Fiction Living in Recovery Poetry

Relapse

On Friday he said: "I'm done with this vaping shit. I don't wanna smoke anymore." I told him, "If you need support or someone to hold you accountable let me know." He didn't respond. Read More

On Friday he said:
“I’m done with this vaping shit.
I don’t wanna smoke anymore.”

I told him,
“If you need support or someone to hold you accountable
let me know.”

He didn’t respond.

He was smoking Newports,
and quit.
He was smoking Newports again,
and quit.
New Years he said he was
done for good. But then,
he started vaping again.
The stress of work got to him.

On Monday I saw he had a vape pen
in his work locker.
With an embarrassed smile,
trying to hide it after I saw,
he said “I relapsed again. I’m sorry.
I want to stop.”

For a brief moment, the temptation
to judge takes hold of my mind,
a wave of disappointment that I don’t express,
because who am I to cast stones?
Who am I? But one who also
struggles with his own addiction.
One who has been defeated and one
who continues to rise again.

What they don’t tell you, is that
the day you want to be sober
from your demons,
they day you say enough is enough,
isn’t the end.

Any addiction, be it bottle, lust, smoke
be it any unhealthy habit that binds us,
it always has the tenacity to linger.

My heart sang, when I saw him the other day,
buying a pack of Newports,
after being off them for two months.
The sound of him packing the box,
hitting it against the palm of his hand,
filled my ears with dreadful dissonance,
a tune that I didn’t wish to hear again.

But, I paused. I didn’t condemn. And I tried not
to judge. I want to be a friend where my friends
can come to me when they need support
when they fall. I don’t want to be the friend
where my friends hide.

Alas, I am weak.
Standing in the convenience store quiet and dumb.
Unsure if he even wanted my support.

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