Posted by: Dennie | September 1, 2013

The Good Girl

When I was the good girl, I drank to hide my fears,

As others’ expectations led me stumbling through the years.

When I was the good girl, I had trouble saying no,

I couldn’t bear to disappoint or let my feelings show.

When I was the good girl, my smile was but a veil

To shroud the pain and loneliness inside my private jail.

When I was the good girl, my life became a lie,

I couldn’t quell the fear inside, no matter how I’d try.

When I was the good girl, the tapes inside my head

Replayed the messages of shame and guilt that I’d been fed.

When I was the good girl, somewhere along the way

I lost my sense of who I was and then had hell to pay.

My life became a nightmare, it was wretched to the core.

No longer could I carry on like this—I needed more.

The demons that controlled and held me hostage for so long

Enforced my lack of courage and defied me to be strong.

But some small voice inside me cried out in angst and pain,

Then whispered that I could be free to claim my soul again.

With fear and trepidation, I knew I had to start

Unraveling the alcoholic grip around my heart.

But with no drug to soothe me, my thoughts went unrestrained.

Emotions stormed relentlessly. I thought I’d go insane.

But fierce determination drove me through my dark despair,

And on the other side of pain, I found hope waiting there.

Uncertainty pursued me, plagued my each and every act.

While still concerned what others thought, there was no turning back.

As each day passed, conviction spurred me on to persevere.

And glimmers of serenity occasionally appeared.

Sobriety had released me from my torturous prison cell

And freed me of the manacles enslaving me in hell.

But fallacies created from behind the mask I’d worn

Caused those I love to question me and disapprove with scorn.

My choices didn’t correspond with all that they believed,

Their expectations for my life were far beyond my reach.

Renouncing the conditions and the standards they imposed,

Allows the capability for self-love as I grow.

Though ridiculed and ostracized, I vow I’ll not regress.

I’ve struggled far too long to gain the freedom I possess.

And as I heal, I understand that character must be built

On firm beliefs and ardent truths, instead of shame and guilt.

I’m now viewed as the bad girl, but the label’s worth the cost,

For I’ve attained in self respect far more than I have lost.

This is a piece I wrote while I struggled with changes in my life which came about by my own choices.  I’d made the decision to leave an almost twenty year marriage. It was perceived to be “perfect” by outsiders. And my family of origin. Not one person knew of the daily pain and loneliness with which I lived.  No one knew that alcohol was the salve that soothed the reality of my days, and comforted me during the isolation of my nights. Everyone thought I was the good girl.

Except me.

I was playing a part.  Attempting to live up to the standards of what others thought I should be.

But my attempts to be someone else were slowly eroding the person God wanted me to be. Full knowledge and understanding of who that person was had always alluded me, and were ultimately lost in the muck and mire of people pleasing mixed with alcohol. I was lost for years.

Until I met the man who helped me to save my life.

He sparked something in me that allowed me to hope for more. A happier life than I was living.

It was with his encouragement, his belief in me, and his support, that I was able to shed the cocoon of my former self and emerge, to grow as my authentic self.

He was the conduit that helped me out of my old life.

Maybe I could have done it by myself. Some say I was weak because I didn’t.

But today it doesn’t matter.  Today I’m living a life far beyond my previous expectations. I have less in material things than I had in my former life.

But I have me.

And the man who helped me find myself.

My partner.

My husband.

And I am forever grateful.


  1. This is a beautiful share. So many have traveled not dissimilar paths, only to be utterly depleted in the end. How blessed you are to have God and your husband. Many have neither. We readers can appreciate the lessons you’ve learned and embraced.

    • Wow. Thank you so very much for the compliment and comment. I do feel blessed, in spite of the near abandonment by my parents.
      I love your blog.

  2. Thank you for sharing your story. As a good girl, I understand. I don’t have the alcohol part of your story, but I’m in the throes of the rest of it. So glad you found your inner strength and someone who believes in you.

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