The Phoenix and the Darkness
I’ve been running from The Darkness since I left home at the age of 17. I escaped a
broken family to the military, found it unwelcoming to creative non-conformists but fulfilled my
commitment. The first man I dated was a drunkard who suffered from post traumatic stress
disorder; the second raped me. The rest of my time in the military was a blur of men, the
different places I lived and The Darkness stalking me. At the end of my tour, I set my world on
fire to keep the Darkness away, abandoned everything and everyone, and emerged from the
flames like the mythical Phoenix. I ran home to Ohio. I didn’t stay long and continued onward
to New York, where I reinvented myself for a very brief period of contentedness.
It didn’t last. Darkness, fire, rebirth, and a few years, men and states later, I ended up in the
arms of yet another unworthy man. I followed him to DC, bore the mental abuse, and tried to
tell myself this was the best life would ever get.
I took a job in a field I didn’t care for and ended up running from job-to-job-to-job, unable to
find a place where I was happy. I was hit by a drunk driver at 26, leaving me with a long lifetime
of constant pain. I had a miscarriage, gave all my money to the unworthy man and couldn’t pay
my bills despite the good job. I moved from Virginia to Maryland and back to Virginia, unable to shake the pursuing Darkness. Finally, I put all my belongings in storage, ready to set my word
afire and flee once again.
I worked up the nerve to ditch the dysfunctional man, but before I could run far, I met the
man who would become my first husband. He wanted normal things: stability, house, family. I
convinced myself if I had these things, the Darkness would be gone. He needed a mother, not
a wife, but I married him anyway and prayed it was enough.
It wasn’t. I set my world afire once more, and I fled him, too. I put everything I valued in my
truck, grabbed the dog, and left. Away from DC, the east coast, everything I owned, my first
husband. I ran to Texas to a new job and divorced the first husband. Yet again, I was reborn.
Soon after, I met my soul mate. Some part of me knew I couldn’t keep running if I wanted to
keep him. I turned around to see if The Darkness still chased me. After fifteen years of running,
The Darkness was closer than ever.
I told the man who would become my second husband to stay away from me – I was
dangerous. He saw The Darkness, and he saw me.
You’re brilliant and beautiful. I love you, Darkness and all, he said. But if you don’t deal
with it and accept the fate for which you were put on this earth, you’ll be consumed by it.
I couldn’t yet face the Darkness even with his support, but I could see how wrong my path
was. My path wasn’t a career I loathed, and it wasn’t ignoring my true gift: writing. So I worked
full time and wrote full time. I found true joy for the first time in my life, but The Darkness got
too close. I ran away from that job – the only job I’d ever remotely enjoyed. This time, I kept my
only ally in life – my guardian angel and partner.
I took a new job in a new state. With my husband and my writing, I saw The Darkness
recede, and I grew happy. Instead of looking over my shoulder, I started looking into the future.
I vowed to run towards something instead of away from something. I wasn’t just reborn – I was
alive for the first time in my life.
And then, this past summer, I tripped. The Darkness swallowed me. As in one of my
upcoming novels, The Darkness turned me inside out. I couldn’t go to work and could barely
leave the house. It pinned me beneath it, and the more I tried to run, the heavier it got.
Everything I’d run from in life was there: my near-poverty upbringing; the breaking apart of my
family when I was a kid; my struggle with my weight and social anxiety issues; with finding
acceptance at any job; with men and dysfunctional relationships; the pending financial disaster
I’d been building; fear of failure and ending up as miserable as my parents. I thought I’d
suffocate, until the Darkness spoke to me.
You can run again and risk losing the man you love, or you can face me and be happy, it said.
I want to be happy, I replied.
Then do what you must.
It’s not that easy. I’m scared.
Sometimes life only gives us difficult choices, but you still must choose. I am a part of you. You must accept me and deal with me before you can move on, it said.
I thought hard as I looked at all the things I’d accumulated that were bankrupting me
financially and emotionally. I looked at what made me happy in life: my husband and my
writing. I saw how I’d hurt my most precious treasures – and myself – by setting my world on fire
whenever The Darkness got too close.
This is gonna hurt, I told The Darkness.
Not for long, it said. You only have to do this once.
In that moment, I made my choice. I would face The Darkness within me, no matter how
hard it was. I loved my husband too much to hurt him more, and I was sick of being a coward.
I took a leave of absence in early September to deal with my past as well as the depression
and anxiety that have haunted me my whole life. Writing has always been my solace and my
passion. Through it, I’ll heal the world I broke and my own soul, and become the partner my
The Phoenix will be reborn once more, not of fire, but of Darkness, and will emerge stronger
Lizzy is one of my friends and also a member of my group, The Indie Eclective. She is an AMAZING writer — I’m currently reading her recent novella release “A Demon’s Desire”. I recommend her work. I’m happy to have her in my life as an inspiration not only to women (through the above story) but as an inspiration to be a better writer. I told her a while back that I wanted to be Lizzy Ford when I grew up lol.
Lizzy’s featured novel in the Indie Chicks anthology is “Damian’s Oracle”, the first in her War of Gods trilogy.
The “War of Gods” series by Lizzy Ford is a paranormal romance series depicting the ongoing struggle between good and evil – and the immortals and their human mates who are caught in the middle. The first book, “Damian’s Oracle” (released October 2011) is the story of the White God and his Oracle, the cool beauty, Sofia. The second book, “Damian’s Assassin,” (released November 2011) is about the White God’s assassin and the woman who heals his heart and body. The third book will be released 02 Dec and tells the tale of the White God’s chief immortal and the mysterious, beautiful Magician he risks his life to protect.
Damian’s Oracle (currently free on Amazon)