Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years are a time of reflection for me. My morning meditation often invites personal introspection in quiet moments throughout my day. My dreams too, vivid, windows and mirrors where past, present and future meet in my subconscious and greet me with the light of day. Sober and active in my own recovery and the recovery of others, I can sit with and be with my self as I am. Prior to recovery, I lived a life full of self-generated distractions, drinking alcohol to the point of not caring frequently, and brown-out oblivion occasionally. My alcohol-induced sleep was usually fitful and I rarely dreamt or if I did I didn’t notice nor remember.
I no longer make New Year’s resolutions, rather I make intentions to be open to my awareness, to be present for myself and others, and to not intentionally harm myself or others with thoughts, words, or actions daily. I believe that those in recovery and in recovery communities find the willingness, courage, support and ability to see with, to be with, to accept and to love ourselves as we are. Because we’ve looked at our past, the good and the bad, we have opportunities to live in the present, rebuilding and restoring relationships once broken.
But I know for me, and I’ve seen it true for countless others, it began with looking in the mirror, looking deeply and fearlessly, no longer blaming others, accepting personal responsibility and trudging ahead with patient resolve. I still feel regret at times looking back, but rarely sink into the morass of shame. Today, I can look in the mirror and see me, all of me.
Seeing Me As I AmTo see me as I amThere in the mirrorA visage of sorrowFrom regret of daysDays gone byLooking back at meI see the scarsBlemishes of livingI want to turn awayAvert my gazeBut that’s neverNo never helped meTo find my way homeA return to meSo I look at the manThat I do seeLong nights they doBecome longer daysThis time of yearA traveling and a turningAbout the SunI take stockOf days gone byLife lived wellMore than notThe joy of life once lostNow slowly reclaimedI smile at the manThat I do seeFor now he isBeginning to lookAn awful lot like meA me I always wanted be
About the Author
Robert B. is a sober alcoholic in Madison, WI participating in AA and AlAnon at Fitchburg Serenity Club. He has been sober since April 21, 2007. He also began writing and sharing poetry on Facebook during his first year sober as part of his recovery from alcohol dependency, acute anxiety and chronic depression. He has found that creativity expressed primarily through writing poetry and playing various stringed instruments helped him heal and thrive.
The featured image was created by the artist calling himself dub 13, and was posted on Ello, a social networking site for artists. Visit Scene 360 for more information.