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Rising from the Ashes

By: Fiona Purcell

Rising from the Ashes chronicles Fiona Purcell's experiences with recovery. She strives to de-stigmatize addiction by describing her journey as honestly as she knows how in hopes that she can bring about some level of understanding and acceptance.

The Queen Who Saved Herself

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Mar 28, 2016
Hello, my name is Fiona, and I am an alcoholic. There are many things that I struggle with not only being an alcoholic but also with just being human. Recently, my husband and I have wrestled with what to tell our beautiful children about my recovery that has twice separated me from them when I have been in rehab and now that I am in a recovery house. They don't understand why I cannot come home yet, and they keep telling me that I don't look sick. This is a story that I came up with to try and illustrate where I am and why.
 


There was a girl who grew up in a dark place but survived the days of her childhood and came out into the world. She met a prince who she thought was amazing. She spent many years getting to know him ,and he spent a lot of time and energy showing her things and came to be very protective of her. She felt safe with him, and they fell in love.  

The girl thought that being in love would solve all her problems and set her free from her dark, sad past. The two eventually married, and he became a king, and she became a queen. They had a young prince who was an angel. The angel baby opened their hearts and showed the queen that she was good inside. The little prince died in the queen's arms, and the king and queen's hearts were broken. At around the same time, the king became deathly ill, and they feared that he would die. The king was very brave and fought his disease till he was well again, but they were unsure they would ever be able to have more children.
 
Eventually, a miracle happened, and they had another prince who was the healer of broken hearts and brought joy into their lives once again. Soon after, another miracle happened, and they had a little princess whose presence was like a song to their souls.
 
The king, queen, prince and princess lived in several castles in several cities, moving each time the queen became sad and restless. Even though she was surrounded by love, having all she ever wanted or needed, the queen was unable to stay happy. The king tried everything to make his lady happy, but he was beside himself.
 
What was happening to the queen was that she was haunted by dragons. There was a dark, black dragon from her past that saddened her. There was also a bright red dragon that spoke terrible things to her. The black dragon was always there chained to her, hovering, making her feel she wasn't as good of a person as she really was. The red dragon came and went, but its voice was very loud. It told her it would fix all her problems, push away the black dragon and make her feel good. But the red dragon lied and made her do things she would never normally do. It would make her act differently and lead her to make bad decisions.
 
The king was scared, and the prince and princess were sad. No one knew what was wrong with the queen. She had her king, her prince, her princess and her castle. She had the king's family, ladies in waiting and love surrounding her from all sides. What could possibly be wrong? 
 
It turned out that the dragons were invisible to everyone but the queen. She was afraid and told the king about the dragons. He valiantly picked up a sword and tried to fight the dragons for her, but he could not see them to slay them.
 
The queen eventually was forced to rest in a peaceful valley, but the dragons followed her. She came to realize that no one but her could slay the dragons because she was the only one who could see them. She was distraught. How would she manage to slay these dragons? She had never held a sword, and she didn't know if she was brave enough.
 
In the peaceful valley, the spirit of the sky spoke to her and told her, “Listen to me and not the red dragon. I will guide you on a quest to rid yourself of the dragons and show you the road to happiness.” The spirit showed her to a trail and gave her a map with 12 destinations. She would have to make her way along the road, reaching each destination in turn along the way. The spirit told her to seek help from other queens who had already taken the same quest, but the spirit said it would always be there for her if she was in need.
 
The queen was so afraid, but she thought of how sad she was inside and knew that she needed to muster up the strength to go forth. She also thought of her brave king and of the young prince and princess and knew she could not return to them until she had rid herself of the dragons.
 
The quest was long and arduous, but with the help she had been given along the way, she made it to the 12th destination where she took up her sword and managed to maim the red dragon and set the black dragon free.
 
The black dragon can still be seen, but he is farther away and can't hurt the queen any longer. The red dragon is wounded and will stay away as long as the queen remembers not to listen to him and his lies. The queen, king, prince and princess can be happy again, and the queen knows how to fight her own battles. She thanked the spirit in the sky for the answer, but the spirit told her that the answer was inside her all the time — the spirit had just shown her how to find it.

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