So, I’ve been in recovery for 15 months now. After years of drinking irresponsibly, then unhealthily, and finallly downright dangerously and potentially deadly. I’m slowly starting to find my feet now that I’m alcohol-free, but it’s been tough adjusting to life without the booze.
It was my emotional crutch, my comforter, and my best friend. At the beginning, it felt impossible to part ways. But with lots of support from the recovery community that I’m now part of, it’s getting easier. And life is getting better. Much better!
It was the recovery community that prompted me to have a go at spoken word. I’d been in the audience at a recovery-focused open-mic night before, at around four months sober. And decided that as I was growing into my second year of recovery, that it was time to start gently challenging myself, by performing at one! So I grabbed a notebook and pencil, and started writing.
It was a very cathertic experience, turning so much pain into poetry. And every day spent in recovery, connecting and sharing with others going through similar stuff so bravely, is another day that teaches me that out of addiction, beautiful things can and do emerge.
When I started on this journey, I was lost and I was scared,
Stumbling blindly through the darkness, becoming more and more afraid.
I was stuck, felt like I couldn’t move, being pulled further and further away,
From everything I held dear to me, this was it, this must be my fate.
Life was getting harder, I was losing everything,
My health, my home, my happiness, a fiance, I even sold the ring.
I’d hit rock bottom, nowhere left to go, all alone and I gave in,
I slowly started sinking, then I was drowning, too tired to swim.
Nothing was more important, this so called friend, my everything,
The only one who understood me, who I thought could make me feel things.
But in reality it just took from me, my hope my life, my soul,
I was empty, just like last night’s empty bottles, piling up in a bottomless hole.
Exhausted, numb, defeated, I fell hard onto my knees,
With nowhere left to go I thought, nothing that could possibly ease,
The pain, the fear, the suffering, I didn’t want to carry on.
I wanted sleep, oblivion, to silence whatever inside me felt wrong.
I just wanted it all to stop, literally wanted my life to end,
If I couldn’t find a way to live without this so called friend. And then one day, I’d had enough, and as the tears rolled down my face,
I reached out and I asked for help, I was like a child desperate to feel safe.
Some part of me didn’t want to die, but I didn’t know how to live.
So I started by taking it one day at a time, riding the wave, letting people give,
Give me hope, give me courage, give me a glimpse of what could be,
A life free from addiction, free from pain and that was me.
I fought to get up off my knees, people reaching out to help,
To show me change was possible, and that I could do it if I felt,
That I’d had enough, that I was done with this, that I wanted a new life,
That I wanted freedom and choices, and for this I was ready to fight.
I was unsure to begin with, had no idea where to start.
Physically I was free from it, but what about my head, what about my heart?
I found a fight within me, a fight for hope and a fight for life,
I could see there was a way out of this, it would be hard, but it would be alright.
I took one step, and the next, with people by my side.
My family, my recovery friends, they’re all helping me find my stride.
I’m growing and I’m learning, I’m finding smarter ways to cope,
That’s why we’re all in recovery together, to give each other hope.
So turn to the person next to you, and know that they understand,
No-one has to live in the dark, no-one is alone in this land.
We’re all in this together, working hard to stay alive,
But not just that, to live a life; to laugh, to love, to thrive.
We’re a family, a community, of people who’ve made a choice,
To find a way to start again, to give ourselves a voice.
So let’s celebrate how strong we are, let’s get up on our feet,
Let’s stand up and fight against the drugs, the booze, the things that made us feel weak.
We’re healing, we’re feeling, we’re slowly opening our eyes,
Breaking free from chains that held us, looking up to clearer skies.
We can feel the air in our lungs and the sun shining down on our face,
As layers of addiction start falling away, the more that we place, our faith in each other, in ourselves and in our world.
In a life we can hold precious now, a beautiful life that we know we all deserve.