Therapy (Speakeasy #159)

“You have to address your demons to be a better you,” the woman with the degree and certifications framed on her wall said to me.

“I don’t have demons,” I responded with an air of indignation.

She snorted. “Unbroken people don’t come to my office.”

Sly, coy, like a silver fox, my defects

lurked in the depths of my subconscious.

Unchallenged, they roamed my inner recesses at will.

The mere mention of finding them roused them from slumber,

their golden eyes peering at me from under heavy lids.

I would like to say the concentrated introspection,




resulted in my cure- my becoming “whole”.

I would like to say

I conquered my biggest vice;

that it fluttered for a moment,

magnificent in its struggle,

then wilted and lay still.

Alas, I sat crouched in the room,

lit only by the bluish glow of the microwave clock,

12:34 illuminating my secret- mocking me

as I unwrapped another candy

pilfered from an unattended Easter basket.

Shame emanated from the pastel papers

I buried in the garbage,

like a kitty covers her waste.

Vices, one.

Me, zero.

I reminded myself tomorrow would be different.

I journaled that I’d had a “good” day.

I brushed my teeth and slipped into bed;

the sting of truth soothed by

milky chocolate and denial.


This is my response to the Speakeasy weekly writing prompt, which is to write a piece in 750 words or less (mine is 219 words) and (1) include some reference to the media prompt,  a painting of a silver fox, by John James Audubon, and (2) use the following sentence anywhere in the piece:  “It fluttered for a moment, magnificent in its struggle, then wilted and lay still.”

We are in the middle of ‘family free’ writing on Yeah Write, so I wanted to make a special note to reiterate that this is purely fiction.  I’ve not made any attempt to address my ‘issues’ through therapy.  Also, although we do have Easter baskets of candy around here, I don’t graze from them…. I bought my own candy a few days after Easter for 75% off  😛

I may or may not eat chocolate late-night, but I never bother to bury the wrappers.  I have no shame!

The challenge is open to anyone, so if inspiration strikes, click the badge below to find out how to link up to the fun 🙂


74 thoughts on “Therapy (Speakeasy #159)

  1. nrhatch April 27, 2014 / 8:41 AM

    Stealing chocolate from Easter baskets (a nice vice) is not as much fun as grabbing whole bags for 75% off! Go you!

    • jannatwrites April 28, 2014 / 9:23 PM

      I thought it was a great deal, Nancy. I’m not saying exactly how much I bought, though 🙂

  2. shirleyjdietz April 27, 2014 / 12:47 PM

    That’s a good one. Everyone’s demons should flutter and then lay still.

    • jannatwrites April 28, 2014 / 9:23 PM

      Wouldn’t that be nice? Thanks so much for reading, Shirley!

  3. Eric Alagan April 27, 2014 / 5:34 PM

    Let sleeping demons lie – and lie 🙂

  4. Carol Ann Hoel April 27, 2014 / 7:11 PM

    Kept me hanging on for the next line, Janna. Blessings to you…

    • jannatwrites April 28, 2014 / 9:25 PM

      Thanks, Carol. I appreciate you reading it!

  5. Kir Piccini April 28, 2014 / 6:04 AM

    oh when we try so hard for the “Good Days” and pilfer candy along the way. You used the prompts to a new sugar high.

    • jannatwrites April 28, 2014 / 9:26 PM

      Hehe… I like that sugar high, Kir 🙂 Glad you stopped by to read it!

  6. Kathy Combs April 28, 2014 / 7:16 AM

    Fortunately I have already ate ALL of my Easter candy. LOL So no more sneaking from the basket for me till next year. ♥

    • jannatwrites April 28, 2014 / 9:27 PM

      Aw, you just have to wait until Halloween, Kathy 🙂

  7. Debbie April 28, 2014 / 8:47 AM

    Good one! Kind of tempting to pilfer candy from the Easter baskets (rationalizing that we’re protecting our kids’ teeth, huh?!) Interesting that you chose 12:34 on the clock — I, too, have an odd fascination with numbers in multiple or sequential form!

    • jannatwrites April 28, 2014 / 9:28 PM

      You know, the time selected wasn’t a conscious decision. I was thinking midnight snack but didn’t want it to be exactly midnight. I like how you twisted it to be eating the candy for their own good- so noble 🙂 Glad you stopped by, Debbie!

  8. Sean April 28, 2014 / 8:57 AM

    Ah yes, the demons that are in our lives. We are not perfect and I know I am far from it. For some reason, this was hard to follow for me. Could be that the tinnitus is more pronounced so my concentration is not what it should be or maybe I am just tired. I know you are very diligent in your writing and do it very well so that it flows. Around my house, chocolate or any sweets do not last long except I still had some ice cream left over from a pint I bought the other day which really surprised me. It was good to. Back to the writing, I think everyone tries to hide something at some point but it isn’t until we are able to free ourselves from that something that we are able to be true to our self. thank you for this mind provoking writing.

    • jannatwrites April 28, 2014 / 9:32 PM

      Well, this one was a little abstract. Basically, the idea was that this person was in therapy and by addressing her issues, they actually became worse (because she was looking for the quirks.) Then, she couldn’t handle the facts, so decided to fudge in her journal that the day was good- even though that wasn’t the case. You are right, though: we can’t be free until we accept the truth. Thanks for reading and sharing your thoughts, Sean!

