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Old 12-21-2009, 06:30 AM   #61
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December 21

WHAT’S MINE IS MINE


I don’t always know how to get the dog off the baby. The attacks are often sudden and always swift. My shock at the reality delays my response, falters my steps and fogs my mind. What should I do to disengage this assault? What can I do that won’t make things worse? How can I resolve this now? The pain is almost unimaginable but yet all too familiar. It all comes down to ownership. I must admit this baby is me. I have to face facts; this dog is my pet, I have fed, nurtured and groomed him and now I have to put this dog to sleep.

Explore the air not just the dirt.
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Old 12-22-2009, 06:11 AM   #62
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December 22

CHANGE IN MENU



If God is drunk we pray for spiritual sobriety and strong sponsorship. If God is sober we ask for these things on God’s behalf and glory in answered prayer. It is amazing that the rain comes down if I dance for it or not. I can get this wonderful recovery just like the rest of ‘we agnostics’, I don’t have to shake your hand, wink my eye or say some special bit of poetry to have it. Just the same way that weather is and changes and deepens so too is my spiritual condition. It is there as I tread this path. I don’t have to mark the rows in my garden for the plants to grow. I wish for God a salad with two forks, we no longer need to share a bottle.

Dance with your skeletons.
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Old 12-23-2009, 05:04 AM   #63
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December 23

TRUE VOICE


Some tears pour from my eyes and others from my heart. What once was a head-game and theory is now heartfelt and real. I have grown in my compassion, leaving qualification on the curb. Letters and notice mean so little in the full-out scheme of all the world; like fashion, what is true today, stood on and dependable, is next years joke and off-hand reference. The thump of the muscle deep within me is a compass I can trust. The daily tide of splash and rush can spring water to my face, but what rouses my spirit is much more. I needn’t worry for its receding or discount that it is faithful; it abides with me still and will keep me if I let it. Some sounds ring from my voice; others resonate from within, these are the ones that last.

Aim is as important as a strong arm.
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Old 12-24-2009, 05:27 AM   #64
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December 24

RETRO ANTICIPATION AND SUNSHINE


The night after a victory I fret about the blocks. Will my stance be right? Will I leave cleanly? I have been first through the tape. I have won the race but yet I worry how I will start. Had I anticipated a win I might have handled the accolades better. Apprehension has a long half-life and feeds through the night on my gizzards and my dreams. Failure gives homework, there are rewrites and typos, but checkmate leaves an empty board and hands to shake. The long ride home is filled with recriminating thoughts of luck and fortune. By the time I arrive home the win is devalued and no longer mine. I must pry misgivings from the winner’s circle and enjoy. These moments in the sun are just as real as any others.


Draw pictures of monsters, then let them lay.
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Old 12-24-2009, 10:28 AM   #65
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Default Miracles, Christmas Story, and Happy Holiday's 2 U

I am writing my Christmas letter and posting it here, because it seems a likely meeting place.

Happy Holidays it says on all the windows, and read in all the cards...I enjoy this season for so many reasons, and am sober and sane enough to live and love, and recall many miracles. Jan. 7, I celebrate many sober years, but for now, the Christmas magic is at hand, and I recall the wonder of my miraculous childhood.

When I was a little dyke/tyke only child of the alcoholic parents, I got everything I wanted...except a sober holiday..I escaped into Plasticville USA, the twinking bubble lights on a huge tree, and the sound of the midnight train I steered around the living room.......

My memory bank floods with the wonder of Christmas Eve, when my Uncle Donny morphed into Santa Claus ( he never fooled this precocious kid).We would travel from one house to the next watching the younger cousins, the aunts and uncles open their presents, in a caravan progression that ended at our house. Grownups toasting the seasonal favorite toddy.

All the family gathered for a midnight dinner prepared by my Gramma, and then the magic of Christmas took me away. To the little town my Mom and I had created unter the big tree that dad had planted firmly on the 4 X 8 plywood platform in the corner of our living room

Everyone gathered around our Christmas tree. I engineered the Lionel trains dodging through snow covered tunnels, corning around the Plasticville town. Letting the cousins blow the horn and raise and lower the lights of the Main Street USA village, I was in charge..

The family would all leave, the treelights would be tuned off, and then the parental fireworks would begin. I retreated to my room, and wondered if she would be alive Christmas morning.

I vowed to never pick up a drink, but, I did..and it took no time at all to raise the Rum and Coke toast at Christmas Eve with my Mom, aka Big Butch(who came out when I was 17) and our "chosen family". We moved 3, 000 miles from home, no twinkiling lights, no train and no raging alcoholic father. We drank together, we double dated, we went to Hollywood and did things I don't post about.

