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Be Still My Broken Heart


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It sucks when you start crying on the metro train to work before 9am. It’s a weird feeling like drinking before noon, or something – it’s just not something you are supposed to do, right?

As the tears flow down my cheeks faster than I can wipe them, I am furiously muttering under my breath, “It is too fucken early to be crying! God damn it! Way too fucken early.”

In the last few weeks, I had experienced a whole new pain. A pain that had transcendent everything I have ever done in my life to this moment. The moment when all the labels that I had placed on myself my entire life, and all the hard work I put into being them, had all crashed – mother, wife and lover had no meaning.

It also turns out that I was not that beautiful, smart, creative woman, nor a fabulously sexy and spontaneous wife, or anything remotely in between any of what I thought I was. This may not be the reality people tell me, but that is how I feel right now…

There was nothing left.

I had failed at the most important task in life, I thought.

My insides had been transformed to absolutely nothing. Just pain. This is the end, I thought. This is really the end.


And the tears just keep flowing, like a blood stream from a cut vein, and I can’t stop them. I feel ashamed as the train fills with people and I can feel their glares and stares piercing thru my soul.

My thoughts are stuck again. I am trying to make sense of everything – it was one thing to come to the decision to separate, but now it was a whole new pain. And it doesn’t matter if it was a temporary lapse of reason, or if it was all real. The final blow killed my heart and any hope for reconciliation at all. This was a deal breaker.

The 45-minute train ride feels like 5 minutes as my thoughts are warped in a whirlwind of crap that scurry around without any rhyme or reason. There are too many of them to combat. Just too many.

My head fills with images of my entire life, floating around uncontrollably – those moments in time – right now – I would love to erase all. Every. Single. One.


I walk out of the train station and I feel surreal. I want to scream! I want to tell everyone how much pain I am in. I want everyone to know!

Suddenly the anger sets in, and a multitude of thoughts sprinkled with the F-bombs, floods my mind. It’s crazy in there but I can feel my whole body strangely energized. It feels good. Powerful. Assertive.

I step into the elevator in the office building and take several deep breaths.

“Got to keep going, damn it. I just gotta keep going.”


This has been my battle lately. Almost every day for several weeks now I have started my day this way. It is very much like my early days of sobriety, except I have hope which is totally HUGE!

I was first reaching out to everyone and anyone I knew, but then all that was also adding into the chaos in my head. So I went silent instead, and found some peace in not going on social media, not calling friends, not watching TV, not reading, not listening to the radio, but only remembering:

In all times of emotional disturbance or indecision, we can pause, ask for quiet, and in the stillness simply say: “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference. Thy will, not mine, be done.” – AA 12&12, Step Three, page 41.

In that stillness I found my broken pieces coming back together. I actually saw the light peeking thru my clouds. I actually felt more leveled and positive and I was able to see the good that this is starting to bring. That is also HUGE!

I am finding many different little ways to hang on, like focusing on to those little sayings and quotes that I see. They become my mantras for the hours, or the days, that help me to understand, that let me feel, that give me permission to be broken, and as broken as I want to be.

I absolutely love these two…

Glennon Doyle Melton says, “Grief is holy, like joy! Don’t snatch it from people with hurried hope, please. Pain is often all a woman has left to prove she loved.”

Laura McKowen says, “If you want a breakthrough you must first surrender to the breaking.”

… I hope you are finding a way to hang on too!

If you, or anyone you know, is struggling with alcohol addiction, please click the Find Support link for an extensive list of support groups.

You may also find some great inspiration at Sober Courage page on Facebook and Sober Courage on Twitter.



  1. I love the Glennon Doyle Melton quote! And I can totally relate – I felt many of the same things when I was going through my separation/divorce. Like I wasn’t anything anymore, just a mess. It took me a while to get sober, as well, but doing so has helped me heal from that past pain tremendously. And I’ve learned that, even when it hurts like hell, feelings are a good thing to have.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you!
      Ah. I am definitely learning that again. Feelings are good! They may not feel good at times but they are good. Thought I think I felt overwhelmed with all of them, they actually helped me process better.

      Thanks for stopping by. Sending hugs.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Hmm. Yeah. There is still lots of crap in my head. And some of the same things I’ve done in the past I keep doing. I think there are many bottoms. I think one has to reach some bottom for change to occur. I think out of the brokenness we put ourselves back together, but not the way we were but the way we are, now.

      Anyways. Lol. I love your blog. Very honest and open. Hugs.

      Liked by 2 people

      • I agree. I use a similar analogy sometimes.

