What is the beauty
of a crisp sunny morning
if not temporary?
The frost fades
shadows grow short then stretch long again
worms are consumed
and the chirping early-bird
quiets for her afternoon nap.
clouds move in
nighttime sneaks up with false promises.
I drink the potion.
Half-obscured by the shadows of mirrored bar light
I morph like Ursula
and am the hologram of confidence.
Flickering tricks of light, and I
Interesting and happy.
Bottles drained by 4 am;
burn away the fairytale glaze.
Graying tentacles revealed;
red eyes, sagging skin, wilted,
makeup streaks like zebra stripes.
Once again defeated,
I am teetering home on heels;
a hobo-clown on stilts.
For several decades this was my story.
Each day started with new hopes for myself, but by evening I was lost to my addiction.
I functioned — as a teacher, as a wife, as a daughter, as a mother — but I never thrived. Every day welcomed a new battle against the pull of the bottle. Some days I fought harder than others, but most days I gave in.
Until eventually I didn’t.
Enough was enough, perhaps. Or my pain finally became hot enough to light the fire of my inner strength. Or my love for my children became greater than my shame of myself. I don’t know if I can name it, but something finally shifted three years ago.
On January 7, 2018, I made the decision to quit drinking. You can read my story at the link below.
It is never too late for a new beginning.
Vixen Lea is a mother to two small children and a number of animals, but first and foremost she is a human struggling to hang on to joy and presence. Poetry helps her remember who she was before juice boxes and laundry and playdates. Her writing has appeared in Flying Island literary journal, The Manifest-Station, and can be found on her blog wakinguprazzledazzle.com.