Old Goldfish

January 8





I got them when my sobriety was new.  They were tiny little guys, ten-cent feeders.  I wanted my stepson to sleep soundly in our strange jumble of a home, fresh from purchase.  The tank sat on a dresser under his elevated bed, space to fit my hand to feed them, no space for baby boy to climb in.  I loved my goldfish.  There is never a no with gold fish; feed them as often as you want; let the water get cold.  Put them in a big space, a small space, plants, no plants.  No was so hard.  I hate and fear no.  I am hard, fish are easy.

Tears and mesmerizing aquarium.  Meetings and steps.  I could not keep myself alive. I don’t know how I kept the fish fed.  The program kept me going, kept hope flowing, and the fish swam.  In this century, when we finally are outliving wild goldfish, we are sober together by the grace of our Higher Power.  It’s been a wonderful time.  I am grateful to be here with the goldfish.  I am grateful the goldfish are here for me, expecting so little.  Maybe I could return the favor.

“I’m grateful you appreciate the fish,” says my sponsor.



Find a bell to ring




Turning into a spin,

the edge cuts into my misconceptions,

the point sharp and accurate to a fault

digs into the excess I carry around,

keeping me from my useful purpose.

A good eye and steady hand

are needed lest breakthrough ruin me.

Not that all is ever lost

for a spoon with a hole

in the bowl will stir a soup smooth.

Relinquishing my burdens and trusting the carver’s tools and methods

takes great commitment.

I am carved commitment or no,

but things turn out better when I don’t flinch.





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




About Sherrie Theriault

Sherrie Theriault, writer and outsider artist lives in northwest New Jersey where she writes villain-free fiction for children and young adults, creates coloring books for all ages, writes daily inspiration books for the recovery community and has other works of collected poetry; also adult fiction. Books available on Amazon.com include the following: Cala Mae The Deep Dark Day In The Congenial Chronicles The Holland’s Adventure Fill Me In Fill Me In, Too Filled In Sober on the Way to Sane More Sober on the Way to Sane Lines from My Life More Lines from My Life On-Liners to Live By My Sponsor Said… Elissa: Queen of Carthage Was Love Lost Order of Protection The Story Precedes the Question Can You See? What the Birdies Told Me about You What the Birdies Told Me about You Coloring book The Enchanting Dog Sherrie’s books are available at Blue Stockings, Manhattan, NY, The Clinton Book Shoppe, Clinton, New Jersey, Giovanni’s Room, Philadelphia, PA, Easy Does It in Long Beach, CA and The Latest Thing in Costa Mesa, Ca. You can find Sherrie’s art work at Hang-Ups Gallery in Allentown, PA or online at: SerendipitousGallery.com Please feel free to contact her there if you have any questions.
This entry was posted in 12 step recovery, Alcoholics Anonymous, fish, goldfish, Humor, Poetry, Sponsorship and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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