Robert B

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The Worst Year of My Life

The Worst Year of My Life

2020 was in many ways challenging, but it pales in comparison to 2006 and the early part of 2007. In 2006, I was trapped in an increasingly destructive cycle of self-sabotage and increasing psychological dependence on alcohol, combined with acute anxiety, chronic depression…

The Stone that I Keep Hidden Away

The Stone that I Keep Hidden Away

I’ve realized sober for a time, that fear of abandonment runs through my veins. My dad would disappear for several days a few times a year on a drunken binge. Usually, he also gambled away virtually everything we had. As a young child, I was terrified. As a preteen and teen, I was still terrified, but also, fantasized that…

Second Chances

Second Chances

“… We may feel that we are making up for lost time but we are not; we are making the most out of a second chance…

The Whole World Sighed

The Whole World Sighed

The past several months I’ve felt captive to ‘what if’s’. What if he wins? What if he loses? What if this happens? What if that happens? I spent my morning on Tuesday, November 3, 2020, doing 3-4 simple tasks that I had planned to do that day no matter what the news…

I Sit By This Little River

I Sit By This Little River

Rivers are special places in my life. They are a physical setting that I seek for refuge and to find peace – to feel okay when I am not. Rivers serve as an apt and useful metaphor in my life. I’ve written many river poems…

I Close My Eyes Though I’m Quite Awake

I Close My Eyes Though I’m Quite Awake

Sleep evaded me at my bottom – unable to fall asleep without drinking alcohol – unable to fall back to sleep without drinking alcohol. Lately, though sober for some time, I’ve had several nights of waking and being unable to fall back to sleep…

Once Upon a Lifetime or Two Ago

Once Upon a Lifetime or Two Ago

In my struggle to find sobriety in AA, I unexpectedly became Buddhist by doing the Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous…

I Once Wrote a Letter to Myself

I Once Wrote a Letter to Myself

Writing, including gratitude lists, parts of my personal stories, essays about principles, and steps in Alcoholics Anonymous, and for me most importantly, poetry, has been an essential part of my recovery…

Despair and Desire

Despair and Desire

Of late, I’ve noticed despair and desire arising and sometimes becoming a distraction and a focus of my meditation for several days. I, at times, intentionally try, and impossibly fail, to avoid feelings of despair and feelings of desire. Despair often creates hopeless sadness. Desire becomes an obsessive urge, often harmful, to change the way that I feel or…

A Meditation on Storms

A Meditation on Storms

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…