Recovery Poems

Recovery Poems

Thank you for your great work. Here’s a tiny gift back in the form of a little poem that came to me after a lot of conversations with newcomers: 

Gaining fast

Your trust,

With my past

Full of lust.

In fellowship,

Josef Z., Austria sober since August 2019

The morning smells like smoke

A building is burning

The siren is running

But I am humming 

The floor is shattering

The very ground cracking

Unsteady are the feet

But I walk to the beat

The battlefield raging

Guns and bullets racing

Life and death at a sudden chance

But I through the darkness dance 

I have surrendered life itself

My ego shelfed

To God I let my cards fold

And for a moment 

I am just a living soul.

Poem, Allison A., Israel
I wrote this poem way back in ‘92.  I go back to it often, and thought I might finally share it with our SA community.

THE ROOM
In a dark, hidden room,
Somewhere in my mind, 
I search with sex and lust, 
Comfort I can’t find.

This room it has no windows
To look out upon the Truth, 
And I wallow in the darkness of…
…my shame and self abuse.

Afraid to face reality,
Because I’ve not learned how,
I run and hide inside this room, 
Gone from the Here and Now.

Each time I run into this room,
It seems bigger than before,
And when I try to exit,
The heavier the door.

The comfort and answers I look for,
They never really come,
Only pain, loneliness and fear is there,
When my acting out is done.

But insanity is my mentor,
Convincing me each time,
I’ll receive what I am looking for
If I lock myself inside.

And yet I have some hope today,
As I listen to God and others, 
To forge a path out of that room, 
With my SA sisters and Brothers.
The Room, Steve C., California, US
Motivation is fleeting,

Despair is seeping,

Slowly I’m sinking into myself.

Connections lost,

My world’s been tossed,

Alone with no one else.

I don’t reach out,

I sit and I pout,

Deeper and deeper I go.

Until the phone rings,

We talk about things,

And I see I’m not alone.

The shining light,

It seems so bright,

We only can do our best.

So let’s keep in mind,

In our darkest time,

The fellowship we possess.

Fellowship, Mose T, Utah, USA
My dear special soul

You were god given to me free and whole

I always wondered where you are

From when I was little I thought you were so far

Now that I know my brain is your special place

My connection to you is very obvious on my face

You are an invisible power which keeps me going

Even though you’re a spiritual entity my physical body feels you working

How spiritual energy intertwines with a humble human being is obvious only to our creator

One thing is clear however the purpose was only to make us greater

With you I can learn with you I pray

With you I can get thru every single day

The more I clean up from the inside out

The better I can connect with you and know my next step without a doubt

My duty in this world is to turn the material into spiritual

The work is hard but at the end of the day will be beautiful

Therefore I must surround myself with people who understand

Then god comes in and works with me hand in hand

Thinking about this concept brings me to tears

To understand this is deep and beautiful but could take years

If we manage to help our body and soul to get along

We will have fulfilled our mission we come out so very strong

My Dear Special Soul, Shea K., NY, USA
I will survive if I am strong
I will perish if I am weak
I will beat my addiction
I will not admit defeat

My addiction is cunning
It deceives it’s true intent
It preys on my weakness
I have morality and good motives
Yet I rage at my detractors

My addiction is baffling
Its seeks to make confusion
It preys on my weakness
I am self-reliant and confident
And quick to blame others for defeat

My addiction is patient
It waits in the shadows as I worry
It preys on my weakness
I am prideful and a perfectionist
And fear the judgment from others

My addiction is powerful
It strengthens on resistance
It preys on my weakness
I am determined to solve all problems
And resort to lies and manipulation if all else fails

My strengths have become my weakness
My strengths have served me well and I am grateful
I avoided the annihilation I feared
But it proved not to be enough

I seek another way

I see others have gone this way before
Relying on others to trudge this road
Admitting their weaknesses and finding strength
My weakness can become my strengths

My recovery is cunning
It slowly reveals its ways
I pray on my weakness
Please let me not rage at my detractors
Let me listen for the lesson God is giving me

My recovery is baffling
It is hard, but easy
I pray on my weakness
Please let me not blame for my failure
I seek the understanding of others

My recovery is patient
It reveals itself when I am ready to learn
I pray on my weakness
Please let me not fear judgment of others
I rejoice in my blessings and the graces from God

My recovery is powerful
It is strengthened by my surrender
I pray on my weakness
Please give me resilience to be patient and calm
So that I my find truths greater than me

