The Bear

June 16




Living with my disease is like having a sleeping bear in the house.  I knew it was there, could hear it snore.  I never felt comfortable or able to turn my back on it and get on with my life.  I felt under certain threat.  Fearing the bear would wake when my attention was elsewhere, I proceeded to poke my sleeping bear with a stick.  I prodded it to wakefulness; in retrospect, it is clear I was unprepared for a wakeful bear, even with my full attention fixed on this brute.  The bear, which is my disease, roamed about the house and made forays out into the world. I had no plan or tool for these events.   Finding a legion of people who had worked out living arrangements with their bears, I happily joined their ranks.  My bear wakes and sleeps at its will but I am no longer afraid or unskilled at handling this creature.  Today I am so grateful for the bear in my life and would never want a life without it.  I live in a world filled with bears and would be at a loss as to how to exist if not for the practice and success with the bear that is my own.



Draw a picture of time.






Do you leave when it is time to go

or are you the type who exits early?

Does departure time find you lingering

trying to squeeze out one more minute

rooted in this spot?


Are you the kind of person who loves the street,

but avoids the parade?

Can you bear to go, bear to stay,

bear to think that the world exists beyond this door?


Do you move with the other sheep

when all the crowd says, “Baa.”

Are you fleet with a sky full of clouds obeying the breeze,

flaunting the tides?


Do you change with the seasons

or are you passed from hand to hand,

living your life in the snow of a globe?


My life is my life,

but the most vital evidence of how I live it

is what I do on thresholds.




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.
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