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Old 09-26-2013, 04:20 AM   #2001
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September 26


Green Wood

When a nail is hammered into a living tree, the tree is forever changed. Even if the barb is pulled out the tree will never be the same. If the spike remains and the tree lives; over time the nail will be incorporated, the tree will get on with the business of living and carry the thing as just a part of what it took to get here. What was trauma is trauma, but life is big and the longer it gets the larger the life, is the hope. Piercing experience is engulfed by rings of fresh wood and a will to grow beyond the moment of impact. The tree branches out and even a hundred nails can’t stop that.


Educate domination when you can and cage it when you have to

*

VIRGINIA CREEPER

In a clearing grows a vine
As seasons change the leaves turn pale.
This type of vine grows throughout the woods
But does it grow pale everywhere
Or only in this sunlit space?

I see the trembling of the lovely foliage
And wonder the destiny of the flora.
Does growth have a will of it own?
Does it grow to light or is it a must?

Can I turn my face
Even if Virginia Creeper cannot?
And if I can------------
Should I just to prove a point?


You are reading selections from More Sober on the Way to Sane and Lines From My Life by Sherrie Theriault
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Old 09-27-2013, 04:18 AM   #2002
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September 27


One Street off Amory

Apology holds change at arms length. Apology is the thing I was taught to wait for as a sign that things will improve, but apology is not a harbinger of change it is quite the opposite it is the guarantor of business as usual; no amendment need occur, apology has been made and life goes on with no alteration. Without variation we all stay sick and apologizing for that won’t get us better. Restitution, amends, revelation, revolution these are the things which make the world bright, apology is just a scrap with which to wipe your ass.


Put down your bat, skip your rope
*

ALSO A GIFT

Sadness is as life affirming as joy
But in the same way that people eat together
But defecate alone, joy is encouraged in public
And sadness is a private matter.

Happiness is embraced and discouragement relegated
Even though personal experience shows disappointment
Is often a point of growth.

What beauty and change stem from disillusion
But still it is hard to look directly
At grief and not flinch away.
The temptation to fain pleasure
And leave sadness swept under the carpet is strong.

It is an unwelcome job to be the defender of grief
A job which should be unnecessary to defend
We are not giants who can step
From one mountaintop to the next.


You are reading selections from More Sober on the Way to Sane and Lines From My Life by Sherrie Theriault
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Old 09-28-2013, 05:21 AM   #2003
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September 28


A Verse to the Wise

Encoding truth into poetry makes reality survivable by giving readers the opportunity to dig truth up like diamonds. Throwing certainty in peoples faces like cold water gives them a wake up call but nothing to embrace. The beauty of semaphore is the dance that need not be understood by everyone who sees it. Communication through device leaves headroom and breathing space while acceptance might be reached. The current of a conversation often leads me to face the facts, but a tsunami of candor could drown me.


Exhaust reaction with reason


*
DENY ONE---DENY THE OTHER

If you want to deny the problem
By necessity you must deny the solution.
Resolving a problem whose existence is rejected
Creates a split in the crust of collusion.

Often times the convolution and reconvolution of addiction
Causes a bloated roiling mass
That rolls through the streets of sanity.
How can a wedge be cut in a creature so dense.

How can I work on piecing together remedies
When I am readily assured by fellow sufferers
There is NO DISEASE?
Can I trust my personal depletions?

Can I employ faith to a resolution
When faith is utilized to fortify
The contagion I’m told doesn’t exist
But if not faith what?

You are reading selections from More Sober on the Way to Sane and Lines From My Life by Sherrie Theriault
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Old 09-29-2013, 05:28 AM   #2004
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September 29


Kicks

New balance is more than a brand of sneakers. New balance is a joyful revelation made possible through constant vigilance. I am tap dancing into a vision, no more soft shoed wishfulness. I can lift my feet knowing I can keep my up right posture; my musculature robust from climbing the steps and accepting direction. This bright tempo delights me; I feel stretched, supple, able bodied. Life off the balance beam offers me the world in which to embrace my equilibrium.


