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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.