Giving Birth to Sobriety

Giving Birth to Sobriety

My life is so varied and rich
There’s always a but/ a glitch.
Like I’m looking for something I had,
That in itself wasn’t bad,
But it was not what I needed and when I conceded
That in fact it was keeping me sad,
I looked for a new way
A way of recovery…

When I drank I thought drink was my friend –
Daily I brought “work” to an end –
I opened the bottle , turned down my brain
Played music, lit candles
And danced in the rain;
I’d cook and have friends round
Would chatter and play –
Felt duly rewarded, every day.
Thinking and doing seemed to be done
And now I considered it time to have fun.
Having the sense of completing my duty,
Then I allowed me to enjoy all the beauty –
The senses, emotions, creative and free –
This was Dawn-time, time just for me.

It was time to relax, to be warm and more giving
A time to feel like I really was living;
But the key was the bottle that I used as a switch
From duty to pleasure – herein lies the glitch!
For the truth in my case, the complexity I face
That emotional sobriety is new;
Alcohol and romances
Mingled their dances
And this was the state that I knew: –
Equilibrium to feel alive
To sooth myself and sense Dawn thrive;
Feeling comforted and needs caressed
Content, relaxed and greatly blessed…

But ancient wounds had festered deep
Despite these blindfolds, they would weep;
Despite these crutches, my limp grew worse
Men and drink had become a curse.

So, nine months ago, I made a decision
With romance severed, I planned with precision
What was for me an alien vision.

I had to trust my Higher Power
My God who is my strength and Tower
And trust that he would show me how –
To nourish this precious, arid flower.

So what do I do now the bottle is dry?
I can’t switch the brain off, but why do I try?
God’s Spirit is in me, healing my soul,
But I still feel a loss, a big gaping hole!

I really do love being sober from drink
And I certainly long to be free,
But I struggle to pray and struggle to think
Of a way just to chill and be me.

“It’s the truth that will set you free”
Is the scripture that beckons to me –
It’s freedom and truth that I’m seeking
Specially when I feel such a weakling,
Embracing sobriety.

I rejoice in the freedom, the joy and the gains
The reward for long-suffering, labour and pains
And I will not give up, though the journey is tough
One day at a time, grace alone is enough.

I’m reaching a place where addictions are beaten
My Lord has replaced what the locusts have eaten.
I am gratefully sober and know I can cope
With new life ahead of me, full of real hope.
Knowing forgiveness for what I’ve done wrong,
Growing in strength I’ll sing a new song!

Elusive Excitement of Newness

The new toy, bike or friend as a kid,
The new job, car or painting that I did;
The brand new dress with matching shoes
The latest sensation to hit the news;
A husband or wife – vowing never to part
Salvation, new life – we give all our heart…

We reach our goal, a dream fulfilled
The yearning of our heart is stilled
With treasured pearl and joy we shine
Full of promise now it’s mine

Initial vigilance, adoring and keen
We want our treasure by all to be seen;
We display, protect, polish and gaze
And use every moment to offer our praise.

But often having thus acquired
The prize we had so long desired
We imperceptibly grow tired,
And the thing which once was pride of place
Unguarded hearts may swift erase –
While something new attracts our gaze…

For what is it now we long and thirst
That supersedes what once was first?
What fickle nature quenches fire
Now igniting new desire?
What rose-stained lens do we peer through
When captivated by pastures new?

The heart is swayed, lust and greed deceive,
Despite good counsel it receives…

But when it seems that depths are reached,
Or find dismayed that vows are breached;
Or maybe usefulness to self has ceased,
Therewith the need also deceased.

When disillusionment squeezes out hope,
We harden our hearts in order to cope;
We shelve or discard what we thought we needed
And bury our love with dreams now receded.

(But as for myself, I hoard my treasures,
Stored on the shelf, I remember the pleasures
And gratitude often compels me to peep
Into the souvenirs I keep.)

Dawn 11/11/15

Discombobulation (or The Gradual Healing of a Damaged Soul)

A poetic prose from 2012

“If you ask you don’t get, if you don’t ask you don’t want;
it’s not yours, you can’t have it, didn’t earn, don’t deserve;
if it’s fun it is bad for you, how dare you enjoy?
You’re not here to be happy, you’re here to endure.
You do as you’re told, not what you want; and who are you anyway? I know who you’re not!
I know what you’re like and I’ll tell you again – you’re selfish and greedy and just like your mother; you’re lazy, a day-dreamer, real good-for-nothing!
I’ll thrash you and give you something to cry about – if you don’t stop crying now!”

