COGNITIVE TWIST

Chasing changes or retreating in fear

Losing track of things held most dear

Living out of balance

A tight rope walk

Valuable memories sitting in hock

Look to the ring master to see what is next

A mad director keeps me hexed,

Break from the state

This crazed hypnotize

Awaken the spirit and realize

Perception, reality, cognitive twist

Is that simply all that this is?

Vision coming clear, light expansion closing in

Looking for karma in my place of sin

Gaze up and see the fall wasn’t that far

The key may be reached and pulled from the tar

Slowly cleaned to find release

Turning each lock toward inner peace

REINFORCED LOCKS

Let me in, I’m knocking gently at your door

I am waiting for you and your need for more

Turn on that switch and unbolt the lock

Let me come in, I just want to talk

About my power and your self-doubt

The bottled up emotion you deserve to let out

I will take it and make everything alright

Remember me? It’s easy, I’ll help you lose sight

I will hold you and take you away

We had good times, come on out and play

Where I can distract you from life, from family, from friends

Open up to me, I am the familiar descend

I am pounding at the door now, just open it a crack

Let me in for a moment, then get back on track

I won’t stay long, just a lifetime I intend to cut short

Come on just one puff, one line, one snort…..

 

Go away demon, leave me alone!

Don’t knock, don’t write, don’t call on the phone

Looking back is opening the door to death

Of spirit, of connection, of body, mind, breath

Come any closer and I will scream

Help will come running, the NA regime

Be sorry you ever knocked at my door

For now I embrace recovery hardcore

The locks are secure, the fortress is tight

Make your retreat, you won’t get in tonight.

MY WINTER

Snow begins to fall,

As a cold wind blows,

My lungs exhale

And the frigid air shows.

The smell is familiar

And seems like a friend,

The dizzying spiral,

I can’t yet let end.

The welcome escape

in a heavy buzz,

Wrapping like a blanket

Whose warmth always was,

Right around the corner,

Waiting for me,

Something I run towards,

When I know I should flee.

I hate the winter and

I wish to reject snowflakes,

But I’m caught in a shiver,

Not sure what it takes,

To warm myself,

And accept the season’s change,

To take in the sunlight,

And allow things rearranged,

To inhale the warmth and

Let it cleanse,

Go with natural current,

And follow its trends.

FRAGMENT DISCONNECT

Pleasant memories to take into my lifetime,

Let love and connection manifest genuine,

Not easy when over connected to pain,

Grief focus bringing spirit drain,

Lying on the floor with energy seeping,

Grasping thoughts, positive keeping,

Moving from my head and looking to my heart,

Opposite poles continue tearing me apart.

No one can take the memories that live there,

But they are mixed in joy and despair,

I want to hold the moments beautiful and true

Letting go the resentments allowed to accrue

But I fear leaving behind fragments that protect

The fight in my mind brings disconnect

Better for now in the moment to stay

Practice and grasp just for today.

PEROXIDE CUT

Never chance illusion

Disguised in a feeling of content

Reality skewed and fulfillment bent

Illusion with the power to smother and consume

Fooled back in, putting suicide on resume.

 

Peroxide in a cut,

Slam the door shut,

Acid in the eye,

Laughing while I cry,

Smash head into wall

Trip into emotional fall

Crushing like a rock

While continuing to talk

 

No longer can I afford such things

Despite what fantasy brings

It turns to darkness, where loss lies

A place without light, as soul dies

Why would I follow you there?

Where ultimately there is grief to share

It was never true anyway

A fool it makes of me to stay

In a place in my head

Where there is familiar succession

The toxins that kill with illusive progression

I dare not lose this battle of wills

Loss of essence corruptly kills.

 

Peroxide in a cut,

Slam the door shut,

Acid in the eye,

Laughing while I cry,

Smash head into wall

Trip into emotional fall

Crushing like a rock

While continuing to talk

 

Shards of glass from a broken picture in my mind

Cutting into me, the pain makes me blind,

Thoughts flame hot against my skin,

Burning resentments simmering within,

The idea of letting go resurfaces fears

Irritating open wounds with salt from tears

Reaching out is my only hope

Faith grasping, can’t slip from my rope

Tangled and knotted and tied so tight

Simply exhausted, someone help me to fight.

