Gratitude for Recovery

(April-May 1997)

 Sixteen years ago
in treatment for alcoholism,
attendance at art therapy
was “suggested”.
I was arrogant and stubborn.
I want to stop drinking,
not draw(swear word) pictures.

 Today I found a piece of my artwork,
like a drawing made by a child.
And that is exactly what I was,
a bewildered infant lost, fearful and alone,
my arrogance, mere defence.

 I had painted a long, winding road,
dark, threat-laden sky,
and far in the impossible future
a clump of yellow primroses
in the sun, a bright yellow circle
in the top right hand corner.

Today I am standing next to them
and the sun is real.

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51 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Pete Armetta
    Apr 30, 2013 @ 10:19:31

    YES. Childlike-beautiful. 🙂

    Reply

  2. journeyintopoetry
    Apr 30, 2013 @ 10:21:27

    Thanks Pete! 🙂

    You were quick! I had to edit straight away because lots of gobbldygook words appeared!! Did you see them?

    Reply

  3. Oloriel
    Apr 30, 2013 @ 10:22:24

    This is marvellous piece. Thank you for sharing!

    Reply

  4. Lisa Kelly
    Apr 30, 2013 @ 10:23:36

    Nice …. 🙂

    Reply

  5. Jane Thorne
    Apr 30, 2013 @ 10:52:39

    Beauty in simplicity and your courage shines through…this brought tears to my eyes my lovely funky teapot friend. Biggest hug Xxxxxx

    Reply

    • journeyintopoetry
      Apr 30, 2013 @ 12:41:48

      Thank you so much Jane!

      It was a long journey but well worth it, and of course I am still travelling, as we all are! I am a completely different person today! 🙂

      Lots of love and hugs and here’s to crazy teapots!

      Xxx

      Reply

  6. Through My Eyes
    Apr 30, 2013 @ 11:28:11

    Childlike beauty and simplicity. You’ve had such a journey Christine and your gratitude always comes through 🙂

    Reply

    • journeyintopoetry
      Apr 30, 2013 @ 12:44:46

      Thank you very much Norma. Your comments are always so encouraging and very much appreciated.

      And I still haven’t managed Erasure! It is still on my list of things to do! 🙂 But if I do start this photography blog, and I do intend to, time will have to be shared! 🙂 x

      Reply

      • Through My Eyes
        Apr 30, 2013 @ 12:47:44

        Lol, I know what you mean. I can’t seem to do more than one thing at once and I’m afraid photography has my focus at the moment. It’s always a pleasure reading your poems 🙂

    • journeyintopoetry
      Apr 30, 2013 @ 12:51:37

      You are the one who has inspired me to think about the photograph blog, and I have to say it does excite me e ven thinking about it. And every time I see one of your posts I think, “I must do this!” 🙂

      Reply

  7. leamuse
    Apr 30, 2013 @ 12:38:40

    Christine, once again your courage is a lighthouse for more than you will ever know. Simply beautiful! 🙂 xxx

    Reply

  8. leamuse
    Apr 30, 2013 @ 13:08:01

    🙂 xxx

    Reply

  9. triciabertram
    Apr 30, 2013 @ 13:10:23

    Ah Christine,
    This is one that has touched me so deeply I can’t seem to find words.
    Love and hugs
    Tricia

    Reply

    • journeyintopoetry
      Apr 30, 2013 @ 13:14:53

      Hi Tricia, and thank you for your comment.

      I thought this one might speak to you in some way, or hit a nerve, and more words are not necessary. I appreciate so very much that you have left this comment.

      Love and Hugs xx

      Reply

  10. belfastdavid
    Apr 30, 2013 @ 14:07:39

    This is a lovely poem.

    Sometimes it does us good to look back and compare the person we were then with the person we are now! 🙂

    Well done to you for all the hard work you have put in on the way.

    Much love
    David
    xxx

    Reply

    • journeyintopoetry
      Apr 30, 2013 @ 14:39:41

      Thank you David.

      No more dragging my feet with attitude! 🙂 well, not much!