Then the miracle happened right after a drunken Christmas and New Year's eve. My Mom went into rehab. I visited her, attended Al Anon, and knew, I needed to be in the other rooms too. We finally were able to enjoy every day, and night, a chance to love and live a rewarding and sober life before she passed away.

Tonite, I open presents, toast with Diet Coke, and celebrate the miracles of the season, and being sober for over 30 years.

Against all odds, miracles do happen.

Have a very Merry Christmas and a sober new year,

Tommi
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Old 12-24-2009, 07:12 PM   #66
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Thank you for sharing, Daddy. I am so grateful for the joy we have today, even holidays we share on the phone are so much better that all the past holidays before we found the joy we have with each other today. I can hardly wait to see you!

All my love,

the girl
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Old 12-25-2009, 01:16 AM   #67
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Originally Posted by Tommi View Post
I am writing my Christmas letter and posting it here, because it seems a likely meeting place.

Happy Holidays it says on all the windows, and read in all the cards...I enjoy this season for so many reasons, and am sober and sane enough to live and love, and recall many miracles. Jan. 7, I celebrate many sober years, but for now, the Christmas magic is at hand, and I recall the wonder of my miraculous childhood.

When I was a little dyke/tyke only child of the alcoholic parents, I got everything I wanted...except a sober holiday..I escaped into Plasticville USA, the twinking bubble lights on a huge tree, and the sound of the midnight train I steered around the living room.......

My memory bank floods with the wonder of Christmas Eve, when my Uncle Donny morphed into Santa Claus ( he never fooled this precocious kid).We would travel from one house to the next watching the younger cousins, the aunts and uncles open their presents, in a caravan progression that ended at our house. Grownups toasting the seasonal favorite toddy.

All the family gathered for a midnight dinner prepared by my Gramma, and then the magic of Christmas took me away. To the little town my Mom and I had created unter the big tree that dad had planted firmly on the 4 X 8 plywood platform in the corner of our living room

Everyone gathered around our Christmas tree. I engineered the Lionel trains dodging through snow covered tunnels, corning around the Plasticville town. Letting the cousins blow the horn and raise and lower the lights of the Main Street USA village, I was in charge..

The family would all leave, the treelights would be tuned off, and then the parental fireworks would begin. I retreated to my room, and wondered if she would be alive Christmas morning.

I vowed to never pick up a drink, but, I did..and it took no time at all to raise the Rum and Coke toast at Christmas Eve with my Mom, aka Big Butch(who came out when I was 17) and our "chosen family". We moved 3, 000 miles from home, no twinkiling lights, no train and no raging alcoholic father. We drank together, we double dated, we went to Hollywood and did things I don't post about.

Then the miracle happened right after a drunken Christmas and New Year's eve. My Mom went into rehab. I visited her, attended Al Anon, and knew, I needed to be in the other rooms too. We finally were able to enjoy every day, and night, a chance to love and live a rewarding and sober life before she passed away.

Tonite, I open presents, toast with Diet Coke, and celebrate the miracles of the season, and being sober for over 30 years.

Against all odds, miracles do happen.

Have a very Merry Christmas and a sober new year,

Tommi
Wow, Tommi! That is quite a story ... AND a happy ending. Wonderful to read about the journey you and your mom took together. Thank you for sharing it with us.

I'm happily enjoying my own sober Christmas tonight.

Merry Christmas to you and Sherrie!!!

p.s. It snowed here today!!!
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Old 12-25-2009, 06:38 AM   #68
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December 25

ALCONAUT



Want to learn it fast but not deep? Just go to meetings and listen with half an ear. Call your sponsor only for her birthday and anniversary and tell her about all the things you are not doing anymore but none of the things you are. Skim the books for good quotes that sound impressive when they pass your lips but whose meaning has no chance of passing your heart. Find playmates and cliques, not a home group, and surely not a service commitment. Things fall out of orbit when they run out of juice and you will too. This program is not an air lock on the way to worlds unknown; it is a way to live in the world you know. There is no question that you have the right stuff. The question is, do you want what we have?

Hug your feelings, pat their heads, then let them go.
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Old 12-26-2009, 06:25 AM   #69
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December 26

HEART HANDED



I pick up the pen in my heart hand and the blood of my soul pours onto the page. The words coalesce and clot into the binding phrases; sealed deals with my spirit's punctuation. Some days it is hard for my mind to keep up; the current is swift and deeper than I expect. The pulse of energy is amazing even to the mind it feeds. Like clouds racing the sky this power brings shade to some and rain to others. The reaction of the moistened varies, some pull up hoods and scurry away, others with upturned faces form a friendship with me. At the level of electrons, we have a molecular bonding, we are forever changed because I have picked up the pen and they picked up the page.


