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Sierra Scanlan Mar 2018
"your mother is an alcoholic,"
my mom jokingly said to
me one night
as she was pouring
herself another drink.

as a kid,
i didn't understand alcohol
or my mother's drinking habits.
she always seemed fine to me,
or at least pretended to be.

i didn't think anything
of the late nights,
or the excuses she sometimes

i smiled at her
and pretending i wasn't
actually worrying inside.
my mother was strong,
she was tough,
and i wasn't one
to criticize her drinking.

and while she said
those words as a
lighthearted joke,
i don't think she realized
i sometimes worried
for my future
and whether my
drinking habits
would hurt me
down the line.

i didn't want
to have to drink
to the bottom of the
bottle to feel something.

nor did i want to have
to drink to escape my reality.

it's a little twisted
and i'm not sure
when things got like this.

and the culture of college
doesn't help people like
me much.

"take another shot"
i take it to ease
the pain,
but i know in
the morning,
it won't make a difference,
i'll still feel the same.

ounces of alcohol,
stumbling legs,
loose smiles,
but things aren't
really what they seem.

i don't have to be
my mother's drinking habits,
pouring a glass each night
after work.

but how much
control do i actually have?
because i already feel
as if i'm spiraling
out of control.
Sierra Scanlan Feb 2018
like the thin air,
you slipped
between my fingertips

i tried to hold
on to you,
us, and
what we shared

i wanted it to
stay in tact
but there was no

it was all
slipping away,
i could feel
the distance
between me and you

i had to let go
of what i wanted
you to be

i was living in
a dream
and it was time
to face reality.
Sierra Scanlan Feb 2018
i tried to make myself
into a puzzle
you'd want to
put together

but there was no use
there was always a
piece that didn't fit
in the picture

i tried to make this
what i wanted it to be

i wanted it to be

but i had to let go
Sierra Scanlan Dec 2017
[ri-flek-shuh n]

1. i wasn't living for myself. i was living to get through the motions of each day and to make others happy. i've been a role model for others ever since shawna was born when i was in the first grade. the weight on my shoulders, i wanted to be good enough. **** it, i just wanted to be something worth while. i feared not amounting to anything so much that i forgot what it meant to live for myself. it turns out i was suffocating myself trying to live up to these unrealistic expectations i set for myself. it was as if i was trapped in a box that had been tapped shut and i was struggling to find air to breathe. i have promised myself to never put myself back in that position. i am meant for so much more. and i deserve to put myself first. the life i was living wasn't for me. and so i took myself down a different path.

2. though i've never put a blade to my skin or swallowed a large amount of pills, i harmed myself and i harmed others, especially those that love and care for me. i'm not sure when things got this bad, but once i realized the destructive person i became, i didn't want to be here anymore. there were no excuses for the poor decisions i was making but yet i couldn't stop. i would look in the mirror and not recognize the girl in the mirror, a girl causing unbelievable destruction to herself and to others. i couldn't feel bad for myself because this was all in my hands. i guess i just wanted to feel something. i had forgotten what it was like to feel and self-destruction was easy to access, a game played between me and myself and no one else. you get addicted to the feeling of watching things crash down before your eyes. i was out of control but the only person that could help me was myself.

3. if i were able to weigh my grief, i'm convinced the scale would break. this wasn't the first time i crossed paths with death and it turned everything in my life gray. cancer took my step-father away when i was 7th grade, my mother without a spouse and my two little sisters without a father. shawna was in kindergarten and candice was in pre-school, too young to go to the services. cheyenne fought with me over wearing white. i was thirteen and didn't know what proper funeral attire was. now they live life trying to remember a father they never knew. i spent much of my adolescent life regretting the words i said and wishing i would've said more. it was selfish of me but when my grandfather passed in march, i felt i was being punished. i couldn't bear the pain i was feeling and it wouldn't go away, so i had to find a scapegoat as an attempt to make myself feel better. i'll be honest, it didn't help, i only pretended it did so i wouldn't fall into a hole of spiraling depression. i still did anyway. i looked at my friends and people who knew who lost ones they loved and wondered how they hell they got over it. i didn't know what to do to lessen my pain. it was so sharp and intense, i carried it with me everywhere i went. my therapist walked me through the stages of grief and i felt like i was reliving the moment he took his last breath. silence. fighting back tears. pacing back and forth.

once i realized grief isn't something we have to get over and instead is something we learn to live with, i felt less crazy.

