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My Shiny Black Dragon
How I Stopped Drinking by Writing it Out
I have a shiny black dragon curled up sleeping in my brain.
He’s resting over my right ear.
It took about six months alcohol-free for him to really fall asleep and my first sober Christmas at eight months tested him a bit, but sleeping he is and I like it that way.
I’ve come to terms with the fact that he’s always going to be there because I know if I forget, or if I assume he’s actually gone, I might wake him up.
He’s very sweet when he’s sleeping but if I wake him up he is a TERROR.
My shiny dragon had a TREMENDOUS thirst for alcohol.
He wasn’t always so thirsty but once he developed a taste for oblivion he became a mighty roaring horrible presence in my life.
The way I keep him sleeping is quite simply not to drink.
Of course not drinking in a world that sometimes seems to require it is not always so easy.
If you’re Hanging out around the water cooler at 5 pm on a Friday, or a Thursday, or even a Tuesday it seems like everyone is talking about drinking.
“Lets have a drink!”
“Where shall we go for a Drink?”
“What shall we Drink with dinner, lunch, brunch?”
We compare notes on the best new craft beers and boutique wines. Sake after yoga and spiked seltzer are our new healthy options. We’re told we should drink in moderation but find camaraderie commiserating over embarrassing drunken texting and horrendous debilitating hangovers.
All of the cool kids drink and if we drink a bit too much misery loves company!
I knew that I needed to stop drinking but everything that I had ever learned about sobriety left me cold. As a high energy, independent thinker I was not interested in following a program that required I slow down and get humble. Bumper stickers that said “one day at a time” or “easy does it” made me squirm. As I sunk deeper into the muck of knowing that I could no longer keep up with the cool kids and control my drinking I stumbled over my solution on the internet.
I didn’t put my dragon to sleep by attending AA meetings although AA does work for many people. I put my dragon to sleep by reading and writing in a community. A community that enabled me to feel great about stop drinking rather then enabling me to think that getting drunk was no big deal.
I had to break the status quo. I had to go against the grain of my world to learn to be aware of what I was really thinking and what I was feeling and what I really needed.
Every day I sit down at my computer and talk a little or a lot about how great it feels to have that little dragon sleeping soundly. I connect with a community of people who have found, like me, that drinking is not the answer to life’s problems but more likely the cause of many. We write, read, talk, debate, laugh, create and share our experiences. We share our experience in words and images and music as we evolve and every day together we become more uniquely ourselves. Dragonslayers all. Strong and free.
My dragon thrived in dark isolation but has retreated from the bright warm light of a generous creative community.
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