What could have been

Swept away by the good ol days
My mind capturing
Those memories
Holding them up as a reminder
Of what was
The me I used to be
The first time of lasting sobriety
Opened up my tiny world
For a span of 4 years
My tortured mind unfurled
I moved about my life
Head held high
Freedom began to ignite
Passions
Interests
The ability to follow through
I awoke with vigor before the sun
Pounded the pavement
Breathing lightly during my run
My old dusty tennis racket
Found its way to my hand
A favorite sport replaced by booze
Which was never the plan
I soon rose through the ranks
As the tennis gods looked on
One of the best players in the valley
A team quickly signed me on
Thrown into playing competitively
I fell in love
Became obsessed
Never would I have thought
I’d find the game again
My best self blossoming
Emerging
Finally living life
Not merely existing
Though not for long
The darkness came for me
I ran faster
Played harder
The demons of my mind returned
Wreaking havoc
Stealing my beloved racket
Collapsing in silence
I began to hold my breath
Ultimately ended up in a hospital bed
Stripped
Broken
Shattered
No sense of self
Crawling my way back
Years stretch into more years
Stability ever elusive
Inpatient
Outpatient
Fighting side effects
Fighting voices
Fighting for my life
Prescription for exercise
When I can barely get out of bed
Sitting on the couch
Trying to make sense of it all
My doc suggests I reach for the racket
Try to relive the glory
I explain to her
That is no longer me
That door has been long closed
Desire stolen from me
Faith in my self, my skill
Lost in the rabbit hole
Can’t find it in some pill
I hate her for the suggestion
The reminder of what could have been

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