Fight the dragon or Ride it? The choice is ours!

This picture courtesy of

Adam Orndorf

And when I look at this wonderful rendition of my daughter it makes me smile and fill with emotion for all of her accomplishments in life so far. Her mind and body go through so much in one day. There are the sounds and the touches, the sites and the excitement, and the desire for things to be even and planned and comfortable and calm at the same time. As she tries to tame her daily internal struggles she attempts to present a socially acceptable demeanor to the point of buildup in her own inner fire. She has met a dragon at such a young age and the time is now to tame and ride him into the horizon.

A fight or flight Instinct in everyone is a daily battle for her. We have seen the best and the worst of times so far and every month, every week, every day is a challenge. And it is our job as her family to help her tame her inner dragon and learn to control her impulse and emotions as she grows and learns. This comes with its own sense of urgency and acceptability in every moment. She and we have to be on the lookout at all times for the triggers of the dragon attack and the tools to tame it.

We learned early on that much like her favorite movies and show How to Train Your Dragon that fighting the Beast would be a never-ending battle. The battle was long and hard until we found that we could befriend her own dragon. With the support of everyone around her and the hard work of finding what works and doesn’t, she has gotten control of her dragon. Will he fly off without her at times? Yes he will. Will he buck her off in mid-flight at times? Most definitely as we have seen over the years. But will she put her hand out and welcome her dragon as her friend once again? She most definitely will and does nearly every day.

The anxiety and depression and sensory overload that may cause her Dragon to get the best of her is often offset by her friends and family and medical needs. And as she continues this comfort in her relationship with him she shows the confidence that is needed to accept that support and love. Whether it’s an intervention, a patient waiting game, or a need to throw the dragon a fish or two, she has the tools to train the dragon and now battle those who dare to separate her from his back. And she is learning to be at peace with accepting the things she must do to keep that relationship strong.

And although the support from those family and friends are her greatest tool she also needs the medications to help stabilize them when they are not around. And she continues on her Adventure and takes joy in seeing the king of dragons, the combination for succesd. She wisely takes her pills and hopes that each one will give her even more courage and strength to get through the day. Tomorrow she will try yet another pill for that very reason. And as she has grown in her young wisdom she is hopeful that this one will add an additional layer of armor to her emotional stability. She knows what to look for now and how she may change in Mind and Spirit. She has a better understanding of how that same pill and it’s hopeful sway of emotion may also result in a separation from her dragon that she can no longer live without.

As she flies her Dragon into tomorrow and the unknown of medication response, we will support her and watch her and give her the encouragement to relax her grip and fly. To have no hidden battles with other dragons that may appear. To have no fire balls come from inside and flare and light up the sky in terror. May she feel the calmness of a new day with the breeze in her hair and the sun in the sky. As much as we struggle to give her a new pill we know that each opportunity to keep her on the saddle of her dragon is another day of hope that she can be the best dragon rider she can be. Someday she will be dragon master and her dragon will be king.

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