Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Growing Spaces!!

Hello blogger friends, I wanted to stop by and let everyone know that I am moving my blogging space to  This is the website for my private practice here in Nashville, and after some heavy thinking, I believe it's best for me to continue my writing there.  This blog has been loads of fun for me, a place to make friends, learn, and grow.  I know that many of the articles here continue to provide support and encouragement to many, so I'd like to leave the blog active for that purpose.

For those of you who would like to continue to follow my writing, you'll find me at the new website.  Thank you all very much for your support to me over the years and I look forward to being able to share with you more from a new space!

Sunday, June 15, 2014

For the Fatherless on Father's Day

I know this Father's Day must be difficult for many people around the world.  There are millions of us who perhaps have no living father or no father who is present and brings good into our lives.  A day like today, when people are celebrating their loving and devoted fathers, can be difficult for the rest of us.  I've been estranged from my father for fourteen years now.  Our last conversation was by phone and was a painful one.  Prior to that was a year of mounting tension and anger, culminating in what seemingly was the end of our relationship.  Even after all these years, Father's Day remains a bittersweet day where I am grateful my Dad is still living and well, though he is painfully absent from my life. 

For a long time I felt jealousy, rage, and bitterness toward those who had a devoted father in their lives.  I loathed seeing someone mistreat their Dad or take loving Dads for granted.  I ached, grieved, cried, and tried in more ways than I can count to fill the giant wound inside my heart.  I can't say that I am fully healed, but I can say I've come a very long way.  I've grown and been soothingly stitched up in my hurting parts over the years, and here's how it happened for me.

In the beginning I began leaning on my Father God for EVERYTHING, and I do mean EVERYTHING.  I looked to God for car repairs, help with the rent, an unconditionally loving shoulder when I'd been hurt, laughs, wisdom, and acceptance.  I learned that no other person or thing could fill me the way God can, not even an earthly father, and sometimes I wonder if I had to lose my earthly father in order to learn this painful lesson.  I could have the most wonderful and accepting father on this planet, and not even he could fill the space in my heart created by my Creator.  I am made worthy not because my father loves me, but because God loves me. 

 After God did some emergency surgery on my broken heart, I became well enough to get further stitiches from my husband.  One of my favorite times of the day is when my husband tucks in our thirteen year-old daughter for bed.  The fact that she's 13, first of all, and he still tucks her in (and she still wants him to!) says a lot about him.  Often I sit outside her room and listen to the two of them going through their bedtime ritual.  I can't hear everything they are saying and it's not really important to me; what's important is that their voices are low and serious, punctuated with her giggles or his laughter at her.  What's important to me is that the conversation lasts well beyond what can be considered "tucking in" and is clearly more than that for them too.  It is a time when this father is enjoying his daughter, giving her his time, and showing her through this ritual that she matters.  As he fathers her, he fathers me.  I sit outside her bedroom door and feel my broken heart be further stitched that I am married to a man who loves our daughter in this way.  I am healed when she seeks him out and moves into his arms.  She knows there is safety and unconditional acceptance there.  When my husband sacrifices sleep and time (his two most valuable assets these days) in order to be with our children, I am healed, fathered, and made whole.

It's not just in how he loves them but in how he loves me too.  My biological Dad had 18 years with me.  That was 18 years he was given to pour into me whatever he wanted me to have, either good or bad.  It was shortly after that that he exited my life, so in this last 18 years the man who has loved me is my husband.  He's had the same amount of time to also pour into me, and what he's given me in those years is his complete devotion and consistent love.  If I want it, he gets it.  If I need it, he'll take care of it.  If I'm crying, he tries to fix it.  If I'm mad, he tries to calm me.  If I'm lonely, he makes me laugh.  He's good.  Really good.  And it's taken his 18 years of him "re-parenting" me for me to get it. 

I've learned something really exciting about how love works:  when you let yourself receive even a little of it, your eyes become opened to even more.  As I've allowed myself to be loved fully by both God and my husband, I've come to see the many other men that God has placed in my life.  Men who do what a father is supposed to do for a woman.  For a girl, our Dad is the template of how to relate with a man and receive love that has nothing at all to do with sex.  So many women never had this, and the first love they ever received from a man was through the attention and value assigned via sex.  They confused sex with love and thus, never learned that love from a man can exist entirely separate from any activity that occurs in a bedroom.