Pick up your toys, pick up your chin and move on

*
CATCH

How can my sensibility catch my intellect
Or find a map with enough information
To get my heart to the current location of my mind?

What are the common markers recognized by soul and brain?
I know the pulse of my wrist
Is counter pointing the firing of my synapses.

My life signs run their course
And I struggle to find the intersections
I long for more than signposts and curbing.

I would like parallels, paradigms and conclusions
There must be a place of common home and hearth.
I am looking for the depot of my life
I hope I hit it before I hit the coast.


You are reading selections from More Sober on the Way to Sane and Lines From My Life by Sherrie Theriault
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Old 09-30-2013, 04:21 AM   #2005
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September 30


Moniker

The Hurt carry on the tradition, would never think to give it up, don’t even know there is that option, strap on their weapons without a second thought. How can there be a second thought when there never was a first. Hurt is a reflex and it moves its way through the world like dominoes tumbling; everything’s knocked down before you ever saw it standing. So, what’s the use anyway? So, I fall down and in that action push you forward and we are all together in the mud, but it is so hard to recognize anyone in the mud, including myself and especially you. If I hurt you that makes it hard for me to see anything about you except my wish for your departure, which I subconsciously hope will take away the guilt I can’t afford to feel. If I make it out of the mud I can’t afford anything, but if I don’t pay up I’ll be in new mud soon, so I must break tradition and the first step toward that is seeing it and the second is calling it by its name.


Open up your secret vault and unload

*

BATTLESHIP

If the first is a guess, what is the second?
Paranoia or worse.?
Action is a blessing, reaction a debilitation
And to twist from reaction to self-doubt
Sinks the battle and the battleship.

When I can’t make sense, the gift is stepping back,
Better to put my hand down than to lose the farm.
When I find myself in a minefield I can walk gingerly
Or wait for aid to come from above, air rescue or other.

The option of rethinking every step sets me dancing
The tune which begins this hurky jerky polka of death which
Stems from the metronome of criticism playing in my ear.

When I am overwhelmed with critique
I give up acceptance of chance or joy of spontaneity
Throwing myself into a pit of apprehension.
I am safer being wrong occasionally
Then unsure forever


You are reading selections from More Sober on the Way to Sane and Lines From My Life by Sherrie Theriault
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Old 10-01-2013, 04:10 AM   #2006
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October 1


No Substitute for Fire

I wanted alcohol to do better for me than burning did. I was constantly disappointed, yet I kept trying. I was not to find pleasure in that bottle though I had no problem finding addiction there. This is how I came to believe that there is not an upside to everything. Booze took me to surprising destinations, but never the ones I desired. I sought release, the release I got from a wildfire spreading across my skin and this might have been mine had I poured the liquor on rather than in. But in me it did no good, it never let me exhale the way that the “right” kind of pain did. What I got from alcohol drove me though; fear rode me roughshod and I found my way home, it was a bumpy road, but once there we doused the flames and I live the upside I had come to doubt, because fire is no substitute for life.


Randomize the alphabet, then write
*

MY MOON

I anticipate the crowning of your face
As you birth the sky.
Your rhythmic visitation sates me.
The gravity of my need keeps you close.
The tide of my heart pulls you from shore to shore.

We live in the sweet ecstasy of tethered love
Our souls slingshoting across the open palm of heaven
Your empathy for me transforms these shards of ice
To a tender heart satelliteing

I orbit you
Empowered by your kindness
You are my moon.


You are reading selections from More Sober on the Way to Sane and Lines From My Life by Sherrie Theriault
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Old 10-01-2013, 04:32 AM   #2007
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18months clean yesterday. Picked up my grey key fob at last night's meeting.

A day at a time, we do recover.

Couldn't have got here on my own.

