My Dragons Now Emanate Hope

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I am wildly grateful
for the gift of sobriety,
my clan in the rooms,
and God’s unfailing grace:
all of which link together,
forming a steel reign
to grasp,
as I ride and tame
my dragons
with each rising of the sun.
I check my stance,
gearing and shifting
as to not fall off,
as to not drown
into the darkness
that awaits for my hands
to fall from the reigns.
(A little poem by: Louise Warren)

It blows my mind how different my life is from 3 1/2 short years ago. It is not perfect, however it is lovely and pretty and a fragile treasure. On most days, I ride my dragons, for they are tame with a harmless wild streak.
They no longer breathe fire.
Instead, they breathe hope and grace.
They breathe sobriety.

My mournings, a few short years ago, were full of hangovers, appologies, guilt, shame, and disappointment that I even woke at all. I had the strong desire not to wake in the morning.
In fact, I begged for that long sleep, one where there is no waking. There was no productivity, love, hope, or selflessness. There was NOTHING.

Today, my mornings are filled with hope gratitude, productivity, selflessness, and love. They are still filled with stumbling around: not because I am hungover, however because I am groggy from a decent night of unadulterated sleep.
Coffee is now my 6:45 a.m. drink of choice.

My days and evenings were full of anxiety and frenzy. They were full of a sense of chasing the day into the night, just so that I could get to that first drink, then to that first line. Then, just then, would I feel like me, like I was home, like I was right where I belonged:
amongst my fire breathing dragons.
I got to the point where I didn’t even go home to strip off the work day and turn myself into the outward version of who I wanted the others to believe I was:
kool, put together, smart, and unafraid.
In my last few years of my drinking, I went straight from work to the nearest hole, alone. I sat at an outside table, book in hand, for this, I was sure, made me look interesting. This was my last strategy to not drink too much. My brilliance, in all of its delusional glory, told me that because I had a dog to take care of at home, I would stop on my way home from work to only have a drink or two. In my warped perception of addiction, if I stopped on my way home, surely I would not overstay my welcome, for I cared too much about my little dog to leave him home alone for 17 hours.
At 3 a.m., I stumbled out of that hole, every time.

Little did I know that I knew I was trapped in a dark, black loop of the same night running over and over on an old movie reel that was stuck playing the same strip of film time and time again. That reel, it began to slow, to get stuck, and even squeek at times, wanting to stop, but instead getting more and more tangled, looping and ticking the same film strip.
The same squirly day.
The same dark night.

Aaaaah mornings. Now, I like mornings. I welcome the birds, the sunlight, and the peace of mind that comes with my waking. The miracle is that I want to wake, and when I do, the fload gates of guilt, shame, and doom remain closed. No longer do these dragons violently shake me out of an alchohol and drug induced dormancy.
My mornings are filled with prayer, love, selflessness, and somewhat of a routine.
I go forward into my day with breaths of hope and ardour. I look forward to quiet evenings at home, movies, Bible studies, coffee with clan, and always laughing from the inside. I anticipate the weekends, for this is when I go to my favourite AA meetings. I am almost giddy on the way to where my clan gathers. I no longer look over my shoulder with an aplology in the waiting for my behaviour from the night before.

I am FAR from perfect. I do not love myself with every rising and setting of the sun. I let small things get the best of my serenity at moments. I can be impatient and judgemental and grumpy. I have anxiety and sadness that ebbs and flows with happiness and peace.
The beauty of sobriety and being self aware is that I can recognize these things and, in a breath, turn them around without alchohol and drugs.
Prayer and trust in God are the center of my life now.
(I do not do that perfect either.)

The difference these days is that life
fucking rocks, regardless of what is happening.
I have a life today, and I want to live it.
I want to wake every morning.
I want to breathe.
I ride my dragons today,
taming them one thought at a time.

#SobrietyRocks
#ProgressNotPerfection
#AChairIsWaiting
#WhereThereIsBreathThereIsHope
#YouAreWorthLiving
#RideYourDragons
#ItsAWeThing

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Respire: Breathe

It has been many deep breaths since I have posted my thinkings, my hopes, my life on life’s terms.
I have unscrambled some thoughts, and wrecklessly arranged them into sentences on this page.

If so much as one word strikes you, touches you, gives you hope, or reaches your soul, If what I have written reaches but one person, then I have been successful.
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Addiction takes the breath out of you, until you begin to slowly suffocate from the bondage of darkness, hopelessness, and death.

I held my breath for 20 yrs.
Today I breathe, even if I have to remind myself to do so. Breath is now there: the breath of hope, the breath of truth, the breath of acceptance, the breath of life, living.
Sobriety has given me the ability to breathe: respire.

On July 11th, 2011, I crawled on my knees out of the darkness, arms out streached: tired, weary, empty, and dying emotionally & spirirually & physically.
I allowed myself to fall into the arms of IOP and AA and God, begging for help, for life, for peace, for breath.

There, in those arms, I found more hope and living and laughter than I could have ever imagined:

Laughter from deep within, smiling from the inside out, feeling my feelings without drowning, gratitude, balance of darkness and light, learning, loving, breathing: living.

Today, my life is breathtaking, even when life throws me moments when I forget to breathe.

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#OneBreathOneBlinkOneThoughtOneDayAtATime
#WhereThereIsBreathThereIsHope

The problem: Me, Everytime

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"The Gremlin in My Head"

“Some days are harder than others, but I have been told a person is not measured by what she has achieved but by what she has overcome.”

