Joy is Not Enough

October 12





I was driving around in my car, eating a meltingly ripe persimmon.  On the radio came a fiddle-playing band performing their rendition of In The White Room.  I was traveling with the three drafts of my first step, version one consisting of 690-some words and the final consisting of only four.  Joy is not enough.  That’s it.  The whole thing.  Today my life is unmanageable due to the fact, having a balanced life, feeling my wide range of feelings including joy, is not sufficient to eliminate the pain and damage of the past.  My horrific childhood has not healed, has not mended seamlessly.  I have joy today, every day at some point, in proportion to my sober choices.

I fail to realize the promise doesn’t say heal the past; it says I will not regret the past.  I don’t, at least not any of the choices I made.  Other peoples’ choices are not mine to regret, so I can’t do that for them.  I will not wish to shut the door on the past, and I don’t wish to.  I want it healed.  I may not get my wish.  Just because I am doing my part to heal the past doesn’t make anyone else do it.  I can’t strong-arm the perpetrators into recovery the way they strong-armed me into abuse.


Joy is not enough, but it’s a hell of a start.




Lend your assets; keep your defects home.









“Matching calamity for serenity,”

is a task requiring attentive diligence.

Each tragedy has its unique blast pattern

and necessitates a precisely cut cure.


Coverage is one concern and depth is another,

the weight of the healing atmosphere

must equal the corrosive depletion caused by ruin.


I have to make available the wound

in order to receive the remedy;

anytime I camouflage or barricade my injury

I have eliminated the opportunity for a corresponding solution.


Knowing this fact

and answering it with right action is the job of a lifetime,

but I cannot think of a more productive use of my time.




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, Affirmation, Alcoholics Anonymous, Hope, Humor, Joy, Matching, Poetry, Sponsorship, Wisdom and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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