Friday, January 1, 2010

Friday Flash 55


Crawling Out of Fire


The way across the desert is not by holding hands with you.
I am my own salvation. Through fire, thirst, and wretchedness,
still my feet will carry me, my hands
will claw across that no-man’s-land
to a country where upon the moss and fallen trees
the cool mist of morning rests.
If you would like to tell a tale or a poem in exactly 55 words, post it and go tell the G-Man.

The back story of this poem is that even in the cups of my alcoholism, I knew it would take my own effort to crawl out of the fire my life had become. No man was going to help me. Every relationship I had entered had ended the same way; no matter how exhilarating the beginning, it eventually wound down due to my craziness and self-medication.

I had the sense to see even in my cups that it was going to take personal work, not a love relationship, to save myself. It would be another five years after this poem was written before I found my way into Alcoholics Anonymous, and discovered a way out of the desert.

Somewhere within me burned a spark of the divine hope that perhaps there was a solution to the mess of my life, and perhaps I had enough inner resources left to stumble into the rooms of recovery. I haven't had to crawl through a desert since.

It's appropriate for New Year's Day to reflect on the thirst, the fire, and the wretchedness that plagued me in all my addicted years. Drugs and alcohol had been part of my life from the time I was 13. I was 36 when I found Alcoholics Anonymous, thanks to a few people who told me the truth about my behavior.

I've been in the fellowship of AA for almost 20 years. When I followed the program and did what was the original key to recovery, I stayed sober for a very long time. Then I drifted away and got well, and within a year or two was drunk again.

I have struggled since 2006 to get real time again. It has been a wonderful journey back into recovery, with a new perspective and new devotion to the spiritual way of life. My experiences are a great help to a number of women who struggle in AA. Everything I have gone through will be someday a blessing to someone else.

I've never been so content in my whole life. I hope my blog encourages others who are casting about for hope, that they might also leave behind the desert of their old life. We do this with the help of one another and of a tireless, relentless Higher Power, who never gives up on His kids.

God bless the coming new year for all of us who struggle and overcome, who find the great joy in the road to happy destiny.

Photo credit: sand dunes at Dubai, courtesy staff at East Tenn State University

30 comments:

Dianne said...

I hope you write a book someday for all the blogless and non-internet readers who thirst.

You feed souls with a spiritual honesty and thread to help.

Shadow said...

intentions are nothing, if they don't lead to actions. i'm happy to be here with you on this first day of the new year!

Karen said...

Chris, in church I've always heard the phrase "a desert experience" and the idea that we all go through those periods in our lives. I know that alcoholism and addictions nearly turned your life into a Sahara, and I am so glad that you found your Egypt and have come back!

I do believe that you are giving hope and help to more people than you think. Mysterious ways...

Blessings to you, dear Chris!

Dave King said...

A really excellent Flash. Every blessing to you and yours for the new year.

RNSANE said...

It must be wonderful to be in such a good place at the start of this new decade. You can offer so much to people who are where you were at the beginning of your struggle in AA. I have really appreciated your sharing so much of yourself in your blog - the struggles, the support you've gotten, the place you're in now.

The new decade has begun! I can't believe I am sixty-five...these past ten years have flown by in a blur!

Madison said...

I pray that God works through your life to show people that to travel from where you were to where you are now is not an impossible journey. This is a meaningful post.

the walking man said...

Though I don't drink or use non prescribed drugs anymore, I like the desert of surrender. I like that I need not use only the steam rising from the heat of the sands to boil the water. I like that I am angry again and calm in that fury, the desert opens eyes, clearing them.


A most unintended 55

Brian Miller said...

a wonderful 55...keep overcoming...funny, i have never been able to overcome on my own, but through holding hands...

hope said...

I kind of like that as "hope", I ended up as your first comment. ;)

I always enjoy your 55s and I appreciate your intestinal fortitude in sharing the background for this one. I'm glad you made it to where you are...otherwise I might never have "met" you on this road.

Much happiness in 2010!

G-Man said...

Chris...
Your 55 was beautiful..
Your Story was Inspirational..
You give hope to those that think that there is none.
Thank you for being a shining example of strength and faith.
Have a Wonderful 2010....G

Enchanted Oak said...

I've only been blogging since September, and yet good friends have been found in these few months.

I love traveling from person to person and discovering who you are, what you face and how you face it. I appreciate your friendship very, very much.

It's an honor to find acceptance here, and your encouragement keeps me coming back day after day.

God bless all who drop by this blog of mine and whose blogs I read who don't comment. This is a land of honesty and self-awareness to a degree I find only in the rooms of AA in my daily life. It feels almost like a family. Thank you all.

sarah said...

loved the truth of this. Hugs to you and so grateful for your honest sharing of your life journey. Happy New Year. Sarah

Lou said...

In inspirational post for the New Year. There is always, always hope.

sarah said...

Hey Enchanted. thanks for you comments on my 55. You are the best. Know that ok. and I love reading the strength in your blog. In your corner. Sarah

anthonynorth said...

That was perfect, enhancing life out of adversity.

Thom said...

What a great 55. Very inspirational to start off the new year. Well done. Hau’oli Makahiki Hou to you and your family :)

Just Be Real said...

Great 55! Want to wish you a Happy New Year and thank you for all of your encouraging comments to me in the past. Blessings and hugs dear one!

Beth Niquette said...

You are brave to share your heart like this. Thank you.

There is the oasis in the desert.

Kristine said...

I'm new to 55. Your piece is inspiring, coming from your own experiences. Happy New Year to you, and I look forward to reading you more.

lakeviewer said...

Every journey starts with a step. Beautiful words, Chris.
Happy Journey!

evalinn said...

Good 55, Happy New Year! :-)

Susan Anderson said...

Thanks for visiting mine :) I too will not start until Jan 5th. I love your 55. My dad is from Ireland and when he realized the rest of the world didn't drink like The Irish he knew he had to stop. He too describes what you said in your explanation. Happy New Year!

Nara Malone said...

Beautifully told 55. Thank you for sharing the personal story behind it. My you continue to triumph.

Kim A. said...

I love new blogger friends! Thanks for stopping by and I can so identify with the "drifing away and got well". I did the revolving door of Alanon for years until it finally hit me that I don't have to be miserable to come back..I just need to stay and work it. I was a slow learner. Loved your 55 and will pop in tomorrow

Namaste

Kim A. said...

P.S. I reunited online with my birthson in 2004. I am a bgrandma to 3 and although we haven't met f2f, I know he is happy and that is enough.

Namaste

Syd said...

Chris, this is such a great post. Your writing is so inspirational. I think that what you write helps many. It certainly helps me. Happy New Year.

Jess Mistress of Mischief said...

Beautiful story, and beautiful discovery.

I'm glad we've connected on this journey!!! :)

Secretia said...

Your blog and your story are gifts to your readers. The poem describing how to cross the desert is very meaningful, it's thought provoking and sincere. I like it.

Secretia

Tall Kay said...

psst chris...I think that is a little more than 55 words! not that I counted or anything...teehee

Beautiful story of redemption and hope. God has plans for you! I am so grateful that your experience brought you to us! hugs!

Larry said...

Wow that was so perrrrrrrrrrrrrrrfect you write so well and I love your description I think your a great writer you do it so well keep on bloging because the world wants and needs to read you...
Larry@This Blog Of Mine

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