Loud and Clear

There’s a sadness in sobriety.
There’s a sort of deep regret.
How was I so mindless?
Why’d it take so long to get
to this place? This well lit room,
full of power and clarity.
No more looking through amber glasses,
wrestling binocular disparity.
No more searching for the church key
to open the exit door.
No more running from reality,
no more heavy handed pour.
No more waking up and wondering
if I said/did something wrong.
Just ease, and peace, and certainty.
But, why did it take so long?

There’s a sadness in sobriety.
Like discomfort, like regret.
But the feeling of empowerment,
the satisfaction that I get,
far outweighs the wondering
of why it took so long.
Far outweighs the question
of why I wasn’t strong
enough to do this years ago,
brave enough to leap.
What was I hanging on to?
Why on earth did I keep
doing something to myself
that I knew was no good?
Why do we always do what we want, instead of what we should?

There’s a sadness in sobriety
I’m not sure if it’s regret-
I haven’t really been able to figure out what it is just yet.
I’m not quite sure what makes it sad? Nostalgia? Weakness? Fear?
Sort of like mourning the death of
a friend I haven’t seen in years.
We used to spend so much time together
wiling away the nights
But the relationship brought me so much more darkness
than it ever brought me light.
It was just a means of escape,
a way not to deal
And for the last few years of it
I was beginning to feel
that it was toxic. I finally heard the whisper
that had been building for so long.
A little voice saying it was time
to face this life head on.
Stop trying to avoid, to turn it off, to disconnect.
Why would I turn this life off
if it’s the only one I get?
Stop making excuses, close the escape hatch,
seal it with a cork.
Move ahead with mindfulness,
straight forward, do the work.

There’s a feeling in sobriety,
maybe it isn’t sadness at all.
It’s all wrapped up in the clarity
and I don’t know what to call
It just yet. But I can feel it.
I finally feel it, after all those years,
of dulling down emotion
with Pinots, Cabs and Beers.
Now the edges are all sharp again.
And the range of emotion is wide.
Feelings come and go freely as they will
and I no longer hide.
I just feel them. I try to name them.
And I own them one and all.
But I haven’t named this one yet. I don’t know what to call
this deep feeling- partial sadness,
part nostalgia, part regret…
Perhaps it’s sadness for the folks
who haven’t heard their whisper yet.

…..

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