has turned into a Zen moment.

The fear and frustrations that I have lived with most of my life are disappearing. I noticed that from different situations that occur throughout the day. It’s very noticeable in the morning. When I open my eyes for the first time and take in reality, Life says “good morning“ to me in such a softer and peaceful way. That moment used to be in “oh shit!“ moment. In fact, I spent an entire year or two when I had first started Klonopin, vomiting every morning. I was a real wreck back then.

For those of you reading this that have recovered from benzo dependency, you know exactly what I’m talking about. This feeling of rebirth is profound.  Nothing is the same. Everything feels different and everything looks different. Everything is different! I don’t even feel side effects from withdrawal at the moment. I’m writing this from my bed.  It’s such an enjoyable moment for me that I just want to hold onto it for a while.

I understand what people mean now, when they say they feel as if the weight of the world has been lifted off their shoulders.