        And thank you for the compliment only my blog. I felt like this was my only outlet and I didn’t know how to get it out.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you for your words. The only thing I can say is “me too”. I have felt that exact way too. I couldn’t put it into words, but I’m glad to see there are others that have the same immense pain from ending a relationship, they’ve tried so hard to keep together. Hugs

    Liked by 2 people

    • Oh god. I’ve tried to no end to keep it together. I think I am even a bit embarrassed at the shit I did – you know he said jump and I’d ask how high! But I know there was nothing I could have done to make him happy. Not a single thing. People have to be happy in their own. And lots of the anger I am realizing is actually directed at me, which is not good either. But it is. It’s coming out sideways. But it’s coming out so that’s good.

      Thanks for stopping by. Hugs.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Maggie – this is wonderful. Not because you are feeling this pain and this sorrow, but because you are walking through it. That is the only way we get through to the other side. It sucks while it’s happening. The fire singes and burns, but it also forges us into something stronger. It’s a hack cliche, but it’s also true. Also, you are snaking your way through some hard stuff, and the fact that you are actually feeling it is a big change from how we used to operate, or sometimes would like to go back to operating, which is by numbing it or avoiding it. This is the pain of breaking through. This will be worth it all on the other side. And as I have been saying, all that you are going through will be of service to someone else when they go through this. You will also find a resolve that you probably never thought you had.

    As for those labels, those were put there by us. We can take them off, get rid of the stories which no longer serve us, start fresh.

    You’re an inspiration, Maggie. I am so proud of you (if I can say that) for putting this out there. Very brave.

    Big hugs to you.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thank you Paul! This is not easy at all. But I am coming to terms. Slowly.
      The damn labels! Grrr. I tried to fit in. When I got sober I thought this is what I need to be! And I pushed even tough I had no clue. It’s ok though. All lessons. Thank you for your support always. Sending big hugs.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Anger is our protector, sometimes. Like those cool, metal wristbands Wonder Woman uses to deflect the bad stuff. I’m feeling for you, Maggie. Ends like this have their own grief and their own timeline. Just keep those wrists up for awhile. Pow! Pow! Pow! 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Hey, Maggie. You’re dealing with this like a Boss. Crying, in my objective (not) opinion still SUCKS!
    But all the cliches they say about it are true. Cleanses the soul, and does provide relief. You’ve got my #.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Oh, Magz. I feel your pain. I’m so sorry you’re going through it. When we met you said you weren’t a writer, but this piece cuts to the core of being human. It is sensational writing. It represents how brace and strong you are. Going through all this and letting people know it is NOT OK. it is exactly how I know you WILL BE OK.

    You are not alone. We’re here for you. Nothing about this is easy. But nothing good comes easy either. That quote from Laura sums up so much I think.

    Magz. You’re an amazing woman, mother, and person in recovery. You will come out of this a stronger soul. It just sucks that strength is so often forged in turmoil and adversity.

    I’m here for you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Mark. It doesn’t feel like it – about my writing that it is – it was just there so I wrote it down. But I’ll take your word for it. Lol.

      I know I am getting a lot better, and stronger. But the set backs are often too. Yet, when I think about it, I am still willing to keep going thru this rather than, turn back to what was.

      Thank you Mark, for the kind words and the inspiration. Sending big hugs!

      Liked by 2 people

  7. I was immediately attracted to your website because of the name. Sober Courage. You see, I believe there is no “sober” without “courage.” The battle is different for everyone. I struggled with booze, pot and crack until 2008, when I finally put it all down and didn’t pick it back up. I held on to a reservation, though. Because I am on disability for a severe back injury, I decided oxycodone was different. I could safely use narcotic painkillers. Of course that was not true. When looking for pills, I would travel to different ERs, clinics, doctors, and use different pharmacies, to avoid being labeled as a “frequent flyer.” Besides, I legitimately needed these drugs, right? When I could no longer get what I needed through prescriptions, I started stealing the pills from relatives who have chronic pain. This continued for several years, until I eventually was charged with misdemeanor theft for taking 20-30 oxy from my mom’s medicine cabinet. She called the state police. Best thing that ever happened to me. I am now free of that drug as well. On probabtion. Still blogging about drug abuse. Attending NA meetings. Going to outpatient drug and alcohol treatment twice a week (one group session and one individual). I started intense Christian-based one-on-one counseling last week. It’s going to be fantastic. Although addiction is a disease, it is one that does not leave the sufferer off the hook. Once we know we have it, we are responsible for getting treatment. Now, for me, I found the only higher power that works is Jesus Christ. That is a very hard thing to bring up in 12-step meetings. AA and NA can work for some people. Being a Christian, it was necessary for me to augment my meetings with Christian-based intervention. God has called me to finish my undergraduate degree in psychology and enter the field of addictions counseling, working primarily with teens and young adults. I love your site. Hopefully, I clicked the right link to become a “follower.” I couldn’t tell. In any event, God bless you and the outreach you are accomplishing through your blog.

    Steve (a/k/a The Accidental Poet)

    Liked by 1 person

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