A Dragon in Ashes

“I can’t breathe…and yet, I am breathing.”  Dec 20th, 4am

I don’t regret us. I have a lot of pain, sadness, and anger over us but I also hold love, comfort, and laughter. I know I played an unhealthy role in our relationship for a very long time – I wasn’t healthy enough to be anything else. We weren’t good for each other, but we fit so well we couldn’t have noticed. We were what we needed- or what we thought we needed. We didn’t know any better. We knew we loved each other – and that seemed like everything. But it wasn’t. And now I know this. I see myself with much more worth now than I had ever seen before. I found my feet, my strength, my voice. I found my wings.

I can see things a lot differently up here.

And once I saw, I couldn’t go back. I tried, but I couldn’t.

I almost cut off my wings – because I love you. I stood there in a war with myself. Because I don’t want to hurt you. Because it kills me to hurt people I love. Because it’s easier to go back than to figure out a way forward. Because it terrifies me to stand up for my worth and what I know. Because I don’t want to break my own heart.

But I couldn’t do it. I dropped the knife, sobbing, and started walking. I kept walking until my heart throbbed with a new knowing of how much I need to fly. A commitment like nothing before. A promise.

And here I am – A dragon in ashes.

My life in ashes.

Standing in the aftermath. The damage of what I did. Rubble formed by fire from my mouth. My life – overwhelmingly shattered to pieces. Reduced to ash.

So much loss, all at once. And here I stand covered with ashes, in tears. Standing.

I know I had to. Even though I’m left with ashes. Even though I hurt people I love with all of my heart. Even though the pain of what I’ve lost takes my breath away. Even though I broke my own heart. I had to.

I turned it to ashes to save myself. To free myself. To fly.


There should be a better word than ‘thank you’..

I’m so frustrated by the limitations of words. It’s an unsettling, conflicting place to be as a writer.

Seriously, is there not a better word than thank you??!

“Thank you so much, I can’t even tell you how much that means to me”.. How fucking frustrating that the best I can come up with is telling you “I can’t tell you” when I want to be able to tell you what I’m feeling! Limited to the same words I utter to strangers who hold the elevator. Not that they don’t deserve thanks, it’s just.. What do you say when it’s so much more? I add heart emoji’s in hopes that somehow these silly images will express the warmth in my heart.


And resorting to Google is useless. The only synonyms that come up for ‘thank you’ are even less personable, or just ‘thank you’ in another language (Thanks dictionary.com). Nothing comes close to expressing the gratitude I feel.

How do you thank someone who has literally changed your life? Even that sounds sickenly cliche. And yet, it is bone-deep sincerity and truth. So true that I ache when I fail to express it. And it doesn’t help that my in-person attempts are even lamer than my written ones; thanks to my continuous struggle to express emotions and make eye contact. I wish I could hug you and magically all this gratitude could sink in through osmosis or something.


You taught me that I wasn’t broken. You taught me how to be healthy. You taught me how to cope with anxiety. You taught me to listen to my feelings. You taught me that tribe and connection isn’t a selfish desire. You taught me about needs I didn’t even know I needed or deserved. You taught me how to live my values. You taught me the importance of creating a life you’re excited about. You taught me how to thrive. You taught me that I could be strong. You taught me that I hold the power. You taught me that I could be am a dragon. You gave me permission to listen to that strong healthy part of me. You taught me that I matter. You gave me permission to matter. You opened my eyes.

You see me. You hear me. You treat me like I matter. You believe in me.

You uncovered my wings and showed them to me. You taught me that I could fly. You told me to fly. You keep telling me to fly. You want me to fly.

You’ve done so much for me already, and yet you continue to show me your support and cheer me on.

And here I am, eyes cast down, uttering or typing a mere ‘thank you’. I give up.


Words will never be enough. I’m going to show you just how grateful I am instead.

I am going to show you how thankful I am for everything you’ve taught me by using it daily and spreading those lessons to everyone I can.

I’m going to show you how much your support means to me by letting it fill me up so I can passionately pursue purpose and meaning, and spread love outward whenever possible.

I’m going to say thank you for believing in me by holding onto that belief and worth in myself. I’m going to stay dedicated to my values and meeting my needs. I’m going to be strong even when I don’t want to be.

I’m going to show you how grateful I am by being the dragon, even when it’s easier to be the mouse.


I’m going to keep listening to everything you’ve said, and everything you’ve taught me to hear – even when it’s easier to shut it out.

I’m going to hold onto the gifts you’ve given me by living them and sharing them.

I’m going to let your support inspire me to be my best self and keep showing up.

I’m going to show you just how much you mean to me and how grateful I am for your support by not letting your faith in me go to waste. I’m going to be the dragon. I’m going to fly.

This I promise you.

And sitting here knowing just how genuinely I mean that makes me tear up.

For this, I thank you too. <3

This post is dedicated to the most wholeheartedly compassionate, supportive, valuable, and passionately inspirational clinician (and person, for that matter) – Dr. E.A. Wilson of Inspired Living Medical.