Today is the 10th anniversary
in my recovery from alcoholism.


I became a street actor
on stilts, to see over
walls erected by
years of despair.

I would strut clumsily,
attempting to dance to
whoever played the
loudest tune,
juggle frantically
with balls of denial,
resentment,Β  guilt
and fear, until

quite unexpectedly
the stilts cracked,
broke and forced me
to the ground,
avalanche of
bittersweet pain,
post-war grit
lining my mouth.

Tentative clusters of
hope shining through,
unyielding walls now
crumbling painfully
around me, I knew
the journey had begun;
I thank God
the performance is over.


48 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. gingerfightback
    Jan 21, 2012 @ 10:38:22

    Enjoyed That – Thanks!


  2. journeyintopoetry
    Jan 21, 2012 @ 10:54:28

    Thank you very much!



  3. triciabertram
    Jan 21, 2012 @ 11:08:39

    My dear Christine, tears are streaming down my cheeks as I type. Your beautiful words have opened old rooms in the depth of my being.

    Firstly my loving admiration for this milestone in your journey.

    My darling dad battled addition all his life, he had many years of sobriety then made the mistake of believing he was “cured” and could be a social drinker. When not drinking he was the most loving, empathetic man you could know, and I never stopped loving him.

    Your words take me inside his “…walls erected by years of despair”. He died over 20 years ago, and I miss him every day.

    Thank you my dear Christine for the gift of your poetry. We have never met yet I experience a sense that on some level we know each other.


  4. belfastdavid
    Jan 21, 2012 @ 11:16:02

    Ten years achieved one day at a time.

    Wonderful how the days add up when you are not paying attention πŸ™‚


    Terrific poem too

    Lots of love



    • journeyintopoetry
      Jan 22, 2012 @ 12:45:45

      Thank you David.

      It goes without saying, but I am saying it anyway, how important to me your involvement in my recovery has been, and your friendship too.

      Lots of love





  5. Ina
    Jan 21, 2012 @ 11:26:50

    Hi Christine,
    I love this poem, congratulations to this anniversary! πŸ™‚ You made a good choice then and now, ten years later, you can celebrate your sobriety with pride!

    Love and hugs xx


  6. df barker
    Jan 21, 2012 @ 13:30:00

    This really is a fantastic poem Christine. Honesty and ability have merged here to put across a point that everyone should listen to. ‘Post war grit lining my mouth’, what a line that is! I think it’s not generally conceived how easy it is slip into reliance on alcohol and other ‘substances’. Congratulations on the anniversary and congratulations for this poem.


    • journeyintopoetry
      Jan 22, 2012 @ 12:50:25

      What a lovely comment, David, thank you so much.

      My sobriety means so much to me; life could have been so different today and doesn’t bear thinking about.

      I am truly grateful.



  7. Jane Thorne
    Jan 21, 2012 @ 14:51:58

    Heartfelt congratulations on your anniversary and this poem is beautiful. Like David I love the line ‘Post war grit lining my mouth’ and Christine hope will keep shining for you as you are a lovely Jane x


  8. dribblingpensioner
    Jan 21, 2012 @ 19:34:35

    Congrats Christine on your 10th anniversary, you are showing your a fighter, on the way to a new life.


  9. tikarmavodicka
    Jan 22, 2012 @ 02:18:10

    Congratulations!! Christine, on your 10 year anniversary!! πŸ˜€
    It is an achievement to be very proud of and a journey we all can, through your wonderful poem learn from. πŸ™‚

    I feel the struggle in your words and the pain but I also feel that deep well of strength and faith that has carried you towards this point in your life.
    You have indeed overcome!

    I am personally very greatful for your journey that has led me to come to know you. πŸ™‚ You are beautiful, wise, courageous and strong woman!! Here’s to many more anniversaries!!

    with much love and
    extra ((((BIG WARM HUGS))))


    • journeyintopoetry
      Jan 22, 2012 @ 12:59:28

      Thank you Tikarma,

      Your lovely comment has moved me so much and I feel very humble.

      My sobriety is so precious to me; there was an occasion many years ago when I almost didn’t make it through, and another when I tried my hardest not to make it through. My gratitude for my life now is beyond words.

      Love and (((BIG, BIG HUGS)))
      and a big πŸ™‚ of gratitude!

      Christine xx


  10. Betty Hayes Albright
    Jan 22, 2012 @ 02:47:30

    Congratulations on this special 10 year anniversary, Christine!

    This is truly a wonderful and inspiring poem. Thank you for sharing your journey with us.

    Hugs to you,


  11. Linda Willows
    Jan 23, 2012 @ 00:36:55

    Congratulations on your 10 Anniversary of Courage and Faith!
    This poem surely strikes deeply, it is powerfully written. So much inside and then again. I loved…Tentative clusters of
    hope shining through,
    unyielding walls….
    Love to you


  12. granbee
    Jan 23, 2012 @ 09:42:38

    Christine, you are just one of the bravest people I know. These lines:
    “avalanche of
    bittersweet pain,
    post-war grit
    lining my mouth” are very poignant and colorful and bold. They pretty much describe my long struggle to overcome my quarrels with myself about my basic geekiness and social awarkness. I truly think I became addicted to this self-mage over the decades. Blogging with wonderfully talented and honest writers wuch as yourself is really good medicine for me! Bless you!


    • Christine Moran
      Jan 24, 2012 @ 10:31:51

      Thank you granbee, for your very moving comment, it has touched me in a deep place.

      I don’t think it makes any difference what addiction we are recovering from the process is exactly the same. Surrender, for me, was the very beginning of a slow, and sometimes painful journey involving acceptance (that’s a huge one that comes and goes and I have to work on it daily),changes in my attitude and thinking, “letting go” and many many more aspects towards growing towards becoming the person I am content with.