Chain yourself to wisdom.
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Old 12-26-2009, 04:41 PM   #70
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Wow, Tommi! That is quite a story ... AND a happy ending. Wonderful to read about the journey you and your mom took together. Thank you for sharing it with us.

I'm happily enjoying my own sober Christmas tonight.

Merry Christmas to you and Sherrie!!!

p.s. It snowed here today!!!
Life is good even if I don't have snowballs....
,. So Cal weather is getting chilly...
High of 65 expected today. .what will that do the tomato's in bloom out front?

Thank you purepices, and sherrie.. Glad you are safe and sound, well, as sound as can be expected..
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Old 12-27-2009, 06:05 AM   #71
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December 27

SIZING GOD UP



God doesn’t need to be big. I only look for a big God when I feel very small. I turn to God as compensation for my feelings, as some sort of bolster to brace myself with. I have found when I am diminished in any way, God is tucked in a corner or pocket or drawer. I flee to the great out of doors and find earth, nature and wind but the God of my understanding is proportionate to my mental state. My partner is with me, near enough to hear the fear pour off my skin. God doesn’t run from me to adventures in the wild. I want to escape myself regularly but this is not my Higher Power's defect. I come back to God when I stop running from me. I face my reflection and recognize I am not towered over by a giant God; I am yoked with a power to share the load.


Enjoy the shape of things.
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Old 12-28-2009, 06:52 AM   #72
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December 28

DON’T BITE


Desperation jumps up, runs around, then drops. If I don’t feed it, desperation burns out fast. I used to buy the advertising, the Horror, the Humanity. The acorn falling on my head convinced me easily. I grew this nut into terrifying despair never realizing if I had left it alone how quickly it would pass. When tragedy comes there is no time for a performance. The whirling splendor itself proves the farce. If I learn to recognize these triggers I might keep from shooting myself in the foot. If I let desperation wear itself out I can stay with the pack. Despondence splinters me and separates me from anything rational but quiet resolve lets me watch the wind twist while I keep my feet on the ground.


Pay your friends in consideration and truth.
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Old 12-29-2009, 06:35 AM   #73
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December 29

RELAPSE IS NOT REQUIRED



“Relapse is not required,” said my sponsor, “though at some meetings they make it seem appealing, all that prodigal drunk treatment.”
“Well, so far, I’m living in the blessing of being convinced the first time,” I told her, “plus what could possibly be out there that’s better than what’s in here?”
“That is the point. There is so much out there that is faster and bigger, more dramatic and extreme, but I sure have never seen anything better,” she patted my head and I grinned.
“Since I am winning the first time why would I want to lose?” I add just to overstate her point.
“This is the perfect place for those who want it, and all the rest get drunk, but drinking is not required any more than Santa has to come on Christmas.”



Save pretty words in a jar like candy.
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Old 12-29-2009, 10:02 PM   #74
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December 30

CARGO LOST, CARGO FOUND


I fill the pallet of a new year's sobriety and, when it has been accomplished, make a manifest and strap this pallet with the others on the flatbed of my life. The cargo is secure and weighty; there is ample pressure where the rubber meets the road. I maneuver my rig carefully. I feel assured as I stream with the traffic on the byways. The power and magnitude of my transport prompts in me overconfidence. I fail to realize variation in weather or road conditions can jeopardize my journey. Eighteen wheels make for a poor cantilever when traction is lost and top-heavy wins out. In losing the battle of gravity, inertia and control I realize the past is not a weight I need to haul; all that is necessary is the inventory. I slip the pages into my pocket and walk the rest of the way. I am my only freight.


Medicate with laughter and tears.
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Old 12-30-2009, 09:53 PM   #75
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December 31

FAILED SOUP AND DISTRUST OF BURGUNDY



What keeps me coming back to meetings and step work is an abiding mistrust of booze. Despite promises and advertisement, hopes and folklore, I couldn’t rely on drinking to take me where I wanted to go and I surely couldn’t depend on it to keep me there. The struggle is great; the attempt to cling to salvation through decanter is mighty but in the end this joining of my chemistry to other chemistry failed miserably. No matter how I held my mouth, held my head, held my liquor, satisfaction escaped without me and I was left here in the soup of my disillusion and disappointment. Failure to cooperate fully with alcohol lead me to try sobriety as an alternative. I may not always succeed in my recovery, but I can draw dividends on every deposit and use this to build a path to my desires.


