Hello, and thank you for visiting. You may well be aware that this blog begins with the text of my scintillating ebook, 'How To Become A Crack Addict', which I may soon be retitling, and marketing again, in a cottage-industry type of way, you understand. But if you want to read it in its original form, under its original title, you can do so here (it's the first 22 posts, from Jan to April 2013). Since then, I've sporadically added stuff to this blog, and I thought I should at least check in, if that's not too crass a term.
CHRISTMAS, NEW YEAR, AND ADDICTION
I haven't got anything very witty to say, I fear, except that I know how hard it can be for people generally, enduring that build-up, or is it build-down, to Christmas, with all its enforced jollity, and parties to worry about relapsing at, or after. I'm no twelve-step purist, and so I do have a drink or three at times, and maybe even something you might find in a Glastonbury-type setting. But I, somehow, have managed to eschew the awful crack, and the obligatory heroin comedown, for some months now, although, as Christmas loomed, from about November 1st, I could feel myself congealing inside, as if a womb were forming that was going to give birth to the most hideous of ill-timed relapses. Only a few years ago, I was using crack compulsively, even if I had empty cupboards and no more than thirty quid to my name. One Christmas Eve, I met a using associate called Kenny, on the Uxbridge Road, here in Shepherd's Bush. Within moments, we were on our way to spend the thirty quid round the corner. It was, in theory, my rail-fare to my parents, who ended up not being visited, at least by me.
Then, because of a Bank Holiday, money went into my account earlier than usual, and I was back out on the hunt on Boxing Day, having spent Christmas Day mostly in bed. I found someone who recognised me down some frosty sidestreet, and we ended up quite literally skidding down the road to the dealer's hovel to squander another hundred quid or so, most of which she kept for herself, even though I'd paid for it. Sheila, as she was called, came back to my shell-like cabin, and we smoked the last of it, with a bit of heroin to soften the crash, but nowhere near enough, and I found myself bitterly resenting her, and everything she did, and said, scraping out the pipe, fucking about with foil, and generally scavenging for what recycle she could get, which was as good as nothing.
Then, when I said I needed to go to bed, bitter and sweating like a dog, she eventually consented to leave, packing her carrier-bag with a few essentials, and going. One of the essentials she packed was my portable telly, which she swore she could get some money for, and, having done so, would come back for another smoke with the proceeds. I don't know how she managed to carry the thing out of the building, and down the road to the minicab office, where she was apparently going to sell it, but she somehow lumbered out with it, skidding down the icy pavement like half of a post-holocaust Torvill and Dean tribute-act.
She said she'd be about forty minutes, and I lay on my bed, clockwatching, sweating, hoping, listening out for any sound that might be her. But, of course, she never came back, and I spent many a month after this without a telly, which I missed surprisingly little, but it would have been nice to have arrived at that revelation from a nobler starting point. Months later, I saw Sheila outside a café, and she said she still had my telly, because she couldn't sell it, and that if I wanted it back, I could come and collect it.
I didn't bother.
But Christmas and New Year can be so stressful, and heavy with temptation, and I only hope that you, and those around you, managed to get through it all relatively unscathed. One thing I have learned, through my efforts in the past few years, is that it's never too late to try again, and change can and does happen - in fact, change is the only constant.
And on that semi-philosophical note, I wish you a happy new year, and a peaceful and healthy one too.
See you soon I hope. Oh, and here's one of my songs again... Get Out Of My Room