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Deb Jones Jan 2019
Some people are ground so far down it seems that the earth is embedded forever in their skin.
But if you scrub long enough and hard enough you can eventually wash that ingrained filth away and become the shiny and brightened person you were always meant to be. And it feels wonderful.

For all the victims, both genders, that become survivors
ManxPoetryGuy Feb 2019
My face lies flat on the concrete floor,
A torrent of blood oozing from my nose,
The winter air nips at my skin as the snow starts to build upon my back,
I’ve fallen and I can’t get up.
Sometimes depression can leave you feeling lifeless, this is a representation of how I feel when I go into an episode.
(Sorry got more depressing **** I’m really getting around to writing some happier stuff I promise)
Nadia Aug 2019
Her voice, sweeter than buttercream
- Salty words won’t pucker her song,
Honey bees follow her adoringly -
The kindest person ever to come along

Her legs, thick with gorgeous muscle
- A tornado couldn't knock her down,
Tree trunks turn green with jealousy -
She's the strongest person in town

Her eyes, alight with warm welcome
- a blackout wouldn't dim her glow,
Lesser stars shrink away in envy -
She's the friendliest person to know

She’ll protect anyone who needs it,
Forgive the most egregious slight
Faced with anger, she won't feed it
Full of grace, she’s everything right

Sadly, he won’t go the way of Earl
But who wouldn’t cheer his self-demise
He who siphoned power, stifled song
And stole the laughter from her eyes

Somehow, she’s still tornado strong
The bees know she’ll sing once more
Her trust might need a little time but
When she’s ready, glowing, she’ll soar

NCL August 2019
Jordana Mar 2019
To loosen bloodsucking latch just to find a new host
As quickly as I realized it was hurting me most
Is to perpetuate the pain of a parasite’s plight
And never find identity in my own right.

To transfer reverence for mother
To an equally glorified other
Without consultation
Of my individual ideation
Is to so habitually self impound.
I deprive myself the Possible
Of the voice within, inaudible
To ever find its sturdied, separate sound—

Of solo and self-assured resonance.
I look in mirror and find the countenance
Of a girl who knows no trust in self
Of a child who does not know to tell
Herself she is worthy of belief;
Grace spelled.

I release my suckling grip
From the sources which insist
On keeping me as small as I stay.
I let the wounds heal
Watch blood congeal—
Where we were attached
Is now torn flesh
Open and frayed.
Amanda Jean Oct 2016
JB was on my mind
Too many times
Everything he ever talked about
Became my walk my talk
My singing and shouts

I knew from the start that it would have an end.
I can't ever seem to get used to these new beginnings.

I fell into manipulation
I'm recovering
Trying and recycling...

My old and new beliefs
The old and new me
Trying to become
What I've always
Seeker of light
Prayer of health
Child of God
People pleaser


He she won't be ANY GOD TO ME
Father Father help me
Pradeep Oct 2018
Here I was, reading and
writing poems on HP,
glad I hit a personal
high in frequency,
if not classic poetry.

Some months passed,
and my interest in it,
being afflicted with
Poetry Enthusiasm Deficit.

Was it work, ***** Netflix
intake with less water,
or i let 'busy' hijack my
life while poetry
passed me by?

The doctor told me,
'take it easy,
one word at a time,
or you'll feel queasy,
PED can happen any season,
not the Netflix kind,
the autumn-spring type,
I know how you feel'.

I glanced at his notepad
just as he covered it,
scribbles with lines
ending with rhymes,
crocin and aspirin,
words of chemical mystery,
compositions poetic
and bitter tonic
converging like two streams,
reminding me of modern art
since I could decipher
little from the sheet o' paper,
too surprised to pretend
to comprehend.

'I am recovering, I will form
a support group,
give a PED talk even,
'Just let it out' '.

I did. I realised PED's
a good reason
to mask a rant as a poem.
Don't you blame me, I
more than hinted in the title.
Matt Bernstein Apr 2019
The bed is empty again.
Warmth settles in the void
now reclaimed
by neatly tucked sheet corners
and a fading memory in the mattress.
A wayward dream of soft snores
begging to come true

One pillow
recovering from a restless night,
the other
frozen like marble.
Too foreign to be disturbed.
Too real to be dismissed.
Too distant to be admired
Louise Feb 2019
recovery isn’t cool.
it is exhausting,
terrifying and scary.
to know you have to
lose control completely,
over everything
you used to do,
before you are able
to get it back again.

most days,
even getting out of bed
is a challenge.
and some days i fail.
but that’s okay,
i’m slowly getting better.
at my own speed.
i’m also learning to have
more faith in what will
come my way and
what eventually
will not stay.

l. h.
Lizzy Dec 2014
You held my bones together
Kept me all intact.
But now I'm coming unhinged.
My fingers are losing feeling,
Detached from who I am.