#miracleshappen
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Old 10-02-2013, 04:13 AM   #2008
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October 2


Saltbox House

Refusing to make reasonable demands is quite as dysfunctional as making unreasonable demands. The opposite of an extreme is often twice as crazy and harder to explain. I open my mouth and dry toast is the reply. Nothing should be said when nothing can be done and to do nothing is harder than one might think. I fold my hands but my lap rejects them; I quiet my mind but my soul objects. I must let my heart sing and trust you enough to ask for help.


Check your speed and direction

*

REJECTION

Rejection as a game of endurance,
A boundary enhancing process
A test of survival
Rejection sought or unsought is a challenge.

Sometimes rejection is a flare
Lighting the need for change of tactics or direction.
Though it is hard to view rejection as a beacon
Rather than condemnation.

Rejection is also the counterbalance for acceptance.
Risk is nothing if rejection is not part of the equation
I cannot value yes if you could not say NO.

Rejection is the safety valve
For putting myself in situations where I don’t belong.
I get sent back to the world of possibilities when the kindness of rejection
Ejects me from wrong choice.


You are reading selections from More Sober on the Way to Sane and Lines From My Life by Sherrie Theriault
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Old 10-03-2013, 04:19 AM   #2009
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October 3


Sackcloth

Tragedy is a tale unfinished. Life is far longer than calamity can endure. I will not give up, not even when hope is lost, for life carries forward; more is filled with optimism. Threads break, but the fabric is woven still, flowing off the living loom waiting to be used. I will cut my swath and fashion a garment to wear and if sometimes it is filled with ashes I will sit and grieve all the while knowing that this is never the stories end.


See through your own shades


*
AMENDS

Amends is about truth and change.
The relationships of my past
Were places of little truth
And even less change.

I tried to be nice----not honest
I tried to keep things going
Even when they needed to die.

Making amends has ended
Most of my relationships from the past.
A quick 10th step keeps me
From starting too many new ones.

Good healthy relationships
Require time and attention
So this necessitates a short list.

Sometimes I wish for more quantity
But I realize in sobriety
I cannot accept less quality.


You are reading selections from More Sober on the Way to Sane and Lines From My Life by Sherrie Theriault
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Old 10-03-2013, 04:11 PM   #2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daktari View Post
18months clean yesterday. Picked up my grey key fob at last night's meeting.

A day at a time, we do recover.

Couldn't have got here on my own.

#miracleshappen
I am very happy for you... Congratulations... It is a tough journey but none of us walks alone and the rewards are many...
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For beautiful eyes look for the good in others; for beautiful lips speak words of kindness;And for poise, walk with knowledge that you are never alone.- Kathryn Hepburn
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Old 10-04-2013, 04:16 AM   #2011
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October 4


Have Faith

Strange and wonderful tragedy takes you away from me and I don’t know how it is that you return, but you do and I thank G-d, but I’m not sure it was G-d’s idea that you went away or that you came back, though, I am sure, He missed you every bit as much as I did. I revolve the freshness of you in my mouth like candy; I swirl, but don’t want to crack it open. Honeymoons are for people who live comprehendible lives; we fly to each other and cling like raptors plummeting to the ground. You leave your mark upon me I do the same for you; we are none the worse for the wear. I stand in the gush from the hydrant, soaked in the pleasure, forgoing the safety. The world may burn down again tomorrow, I remember that it has before, but I am wiser for the singeing and weathered with soot in my eyes and charcoal piled roundabout my legs, yet I’m still standing and you are back from the dead and I think of you as Lazarus. And now we will live the comedy for life is what lay ahead, we took the hit of death before its time and so must be off the hook for the rest.


Try not to long for Santa

*

FISHING FOR CONTENTMENT

Fishing for contentment
Is a wonderful past time.
But what is used for bait?

Is there a delicacy
To dangle before contentment
To lure it into my life?

Can I crumble the best biscotti
And leave a trail to my door?
I don’t believe contentment
Swims around waiting to be caught.

I think it’s more like the wild yeast
That finds its way to my starter.
If I put the ingredients in my life
Contentment will rise to the occasion.


