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Not long ago, I was browsing through a bookstore and noticed the memoir Saddled, by Susan Richards. I love horses, so the beautiful horse on the cover inspired me to peek inside the book. "This is a story for anyone who has ever loved an animal enough to keep on living." [excerpt]
I love animals! Sold!--to the woman who loves animals! Memoirs fascinate me. Reading a memoir is the closest you'll ever get to walking in someone else's shoes. And the best ones offer words that inspire you to get on with walking to freedom in your own shoes.
It turns out, Richards is a re-covering alcoholic with a beautiful horse named Georgia. Goergia becomes her inspiration to continue to place her feet on the floor each morning and show up for life. (I love how God uses animals to heal ancient pain.)Today, I'm sharing an excerpt from Saddled. Here, Susan is invited to an A.A. meeting after achieving one year of sobriety by herslef. If you battle alcohol abuse/addiction, I encourage you to read, read, read this book.
"I didn't know that becoming sober meant really changing. Not drinking was the least of it. It was the rest of me that was the problem, the part that wanted to stay numb. The men and women in that room didn't sound numb anymore. They were angry and scared and depressed. They were also hopeful and funny and grateful. They were all over the place. The word that came to mind was whole. After years of shutting down all or parts of themselves with alcohol, they were finally whole human beings.
I sat in a corner with my arms crossed and my mouth shut and listened to what whole human beings sounded like. Evidently being human was a messy business. Not a single person said Everything's fine -- my stock response since I was a child to any question about my state of mind. It had never been true, but that didn't keep me from repeating it for the next twenty years. I thought that's what you were supposed to say. I thought that's what you were supposed to feel. Anything else meant you were a complainer or worse -- a bad person, a wrong person, and wrong was just a code for crazy. I didn't want to be bad or crazy because I was already on shaky ground in the wantable department. So the sweet smiley girl became the sweet smiley woman who drank liquor to help keep the lid on anything that didn't reflect how fine she felt one hundred percent of the time. Never mind the on-and-off suicide fantasies going back to the fourth grade. Doesn't everybody have those? I was fine. " [end excerpt] Copyright 2010 by Susan Richards
Published on Tuesday, March 15, 2011 @ 10:26 AM CDT