What Is A Poem?
A poem is a written form of art that conveys emotions or ideas in a variety of ways. Although a poem is a form of writing, poems most often follow a specific pattern or rhythm and differ from the grammatical sentences and paragraphs of writing or regular speech. Recovery poems for addicts focus on the process of drug use and addiction recovery in ways that inform their audiences of just what a struggle this can be.
Poems can influence or evoke strong feelings within a viewer and allow them to see a new perspective, visualize their own experience in a new way, or connect with the poem. Poems are an amazing art form that can greatly benefit their reader.
The books from Dr. Seuss are a great example of poetry that few do not know. With his rhythm and rhymes, he is able to captivate a reader through his story and leave them with an idea that he has influenced them with his words.
What Is The Point Of Art?
The general point of art, in a strict and definitive way, is essentially a tool of communication to communicate different thoughts or feelings between people. Writing poetry is a method in that many poets and people rely on as a method of expressing difficult, inexplicable things.
Most people have very difficult life experiences that they may not want to or struggle to talk about. Art is a method in which people are able to speak or show their emotions without actually saying anything.
For a concept or idea, it can more easily be represented through art rather than explained. Some writing may be limited through this but poetry is better equipped to reach for the more difficult to explain topics.
Poetry specifically allows for a poet to show a concept or emotion with language. Through figurative language, imagery, and other rhetorical devices, poetry can paint a mental picture within your mind without literally painting or presenting a picture.
This image that is drawn inside of your mind, figuratively not literally, provides you with a perspective they live, have lived, or a new view on something. Gaining an understanding perspective can help provide greater clarity on a tough topic to comprehend as an external viewer.
Drug Addiction And Substance Abuse
Drug addiction can bring on unwanted pain to a person’s life in many unexpected ways. The most known way addiction affects a person is through the physical body and psychological mind of someone.
A person struggling with addiction typically faces withdrawals and body dysfunction which can lead to difficulties in a person’s daily experience. The unseen problems with addiction come from the difficulties in the people and places around them.
As addiction affects behaviors and judgment within the brain, addiction can lead to a decreased quality of life and place pressure upon the people close to an addict. With the lack of proper education around addiction, friends, family, and all involved may struggle to help the addicted individual.
Addiction can arise for numerous amount of reasons including:
- Passed down genes
- Peer pressure
- Continued substance use
- Exposure to substance use during childhood and developmental years
Art Won’t Help Me, Why Would I Bother With It?
Art is not going to solve issues you may be struggling with. It won’t change the literal facts of the situation around you. So if it’s not going to help improve your situation, why would you even bother with it at all?
Art is able to help provide you with the connections you need to better understand your experience. Art can validate all that you have experienced suffering through addiction. Art can give you the hope you need to fight for recovery.
How Does Art Help Recovery?
As art is an expression, it can help an individual struggling through addiction both connect with art and others through art or create and express themselves through art. People recovering from addiction endure unexplainable difficulties that can be difficult for others to grasp.
Art is a medium that can express many of those unexplainable difficulties that are endured. As feelings are a major part of addiction, they are also a major part of art. The withdrawals of addiction are one of the biggest factors that make recovery so difficult.
Addiction can influence someone into having to manage many difficult emotions. Some of the withdrawal symptoms that someone with an addiction may endure include:
- Anxiety – intense, excessive, and persistent worry and fear
- Depression – chronic sadness
- Cravings – an insatiable desire for something
- Irritability – easily angered
- Aggression – violent behaviors
5 Insightful Recovery and Addiction Poems
Before reading these poems, it is important to note that poems are often misunderstood in many aspects. Poems are not typically understood immediately however, it is commonly assumed that it must easily be understood.
Poems are usually intended to be read, reread, and read aloud to build a proper comprehension of the words of the poet. With the many tools available for poetry, a single word can effectively change the entirety of a poem.
Moving into reading these 5 poems, each poet speaks on a different aspect of addiction or recovery. They are written from the direct lives and experiences of these poets. 1 of these poems includes one of the most famous poets, Dr. Seuss.
Step Two: Higher Power – By Hala Alyan
Hala Alyan has extensive experience in addiction is a psychologist specializing in this topic and an individual in recovery. One of the most common forms of treatment for addicts include the 12-step treatment program.
This poem by Hala Alyan focuses directly on Step Two which is “[coming] to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.” Hala is open about her difficulties in sobriety.
For a while it was easy as inventing an oak tree:
start from the top and worry your way down the trunk.
Or a new continent, emerging green and deserted after
years on water, the simple rapture of the highway going coast
to coast with more America than any of us ever wanted.
I guess you could say I love this city like I love prickly pears,
which is to say, not very much, or only when I’m starving.
My friend sends me photographs of the plane crash
in Curaçao and says they’re opening a restaurant there,
people eating among the dead, which I find gruesome
but she says isn’t Manhattan built on a slave cemetery,
and every time I’m in an airport I see all the unmade beds,
the houseplants too shriveled to save. I’m afraid of sleep this week.
Next week it’ll be something else: mosquitoes, black holes,
the snap of fireworks from one rooftop to another.
It’s like how I lied about getting sober: it was hard.
I’d pretend it was a road trip, that I’d be drinking again
on Saturday, and the Mondays and Wednesdays would tick by,
until it was Saturday, and I’d lie to myself again,
it’s too humid to drink today, I’ll drink tomorrow,
and tomorrow would be my mother’s birthday, then
Monday would arrive like an artless, trilling wife.
This is how a year passed, with hundreds of lies,
like that midnight walk in the French countryside dark…
… (abridged due to copyright restrictions)
Love Poem To Los Angeles – By Luis J. Rodriguez
Luis J. Rodriguez has shared his experiences, good or bad, of his life in Los Angeles through this poem. He was able to craft the light sides of L. A. while continuing to show the worst that it has to offer. He showed the reality of his experience with happiness and fear.
