“She goes from one addiction to another. All are ways for her not to feel her feelings.” Ellen Burstyn
I would like to invite you, the addict, to come on a journey with me. We will be traveling into a realm of the imagination where you will begin to question your addiction from a very unique point of view. I created this portal of expanded vision for myself in 1999 and it has been widening ever since. I call it a portal because there is always a way in and out and there is always the threat of falling back. I never assume that I am safe. I stay on the ride as long as I need to. I depart from the train when I feel grounded. I get back on when I feel threatened and I always remember the first time I boarded this “Train”.
Let’s stand together on the platform, you and I. I have been waiting for you for a very long time. I have tried to avoid you, telling myself that you don’t need me to tell this story or any of the others that are scattered throughout my life. I have asked myself who I think I am, some kind of expert on quitting smoking?
Well, you know what? I have come to realize that, yes, I am. I have lots of proof. I have a lot to offer you, the addict, in the way of hope and inspiration. Even if you keep your habit, I would love to bet that it will be somewhat altered after you come away from my words on it. The only thing is that no matter what I say, only YOU can claim your freedom. I am here to inspire it’s instigation. I believe our journey will be cathartic, educational and an amazing example of the lost art of will power.
Oh, look! The train is coming. Better smoke your cigarette now because this is a nonsmoking ride. I have your ticket, a red stub with your name on it. Where ever you are in your thoughts, I am there with you. I know what you are thinking, and what you don’t want to say. I know that you cover your feelings and thoughts with that thing. It’s security. It’s a friend. It’s your literal smoke screen. I understand completely. I would love to join you, for just one, even now after all this time. Except it could never be just one…
The train now stops for us. Steam drifts out along the rails. It is slightly red, this slight smoke. Come with me, its going to be alright here. Just you and me. Oh, and the Queen of course. She is dying to meet you. We go way back. She taught me everything I know. I trust Her with my life. I know you will love Her.
Let’s sit together. You can have the window seat if you want. I know how important being distracted is going to be for you in the beginning. Look out at the moon. It is full with its promises and possibilities of a new cycle.
The Queen steps into our car as the train starts to move. She sits quietly across from us, watching out the window as everything familiar passes away. You are staring at Her. She is beautiful, right? I know. She can be pretty intimidating in Her beauty as well as fiercely horrifying in Her fury. She is my savior, though. She came to me on the altar of a church, Her perfect face veiled in flowers. Chrysanthemums. Red, gold, bronze. They haloed Her auburn hair and Her eyes were closed in a serene, soft hush.
She has been here all along, watching and waiting for us. Her face shines with an iridescent glow as we sit and watch time pass. A stray feather drifts down from Her wings and lays upon your toes. It is a gift. She offers you freedom in whatever way you will embrace it. She is now part of you as I have introduced Her into your life and She is willing to help. All you have to do is ask.
You will ask. You will ask again and again. You will ask Her to perform miracles and She will. Will you notice? She will go out of Her way and She only asks that you try to see what changes are being made. She asks that you allow yourself to see through the smoke screen long enough to gather hope that you, too, can create your portal of hope and freedom. It doesn’t matter how long it takes as long as you just…Try.
The train comes to a halt. We are in the middle of a forest. The Queen exits. A red mist follows Her. We watch them fade into the landscape beyond us. Are you ready to walk with me?