There is a very sweet man who runs the car shop beside my office.  He's been tuning and repairing my vehicles for 14 years now and will drop everything in a second if he knows I need help.  This man has left his own place of work to come fix my broken car in the parking lot at my office.  When he sees me walk in the door, he smiles and always has something sweet to say.  He is kind, attentive to me, and takes good care of me, wanting nothing in return-- except for payment for the oil change, of course, but trust me, he's not making a fortune changing my oil.

There's another sweet man at my work who keeps all my electronic needs taken care of.  If he knows my computer is on the blink, a charger cord has a short, or a phone line is down, he will drive clear across town to take care of me.  He has offered to build a home computer for me, has made the same repair over and over despite my own user error, gives the equipment out of his own office so I won't have to do without, and does all of it with a genuine smile on his face.  He and I have worked together for years and one day he said to me, "Ms. Greene, I hope you don't take this the wrong way, but I just want you to know that you always look so lovely."  My heart melted and I knew that God had put those anointed words in his mouth.  It's one thing when a man is attracted to you and pouring on the flattery, it's an entirely different feeling when a man compliments your appearance with no sexual undertone at all.  It's the kind of thing a father should do, and I received it from this friend with an open heart.

Today I've seen Father's Day specials on television, watched neighborhood fathers grilling with their families, and seen countless Facebook pictures of friends with their Dads; and for every single act of love I've seen today I allowed it to heal me further.  When I hear about a Daddy who spent hours building a swingset in the heat of June, I am healed.  When I watched one neighbor take a walk with his infant son strapped to his chest, I was healed.  For every man who loves their children with complete abandon and unconditional love, you father me too.  I can't explain it, but it fills me with such joy and hope.  I am buoyed by the fact that there are indeed many, many men in this world who want nothing more than to put a smile on the faces of their children and wives today, my own sweet hubby included.

I write this because I know I'm not alone when it comes to the absence of a biological father.  I counsel men and women everyday who have a mean father, a father they've never met, or maybe a Dad who is no longer living.  And what I can offer to us is the assurance that we do not have to grow up as orphans in this world.  I don't have to be poor, pitiful Melissa whose Daddy doesn't want her.  No, I've allowed myself to receive and be healed by the love offered to me from many men in my life and I am not fatherless.  Happy Father's Day to all of the men who want nothing more than to put a smile on my face.  I love you and appreciate you.  And Happy Father's Day to the men who love our children of the world.  You father us all.

Monday, March 25, 2013

What the Leprechaun Said

I have been hanging out with a new writing community over at and I'm learning so much from these guys.  This month all bloggers were encouraged to join a chain, writing a brief piece with the prompt What the Leprechaun Said.  Easier said than done, my friends.  Here is my contribution to the chain and please take a minute to check out my fellow bloggers' posts in the chain below the story.  Enjoy!

                The first day that Kristoff Khaun showed up in all his fat, green glory to interview with the boss, I couldn’t help but thinking, “Oh, hell no, not another one.”  We’re going to all be out of jobs if these leprechauns continue to proliferate like this.  Ever since they decided, “We have rights too!  We shouldn’t have to live in the shadows anymore!” life has changed for all of us, especially here at The Sun Scoop newsroom.  Leprechauns are sneaky little bastards, and I could just feel the immorality and debauchery oozing from Kristoff Khaun like a poison slime.  From the moment he showed up for his first day on the job, decorating his cubicle with art deco prints of clover, the other leprechauns here have flocked to him.  I didn’t like it.

For twenty years I’ve enjoyed my corner office overlooking the city below, and the clack of typing keyboards has fed my soul.  I was the first full-time reporter hired here (a real catch for the editor, Mr. Jenkins, if I do say so myself), after just graduating from Columbia University… ahem, first in my class.  I played a major role in building this paper.  I helped develop our reputation as credible and exciting.  I put in long days and nights writing, editing copy, and chasing leads; and ever since the leprechauns came out of the closet, it’s been one terribly written story after another.  The problem—leprechauns don’t know how to listen.  They chatter nonstop at the water cooler, in the kitchen, even in the bathroom stalls.  Leprechauns are as blind to their character defects as they are to their inferior writing.

