Such Nonsense as Starting Over

I saw the light, was born again, bless my soul
Threw baggage to the lost and found, unburdened
Relinquished the pull of error filled ways
Left the wife, clean break for everyone justified
Freshly squeezed passions poured into new chapters

Good for you!
But wait, before you run through pastures new
Let me pose some scattered questions
about the nonsense of starting over

When walking away from pain caused
why do the addicts savour the sweet of
rehabilitated selves for a second life?
Any care for the ones there first time around?
once remarried, new love reaps rewards of sobriety
What of those who tried to lift you along the way
but fell foul to your problem, lighter fuel to your destruction?

Why is that cheaters and wife beaters might change
only after they derange the minds of the faithful
that cradled them like babies in their dark weakness
forgiving the black, helped them find a route back?
What of those who bear the scars of blood stained cries
but lay with you, tending an ill mind
like Florence Nightingale to your sickness?

We all deserve a second chance don’t we?
But who deserves to benefit from it more or less?
Who is cursed and who is blessed, is it equal?
Perpetrator or victim left alone with the din, and
which is which in such heady co-dependant mix?
Whose mystery to solve, as the party moves on
into someone else’s night, turning the lights out
in the trail of your wake, no more mistakes
past life erased to the nonsense of starting over
Is it as easy as that I wonder?


25 responses to “Such Nonsense as Starting Over

  1. Searching through Twitter and I stumble upon this blog; I am very pleased that I did. Really enjoyed reading this piece, I will return. Happy bank holiday.

  2. you pose some tough questions for sure…its hard to love an addict and to be left in the wake of it for their glorious new life…it does smack one in the face…no its not easy…smiles…

    enjoy your night out…

    • Thanks Brian, I was just curious to explore the other side of the story I guess.No real answers as there are so man complexities, but as a former relationship counsellor myself I have witnessed all angles of these sorts of situations.

  3. Tough subject- but love the questions in your write….Once damage is done, it’s done – but some people are able to say ‘I’ve changed’- this explores the dark side of relationships, and probably the least talked about- I think what I like most is that you’re giving a voice to the voiceless….what’s also impressive is that you say you edit your poems very little….amazing that you can do that! And you get a very natural ‘stream of consciousness’ coming through- loved the closing lines- this is very very strong

    • Thanks Stu, not quite as personally emotive as some of the others I have done but I like to see things from both side of the fence and I am very much one for giving a voice to the voiceless.I have experience of working as a relationship counsellor and have been presented with various angles on this but it was actually an article in the newspaper over the weekend about a sports star who had turned his life around that sparked the questions here.

  4. Perhaps that’s why in the 12 Steps a recovering addict is supposed to make amends to those he/she’s hurt. I don’t know, as I never went to AA (22 years sober – btw). You pose very tough questions, with very (typically) unsatisfying answers. Yes, I always hated the “now I’m clean, yahoo!” bullshit. Sure, but look at the mess you’ve left in its wake. A very good, thoughtful write.

    • Thank you and good to see you back here. This was never going to be a nice straightforward piece really as I was fully aware when writing it that many of those reading it might have experience of the topics raised.And you are very accurate to say that there are no answers, and that was sort of why I liked the angle because there is no right or wrong and the reader forms their own answers based on their experiences. Congratulations on your 22yrs sober by the way, it is an outstanding achievement.

  5. Very though provoking, and raises a lot of questions for all of us, not just recovering addicts. I once heard it said that people are very often more polite and considerate to total strangers than they are to their lovers and family, and I think that’s true many times. We take the closest in our lives for granted, and when we are done with them, that’s it. Though I think some of those left behind may be glad to be that way. Thanks for making my brain engage–and for a fine write.

    • Oh that is so true, we have our ‘outside faces’ and then often save our uglier traits for home, funny isn’t it? Thanks for your comment glad you enjoyed it in a way that worked for you.

  6. So many questions from the other side. I suppose it depends on which side of the fence you’re on. I’ve got a very colorful bunch of kin-folk, so I’ve a taste of the addict, the partner. I’ve seen the fresh starts go amazingly well while at the same time wondering WTF…and I’ve seen the guilt that can come with getting sober and realizing the havoc caused by your own hands be so strong you run right back to bottle. WOW…girl! This is a word weave and a half,…outstanding! I could continue to ponder this in words…but I fear I’d write a book. Great show, great write…and of course…Happy OpenLinkNight!

    • Oh thank you Tash, Really appreciate that. I was having some doubts after posting that maybe I would just cause offence to anyone that has struggled with these issues, and that it may appear judgmental but for me it was more about asking the questions not rendering the solutions.In truth there are no solutions, this is just another voice in the story but I am also aware how many people will beat themselves up with the guilt every day about their past failings whilst others move happily on without looking back. I often sit on the fence but was worried I had fallen off it in this one! So glad you were able to explore it and that it created some dialogue for you xx

  7. Very good questions. It is odd how people have this need–I guess they want to change themselves by changing circumstances, and old circumstances can perhaps make it hard to change habits. But there is a great unfairness in it all. Really interesting poem. k.

  8. I’ve been exposed to some of this and like you have not been able to reach conclusions. I’ve since learned I can help thise who want help, and be available for those who are still searching. Excellente!

  9. This is a very thought-provoking, wonderful poem. Assessing the negative side of the ledger is really important so as to stay rooted in reality. This has certainly put down the reasons why forgiveness by others is often the most difficult thing to imagine, not to mention the idea of self-forgiveness.

    • Indeed, there is so much more to it than the headline of hooray I’ve sorted my life out… Though a hooray is equally justified because it is an awesome achievement for anyone to overcome their demons, be it addiction, cheating, beating, whatever.

  10. that’s not easy at all…and think most of the questions will be left unanswered…hard to answer them in a non-addict environment but even harder in the area you describe.. think often it’s a kind of co-dependance and that may change with a new partner .. on the other hand it most likely develops in the same way after a while…? good to ask tough questions at times for sure

    • Indeed you are right, no answers and yes sometimes it’s the very dynamic of the first troubled relationship that creates a nurturing environment for dysfunction and the only way to break the cycle is to move on. I could debate back and forth on this sort of stuff for years and still not be clear on the solution. I guess that’s my past as a counsellor, mine was not to judge but to open up the discussions and let the most appropriate solution for those involved come to the surface and that can present a different outcome every time!

  11. Reminded me of a counselling book by a Jewish professor from Havard whose practice was based on moral arguments from the Talmud and classical thinkers. He challenged the prevailing notion that self actualisation is the only goal. You are unhappy in a marriage and leave so your happiness is more important than your partner, children, family?

    It was by no means reactionary but it was exploring the moral assumptions of much counselling

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