Recovery is something that should be celebrated to show that we do recover, that treatment works and there is always hope.

If my story is able to help one person get through a hard time then it’s worth me sharing it.  The more people who speak out and show that recovery is possible the better chance we have at breaking the stigma of addiction.

Writing poetry has been one of my biggest therapeutic tools to stay clean.  When I entered into the halfway house, I was in there with 25 guys either on their way to prison or it was their first stop out of prison, I had a hard time opening up for fear of judgment.  Writing down what I was going through helped fill the emptiness in my chest and gave me strength when looking back at old pieces I wrote to see how far I had come up until that point.

I’m grateful to be there for my family and for my kids. I used to be the empty seat at holiday dinners, missing Thanksgiving, Christmas, too ashamed to show my face because of the drug addict I had become, but that struggle made me into the man I am today.

There is no obstacle that you can put in front of me that I can’t overcome.  I was an IV user, homeless, with no friends and no family, hopeless, and at one point believing that death would be my only salvation.  However, I was able to take my life back.  I live for my handsome little man Christian and my beautiful baby girl Payton.  If not for recovery I would not be the father that is present in their lives and I’m so grateful for that.

My recovery has given me the opportunity to work with an incredible organization called Wicked Sober which puts me on the front lines helping those who are struggling to get the help they need, and being a voice for the voiceless!  I wanted to be a part of this project because it brings recovery out of the darkness and puts the spotlight on some amazing individuals.  Recovery is something that should be celebrated, should be put on display, to show that we do recover, that treatment works and there is always hope.

I am.

I am the surface of a sleepless ocean
The cold depths of frozen emotion
I am the pieces of a heart broke

Floating inside a love that was stolen

I am written poetry spoken

I am a fresh page
With a mind full of things to say
Reminiscing of yesterday’s best days
To get the stress away
Even if I’m depressed today

I am that feeling inside
When you look your love in the eye
That no other person alive could provide
I am the sun setting on a crimson sky

I am trapped inside these speakers
Turning naysayers into believers
When the poem gets deeper
I am the teacher
Abusing the fact that I have the platform to reach ya

I am lost in the wind
A breeze that will never come across you again
Brought up in Boston
Boxed in the problems
Of coming from the bottom
Where rising is the only option

I am the beautiful ugly
A recovering junkie
Making barely enough money
To keep a roof over me and my son that loves me
And I refuse to let him go hungry
Because my past has come back to crush me

I am that first breath of freedom
Breathe in the thousand reasons
Leaving a cell block of demons
Screaming freedom
Like you just left work for the weekend
Only the work week lasted for a few years
Borrowed time won’t make you see clear
As you watch your youth disappear
You learn the truth while you’re in here
Only your true friends will be there
When you breathe free air
I am the rebirth of Pac, Poe and Shakespeare
I am the rose that grew from concrete
The thump, thump beneath the street
Of where Romeo and Juliet would meet
I am the madness created by the tell-tale heart beat

I am Achilles at war
But my pen is my sword
Using the allure
Of everything I went through before
As a metaphor
That you don’t have to struggle anymore

I am the morning light
After making it through the night
That might have taken your life
When there was nothing but darkness in sight
But you found the strength to fight
Because the sun shines bright
Once you believe everything will be alright
I am the last words that a poet writes

I am the scars telling the story of my past
That remind me of what I’ll see when I’m looking back
Similes didn’t have the impact of half of that
So I literally mapped out the path from where I was at

I am chaos finding serenity
The point beyond infinity
Taking what’s given to me
So I can build from within my city
I even pray for my enemies
Cause once upon a time they were a friend to me

Regardless if they see it differently
I am trying to make history

I am a legend
Or so I’ve been told by my friends that made it to heaven
As a penmen
I am the extension of their resurrection
For anyone abusing prescription medicine
Whose progression led them to heroin
Let that settle in
I am the voice of a generation
Raising my voice to the nation
For any addict getting high in a basement
Or kid trying to get clean as a detox patient
That they can say
I am one of the ones that made it

I am hope for those that lost it
Carrying pieces of broken dreams in their pocket
Who still think happiness is found in material objects
I am street knowledge

I am passion, pleasure and pain
I am lightning, thunder and rain
I am what my mother made on the first day of May
I am a heroin addict that changed
But couldn’t wash away the stains that covered my veins

I am Matthew Ganem and you will remember the name

I Am Not Anonymous