The Living Dream

July 25





Throwing yourself into the river in pieces drowns you as crumbs.  Casting aside love and longing makes you less in your heart, and your soul stops beating.  Pitching your tent with critics and complainers leaves you out in the cold on warm summer evenings.  Crest the hill to meet the rising sun; orbit the constellations without hesitation.  Petit-point the pictures in your mind, then set them to music.  The world is your dream.  Live it into reality.



Picture your voice.






I need help.

I need help availing myself of the help

You have provided me.


I am embarrassed to lack the ability

to complete all the steps necessary

for achieving the goals you have set before me.


I see now that it is always my turn with you

and I can stop standing aside

believing that I have had your attention

and must now do without.


I do not want to ask for more;

I don’t want to seem greedy.

I forget that you know my heart

and that you trust me.


I am going to make that a two-way street,

maybe a four-lane highway.

I need help,

thank you for being help full.







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

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July 24







Don’t worry that you might spoil the procession by getting out of your coffin. You don’t need to lie there waiting for the lid to close.  People will walk past saying, “so sad,” and “too bad,” but don’t lie in state to keep them from feeling their trip was a waste.  Just because the crypt has been purchased doesn’t mean you are ready to go.  There are still opportunities to dance.  Don’t die for love, glory or pride.  Don’t die before your time.  Death is only an honor if you lived every preceding second.



Learn to use your appliances well.







Are there songs a bird must not sing

while communing with the flock?

Do fish learn to restrain their expressions

while schooling?


Or are we the only animal

versed in the language of taboo?

I wonder when I hear the cows

lowing in the night are they giving whispered voice

to things they longed to moo about all day.


I know what to keep inside,

things too flamboyant for out of doors.

I understand to keep body and soul together

I must keep down and hush,


But when I complain to my pup

does she comprehend or is it

just blah, blah, blah,

in her world of, ‘speak it like it is?’




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

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Quick —-Sand!!!

July 23





“Don’t ask me how deep the quicksand is,” said my sponsor, “it’s your job to get out of it, not to quantify it.”

“I’m not sure how to get out.  Will you come and get me?” I ask her.

“No, Darling.  If I get in we will both be down for the count.  The only chance we have for me to help you is if I stay out of the morass with my feet planted firmly on solid ground.”

“What if you can’t get me out?” I cry.

“I will go get more help.”

“What if all of AA can’t get me out?”

“Angel, my hope is, that if there was no way out, you wouldn’t even know you were stuck.”



Limit your limits.



Before Ophelia


Young women drown themselves before Shakespeare

immortalized, memorialized Ophelia.

But having a poster child changes us.


Cautionary tale or rallying cry,

Ophelia is a hand to hold on dark cold days

when the light is hard to find

and everything seems bent toward destruction.


Not that I think she solved anything

with her despondent act

just that she stands in the familiar frame

I find myself in from time to time.


When I imagine I’ve invented the wheel

it makes it harder to step down and walk.

Ophelia’s fate makes it easier to get off depression’s bus

and find my way back home.



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

Posted in Hope, Alcoholics Anonymous, Wisdom, 12 step recovery, Humor, Poetry, Sponsorship, Quicksand, Ophelia | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Hold the Line

July 22







Relax is not the same as give up.  Unwind is not fray.  Let go doesn’t mean never grab hold.  It is important to have moderation in all things including moderation.  Exuberance and enthusiasm are wonderful in their season; too much and I could get an adrenaline addiction.  Make sure your song has more than one note and make sure that you sing more than one song in your life. Change, interest and excitement are vital to my existence.  Like my sponsor says, “if you take all the spikes and ridges out of your life-line, it means you’re dead.”



Give allowance to yourself.




The Landscape of Words


Paint takes time to dry;

I work with words.

I say azure and you are there with me,

even if I am far from this mortal coil.


My pigments stay fresh as long as you know blue,

as long as you can hear me, read me, see me.

I paint 6X8 cell and we are imprisoned together,


till I tell you of the key I slipped into your shoe.


I love the flow of watercolor,

adore the mushy paste of oil,

but nothing beats the world we paint

and repaint here on this page.




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

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Symptomatic Bouquet

July 21





My bouquet of symptoms took root in alcoholism.  I displayed these blossoms to few.  I thought I could keep these problem posies to myself.  No need to worry, everyone has a bit of manure in their lives; mine will hardly seem strange.  Planted in addiction, things grew in a dramatic way.  Pruning became unworkable; drastic measures were required.  Uprooted and exposed, these virulent stalks created the need for help from better gardeners than I.  Thinned and repotted, these character traits have fruited with many a lovely harvest, none of which could have happened had I been left in the family plot.



Make your mind a womb you can return to.







There are rules about breaking rules.

You can do it this way, but must not that way.

Cross this line and you get dragons;

cross that line you get a good natured slap on the wrist.


Beneath the reflective surface of law

I have found many shoals and sandbars;

rocks and outcroppings,

layer upon layer of blue depth I can only partly chart.


I also find inquiries in this matter meet with the

same reaction as asking about: yeti, crop circles,

or what was kept in Uncle Author’s spare room.


Those willing to talk about it I often fear to hear from

and the reluctant to speak I fear to pursue.

You see this investigation is just another thing

from under that sea.



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

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It’s My Party

July 20





The party I was throwing for myself in addiction was nothing but a very long wake.  There were no smiles, only murmurs of what might have been.  I was filled with tears I couldn’t cry and mourned my death as I caused it.  When I took off my little black dress and stepped from this shroud, I closed the bar, clicked the switch and the dirge stopped, the funeral ended prematurely.  I walked into AA where I learned to be the life of the party.




Make a safe space for your radical tastes.





Taking the Field


Humor is an illustration;

a joke an explanation.

I learn far more from the smiles than the jeers.


Laughter carries me; an action,

which tears can’t always accomplish.

It is hard to live with constant descent,

but wit is a quick impassioned friend.


Thoughtless conformity is an evil companion

I prefer the company of those who play.

Life is too hard from the sidelines;

I would rather take the field.



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

Posted in 12 step recovery, Alcoholics Anonymous, Death, destiny, Hope, Humor, Joy, Poetry, Wisdom | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Water You Drink

July 19






“Anyone who has to be dragged to water doesn’t deserve a drink,” said my sponsor.

“What about raising the bottom?” I questioned.

“I’m not talking about that.  I am discussing people you try to convince into recovery.  The folks you try to accommodate.  The ones you attempt to bend reality for.  These are the type who will piss in your well.  Let me be clear, I am not concerned with the individuals who piss in the pool, which is rude and disgusting but basically not life threatening.  When your well is defiled, when the place you draw your drinking water from is used as a chamber pot, your life is at risk.  Don’t ever pull your pants down over someone’s fresh water.  Don’t let anyone squat with their bare ass over your sobriety.”



Play in your play clothes.





Rings of Color against Butterflies


Resistance I can accomplish directly;

impedance requires magnetism from an alternating world.

I can drag my heels and live life in a sandpaper shack

making everything a chore,


What it takes to throw furniture in the path of progress,

slamming doors and turning off the lights

that is more than I can do on my own.


This takes the cooperation of my disease and me,

the monkey-hoop, which is effort and clever repartee.

Look how well we do it, too.


Distracting possibilities, staving off humanity and the humane,

may not sound like much, but it takes up our whole day;

Goodness is such a persistent little grub.

It takes a concerted effort to prevent it from chrysalis

and failing that, still more determination to make sure it doesn’t fly.




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

Posted in 12 step recovery, Affirmation, Alcoholics Anonymous, Hope, Humor, Poetry, Sponsorship, Water, Wisdom | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment