Once upon a time, I lived as if I had no choice but to drink alcohol in good times and in bad. I was ‘powerless over alcohol’ and I made my life ‘unmanageable’. Part of me knew that I was self-sabotaging any chance of living the kind of life that I hoped for and once thought possible. Even more insidious was the shame that I felt for the harm that I was causing those that I loved and that loved me.
I tried to change, but I had become so psychologically dependent on alcohol to cope with daily life that the idea of not drinking alcohol seemed an impossible choice. I had limited my choices in moments of cravings to drink alcohol or not. I ignored a universe of choices that I could do instead. I slowly came to realize that I could choose to meditate, to take a walk in nature, to play/listen to music, to make a healthy snack/meal, to make and drink a pot of tea, to phone/text/email a friend in recovery, etc.
Today, I know that I don’t need to drink alcohol to change how I feel. I honor and respect that I do need to do something. Today, I have a universe of choices.
The Desperate Dance
Between night and day
I’ve done the desperate dance
Spinning round and round
And round and around
Caught in a dizzying spiral
No way to escape
These seemingly endless cycles
Of dark days and darker nights
Hard to know which came first
When want became need
And obsession became desire
Constant craving and longing
For just a moment of ease
This my never ending trance
Trapped by choices I could not make
Between a rock and a hard place
My thoughts were often squeezed
A choice confined to this or that
Dying little by little each day
Longing to live desperate to die
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.