Erasing

Erasing

they said i am a joy. they see me through eyes unknowing and brand new- i am competent, and capable. i used to watch Home Improvement with my father. he said it was funny, so it was. i thought what he thought. i was adorable on demand. i was lots of things on demand for lots of people. i took requests. i watched the fire burn, watched them drive away, watched her die, watched them (the collective him) hurt me all from outside myself. scapegoat, whipping post, ball of rage, on demand. all or nothing. i was failed perfection, clean house and dirty hair, obsessively wiping down the kitchen counters freeing them of the condensation rings from the tiny glasses between every shot. erasing. alcoholic housewife on demand. it took me years to realize i don’t...

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Edges

Edges

It is not a shiny thing, a room full of coffee cups and the shakes and the voices of people telling all the same story just wrapped up a little different. it isn’t easy. they come in and out and you pray to the higher power you created or discovered or whatever to please, please don’t let that be you just for one more day. just today. you white-knuckle that shit at first, though. you’re the one in and out, the one who makes the people with more than a few days remember. really remember how it felt to not know how to feel. and the ones with the time, they thank god it’s not them, and they do what they can, and they hope that you get it before you die. these people, these people with time [that you think must be lying, cause who can go years...

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Twenty Five

Twenty Five

A year ago today, I published a poem along with text messages from my father, outing him as an abuser and an alcoholic who refuses to take responsibility for his actions. I was always there for him and remain unappreciated. I have forgiven him for what he has done to me. What I cannot forgive is what he said about my mother. And I learned from him, and took a step forward, and haven’t spoken to him since. Read “Father Dearest” here. I’ve spent a lot of time in the rooms of AA. Try as I might I couldn’t get my head around a higher power, and around having to give up drinking for the rest of my life at the age of twenty-three. I viewed it as an ending and as a compromise of my ideals. I first entered AA in January of 2014. I went to meetings, went to...

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Linear

Linear

Healing Is not linear. People seem to forget that. It’s so easy to believe the bad- To make a snap judgement When someone in recovery, Or you, yourself, Falls off, picks up, Or makes a bad decision. Sobriety Does not promise An easy life Or immediate, Significant, Changes. It does not mean That you’re healed Or that this journey Will ever have an end. A recovering addict Will be in recovery Until they die. It requires work And vigilance But also love And forgiveness And acceptance. It means loving yourself More than your illness. Addiction is a sickness, Substance abuse the symptom. There are many steps, Many interior factors, That go into picking up Your drug of choice. There are mental patterns To be changed And broken And rebuilt, differently. How do you fight...

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Trustworthy

Trustworthy

Maybe it’s an age thing Or a woman thing Or an addict thing But it’s a ludicrous thing To not know Your own mind Or to lack confidence In your opinions. I’m always Looking over my shoulder. Always asking What someone else wants, Or feels, or needs, Or double checking That I’m not bothering them To the point that I’m sure I am. I’m conscious of The way I eat: How and what and when. I worry about taking up space- How close my chair is to the table, I cross my legs on the metro, I avoid an occupied kitchen, Offer to sit in the back of the car, Even curl into a ball in my own bed. Where do I want to go? Anywhere is fine. Am I hungry? I don’t know- are you? I want to contribute without pressure, I want to help without demand. I concern myself with the needs of others,...

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Behind My Eyes

Behind My Eyes

My sleep is plagued by nightmares. Some are so real I have to get up, Walk around, Check all the clocks, To convince myself It didn’t happen. I dream I’m drunk, Stumbling and unsure, I’ve lost my car, Can’t find my cigarettes, Can’t stand up straight. I fall into walls, Crawl across the floor, Inwardly Hating myself, Berating myself, Can’t remember where I’ve been, How this happened. I awake, Disoriented, Check my phone- Have I called someone, Texted someone, Taken photos- Where have I been?- Before I realize It was only a dream. A man lurks by my bed, Watches me as I slumber. He never speaks. I know I’m sleeping, But I’m trapped in my body Unable to move. I try to scream But no sound escapes my lips I dare myself to move But I’m frozen. Sometimes the man moves...

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