As the old-timer here, Mr. Jenkins had asked me to “help the new guy along” and I, being a team player, agreed.  His first two weeks on the job, Kristoff did not shut up.  Ever.  I’m not sure how he found the time to get any work done, so I anticipated tearing his first stories to shreds with my red ink pen.  I stick to the old school style of paper copy.  Don’t email me an attachment.  I want paper in hand, so I can comment in the margins.  It’s the tried and true method of editing from way back.  Kristoff didn’t balk at my instructions, and three days before his deadline, he sauntered into my office with a folder containing two new stories. 

“Thanks,” I said, not turning away from my computer.  “I’ll get to these this week.”

“I was really hoping you could look at them today.  Mr. Jenkins has already assigned me to cover the school board debacle and the Johnson trial, so I’m going to be out of the office for awhile.  I was also hoping to take my wife on a trip to the Hamptons this weekend, then my mother-in-law is coming into town next Monday.  Have you ever been to the Hamptons?  I’ve got a place there, if you ever want to stay.  Oh, and I’ll need those stories back.  I always like to keep a paper copy of my work.  This electronic stuff doesn’t work for me, I prefer—”

“Yes, I’ll get to it when I can.”

“Well, I’m really hoping that will be today.  See, I’ve got some things to take care of.  I appreciate your help and all, but I did this work before when I was at The York Courier.  I did all of the editing there, and I’m pretty busy these next few days.  I’m taking my wife—”

“Yes, I’ll get to it when I can,” I repeated and swiveled in my chair to face him with a forced smile. 

Kristoff rocked on his heels for a moment then forced his own smile before leaving my office.  Stupid, arrogant, piece of—

A newbie should know his place around here.  What could he possibly know about being busy?  And what’s this about the Johnson trial?  I wanted that story and had already interviewed seven people.  I always go ahead and start on the big stories since I’m the only one around here with any salt as a writer.  All day I recalled recent conversations with Mr. Jenkins, wondering if I’d irritated him somehow.  Even by 5 PM, when I stopped by the restroom before going home, my inner monologue was at a frenetic pace cursing Kristoff and replaying all my interactions with the boss. 

“Oh, hey there,” Kristoff said, coming out of a bathroom stall behind me.

He joined me at the bathroom counter, where I was already washing my hands.  Our eyes met in the mirror, and I wanted to look away but couldn’t.  He was still talking, talking, talking.  The image of the two of us in that bathroom mirror held me.  His eyes held me.  His words.  And amidst his barrage of meaningless chatter, I caught something he said.  I can’t even tell you now what it was; I only know my thoughts began tumbling from my mouth in an uncontrollable stream. 

“You think you’re hot shit, just because you worked at The York Courier?  I can’t stand uppity leprechauns like you, thinking you know more than those of us who have years of experience.  If you could just see yourself, standing there with that smug grin on your face….”  On and on I rambled, mortified, while Kristoff stood silent, smiling at our reflections in the mirror. 

“My mother was a crack whore who was killed by my father, her pimp.”  The words fell from my lips, and I gasped in horror. 

In an un-leprechaun-like silence, Kristoff pulled a brown paper towel from the holder, dried his hands, and nodded with a smile before leaving.  I stood there alone, avoiding the mirror, already able to see myself much clearer than I ever had before.  Disgusted and shocked, I saw my deepest parts, beyond the slim torso and Cartier tie clip, to a place I thought only existed in leprechauns.

Participants and posts:orion_mk3 - (link to post)
robeiae - (link to post)
writingismypassion - (link to post)
Sudo_One - (link to post)
randi.lee - (link to post) pyrosama - (link to post)
katci13 - (link to post)
MsLaylaCakes - (link to post)
Angyl78 - (link to post)
KitCat - (link to post)
Bloo - (link to post)
dclary - (link to post)
ConnieBDowell - (link to post)
Lady Cat - (link to post)
Araenvo - (link to post)
MichaelP - (link to post)
Ralph Pines - (link to post)
mdgreene50 - (link to post)
scatterjoy! - (link to post)
SRHowen - (link to post)
dolores haze - (link to post)

Friday, March 8, 2013

The Power of Words

Hello, blogger friends!  The rumors of my demise have been greatly exaggerted.  I am still alive and kicking.  Lots happening in my world.  I've been in novel-editing hell, working like a fiend on my two jobs, and caring for my two special needs babies.  Despite the busy-ness of life, I'm happy and well. 

