A pandemic seeming without end, a stark political divide, hurricanes in the gulf, raging fires in the west all creating anxiety of an uncertain future that can overwhelm me. Being present for myself and for those that I love and that love me at times is threatened by my urge to flee, to withdraw from life, and retreat. In the throes of twice becoming psychologically dependent on alcohol to cope with life by escaping life, riddled with acute anxiety, and consumed by chronic depression, I emotionally abandoned those that loved me. I felt so ashamed.
Sober for me means showing up in my life. Yet in times like these, even solidly sober for quite some time, I daily fight the urge to run. Sitting with awareness, regardless of how painful, is now a practice rather than a threat. I focus on noticing what I feel rather than attaching to a story of how I feel. Sharing my pain, my fear, my insecurities with others, especially those in recovery, is a comforting refuge where I am not alone, where I find experiences, strength, and hope that helps me be present rather than escaping yet again into a bottom of a bottle.
A Meditation on Storms
Ride the waves as they rise and as they fall
Ascend with the crests and sink with the trough
Feel the surging swell and the relaxing calm
Return to the ebb and the flow of the tides
Storms come and storms go as the earth breathes
I close my eyes and sink below
all of this noise
No coming and No going
Taking refuge and finding peace
Gently holding the precious gift of now
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.