I once loved an alcoholic. In our relationship, I thought of alcoholism as an 800 lb gorilla in the room–rarely acknowledged, but always, always lurking. In the end, when alcoholism took his life, I called it a vampire.

More than a decade ago, when the vampire sucked the life from our relationship, I wrote this haiku:

he chose instead of my heart
love’s glass is empty

This morning, months after his death, this haiku came to my mind:

the stream
became a raging river
that drowned him


Steve has had a lot of experience with alcoholics, both professionally and personally. He wrote a couple of haiku after reading this post:

back to the garden
that sweet intoxication
ended with a shot


just one more
never enough, death by

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15 Responses to Alcoholism

  1. bonkate says:

    It’s hard to find a life that has not been touched in some way by alcoholism. Destructive as a tsunami, it crashes in and destroys everything in its path. This from a beautiful sea that we see at first as peaceful, but we are not aware of the building eruption deep below the surface. By the time it becomes destructive, escape is difficult.

  2. Beth Carter says:

    I didn’t know he died. Sad. Yes, alcoholism is all around us, unfortunately. I’ve seen two people die at age 55 due to alcohol. It’s tragic.

  3. Mustang.Koji says:

    Very compassionate – from your kokoro… Did you know the kanji 心 is a pictographs of the heart?

    • Jan Morrill says:

      Koji, kokoro is one of my favorite Japanese words–a combination of mind and heart. Perhaps it’s because my heart and mind are at odds with each other so often. It’s nice to know there’s a word that combines the two. 🙂

  4. truthsbyruth says:

    Oh Jan. I understand alcoholism and drug addition. This world is so cruel, un-yielding, harsh, and mean and so unfair. Some can not bear the burden. Is it right? Not for me to say. But. Did he love you? Yes. And he always will. Forgive him.

  5. My ex and oldest son’s father died from alcoholism at 42. The hardest thing was forgiving him for choosing the bottle over us, I think.

    • Jan Morrill says:

      Madison, I think I’d forgiven Kirk for choosing the bottle over me–I knew it was the disease. Now, I work to forgive him for taking his own life, and not saying goodbye. Again, it was the disease, but I do battle between compassion and anger, and perhaps always will.

  6. Evocative and poignant. It’s devastating in mind, body and spirit when a loved one chooses substance abuse as a coping mechanism and means of self-medicating. So many lives are affected, not just the one who is drowning his or her pain. {{{hugs}}} I also wrote a haiku about a river symbolizing anger. It’s an old one from my collection that I just recently posted on my WP blog. When I read yours, the connection struck a resonant chord.

    • Jan Morrill says:

      Thank you, mother wintermoon. I visited your blog, too. Your haiku is beautiful and several of them resonated with me. I especially liked “Into the Chasm.” That, too, so well describes the desperate feeling of someone who loves an alcoholic. I’m now following your blog. 🙂

I love to read your comments, even more, your HAIKU!

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