Friday, 18 July 2014


Hi, and thank you for passing through.  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 read here, or purchase on amazon, if your morals allow that kind of multinational collusion.  So anyway, here is today's little entry for you.  It's a few ponderings about recovering a lost recovery.


Firstly, I don't much like the language of addiction and recovery, including the words 'addiction' and 'recovery'.  They seem to smother, in the former, a set of choices we come to regret, and come to call addiction, perhaps as a disclaimer, or a mantle we're glad enough to wear if it gives us an identity, or gets us out of trouble, or both.  In the case of the word 'recovery', what is it that's being recovered from, a disease?  Oh yeah, that disease of addiction we hear so much about, that disease of bad choice after bad choice, attempt after attempt to reach, and stay on, that plateau of whatever kind of euphoria it is you're striving for.  The disease that twelve-step groups and various support agencies call a disease because it sounds a bit medical, psychiatric, psychological, a bit of a sociological dis-ease.  You know you're on a losing wicket when you're adding a hyphen to a word to bolster your case.  But, being a whore, I use the words 'addiction' and 'recovery' because I want people to stumble on this blog, find succour and solace herein, and possibly entertainment - and, linguistic skirmishes aside, I don't want to wake up in the gutter, or worse, not wake up in the gutter.

In recent months, like a soothing priest, with illegal proclivities, someone has been skulking, cowled, in my hall, whispering stuff.  A few months ago, he quietly mentioned that I wouldn't be seeing my music partner anymore, thus freeing me from the weekly commitment of learning a new song.  She was moving on to do new things.  It's amazing what a hole in your diary can do - an empty Wednesday can have the charm of a picked boil, and the same scope for infection.

Then he congratulated me on a period of fiscal prudence.  I'd managed to save up to go away with a friend and, this achieved, I could now relax the reins a touch - even though I was still £1,500 overdrawn.  He commended me for having applied to work in my local Oxfam, but when they didn't get back to me for a few weeks, he suggested they might not want me.  My days and weeks got emptier and emptier, until old feelings of failure and stasis began weighing me down.  One friend moved to Cornwall, another just got bored of me - then, after days of toying with the thought of using, and how it might 'be ok this time', I found myself on the road to relapse.

I was scared as I meandered down the road to an old familiar house, containing two old familiars, but even when I rang the bell, a part of me hoped there'd be no answer, and I could wander home and make good of the day, or at least save it from disaster.  But, bell pressed, I heard movement within, the front door opened, and there, welcoming me, was the ashen-faced ghoul I'd come to call a friend.

Invited in, and a few nice words exchanged, I soon asked if we could 'get something', and she knew I didn't mean a takeaway.  Still apprehensive, my innards felt like an abandoned hearth, and I thought I might die if I had crack again...maybe my body and brain couldn't take anymore...perhaps the long gap since the last time would mean my tolerance was low.  Rationalising our qualms away, she rang a local vendor, who, as chance would have it, was only based a few doors away, and it wasn't long before a preteen with a mouthful of cling-film was tapping on the window, and our brains were a storm of anticipation and denial.  In he shuffled, politely spat the tiny, glistening packages into his hand, and my hostess placed them on the ash-clad coffee-table.

I'll fill you in on the relapse, and its consequences, in tomorrow's entry, because I'm a little tired right now.  But please be assured, things didn't pan out too great.  And here, if you're not already in a coma, is a song I wrote, which I would be chuffed if you'd like to hear...  My song, 'The World Is Full Of Whores'

Hope to see you again, maybe tomorrow?

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