When living with an alcoholic
There is no such thing
as a perfect life.
No perfect people.
Life on its own
Rough patches, smooth sailing,
narrow paths with no railing.
Living with a recovering alcoholic
is a road trip through
depression valleys and ego-centric alps,
through rivers of tears
and crossing manic mountains.
Driving blind through
a shooting range:
never knowing what might trip
Stomach-churning curves when
heart-wrenching tears flood
and short of holding on, rocking,
and offering cool cloths:
there is nothing one can do.
Meanwhile praying for sunshine
and calming thoughts.
Anything that will work
to avoid that fatal step
to return to alcohol alleys,
wine winding pitfalls or
Time stops for there is no time
when you need to be there
and nothing else matters than that
climb over hideous humps of horror.
Alcoholics let their problems and issues sink
into a morass of mind numbed stupors.
A recovering alcoholic finds those issues
without that alcoholic anchor
pulling them to numbing depths--
allowing them (in their minds) to hang on.
Years ago, but years spent
lost in a genii's bottle
becomes yesterday. Loss
of a beloved grandmother
isn't smoothed, soothed over lost time
but still fresh, immediate,
now and overwhelming
without supposed safety net.
Only net is me and
my hoping I find, choose, and use
correct words at opportune times.
Sleep becomes caught in nightmares
snagged in shallow sleep for I must be vigilant.
Always on, providing a sense of balance
lest she fall. She's afraid of falling
even more so now: she is so close
to yearly mark of being sober.
A precipice she both fears to surmount
and fears to slide down in a landslide
of failed expectations from herself
and those around her.
Right now, she doesn't see how far
she's traveled, only the incredible distance yet to go.
Right now, she has no clue
how strong she's become,
only remembers misleading strength
in a wine bottle, power it had
to let her lie in limbo.
It is her battle.
I can only
help her to avoid petty skirmishes,
keep her determination (however weakened)
to be well-supplied and be there
to mop inevitable blood
wars leave behind.