Chaos – I can’t quit you! – By Jo Black Sullivan

Chaos has been in the fabric of my being since I was five years old.  I didn’t understand it then but I was most definitely cultivating the art of creating it, developing an eye to spot it and seeking out people who responded to it. Chaos was my safe place long before booze and drugs took over and it has remained so long after.  In the years they were both in my life – I was a constantly twisting crescendo of ecstatic misery.  Living life in a cycle of artificial highs, sick and craving hours that served their own purpose to fill my soul and the brief moments of reality which were completely unacceptable.  So I wrapped it all in chaos and mayhem in an effort to never ever – even for one moment – be alone with myself. It started when I was a child.  There was on older… Continue reading

“The Beauty & the Madness” Spoken Word by Aaron Lee Perry & Nicola O’Hanlon

      My essay “Managing the Madness so I can Eat Cake” was turned into a Spoke Word piece and named “The Beauty & the Madness” – By Aaron Lee Perry (SOBrSOLDIER) for the Since Right Now Network. Check out both these awesome recovery resources.           “I am forty one years old and yet part of me is still five. I read fairytales and sometimes write my own. Unrestrained, I cry and laugh about something everyday. My heart rules my head. I study people and stare a lot just like an inquisitive child. Someone told me just yesterday I unconsciously make funny faces. I dance and sing and even play dress up when the mood takes me. I am untidy and swear too much. I am rebellious, slightly insane, utterly myself and completely unapologetic about all of it – simply because I am six years… Continue reading

“To Web an Elegy for Andrew Webster” – By Gabriel Rheaume

There was a time in breaking youth When all the spoils of the world did not suffice. We were urban nomads, Living off the fat of the land, Indulging in the surplus, Chasing loneliness with liquor. Some robbed banks and slept in crackhouses Searching for the quickest fix, The permanent solution, To live up to all our expectations. To compare briefcases to dads. To feel satisfied relief. We grieve and celebrate everyday The rest are no longer with us. Continue reading

“Drinking – A Love Story” – The Functional Alcoholic

By Jackie S. The next installment of Caroline Knapp’s story digs deeper into the life of the functional alcoholic.  She talks about the difference between perception and reality.  How it looks to the world like she is holding it all together, but inside she is falling apart.  Like the Smokey Robinson tune, she used humor to hide her tears. By deflecting her depression and sadness through humor, she was able to hide her depression from everyone – even from herself. I was a young lawyer working for a large financial institution and a woman married to a very controlling perfectionist.  Therefore, I lived in two completely different worlds.  The only place I would refuse to drink was on the job, but I had to do that part of my life perfectly.  I appeared for all intents and purposes to be a workaholic ( c’mon – do alcoholics do ANYTHING part… Continue reading

The Fire – By Ryan Sirois

Four years ago I swallowed my last pain pill. Christmas night. After days of trying to look past the glowing orange pharmaceutical bottle on the kitchen counter. At Chris’s parent’s home in Pennsylvania. My mind a mess. Months of heavy anti-psychotics, antidepressants, anti-anxiety medication. A pill to focus. One to calm. Another to balance. To block addictive tendencies. To make me happy. And one more to sleep at night. Six months out of rehab, diagnosed by a psychiatrist as anxious, depressed, obsessive-compulsive, ADD. A new pharmaceutical regime to replace the old. I became a washboard of blank stares and quilted thought. Words dangled from the corner of my mouth. It was my second Christmas with Chris’s family. We were in the cordial stage of getting to know each other. That awkward period where every sentence is dissected to make sure you don’t come across like an idiot. Not wanting to let… Continue reading