they call it a disease
a dis-ease
of accepting the feeling
in living: overwhelming

but to discern
taught to learn
shame: before forgiveness
complete hum’n’ness

you feel it all
feel them too;
they gaslight you
taught to disguise

it’s in your blood
and when it comes
cravings take you
entity passing through

who are you?
disassociate, disconnect
gnashing teeth, bearing claw
dissonance before the fall

anything to be free
as not to harm
anyone at all
just your self:

but we feel it too
reach out to you
want your heal/th
want your love

Loving and supporting someone with substance addiction is an enduring & learning feat.

Their willingness and determination to navigate the cycles and come through it is the first signal to keep illuminated:
if someone is not ready to heal, and sit in those uncomfortable places, and accept support ~
then the boundaries of protecting yourself are necessity.
It is not your responsibility to fix them.
No matter how deep that love can go.

You cannot play victim.
You cannot enable.
You have to see it for what it is:
make choices.

There is no denial of the pain involved.
So very real, so very laden with conflict and affliction.
Confusion: the way they start to tear at the seams
target you in the trajectory of fulfilling the addicted needs.
Recovery is an infinite thing:
Ever changing. Manic rainstorm floodstream.
(healing is not a linear walk: it spirals
it unwinds; it intersects, it back tracks)
Know whether you are in a place to be on that journey with your loved one –
and uphold the role of support that best fits the circumstance.
Stand moored.
And don’t get pulled into the mire.

Compassion without boundaries is enabling.

You, as someone in relationship with an addict,
need support too. No one should ever be alone along the way.
Find community; find perspective; don’t go losing yourself too.

Shame is the worst burden to learn to lift
as I have learned, watching my loved one disappear
under the weight of feeling shame;
for how his addiction has caused pain, so much pain,
not only to himself, but those who are tethered to him.

I do not pretend to relate to that experience:
(including the pressure pressed falsely
by the beautiful red color of his skin
and that comes with its own legacy, its own
Sonder of inherited traits)
I can only hold space: sit in that safe place
of receiving it, of facing it, of talking through it
with him
of loving him, not shaming him, not judging him
with him
Encouraging him, uplifting him, holding him
with him
when the levee finally breaks and the emotions show
it is a beautiful open river so sweeping in flow
keep it moving: refuse the swell of an undertow

And in a society that considers it ‘brave’ to be vulnerable ~
when vulnerability is as natural as breathing, is as easy as being, without all that mental toxic entanglement that distracts us not only from feeling, but from addressing reality with clarity.

Be aware of how your words shape the future:
If you are recovering, avoid language that assumes the worst:

”this will keep happening”
”this will probably get worse”
”I will keep hurting you”

That cuts progress, nicks the growth at the root.
Be here, now:
What we do and how we speak
shapes where it is that we go,
unfolds on the path
and heals the past
done and gone
but a memory anymore
one that can stain if you let it gain.

Daily practice:
let go, release.

To recognize the potential of relapse, yes:
let’s not be naive, let’s not obscure the possibility
of living in a reality that is still challenging
ups and downs and all arounds
life, change, unpredictability
(but here’s a challenge: what makes it challenging?
is it in the fraudulent beliefs around our fragility?
we are capable, we are wild things, we are accountability
everlasting ~ you have permission to grieve,
to be sad, to be angry, to find wisdom in these teachers,
these feelings ~ like portals, spiraling through ~
in balancing: normalize joy, and rest, and intimacy fulfilling
with land, with kin, with relate-ability: kindness, especially,
as existence is rife with suffering, and your words, your actions,
is the very rudder that steers all our shared waters)
we make the promise to show up:
to just be ready, to just be uninformed by trauma
but upheld by love and curiosity:
with engagement, with enchantment,
Because we really don’t know what tomorrow brings.
It’s how we tend to the garden along the way
in the very digestible nuances of the day to day.

I love you, my lover, who dreams
who wanders through a labyrinth
of struggles unseen
We pray together:
to whomever the name
that threads us to source,
the stillness and focus
that returns us to course:
god, goddess, creator, great spirit
great mystery
(as everything is, surrender here)
not as a substitute for action,
not as a topical balm to a deeper rift
but to stay threaded to the bigger, wild whim:
(all collaborative forces in intercourse
intersecting, influencing, touching this)
A ceremony of harnessing the mind
and living in balance with presence, presently
to find our way back to our own center ~
we cannot control others, we cannot smother them in our means to feel safety outside of the security that we fortify within our selves
and damn, that heart, so full of feeling
a chalice overflowing with love so needing
taught to be afraid, and live in that fear,
can become riddled in the efforts of outward taming.

I love you, my lover, who sings
from deep within the truths of himself
who dares to unlearn the habits of escape
who serves as a bridge for understanding
who embraces his darkness as part of himself:
as a participant in life, day and night
as simple as what is, and what we feed,
how we are taught to see the world
can shape against what real/ly is
(unlearning is evolving
beyond controlling idolatry)

I love you, our addicted kin, who bring
out the secrets of others who refuse to see
but you see, with those wide eyes,
that sensitive body, that beautiful knowing
buried at the depths of their lies.
You are stronger than you know:
and there is strength in your emotion,
your expressions,
your release
your rock bottom
that place where truths reside
in the shadow side,
we open wide
to appreciate what’s b(right).

I love and support you:
you who break generational curses
your relatives had not the tools
had not the will
but to pass onto you
all of the aches of their internal world
in your hands now
howls out of your heart
So big! So fierce! A tempest, a roam!
Unshackle from labels
Make rest within your home
(your body, your house, all that is yours
the altar at the temple of (h)eart)h)

we are right here
don’t disappear
hear feel these words worlds

We love you
We hold you
We love you
We hold you
We love you
We hold you

look around you now
at this tree, this little bird relative,
the moth who follows you

touch the ground
listen to the sound
of all things
bleeding too

returning to you