Monday, 3 March 2014
THE HEADSTRONG ADDICT
Well hello, and thank you for passing through. You may already know that the first 22 posts of this blog (Jan to April 2013), are the text of my ebook, 'How To Become A Crack Addict'. You can read this here, or get it as an ebook or kindle on amazon, if you prefer. If you do, please leave a review if you can. And so, here is today's post, about the casual loss of over a decade, and how this can be put right...
THE HEADSTRONG ADDICT
It sounds like a confessional from a twelve-step meeting, 'I was too full of self-will, too headstrong, thought I knew best...but then I got honest, got with the program, surrendered to a higher power of my own understanding.' But how can anyone sift the headstrong from the addict. Maybe headstrong people become addicts, because, for whatever reason, they want their thrills quick, effective, and very, very noticeable. Then, with their first reference point in place, all subsequent attempts at the summit are measured against it, for intensity, value for money, and immediacy. They now become even headstronger, as another layer of impatience settles like silt. Ah, how this escalates, as our hedonistic hero strives, stretches, falls and flails, for the next mythic peak, time after time, month after month, and so on...until, skidding to a slow halt like an Eskimo on gritted, cracking ice, they come to rest, wounded, angry, tired, and bewildered. Then what does our once-headstrong hero do?
Pause, regroup, bitterly berate oneself for squandering all those years, friendships, possible relationship, jobs, money, health, and so much more. How do you start redeeming the loss? With more impatience than one's ever thrown at a set of situations, and an angry sense that one deserves it now, one's suffered, sinned, but repented, as if this is tantamount to so many stamps on your coffee-shop loyalty-card, entitling you to a drink of your choosing, any size. Ah, the righteous fury of the sinner than repenteth. Addiction is like a trickster-angel, plucking at the tops of mountains to make the summits seem even more seducing than before. Once an innocent explorer, now, enthralled to the idea that the ladder goes on for ever, you negotiate the valleys and troughs, whilst sizing up the next summit, wishing yourself away, but acting like you want to stay.
And I guess most ranges don't just end with a big old mountain, as some kind of finale, but they crease, fold, and falter into lessening climes, more accessible and amenable to all. This is where the headstrong yeti must learn to get on, at a different pace, learn a differently punctuated dance, hold to new ideals, ones it may or may not recognise. It can feel like the old lows, those agonising daylong comedowns, have now just been diluted, scattered like seeds across rolling meadows, where the general whisper is that good weather, and time, will make it all worthwhile. What to do with that impulse for instant yields? Should we find another drug, go GM, go Jesus, somehow rad?
The first few seeds may be watered with tears, though nowhere near enough to germinate and grow. No, part of this harvest is luck. Can these people, scattered liberally about, be right? Can there be virtue in waiting, investing, rather than lunging at the one-armed bandit with whatever change you have? They never experienced that rush, can't draw the comparisons I can draw. Am I to trust this world I left, shunned, and rejected for so long? Was I ill, or just too full of self-will? Was I done to, or did I do?
And slowly, as the hurricane of self-doubt unspools like a slow giant, whispering its last, I find myself, sitting here, at a west London window, slightly open, with traffic growling, and the warmth of my radiator reassuring me I'm looked after. I still have my hi-fi, because it was too heavy to take to Cash Converters...and they wouldn't have given me much for it anyway. Pink Floyd on the hi-fi, a CD given me by a friend I met in the thick of my addiction, and so maybe even during those years, some good things were stepping into place, waiting, patiently, kindly, to see if I wanted to stagger from those last baleful blusterings of a storm of my own making. Time passes. It takes untold strength to not move with it.
And that, you'll be relieved to hear, is all I have to say today.
Thanks for dropping by. Back tomorrow.
P.S. Here is a youtube link to one of songs, if you'd like to hear it... Get Out Of My Room