The pleasure in pain and the pain in the pleasure – isn’t much fun, but is real to me!
Voices and choices – We are what we eat? That is what she says –
The powerful diet of childhood days.

Her body is strong, built to endure; strong bones and tough sinews, sharp eyes and big lungs;
blood full of iron (and oxygen now), feeding the nerves and the brain;
so feed it and work it, rest it and cleanse it; use it, abuse it and bring it to heel…

And what of her senses, oh glorious senses?
The sights and the sounds, the smells and the taste and the touch: –
The sweet smell of fresia, wallflower and lily, of meat roast in garlic, of black-berried Shiraz…
The taste of fried mushrooms, sea bass, tzatziki; the wine on the palette and fresh summer figs…
Oh delights of the senses, who says I can’t have them? What’s wrong with the pleasures that nature has given?
The sight of the blossom, the fields and the coast, the rush of the river and wind in the branches;
the colours of nature, delicate and bold, rich in their glory, surely mine to behold?
The sunrise and sunsets, richness galore, the stars in the twilight, promising more…
The sounds of the waters, the crash of the waves, the bird song, the whale cry, laughter and storm; of music that man makes, music of God, music of nature and of the soul…
And the touch of the rain and the sun on the skin, the feelings of pleasure stirring within;
the touch of a friend that warms and releases, the touch of a lover that blows you to pieces;
touches of softness, closeness and heat, coolness and tenderness, moments to keep, to savour…
Am I to deprive them? Having discovered them, are they bad to enjoy?
“No! But don’t over do it! Know when to stop”, I hear wisdom implore….
The body’s a temple, according to God;
mine is more like a mad house with this lot!

And what of the mind and reason and all – who should she listen to, the quiet one in me?
She’s a perfectionist, determined, but timid and shy;
she works hard and gets there, not quite knowing how…
She is willing to learn, but has not said a lot, (can’t get a word in) and has not a strong voice;
so is easily silenced and drowned by the noise
of the rest of the house…

Is that where the Will fits in, or is that of the mind? And who does the Will listen to?
Sometimes courageous, stoic and proud, she dresses herself for the fight;
when clad in full armour she believes she’s invincible, thinks that the battle is won..
but a waiver of doubt, a taunt and a whisper and the victory is gone, armour trashed on the ground. Who’s battle was it anyway?

And what of emotion, the feelings, the soul?
Is she tied to the senses or mind?
She is wild and creative, chaotic, unstable,
trembling, unhinged and a mess.
Palpitations and passions, overwhelmed and undone –
she loves you and needs you in bubbles and laughter, terribly empty and alone;
she will cuddle and hug you, with kisses or tears – never quite knowing which voice –
whether dreams or her fears – are driving her into each choice;
whether guilty, heart-broken, lonely, ecstatic, she’s hurting and aching and alive –
but, gosh, it’s hard work to survive!!
And what of the Spirit?
You’d think there’s no room left, but the Spirit is so vast and so …WOW!
She is the breath of my life, my energy and power.
She is the love in the meeting, the gratitude in sensing, the joy in receiving and the giving away.
She is the top of the mountain and the sob from the gut;
the hope of each moment, the prayer in each move…
It is here that I live and here I would stay,
my eternal and heavenly home.
Here is my peace. Why can’t I live here? Why do the other Dawns get in the way?
My body, my passions, feelings and mind,
Holy Spirit, unite my brokenness, I pray!

image courtesy of Ruelha

Flea Circus

They were having fun…

The last 5 weeks have been such an ordeal
An unusual problem of fleas
Persistent and tiny, they drove me insane
And nibbled my legs to the knees

I began with the cat, whose treatment was swift
The spot-on worked well and was fast
But the fleas they migrated to carpets and chairs
Though I thought they surely won’t last.

In bare legs and shorts, with murderous thoughts,
For a many long hours every day,
I vacuumed the carpets, the beds and the chairs
And finished it off with the spray.

I used bicarb and salt, smoke bombs and sprays
And all I achieved was a stink
As they hopped on my ankles, I captured each flea
But they wouldn’t even drown in the sink.

Obsessive I tip-toed, eager to pounce
On every new speck in my home
I spent hundreds on potions, used bottles of lotions
Till defeated I picked up the phone.

I agreed to the terms that Rentakil made
And moved everything off of the floor
The cat and I then fled for the day
Leaving Rentakil keys to the door.

With the cat in the rucksack, we were glad to come back
But my mistake I discovered too late
They’d posted my keys and we were locked out
So we had to climb over the gate.

One little window I managed to open
And a rickety stool I found
Then the heavens exploded and rain gushed down
Mightily splashing the ground

One soggy moggy I plopped through the window
Wondering what I could do…
Then I climbed and I squeezed and I wriggled and heaved
And managed to follow her through.

