BE IT FROM SUBSTANCE ABUSE, VIOLENCE OR TRAUMA, RECOVERY IS DIFFICULT

Whatever the reason for being in recovery—be it from substance abuse, childhood trauma, violence, sexual abuse, or war—the feelings are similar: guilt and shame, as survivors of trauma and substance abusers both tend to blame themselves. Both often long deeply for a return to the bad situation—substance abusers for the fleeting pleasure indulgence provides, trauma victims because they often end up believing their abusers, especially if they are authority figures, victimized a second time by the so-called Stockholm syndrome. Often those in recovery have a panicked urge to take back a shameful action or statement—to delete the past. Their dreams and aspirations drown in a sea of “what ifs” and “if onlys.” Whatever the reason for being in recovery, overcoming feelings of hopelessness and inadequacy is often the hardest part of the process. Perhaps the similarities in feelings gives us a clue as to why so many survivors of childhood trauma become substance abusers and/or inflict trauma on others. 

 

Several years back I tried to combine some of all of the feelings that people in recovery feel no matter what it is they suffered into a poem that was published in Vallum.

 

IN RECOVERY

 

Buddha surely felt this thirst

for self-annihilation end of pain

 

end of twitching memories

shaking shaking shaking

 

shameful when I said those words

shameful when I wrecked the car

 

came late left early shrank in corners 

missed it dropped it didn’t answer

 

stared at screen click and click

drag and paste delete delete

 

paced the porch bathed in street lamp

slapped child delete slapped child delete

 

those said and never said

those faller falling fallen

 

Did they do they will they

know care grieve forgive?

 

Christ must have seen a loathing glass

to hang and bleed deny the beast

 

and hate himself myself despise my empty

yearn to fill desire before hallucination

 

delete delete delete delete.

 

Marc Jampole

Published in Vallum, Vol. 9, #2 (2012)

opedge

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

19 − five =