My dry tongue,
And teeth falling lose.
Can only make a slapping sound,
No cry for help.

My skin is so lonely
My hips go untouched.
I shiver so quick
I look frost bitten.
But really I'm just cold,
Without a warming touch.

I'm sorry I'm weak,
And can't keep my pace.
But it's all moving so fast
And I'm trying so hard
Not to fall behind.

I'm pushing my legs
As far as they will go.
And I know my slow knees,
Are holding you back.

I can't give you life,
But god, i can try.
To make you feel as deeply,
As fully as me.
I can't promise you much
Because I'm an unpredictable mess.

But I can promise
I'll give you all that I have.
Sacrificing my sanity
To keep yours intact.

My prayers have become
Begging cries.
Begging to god
To keep us alive.

Repenting the sins
I've scared myself for.
I came so close
To recovering my soul.

But you might as well be ******,
Or some other drug.
I itch for you
Return to my veins.
But with every drug
Comes a crash.

A weightless,
Glowing feeling,
When you get the first taste.
But really it's just poison,
Ruining your veins.
I like this
- Apr 2016
never thought it would be that easy

all it took
were two hands
two bottles gulped
two stomachs with nothing but butterflies
two trapped hearts
two lonely souls
a hug
a tight one
another one
a gaze
a warm gaze
a soft touch
a soft voice
telling me to just look at the stars
when there's none
and pretend that cranes
were giraffes looking after the city
and a kiss
on a forehead
we both know we're trapped
but we pretended

you told me you were home
and i couldn't get any happier
for you
step by step you were recovering yourself
and step by step
you made me lose mine

and time's up
we had to part ways
but whatever chance we had, we took
whatever it took, we did
and another kiss
your hugs were tighter

then we faded
Carter Dec 2019
I’m addicted to you
and the way you made me feel.
I spent the nights after it ended
going through withdrawals
that were almost as bad as when i forgot my medication for three days straight.
Every time i saw you made me
want to relapse
just to feel your skin against mine.
Now i’m no longer addicted to you.
You’re just a bad memory
and a former fix.
Lizzy Jun 2016
People will often say
That those who have trouble
Letting others in
Are "guarded".

And maybe that's true
In most cases.
They wear an emotional
Suit of armor
And build imaginary walls
Around their hearts.

I also have trouble
Letting people get close.
But I would not,
In any circumstances,
Say that I am "guarded".

To call someone "guarded"
Insists that they are protected,
Safe from harm.
That's where the word loses its
Relevance to me.

I am not protected.
Not in the slightest.
I wear no suit of armor
And have no walls
Around my heart.

I'm as vulnerable as a baby deer
Who's lost it's mother
And broke it's leg.
I am susceptible
To any and all types of injury.

I am not safe from harm
Or impervious to heartbreak.
In fact,
I'm fragile.
My heart is brittle
And will break as easily as glass.

I have trouble letting people in,
But I am by no means "guarded".
I have trouble letting people in
Because I am extremely unguarded.

I am not protected or safe,
But I am evasive.
Which is probably
The smartest thing to be,
For people like me.

I run from danger
And emotional intimacy
Because I know
I'm too frail
To handle being mistreated
Or left alone.

After letting myself fall
Over and over again,
I've learned that love
Is not worth the pain
It inevitably causes.

I am done risking
My delicate soul
To feel close to someone.
At least for now,
I don't want to love
Or be loved by anyone.

For now,
I'm still recovering.
I'm still learning how to live
With myself and without the
Infatuation of someone
Who will most likely end up
Being nothing but a memory.

I won't correct you
If you call me "guarded".
But those who do not wish
To be emotionally close
Are not always so hardened.
Sometimes they're soft
And scared of the world around them.
Chris Aug 2017
i see
your hard-to-hide bark-ribbed arms
wrapped in dark sleeves,
they've slipped away from here.
push your face farther into his chest
pretend in her trust is a safe place to rest
lay in his bed, recovering.

and outside meetings people click on,
quickly, with motors cranked, ticking:
"cleanness slapped with black so fast
and wrapped in a blanket called disaster."
torn up wrists and IV veins,
you say
"clear off from me,"
feeling halfway between
a photo folded too many times
stale painted-dead air curling off the world.
Barely holding on,
We're sometimes not there at all.
shout out Jessie Pinkman
Rain Jun 2018
My heart is not slashed through,
Not shattered into a thousand shards, still sharp
It is only bruised, but it will heal, it will recover

My mind is not fragmented,
Is not a rubber band pulled taut, ready to snap at any moment
It is only chipped, a small piece of sanity missing from a masterpiece of calculation, but it will heal, it will recover

My will is not crushed,
Not flattened into submission, never again to be raised in objection
It was only lying low in fear, hidden from your mirthless laughter, your jarring words spouting from a mouth of lies,
but it will heal, it will recover

My hope has not been stolen,
Is not a brief flare, quickly doused by tears shed solely because of you
No, the flame of hope has only wavered, flickering on the edge of extinguishment, but it has survived, and is here now as I finally gather my scattered courage to face you
No more!
My hope is no longer the tender flame atop a candle, but is now a roaring inferno
Pushing, shoving back against the tyranny of your control
No more!

