Crying Alone in the Dark

Of late, I’ve been aware of how important light is to my well-being. Fall has sometimes been a signal of occasional seasonal symptoms of depression. Before getting sober, this became unbearable because, even on medications, I had no tools to as we often say, live life on life’s terms. I wasn’t even aware of my symptoms, in part because I drank myself into numbing oblivion to avoid even considering that I might be dependent on alcohol.

I shrank from life until I fell (or jumped) off of a cliff into a pit of lonely despair. I went to great lengths to avoid people closest to me for fear of being seen. Acute anxiety and chronic depression preceded my eventual psychological dependence on alcohol to live my daily life. Dependence on alcohol exacerbated symptoms in a deadly feedback cycle. All the while, I went through my day pretending to be perfectly okay. No one knew the depths of my despair. In AA, I’m learning to be honest with myself, by being honest with others. Sharing my story and listening to the stories of others helps me to see truth in life rather than hiding from it alone and in the dark.

Crying Alone in the Dark

Lo the times I felt sore alone
The pain of isolation self-imposed
Hiding from my ever-present shame
Sitting uncomfortably with silence
Crying alone in the dark for comfort
Why oh why did I do this again
Just to break the silence in the void
A lone voice crying in the dark
I tried to sit but could only spin
Pacing a worn circle in a darkened room
Waking to the nightmare of the day before
Crying when when when will this ever end
Losing my grip on life collapsing into myself
Resisting the urge to run to hide in the dark
I let gravity slow my spin for a moment or two
I sit with uneasy painful long-hidden truths
As I take a deep breath and step into the light
Willing to risk being seen just as I am
Afraid and uncertain but no longer alone
And this is how my healing it did begin

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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1 year ago

I can relate.