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...

Read More

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...

Read More

Geordie

Geordie

I can get to the grocery store By myself now. I can basically Negotiate the metro. I have a grasp Of the currency. I mostly understand The accents And smile politely As people regale me With all of their America Trivia. I’ve used the phone- Dialing a zero first, Though it’s the opposite Of all I’ve been taught. I made the first pitcher Of sweet iced tea That’s ever been seen In the Northeast, Or maybe the whole of Britain, And I’ve explained what it is To the locals, Looks of disgust on their faces. [Tea isn’t yours, Brits, You stole it from China.] Today I bought a Snickers bar Because it reminded me of home. Here, They’ll put corn on pizza, And on a tuna sandwich. Their traffic patterns Seem counter intuitive And I look both ways A million times Before I cross...

Read More

Recovered

Recovered

My hands are dry From hand sanitizer. I hate touching things At hospitals. The waiting room Is suffocating. I’m all sweat And shaky hands. Some yards away Surgeons are removing The cancer On my grandmother’s kidney. The family sits Making small talk- Jumping at every announcement And pretending we aren’t. We go through the motions, Get food in the cafeteria Take bathroom breaks. I marvel at the monotony. In my head, I’m seventeen, Sitting at my mother’s bedside For months, watching As she suffers through ALS and pregnancy. I’m having flashbacks, I’m there, in my head PTSD reminding me Of feelings I’d rather forget. I’m walking through hallways Saying hello to nurses. It smells the same, And I’m hopeless. I’m staring into space Prompting concerned glances From...

Read More

Today

Today

“They don’t have to understand,” she told me. I had expressed my concern about disappointing my people, about being in and out of the AA rooms, about backsliding and bringing my sorry ass back. I hate the crestfallen looks on their faces. I wanted to know how to explain the struggle to those who haven’t experienced it. “It’s about your sobriety. It’s not about anyone else. You don’t need to talk to them about it. Tell them to ask you in 6 months, in a year.” You could have knocked me over with a feather. In fact, it never occurred to me that I didn’t have to answer people’s questions. That I didn’t have to answer to anyone else about my journey. That my perceived failures are my own. That it really isn’t anyone’s business. For me, this is a hard one. I don’t...

Read More