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Old 10-05-2013, 06:16 AM   #2012
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October 5


Jeopardy

Today I tore down the isolation booth. I didn’t live in there exactly; sometimes I stuffed G-d in there and went out for a ride. I left that shack stand for far, too long; a testimony to ill conceived, ham-handed, control freaks everywhere. I said all I wanted was some peace, but a vacuum is not tranquility and escape won’t substitute either. Since the live studio audience has gone home and the house lights are dimmed, I feel pretty foolish for playing round after round on my own. This game was never any fun and the sponsors were death merchants and scavengers whose interest lay in destruction and nothing else. I must not cast aspersions, I didn’t care that the contest was merely an upright pit with a lethal pendulum, I used it as a hideout and a lair, a place whose walls I could keep between me and my Higher Power and an activity I could depend on to keep me free from living a life. It all came to the ground today; I walk over the splinters and shards, I know there has to be a better game and I’m ready to play.


Picture trouble floating away like bubbles on a river

*
MY HEROINE

The corpse that is my childhood
Is mine to protect from the wolves
And rats of denial and collusion.

The infant who commits suicide
In self-defense is my heroine.
The pure thinking of an uncluttered mind
Seizes on the only possible way for me to survive.

Her death at her own hand is my rescue
If the bad had killed her
I would have died with her.

In her plan I was left as the seed
She ejected in her assent
She is gone from this place
I feel her only as the wisp of memory.

The tiny body laid flat on the carpet
Her pressed pinafore somehow more alive than she is
the unfinished business of prevention.

As long as I see her there and do not walk away
From my responsibility and never forget
She protected me with the life she never lived
I am free to live this life.

You are reading selections from More Sober on the Way to Sane and Lines From My Life by Sherrie Theriault
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October 16


Autonomic

Alcoholics in isolation go no place good. Isolation is too expensive to keep; whether it is a bad habit or worse. How do I hold to a receding thing such as this? I am amazed that I accomplish this difficult task and fear my ability to do something simple like breathe. I wonder often why destruction is so seductive when life is fine. Yet, I hear the cloying whispers of lonely isle shores, I must bind myself to friendship and hold firm to companions for the water is no place for me, I have forgone my once liquid life.



Tell yourself a story about what you’ve learned

*

ARCHIMEDES PUT A BOULDER IN MY PATH

Place a lever under the boulder and press down.
Never so hard as to warp the lever.
Move the pivot and push under a new place.

Keep doing this until you have pushed deeply
And well from every aspect of the boulder in you path.
This works every time.

Not because it dislodges the boulder
But because it somehow changes me.
The path may also appear different.

Often the boulder drops from view.
It may not be gone but seems less irretraceable.
My life goes on.

I have found it important to retain my lever and pivot.
There is never just one boulder.

You are reading selections from More Sober on the Way to Sane and Lines From My Life by Sherrie Theriault
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October 7


What Oliver Could not Know

One of the complications of being an orphan is not learning about the failings and foibles which visit themselves on all parents. Living estranged from G-d has this same blind spot. When you live with someone day in and day out you understand their dimensions; depravation causes celebrity and the casting of very large shadows in some very odd places. The intimate knowledge of a guardian allows for relaxation and experimentation. Isolation creates an overload of anticipation; fear of risk and the yearning for attention swing a pendulum to the point of weaponry. Familiarity is a breeding ground, which means many things grow. Life in a vacuum is devoid of life and nothing grows up.


Lock away things forever and they only have imaginary meaning

*

HAWAIIAN GRAFFITI

White pebbles spell themselves
across the black of lava grown cold.
Personal announcements proclaim
love, school pride, religious freedom.

The care of placement and consideration of design
make the roadside an on going mineral memo.
What message would I care to share?
What words would prompt me to bring a pail
of crushed marble to the edge of the road.

