I saw this picture on Pinterest the other day. It said something like ‘I’m not afraid of the dark, I’m afraid I won’t find my way back to the light again.’
I’d love to quote it more accurately than that, but the truth is I neither saved it to my computer nor pinned it on my own Pinterest page. I was too distracted, carried away on a wave of thought.
For whatever reason, that one picture that I may never see again (despite trawling the web for the last hour), just made sense. It was my life, my recovery from alcoholism, my 1000+ days of sobriety. It was me.
I’m not afraid of the dark any more, I’m just afraid that if I go back there, I won’t make it back.
I was distracted from saving that picture by the ones forming in my own mind and spilling out onto the page.
Normally, I find it takes me a good few weeks before I can finish a poem that I’m truly happy with, but not this one. This one wasn’t something I worked on. It just fell out of me, fully formed, a snapshot of sobriety, a single solitary moment trapped forever on a tattered piece of paper.
And on my Soundcloud, too of course:
I’m not afraid of the dark any more,
I spent so much time there it’s like a second home
Or some familiar old clothes that no longer look right
But still somehow sort of fit.
What I’m afraid of, is going back home in those worn out old clothes
And forgetting which way to go to return to light.
I’m not afraid of going to Hell,
I’ve been there and back so many times that I know the path like the back of trembling hands
And could easily walk it without thinking.
What I am afraid of, is that the journey will exhaust me to the point that I just don’t have it in me to retrace my stepping stones,
Not without slipping and sinking into something far worse.
I’m not afraid of misery.
Sometimes I can still hear it like some familiar old melody which for seemingly no reason starts playing in my brain from the moment I awake.
What I am afraid of, is being so enraptured by its tune that I never want to wake again.
I’m not afraid of the dark,
I just prefer not to be there.