Lawn Knives

“We all cut close.
snip snip snip.”

In the very early days of “getting sober.” Before I even realized that is what I was trying to do, I listened to this song obsessively. Because it was anxious and frenzied and crazy. Like I was.
It had this feeling of going crazy and getting sane –together.

“We all cut close
and lie in the blades of grass.”

I stopped drinking in fits and starts. I went up to two weeks (a month?) without drinking. I did that off and on for a couple months. Abstaining all together wasn’t cutting it; I just returned to the bottle with a vengeance. I tried minimizing the drinking. Limiting how often I could drink, and when and with whom. That lasted in two week spurts as well.
I craved the drunkeness. The oblivion. I longed to cut too close. To skim the edges of destruction and harm. I longed to drown as much as I wished to live.
I’m not sure why I stopped.

“We all cut close
to our sunburn sideburns,
crackle crackle flake.
Let no one know.”

I was a quiet drunk. A hide in your closet and secretly drink drunk. I do most of what I do quietly.
The typical response when I tell people I struggle with alcohol is “Really? I never would have guessed.” I’m good at hiding. It’s an art I unintentionally practice, inadvertently perfected. The biggest harm I find in my drinking is the secrecy. The hiding and lying, obscuring truth and self in darkness –with care and intention. Sickness grows and wounds fester in the shadows. I creep into myself and die the more I withdraw. Alcohol is a shroud.
If I were a loud and out there, open kind of dunk, I’d almost consider that a step in the right direction. Even as I am not currently drinking, I still hide. Fighting my natural inclination to conceal myself will be a lifelong battle.

“We all cut close,
sunburn sideburns,
crackle crackle flake.
We all want more.”

Addiction is thirst. Literal. Figurative. Physical. Spiritual.  We all long for something. We all find things to fill these caverns.  I constantly long for more: more closeness, more peace, more structure, more freedom, more time, more contentedness, more direction, more joy.
I think a certain discontentedness with life is healthy, because discontent foments change. An inability to accept yourself or your circumstances though, that’s torment.
I will always want more. Sometimes I fill this longing with an assortment of less than healthy things; other days it drives me closer to prayer and God and people and what is good.
Some days I do better than others.

“We all want more.”



  1. May your heart and mind dwell in moments of peace. Perhaps mindful breaths will be a useful tool in changing the channel.

    1. Thank you. I appreciate you taking the time to stop by 🙂

  2. tony brouhard · · Reply

    you are very brave to share yourself

  3. Tom Ladlaw · · Reply

    My keyboard screwed up the last post. Thanks for sharing, Elly. I have had many of the same feelings in my own alcohol struggles. Your openness and elegance of writing are a great start on a new and rewarding life.

    Love, Grandpa

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