      And I am aware you know how hard we do have to work. Just as you are now doing with your painting 🙂 And the results are so worthwhile! 🙂

      Much Love

      Christine

      Xxx

      Reply

  11. lscotthoughts
    Apr 30, 2013 @ 14:52:53

    Lovely words from your heart, Christine, and what a profound ending..so happy for this bright realization! Sending many hugs your way! HBL ♥

    Reply

  12. jeglatter
    Apr 30, 2013 @ 15:29:08

    Yes! So beautiful!:)
    -Jennifer

    Reply

  13. countingducks
    Apr 30, 2013 @ 15:49:26

    Anyone with the smallest glimpse of your story knows you every right to be very proud of yourself, and that your courage and honesty are an example to us all

    Reply

  14. Harry
    Apr 30, 2013 @ 18:05:09

    Its shows how one’s life can change.

    Reply

  15. harulawordsthatserve
    Apr 30, 2013 @ 20:01:17

    Wow Christine, those strong and simple last two lines are heart wrenching. A wonderful poem and I am so very VERY glad you have found the sun, and I have no doubt poems like this have the power to bring others towards a real sun too. You’re truly an inspiration.

    Love and gratitude always,

    Harula xxxxxx

    Reply

    • journeyintopoetry
      May 01, 2013 @ 14:56:54

      Thank you so much Harula.

      It was a very low trek before recovery began but wonderful when the sun began to shine again! I am not frightened anymore and have much peace in life today. 🙂

      Lots of love

      Christie xxx

      Reply

  16. jaels
    Apr 30, 2013 @ 21:51:02

    Oh Christine, my dear courageous friend! I have goosebumps and joyful tears threatening to spill, as I read this. You must know that I SO celebrate your recovery and gratitude. I too have an “art therapy” done in pastels–it’s one of the few things I’ve kept (in so many moves and “moods”); it’s childlike, too, but speaks volumes about courage and faith. God bless you So BIG–I love you very much; Hugs and Smoochies from across the pond–your own Caddo sis

    Reply

    • journeyintopoetry
      May 01, 2013 @ 15:03:42

      Thank you so much Jael/Caddo!! Your comment is so wonderfully encouraging for me.

      And I love you very much too. You are so special to me.

      Love you to bits and pieces!

      Christine xx

      Reply

  17. suzywordmuser
    Apr 30, 2013 @ 22:58:21

    Isn’t it funny how the pictures we paint, the words we speak actually often come true! I’m cautious what I say now – just in case! 😉 And so glad you are out of a dark valley and into the sunshine! 😀

    Reply

    • journeyintopoetry
      May 01, 2013 @ 15:06:20

      Thank you very much Suzy! Yes it is funny how that happens. I think deep down in my poorly mind I knew the sun was out there somewhere but it seemed impossible at the time. 🙂 but it is definitely real for me now.
      Xx

      Reply

  18. bardessdmdenton
    Apr 30, 2013 @ 23:06:06

    Reached into my heart, Christine! As I read this I felt I was there with my arms around you. XO Yes, your painting was an honest depiction of where you were (not who), and such a miraculous foretelling of where you were going. And it is where we end up that matters! Blessings, love and hugs, Diane

    Reply

    • journeyintopoetry
      May 01, 2013 @ 15:12:40

      Thank you Diane! This is a wonderful comment. I hadn’t actually seen it as a foretelling, but you are right. i knew deep down something good was there inside me, I just needed to dig a lot deeper before I woke up to that wonderful sun, which, of course had been there all the time. And how lovely of you to say “where and not who”. I need to remember this, thank you. And.I feel your arms around me as I reply, you are such a true and beautiful friend.

      Love, hugs and blessings xxx

      Reply

  19. Sheila
    May 09, 2013 @ 14:19:35

    This brought tears to my eyes. I’m so glad you’ve found the flowers and the sun! Just knowing that the brightness can be found always helps. xoxo

    Reply

    • journeyintopoetry
      May 09, 2013 @ 14:28:01

      Thank you very much Sheila, for taking time to leave your lovely comment. It seems a very long time ago now. But my heart still aches for many I know who never found the flowers and the sun. They are either still merely existing in the dark, or have lost all hope and are no longer here.

