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So often, my thoughts are fragments. Unknown fears that grab me and will not let go. Regret that I cannot forget. Scars I thought healed, plucked revealing old pain born anew. Disappointments become resentments that create walls between me and (you).

Recently, someone I love and trust, lashed out in anger with harsh, hurtful words. One moment, I was fine. We were fine. The next, their rage became my fear. I felt misunderstood. My morning meditation became a time of unease. My waking thoughts distracted by a desperate search for meaning. I found myself not wanting to share in 12 step meetings – an unusual thing for me. I feared sharing for worry of being overheard in my house and for appearing a victim. Thoughts stole my words.

One of the gifts that I’ve found in recovery is how powerful writing is for me. I’ve written and posted a poem daily on Facebook since first getting sober. Writing and sharing became a way for me to be with strong emotions in a healthy way, often writing something I withhold from myself, truths I fear to face. As someone shared in a recent meeting, ‘there is freedom in truth’. But these truths that I was feeling recently, they felt threatening to what I believe about myself. Even as I wrote the first few lines, I resisted sharing them because they felt so very incomplete, fragmentary, like my thoughts if you will.

These fragments felt rough, unpolished, not good enough to share. But I wrote. I wrote in part, because writing is ritual for me. I wrote more so to acknowledge what I was unwilling to say aloud, even to myself. After several days, several fragments, they bring me here, here to awareness and emerging clarity, where I can begin to feel whole once again.



My soul laid bare
And my heart cries
For all that was
So heedlessly lost


Tired of swimming upstream
Fighting the current 
Refusing to be swept away
By the raging stream


An hour spent quietly with dawn
Rather than waiting impatiently for the sun
A moment of seeing things as they are
I cease demanding that they be anything else


Abiding in the refuge that is hope and possibility
I escape my prison of abject poverty and despair
Feeling the joy of having all that I need
Letting go of rabid want and fervent desire


Lo’ these precious seeds
I do hold cupped gently in my hands
How will I nourish them today
With thoughts or with love


I looked within and I found
A vast unknown I’d yet to see
For in this simple little cup of tea 
Universes I hold and watch unfold


Upon awakening I slowly and I gently rise
My mind’s eye opens every moment a new reality
This moment a precious jewel like no other
To you I give thanks and humbly bow

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.