In the wee hours I hear the high pitched wail, the tiny pest whining in my ear, the onset of my thin stretched nerves reaching their end. A few more hours are required of me tonight. I rally my spirit and lift the edges of my willing resolve. Long slow nights carry me to the far corners of my mind. I am more average than I had imagined or hoped for. The commonness of four AM brings the base to disclosure, the charmed exposure of predawn wakefulness. The fuzzy vibrations in my brain make me feel deep and real, vulnerable to all the normal limitations of nature and caprice. The sun will rise, ending this night. My sentry over, I will fall to earth, and rest, and bed.
Change everything, change yourself.
No Substitute for Fire
I wanted alcohol to do better for me than burning did.
I was constantly disappointed, yet I kept trying.
I was not to find pleasure in that bottle
though I had no problem finding addiction there.
This is how I came to believe
that there is not an upside to everything.
Booze took me to surprising destinations,
but never the ones I desired.
I sought release,
the release I got from a wildfire spreading across my skin
and this might have been mine
had I poured the liquor on rather than in.
But in me it did no good,
it never let me exhale
the way that the “right” kind of pain did.
What I got from alcohol drove me though;
Fear rode me roughshod and I found my way home,
it was a bumpy road,
but once there we doused the flames
and I live the upside I had come to doubt,
because fire is no substitute for life.
You are reading selections from Sober on the Way to Sane and More Lines From My Life by Sherrie Theriault