I will admit defeat
I cannot beat my addiction
I will perish if I proclaim power
I will survive if I admit weakness
Strengths and Weaknesses, Shawn N., Pennsylvania, USA
Here it comes again, another chance to sin,

To tune the real out, to take the lie in,

Just look again, says the dark salesman,

It’s what you need,” he says with a grin,

You’ll feel so amazing within,”

Now eyes, heart, and mouth are open wide,

Unspeakable surface beauty, now glorified,

Escape your pain!” Screams the inside,

Just for a moment, it’s easy to hide,

No need to confess it, hurting your pride,”

Once you’ve bit, the hook is set,

Now God alone can save you from their net,

Each new temptation makes you get,

Further from Love, chasing lust’s silhouette,

In person or over the net, after comes regret,

Shame says: “You’re through,

No one loves you,

And you don’t have a clue,

How could they, if they really knew,

And Hope, you’re shattered, now Shoo!”

What stress is worth this heap of shame,

That makes us want to mask or blame,

Is fear of failure laying claim,

Stealing joy from whence it came,

Is anger crippling us? How lame!

Are judgments fumbling up our game?

But perfect Love enters the scene:

It’s time you see how much you mean,

Just look this way, turn from that screen,

My light will warm you with its sheen,

I’ll hit you with my care vaccine,

No matter about the wrongs you’ve done,

Whether five or ten or a metric ton,

My mercy grows with each and every one,

Just ask for it, my Love can’t be outdone!

Trust in My Goodness, my favored son.

Though painful it will be, don’t doubt,

I AM steadfast, I’ll get it out,

That hook which held you like a trout,

I’ll cause your healing to come about,

And when your life gets wild and rough,

Your pride is hurt by heavy stuff,

Remember then, My love’s enough,

You’ll win, there is no trial too tough,

And Satan’s lies, I will rebuff,

So every morning, hit your knee,

And cast yourself into My sea,

Let go of fears, and free you’ll be,

Surrender all the lust you see,

Watch it fall from you to Me,

Then later when another will need,

A special witness to My deed,

You will be the one to lead,

Your hand will be the one to feed,

Another fish will then be freed.

Temptation, Justin C., USA

Be a Burden

None of us can carry the pain of finality of letting go alone. That’s why we are here. Lean on us. The best advice a guy gave me in a meeting one day was, “Be a burden.”

That night I was crying my eyes out in the meeting, and I was afraid about texting people in the fellowship too much for support. After he told me to be a burden, I started texting dozens of people and letting them know when I was struggling, hurting, despairing, crying, or having a good moment of reprieve.

Your recovery matters. Lean on us and give yourself every chance to defeat this disease. What you’re getting in the fellowship is true love and healthy love. If being a burden is what you need to do to make it another 24 hours in sobriety, so be it.

This is not a forever program. This is a one day at a time program. My first day, I tried to last for 3 minutes. When I didn’t die, I wondered if I could make it a full five minutes. Then I wondered if I could last a whole 15 minutes.

Don’t despise small beginnings, as the saying goes. Our spiritual disease is a fight to the death. It wants no less than to make us insane and/or kill us. Your Fellowship Army is here. Use it.

Rina R., New Jersey, USA

Fear

I am full of fear
My first reaction is to despair
Or run away somewhere
Instead of dealing with the issue my mind goes elsewhere
If only I’d focus maybe I’d see it’s not such a big bear
My second reaction is maybe looking within I should dare
Still it’s so hard how can it be ME do I have a flare
My third reaction is oh maybe I just need a little self-care
My fourth reaction is can’t be I have an issue a person like me you find anywhere
My fifth reaction is the noise in my head keeps getting louder noise that I can’t bear
My sixth reaction is okay let’s set the car into gear
My mind tells me my first step should be to call a member and share
That heaven sent guy will be able to pinpoint an issue with an open mind
This method is surely one of a kind
My flaws he can point out with caring and love
So the right answer will come straight from the one above

Shea K., NY, USA

Fellowship

Motivation is fleeting,
Despair is seeping,
Slowly I’m sinking into myself.

Connections lost,
My world’s been tossed,
Alone with no one else.

I don’t reach out,
I sit and I pout,
Deeper and deeper I go.

Until the phone rings,
We talk about things,
And I see I’m not alone.

The shining light,
It seems so bright,
We only can do our best.

So let’s keep in mind,
In our darkest time,
The fellowship we possess.

