Choose life


I need to find the perfect words
to bring back those memories;
the right way to say please,
please save your skin.
step out of the alley,
revive your sinking spirit,
walk away from that vile witch,
ditch the needles and the dealers,
and reach out to the living.

free yourself from the back-street filth,
from the sleazy scrabble to find another dirty dick
who’s willing to slide his stinking flesh over your skin
and sling you his tainted tenners in exchange;
so you can buy a thinned down hit.

free yourself from the daily fear,
the screaming need,
the wasted veins,
the reaper’s blood-stained scythe,
and the clucking, clawing aches and pain.

free yourself, embrace your family,
and your loyal friends;
who even now wait patiently,
faithfully praying in the aisles,
for you to choose life.

©Jane Paterson Basil


18 thoughts on “Choose life

    1. Thank you Calen. It’s not a suitable Chrustmas poem, but it’s what came out of me this morning.
      I saw Laura’s best friend from school today. She’s agreed not to meet Laura unless I’m with her, because she has a baby, and it would worry me, but she hasn’t given up hope of restoring the friendship – if Laura gets clean.
      I need a funny poem now…

      Liked by 1 person

          1. Haha like I said. Halfhearted. I don’t really mention my blog in public, but if someone asks about my writing and initiates interest, I let them know my blog exists. But I don’t widely advertise in order to feel like I can write more freely.

            Liked by 1 person

            1. I know exactly what you mean. Because I have a mission to raise drugs awareness – everybody knows about drugs, but when they start on that path they’re rarely focussed on what they could do to themselves, and parents don’t know how to deal with it either, – I have to be totally open and honest about what’s going on in my life, and that of my two younger children. It worries me that everybody can login to my thoughts, but I have to do it, because many parents are too ashamed, and I want them to fell better about themselves.

              Liked by 2 people

    1. No, thank you Anton. I’m really moved by your response. She needs a lot of help – she’s so difficult to love that even the addicts steer clear of her these days. She’s dispised and disliked all over North Devon and even in Exeter, forty miles away, but my beautiful daughter is hiding inside that monstrous shell, ill and terrified. She’s too frightened to stop using and live again,and I don’t think she will last much longer if things don’t change.
      I can’t tell you how grateful I am for your goodness and friendship.


    1. I can’t stop these moments from happening, but I’ve learnt to write my way through them and then switch my mind off to some extent.
      I think it was you who made a comment about survival a while back. You were right – this is survival. A lot of the things I do are done to keep me from falling apart, but don’t feel sorry for me – they work, and I won’t fall apart; and I will use these experiences to help others someday.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Jane, I have finally got round to looking at your blog. This one really hit me, as I am afraid I try to avoid Laura when I see her. Sometimes, if I am feeling particularly strong I will speak to her, but a lot of the time I can’t face her. I always feel very guilty about it, but I hate seeing her the way she now is. Unfortunately even if she can get clean, she is now permanently damaged. It is horrible seeing a member of the family the way she is, and you know that I am here to support you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m sure you know you’re not the only family member to avoid Laura. Please don’t feel guilty; I know that if there was anything you could do to help, you would do it.
      I know you’re there for me, and it means a lot. Thank you Angus xxx


    1. Thank you Shannon.I shout about it, because too many parents are ashamed to admit that they have a child who is an addict. They lose all their confidence and self-esteem, and fear that people are talking about them, saying things like “Her son is an addict. I blame the parents.” These days so many people are affected that it rarely happens, but the more we talk, the less ashamed others will be. They have enough to deal with, without being unable to hold their heads up in public…

      Liked by 1 person

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