Category Archives: recovery

Love an Addict

I’ve been meaning to write this post for a few days. I made plans to start a new blog on Monday 3rd April – today – but my life is so complicated that I have to put it on hold for the moment. The name of the blog is to be Love an Addict. I chose a theme, wrote my About page and worked out some of the details, but then my life became more  complicated than usual .

It was designed to be a blog to support addicts everywhere through the love of the families of addicts everywhere. I’d need to give this blog my attention on a daily basis. I’d have to be reliable, and owing to current circumstances, I’m not in a position to be reliable at the moment. I have to focus on my family. My two youngest children are in the early stages of recovery. Paul doesn’t require as much attention as Laura. I’m her main caregiver, whereas Paul has someone else to fulfil that role – but there’s no knowing when he may need me.

Maybe in the coming weeks things will settle down enough for me to start my new blog, hopefully  giving other addicts the opportunity to receive the kind of love from good people all over the globe which has helped Laura, in particular, to reach this point.

The time in the UK is 02.15am on Monday, 3rd April. I can’t make up for my failure to begin my blog, but I can go some way towards doing so, by sending out love.

If you’re an addict who wants to go into recovery, there’s someone here – sitting on a living room floor in a flat in Barnstaple, in a county called Devon, tucked away in the South West of England – writing a blog post. She’s called Jane. She’s thinking of you, believing that you can make it, and sending you love.

I will think of you daily, and daily I will send you my love and my support. Some of my readers will be inspired by this, and they will do the same for you. Some will do it through prayer, others through meditation. Whatever their method; whatever their faith or understanding of life, they will send you their support. If I had a larger readership, more people would do this for you. There is plenty of love which may become accessible to you. Don’t let the drug tell you that you are not worthy or not able; you are.

xxx ~ Jane

If you feel inspired by this post, please share

©Jane Paterson Basil

Recovery

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Last year, though drug-riddled and ill, still she wanted to please me. She saw a vintage sewing machine – my favourite make – in the window of a charity shop. She thought of me, and asked to see the manager, who told her she could put down a deposit. The manager knew it was for me – we go way back to schooldays, when we used to spend our weekends together, sitting on five-bar gates, swinging our legs, flaunting our budding sexuality, watching cars go by, and getting into scrapes with unsuitable dates, using each other as an excuse for escape. But that’s another story.

When I next saw Laura, she asked me if I would like a sewing machine, and I gruffly said that all I wanted for my birthday was for her to be clean.

She bought the machine anyway. It weighed a ton, but she carried it back to my flat, and I was grateful. It was beautiful, and worked like a dream. I thanked her, gave her a hug and told her I loved her, but I couldn’t resist smiling sadly, and saying, “Maybe I’ll get that other gift next year.”

I turned 62 yesterday. She gave me a book and a lovely card, hand-made by her, but most important of all, she delivered the miraculous gift I had been longing for.

Laura is clean.

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Laura was a child of spirit, born into a world of flesh, and she didn’t adapt in the way that most of us do. She spent her childhood confused and unhappy, but she was brave. She tried to fit into a world that understood her no more than she understood it. She was beaten down, time after time. The day came when she couldn’t take another beating, and she turned to street-medication.

She has felt, and witnessed, things that we cannot imagine. She knows what the bottom of the pit looks like, because she’s been there – in a place where we have never been, because our hearts beat differently.

I knew that she had to witness pure darkness before she could see the light, so I turned away from her. It was horrible – I looked down on her from my safe window, saw her staggering by, and felt my insides shredding. I coped by being angry, by feigning indifference, by talking to Serenity, my mannequin, by chanting affirmations – any way I could, I coped. I woke some mornings terrified that she may have died in the night, all alone – yet knowing she hadn’t, as I would have felt it as her life ebbed away.

She was sliding on black ice. She slid until there she was in utter darkness, with her eyes closed. When she opened them again, there were glints of light twinkling in the distance – not one, but many. There was her boyfriend Joe, me, her sister, Sarah, and other family members who never stopped loving her – and not only those, there were many – twinkling away, in this country, and all over the world – in America, Australia, Canada, Africa. I hope you all know who you are – all you who sent your good wishes, your healing thoughts, your love and your prayers – she saw your light. I know I’ve mentioned it several times, but I can’t get over what you have all done for her.

