Friday, January 19, 2018

Wasted — An Addiction Poem

photo © Mark Butkus 2011
This number may save the life of someone you love: 1-800-662-HELP

Wasted time.
Wasted mind.
Life wasted in a wasted grind.
Wasted talent.
Wasted luck.
A wasted fellow asking you for a wasted buck.
Wasted youth.
Wasted friends.
Wasted funds for wasted ends.
Wasted you.
Wasted me.
Wasting away to be wasted free.
Wasted space.
Wasted breath.
Wasted clarity until there is none left.
Wasted sight.
Wasted eyes.
Wasted truth is now only lies.
Wasted beer.
Wasted on the floor.
I don't want to be wasted anymore.


— Anonymous


Wasted was posted on Facebook during the holiday season of 2016. It's author shortly went underground and hasn't reappeared on social media. The Bar None Group lost track of another young poet struggling with addiction around the same time and of the same age. He re-appeared through random "Likes" on the Bar None Group Facebook page during the holiday season of 2017.

We touched base last week. He had five months of clean time when we spoke. He had kept writing — he had notebooks full of poems from living under bridges, living on the streets. When he gathered up his notebooks he'd share them with us. We chatted away the afternoon. I was happy to have him re-enter my life. Happy that he had kept writing. Despite his addictions he had a good heart and a voice for poetry. I was happy to have shared that voice within these pages and offer the Bar None Group as a creative outlet for his poetry.

Facebook reminded me that his birthday was Monday. I wished him a happy birthday.

He had OD and died within 48 hours of us reconnecting. Forty-eight hours before his 28th birthday.

I haven't been able to revisit the poetry he has on this site. I am too distraught.

We share Wasted in the hopes that, maybe, just maybe, it may save one life. My hope is that it saves the life of its author who, for now, will remain anonymous.

If you are struggling with addiction please know that you are not alone. Ever.

Call the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP or visit the SAMHSA website for more information. It could be a life or death decision.