Reflections on 32 Years of Recovery by Mark Ayers
Reflections on 32 Years of Recovery
by Mark Ayers
~ Dedicated to Michael S., one of the dearest companions on my journey.
He embodies “to carry this message” to the still-suffering addict.
On my 32nd anniversary of sobriety,
I take time to recollect,
Enjoy the moment,
And look toward the future.
I recall this dark chapter of my life:
The addiction was insidious,
Controlling my body, mind and soul.
Immersed in secrecy, I led a double life
And spiraled downwards until
I became someone I hated.
Powerless to stop,
Sowing incessant unmanageability,
I sought a doorway out of this existence.
A turning point…
A glimmer of hope emerges:
Though feeling timid, shame-filled, unworthy.
I walk into my first 12-Step meeting
On August 28, 1988.
I believe if people in the room really know me,
I will be rejected and ostracized.
Instead I am welcomed and accepted.
Miraculously, the more they come to know me,
The more they love me, and I begin to change.
Enjoy the moment…
Fast forward 32 years:
I’m not the person I once used to be.
Myriad wounds are healed.
Forgiveness has become a daily practice.
I injure no one, including myself,
And I’m buoyed by expansive support.
Indeed, I’ve created a family of choice,
Five young men of right actions and integrity.
I am enveloped in grace and blessing.
Looking toward the future…
I seek a husband with whom
I can intertwine my life’s richness.
I strive to release my poetic self
And I welcome the re-imagined me.
As my first grandchild will soon be born,
I aspire to be the nurturing grandpa I never knew.
Ultimately, I intend to walk this pathway
Until my final breath, leaving a legacy
Of a better world for my having been here.
Note: Rev. Ann Rea of the Everyday Center for Spiritual Living in Santa Fe, New Mexico inspired the framework for this poem.