This is a book of dialogue between a sponsor and the sponsee. These conversations are by turn, funny or solemn, heart felt or taunting, but always with a focus on finding the truth and acting upon it. Sponsorship is often the bedrock on which a sober life is built. Sponsorship forges the links of the chain which binds one recovering person to one another. Sponsorship is floatation when I'm in the soup, support when I'm falling down and a tether when I fly too high.
Sherrie gives an overview of the book:
I saw a bag at the top of a tall tree. Full of air, the wind pushing it. It rocked back and forth, held by the stub of a branch. It is so beautiful, so lucky, so blessed.
My sponsor frowns. “Beautiful, yes,” she says. “Lucky and blessed? Convince me.”
“The bag is lucky; it could be on my doorknob, holding garbage. Blessed? It’s free, not a care in the world, supported aloft by the strength of the tree.
“Inside your house, it’s warm. Holding garbage is useful. Lucky to be out in the cold, no purpose, no one needing your help? Blessed? Caught on a tree, trapped, sharp twigs everywhere ready to shred you, beaten by the wind?”
“You're playing devil's advocate.”
“ I do it well. What are you playing? You want to be free. What is free? You want to know for sure you’re on the right path. You think the bag knows?”
“If I were the bag, I might be mad. I might condemn the forces filling me so full I can only feel the force itself. I might be exhilarated, overtaken, free from responsibility. I might feel isolated, unstable 40 feet in the air. I might feel punished, abandoned, dismissed. I could feel a thousand different things.”
“And on the days the wind doesn’t blow?”
Imitate all the animal calls you know
My sponsor always says, “you can trust people to be who they are.” I am a different being in relationship to different people. To some, I am the center of their constellation, the sun burning bright; I’m all they can see. To others, I am the moon, orbiting them, silent and dedicated. With another group, I am a comet streaking through the sky, seldom seen but well remembered. For many, I am a distant star, one among the multitude, blending in the night with the other signs. Then, there are the folks who see me in a more down to earth way. I am the dirt beneath their feet. The farmers see me as a plant to be tended. The cowboys view me as a horse to be broken. To fishermen, I’m a catch. I am what people want to see, so what can I trust them to be? Wrapped in their own worlds? Yes, mostly, I guess. None of my business in the end. I watch them and learn what I want to do, who I want to be, in large part, by avoiding what I see them do. I do trust people to serve as bad examples often and good ones infrequently, and for each of them to see me through their own filter, if they see me at all. From me, they can expect the same.
Find a corner, then pitch a tent.
“Forgiveness is not something to force on people like unwanted coffee,” says my sponsor.
Everyone tells me forgive, forgive, forgive.
“These are the same folks who said, ‘stay and have another drink.’ It is only appropriate to forgive people who ask for forgiveness and show you with their behavior that they want it. It is never appropriate to shove forgiveness on people who haven’t asked, show no signs of wanting it, or demonstrate just the opposite.”
I thought forgiveness was to help me feel better.
“Letting go of resentments is to make you feel better. Making amends to the people you’ve hurt, and cleaning up your side of the street is to make you feel better. Keeping an open mind and heart will make you ready for the possibility of someone coming to make amends. Forgiveness is a two-way street; anything you have to throw over someone like a net is usually a mistake,” she says with a wink, and then she has the nerve to curtsy.
Design your dream tea.
Sherrie Theriault writer and outsider artist lives in northwest New Jersey where she writes villain-free fiction for children, creates coloring books for all ages, writes daily inspiration books for the recovery community and has other works of collected poetry. Books available on Amazon.com include the following: Cala Mae Can you See? Congenial Chronicles The Holland’s Adventure, Fill Me In Fill Me In, too Filled In Sober on the Way to Sane, More Sober on the Way to Sane My Sponsor Said… Elissa: Queen of Carthage Order of Protection Was Love Lost The Deep Dark Day In One-Liners to Live By Sober on the Way to Sane, Fill Me In and Was Love Lost are also available at Blue Stockings, Manhattan, NY. You can find Sherrie’s art work at Hang-Ups Gallery in Allentown, PA or online at SerendipitousGallery.com Please feel free to contact her there if you have any questions.
Sherrie Theriault writer and outsider artist lives in northwest New Jersey where she writes villain-free fiction for children, creates coloring books for all ages, writes daily inspiration books for the recovery community and has other works of collected poetry. Books...