Neither Frog nor Fish

April 13

Neither Frog nor Fish

I was falling and my Higher Power caught me in a net called AA, all of which was a pretty neat trick, but the strangest consequence of this is now I somehow think it shouldn’t be possible for me to drown.  Defying gravity 24 hours at a time doesn’t make me aquatic or even amphibious for that matter.  I still have all the corollary restrictions of anyone who is me.  I still need sleep and water, food and warmth just like a mere mortal.  How silly I am.  I dodge a bullet and suddenly I think I am waterproof.

Don’t exchange your trinkets for your tools



I have been hopping on one foot

With a ball of hope shoved under one arm

And a ball of hysteria under the other

I wish I could tell from the outside of the ball

Which one is hope- I worry I will put down the wrong one

So I hold onto both

My life is sorely limited by the baggage

And I fear I am losing life with every hop

A lack of information is my problem

I don’t adequately know the properties of either

And suspect my every interpretation

Finally I stand before my sponsor

To ask the question of my life-  That’s easy Honey

Hope is the one that bounces back

Is all she had to say

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

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My Experiences with Tennis

April 12

My Experiences with Tennis

I have held the racket, I have hit the ball, but I have never played with a partner.  I have slammed the fuzzy orb against the wall for long years now, but I have never had a mate.  There were times when I had opponents; yes I’ve had a couple of those, a collaborator though, that I have never had.  I have learned to overcome opposition either through wile or guile.  Slugged my way toward some inevitable outcome, I never expected you on my court.  The game we play is for keeps and the muscles required I have never used, I ache from the pain of ending an atrophy imposed on me by isolation and misunderstanding.  Often I don’t know how to stand, don’t know how to act; don’t know how to be the equal to your service.  I play chase, running after the thing I didn’t see and only faintly felt.  I have come to the place where I know, you and I are a team; you will not be leaving looking for someone better equipped or with greater experience.  It is time for me to lay out in front of you my host of tendencies and inclinations. I’m in the habit of overwhelming with my strength to hide my weakness; I must expose this all to you, the strength and the weakness, and work together for the resolution. I will no longer pretend that I know what is right and wrong in this un-played game.  I fear that I will lose the old game by making this change, all that is familiar put up for grabs to the uncertain outcome of paired sports.  All I truly know is that with you by my side I can never lose and I will learn to do whatever it takes to be your wife.

Dream with an open mind



Apprehension stands in the archeological site

Which is my life —–listening

Listening for the rumble of a cement truck to come

And help solidify the shifting and tenuous nature of my existence

A wet and sloppy solution

A solution to be raked and smoothed, covered and cured

Something to build a monument on

Or a place to park my car

The nearby grass looks lush and green

But I dare not leave apprehension alone or it spreads

I stand with it on bad days

And against it on good ones

I pray for the mixer to arrive

Or at least the gravel spreader

I need to fill this hole so it can be a life

And stop being a grave.

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

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The Key You See

April 11

The Key You See

The key you see is letting you, accept me.  Oh, how I hide from that, run from that, flee from that.  I must be in control of what you think of me.  I curtain off the view of me I don’t wish to share with you.  Add to that the unusual choices of what I hide.  I will strip down with all the lights blazing long before I would let you see me drop the ball, be confused, misunderstand.  What I truly fail to realize is that in the process of trying to hide my faux pas and fumbles; what I show you is my controlling ass.  Backside bare I moon you with my freak show trying to hide my humanity. Your compassion and tolerant waiting for me to calm down and open my eyes is the key I fail to see about you.

Learn the difference between area and circumference



I took an area level service position

And my sponsor laughed herself off her chair

What is your motivation for this?  she asked

I want to move up through the service structure, my reply

Are you trying to make rank?

Problem with that? I ask

Ever heard of self-fulfilling prophecy

You will become what you desire

You will become rank

And you will stink

The triangle is inverted to help you clean up your act

Don’t get washed away in a tide of ego

I put down my swim fins

And removed my epilates

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

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Stumbling Under the Tenth Step

April 10

Stumbling Under the Tenth Step

When I’ve been outside of my mind it is so hard to tell when I’ve come home again.  The landmarks take on such distortion in memory that the facts seem bloated or anorexic as I turn my face from side to side.  Old journals remind me of old journeys and perhaps there are accurate landmarks mentioned, but how can I know for sure that these too are not just the ravings of a mind gone mad.  Real or imagined I must take the daily count and try to keep the score in favor of the actual.  I don’t always know that I’ve fallen until I inventory the dirt on my face, but better that I face the dirt than live the delusion of a mole.

