The Boon and the Bane

The Boon and the Bane: Boon and Bane; Blessing and Curse these they bring me joy and they steal my joy. Gratitude and Resentment; thoughts and feelings that free me and that imprison me; inviting me to be a better me and trapping me in the shame of a life seeming unfulfilled. Replete with wonder one moment and consumed by abject despair the next. It helps when I remember that I know joy because I’ve felt sorrow.

My thoughts can imprison me much like my dependence on alcohol to avoid my feelings once did. Stopping drinking alcohol and creating abstinence in my life opened a doorway to freedom (“… a new freedom and a new happiness …”). Learning how to live life with its inevitable pleasure and pain, joy and sorrow, gifts and losses, is how I become free. The Bane and The Boon were recently written one day and the next.

The Bane

Amidst the waxing and the waning
Of stories I cannot ignore 
The rise and fall of waves of feelings
Swirling and oft chaotic thoughts
I lose my grip and fly away untethered
Unmoored I’m tossed about on a roiling
Sea seething and churning with anger
Stirring up forgotten resentments
From old wounds I thought once healed

The Boon

Feelings they rise and fall
As predictably as the tides
When I let them come and go
As they most surely will
Oh but I rarely let them flow
I hold them back push them away
Ignore them for as long as I might
Until they swell and peak flooding
The parts of me I try to keep safe
Overwhelming me with too much
Until I remember to let them be
To flow as they must from source to sea


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.

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