The Weight of Her Words: “Reality Bites”

Today’s poem is about what it means to really start to integrate the things you learn in treatment into your self, into your life. It’s about recognizing that no one else is going to do that for you; that the only way to truly recover is to work from the inside out, as opposed to letting therapists or parents or anyone else solve the problem for you.

 

8/21/08

 

Reality Bites

 

What’s this fear you have of letting go

This fear of moving on?

 

Why not cede this mad, tyrannical game

In which you’re an ambivalent pawn?

 

It grips every part of your body and brain

It pins down your spirt as well

 

You’re bound by the rules your own mind created

This is your custom-built hell

 

You want to do better, you wish that you could

So in comes your treatment team

 

All this will help, you say to yourself

All is in place– so it seems

 

You convince your new doctors, your family, and friends

That this time you really will try

 

You’re completely sincere– in that moment at least

It’s the most honest kind of lie

 

Sometimes you’re working, surrendering more

And then it’s not just for show

 

But other times when you say that you’re trying

“Trying” really means “No”

 

Most of the time what you’re aware of

Is the reality that you are faking

 

But there’s always the undercurrent of

The mistakes that you are making

 

But can I really call them mistakes?

No that’s not what they are at all

 

For each time that I hit a crossroads

I choose to stand up or fall

 

But that choice  never felt like a choice before

I couldn’t see it for what it was

 

I let my conscious Self fade away

To possessed by my precious chaos

 

The statements I’ve heard about healing my life

Over and over again

 

By people that I know mean very well

But the redundancy made my head spin

 

“You’ve got to stop puking, you’ve got to start eating

Don’t worry, you won’t get fat

 

There’s no reason for cutting and why all the pills?

Please stop this and start that”

 

I know that you love me, I know that you care

But you know that I’ve heard this before

 

What’s so special about this time?

I’m still not alive at my core

 

That’s where my work is– of this I am sure

That’s what I have to explore

 

That place has been shut up for too many years

It’s time that I tear down that door

 

I have done much to focus and learn

But it seems there is more work to do

 

It’s all about choices, and struggles for power

And seeking out what is true

 

Apparently there is only one way

To stop picking wounds that are sore

 

It’s to live in their pain and discomfort

Until they don’t hurt anymore

 

 

© Sarah Henderson 2008

 

 

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About writingforrecovery

Sarah is a writer and poet who speaks out about issues that make people uncomfortable. Sarah advocates for causes such a sexual assault, domestic violence, child abuse, and mental illness, and often speaks openly about her own experiences. She is determined to abolish the stigma associated with these issues and believes that it starts with people telling their stories, so she started a blog called Writing for Recovery where people can do just that. She is the author of three volumes of poetry and is currently at work on her fourth. She is convinced that there's a novel somewhere in her, and occasionally picks at the chapters so far. View all posts by writingforrecovery

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