Is there a truth so urgent I would take time
from paradise to spell it out?
A few more miles and I see the words I live by
strewn down the thoroughfare-------

IT WORKS-----IF YOU WORK IT.

You are reading selections from More Sober on the Way to Sane and Lines From My Life by Sherrie Theriault
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October 8


Wasilla

I don’t appreciate those who wear ignorance as a fashion accessory, but then I have to work too hard, not to wear intolerance as a badge of courage, so what can I really say, while I’m on this topic, what kind of game is “Playing Dumb” where do we get with that as the vehicle? I don’t know why grown folks act like corralled farm animals, nor do I comprehend the idea of salvation through unnecessary sacrifice, but here I am in a society riddled with it and I try not to drink in the face of this idiocy. This is a job for which I am unprepared, I have spent so much time feeling my internal lacking that when facing the siphon created by the general public I start looking for a glass and some ice to tinkle, but I have tried this before and it solved nothing. I can climb under this pile of human failing or try to crawl on top, but what I really must learn is to look at it without a drink in my hand.



Count displaced souls
*


REFLECTIONS OF YOU

When people meet me they listen and stare
Then the familiar words tumble from their mouths,
“There is something about you”.

I know it’s the reflection of every person I saw
at the meeting last night, the sober voices that created them
also the mirror of years spent in rooms just the same.

I know this is what is seen in me
the bright light shines on me and the prism of time
fans the colors to my new acquaintance.

I thank my Higher Power for letting me be a
spectral instrument and I am grateful to the fellowship
for shining the light on and through me.

You are reading selections from More Sober on the Way to Sane and Lines From My Life by Sherrie Theriault
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October 9


The Problem with the Peter’s Principle

Is there a harsher lesson than learning that love is not the same as trust? This is a fact all the more painful because it is true. Affection is not the safeguard of sanctity. I am learning to steel myself to survive ardor and its blatant disregard for honesty and still I am caught by surprise when the slight of hand is revealed. I think of love as a building material, most use it as a method of clear-cut or a fire which extirpates whatever I hold dear. I can trust people to be who they are and do what they do, but if I have to spend my time watching for the ordeal I have no time for the ecstasy.


Pair your pennies

*

PIECES OF SKY

The sky falls in pieces and clutters around my feet.
Scattered are the moon, stars and sun.
Fear and desire have consumed all the rest.

Great tides of resentment wash away reality
And replace it with allusion and propaganda.
What am I to do when want drives the course?

Satisfaction is unknown, the luminous butterfly
I believed extinct has not yet come to me.
I leave the shards of life to tinkle
As I stumble through them.

I forget to ask for wings of sweet contentment
From unexplored realms.
Paper dreams burn with fervor.
I peer to see what stands behind.

The gracious weather carries me
As a seed to a vaulted canopy,
Celestial spaces, buoyant and fertile I will grow
Away from the rarefied fragments of unrealistic vistas.

Sinking roots deep in cohesion and truth
Pieces of sky melt to rainbows
Home is the nature of things.

You are reading selections from More Sober on the Way to Sane and Lines From My Life by Sherrie Theriault
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October 10


The First We

Before powerlessness can be dealt with, before unmanageability can be faced, it is imperative that the “WE” is embraced. It is the first and last job of sobriety. Initially the human “we” is faced and finally the I and Thee, but the full spectrum of “we” is there to allow the creation of possibilities in my life. As the human body is 97% water the recovering alcoholic is 97% “We”. What I could never do on my own; we do with ease. On my own I might not be much but together we are everything!


Obligation is part of the equation not the sum and total


*
ARABIAN DAYS

There are days I feel like Scherazade
And could spin a thousand tales.
Other days I feel my brain grab for its satchel
And exit my ear.

I find it hard to be a hospitable host to all of me
But when I stretch or strain my elbow or knee
I think, oh well, they go out, they go out
But if my brain runs off and leaves me
I am in a serious mess.

I try to be a lover of my mind for when I don’t
I grow small in my heart.
I scent the mental bath water
And lite the little lights
I sing sweet songs.