Make a private heaven with plenty of windows and doors.
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Old 12-31-2009, 08:15 AM   #76
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To my readers:

Beginning January, 1 I will be making a change in the format of my post/ blog. As you may or may not be aware. I have for several years been posting each day’s page from my book Sober on the Way to Sane. This year I will be posting a combination of the day’s page from my new book More Sober on the Way to Sane and underneath that the corresponding page from Lines from My Life a poetic reformulation of Sober on the Way to Sane.
As a way of introduction I am sending this post, which contains the dedication to each book set in the new posting format I will be using. I hope this is a change for the better as is my intention.

Happy New Year!

_


True Confessions and Ernest Pledges

The world changes everyday. I don’t know if you notice it, I don’t always, but how different the world has been writing this volume than it was writing Sober on the Way to Sane has shocked even me. This year I have been shaken in ways I had hitherto thought impossible, actually these things were so out of my realm of thought that I had not dismissed them; they were in fact unimaginable. I am still here and you are here with me and for that I am grateful and I thank you. The world is at once wonderful and terrible and staying sober through it all seems improbable even as I stand here clean and sober all these long years. I believe this book contains some of my finest work and I hope that you find it a help; possibly an encouragement. Hand in hand we travel this path. If the only place we meet is on the page we are still bound to one another, still the iron in the blood of the other. I extend my hand to you in oath that I will use the tools I have and open myself to new ones. I hope that you will offer your pledge to do the same and I will meet you here if you will and face to face if the Fates will have it, together we stay sober so that you and I never need be drunk or alone.

Very truly,

Sherrie T

~
Dedication

This book is dedicated to my mother,
Winnie Jenkins,
Who had a vision of these poems.
She took my blocks of words and
Teased the poetry out of them!
Thank you, Mom,
I not only wouldn’t have done this without you
I couldn’t have done it without you
You are the best!

Love,
Sherrie
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Old 01-01-2010, 03:20 AM   #77
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January 1

Lie


Yes, a lie is just a lie, but the truth also has problems. I relay the facts and the words take on a life of their own, leave out the backdoor and walk on down the road. They move to another town and never find time to come back for a visit even though, I am their mother. And woe to the woman who grows attached to credit or recognition for her ideas. These kidnapped prodigies are never ransomed but sold outright and their DNA not questioned or tested.
So, my advice is to love your words in secret and raise your notions behind high walls. If you are ever called upon to share your wisdom, lie. For even if you’re caught the risk is tolerable. Exposure is awkward but then again no one is looking, so, what is there to lose. A lie is just a lie but it stays home with you at night.




Tie a string to the moon



~

THE COWS ARE HIGHER THAN THE HOUSE

I got sober only to end up living in a house
where the cows are higher than the house.
I mean next to my house there is a hill
The hill is surrounded by a fence
The cows are pastured inside the fence
Standing on the hill the cows are taller than the house.

I didn't expect to live in a house where the cows were higher.
I expected normal
I didn't expect the cows at all.
I expected the house but not this house
It's at the end of the lane
It's the one with the rose colored shutters.

My sponsor wants to know why rose colored shutters
Are OK but cows overlooking the house aren't?
I can't answer her
It's just wrong - that's all!
I don't know why she can't understand this
It seems perfectly clear to me.

My sponsor says I am powerless over the cows
And my life is not unmanageable but my thinking is.
She tells me to paint purple cows.
To write stories about worse places for the cows to be
I tell her the tub.
She says write it down.
She's no fun.

I heard in a meeting I should pray for the people
And things I am upset about.
I pray for the cows
My sponsor says the cows see how I live my life
And she is sure the cows pray for me.
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Old 01-02-2010, 12:22 AM   #78
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January 2

GOOD AS GOLD


Just because I’m as good as gold doesn’t mean that I win the prize. Doesn’t mean I get my way. Doesn’t mean I gain your heart. Being ‘extra special sweetness and light girl’ doesn’t secure my future. It does prevent me from living my life as someone I don’t like. It contents me to keep my own company. It is a huge improvement over living as the raging fury I once was. Any destination I desire is more readily assessable from this amiable posture; in spite of inexpert yearning. I can breathe past you if must be, walk down the road holding my own hand instead of holding a lung full of air. But I am the treasure. You must earn me never capture me. Appreciate me not devalue me. I’m good as gold. And please know that I am the prize.


Remember yourself as you would an old friend


~


THERE ARE ONLY 23 MORE SHOPPING DAYS LEFT TILL MY NERVOUS BREAKDOWN

Shoppers beware: I have a careful plan
I can juggle these thirty things and keep these twenty people happy
Dig around in the dirt at these three excavation sites
And hold onto my sanity for twenty-three more days.

