Puppets and Sobriety

There’s a blog headline you don’t see every day. Today is VBS Sunday at church, and it will be the last time I’ll perform as Checkers the cheetah, the mascot of our VBS theme this year, G-Force (God Force).

Puppet master

Puppet master

I’m something of an amateur puppeteer. Along with performing in the puppet ministry at church, I have several puppets at home that I play with when the kids are around (and sometimes when they’re not). Jim Henson is one of my heroes. So you might think this past week was wonderful,,,

…and it was, in many ways. But it was also hectic and stressful and seemed to go on forever. After working all day, the last thing I wanted to do was pack my oldest in the van, go to church, hunker down behind a stage, and be a zany cheetah.

And it’s not like I performed for two hours or something. I had silly exchanges with “Coach” Ray, the kids watched a video, sang a song, and then went off to hear Bible stories and work on crafts. I got off the stage and helped prepare crafts for the little kids and got to know some people from church. One night, I had a great spiritual conversation with a guy, and the next night, I had a litttle mini-AA meeting with an addict; neither of us knew the other was in recovery.

So why the hell am I complaining? Well, I’m not at this point because it’s over. But the whole thing wore me out, and I’m still figuring out how to manage stress without drinking. I didn’t drink during VBS last year (like that’s some big accomplishment), but I’m sure I did it up big when it was over. I’ve been meditating, so that helps, and getting as much sleep as I can, but I was still ready for the night to be over by 7:30. I also started teaching my summer semester the day after VBS started, so that added to my stress. I know what I’m teaching, but the start of the semester is always a little rough. All in all, it was a lot.

My son had a great time at VBS, and I enjoyed it, too. Hopefully, I’ll be stronger next year and can handle the whole thing with more grace. If not, though, that’s ok. Progress, not perfection.



About Robert Crisp

Just a lad who likes to create.
This entry was posted in addiction, alcoholism, early sobriety, recovery, sobriety and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Puppets and Sobriety

  1. abbiegrrl says:

    Hey, Robert, you brought back some memories from working at the VBS of our little church a few years ago. It IS pretty wearing, isn’t it?! I wouldn’t have ever been in a place to take on such a thing in my first 6 months. Here’s what I took away from your overall experience – heck, and maybe this is from my own, or maybe it’s just a rule of thumb – expectations. I’m sure you’ve heard the definition of expectations by now:. Preplanned resentments. You’ve got a lot on your plate, friend. Just doing the VBS in itself is a lot! that’s why so few of the adults get involved!
    God used you in many, many ways, not the least of which involved your conversations with the adults who were there. It’s crazy how perspective can change when we get past a certain time in our lives. You may have just made a huge difference in those people’s lives, just by being willing, and sharing from your heart.
    That’s what I saw in your post. And that Cheetah is a pretty awesome puppet! Who doesn’t like to put their hand in a back and let someone or something else speak their/it’s mind?!


    • Robert Crisp says:

      Hi there. You know, I’ve never heard that quote about expectations, but it makes a lot of sense. I’m glad I did VBS (and so is my son), but I may have jumped into it too quickly. Like I said, it wore me slap-out. I think it would have done so regardless of early sobriety, but my default for dealing with stress is still to drink (or at least have the urge to). I’m stronger for making it through last week without drinking, and I realize that. I’m holding off on working with the children at church, though. I did that before entering rehab, and it was driving me crazy. I’m usually good about self-care, but I see how I’ve been slipping lately. Back to it. Thanks for taking time to read the post and to comment. I hope you’re well.

      Liked by 1 person

      • abbiegrrl says:

        Self-care can be easy to relax on, because, who doesn’t want to be “all things to all people”?! I am occasionally reminded that God’s got it. He’s not dependent on me. Sometimes I fall back into trying to be responsible for things that aren’t mine…Hm. I guess I needed a reminder. 🙂


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