Let me read it to you…

locked up tight

by | Mar 16, 2018

When I think of why something might be locked up tight, I think it’s because there’s something precious inside, something that simply cannot be allowed to be lost or stolen or damaged. A box of letters, a diamond ring, the deed to the farm.

So I’m sitting here wondering, what is the precious stuff inside me that I am protecting, keeping locked up tight? And I’m not sure I want to write about it because that feels like an unlocking, a loosening of the grip I have on the parts of myself I’m afraid to lose.

Maybe I’ll start with sobriety.

I haven’t had a drink in something like twenty years and from all appearances, I make it look easy, I make it look like a non-issue. But in reality, being sober is like holding a live grenade in my hand every day. Someone has removed the pin and thrown it in the pond which is frozen over with six inches of ice. And now I live the rest of life with it held out in front of me – walking around, eating breakfast, sleeping, showering, brushing teeth.

There was a time in the beginning when I hoped for some kind of spiritual awakening, some kind of magical moment when the desire to drink would be lifted from my shoulders. But that never happened. What happened was every morning since, when I open my eyes from sleeping, I think of this question, “Will it be life or death today?”

And I have to really, really consider each option carefully. It’s not a no-brainer like it should be.

So far, I choose to keep my grip locked up tight on the grenade. So far, I choose life. Every day, I remember that I chose to keep going yesterday, so maybe I can do it again today. I’d like to think it’s courage, but I’m pretty sure it’s because I’m too afraid to find out what happens when this thing blows up. Maybe I don’t die, but instead, I’ll have to keep living without a face.


Copyright Cynthia Berg 2018


  1. angie

    a beautiful unloosening. i’m with you, walking around eating breakfast, etc. thank you for unlocking your magical voice.

    • Cyn

      Thank you, Angie xoxo


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