‘’What are you going to do, CiCi?’’ my friend asked.

I was still half drunk, missing my purse and my phone, sitting on her front porch smoking a Marlboro Light. I was due to fly across the ocean in a matter of days and wouldn’t be back for 6 months. I knew my demons would be on that plane with me.

What was I going to do?

I’d already survived so much: childhood abuse, the illness and passing of my mother when I was nineteen, and a seven year abusive relationship where I almost lost my life. I’d come too far to give up now. 

I just needed to figure it out. 

Getting sober is just not drinking. Recovering is another animal. 

Suddenly, I was feeling emotions I’d buried for years. I was finally mourning my mother 6 years after her passing. I was realizing the systematic abuse I’d endured for 7 years. I was working through my shit, for which drinking was merely a symptom. 

I was writing.

I wrote poetry, short stories, and journal entries. I wrote during panic attacks, for my 12 step program, for my therapist. I shared what I was going through. I published a poetry anthology. I started a community for people like me.

Sometimes, I can hear my mom’s voice in my head. She tells me ‘’You’re on the right track. Keep going.’’ And I do.

It took me almost 30 years to find my life’s purpose, although it was under my nose all along. I’ve been writing since I could hold a pen, and have shared my story publicly since 2012. 

If I can use my experiences and talents to help others, in a way, that makes what I’ve been through worth it. 

Now, I hear my mom’s voice all the time. 

I’m on the right track.

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Rest In Peace Melissa Reagan-Smith

Gone, but forever in our hearts.