Hello, and thanks for dropping by. As you may know, the first 22 posts of this blog are the text of my ebook, 'How To Become A Crack Addict', which you can also buy on amazon, if you wish. If you do, please leave a review - all are appreciated. From then on, the blog is the almost-daily thoughts of me, Benjamin of Turnham Green. And today I am thinking about one of my many attempts to stop using crack, some five years ago now...
On one of my many parental geographicals, far from the danger of the city, I googled hypnotherapy, to see if that might save me.
After picking my way through numerous charlatans and predators, I found one who seemed to have a training that was more than just a long weekend in a scout hut, at the end of which you're given a laminated diploma in nothing. He had the same name as a DJ, and was local to my flat, back in London. His website said he'd worked with people with addiction problems, so, desperate and embarrassed, I gave him a ring. I couldn't tell him I'd been using crack, so said it was cocaine, in case crack frightened him off. He said he'd had clients with cocaine issues before, and assured me that, as far as he knew, he'd had good success.
I booked an appointment for the following week, when I was planning to return to my flat. The next day, I rang him again, and said it was crack cocaine I'd been using, just in case this meant he'd need to tweak the spell. He seemed fairly unfazed, and I told him a cheque was in the post for my session, from my mum, of course, because at this stage I couldn't be trusted with twenty quid, without spending it on crack at the earliest opportunity.
A week later, there I was, waiting for him outside a shack on the edge of an Ealing industrial estate. Then up came a cordial, bustling chap, in white shirt and flapping casual trousers, looking doctorly, but not daunting, clinical-casual, you might call it. Unlocking the shack, we both went in.
After an introductory chat, and confirmation that he'd received the cheque from mummy, he bad me lay back in his reclining chair. I did so, closed my eyes, and on came the whale-song. After a few squawks, he began to speak, in a low, slow, almost musical voice. I was in a sunken garden, there was a fountain there, a gentle breeze wafted, and there was a woman, across the garden, illuminated, seeming to float. By this point, I found myself smiling, but I wasn't sure whether it was because I found his narrative amusing, or because I was beginning to feel safe, at peace, even hopeful.
I can't remember what happened between me and the woman, if anything, but the next thing I remember is him telling me I was standing outside a walled garden, banging on the gate, demanding to be let in. It opened, and I found myself among strange, dangerous folk, some of whom were smoking crack, according to him. I smoked it, and heard the gate slam shut behind me. I turned to escape, but couldn't.
Next thing I recall is being back in the garden, with the breeze, the glowing woman, fragrant herbs, and the fountain, of course. It was here that he released me from the trance, and I woke...though I hadn't been asleep at any point. I didn't know what to feel, but told him I felt calm, hopeful, somehow different, because I thought he'd like to hear this. We chatted a little more, off went the whales, and I made my way home.
My ever-suffering mum had put twenty-quid in the post, which was on the doormat to welcome me. I took up the envelope and picked out the note. Normally, I'd have scored immediately, but something, I don't know what, had me sit on the bed and ring her. I told my mum that I'd been, and that I thought it might have worked. She hoped I was right.
I don't know what I did that day, but I didn't use. Nor did I the next day, or the next. But come Friday, I felt like I should be doing something, going out, meeting new people, doing what people apparently do on a Friday night. I felt like a frozen lake, with a beast beneath, rising through the gloomy water, determined to break through the icy crust, and free itself, wreak havoc wherever havoc seemed easiest to wreak. Unfortunately, because I only had twenty quid, I convinced myself there was no point ringing a friend, or going to some hostelry to coolly read a novel...twenty pounds gets you nowhere these days, I rationalised. But it would get me down the road to Peggy and Don's, who would always order me a stone of crack, if Killer was around.
I'd gone three days without using, without using when I could have done so. This was a first, and something to celebrate, something that seemed to offer a modicum of hope, a reacquaintance with my older, better self. But the blackwater beastie was stirring, rising, clamouring to crack through the ice and see the light of day. Up he rose, silently at first, and then, smashing through the white veneer, reared, hollered, lay a gleaming tentacle on the shore, and dragged himself to Peggy and Don's, where he wrought twenty-quid's worth of havoc.
Hours later, he slavered home, sinking back into the broken mush of the lake. The water stilled, and sealed up like up a wound. But you could still feel his grudge, even though the surface was once again smooth.
And that was the end of my experiment with hypnotherapy.
Here is one of my songs, if you'd like to hear it. Click on the name and it'll take you to my youtube page... The World Is Full Of Whores
That's all I have to say today. Thanks for dropping by.