I realize now how my 7 month break has actually provided an opportunity for writing fodder.  Lots of juicy insights have come over the last several months, so I hope to find the time to put some of those in writing here.  What I really want to sort through today is this idea I've been tossing around about our words.  It seems cliche to talk about the power of our words, and yet this truth is so simple and... well, powerful.  I am a woman of many words.  I talk alot.  I talk so much that sometimes I can't remember what I said or who to whom I said it.  This is not necessarily a bad thing, but it does present a potential pit, particularly when you want every word you speak to carry its own responsible weight. 

I'm learning that our words fall into two main camps-- labeling v. judging.  The labeling camp of words are used to describe, observe, and give shape to.  The judging camp of words are meant to attach a value-laden meaning to an observation or description.  For example, if my husband hasn't put away the laundry, the judging camp of words might say, "You never help me around here!  You are so lazy."  The labeling camp would say, "I notice the laundry basket is still sitting here.  Would you mind putting those away today?"  This may seem like no big deal to some of you, but to me this is Life.  Changing.

I am a judger from way back, Honey.  I should have been a tax auditor or an editor.  If there is anything wrong with you or something you've done, I can find it in a hot minute.  I also have the ability to turn these super-powered judging lenses inward on myself.  I can and will find the faults within me then make a slew of shame-inducing negative comments toward myself.  What I'm learning is to slow down and listen before speaking to others or judging myself.  What a concept!  I listen for how the other person seems to feel and what it is they seem to be saying about what they need.  This is particularly difficult to do if the other person is actually trying to place their own anger, sadness, guilt, etc. on me, but it can be done.  Another example, a co-worker huffs into my office and with a tone says, "your report is still not done, and I can't finish up my final report until you do your job."  My first reaction is to not really hear this person but to fire back with an equally angry-toned remark.  However, if I pause and try to connect with what the co-worker is feeling, hear what she needs, and choose not to take anything personal from her comment, I will hear that she sounds stressed.  It seems like she's also saying that having her work done on time is important to her.  If I just hear those things and respond from that, she and I are much more likely to have a pleasant ending to this conversation.

Some folks call this "non-violent communication."  I like that, because it highlights the fact that communicating any other way is likely to feel "violent."  There are some wonderful booklets and websites about this as well, describing this as giraffe v. jackal language.  The giraffe seeks to connect, while the jackal seeks to attack.  Here's an article that says it much better than I can: .  I'll even go so far as to attach a value-laden label to the article and say it's awesome! 

I'm learning that when I am purposeful and thoughtful when choosing my words, I am left feeling clear-headed about myself and the situation.  Connecting, sorting through, and giving objective observations feels kind and gentle, both to myself and others.  All we really want is to build up others and ourselves, and it feels good to know that I can do the bulk of that work by carefully choosing my own words.  Now that is powerful.

The photo above can be found at:

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Move Over!

One of the therapists I supervise has come up with a phrase that I've stolen and use on the regular-- stay in your own lane.  She tells me that she has the tendency to "get out of her lane" when it comes to work with clients in therapy, but what about those of us who tend to get out of our lane in everyday life?  And what do you do when someone continually swerves over into your lane? 

Staying in my lane means I mind my own business.  This is really hard.  Sometimes just by silently judging someone else, I have just exited my lane and veered into the other person's.  When I begin analyzing, critiquing, and comparing someone else's behavior to my own, this can lead to some self toxicity.  When I stay in my own lane, I try to keep my mind off what you are doing-- unless, of course, you are drifting into my lane.  Then I will need to kindly tell you to return to your own lane.

Sometimes I drift out of my lane by "helping" someone.  You know that subtle kind of controlling help that some of us might sometimes offer?  I find myself doing that with my children or maybe a supervisee.  It's generally someone who I fear is going to really flub up and then I'll be left cleaning the mess.  Staying in my own lane means remaining focused on me and my responsibilities.  I may offer friendly advice or a suggestion.  If that is ignored and a mess ensues... oops, that's in your lane.  Guess you'll have to clean that up.

For me, I tend to get out of my lane when I worry what someone else is thinking about me.  This one is a real struggle for me.  If you are over in your lane thinking something nasty and harsh about me, it's really none of my business.  Who looks crazier-- the person silently judging me or me when I'm swerving all over the road trying to figure out what the person in the other lane is thinking about me?  Yeah, I won't answer that one.

