February 15




I push shame around my plate like a chunk of spoiled meat, the toxins leaching to every interface and cavity.  With an inverse half-life, the lethal substance grows, reinforcing, sending runners and tendrils to worlds known and those yet undiscovered.  I wage my war on this shape-shifting plague.  Thrust and parry, I step back from the insurmountable walls and set my sights on tearing down the bunkers in my personal city.  Like lead plumbing, the danger eludes the observation of my fellow citizens.  I am labeled a lunatic and no attention is paid to my evaluations of water quality.  I search for similarly crazed friends, variants within a theme.  I depend on the poisoned sanity of my wounded compatriots.  We shovel the plate loads of spoiled meat and detritus.  The foreshortened mountain of shame allows tiny strands of light to glimmer across the surface but the shamed devotees turn their heads.  We, the few, face this glowering mass.  I worry like a petulant child.  What if we can not prevail?  Is shame stronger than recovery?  Have we traveled this far to miss the glacier’s edge as it slides away from us?  I console myself with the sure knowledge: this life of sobriety is better than any other offering.  Healing the world, what a lovely thought.  Living free from shame today, what a necessity.




Crumple a sacred cow then iron it flat.





One skin, One mind, One spirit, One day

If I live in more than my own skin,

I am a body snatcher and ghoul.

If I live in a duality of thought I am ejected,

ostensibly out of my mind.

If I redouble my spirit

the increase takes a dark cold turn

and I am lost.

If I try to live two days at a time

the sand shifts in the glass

and I am worse off in that hour than Dorothy.

This skin is all I can be in,

as many times as I walk in someone else’s shoes

it’s the skin I’m in.

This mind is my only bequest,

treasure enough to earn my keep.

Free as this spirit is it is still tied at the heel

and like my shadow it remains.

And today is the only day where the magic works,

witches melt and clicking my heels gets my attention

even if it doesn’t always take me home.




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 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: Please feel free to contact her there if you have any questions.
This entry was posted in 12 step recovery, Alcoholics Anonymous, Humor, maturity, Poetry, Shame and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Shame

  1. Great imagery! I love the thought of pushing shame around like spoiled meat. I also like ”shape-shifting plague” and ”poisoned sanity.” You have a way with words.

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