July 9




The water ruffles over metallic sheen, lap after lap screen the view, and still the gilt reflection shines in my eyes.  Hypnotic, the undulance pulls me near.  I stand on the edge, gaze, then gawk; I follow the underwater movements and iridescent tremolo.  I forget place and time. I lose sight of the facts.  Gold isn’t the only thing that shimmers. Sometimes that glint is just a fish.  Life is full of fins and fantasy.  My sponsor suggests I stop looking for my life in a wishing well.


Think of all beans as magical in some way.







Is it the wiring between my ears,

the size of the pump in my chest?

The difference which can be seen

when you look from me to the neighbors?


I know that you feel me to be special.

I feel me to be special, too,

just like you.


Defining that thing, that combination

which unlocks the mundane

is more than just an attempt to point a finger,

it’s a search for that little light.


Close and closer we pull together

and that is special but now I will whisper it,

tell you the secret truth is my ability to play.

Come play with me!



You are reading selections from Sober on the Way to Sane and More Lines From My Life by Sherrie Theriault


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July 8







Like French pastry, sobriety gets richer with each layer.  As I investigate these layers I approach the buttery center.  The fat seeps through the years, makes boundaries crisp and intimacy velvety.  Ingredients, which ordinarily wouldn’t mix, somehow blend and counterpoint one another in a flaky shell.  Fruit and nuts improve every bite. Though there are times which are a bit crumbly, most of the structure is strong and the invention skillful. Pastry and sobriety are compositions of strength and brilliance, which are meant to be taken internally.



Juggle solutions.




Night Clothes and Bed Clothes


Is there any indulgence

quite like that of clean sleepwear

warm from the laundry?


Pulling on jammies over squeaky clean skin

and the little shutter that goes with tired hedonism

is a pleasure without formed words,

left for grateful sounds and little moans.


Hard work creates more than stability,

more than cash flow, more than mere exhaustion,

hard work changes my mind about delight.


It allows me to see it in the most obvious,

most subtle of places.

My bed has become haven, hospital, refuge

and I am tucked up in my nest, safely out of my mind.



You are reading selections from Sober on the Way to Sane and More Lines From My Life by Sherrie Theriault


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Cold and Flu Season

July 7




The spiritual cold and flu season is upon me.  I am awash in reaction and confusion.  I have been overexposed to the dry thinking and barking orders of the cough so associated with this disability.  My eyes swell and blur with my refusal to accept reality.  The tickle of discomfort from inhaling disagreeable ideas is small in comparison with the nausea I suffer when I swallow every line of nonsense put forth from my dizzy and congested mind.  There is no pill to dissuade my symptoms; I must raise the heat on this inertiac little bug.  Parasites breed in the stagnant water of my paralysis.  If I move in my sobriety, sweat a little and flush my system, I should be able to shake this insidious germ.  Then I can reach my hand out to the people who caught the spiritual flu from me.


Write pretty words on pretty paper.


Tooth Fairies and Super Heroes


I never know who the tooth fairy is going to be.

Who might be the one person

who will know CPR in my hour of need.


Which unlikely friend will whisper to me

the secret code to my mental lock.

I have been caught off guard by the power

of the most unlikely wallflowers.


It is important for me not to prejudge,

but even more important to leave space for surprise

and the delightful aptitude of those around me


For that matter from strangers on the street.

it is good for me to remember there is change in my pocket

and a Resuscitation Certificate in my wallet.


You are reading selections from Sober on the Way to Sane and More Lines From My Life by Sherrie Theriault

Posted in 12 step recovery, aa, acceptance, Cold and Flu Season, Tooth Fairy, Training, Transformation, treasure, Triumph | Leave a comment

Optical Illusion

July 6





From the right angle a hatpin can appear taller than the Empire State Building.  I can skew my perspective to such an extreme or let my disease do it for me.  I can believe myself to be other than I am: the sweetest, kindest——smartest, quickest——smallest, slowest——-lowest, meanest.  I can see myself as all this and more as long as I squint with one eye and look at only half of any issue.  I can play the parts and act as if these things are true.  I can even get others to play along.  I can make fantasy fact if I lower the floor.  I can die in the basement, many do.  I can turn my face from science and be the center of all that spins..…OR….. I can climb the stairs to ground level.  I can turn my mind to facts and fractions.  Leave my better-than, less-than universe and see the height of everything and stand tall with both my eyes open.



Put a surprise in your pocket.




Keeping My Seat



I can sit through this. I can do it,

even when I don’t remember that I want to.