Mose T, Utah, USA

My Creator

My creator I always felt a connection to your holy truth
My eyes were always focused on you since my lonely youth
The vibes around me though were not quite similar to my own
Despite feeling you deeply I felt inadequate and alone
Still my hands my thoughts my soul were always reaching for you
The contradicting forces nearly cutting me in two
Through every drama and trauma that I’ve experienced in the past
I never felt despair because my trust in you was steadfast
Pondering in my mind or pacing the streets looking for that something
Oh god I cried out I can’t bear the pain please fill me up with anything
What I didn’t realize was that White knuckling was my tool
Now I know that that method is considered working like a fool
As they say work with your brain So that your body won’t have strain
But Even though I often felt distressed
I knew deep inside how I was very blessed
Most days I wake up in the morning filled with ambition and will power
I guess it’s by your grace that my life never turned sour
My god you alone know only too well with what I’ve been struggling
How I am still functioning daily is so mind boggling
This internal struggle very few understand
The feeling of I wish I would wake up in another land
Or wishing I can turn back the time and start over
Those thoughts are real but not reality making make my body run a fever
My creator I can now freely admit that without you I am powerless
I came to believe in your ability to restore my sanity and goodness
I therefore turn my will and life over to your care and kindness

Shea K., NY, USA

My Dear Special Soul

My dear special soul
You were god given to me free and whole
I always wondered where you are
From when I was little I thought you were so far
Now that I know my brain is your special place
My connection to you is very obvious on my face
You are an invisible power which keeps me going
Even though you’re a spiritual entity my physical body feels you working
How spiritual energy intertwines with a humble human being is obvious only to our creator
One thing is clear however the purpose was only to make us greater
With you I can learn with you I pray
With you I can get thru every single day
The more I clean up from the inside out
The better I can connect with you and know my next step without a doubt
My duty in this world is to turn the material into spiritual
The work is hard but at the end of the day will be beautiful
Therefore I must surround myself with people who understand
Then god comes in and works with me hand in hand
Thinking about this concept brings me to tears
To understand this is deep and beautiful but could take years
If we manage to help our body and soul to get along
We will have fulfilled our mission we come out so very strong

Shea K., NY, USA

New pair of glasses

With my new pair of glasses a changed world I do see
By practicing the Twelve Steps a person with fresh perspective I’ve come to be
External conditions do not really shape me
My attitude forms my response I can now clearly see
‘‘I am what I think’’ this line is so very powerful
Living with a positive outlook is really meaningful
Until now I took nourishment by playing the blame game
Thinking I was perfect and everyone else were to blame
Now when I awake in the morning each day
I have a choice between two types of glasses I say
Should I choose my newly found pair
Suddenly nothing in my world has flare
I can then focus on how to improve my own character
Instead of sitting in judgment trying to make other people smarter
I need to tell myself in all situations and in all of my moods
‘’I need to concentrate not so much on what needs to be changed in the world as on what needs to be changed IN ME AND MY ATTITUDES’’

Shea K., NY, USA

Poem

The morning smells like smoke

A building is burning

The siren is running

But I am humming 

 

The floor is shattering

The very ground cracking

Unsteady are the feet

But I walk to the beat

 

The battlefield raging

Guns and bullets racing

Life and death at a sudden chance

But I through the darkness dance

 

I have surrendered life itself

My ego shelfed

To God I let my cards fold

And for a moment 

I am just a living soul.

Allison A., Israel

Sex, Friendship, and God – A Colander Story

Behind seven forests, beyond seven mountains, and beyond seven rivers, there lived a colander that felt very empty. Empty and lonely. He longed to have water inside, lots of water, but nothing could fill him. Everything was leaking out. When someone poured a glass of water into the colander, it was better for a while, but the water escaped through the holes and it was just as empty and dry as before. Then, he would feel his emptiness even more painfully. A glass of water from time to time, even poured regularly, somehow did not fill him up at all and he suffered.

He looked into the garden for a solution. There he saw water gushing from a hose. He tried the water and it was better than the water from a glass. Whenever the hose water flew out,the colander filled up quickly. It was beautiful. The water was flowing so fast that although it was escaping through the holes, there was still a lot of it inside the colander.

“I’ve found heaven,” the colander thought.

The water ran for some time, then there was a break, and after a while the colander was empty and lonely again.Then water ran from the hose again, and for a few hours, the colander felt happy and full until, again, the water stopped flowing. The colander was a bit confused but he wanted to be full so he started talking to the hose and made friends with it. They talked about the water that filled them both so wonderfully, and how neither the colander nor hose felt empty inside.

