©2021 Susan Noyes Anderson
Oh what an odyssey it was.
That day, that road. It shredded me.
Climbing tight curves so desperately.
Round edges, lined by rock and tree.
Steep plunges, dropping to the sea.
I drove to save you, my first try.
Of course, I knew there was a way.
All hard-fought battles would be won,
each storm cloud vanquished by the sun
of my still-fresh naiveté.
You were 19, invincible
and mad (seethingly mad) at me.
I forced your hand. You ‘didn’t need’
The Camp, the help, the honesty.
The pine trees. The sobriety.
It all stands pristine in my mind.
The soundtrack (Watermark), the fear.
The fierce desire to break you clear
of dangers better left behind.
I sought. You did not want to find.
It was too soon. We jumped the gun.
You were not ready, but you learned.
In time, you stopped that train. You earned
a respite and some peace, hard-won.
But over can be far from done.
We did not know. We could not know
the worst (far worse) was yet to come.
If this poem resonated with you, you might also relate to this one: You Gave Enough.
When addiction is a reaction to a mood disorder, getting sober is only half the problem. The easiest half, as we found out later. The dual diagnosis (in this case, bipolar disorder) is a risky path to travel, one even the most valiant may not conquer. Our hope and prayers go out to anyone and everyone who is grappling with that challenge. May you or your loved one find a way through.