Okay, and my number one lane buster-- trying to do God's job for him.  Oh, yes, my friend, I do it.  I do this when I complain about how an uncontrollable situation turned out.  I am essentially asking God, "Was that the best you could come up with?"  Just the other day I was complaining to my Mom about how a particular situation ended up.  I embarked on a passion-filled speech, listing the injustices that were being done, whining about the discomfort I'm being subjected to, and on and on and on.  God later brought to my mind a time when my own precious daughter sat at the kitchen table on her birthday.  I had just spent the day rearranging my entire schedule so I could pick up her special order birthday cake, run around town finding exactly what she wanted, wrap gifts, and plan the evening's dinner.  Our family finally sat down for birthday cake later that evening and as my exhausted hand lifted the bite of cake to my mouth, my daughter asked, "Is this all I get?"  God reminded me that this is exactly what I look like to Him when I am complaining about the one thing I didn't get, forgetting all the tremendous behind-the-scenes work He does for me daily just to keep me comfortable.  So sorry, God, gonna try to do better about staying in my lane on this one!

Okay, and if you swerve over into my lane, I'll ask you nicely the first time to get back where you belong.  Should you continue to violate my lane, don't be angry with me when the conversation we're having has to change.  At first, the conversation was, "Could you get back in your lane please?  Thanks."  Repeated offenses changes the conversation to this, "I've asked that you please stay in your lane.  It's really uncomfortable and dangerous for me to take care of my responsibilities over here with you in the way.  I'm going to need you to get back into your lane, and if you can't do that, I'll have to call the police next time.  Thanks!"  I then drive away and leave that person alone in his or her lane to take responsibility for whatever feelings that might have aroused in them.  That's just courteous, right? 

Photo above found at:

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Tips From a First-Time Novelist

Hello!  Back from my writing hiatus... I announced in January that I was embarking on a novel, my first attempt ever at a novel, and I have finally competed it.  I actually finished the novel in April and now I'm going through several rounds of edits.  I have definitely learned a lot about the fiction writing process during this first attempt at a novel.  I thought I might share a few insights I gathered along the way:

1.  For any books I write in the future, I think I should come up with the title first and then write the book.  I did not have a title for this current novel and now that I've finished, I am having an incredibly difficult time coming up with a title that encapsulates all that the book means.  It's nearly impossible!

2.  Character development, character development, character development.  I went into the novel with a clear idea of the character traits of only a couple characters.  I wish I would have done more "pre-writing/pre-work" on the other minor character so that I would have gone into the novel with a clearer idea of who they really are rather than learning for myself who they are as the novel progressed.  I have found several wonderful sites that offer suggestions of some good activities that help you get to know your own characters before you begin writing:

3.  Chapter outlines are not a bad thing.  I outlined a basic premise of how I would like the story to progress, but did not break this down chapter by chapter.  Only about halfway through the book did I begin doing this and it made things much easier.  Outline by chapter rather than by plot-- it makes the story easier to read!

4.  Do not become so overly-focused on the plot that you lose sight of prose and setting.  A good story can only take you so far.  If you don't establish a clear setting then the story lacks foundation.  Finding the proper mix between sections of prose, narrative, and description is as precise as blending the ingredients for a cake, and I can only say it seems to come from the instinct of each individual writer.  Trust your own magic.

5.  Don't insult your readers.  Sometimes as a writer, we are so in love with our own brilliant idea that we want to make sure the reader gets it, so we beat them over the head with it.  If your idea is really that brilliant, then trust your brilliant readers to get it.  They don't need to be told everything.  A good reader knows how to read a novel for all it's worth.  Good readers know how to read beyond the typed words on the page.  Show your theme through fluid and descriptive writing rather than through in-your-face telling. 

6.  Be patient.  Spinning a good yarn takes time and patience.  The urgency of my own story often mistakenly came through with rushed writing.  I am now having to go back and fill in the gaps, give more information, and sometimes literally change choice of words, etc. because the story was so rushed.  Take your time.

7.  Be fearless.  Tackle the hard stuff.  Say the difficult things.  Don't be afraid to show the ugly and lay it all out there.  As Natalie Goldberg puts it, Write down the bones. 