And I am healing, I am recovering
And I will make it through.
I will become whole once more
Without you.
This isn't written about a lover, but rather an abusive or suppressive parent. Please remember that even if an experience changed you, even if a truly monstrous situation were to befall you, there is still hope for healing. No, things may never be the same, but human hearts don't work that way- we don't go through something and come out unscathed, but you can decide how something will change you. You can choose to stay strong, even if strong sometimes means crying long into the night, or getting help, if that's what you need. Strong is choosing to continue to fight, even when it seems like life is conspiring against you. Please remember that.
John Stevens Oct 2014
I was asked to talk on hope so… This was presented March 12, 2009 for a  “Celebrate Recovery” session.


My­ daughter asked me where I was going this evening. I said I was going to “Celebrate Recover” meeting to give a talk on HOPE.  She asked, “what are you recovering from dad?’  I told her” My name is John and I am a recovering parent.”  She was rather amused.

Hope. When all is going well and the world seems to be heading your direction… you maybe don’t need hope or think about hope very much. If you do it might be rather superficial as in “I hope I get to work on time”. Personally, right now, “I hope I can get through this talk on hope.”

When life puts you through a trial by fire and all seems hopeless in the eyes of man, when all is burned away such as pride, selfishness, lust, ( insert your favorite hang up here)… all that is left is hope and faith. For me pride evaporated. I had and still have a bumper sticker which says “Proud parent of an O’Leary Junior high student.” The bumper sticker has faded into near nothingness now but it is a reminder of what was left for me. Hope and faith were still standing tall. Pride faded into the past and hope refreshes the vision of the future.

Hopes in our past are probably gone or maybe faded like the bumper sticker. We must look for new hope from Jesus’ words and His life. We must base our hope on Him, live in Him, trust in Him and never give up.

Most of my life, I have been the type who could fix things. Then the reality that my youngest daughter was broken and I could not fix her nearly shattered my life. As hard as we may try we can not live the life of someone else for them. Alcohol and drugs had apparently triggered bi-polar tendencies and she went from a straight A student to a total failure in a matter of months. It was very difficult to understand or even accept that this was happening to our family. For some time the guilt factor was rather great. Where did we go wrong? Why is this happening to OUR family?

The next two years spun totally out of control. Counseling and therapy seemed to make the situation worse. I remember saying in one session, “I feel as if she is on the other side of a glass wall. There is a door in the wall but there is no handle on my side to open it. As I pound on the door, she is bleeding to death and she will not or can not open the door and let me in to help her.” I felt helpless and there was little hope. Life as we knew it was slipping away and it would never be the same again.

Skip forward to May 6, 2003. At work, I received a call from a credit card company and they ask, “did you make such and such purchases? No.” They put a stop on all activity on the card. I went home and found my card in my daughter’s room. I told her to get dressed we are going to take a ride. She got some clothes on and we went down to the Sheriff’s office. A couple hours went by as we sat on a bench and waited. Our hearts sank as we watched her taken out of the sheriff’s office in chains to juvenile detention.  

This was the turning point of hope. It was going to be a promise of new hope or a train wreck. It all depended on the decisions she would make in changing her life style. There was a light at the end of the tunnel and I hoped it was not an oncoming train. After 20 days of detention and another 30 days house detention, we made a trip to the Walker Center where she would spend the next 30 days. It was not an easy 30 days and there were some very tense moments. About 3 weeks into the 30 days, there were three intense days of family sessions. On the second day of the family sessions at the Walker Center, we were on our way home and for the next two hours, I felt compelled to write this piece. I could not stop writing. It just flowed out of the pen from the interaction with parents and our children.

“My Name is __.
I am a Dopeless Hope Addict.”
© (7-25-03) John L. Stevens

Life seemed to ****.
The pain seemed so real.
The drugs seemed so easy
To change what I did feel.

At first it seemed to help
To cover up the pain.
But the ******* sound I heard
Was my life, down the drain.

The hole I found myself in
Got deeper by the day.
Hope seemed to fade from me
That help was on the way.

The help I sought and found
Was the “friends” who got me here.
Those who had the ***, the ****,
The drugs and the beer.

The family I once had loved,
Seemed distant from me now.
My love had turned to hate
By the love of drugs somehow.

