Robert B

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Bearing witness to the pain and suffering of ‘those who still suffer’

Bearing witness to the pain and suffering of ‘those who still suffer’

In my home group some that chair that meeting preface the prompt to join in the first part of the Serenity Prayer with ‘for those that still suffer inside and outside of these rooms’. It is rarely lost on me how much suffering I see. Relapse. Multiple or serial relapse. Pending divorce. Divorce. Being fired. A dire diagnosis. A terminal…

Christmas on Tobacco Road

Christmas on Tobacco Road

I grew up on a little hard scrabble farm in the hills and hollers of eastern Tennessee. Our farm was on a gravel road that connected to two more gravel roads before reaching an asphalt state highway. Planting, harvesting, and preparing tobacco for market auction was a family affair that everyone helped as soon as one could walk. The process…

What It Was Like Then and What It Is Like Now

What It Was Like Then and What It Is Like Now

I start my day with a 10-15 minute meditation. I’ve done this most days since I got sober. The form changes from time to time. Sometimes simply to relax. Sometimes to let be. In early April 2007, I needed to drink alcohol to get through my day. When I tried and tried sincerely to not harm those those…

Science and Spirit

Science and Spirit

When I was newly sober, my feelings overwhelmed me. I began to write and share poetry as a way to be with overwhelming feelings. Writing helped me observe and accept reality and truth and sharing helped me to not be alone with sometimes raw, scary, confusing and shameful things. What I see now looking back and beginning to review and…

All This Rage

All This Rage

I wrote the fragment -“Greed, Rage, Fear, Hate, Such a tightly wound knot”- about a month ago. It felt uncomfortable and uncontrollable and so I left it in a drafts folder. I felt uncomfortable. When I see greed, rage, hate in the world hurting so many, it fills me with fear and often my own rage…

Things Could Always Be Better

Things Could Always Be Better

The November 24 reflection from Beyond Belief: Agnostic Musings for 12 Step Life reference to Gabor Mate’s, In The Realm of Hungry Ghosts, reminded me of trying to quench constant craving for more by drinking alcohol. I seemingly could not be satisfied with what is. Childhood. Relationships lost. Relationships that never were…

Tales of the Star Child

Tales of the Star Child

I wrote this over eight mornings, a few years ago, writing a pair of verses each day not knowing what story would unfold. In fact, I didn’t know until the third day, that there was a story being born. It began watching my then three year old granddaughter, sitting in a box pretending that it was a spaceship. I…

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…