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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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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Mommah

Mommah

Merry christmas, mommah. I don’t know How I’ve come this far Without you. Some might say It’s a tribute To my strength But I’m not so sure. More than anything, I think It’s a tribute to yours. I have an unwillingness To admit defeat Because of you. Because of What you taught me. Taught us. I’m willing to put aside My fear of failure For the possibility Of success. We all thought You had so much longer, So much more time On this earth. We were wrong. I am angry, I am still so angry, Because of what the world lost When you left it. I remember saying goodbye To you, When I walked in your bedroom, And saw your small face, Your frail body, Under that white sheet. I remember the moment That the anticipation ended And I was forced to accept That you were gone. I...

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Ink

Ink

Friendship, It says. It means more to me Than that. As the needle Tore through my skin I was reminded Of how far removed I am From the razor blades That once did the same. My body is the map of my life. The scars are a part of me, An outward symbol Of an inner pain. The stretch marks Are the proof Of my healing, My bodily acceptance, The embrace Of womanly curves Over wantonness And starvation. The stains On my fingers Are from my mind- My words leaving marks On the page And my hands. My hair Is an ode to my mother, The long waves Reminiscent of hers. The ink in my skin Is a badge Of a new phase And an old love. And my body Is my art, And my canvas, And my brush. [the arrows are the Native American symbol for friendship, a tribute to our Cherokee...

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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...

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