The hole caved in on me
From a distance I could hear.
“We loved her, Oh so very much”
“We failed her. Somehow my Dear.”

They pulled me from the darkest hole
I, myself, had dug.
And took me into their arms
To rescue me from drug.

The days turned into many weeks.
My head began to clear,
To see the ones who really love me.
My hate was not so near.

A cloud of doubt and guilt rained down
For the things I had done.
Soon love returned to fill my heart
Where once the drugs had won.

Forgiveness came from those who loved,
To me, for the many years.
For the pain and sorrow I had caused
To them, through many tears.

A group of families gathered ’round
With love so great for me.
I soon discovered through the tears
Their abundant love was free.

I felt the love of those who care.
I learned to love again.
To care once more for what I’d lost.
To trust and live within.

When temptation comes to my door
To offer me a high.
Let Love instead answer the knock
And with Serenity say – goodbye!

This story has not ended. It will continue for a life time. Life is about choices we make on a daily basis. It dictates what we will possibly do tomorrow based on what we do today. Life is built on choices. The end of the story will be written when we meet the One who loves us unconditionally. The One who died on the Cross for us.

Love triumphs over adversity when God is in it. In the vernacular of Lola of “Charley and Lola “Never, never, never, ever give up” must be the words to live by. Progress is made even when there are two steps forward and one step back. Thank God for the progress. Hope lives on in the hearts of those who trust Him.

A strange feeling set in during the time she was in detention and a ward of the court. We could sleep at night. We knew she was in a safe place and not running in the drug culture. It meant we would not get a call in the middle of the night to identify her body. It was the first time in a long time we could breathe.

On Father’s Day that year, my daughter wrote me a two page letter, a beautiful letter saying she understood why we did what we did. I treasure this letter. Tough love does not get any tougher. It was very tough on us. Most every night the last few years when I go to bed and she is awake, I hear this little voice as I pass her bed room, “Goodnight Daddy, I love you.” “I love you too, Sweetheart.” It melts my heart every time.

As I lay my head on the pillow my thoughts most every night are, “thank you Father for this day. Thank you for my daughter, thank you for letting us be her parents.” And with that, all is well in the world.

Faith, hope and love. The greatest of these is love. Without love there would in all likelihood not be very much faith and hope hanging around. God’s love for us is so great, how can we not give our love to our children and each other, unconditionally, as an extension of His love for us? The story of the prodigal son was ever on my mind. A story of never ending love and hope on the part of the Father.

My hope is in the eternal Jesus who has promised to never leave me or forsake me.

I can not imagine living my life without hope. I can not imagine living without the love of God.

Spring of 2002 unraveled for a friend of mine. His wife got sick, his mother came out to help them and she had heart failure and died in the hospital one floor below where his wife was located. A month later his wife died, he lost his job, a vertebrae in his neck deteriorated, his insurance evaporated. It was Job all over again. We spent many hours of many days trying to make sense of his situation. It seemed pointless. Absolutely hopeless. I can remember a cold fear pouring over me. There was nothing I could do to help him.

I wrote a piece called “Hope for Tomorrow” a couple months later that reflected his loss and my loss when my mother died 1991. Writing is therapy for me. Writing puts on paper a reminder of where I am at that time. The words of this piece points to the loss of a loved one but the thoughts can translate to any loss.

Hope for Tomorrow
© July 2002 John L. Stevens

My heart was so heavy
With sadness and sorrow.
The day was so dark
I could not see tomorrow.
Hope seemed so dim
Through the tears that I cried.
I could not see You Lord
The day that she died.

I remembered Your promise
To be by my side.
For always You’re with me
In You I abide.
In the midst of the darkness
Your hand touched my soul.
You drew me so close
And made me whole.

There are times that I cry
Alone with just me.
When the silence comes crashing
Like a storm-troubled sea.
There are times that I laugh now
When I remember the years.
That we shared together
Through the good times and tears.

The peace oh Lord
The memories You bring.
Fills my life with hope
Make my heart strings sing.
Draw me close to Your side
And lead me gently on.
Give me hope for tomorrow
Till the dark turns to dawn.
Open my heart Lord
Let out the sorrow.
Pour in your spirit
And hope for tomorrow.
I need Your touch Lord
On my heart this hour.
Fill me with Your love
With Your healing power.


I hope these thoughts I have shared with you have been an encouragement to your heart. I hope you will have a renewed resolve to never give up but keep taking baby steps forward as you make your journey with Jesus through this life. Now from the words and wisdom of Lola, “I will never, never, never, ever give up Charley.”

To those who did not go to sleep, thanks for listening.
Ok it will stay up.  It is still a source of pain to read and to remember the days that almost killed me.  Maybe this is for you.
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