      Xx

      Reply

  20. Laurel's Reflections
    May 13, 2013 @ 17:58:38

    Amazing how effective art therapy can be, isn’t it? Such a lovely reflection back on your process, and progress 🙂 xx

    Reply

    • Journeyintopoetry
      May 13, 2013 @ 18:55:04

      Hi Lauren, and thank you very much! It seems such a long time ago now, well it is a long time ago! But I always have to remember where I was back then and be ever grateful for my recovery. I am a very ifferent person today 🙂

      It is so lovely to see you here again 🙂

      Love and many many blessings

      Christine xxx

      Reply

    • journeyintopoetry
      May 14, 2013 @ 08:35:27

      Thank you very much Laurel! And it is so lovely to see you! 🙂 you have been missed.

      My life back then was so very different from how it is now and my gratitude is here inside me every day. In fact if I hadnt been introduced to a new way of living through the program of AA I am certain I woudnt be handling my recent diagnosis as healthily as I am.

      Love and lots of blessings

      Christine xxx

      Reply

  21. tikarmavodicka
    May 13, 2013 @ 23:26:54

    Hi Christine,

    This is a most powerful and inspiring piece! Sometimes the look back gives us perspective and what a empowering feeling to see that the road, though it has been hard and long has taken you far from the darkness and delivered you into the light.
    You’ve so much to be proud of!
    I have to admit I didn’t do very well with art therapy myself. I actually felt very preassured by the experiance, yet ironically that is in a way what I do for myself with my painting now. 🙂 I’m a very slow learner. 🙂
    I’m glad you had a piece of art that you are able to reflect back upon. To me it’s your strength looking into the future and seeing there is hope and I’m so happy for you that the hope of a better tomorrow has been revealed for you.
    Thank you as always for sharing.

    with lots of love
    (((BIG WARM HUGS)))
    Tikarma
    xoxoxox

    Reply

    • journeyintopoetry
      May 14, 2013 @ 08:47:06

      Hi Tikarma,

      Thank you so very much for this lovely comment.. It sometimes takes my breath away when I reflect on my recovery from alcoholism; life could have so easily kept taking downward turns, but for some reason which will always remain a mystery I woke up and began my new journey toward light. Unfortunately there are many for whom this doesn’t happen; I am so very grateful.

      My painting back then,though childlike was enough to describe how I felt. But these days I prefer to take photographs. At least they look howI want them to!! Lol

      Lots of love and
      (((Warm hugs)))
      Christine xxxx

      Reply

  22. Miles To Go
    May 14, 2013 @ 02:52:51

    What great words with underlying perseverance! It’s so healing to look at our origins and where we started off, and be thankful for our present — so many of us fail to do that. I truly admire your strength.

    Reply

  23. Fergiemoto
    May 17, 2013 @ 05:08:53

    Oh, Christine, I’m so glad the sun from your artwork is real! How wonderful to know that. With all the struggles, it’s such a joy and relief to see the sun.
    I find it interesting and insightful that you made the connection between your perceived skill of the artwork (child) and how you felt at the time (infant).
    I think art therapy is very helpful tool. I started doing this within the last couple of years, and moreso within the last few months. My skill level is not good, so I just call them doodles, but it helps to draw out my physical and emotional feelings, and also to draw how I would like things to be different.

    Reply

    • journeyintopoetryrneyintopoetry
      May 17, 2013 @ 12:48:04

      Thank you so much Fergie, for this lively comment.

      And you are right, I think art therapy does help. Even in that dark, low place, I still seemed able to put on paper where I would like to be., how I longed for what seemed then a very impossible future.

      I like the way you call them doodles. Whatever they are, good or bad oesnt matter does it? Its all helping to a way forward. i hope you contine to benefit from doodling 🙂 x

      Reply

    • journeyintopoetryrneyintopoetry
      May 17, 2013 @ 12:50:33

      I really need to check my spelling more., of course I meant “lovely, and not “lively” 🙂 x

      Reply

  24. Thomas Davis
    May 27, 2013 @ 22:33:54

    There is so much to love about your poetry, Christine. This is a perfect example of your courage in facing up to your past while living in the present where the sun shines and flowers bloom in spite of the challenges in your life. This is really strong work.

    Reply

    • journeyintopoetry
      May 28, 2013 @ 13:56:16

      Thanks very much Tom.

      I have a feeling if my diagnosis of MS was thrust upon me back then I may well have drunk myslf to death. I am, indeed, truly grateful for my recovery 🙂

      Reply

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