Who Answers?

The Leech and The Owl


In my addiction, I am a quietly draining presence; I will bleed you dizzy before you realize how attached we have really become. I am gluttonous, feeding in excess of my needs. One binge will soothe my cravings for awhile, at which point I will remove my life from yours. You can remove me without my consent, though I will regurgitate my disease into you before I fall into the dirt.

 In sobriety, I have found positive traits which I shed years ago. At my core, I am the owl: perched alone in the night, observing the world free from judgment. I make my peaceful presence known, and soothe the frightened wanderer through the shrouded face of the forest. I sit sturdily upon a high redwood branch, holding firm to my intuition.

I can see the person behind even the most skillfully constructed mask; I can hear the truth in the even the beast-rehearsed speech. I will use my perception for good, to gently coax the decent nature out of the wounded. I will store your truth within myself and nurture it proudly. However, I only retain that which will promote mine and others’ growth; I will remove all filler and impurities from my being. In

your darkest hour, I will clutch you close and soar with wide-eyed resolve towards a new day.

I am adaptable, melting into the true colors of my environment. I may go unnoticed, but this is because I belong; I may not take credit, because I know good deeds will better preserve habitat than ego.

I am an old soul, a revered part of my primary forest habitat. I am an increasingly rare breed, and may lament my loneliness; I often sense that I am fated for an unshared peak and solitary decline. Many covet the words I do share, but my passive, soft-spoken demeanor often results in my needs not being met.

I was born nocturnal; I adore the enchanted night and the mesmerizing power it possesses. However, this love does feed my isolative tendencies.

I do not use my watchful presence in a voyeuristic manner, but I have become so invested in the lives of others, that I begin to live vicariously through those individuals. I shush my own dreams into the recesses of the forest, and the comfort of the campfire below never

reaches me. I remain in my high perch, adopting an elitist outlook to keep me distinctive, or more honestly, separate.

My sensitivity can bring great pleasure, but also wrenching agony. Others move on or betray their natures; I grow disillusioned, desperate to numb my manic nerves into nod and dreamless sleep. I find I cannot stave off the nightmare, as no creature will stop a coming storm. I may use my wisdom as a justification for not seeking new experiences; this leads me into spiritual decay. If I allow myself to be vulnerable, I might close the physical and emotional gap between myself and others. I might enjoy the vibrancy of day and the hypnotic lull of night.

By: Mike M.

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Filed under: Featured, Recovery · Tags: Addiction, drug addiction, isolation, leech, owl, sobriety, spirit animal

  • Nickolai

    This is the most moving essay I have read at T4A. So well written, so thoughtful, so poetic, so reflective. Mike, you are a truly gifted writer and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for sharing your soul and insights. May your sobriety be long-lived so that you can continue sharing yourself with the world. Great essay!

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