In our column Poetry Rx, readers write in with a specific emotion, and our resident poets—Sarah Kay, Kaveh Akbar, and Claire Schwartz—take turns prescribing the perfect poems to match. This week, Sarah Kay is on the line.
I am a young woman living in New York. I am the daughter of an alcoholic. When I was twelve, my mom stopped drinking, and we began a long conversation about the nature of addiction. We spoke about our genes and the importance of drinking cautiously (if at all).
Two years ago, I went through my first breakup (we were together for five years), and I have since surrounded myself with new friends (many who drink heavily). I feel as though I am starting to depend on alcohol to bring me the comfort that my partner once provided. There is a large part of me that would love to be sober, but it seems there is a larger part of me that enjoys the instant gratification and social ease that alcohol brings.
I am searching for a poem that will encourage me toward sobriety and/or capture this dual nature within myself.
Afraid of My Own Addiction