“I’m an insomniac lately. It’s one of the many prizes you find in the Cracker Jack box of a crumbling marriage.” —Meredith from A Winter Garden by Kristin Hannah
When I am asked to tell a little about myself, I struggle with what to say that isn’t boring or whiney. So I decided to write it down in the form of a story.
Once upon a time …
There was a very special girl who looked high and low for her Prince Charming. She met the perfect boy to be the “one” when she was just a young girl, but lost him to the social measures of the time.
Thirty years later, after each had had a lifetime or two to have traveled, the girl—now a mature woman—found her Prince Charming again. Life was perfect, and she just knew the fairy tale was going to have the perfect ending. But with every fairy tale there is a catch, a tragedy, and a dragon to slay. In this one there was a dragon—addiction.
Alcohol and prescription drug abuse was the slayer of this match made in heaven. Even the angels could not strike down this dragon at its very heart and save the ending from being another tragedy in the history of these two lovers. The Prince was completely enslaved to the disease and no matter how hard the new princess tried to battle this monster, the monster ultimately won. There are really no survivors to the war against addiction. Shrapnel is left lying around and this dragon takes no prisoners.
The princess had no choice but to leave her fairytale life and abandon all hope of a solution to this situation. For if the prince will not help himself, then no one can help him.
This is when she finally evolved into the woman she was meant to be. With counseling and mentoring she discovered the tools that would allow her to stand up for herself and become with confident the woman she is. She decided not to wear the problems of her prince on her shoulders as if they were of her making, not to believe less of herself, to be grateful for the opportunity to experience this challenge, and to learn from it the boundaries she had to create and abide by when it came to forming new relationships—especially with herself. She has also learned the valuable cornerstone to the foundation of restoring her self-love: forgiveness.
This woman today, forgives not only herself for not being able to “fix” the prince, but also forgives him all the abuse she endured because she now realizes that he was just as much a victim of this terrible disease as she was. His actions and decisions were not of his own volition; the disease had him firmly in her grasp. Addiction was and is a mistress that no one can battle no matter how much self-confidence is apparent.
With forgiveness, though, does not come absolution? The prince harmed the woman and he is responsible to make amends for his actions but with this dragon holding on tight to his being, he doesn’t always have control of his senses. In the end, those issues totally belong to the prince. He has become a frog to the woman now. He can continue to lie on his lily pad and aimlessly abuse himself with his addictions. She on the other hand has moved on and is only responsible for her actions, choices, words, and thoughts.
The war is not over though, as now with divorce crashing all around her, she feels at times her life is too hard to endure. She works tirelessly with the tools she has learned to hold on to the present. She places the past where it belongs, grateful for all the challenges and lessons she has encountered. She continues on her journey holding her head up high, spine straight, shoulders wide with the grace of a woman accepting and embracing her destiny.
There are still a few chinks in her armor, but everyday she rises and polishes her brilliance. She reflects who she is in everything she does and celebrates all her successes with enthusiasm and humor. She now hopes she can help other would-be princesses when their prince turns back into a frog and her tiara loses its luster, to pick themselves up after the fight, brush off the dirt, and walk firmly forward with pride and respect in tact.
In the end, all princesses only need to ride off in the sunset with themselves as the rescuer. Belief in themselves and their Source is all they need to be complete. That is the “happy ending” that I hope all other women realize in the story of their lives.
P.S.: It really is just the beginning …
Enjoy life and breathe in every moment.