I wait for a response
I smile broadly to hear
The quick report of Rimsky-Korsakov

You are reading selections from More Sober on the Way to Sane and Lines From My Life by Sherrie Theriault
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Old 10-11-2013, 04:14 AM   #2018
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October 11


Ping Pong Balls and Possession

I keep an aquarium with a goldfish on my counter and sometimes he splashes my work proving to me that the thing I think I have contained often has a mind of its own. I have heard that goldfish don’t remember much, but mine always knows which side of the tank provides him a view of me. Memory may be reflexive. Assumption possibly is as well. I must keep a fresh account of what is within my grasp and what can swim away. I have heard the many fish tales from the part of me that likes to lie. The scales shimmer and lure me to pretend control when in truth it is all just a game of chance.


Confiscate excuses
*


BIRTH OF AN APPLE

When an apple gives birth what is the result?
Seed or sauce, crunch or crisp?
The act of creation is so much an act of sacrifice
How can it be limited to one delivery?

The children of effort produce fruit of their own.
Who am I to call them other then kin?
How many times have I thrown over bluster for blizzard
But snow is snow.

I can accept every squall if I keep clear and willing
I may finish my days in a winter orchard
If I spend my life picking not choosing.


You are reading selections from More Sober on the Way to Sane and Lines From My Life by Sherrie Theriault
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Old 10-12-2013, 05:54 AM   #2019
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October 12


Message with no Bottle


I found a note while I was cleaning the art cupboard. It was written in my hand. I don’t remember writing it, or thinking it for that matter. The note said, “Total disregard for the survival of your soul” and I have no idea if it was a warning or a suggestion; a place to start or a destination at which not to arrive. If it was written during one of those dark days it could be the former, I hope it is the latter; a sign post on my recovery road. I bring it out here to write to you about it, share it and take me to a place where I am no longer alone with this flyer. I sit down to the keyboard lift the note to read it again with care. I scan the edges for clues and see that it is a memo sheet torn in half and when I flip it, on the back I see, “2 loaves & 5 fishes to feed a multitude” and though I may not believe in that miracle I do believe in this one.


Don’t keep good night sweetness in the bowl, pour it out

*

ABUNDANCE OF WATER

Waterfalls fail the catch basin
And runs off to make mud slide from the hills.
Power showers down but the channels it uses
Are not always beneficial.

High tide with the push of tsunami wipes out the coast.
Water is the stuff of life but God forbid it get out of control
There is no living with it.
I cannot regulate the weather but today I have a plan.

I don’t have to stand out waiting to see how much will come down.
I may not have every contingency covered,
I do have a backup for the worse than average season.
Yes, I did dig myself a French-drain
But I started by not living on the flood plain.


You are reading selections from More Sober on the Way to Sane and Lines From My Life by Sherrie Theriault
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October 13


Alarm

I have lived life like one long fire drill. Is there smoke? Not always, but I fear flames. The alarm in my head is with me always and I walk from my life single file and silent. I don’t move on, this is only a drill, ‘I don’t want to take drastic action, this will pass,’ is my constant thought, though, I can not remember a time without the buzz. I have stood outside my life so long practicing in case of an emergency that there is no life to protect. I have been conscientious to the point of being consumed by caution. Balance requires risk. I must be brave enough to have it all.


Remember old leaves turn over, too
*


FISH OF CHAOS

Out of chaos come very tiny fish,
Well maybe not fish but a very swimmy feeling.
How can I go around with my feet off the ground,
My mind racing on a squirrel cage?

Breathing helps, breathing is a place to start.
Once I get breathing regularly I can gingerly probe
With one foot for a place to stand.

The chaos may race around and past my legs
Like so many eels on a summers evening
But with time and practice
I can step from this current as well.
Out of chaos come very tiny fish but I can come out too.

You are reading selections from More Sober on the Way to Sane and Lines From My Life by Sherrie Theriault
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