I am infatuated with so many sober authors, the great truth tellers. They share their gut wrenching stories in full detail, complete with admission of debilitating shame, with an unparalleled level of honesty, opening their hearts wide open for all the world to see. Here is a poem written by a woman and published originally by NPR in 2019. It is A Poem for Women in Sobriety:
“I’m Sorry” by Nancy P.
On a recent episode of The Bubble Hour (Nancy’s Story S7 E23), a poem was shared that touched many listeners. My gratitude to Nancy for her vulnerability and courage in telling her story and reading her poem.
I always said “I’m sorry”. I think that it began, When I was just a kid.
I’m sorry that I’m little. I’m sorry I get mad. I’m sorry if I’m not as smart. As my mom or dad. I’m sorry that I’m shy. And that my chest is flat. I’m sorry I’m not ready. To do the stuff like that. I’m sorry about the baby. He’s colicky; he’ll cry. I’m sorry I can’t comfort him. No matter how I try. I’m sorry for my house. It’s messy, we have boys… I’m sorry for my car. It’s making a strange noise. I’m sorry about my cooking. It isn’t always great. I’m sorry that I’m tired. I’m sorry that I’m late. Sorry about the garden. The yard is such a mess. I need to do some weeding. We need to fix the fence… I’m sorry about my dog. He should be better trained. I’m sorry about my kitchen. I’m sorry about my brain. I’m sorry about my hair. I’m sorry I’m a bore. I’m sorry sometimes I forget. What I had said before. Sorry I was quiet. Sorry if I said too much. Sorry I was clumsy. Sorry I was rushed. Sorry I spent money. Sorry I was cheap. Sorry I’m so sensitive. Sorry I’m too deep. Sorry that I drank too much. Sorry that I quit. Sorry if you find that weird. Sorry for my shit. I’ve been sorry for my flaws. Each and every one. And yet I have to tell you. Sorry isn’t fun. I’m sick of saying sorry. Or swallowing my words. It’s time I just said “fuck that”! All these “sorries” are absurd. I’m not sorry for my thoughts. My hips, my breasts, my brain. I’m not sorry for my feelings. I’m not sorry for my pain. I’m not sorry for my cooking. It’s nourishing and good. I’m not sorry for my car. It takes me where it should. I’m not sorry for my home. It’s filled with love and care. I’m not sorry for my body. My wrinkles or my hair. I’m not sorry for my voice. I think it should be heard. I’m not sorry for the many times. I’m searching for a word. I’m not sorry that I’m sober. It’s how I want to be. I’m not sorry if you wish I’d drink, I’ll have a cup of tea. I’m not sorry that I’m human. Warm and soft and kind. I’m not sorry I’m imperfect. In body and in mind. I’m ready for that chapter. Of apologies to end. I’m ready for acceptance. Of everything I am. And so I’ll just apologize. One last heartfelt time. To the person that I’ve been, and am. The person that is fine. I’m sorry, little girl. That I criticized you so. I’m sorry, awkward teenager. I should have let you know. That you were truly lovely. Compassionate and smart. I’m sorry brand new mother. With your enormous heart. I’m sorry middle-aged me. I love you, you’re a dear! I’m sorry that I’ve hurt you! But that is stopping here. I’m finding self-compassion. The missing link, I think. I know it’s what I didn’t have. When I would choose to drink. My light is shining brightly. My sisters are at hand. I’m ready to take care of me. In every way I can. I’m rising through my sadness. I’m rising from my pain. I’m rising from my guilt. I’m rising from my shame. I’m ready now to stand. I’m ready soon to soar. I’m ready, please come with me. I see an open door…
by NRP, a woman in recovery 2019