      • Sean April 29, 2014 / 6:45 AM

        Thanks for explaining what I was missing in this. It is appreciated.

  9. tedstrutz April 28, 2014 / 10:35 PM

    Clever girl, how you arrange things so! I liked the third paragraph. Also the way you used the sentence. Oh, one other thing… I bought my own candy… you slay me!

    • jannatwrites April 28, 2014 / 10:59 PM

      Thanks, Ted! I wasn’t sure how this one would shape up, and it might be a little out there, but I found it funny 🙂 Oh, and my candy was a smart purchase… those peanut butter eggs are de-lish!

    • jannatwrites April 30, 2014 / 6:14 AM

      Thanks so much for reading, Harliqueen!

  10. zeudytigre April 29, 2014 / 5:39 AM

    This really spoke to me. Beautifully written and structured. I particularly liked ‘The mere mention of finding them roused them from slumber, their golden eyes peering at me from under heavy lids.’

    I know my demons and they know me, especially my comfort eating weakness. You have captured the essence here.

    • jannatwrites April 30, 2014 / 6:16 AM

      I’m glad this was something you could relate to (and therefore made some sense.) I know my demons as well, and they seem to gain strength from my struggling against them. Thanks for reading and sharing your comment, Zeudytigre 🙂

  11. M. L. Sexton April 29, 2014 / 6:00 AM

    “The woman with the degrees and certifications on her wall” was my favorite line. Sometimes people take too much advantage of having gone to college and think they Know everything about everything. Great job!

    • jannatwrites April 30, 2014 / 6:17 AM

      Hehe, they might have certain insights that come from experience, but ‘knowing’ isn’t necessarily the case 🙂 Glad you stopped by, M.L.!

  12. YeshuM April 29, 2014 / 6:42 AM

    Ooh sounds like someone’s been up to no good. Great writing Janna! Love it

    • jannatwrites April 30, 2014 / 6:17 AM

      Thanks, Yeshu! (But chocolate IS good 🙂 )

  13. angieinspired April 29, 2014 / 8:24 AM

    I liked visually traveling the spiral staircase of your mind. Very fun read.

    • jannatwrites April 30, 2014 / 6:18 AM

      It is a scary place sometimes, Angie 🙂 Thanks for taking the journey!

  14. jstansfeld April 29, 2014 / 3:50 PM

    Inspired writing as usual. I assumed an eating disorder and I think that you captured it well.

    • jannatwrites April 30, 2014 / 6:18 AM

      It certainly could be a disorder (or progressing to that point!) Thanks for reading, Jane.

  15. agjorgenson April 29, 2014 / 7:06 PM

    Well, I like the explanation as much as the narrative, which I like very much!

    • jannatwrites April 30, 2014 / 6:19 AM

      Thanks, Allen! Had to add a little humor in there 🙂

  16. Renada Styles April 29, 2014 / 10:17 PM

    The beginning led me to read the poem quite differently at first. It actually has a very reflective nature, then the Easter candy comes in. I will admit, my stash is nearly gone!

    • jannatwrites April 30, 2014 / 6:20 AM

      I’m down a bag of M&Ms and a bag of Reese’s eggs 😦 Perhaps I’ll recover from sugar-shock by the Halloween rolls around, Renada!

  17. AZ Gringa April 30, 2014 / 12:47 AM

    I do bury the wrappers, but it’s not from shame. If I don’t, the kids will see, and I’m not sharing *my* stash. They have their own!

    I love the last lines especially, Janna:

    “I brushed my teeth and slipped into bed; the sting of truth soothed by milky chocolate and denial.”

    • jannatwrites April 30, 2014 / 6:21 AM

      Thanks for reading, Gringa! My kids know not to ask for my candy (they’ve learned I’m selfish?) But they have enough of their own, to keep them… and their dentist busy 🙂

  18. Christina April 30, 2014 / 9:10 AM

    awesome writing, as always. and man, MAN have i been there.

    • jannatwrites April 30, 2014 / 7:57 PM

      Thanks so much, Christina! I’m glad you can relate (but then again, I wish you couldn’t 😉 )

  19. ranu802 April 30, 2014 / 12:37 PM

    Wonderful poem Janna.

    • jannatwrites April 30, 2014 / 7:57 PM

      Thanks – I appreciate you stopping by, Ranu.

  20. imab00kworm April 30, 2014 / 1:48 PM

    Oh no… how did you know… my chocolates… all gone… 😦
    What have I done with my life?

    Very well written and so relevant to the moment ^^ well done!

    • jannatwrites April 30, 2014 / 7:58 PM

      My chocolates would be almost gone if I hadn’t bought so much, Imab00kworm 🙂 Thanks for reading and making me smile with your comment!

      • imab00kworm May 1, 2014 / 1:58 AM

        Yay haha, glad I did make you smile, I was partly aiming for that 😉

  21. Suzanne April 30, 2014 / 1:52 PM

    I love this, Janna – while there’s humour in it, a sense of shame and underlying pain permeates each stanza. Great take on the prompts!

