Hard Time

September 3






Sometimes I pack the earth down so hard that weeds can’t even grow up through. I try to make nature inert.  I try to kill my alcoholism.  I confine my disease to this tiny path of compacted dirt and wear blinders as to warn off distractions.  I forget there is a garden to be grown in the fertile ground of my recovering mind.  Losing the compulsion to drink is a gift; stopping my mind from thinking is soul murder.  I can sink my toes in the good brown soil and look to the lilies and the Queen Anne’s lace for inspiration.  I can stop giving myself such a hard time.



Let art talk.






It only takes five crayons

to turn a tracing of my hand into a turkey

and it only takes a few things to change

my drunken life into my sober life.


Looking back I am amazed

how little it has actually taken to transform my life.

My drunkenness looks about as much like my sobriety

as my hand looks like a turkey

but the transformation has taken place.


The red, the yellow, the brown,

the meetings, the steps, the sponsor, these basics are the bulk.

Sometimes it’s the small extras

that help push this work of art into the realm of believability.


Accents of green, up and down the fingers,

or a few bonus phone calls to women outside my network.

Anything can be the thing that kicks it over

into a plausible and convincing reality.


I can never be more than I am, a drunk is always a drunk

and a hand is still just a hand,

but within each of these things are unimagined

possibilities waiting to be explored.


Michelangelo believed that sculptures lurked in chunks of stone.

I have come to see that a sober woman

prowled inside this drunk

and every Thanksgiving my hand yearns to put on feathers once again.




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, Hope, Humor, Poetry, Sponsorship, Wisdom and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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