      All I know is life is so much richer being lived sober and like you I am getting a daily dose of wonderful “medicine” from yourself and other fellow bloggers; thank you for being a part of that medicine!

      Christine x


  13. bipolarmuse
    Jan 23, 2012 @ 15:15:07

    The last line really brought the entire piece together.
    Such a sad, yet encouraging piece.
    Thank you for sharing.


  14. Fergiemoto
    Jan 23, 2012 @ 18:37:52

    Oh my!…a powerful and touching poem. Congrats on your anniversary. That’s a fantastic achievement and there are many more anniversaries ahead of you!


  15. Christine Moran
    Jan 24, 2012 @ 10:39:10

    Thank you for this lovely encouraging comment!

    Yes, I hope for many more anniversaries – one day at a time.



  16. bardessdmdenton
    Jan 24, 2012 @ 22:19:37

    Dear Christine. I was very very moved by this poetic portrayal of your journey from addiction to sobriety. Its honesty had me trembling…the analogy to performing as if in a sideshow a very powerful visual to offer…like:

    ‘attempting to dance to
    whoever played the
    loudest tune,
    juggle frantically
    with balls of denial,
    resentment, guil
    and fear, until

    quite unexpectedly
    the stilts cracked,’

    From my heart I congratulate you on your strength and courage! Your poetry has already evolved so much, so full of wisdom and grace and intelligence from the beginning, more and more finding a form and voice that is uniquely and eloquently yours. Keep writing and keep believing in yourself! You are an inspiration!

    Blessings and hugs, Diane


    • journeyintopoetry
      Jan 25, 2012 @ 07:13:35

      Thank you so much Diane, for this beautifully encouraging comment.

      My recovery continues to be paramount whatever else is happening in my life. I never dreamed that this would include writing poetry and getting to know people like yourself whose work I admire so much; your artistic talent in both words and your art constantly amaze me and give me so much pleasure.

      It was the MS diagnosis that triggered the poetry! Isn’t it strange how life manages to push open doors for us that we thought impossible?

      Blessings and
      much love to you

      Christine xx


  17. evocative embrace
    Jan 25, 2012 @ 03:24:58

    Powerful. Very Powerful. Thank You.


  18. evocative embrace
    Jan 25, 2012 @ 03:25:21



  19. The Background Story
    Jan 25, 2012 @ 18:10:51

    Congratulations, Christine! Ten years sober is a great achievement. ❀ You celebrated it well with this poignant and heartfelt poem.


  20. Dennis N. O'Brien
    Jan 26, 2012 @ 19:48:00

    Congratulations Christine. I think your poem conveys your experience and message well. I used to drink quite a lot in my younger years but don’t drink at all now, but I always think how well I feel on New Years Day morning πŸ™‚


  21. Trackback: More Awards to Acknowledge and Pass On « bardessdmdenton
  22. Laurel's Reflections
    Jan 27, 2012 @ 20:25:28

    What a beautiful and moving poem, and what courage and strength you have. I am deeply moved.


  23. Thomas Davis
    Feb 01, 2012 @ 01:49:17

    Ten years! A monumental achievement and a great poem to celebrate the occasion. Life kicks you in the mud occasionally, but if you get back up and live, then fireworks ought to light up the skies in your honor. Tom and Ethel


  24. Christine Moran
    Feb 01, 2012 @ 08:48:13

    Thank you Thomas and Ethel! This is a lovely comment – I can see all the fireworks as I type!!

    It is wonderful to be living a sober life and I am extremely grateful for it every day.

    Christine x


  25. AngelaMarie
    Feb 02, 2012 @ 02:38:59

    Christine, this is a beautiful poem! The imagery is so vivid, bittersweet, and alive! You know, I thought I was subscribed to your blog – but I have not been getting any emails, so I didn’t realize I had missed so much from you this month! I just resubscribed. Many congratulations and blessings to you on your 10 year anniversary. You are an inspiration!


  26. Christine Moran
    Feb 02, 2012 @ 10:59:34

    Thank you so much AngelaMarie for this warm comment.

    I sometimes have the problem of not getting emails even though I have subscribed; it’s really annoying isn’t it.

    Anyway as long as I am living sober then life is ok.

    Much love to you

    Christine xxxx


  27. Becoming herself
    Feb 02, 2012 @ 13:59:09

    This is one of your very best poems, Christine. I’ve read it several times since you first posted it. It’s so heartfelt and honest, and the imagery is so vivid. It sounds so natural and unforced, as if it it all just poured out of you; but I wonder if, in fact, you toiled over it to get it just right?


  28. Christine Moran
    Feb 02, 2012 @ 16:34:10

    Thank you BH for this really encouraging comment.

    I actually didn’t toil over it at all, it was one of those poems that just seemed to write itself, mainly, I think, because of its significance to me at the time. There was a little tweaking here and there after it was written but not much.

    Thank you again for this comment, it really means a great deal to me.

    And it’s so lovely that you are back!



  29. Francina
    Feb 02, 2012 @ 18:16:56

    Congratulations , Christine, with your 10th Anniversary! You can be very proud of yourself! Excellent conveyed in your poem. Ciao, Francina


  30. Caddo Veil
    Feb 09, 2012 @ 19:40:49

    Christine, this is so moving and inspiring–and motivating! Thank you for your willingness to be authentic–I celebrate that, and am committed to same in my own life. God bless you richly.


  31. journeyintopoetry
    Feb 10, 2012 @ 11:40:56

    Thank you Caddo,

    I do find it quite difficult to open up like this publicly, but I am becoming more comfortable with it and find it pays off every time as I feel better for it, and who knows, someone else may benefit from the words too.

    Much love

    Christine x


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