My sponsor says "Having a plan like that
Means I'm already crazy."
My sponsor says "I don't have to please anyone
But myself, my Higher Power and her."

That can't be right.
What is the point of sobriety if I can't do it all?
She says "I don't even have to please her or myself."
What does that mean?

How can I tell if I'm pleasing my Higher Power?
She says "Shut up and you'll find out."
Great! What a plan, I like my countdown better
Of course I do, It's mine, my countdown, my life, mine, mine, mine.

Maybe my sponsor isn't all wrong.
OK, quiet....da, da, da, ...da, da, OK quiet for real
Hmmmm, I don't, don't know
This isn't working, I can't do this.

Why would I need to stop being me in order to get better?
"Who are you?" she asks, she thinks she's so smart.
I'M THE ONE IN THE MIDDLE.
She says "The eye of the storm is empty and I need to get a life of my own.
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Old 01-03-2010, 09:21 AM   #79
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January 3

Maniacs on Pogo Sticks


I fear maniacs on pogo sticks peeping through my rural second story windows as the smoke of paranoia curls between my ears. Overestimating my interest to others causes me as much harm as the underestimation. Attributing super powers to onlookers is a parlor trick my ego plays to keep me occupied while my life passes by. I sacrifice all my possibilities for fear of what could be stolen through my keyhole. I cut off my face to spite my poor lonely nose. I must move forward in spite of my disquietude for the future lay ahead, yet I do console myself that it is harder to hit a moving target.



Use honey to get the peas to stick to your knife






~




DIDN'T KNOW I WAS GOING TO THE CIRCUS

I show up at a meeting
I didn't know the circus was in town
I expected calm, demure, sober behavior
My expectations were dashed, my bubble burst.

There were people streaming back and forth in front of the speaker
There were kids playing among the chairs
Smokers worked the meeting in shifts
Hustling out the back door and smoldering back in.

The side conversations rivaled the main attraction
People dressed for the street not the meeting, the bibby shirt, tights and no shirt
Was more of a high-wire act then I had ever seen before
Shock cannot even begin to describe the state of my mind.

"But for the grace of God" said my sponsor
"No" I said "It's a choice, they're sober now."
"Oh yes" she remarked "Weren't you sober when you took on
Every man with time, looking for a fight with each of them?"

"I was cutting my chops. They understood."
"Some of them didn't." said she
"Weren't you sober when you dyed your hair red - but only half?"
" I was afraid I'd dye my scalp, so I started lower."

"Yes, but aren't you the one who says sudden hair color change
Is a sign of instability in sobriety?"
"Yes, I do." I replied
"I think you would have fit in well with the circus."

"You and your two tone hair but you didn't hear it from me."
"You're mean."
"And what are you being?"
"Judgmental."

"That's my girl, what are we going to do about it?"
"Be grateful, grateful I got in quick enough"
"Grateful people let me work things out in these rooms."
"Grateful I still have something to learn from everyone. GRATEFUL."
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Old 01-03-2010, 09:27 PM   #80
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January 4

One Singular Crowd


Isolation among the isolators is replete with metaphor and theme. Expectation blithers loudly but is drown by the palpable inevitability of the outcome. I pirouette in a room filled with dancers but we do not touch, we just spin near one another full view but little contact. Yet I hear my heart beating in my ear and know that I am alive. The flush of neighboring cheeks attests to duplicate conditions there. We are moving together sometimes in harmony but other times in antipathy, dependant all the same. We are the army of independent meanings. Individual cases sharing one slender goal but that’s all that we need.



If you can’t find the grape try some jelly.




~

THE BOAT

On my ride home from work there's a boat stuck between two trees
In the middle of a horse pasture
Next to a riverbed so dry it's filled with grass.
I think the boat is me.

I feel for the boat every time I see it.
Turned on edge, waiting for a river which doesn't exist anymore
And may never exist again
Placed on edge for protection, not comfort.

Although having my bottom rot out
Well, let's just say, might be more uncomfortable
What good will I be even if the river runs again
Since I'm fenced in?

If my Higher Power has a plan
If it includes a river and a fence
If I'm in this plan, me, the row boat
I just don't see it.

Not seeing my purpose in life is a theme in my life
Truth is, I don't want to face the fact, I might float away
Even though I'm supported by two big trees
Even though there is a tall fence around me.

Completely in spite of the fact
THERE IS NO WATER
My Higher Power loves me.
I AM THE BOAT
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