The black door

Someone close to me sent me a comment today that he chose the black door, not death.

I had to look up the reference. It is perfect.

The story is that when a death sentence was to be fulfilled, convicts were walked down the hall. They had to choose to go to face the firing squad, or to walk past them to the black door, accepting whatever was behind it. It was their choice. 

The queen asked the king, “so many convicts faced the firing squad today, and not one of them chose the black door. Why? What is beyond the black door?”

“Freedom”, says the king. “But people would rather choose the known and familiar, the guaranteed outcome. Even if it certain death, Rather than taking the risk and open the black door.”

Most of us sober bloggers are here to try to shine our light back from the black door. I can remember that choice myself. The many years I spend too scared to make the changes in my life I knew I needed.

There is freedom, and life, to be found in sobriety. A full, amazing life that can’t possibly be imagined from the pain of addiction.

But, perhaps you will trust me a bit, and open the black door for yourself. The alternative truly is death. And that is a sad, sad thing.

Stillness and peace


20 thoughts on “The black door

  1. I’m returning home from vacation this weekend and am starting Belle’s 100 day challenge on Monday. I’m scared (of change, of not drinking, of not making it to 100 days, etc) but your blog (and others’) gives me so much hope. Thank you 🙂

  2. It is not easy to gather all the courage we have and walk through that black door. Some of us turn around. Some of us get stuck in the threshold. Some of us are brave enough to go all the way through it. Hoping one day it will be me.

  3. Thank you Anne it’s a beautiful post, touching me deeply as I struggle on Day 4, wondering what’s next for me… I have to trust that this amazing life you’re talking about does exist behind the black door, and continue to move forward by adding days, one day at a time.

  4. I hope you are writing a book Anne. I just love your blogs, they are always what I need to help me. Love this one as after my five weeks and wavering on a Friday night I read this and thought ” get a grip”. It also helped me take back power for myself. No one said it would be easy and that doesn’t change with time but you really have to ask yourself how much you want it. That’s what I’m doing today .

  5. This is a lovely story. So meaningful to those of us on the sober path. It is so hard to understand why anyone would choose the firing squad. But it actually is not so easy to change from the familiar and commonplace glasses of wine to none at all.

    1. It is so hard to let go of the comfort of familiarity, and the ease of habit, even if it’s hurting you.
      That reality kept me drinking. Fear is very powerful. Maybe that’s why sobriety seems like such a huge transformation. I faced that fear.

  6. “But people would rather choose the known and familiar, the guaranteed outcome. Even if it certain death, Rather than taking the risk and open the black door.”

    This hits the nail on the head; I must move past the fear.

  7. Anne you just rock this sober blog…I love your insights, especially this one. I am finding so much freedom as well as clarity of thought in sobriety…this theme of our tendency to go to what is known, even when harmful…this idea is at the front and center of my healing lately and I recognize it across several areas of my life. Even as I struggle, I am happy to know every day that I don’t have to just go with what’s comfortable or familiar or what everyone else does, etc…I have a voice I can listen to and I can make hard choices and I can change the trajectory of my life (really I already have). Most of us are so much stronger than we give ourselves credit for…we can make the difficult choices despite our fear of the black door…we can and do find freedom…

  8. Beautiful post. I remember being faced with almost certain death if I kept drinking and still think I had no choice, that I wasn’t strong enough to go through the black door. I was wrong. And if I can get through it and survive, anyone can.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s