    I am also relieved to discover I’m not the only one who keeps a stash of chocolate hidden away from the kids. 😀

    • jannatwrites April 30, 2014 / 8:02 PM

      That’s exactly how I hoped it would come across – a little humor to ease the sadness that accompanies pain. I think stashing chocolate is part of the mom code, no? Thanks for reading, Suzanne!

  22. peggyshope April 30, 2014 / 2:52 PM

    I’m not sure if chocolate slays my demons, or resurrects them; I guess it depends on how much I consume, and when! I quite enjoyed this!

    • jannatwrites April 30, 2014 / 8:03 PM

      Haha… I think it does a little of both (for me, anyway!) While I’m eating chocolate, everything feel better… when my clothes become too snug, then it’s not so good. Thanks for reading, Peggy!

  23. stankmeaner April 30, 2014 / 3:55 PM

    Pardon my language, but daaamn. I really love the the demons coming to wakefulness when feeling scrutiny and self-awareness poking at them, it’s really a perfect description.

    • jannatwrites April 30, 2014 / 8:05 PM

      To me, it kind of feels that way… once I concentrate on ‘fixing’ something in me, that something becomes more unruly. I’m glad you feel the description is apt. I appreciate you reading and sharing your thoughts, Stankmeaner 🙂

  24. annbennett April 30, 2014 / 6:40 PM

    I really like this piece. You have written so much that I like. What I thought about after reading was –
    When I was a kid taking ballet, if a move was difficult, the instructor would say. Don’t think about it. Just do it and you know, I would master the move every time. I wondered, would a little denial help this person move on. Just a thought.
    With haven written all this, you have created a very real character. I’m thinking about her choices. Take care kid.

    • jannatwrites April 30, 2014 / 8:08 PM

      Thanks for reading and for sharing your thoughtful comment, Ann! Sometimes we do over-think things. I know when I think about how to type or spell certain words, I stumble, but if I just let the writing or typing happen, I don’t have an issue.

  25. Christine May 1, 2014 / 8:12 AM

    I like how the format shows the ups and downs, ebbs and flows, of her struggle. Very cool. 🙂

    We steal candy from the Easter baskets every year. We do it for the children. It’s a sacrifice, but somebody has to keep them from eating too much sugar.

    • EagleAye May 1, 2014 / 5:38 PM

      Oh the “sacrifices” we make! 😉

    • jannatwrites May 2, 2014 / 5:56 AM

      They have no idea how much we sacrifice for them {brings back of hand dramatically to forehead} 🙂 Thanks for stopping by to read my prompt response, Christine!

  26. Michael May 1, 2014 / 11:46 AM

    I think The Milky Chocolate of Denial would make a great title for a book. 😛

    • jannatwrites May 2, 2014 / 5:57 AM

      Michael, that might be something I’d like to eat… er, I mean read 🙂

  27. EagleAye May 1, 2014 / 5:40 PM

    Love this! I don’t know that addiction to chocolate can be cured. It’s like seeking a cure for the desire for sex. I love the way it seemed her secret was something dark and looming, with all the hidden wrappers, and then in the end, it all becomes clear. Love it, love it!

    • jannatwrites May 2, 2014 / 6:00 AM

      In my experience chocolate addiction can’t be cured, EagleAye! Thanks so much for reading and sharing your feedback (It was a bit dramatic, but I imagine chowing on chocolate at midnight can seem a little dire, at that moment 🙂 )

  28. Gene Brode, Jr. May 2, 2014 / 2:45 PM

    I loved your poem…I voted for you but I don’t think it counted. Congrats! I’m too familiar with denial. Nowadays it comes in the realm of spending too much time writing! Addiction is addiction, I guess.

    • jannatwrites May 5, 2014 / 12:09 AM

      Thanks so much, Gene! I appreciate your support of my writing. Addictions come in all forms (and yes, writing can be one, although possibly one of the more potentially productive addictions…)

      By the way- congratulations on the Editors’ Pick this week 🙂

      • Gene Brode, Jr. May 5, 2014 / 7:01 PM


  29. GodGirl May 5, 2014 / 4:59 AM

    Haha, I love this character’s cheeky ‘rebellion’ from therapy. It is altogether a great piece, and the last line really packs a punch: “the sting of truth soothed by milky chocolate and denial.” Love it!

    • jannatwrites May 5, 2014 / 10:06 AM

      Thanks, GodGirl! I think many of us have internal rebellions from time to time (what is good for us vs. what we want.)

  30. Sarah Ann May 15, 2014 / 4:52 AM

    This is so good. The sense of guilt and shame is so well a portrayed. It must be horrible to feel this way. And I know the therapist is right, but she could haver been a little more gentle. 😉

    • jannatwrites May 15, 2014 / 9:01 AM

      Yeah, she didn’t sugar coat anything… if she did, the words would’ve been eaten up for sure 🙂 (I know, that was bad… just terrible!) Thanks for reading, Sarah Ann!

      • Sarah Ann May 15, 2014 / 10:41 AM

        LOL, terrible or not 🙂 🙂 🙂

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