60 DAYS AND WHAT I AM REACHING FOR

I wrote this in my journal at 60 days clean from substance use.

It felt terrific this morning to attend a 12 step meeting and feeling the support and love in the room was a great way to start my day. I am exhausted, however, and moody and tempted. I feel tremendous resentment presently toward my addiction. It has been a long week. My emotions are sneaking up on me like never before. I dealt with a grief filled anniversary on Tuesday and realized I have never faced these things without a substance to escape to. I am not comfortable being unable to hold back tears when sharing the story of losing my Dad. Its not that I don’t show my emotions, I just do it with a control I am not feeling presently due to the nature of early recovery and emotional instability. I was 18 when he had a massive heart attack and shockingly died. I made all the calls to family and friends with strength and ensured I was there for my mother and my family.

This is how I deal with things, by supporting others and for the most part denying myself. I have carried that practice throughout my losses, of which there have been many. I had a funeral home director tell me he should not know someone so young so well. It is now many years later and I view the first losses as preparation in regard to handling more. The ultimate loss of a baby, was something I was convinced I could not live through, but by that time I understood how to experience and move through grief. It was the single worst experience of my life. I chose to deal with it alone and knew I had to truly feel it and move through it, giving to myself the courage I had previously given to others. I needed to do it alone because I believed that was the only way I could really open up to what I was feeling. I have faced loss with strength and grace, but at the same time alone and with substances to soften some of the pain when I chose to escape for a moment. I realize now choosing substance over the compassion of others was false.

My heart still has empty spaces for each person I miss, and for me I wish they did not have to move on before I was ready to let go. I believe, though, they were a part of my life for the time that was meant to be and I hold the beautiful memories I have close. I realize before I crossed a line into harder drugs, I managed my life, falling only at times into alcohol or marijuana, deluding myself to the first degree. Choosing that escape as a temporary relief did not compromise my values, although it could lead to confusing my thoughts and gave me opportunity not to feel. Once I opened the door to deep addiction, I crossed a line that makes it impossible to risk looking to temporary escape in any substance, as it will give my addiction permission to again control my emotions. The temporary escape was an illusion anyway, and it lead me to welcoming the absence of feelings brought on by using crack and cocaine.

Having feelings back in my life and having to live them on their own terms is, at times, debilitating. Even the smallest irritations seem overwhelming presently. I know this is only temporary and I reach for the days there is more space between myself and my addiction. I accept this frustration is a natural part of my recovery and it makes sense that I ride a roller-coaster of emotion that feels beyond my control. Control has been the biggest driving force in my life and my addiction. Need for control is the catalyst for the addictive behaviours that led me to hard drugs.

At 60 day,s I am seeing myself open up to the support of others and it is not my norm. I understand much of my irritation today is resistance to the possibility of having my needs met by giving up some self-reliance. My ego does not allow me to think I need the same things I give to others, and I know I have to change that. In order to find true recovery and to live a life that is real I need to reconnect with myself, people and spirit. It is  all around me for my acknowledgment; and I am willing. Lack of patience is not an easy human trait to overcome, and I am realizing I am human, and need to be easier on myself. Strength and courage has longevity in acceptance and unity.

It is after midnight now, so it is day 61 and I will make my focus today on simplicity and being in the moment. I am grateful for the possibilities that are ahead and the hope recovery brings to my future. The resistance to change is part of the process, as is the feeling of being exposed to the world in an unfamiliar and uncomfortable way. As I move through the anniversaries of clean time and of loss, I will open myself to the support that is all around me while continuing to feel the joy of giving to others in the same way. I initially titled this 60 days and NOT what I am reaching for and I just had to take not out of it because as I wrote this, I moved through it and came to an understanding that will allow me to fall asleep peacefully instead of fighting myself and my thoughts.

60day keytag

SILENT SERPENT

The serpent is circling, silent and slow,

Patient and cunning, staying hidden down low,

Circling wide, with a smile full of charm,

Gently and softly, curling round one arm.

Mesmerizing; as the gaze is met,

Not revealing any sense of danger yet,

As the grip tightens ever so slight,

It sends a shiver that doesn’t seem quite right,

Softly the snake slithers, massaging down the spine,

The tail at the neck brings discomfort; but it’s fine.

Around the chest the circle is made,

The pressure is squeezing making breath fade,

How did the creature become so bold?

