Analysis Of Not Waving But Drowning

803 words - 4 pages

The Pit of Despair The poem "Not Waving But Drowning" struck an emotional chord inside of me upon reading it. Stevie Smith's simple but poignant poem is an incredible description of my first detox from alcohol. Each line in each paragraph took me right back to that sense of impending doom I felt five years ago in my parents basement. Five years ago my alcoholism progressed to a point where I couldn't picture life with or without a drink. My life revolved around a drink and my parents had just about given up on me. I tried to detox myself and didn't get out of bed for ten straight days. "Nobody heard him, the dead man." As I lied there neither of my parents seemed to think there was a problem. My mom thought I was hung over, and my dad thought that I was just plain lazy and needed to get a full-time job. At the time I felt closer to death than any point in my life. "But still he lay moaning." Even though at twenty-one years old I felt ...view middle of the document...

My life was not always this dismal. I have many fond memories of my childhood. "Poor chap, he always loved larking." Growing up I was always known as the funny kid. I was always messing around and had a sarcastic comment to put a smile on somebody's face. "And now he's dead." The funny kid everybody liked died inside of me when I started drinking alcoholically. I became so selfish that I didn't care about anybody but myself and how I was going to get my next drink. "It must have been too cold for him his heart gave way." I wanted to be that funny, caring guy God made me to be but once I would take a drink, the alcohol flooded my head and my heart with other ideas. "They said." Many people throughout my drinking career tried to tell me I should stop. They would say things like: "You're a great guy, except when you're drunk.", "She likes you, just not when you're liquored up." But they didn't know that I couldn't stop and I needed help. I used alcohol as a solution to my problems. I had some serious issues that I would try and drink away. "Oh, no no no, it was too cold always." What I have come to understand is that I am angry, irritable, and discontented, with or without a drink. The alcohol was just masking the real problem that lies within me. "Still the dead one lay moaning." I had been sick all my life and no one has heard me or helped me to this point. "I was much too far out all my life." I had drifted so far, for so long, I was about to go over the deep end. "And not waving but drowning." I couldn't reach out and ask for help, but inside I was dying.In conclusion, Stevie Smith ends the first and third stanza of his poem with the line "And not waving but drowning." I got a much deeper understanding of the phrase at the end of the poem. You think literally this guy is dying and he is not telling anybody.But the fact that he's dying that is the red flag but nobody see's it. As it relates to my story, I had been dying inside my whole life but masked my feelings with sarcasm and alcohol. I couldn't reach out for help, but I was traveling into a pit of despair. Until the tenth day, bed ridden and suicidal, my sister came downstairs and asked me "What was wrong and did I need help?" That moment began my road to recovery.

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