A Connection between Poetry and Sober Living

Writing has long been acknowledged as the balm for the soul. Writing poetry is one method for thinking about how you intend to live sober from this day forward. It can help you observe and plan your life in a new way.

Many people have an aversion to poetry. Poetry may conjure up grade school memories when you were forced to learn something that made absolutely no sense to you. If you still feel that way about poetry, try to give it a chance for this idea. By looking at poetry in terms of your future, you might find it useful and even amazing. There’s always alternative ways to frame and reframe our former conceptions.

When you write a poem, you don’t know how it will end. The same goes for sober living. It can be all a jumble of thoughts, ideas, desires, fears, and life experiences. Writing poetry is about free will. You can choose any number of feelings and thoughts, and use them in one poem or many, and think of them as poetry for your life.

You may be wondering what this has to do with your future, and living sober. Each minute and hour that passes is your future. As they say in AA, This Too Shall Pass. If you write about your feelings in the moment, you may find they have changed after you’ve written them down. Just by the mere fact of writing them down, you’ve moved on, or moved forward.

In poetry, flow is the same as moving forward. A life that flows forward is one that doesn’t get stuck. Perhaps you want your sober life to be fluid and spontaneous. Consider if you wrote a poem about, say, feeling guilty. Throughout the entire piece you never deterred from the subject. If every line of the poem was about feeling guilty then there would be no flow. In order to have the poem flow, you’d have to move off the subject and add something, perhaps about the future—it was time to make peace with the guilty part of me.

Maybe you want your sober life to have a beautiful flower garden bordered by a stone wall. Sober living is about choice, and so is poetry. You can make choices that will enhance your life, add in sights and sounds your love like the ocean waves crashing ashore, or the wind on a mountain top.

“In writing poetry, all one’s attention is focused on some inner voice.” – Li-Yong Lee

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