Robert B

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Awareness

Awareness

Eleven years sober and I recently began to be swept away by politics, career and change. Anxious and depressed. Afraid and sad. It reminded me of how hopeless and helpless I felt at my bottom. Awareness had become something I numbed and avoided. Sober it became a gift regardless of whether it was pleasure or pain…

Poems to Shine a Light on Dark Times

Poems to Shine a Light on Dark Times

Of late I’ve found myself struggling again with heightened anxiety and darkening depression. I’ve been here before. Before getting sober and learning to cope with highs and lows in ways that helped rather than harm, I sought escape from all that was painful and overwhelming. For about a month now, I became almost desperate to escape what I…

Learning from Others

Learning from Others

Renga is a form of Japanese poetry of linked verses written by and with others. A couple of years ago, I saw a stately green ash by an old farmhouse, now abandoned. Its trunk twisted and split by wind from a storm. I saw the exposed tree, wood torn and I felt its pain. Research shows that trees communicate over…

Brief Poems About Time

Brief Poems About Time

Sometimes I notice that time rules my days. Appointments and deadlines. Calendars. So much that pushes and pulls me out of the sweet refuge of the present moment. Urgency often, my own creation. Catching up. Falling behind. Sobriety and living with presence lets me slow time living moments as they arise…

About Grieving and Grief

About Grieving and Grief

My first experience grieving, newly sober, was our 10 year old rescue dog. She became suddenly ill and had to have her euthanized at an emergency veterinary office. I held her as she died. I didn’t want to drink alcohol, but I thought that no one would blame me if I did. I did not. Since then, two more…

Us vs. Them

Us vs. Them

When I got sober and as I grew in sobriety, watching sports became less interesting and consuming. Underneath this, other things mattered more than what had once been lost weekends beginning on Thursdays watching sports and mindlessly drinking alcohol through Monday. Winning and losing became something I avoided. Now sometimes like this past week watching life feeling more and more…

Storms

Storms

Looking back I see patterns and themes. Though these four poems form an arc about emotional storms and my relationship to rage, they come to a place of awareness, acceptance and peace that I find in recovery. They Individually were written months and sometimes years apart. Bearing witness to the extremes of recent flooding near my home and prompted by…

Recovery Through Poetry

Recovery Through Poetry

My writing seeks to let readers take what they need and leave the rest, to share my awareness as unfiltered as I can, to avoid telling the whole story and just focus on as much of the purity of my awareness as I can, to leave insight and clarity to the reader. I began writing poetry when I was newly…

Monkey Mind and Beginner Mind

Monkey Mind and Beginner Mind

Long before I got sober, in fact, long before I had alcohol use disorder, I fancied myself Buddhist because I meditated a few times, a week to relax and I had The Art of Happiness, by the Dalai Lama. I knew about four noble truths and the eight-fold path. When I was first trying to get sober, Buddhism, especially…

Notes From a Childhood of Mine

Notes From a Childhood of Mine

Sober several years, I still struggled with pain and childhood trauma. Prior to recovery, I buried it to the point of ignoring my childhood. These poems helped me appreciate the good parts of my childhood and of me that I left behind in the hills and hollers of eastern Tennessee. I feel as though I am now able to revisit…