Like every good story this comes with a lesson
Which is: To avoid being bitten
Learn from my saga and think it all through
Before saying “Yes” to a kitten!

AA Season Of Pain.

Physical pain of bitter, constant cold, hunger,

slaps, canes and beatings

Fear, terror of these – fear of annihilation, fear of pain.

Fear of death, knives and guns

Unpredictable, threatening,

– a Russian roulette..


Fear of emotional pain, emotional torture
Cos it’s all my fault.
I am bad, wrong, a burden
I owe them,
I must repay and make it better
But I cannot –
I’m not good enough, big enough, strong enough or clever enough.

Lonely, empty, lost and afraid,
wandering, day-dreaming, alone.
Looking for comfort, for friendship, for warmth, safety, acceptance…
I need to escape, to hide, to somehow survive and get away –
but where to?

I focus on the beauty around me
Beauty of amazing, glorious mystery
Creation – so delicate, vulnerable, persistent and powerful –
A gift into my emptiness.

I love the world and all of creation.
I want to love and to serve
I seek to rescue those in pain
to come alongside, help and hold them.

I am blessed with friends, family and God –
without them I would be long since destroyed!
But I am still so desperately lonely, cold, empty, small and afraid.


I escaped the physical pain,
but the bruises and scars remain
Tender, whilst the taste and strength of fear still paralyse.
Daily I hear the echo of lies and labels
How long will I let them define who I am and who I can be?

Busyness fills some of the emptiness –
work, relationships, learning, doing
doing, doing…
Big Dawn can do some of this, she can wear this mask for a while,
As long as she hides and does as she’s told.

Being hurts, so I kill the pain.
A bottle or two of Shiraz, a pint or 10 of ale –
it lessens the crippling fear as darkness falls,
it drowns the mocking voices,
dulls the heart pain,
chases the memories,
rebukes those stupid, dangerous tears
and lets me dance and live…
Or does it?

Was it me I was trying to kill?
Kill the ‘good for nothing’ Dawn?
They can’t blame me if I’m dead.
They can’t hurt me if I’m gone,
gone to where every tear is wiped away and pain is no more.

The anaesthetic has worn off now and I feel it all…
No wine to ease the pain of feeling,
no lover to distract and hold my body,
no work to busy my mind…

But I am holding to the promise:
‘plans to prosper you, to give you hope and a future’*
I have support in place,
I have all I need –
now it is time to do the work!

I will employ Ms Haynes to help my little girl –
she will guide, hold and encourage both little D and mummy D
She can care for us and keep us safe
She can put her knowledge and experience to good use
She will draw on Wisdom, Truth and common sense..

Jesus, You were so sad as to death,
but You did the work.
You know how I feel –
And you love me despite my fear and mess.
I invite You again to enter the space I have made for you
to fill my emptiness
I ask You to heal my brokenness and pain
to give me ‘beauty for ashes;
joy instead of mourning;
praise instead of heaviness’ *
and to exchange the fear for the miraculous power of Your LOVE.

I choose to let go of fear, of the past, of darkness
I lay hold of forgiveness, healing and life
I welcome Grace and Mercy
and I choose to share them wherever you take me..


Jer. 29:11; Isaiah 61:3

– 6 weeks without alcohol after 30 years with it.

Keep on keeping on!

Universal in movement, spinning, expansion…
The process is life.
Flux, actively changing, reaching out…
Collisions of reckoning, of refinement
A refiner’s fire, purifying; then a cooling –
A rest to become and re-become in new, grace-gilded birth.

Sustenance to grow and nourish,
Rest to assimilate and refresh,
Maintenance to flourish –
Cleaning, clearing, dusting down, shaking off, with
Joy to strengthen, energise and empower the dance.
Keep on keeping on…

Beware the universal danger in complacency –
Stagnation and decay in denial.
Keep on keeping on…

Seasons and cycles of movement –
Infinite and eternal macro and micro mysteries
In an awesome, joyous waltz –
Spinning, ever-changing, regenerating and recreating
Engaging body, mind, soul and spirit – pressing in,
Pressing on –
Actively seeking and finding,
Asking, seeking and discovering Truth;
Learning –
Learning to let go, to find courage;
Never striving, Ever trusting the universal Creator.

Planting, nourishing, wait and harvest –
Actively choosing life, loving life and resting
Continuously – pressing in,
Pressing on –

Vigilant discipline, pruning, sacrifice
And dying –
Dying to live – in a new Spring – a Resurrection,
To grow again courageously, creatively.
Keeping on…

Ever expanding, Ever reaching out and

Assenting to living and loving in the universal, joyous dance –
Keep on keeping on!