“I can’t give you a filling. I don’t have that much water in me,” the hose said to the colander. “Only the ocean can give it to you.”

“The ocean? I have heard about it. Isn’t it a great body of water that is always present?” asked the colander.

“Yes, the ocean. I can fill myself when I need to because I am connected to the ocean. Only the ocean can give you fullness,” the hose replied.

The colander went to look for the ocean. He walked along the hose, hoping that the hose would show him the direction. When the colander reached the ocean, he was surprised to see how big the water was. He dipped himself into the ocean. The water was finally not pouring out of him. He had it inside and out. He was in and surrounded by it. He was full.

When I first started recovery in the 12 Steps of SA program, I found sex and other addictive behaviors pleasurable for a while, but the pain was even greater afterwards. It helps for a while, but then I’m even more empty and hungry. Like a bank loan, it gives you money, but then you have to give the money back and give back a lot more. It was not a solution.

I was looking for relationship. I was looking for friendship within the fellowship, thinking that this was recovery. In fact, a friendship, such a deep, spiritual relationship with another person is extremely filling. Earlier, during addiction, I was not capable of such unconditional open contact based on freedom. I had to be seen, I had to be noticed, and I needed more eyes to see (and admire) me. I didn’t exist without it. I didn’t exist if the other person didn’t see me. When the relationship was ending, I was ending.

This friendship, the deep one, the free one – it was much better. It was much more filling. It was surprisingly filling. I thought this was the solution. If I needed more than one person could give I could make 5 friendships and then that would be the solution.

As you can imagine – it was not the solution. People are not able to love so much that I am never alone for a moment. It is impossible for human beings to love me enough and for that to be enough for me, even if I am very important to them. It is beyond human strength and the human condition. One of my friends once told me, “Lila, I can’t give you everything you need and when you need it.”

Only God can fill me enough.

My relationship with God is not so strong that I feel connected and secure all the time in my life. But, it’s getting better. I am more and more able to cling to God and immerse myself in Him. It doesn’t always work out for me. A deep friendship based on freedom is such an incredible, heartwarming experience – as if you can see and touch God for a moment.

Sex, Friendship, and God

Lila, Warsaw, Poland

“Sobering Experience”

Day after day, Night after Night, I
chased the dragon, pursuing a fantasy while
In reality, my life was becoming a Tragedy…

Misguided by the serpent and cunned by
trickers, living in a glass bubble, while my
family became indigent, and a resident on
skid row, feeding the dealer, yet taking from my
children, missing holidays but never a hit …

Abusing and disappointing those who loved me,
yet taking out my inner frustration on the ones who stuck by me …

Enticed by lust, my heart full of rust,
my life a bust, while my marriage is dust
in the winter breeze….
Married twice, divorced twice, nevertheless
my sexual desires controled me and my
perception of relationships fadedly disrupted
like bleach on black …

Unfaithful and distorted beliefs, now I’m
alone and regretting my pasts, seeking
Guidance and repentance for my wrongs,
I’m now taking the 12 Steps, while remaining sober since January 8, 2016 …

A brother in prison, USA

I wrote this poem way back in ‘92. I go back to it often, and thought I might finally share it with our SA community.

THE ROOM
In a dark, hidden room,
Somewhere in my mind,
I search with sex and lust,
Comfort I can’t find.

This room it has no windows
To look out upon the Truth,
And I wallow in the darkness of…
…my shame and self abuse.

Afraid to face reality,
Because I’ve not learned how,
I run and hide inside this room,
Gone from the Here and Now.

Each time I run into this room,
It seems bigger than before,
And when I try to exit,
The heavier the door.

The comfort and answers I look for,
They never really come,
Only pain, loneliness and fear is there,
When my acting out is done.

But insanity is my mentor,
Convincing me each time,
I’ll receive what I am looking for
If I lock myself inside.

And yet I have some hope today,
As I listen to God and others,
To forge a path out of that room,
With my SA sisters and Brothers.

Steve C., California, US

A Little Poem

Dear Essay,

Thank you for your great work. Here’s a tiny gift back in the form of a little poem that came to me after a lot of conversations with newcomers:

Gaining fast
Your trust,
With my past
Full of lust.

