Drug Addiction Poems: Mugged
By Dan Geeding
Spending nine years working in an addiction treatment center in Oklahoma City gave me the opportunity to meet some marvelous people in recovery. One of these people was a counselor, who was in recovery himself, named Mark C.
Mark wrote this wonderful poem about an alcoholic in the early stages of treatment making a ceramic mug as part of his therapy. Mark handed this out to those just starting their treatment so that they would know that they weren’t alone. For me this poem really captures many aspects of alcoholism and recovery.
An alcoholic muses as he struggles to make a mug in occupational therapy.
Behold this ceramic; made personally,
...Designed not for liquor, just for coffee or tea.
A pottery project, a study in clay,
...To be “in one’s cups” in a whole different way.
To some folks, I guess, this is a great recreation
...For me, I confess, it’s no match for libation.
Hands shaking, room quaking, I can’t seem to stop it,
...It’s all I can do not to fumble and drop it.
With help from the nurses because I’m unsteady,
...We mold and we paint and by then we are ready
To fire this fine piece, this great work of art
...By this child that’s grown old, this drunken old fart.
I’m not really sure just how things got this bad,
...I partied and drank some, but not like dear DAD.
Worked hard for my family, our kids, and her cat,
...But never felt worthy, I now realize that.
Yet turning to whiskey to get some relief
...Became the main source of my trouble and grief.
My life fell to pieces before I found out
...The impact of drinking is felt roundabout.
An earthware cup that set hard on its base
...May chip but won’t break thus retaining its grace.
But crystal decanters, twinkling good cheer,
...Can shatter at noises that no one can hear.
The glass that I lived in was thin but opaque
...Shakespeare says “Devils assume pleasing shape”.
Disguised as a savior, this bottled solution
...Dissolved all my guts with internal pollution.
Now friends discouraged, the family may leave,
...No rescue forthcoming, no well-timed reprieve.
Reluctant and frightened, I’m forced into treatment,
...I’d take a long walk if I knew where my feet went.
In spite of myself, I admit that this cup,
...Reminds me again that I just can’t give up.
The urge to create has returned after years.
...To mold a life that’s formed free of fears.
I’ll face the hot flame of painful mistakes,
Paint bright the future, in spite of the shakes.
Build sturdy the walls of this transforming crucible,
...Less glaze and more depth will, like me, be more usable.
They talk some of God here, it still makes me flinch,
...But it’s spiritual thirst that I know I must quench.
It’s here on the inside, the place I must go
...Reforming takes place where it rarely does show.
All that is needed for me in the end,
...Is simple surrender and will to begin,
To empty my vessel of grief and yearning,
...Become a container for growth and learning.
What comes in a cup?
...Much more than you think,
Especially for those who have lived on the brink
...Of drowning in sorrow from too much to drink.
Here’s raising my mug for a toast without malice
...Communion for life with my little clay chalice.
By Mark C.
What a great gift Mark has given us and especially for those moving into treatment and recovery from alcoholism or drug addiction. It’s a suitable metaphor the mug is for this process.
Rev. Dr. Dan Geeding, the chaplain at Waukesha Memorial Hospital, whose dissertation: Ministering to 12-Step Oriented Persons Through Biblical Curriculum in the Context of Parish Nursing served as a catalyst for this project.
Drug Addiction Poems
Drug Addiction Poems
Summary of Drug Addiction Poems
Drug Addiction Poems are often written during treatment (as the one above was) and can really help bring out things that the addict is having trouble saying.
Drug Addiction Poems reveal how truly difficult addiction is and how much learning to understand the pain can help the addict with treatment.