Friday, February 24, 2012

Benzos-- On My Soapbox

I hate benzodiazepines. HATE them. This class of drugs (what we know as Ativan, Xanax, Klonipin, Librium, and Valium and various others) was introduced in 1961 and sold to the medical community as "safe." Doctors then naturally begin writing prescriptions left and right and we are now learning that benzos are NOT safe. I speak from my own personal experience in working with addicts as well as from scientific research and statistics. I see people almost daily who are struggling to overcome addictions from various substances but cannot overcome the final hurdle of benzos addiction because doctors continue to hand these drugs out like candy.

Let's just lay out the facts. First of all, the manufacturers of benzos do not suggest that this drug be used longer than two weeks. Second of all, we know that long term use leads to increased tolerance (requiring more of the drug to feel any benefit), physical dependence, and dangerous, potentially life-threatening withdrawal symptoms when one tries to stop taking the drug. We also have statistics that support the fact that most people abusing benzos are typically combining their benzo with another substance, usually alcohol or opiates. This is a deadly combination.

Here are some important statistics. In 2006 the Center for Disease Control reported " Poisoning {drug overdose} is the second leading cause of injury death overall, and the leading cause of injury death for people aged 35-54 years, surpassing both firearm-related and motor vehicle-related deaths in this age group." Of these "accidental" deaths, 17% of those were related to the misuse of benzos. In 2009 in Washington state alone, benzos were indicated in 20% of accidental deaths, higher than alcohol (17%), cocaine (15%), meth (5%), and heroin (2%). Even in 1986 the well-respected National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) completed research that indicated those who were depedent on benzos alone had a mortality rate 3 times higher than a control group being treated for similar mental health issues without a co-occurring benzo addiction. When the benzo addiction included the use of alcohol or other addictive drugs, the mortality rate jumped to 6 times higher than the control group.

I sat with a seventeen year-old girl this week who was begging me for benzos. She understandably wants relief from anxiety and has learned from our culture that the most efficient way to do that is to pop a pill. It breaks my heart. I also work with various other adults who struggle with enduring the withdrawal symptoms of benzos and most of them require multiple inpatient hospital stays throughout the year. Long-term benzo use has been shown to lead to an INCREASE in depression and anxiety. The abuse of this class of drugs has become a social problem, a menace to society, a bomb dropped on families, and ultimately kills.

This anger has been stewing in me for many years and the recent death of Whitney Houston really sent me into a tailspin. We do not yet know the autopsy results for this artist, but we do know both alcohol and three different kinds of benzos were found in her room. It doesn't take large volumes of these two combined drugs to cause significant depression of the central nervous system and cessation of breathing.

I believe Whitney Houston was clean from illict drugs and, thus, convinced herself she was "sober," because she was "just taking" the various benzos being prescribed to her. How do we expect people to stay clean when they are having addictive substances prescribed to them by the very people who are supposed to be helping them remain healthy? NO ONE with any history of addiction should take benzos... period. Whitney Houston should never have been given those medications. She believed she was sober and well. Our culture is ignorant to the dangers of benzos and I believe this prohibited the loving friends and family around her from knowing that the path she was on was a deadly one.

If you are taking benzos or know someone who is, these are the signs of benzo dependence (from

1. Tolerance to the medication, to the extent that the patient needs to take more to achieve the same effect; more marked when used as sleep aids, less common when used intermittently for anxiety.

2. Withdrawal begins when the medication is discontinued – may lead to taking other drugs to relieve symptoms.

3. Taking a higher dose or a more frequent dose outside of a physician’s advice. This includes taking the medications for problems other than they are prescribed for.

4. An inability to stop or excessive anxiety when considering stopping.

5.Preoccupation with acquiring more medication or another prescription – usually to meet increased need because of self-administering a higher dose.

6. A drastic change in habit or lifestyle, such as skipping social engagements or ignoring responsibilities because of the medication or the effects of the medication – embarrassment and lying may be associated with this.

I believe we should lovingly confront those we love who we know are abusing or misusing their medications. Had someone done this for Whitney Houston, we might still have her today. Please know that tapering from benzos should be done under the guidance of a doctor, due to the potential severity of symptoms. Let's wise up about this very dangerous class of drugs and spread the word that it is not acceptable to take benzos for months or years on end. We have to become intolerant of doctors who have become legal drug pushers and push for tighter regulation of this class of drugs.