4. i no longer knew who i was. a friend told me that it wasn't about figuring out who i was again but rather who i wanted to be after this. i struggled and fell to rock bottom over and over again, even after feeling as if i was on the top of the world again. after so many dark hours and low points, i flourished into a girl i wanted to be, a girl i wanted to love, but most importantly, a girl i was proud of. the things we go through in life, they change us, completely and utterly. and we must decide what we do about this change--do we lose time by trying to deny we're no longer who we once were or do we embrace it? i spent a lot of time denying this new person i was becoming. i missed the old me. i wanted her back. but she was never coming back. i took a new form. and i stopped looking back and wondering why. i was no longer meant for the things i once pursued. my own kind of metamorphosis.
Some sort of reflection on the past year.
Sierra Scanlan Dec 2017
it was a saturday afternoon
in december
when we met for
a second time,
the sun was shining,
and there had to be
some reason for that.

the universe was
doing something right
when she brought us
back together

it was may when
we approached the
end of you and i,
or whatever i knew us as.

losing you
was like being forced
to shut a book
i really wanted to finish.

pieces of you
lingered throughout
my everyday life
for months,
but i did everything
i could to shut you out.

months later,
i sat across from you
at this cute cafe and
i couldn't help but
wonder what we did
to deserve each other
a second time around.

your eyes seemed brighter,
a more vibrant blue,
a deeper ocean.

a freckle by your eye
that i never seemed to

i wanted to freeze time and
live this moment forever
with you,
because for once,
everything felt aligned.
Sierra Scanlan Nov 2017
tomorrow's thanksgiving,
i've been trying to avoid
thinking about this day
for weeks.

i've lodged the thought of
it out of my head,
i've buried it away
but i can no longer
avoid it.

i don't want to
stare at an empty
place at the table.

four plates,
four forks,
four spoons,
four knives,
four glasses,
instead of five.

having to fill the silence
with questions about
school and post-grad life,
to steer the topic away
from how empty and sad
we feel without you.

at some points,
seven months
feels the same
as one.

time physically passes by,
and the next thing i know,
it's been seven months
rather than three.

it feels subjective to me,
i've been waiting for time
to mend me and my
hurting heart
but the day hasn't

living with the loss
of you will always
even if it's just a bit.

i will stare at
the empty place
tomorrow and wonder
why you had to be taken
from me.

i give thanks for the 21
years i had with you
but they'll never feel like

do they celebrate
thanksgiving in heaven?
Sierra Scanlan Oct 2017
You are loved. I know life feels difficult right now and it's like you're drowning in the middle of the ocean, struggling to breathe, but you are doing a **** good job at staying afloat. Despite your grief and sadness, you are giving life all you have and that's important to note. While this may not seem like the best you can do, I think it's the best you can do for right now. Give yourself credit for that. Yes, it's vital to give an effort to life and the people you're around but please don't forget to put forth an effort for yourself. Loving and caring for yourself has always been a tough task for you since your big heart's natural instinct is to pour love into others. You're so kind and loving, I know, but you absolutely deserve your kindness and love, more than anyone else.

You're so ******* yourself. It may seem like you're not going anywhere or only moving backwards but I swear you're making progress. Those small victories, no matter how tiny they seem, are something to be celebrated. I'm so proud of you--you've grown so much through all of this and even on the hardest days, you don't let your sadness define you or your worth. You are so much more than your sadness and I hope you'll take note of all the beautiful things there is about you. It may be hard to imagine right now but there will be a time when you don't feel so hopeless. There's always a light at the end of the tunnel, even in the tunnels with the most severe darkness and monster-like things waiting to terrify you.

Don't let your feelings swallow you whole. You are so strong. In a field of sunflowers, you are the tallest one that ever grew, with a sturdy stem and bright petals. i want you to remember this when you feel yourself falling down, unable to find the strength to stand tall. One day, you will be able to look back on all of this and feel satisfied because you didn't give up on yourself. There are days when you feel like existing is simply too much and you want to hide--that's okay. Sometimes life is overwhelming and you can't figure out how to deal. No one has all of the answers. I have faith you will find your way and take care of yourself.

This wouldn't have been thrown your way if you couldn't handle it. Constantly remind yourself of that. You will go through this and grow through it and bloom in ways you never even imagined. Sadness will seem like a foreign concept to you and you'll feel the warmest of rays of happiness. I'm telling you, you deserve it all. You deserve the world. You deserve the love you give to everyone else. You deserve to be happy. Even in your worst times and when you feel like you've ******* up real bad, you are deserving of good things. You have to remember you're a work in progress and not a finished master piece. Be gentle. Be warm. Be compassionate. It'll make your journey feel a little lighter and a little smoother. It's okay to be sad but don't let this be the only thing you ever feel. Seek out things that make you happy in each day, even on the days that feel a bit hellish. Happy things are all over, you just have to be willing to look for them. You can do this. You can get through this. I believe in you and so do many other people.
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