Notice the shape of your fixtures



Bare & Exposed

I laid myself on the alter

Of my home group

AA, my only Source

I emptied the contents of my soul

And bore the mantle of overexposure

But vultures lurked in many rooms

I was safely guided by persons of my gender

To more secluded and effective place of transmission

I thrust myself into the arms and mind of my sponsor

She escorts me to the steps with the door closed

And taught me how and when it could be prudently opened

AA is a power greater than me, so is the ocean

Precaution needs to be taken when wading in

Care must be exercised as to how much to bare.

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

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Up and Down

April 9

Up and Down: Round and Round

Like the wheel on my spinning wheel I pump up and down on the treadle and the wheel spins round and round, the roving twists in my hand and yarn is made.  Really all I do is tap my foot and gently hold on, pulling occasionally. It is a small part I play in this production at least it feels small almost unnecessary, but with a clear mind I see that without me it doesn’t get done.  I am essential yet still just a foot-tapper and hanger-on neither of these is prestigious yet the whole fabric depends on my mundane actions.  I take great comfort knowing that all over there are foot-tappers and hangers-on keeping safe this way of life, sometimes keeping it safe just through sheer repetition. And if you ask, “Is that Unity or Recovery or Service?”  All I can say is “Yes it is.”

Powder your bottom line



There is a brackish River

Whose current changes directions twice a day

Its bed is well washed on every side.

It begs the question-

Which way is down hill?

There are times I struggle up hill in both directions

There are times I slip from every slope

What is up is often down

Judgment of topography requires distance

Scaling the surface takes tenacity

I plan on leaving my mark as I go

Life’s residue staining my finger tips.

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

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Out on Your Front Porch

April 8

Out on Your Front Porch

“If you want what we have,” said my sponsor, “you will have to follow somebody and lead somebody and do a few other things.”

“I have to follow somebody, that shouldn’t be too hard,” I mumble.

“In order to follow it helps if you stop looking at the ground, lift you gaze,” her retort. I raise my chin until I meet her eyes.  “Better,” says she.

“I follow you?” I ask.

“Me, yes, if I have what you want, follow others if I don’t,” she says.

“Okay and lead somebody, how do I do that?” I ask.

“It’s attraction, Sweetie, be attractive, show your smile and your smarts, but most of all show that you’re sober, because that is always your best asset.  And no matter what anybody tells you about the allure of bad girls, nobody can resist a good set of assets”

Don’t let the rush of the river scare you from the bank



The past cannot hold me in a loving embrace
I run too often looking for affection and recognition
In things long dead and purportedly buried

I return to the ghoulish obsession of digging up
Old hates and sorrows longing for support
And finding only the cause of the ulcers in my soul

I wallpaper the crumbling facade
Not wanting to cover it up but to hold it together
Trying to unify something which is totally scattered

When I view it with a sober eye
The past is nothing but a slideshow
Under a strobe light

The pulse triggers the impulsive belief that it was all real
When in truth it was the lie I survived
No life existed in the past

Only now is there air to breathe
The past is all vacuum
And I don’t need to be sucked away

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

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Two Things

April 7

Two Things That Should Be One

The difference between my will and G-d’s will is that G-d actually likes me all the time, never looks to punish and would rather that I don’t settle for less then what is best for me.

The difference between G-d’s will and my will is left to my own devices I would run in a perpetual circle and dig a trough.  I would never ask for help and would refuse if it were offered.  I would take on misguidedness as a mantle and wear it to my wake.

Often my will and G-d’s will are miles apart, but they needn’t be.  G-d is the president of my fan club; I just need to start attending the meetings.

Make music in your head that you can feel in your whole body



I have been to the meeting where the play ‘whip’
The meeting where the members are gotten in line
The tempo increases constantly in an attempt
To flick each other off into the land of shame and slips and less-than

This game is invisible to the participants
Though the stress on their bodies is surely felt
Spectators often misunderstand the meaning of the activity
And wrongly interpret it as strength training and endurance building

I think of it as a backward step
Throwing me to my initial desire for a drink
Living other peoples skewed lines
Sent me running for a bottle

The same lines
Placed around me in sobriety
Will measure me up for a box

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

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