Josef Z., Austria

Resentment

Resentment my life long partner
I always thought you were making my life easier
Every time I was resentful I felt stronger
Looking around at other people who weren’t resentful I still thought I was smarter
It felt like a drug making me healthier
Instead of bringing it out on the outside it went within me deeper and deeper
Slowly I was becoming aggressive with an attitude of anger
To escape my issues resentment had become my brother
I thought I was spiritually fit but resentment pushed me away further
Based on real or imagined injury I held on to it and resentment became my father
Really it’s a false spiritual high satisfaction pleasure and release
God help free me from this endless cycle please
I took nourishment from it to hide my wrong
Finally now I pray to god please help me so I can once again feel I belong
Help me see where and how I can get better
Help me see my defects so I can become a person of good character
This life is so short it goes so very fast
Help me work to rid myself of resentment and be a free person at last

Shea K., NY, USA

Strengths and Weaknesses

I will survive if I am strong
I will perish if I am weak
I will beat my addiction
I will not admit defeat

My addiction is cunning
It deceives it’s true intent
It preys on my weakness
I have morality and good motives
Yet I rage at my detractors

My addiction is baffling
Its seeks to make confusion
It preys on my weakness
I am self-reliant and confident
And quick to blame others for defeat

My addiction is patient
It waits in the shadows as I worry
It preys on my weakness
I am prideful and a perfectionist
And fear the judgment from others

My addiction is powerful
It strengthens on resistance
It preys on my weakness
I am determined to solve all problems
And resort to lies and manipulation if all else fails

My strengths have become my weakness
My strengths have served me well and I am grateful
I avoided the annihilation I feared
But it proved not to be enough

I seek another way

I see others have gone this way before
Relying on others to trudge this road
Admitting their weaknesses and finding strength
My weakness can become my strengths

My recovery is cunning
It slowly reveals its ways
I pray on my weakness
Please let me not rage at my detractors
Let me listen for the lesson God is giving me

My recovery is baffling
It is hard, but easy
I pray on my weakness
Please let me not blame for my failure
I seek the understanding of others

My recovery is patient
It reveals itself when I am ready to learn
I pray on my weakness
Please let me not fear judgment of others
I rejoice in my blessings and the graces from God

My recovery is powerful
It is strengthened by my surrender
I pray on my weakness
Please give me resilience to be patient and calm
So that I my find truths greater than me

I will admit defeat
I cannot beat my addiction
I will perish if I proclaim power
I will survive if I admit weakness

Shawn N., Pennsylvania, USA

Temptation

Here it comes again, another chance to sin,
To tune the real out, to take the lie in,
Just look again, says the dark salesman,
“It’s what you need,” he says with a grin,
“You’ll feel so amazing within,”

Now eyes, heart, and mouth are open wide,
Unspeakable surface beauty, now glorified,
“Escape your pain!” Screams the inside,
“Just for a moment, it’s easy to hide,
No need to confess it, hurting your pride,”

Once you’ve bit, the hook is set,
Now God alone can save you from their net,
Each new temptation makes you get,
Further from Love, chasing lust’s silhouette,
In person or over the net, after comes regret,

Shame says: “You’re through,
No one loves you,
And you don’t have a clue,
How could they, if they really knew,
And Hope, you’re shattered, now Shoo!”

What stress is worth this heap of shame,
That makes us want to mask or blame,
Is fear of failure laying claim,
Stealing joy from whence it came,
Is anger crippling us? How lame!
Are judgments fumbling up our game?

But perfect Love enters the scene:
“It’s time you see how much you mean,
Just look this way, turn from that screen,
My light will warm you with its sheen,
I’ll hit you with my care vaccine,

No matter about the wrongs you’ve done,
Whether five or ten or a metric ton,
My mercy grows with each and every one,
Just ask for it, my Love can’t be outdone!
Trust in My Goodness, my favored son.

Though painful it will be, don’t doubt,
I AM steadfast, I’ll get it out,
That hook which held you like a trout,
I’ll cause your healing to come about,

And when your life gets wild and rough,
Your pride is hurt by heavy stuff,
Remember then, My love’s enough,
You’ll win, there is no trial too tough,
And Satan’s lies, I will rebuff,

So every morning, hit your knee,
And cast yourself into My sea,
Let go of fears, and free you’ll be,
Surrender all the lust you see,
Watch it fall from you to Me,

Then later when another will need,
A special witness to My deed,
You will be the one to lead,
Your hand will be the one to feed,
Another fish will then be freed.

Justin C., USA
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