Heart of a Diamond (#becoming)

Reveal your secrets, Oh Diamond-
prized and coveted among gems
translucent, multifaceted-
but why SO loved?

You were not your own.
Hard pressed, hidden and buried in fire
trapped in life, death and time,
but this makes you solid and stronger than iron!

Fortune to the one who finds you, who digs you out
all rough and common looking,
a true treasure only to Him who dares, Him who knows,
Him who sees and cares enough!

The first blow comes:
and a facet of light gleams
reflecting glorious light though precious rock.
The Craftsman, the master of time, is patient;
for nothing is wasted;
time and again it is broken, hewn
and the shards are gathered and ground,
mixed with blood to make a paste-
a unique compound,
a polish to reflect a face
to polish others found along the path of strewn, hewn rocks

With each blow a new facet revealed
to reflect more of this all encompassing light
Love in pain, polishing,
Love in death, cutting,
Love in tears, in laughter in Joy
BLOW! Polish! BLOW!
Love in sacrifice, cutting,
Love in Victory, polishing
pouring itself out in never ending love.
So how many blows does it take, Oh Diamond?
How many blows, Oh Craftsman?
Till your face is reflected clearly in all your beauty
all your facets
and all your glorious light?

A Pot of Gold ( #temptation)

New year dawns and days lengthen
holding promise – for those ever looking ? –
in the warming, breathing spaces outside.
Sap rises in the garden
spreading an emerald glow
of hope and soft touches and scents of tenderness.

Amongst the yellow, the white and the green
stirs the mischievous leprechaun.
A flash of gold among the daffodils
He dances, playing, beckoning:
“Your garden is lovely! Linger a little with me!
I have a pot of gold – come and see!”
“You cheeky fly-by-night! You’d charm away my precious pearl?
Be gone with your fools’ gold!”

But I stay, I listen and watch him play
Alluring, daring, boldly dancing.
Sparkling amber green and gold dazzling
A glance over the wall at the forest – in the shade of the trees –
blue-bells, wild garlic, pastel greens – alive! Calling:
“Catch me if you can?”
I dance in the snatches of sunlight
those eyes!
Eyes are everywhere –
warning, peering, scowling, sneering –
looking for the leprechaun?
He won’t be found!
For beyond the forest are the sea cliff,
the summer sun, sands and seclusion…only IF…

But my garden is safe and my garden is beautiful
and therein lies my pearl!
Do not seduce me with fool’s gold!
Like the gold, he’s not really there – the Charmer!
but he does have to go.
There is work to be done in the garden,
to prepare for a pure and timely harvest.
“Be gone, wilful sprite!”
But the garden is ever more beautiful in the spring sun
and still we dance in golden fire
warm fragrance of life and magic caress of day-dreams to melt into…

I miss my leprechaun, the magic and the glow
I miss the stories, the tenderness and oh!
How I’ll miss the amber green fire,
the twinkling, dazzling gold
but I know –
that the garden will be more beautiful, my pearl more precious to behold;
and I’ll always remember the dance in the trees and the dream of the leprechaun
and his illusive pot-of- gold!

Be gone with your fools’ gold, wilful sprit!

Emotional Roller Coaster

Climbing, soaring, awesome
The excitement is breathtaking as the ride just begins;
the path I steadily climb,
higher and higher, the air getting thin,
exhilarating rushes of wind;
Reaching a peak it rests for a while…
the views from up here, I inhale –
the beauty, creation, the planets and stars
from this awesome height I rejoice…

With joy and with awe I would stay here forever
a sigh as my head tumbles back…
but this is the ride where high turns to low…
and this will not last,
back down I will go,
with a scream and a tear
and a moment of fear;
I will land with a thump back below!
The body has landed but the rest is still up there,
sick with no stomach and empty inside;
and now it all seems, back down on the ground,
this ache is reality and that was a dream…

Climbing, soaring, awesome
Why don’t I get on the nice Carousel,
that gently rotates all the time?
No ups and no downs, no loops upside down
no sickness or wobbly limbs.
I could pick a gold lion, a lamb or a horse
and wait while each animal follows its course –
round and round
round and round
round and round…

But I’m not alone on the ride of my choosing,
Jesus knows what it’s like.
His highs and His lows were deeper with love
than mine ever were or will be;
and God raised Him higher and higher
and higher
and he’s here even now with me:
giving me hope
that I’m never alone –
In the climbing, the soaring
the awe and the falling –
and I trust He is leading me