To say I love Los Angeles is to say
I love its shadows and nightlights,
its meandering streets,
the stretch of sunset-colored beaches.
It’s to say I love the squawking wild parrots,
the palm trees that fail to topple in robust winds,
that within a half hour of L.A.’s center
you can cavort in snow, deserts, mountains, beaches.
This is a multi-layered city,
unceremoniously built on hills,
Flying into Burbank airport in the day,
you observe gradations of trees and earth.
A “city” seems to be an afterthought,
skyscrapers popping up from the greenery,
guarded by the mighty San Gabriels.
To truly love L.A. you have to see it
with different eyes,
beyond the fantasy-induced Hollywood spectacles…
….(abridged due to copyright considerations)
For My Children – By Mary Karr
Most of Mary Karr’s writing focuses on alcoholism and recovery. This poem entails her young experience after high school and how she comes back from using drugs. Click the link to read her full poem.
You’re blessed, will remain,
for a time, unborn, without a past, ignorant of change. This time is false
and will not last.
Welcome To Hell – By Nelly Barnes
Nelly Barnes tells the many stories of her past and her present experience. She is unable to find peace as she is not free from using drugs. She started from the young age of 14 living through her pain. Her story is very raw and direct, showing many negative parts of her difficult life. While Ms. Barnes does not have a published collection, we have reprinted her piece, ‘Welcome to Hell’ here.
‘Welcome to Hell,” the sign should’ve read,
Reaching your destination-all in your head!
“Last call for the train heading to Nowhere Fast,”
The memories you create will forever last.
You want to buy a ticket? What’s the cost, you ask?
Just hop on board, we’ll talk once you’re trashed.
Close your eyes and picture something grand.
No peeking! Now trust me, and give me your hand!
To a beach with water and the sun shining down.
Open up! No beach here, you’re hell-bound.
Of course there’s water! But it’s for your rig and spoon.
Lil’ girl, don’t be afraid; 14 years old isn’t that soon.
The men don’t bite, but you’ll be messed up beyond belief.
When you do pass out, not remembering – a relief.
Ashamed to face Mommy! Got to have that coke!
Shooting dope every day; a girl with dreams lost all hope.
I laugh at you as you toss your life in the wind.
Too far gone…it’s us ’til the end.
I’ll be there when you lose your pride.
When you forget your morals, I’m at your side.
You’ll cheat and steal to have that fix.
Won’t take baby to the doctor although she’s sick.
Getting a pill – definitely #1 on the list.
Oops. Another appointment baby missed.
Nanny buys diapers because Mommy stays high.
Daddy hits Mommy and the children cry.
After years of this bliss the kids got took,
Mommy is a junkie and fast becoming a crook.
You’ll land in jail, a drug addict you remain.
Your heart turns cold as you play the game.
Do not pass go – strip your dignity right here.
This old man wants you, dry your tears,
Quote a price! Self-respect long forgotten,
You’d sell your soul to the devil for an Oxycontin.
I told you girl the destination is in your head!
“Welcome To Hell!” Next stop… Well, she’s dead.
I told you that I’d stick it out ’til the end.
For me, you traded your dreams and kids,
Your Addiction, Life, and your faithful Friend.
You may see Dr. Seuss and already dismiss this as a children’s story however, there is great value within this story. Many of Dr. Seuss’s stories carry messages that can be transferred and carried throughout life at all ages.
This story specifically speaks about the great places you are capable of going. It speaks about becoming lost, getting stuck in a slump, and how difficult it is to get out to then transition to the triumph there can be whether you fall in the mud or you fall in the sea.
This is an abridged version of the book.
(Poem also abridged due to copyright concerns)
Fame! You’ll be as famous as famous can be,
with the whole wide world watching you win on TV.
Except when they don’t
Because, sometimes they won’t.
I’m afraid that sometimes
you’ll play lonely games too.
Games you can’t win
’cause you’ll play against you.
Whether you like it or not,
Alone will be something
you’ll be quite a lot.
And when you’re alone, there’s a very good chance
you’ll meet things that scare you right out of your pants.
There are some, down the road between hither and yon,
that can scare you so much you won’t want to go on.
But on you will go
though the weather be foul.
On you will go
though your enemies prowl.
On you will go
though the Hakken-Kraks howl.
Onward up many
a frightening creek,
though your arms may get sore
and your sneakers may leak.
On and on you will hike,
And I know you’ll hike far
and face up to your problems
whatever they are.
You’ll get mixed up, of course,
as you already know.
You’ll get mixed up
with many strange birds as you go.
Just never forget to be dexterous and deft.
And never mix up your right foot with your left.
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting.
So…get on your way!
Finding Addiction Treatment
Trying to face addiction alone can lead to worsened struggles and a battle against relapsing. There are effective forms of treatment all around us that can help struggling individuals through addiction. Find Addiction Rehabs is here to help make finding that treatment easier.
Whether finding a treatment center in your location, or connecting you with recovery tools and resources, our hotline is available 24/7 to make sure you can get the help you need, anytime you need it.
These poems can provide you with the hope you need to fight against addiction but getting treatment for addiction is important as well. Treatment centers have the resources to properly help you on this journey. Call us today!
Edward lives and works in South Florida and has been a part of its recovery community for many years. With a B.A. in English Literature from the University of Massachusetts, he works to help Find Addiction Rehabs as both a writer and marketer. Edward loves to share his passion for the field through writing about addiction topics, effective treatment for addiction, and behavioral health as a whole. Alongside personal experience, Edward has deep connections to the mental health treatment industry, having worked as a medical office manager for a psychiatric consortium for many years.