Coming Alive

Growing up is a bitch –
Learning responsibility,
Being true to your feelings,
Acting with integrity,
Putting yourself out there
To experience life on life’s terms.
It’s hard, damn hard.

Every time I felt something
I put a pill in my mouth
Swallowed it quickly
As if someone was going to
pull it out, take it away,
deny me my sustenance.

In years past it was a bottle
Just like a baby’s
Had the same effect
Calming me down
Feeding the hunger
Soothing  my soul
All in the power of 16 ounces.

So twenty years passed.
Pain wracked my body
Sending shivers coursing through
The product of disease.

And I reached for the familiar,
headed for the bottle,
This time on of prescription drugs.
So easy, so seductive, so deadly.

Sobriety met me fairly
And much welcomed
In the nick of time, as I lay dying’
Heaving on bed from seizures,
As my teenage daughter held my hand
Tying me to this life

I had tried so hard to forget.
No longer looking at life
From the sorrowful eyes
of bleak depression,

I have learned to smile, to laugh.
To look in the mirror
And not shudder.
The mirror no longer my enemy.
Looking at life with hope,with conviction,
With joy.

I know how a smile feels
Edging spontaneously up my face.
Half a century went by but
I can say I have many days of peace.
Times when I curl up and read,
think, write, breathe.
Times when I can truly say
Life is good.

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