Are you there?

In the past few weeks I have spoken to three people whom I have considered close friends over the years and was excited to be back in contact with, only to discover that they have disappeared within themselves and been replaced by a drugged out, strung out, alcoholic, you name it, shadow of their former high standards selves. Interspersed with these three meetings were stories and evidences of former classmates, former and current acquaintances, and co-workers who have given in to the drink or the drugs.

I know this is a hard time. A lot of people, at least in our area, are being laid off or having hours cut down to the bone. It is difficult to be in your thirties and look around to realize that you have a roommate again, you’re living with your parents again, or you don’t know when you’ll get a pay check again. I understand, believe me I do! You are better than this addlepation though!

The following short free verse was inspired by my feelings while talking to an old friend a few days ago:

Sometimes I think that I see you in there, the strong fiery attitude with hands tough enough to take care of any problem and gentle enough to cradle newborn kittens. Sometimes I even hear that friend I looked up to, your teasing lilt breaking through shaky and mundane tones.

Then you find another pill, pop another bottle, and all that’s left is an angry shell that I don’t know at all.

Laughter turns to yells, teasing to manic laughter and crying (oh, the crying!), and job searches to channel surfs. All I want to see is the real you; the you that I’ve known for all these years, coming out to say hello. Coming out to stay awhile, smiling that goofy smile and hugging us all like long lost family (though we saw you yesterday). But you are so buried in the parties and lies and so consumed by powdered dysphoria that I don’t know if that resurgence is even possible at this point.

Soon, (s)he’ll stop fighting your demons and the shadow you will win, while the world loses another bright light.