The warmth is gone consumed by cold.

Soon little is left, spirit is fading,

The soul that was strong and energy creating,

Pulls from the last ounce of strength and self-worth,

Breaks free from the snake, as it falls to the earth.

A hawk swiftly dives in high from above,

Soaring off with the serpent, and looking back with love.

hawk and snake

AS I AM THIS MOMENT

AS I AM THIS MOMENT

I need not explain myself, for that is part of my overthinking

Others state things for me, with the assumptions they are linking

My reasons are only mine, as is the path I walk alone

Laid out before me, seeds already sewn

I state my cause and my motivation

Frustrated when met with outsider’s reservation

Explaining myself to me, is all I need discern

Inner reflection that will help me learn

The steps are what is important, this focus I must keep

Not getting ahead of myself, fearing a fatal leap

Those who understand have walked the path before

They have done the work and looked into their core

There they find truth and heal with each beat of the heart

With patience and time, each day a new start.

Then there is looking back toward those still suffering

This brings yet a different kind of buffering

A reminder of where I don’t want to be

The freshness of pain, shows I’m never free

Of the dangerous patterns and obstacles in the path

Where jails, institutions and death are the aftermath

Trust I am in a place where I am safe and accepted

Keeping my compass pointed, my heart directed

I appreciate those in my life supporting in their own way

Understand my steps are each moment, each hour, each day.

PRICELESS IS OUR WORTH

All around the world there are places of delusion

Corners of the universe filled with confusion

A ribbon tying us in misery and despair

The human condition of thought takes us there

Then, when you clear the smoky haze

Turning your back on those places and days

You begin to see the new corners in the world

Hope and possibility begins to unfurl

You realize there is another thread

A different way for your story to be read

Spirit takes over and to faith you surrender

A place in the world that is each ours to render

As we waiver from each fold in our own time

We perceive the world as a place more kind

Seeking compassion instead of despair

Finding in people what was always there

A ribbon that binds us in understanding and then

We feel more as one, united to defend;

Against falling into the chasm of misery and despair

It is easier now, though fear’s always there;

To feel that others can identify

Not just on the surface, but deep and allied

All around the world we ebb and we flow

Like rivers, lakes and oceans on and on we will go

Natural and beautiful connected by the earth

Together bonded, making priceless our worth.

JUST FOR TODAY AND ON TO FOREVER

My spirit diluted by the chemical toxifying my brain
My heart becomes deluded, feeling so raw to pain
I close my eyes to picture the voices telling me I am not alone
Reluctant to reach for tools that feel like they’re on loan
Walking through a journey so adverse to what I dreamt
Knowing life is encouraging me toward a happiness attempt
Insanity is, that there is familiarity in escape
Then I am reminded to play out the tape
Picture darkness and loss
Alienation and shame
The chemical path is merely a game
Played against me,
To kill my spirit, quietly cruel
But guess what? I can make my own rules
For my spirit is stronger and I more clever
Just for today and on to forever.

firespirit

RELAPSE

This is a poem written on the day I allowed escape back into drug use. I am so grateful my disconnect was short and that I was able to take lessons from the dark place I went. Grateful for the recovery seeds planted that very quickly that brought me back to a positive place filled with hope and discovery, leading to faith and possibility. Narcotics Anonymous brings me so much due to the spiritual energy so freely shared. So grateful the experience was left behind me, allowing me back on my path with stronger resolve.

RELAPSE

Bring down the curtains

Drown out the light

I am responsible for ending my fight;

For now I stir the cauldron of pain

Move toward darkness, knowing no gain

Familiar discomfort, simple escape

The only place I do not complicate

Setting up a battle harder to win

Moving to the outside, losing within

The blackness will be heavier when I lift it again

Insanity this length to prove that end

I need protection in the place where I run

Please allow me back on my path when I’m done

RECOVERY

Cream cheese and crackers,

And candy from Halloween,

Orange juice and arrowroots,

To fill the time in between.

A place to feel safe,

A place to come down,

Conversations with women,

Who wear the same crown.

Distraction in movies,

All the way back to 1939,

Hiding from the world,

Until feeling closer to fine.

Talking of strategy,

Like fighting a war,

You relapse could happen,

Right at the door.

So many worries

spinning in my head,

But the movie is over,

‘Ladies, time for bed.’