[“The Measure of Success”
– AAGrapevine]

Dragging my feet
in the muck of deceit
my defects screaming loud
my head in a dark cloud
of the lies of my thinkings
grateful today that the solution
lies not in drinkings
instead on my knees in a prayer
“God help me today
to stay in Your will,
and in the moment,
and to remember to breathe,
and above all God, for this day
not to think, think, think.
(A Poem by: Louise Warren)

i love being sober. i could not imagine living the life that i once did
not so long ago however,
there are days that i remember why i drank… today is one of those days.
the last week,
has been one of those weeks,
And the problem: me,
everytime.

by God’s grace alone,
i also remember what happened everytime i drank:
how and where i ended up.
i ended up in the dark, broken
into tiny pieces,
everytime.

i feel defeated today, this week.
self-defeated.

the blessings:
i have God.
and i have this divinely inspired program of AA which is full of tools
and beautiful souls that posses solutions and comfort and joy
that alchohol and substances
just could not,
and never will, touch.

although i feel defeated
and small
and not good enough:
(those feelings, those lies
that my addiction screams at me),

i feel grateful & hopeful for,
now i can walk THROUGH
the darkness instead of staying stuck
on the edge between
darkness (Despair)
and light (Joy).
Today is a great day to be sober.

#sobrietyrocks
#stayprayedup
#dontdrinkorusenomatterwhat
#wherethereisbreaththereishope
#achairiswaiting
#32monthssober

       

My daydreams became truth…

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thoughts

“The mind will often drift away into daydreams, but patiently we turn our attention back to the truth and the reality of existence and experience, all as it is happening right now.”  – Grapevine Quote

oh how i used to stay in the daydream,

not knowing the truth, or knowing it,

and to terrified to face it.

i am so grateful, for today

i can look truth in the eyes

and, grasp it by the hand.

i can walk alongside truth.

me and truth:

we are friends now (on most days).

oh, but how I still love

to daydream.

the difference today:

i can separate the truth

and the daydreams,

and, enjoy them both.

and now, through faith

and giving up control,

by turning my will and my life over

to God

my daydreams

have become the truth.

(a poem by Louise Warren.)

Every moment of my 20 year drinking and using career I would daydream about how life COULD be: how it  could be better, more peaceful, relaxing, successful, free of guilt and shame, full of hope and love and self-confidence and understanding.  I lived in the daydreams, escaping from what my life was, who I thought I was (a monster, a mess, not worth good) and living in the daydreams of what it could become, what I could become.  As my life and my spirit whirled and spun into a tornado of hopelessness, moving further and further away from the grasp of these daydreams, my hope became buried in the wreckage of my addiction, and  I drank and used more and more. In doing so, the demon of addiction created an illusion that all of those daydreams were just around the corner:  just around the next drink, the next line, the next relationship. Sadly, those daydreams were just that: daydreams.

The beautiful freedom of sobriety and recovery is that all of those daydreams have and continue to come true.  You see, in the trenches of my addiction I tried so damn hard to direct every moment of my life, my feelings, the way others felt about me. Hell, I even tried to direct when the sun would rise and set.  I tried to create these daydreams in a very big way. In becoming sober, I have realized that I am a terrible director, just terrible.  Sobriety and the steps of this program and the beautiful and courageous stories of others just like me in the rooms, in the chairs, have taught me that upon giving up control of my life to my higher power, whom I call God, my life will beautifully fall into place.  By giving control and direction of my life to God and living in the moment (as much as I can) my life has and continues to fill up with moments of peace, self-confidence, love, real friendships, laughter, moments of silence and relaxation, understanding, and my guilt and shame has disappeared.

My life is not that of perfection,  it is a life of truth and recovery.

My life is a life.

My life is pretty.

And my daydreams have become and continue to come true.

Louise Warren 2.16.2014

Addiction is not a party…

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philip-seymour-hoffman
addiction has stolen
another brilliant mind
another valuable life:
one full of beauty
& worth.
addiction has thrown another
dreamer, lover
brother, father,
son, friend
into the depths
& darkness
of despair
& loneliness
& desperation
snatching with its claws,
talons in deep
and thrusting
another being
full of beauty
into the well
of death.
– a poem by Louise Warren (2.2.14)
Philip Seymour Hoffman did not die at a party, laughing &  smiling & having fun with his friends & family. He died alone, on his bathroom floor, in his underwear with 23 years of sobriety behind him & a needle in his arm.
Addiction is not a party.
It is a lonely cold bathroom floor.
It is hell.
It is death.
The life of an actively using addict is void of hope & of colour. It is void of music & …of dancing. I know, for I was there for 20 years. Addiction is a demon that breeds loneliness and isolation. Addiction cultivates death.
This has really hit me, the death of Philip Seymour Hoffman. It has saddened me to the core. My heart is heavy. Not because he was a celebrity, but because he was a human being & a fellow addict who was suffocated by his own demons, the demons of addiction. A beautiful, brilliant human being who seemingly had it all. One who, like millions of others that Sunday morning, did not have to die alone, die at all.
This is a tragic and glaring reminder that none of us are safe from addiction. Addiction does not care if we are famous, rich, pretty, popular… addiction likes everyone.
We are all one drink, one drug, one blink, one breath away from death.
We must act.
We must choose to live.
We must choose recovery.
We must choose  sobriety.
We must fight for our lives no matter what, whatever it takes.
There is a solution. There is hope. There are chairs waiting…
Louise Warren (2.3.14)
#achairiswaiting #sobrietyrocks #butforthegraceofGodtheregoi