THE ANGRY TEXT
I receive an angry text at around 8.40 in the morning. It is from Carolyn, a character not mentioned directly in the book. She is very cross, because 1) I hadn't replied to a text she sent a day or two before, 2) that meant I hadn't saved her the credit of ringing me, and 3) why did I always do this? And then, after a brief preamble, something involving the cat, no doubt to draw me in with fables of furriness. There was a sandwiched sentence telling me her parents had no lecci (that's electricity, just in case you didn't know). This was designed to draw me out my door, and down Goldhawk Road to their peeling door. I had no wish to do this, because it would lead to her asking for twenty quid, which I can ill afford to give out at the moment. I also was suspicious as to whether her parents were really out of lecci, so I took action, got on the bus, and a few stops down I called on them (they know me, it was no cold call) to check they were ok. The father said they were fine, and said they also had food and electric, which I can only believe, because it was a sunny morning, so no electric bulbs were blazing away in the hall. I asked if they wanted any shopping, was told they were fine, and made my way home, glad to have proven that Carolyn's little tickle of my moral bone was a hollow one, and determined to blank any further calls from her that day.
She'd asked for a tenner for her parents, and a tenner for herself, which makes one crack, one heroin, if you ask me. But the relationship has always been so full of trickery, undeclared facts, and sheer lies, that taking anyone on their word is a pretty foolhardy act, unless you wanna be duped out of twenty quid, and then be enmeshed back into the next trawler-net that gets wafted your way. I, a minnow in this ocean of recovering creatures, can avoid most nets, and slip through some, but swimming near them is always a risk, so keeping your distance is the wave that pays.
But these nebulous approaches, half-hello half-gimme, tribal barterings on the fringes of our postcodes, spark up thoughts of using in my mind, with them, or with someone else. It can leave me feeling very shaky, 'Mm, maybe I could slot in a use-up tomorrow, then go to bed for a few days, no major appointments coming up...' - then re-emerge, financially wounded, yes, but alive, the boil of desire lanced, for the time at least.
Then would kick in the clawing around my brain for any remnants of serotonin, scraps of dopamine to latch onto, just to feel a bit less irritable, depressed, and prone to uncomfortable mood-swings.
No, it's not really worth it, but, short of moving completely away from where you used, the people you used with, you have to negotiate the borderlines, if there are any, that exist in your own head...who do I answer calls from, who do I call, do I go down that street knowing they might be there, or I might feel drawn to their front-door like a lone iron-filing in search of a magnet. Recovery, not that it's a word I especially like in this context, is made of many things, will, bloodyminded, home, luck, input, good and bad, and hopefully a sense that, gradually, over time, you begin to recognise yourself again, a self that can begin to see addiction from a different vantage-point, one on the edge, looking in, but not being drawn in. Addiction doesn't really change, so any change has to unsettle it. Sometimes you have to outwit yourself to win this game.
And they are my thoughts for today.