Laura’s 31 now. She’s no longer a schoolgirl; she no longer has to try to fit into a tight box for the convenience of school or society. She can practice her own unique dance, and she will be admired for it. She’s been burnt and frozen by life. She’s been cut, bruised,and fractured, but her scars make her more beautiful. She is her own person, brave, strong and creative. She’ll achieve her own kind of greatness.

Joe says that when the world points its finger and speaks of the mistakes of others, they speak out of ignorance. They don’t know the background. They don’t know that what they call a mistake may have been the right thing for the individual at that particular time, or that it may have seemed like the only choice available. I think he’s right.

We have a lot to learn from those who have climbed out of that dark pit.

I’m in shock, and for once it’s happy shock. I keep finding myself smiling about nothing – except that it’s not nothing. It’s all-consuming.

©Jane Paterson Basil

#AtoZ Challenge #Starting again

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this time,
perhaps for the first time
we are starting again.

this time
my eyes crinkle at the corners
as they stare bravely ahead.
the fear has been extinguished by a vision
of his glittering possibility.

this time
I do not tremble, hope or wish.
I do not wake, frightened, in the night.
I know I will stand fast if he falters;
he will not take me with him.

this time
I have had the strength to free him
from his ability to manipulate me.
we have come to an understanding;
a state of combined love and respect.

this time
I am not looking behind me
at the loss and the waste of our lives
I am not angrily recounting in my head
the forgotten promises and intentions.

this time,
this time, for the first time,
we have started again.

©Jane Paterson Basil

#atozchallenge Momentum

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I recently heard the story of an addict who had been using for years, daily staggering through the same old game, hustling for the money to feed his habit before trailing after dealers to sell him his next inch of jaded relief. One day he was sitting in his regular patch when an old friend from school passed by. Without slowing his pace, the man turned slightly, and, glancing his way, said Are you still at it? in a disinterested tone, then continued on his way.

The addict stared after him, shocked by those few, simple words. Only he knows what images of the past crowded his brain, what feelings of loss at his wasted days, what thoughts of his shame and degradation – but in that blinding instant he made the decision to change, to embrace the future he had perhaps, long ago, in his schooldays, taken for granted.

He went into recovery, and now he repeats his inspirational tale to all who he feels may find it helpful.

I like to think that he thanked the school-mate for clicking the switch that gave him the momentum to change his life.

We all have moments of grace, when desire, strength and faith combine to make many actions that hitherto seemed too distant to consider, achievable, and the littlest thing can open our minds to great possibilities.

©Jane Paterson Basil

Levels of insanity

Last night I dreamed I was on a yacht

its cabin extended as I explored it, finding
many rooms
each inviting me to experience a different kind of madness

in the generous bathroom I curled up, screaming
while in a small boxroom I lay flat and silent on the floor
listening to the demon that shrieked inside my head
an open living area gave me room to run in circles
muttering, feeling my face distort and swell

I vacuumed the floor, thinking
this action would prove my sanity

once the detritus had been sucked away
I turned my attention to a brown door with a lift-up latch
which hadn’t been there before

a warning lifted the hairs on my skin
so lightly, so almost imperceptbly
that I was able to pretend
it was my imagination
allowing me to pass through

scarlet-carpeted stairs
led down to a sudden drop, and in a red room below me
strange machines moved with no purpose
no end game

I spotted an exit, beyond which
a woman struggled with an old-fashioned pram
bumping it down a lower staircase; the only way out
perhaps to escape the bedlam of this floor
or else to descend into yet more
unreachable madness

I turned away and retraced my steps
not ready to taste that level of insanity

fluff and grit was strewn
across the floor I had recently cleaned
reminding me that while everything changes
sometimes it follows old patterns

I sat on a bed
thinking to rock myself back to health

©Jane Paterson Basil

Potential

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I'm more than the sum of this life, these slipshod years,
more than the weeping and the laughter,  the many smiles,
more than my elastic silences, my paperweight protection,
those lost desires of youth, the nightmares and the fear.
more then these ears,
missing the              I have            watch it as it 
symphony,            a kernel buried              smashes  
these hands              within            the shell away
clamped against                    releasing my potential 
the cacophony of pain,                     and freeing me
these fading eyes which stare                     to grow
westward towards the dimming horizon,
more  than the broken lives  which wallow in their waste.

©Jane Paterson Basil