I will get through this no matter how it tweaks me

and I squirm in my seat.


In spite of the unfairness of it all,

I can do what is right, because that is what is best for me.

Acting out or giving up are options that I have.


I like me too much to choose so poorly.

When this is all settled I will still have me

no matter what else I gain or lose.


If I don’t like me anymore I have lost everything,

if I can hold my head up, proud of my behavior

this is the most valuable gain.


Love is only love

if I am still here to feel it,

so I will sit still.



You are reading selections from Sober on the Way to Sane and More Lines From My Life by Sherrie Theriault


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Utility of Emotion

July 5




I plug into the utility of my emotions.  These utilities aid my life as all utilities do.  The duel prong of anger serves to light me up and gives me strength to set good boundaries.  The four-line clip cord of pain allows me to keep in touch with my Higher Power, my friends, and my fellows.  I have nothing to share if I can’t stay real about my pain.  Fear is hard to contain and is carefully piped.  Explosions of fear can start so easily it’s a good thing its foul odor can be smelled in the air.  The coaxial cable of joy screws neatly into the back of my mind and gives me endless delight, color and sound; these are the privileges of sobriety.  Emotions are plainly utilitarian but they help me survive and make living into a life.


Touch all the letters in your name.


The Biggest Chicken


I love to be mystical,

but the only dragon in my life

is when I let things drag on and on.


Procrastination is the winged beast in my world

and when she is slain the sun comes out

and I can count my blessings and plan for my possibilities.


The deep ditch left by depression

is where the lizard lays; siphoning my time

and sucking clean the bones of my wasted talents.


I have lunged and poked, stabbed her with my steel

and blown holes in her with my revolver,

but not until I sever the tendon with which she holds me

in her grasp do I have any real chance to be rid of her claws.


Once free of her I must be forever vigilant

lest her smothering song lure me back to that evil nest

where I feel as helpless as her egg.




You are reading selections from Sober on the Way to Sane and More Lines From My Life by Sherrie Theriault


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Renting Joy

July 4





I cannot buy happiness.  No matter how much money I spend, how hard I work, I can never pay bliss off on lay away.  The angles of escape for glee are phenomenal.  I see runaway emotions and must concede ownership.  When opportunities arise for satisfaction I pay the fare and take the trip.  The boat isn’t mine to keep but the tour is forever in my heart.  I can’t take it home to bury it in the yard.  Like a wild thing I can leave joy where I find it.  I never need to cage or bind it.  I need to enjoy each measure while the music plays.  I remunerate for time in proximity; delight arrives and stays as long as it likes.  I linger at the table and enjoy my dessert.  Leasing elation is an occasion of celebration.  Living moment to moment has given me this chance.  So, I take it.



Copy your favorite shape.




What is at the Eye of the Storm?



Serenity is the alignment of three knowledges


  1. Knowing that I am not without skill, talent, gifts.

2.Knowing that I am not without community,

connection, comfort.

3.Knowing that I am not without God,

whether or not I believe God is able to intervene.


When I am in full or even partial possession of these three

I am safe from storm, or no, drought,

or no, fiery hairy pestilence.


Without this knowledge everything is

storm, drought and pestilence,

no matter what anyone else says or all evidence to the contrary.


I will make my own mess when bereft.

I will pay a large price for ignoring the facts

and the lion’s share of this loss is loss of my serenity




You are reading selections from Sober on the Way to Sane and More Lines From My Life by Sherrie Theriault


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Liberty Hope?

July 3






If you had to choose, would it be liberty or hope?  Liberty is highly recommended, but without hope, how would you know you were at liberty?  Transversely if you have no liberty, how could you have hope?  Removal of liberty removes the possibility of hope.  So, why ask for a choice to be made?  Well, that’s the joy of liberty.  I am free to ask anything and you are free to imagine anything and hope for more.



Plan a diet for your fears.



Tyler’s Truth



The snow is dying,

pouring itself into the creeks and riverbeds.

sacrificing its crystalline structure and community

for the ubiquitous oneness of liquid.

drawn by the gravitational lure of the ocean.


Unity conquers the frozen individuated whole.

pulled from coast to coast the sun tempts the water’s life,

the sea gives up her soul to the sky

to be reborn as snow once more.




You are reading selections from Sober on the Way to Sane and More Lines From My Life by Sherrie Theriault


Posted in 12 step recovery, aa, acceptance, Hope, Liberty, snow | Leave a comment