JOY IS NOT ENOUGH
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