Category Archives: recovery

I’m All Right

“I’m all right,
I’m all right, I’m all right,”
that tired mantra frequently uttered, repeated
until with sham faith, I’d stumble to my feet and act out life.

“I’m all right,
I’m all right, I’m all right.”
Recited each time my children tripped and I tumbled,
and, while I was not all right, yet the repetition
brought fumbling relief to the thundering danger and fear,
easing the hellish days and nights,
those weeks and years when the jealous witch of addiction
jigged a street-dumb death-wish into my drug-juggling offspring.

“I’m all right,
I’m all right,” I’d recite.
They didn’t die, and I have kept my sanity
in a wild variety of ways; oft in anger, raging, shaking,
weeping tears of horror, grief and fear of loss,
yet sometimes waiting patiently,
for my children to come back to me.

Now I can say it candidly,
I’m all right.

.

It’s been an emotional evening. My recovering daughter was here on a flying visit, dropping off some fabric for me to make into curtains for her. My son hasn’t come looking for me for almost two months, but – purely by chance – he showed up during the hour or so that Laura was with me. I wouldn’t have risked letting him in if she hadn’t been present.

I’m glad I did…

©Jane Paterson Basil

One Breath at a Time

I’ve found a calming salve for the loved ones of addicts. This is the first post on a new blog. The brave philosophy and loving attitude of the author is inspiring. One breath at a time… One reviving breath of fresh air.

Bravo.

One Day, One Step, One Breath

Google defines an addict as “a person who is addicted to a particular substance, typically an illegal drug.” To me, addict has one definition: dad. My father has been (and still is) suffering from addiction his whole life. Life for him has been a roller coaster of being clean, using again, regularly attending Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous meetings, falling off the wagon, recovery, and relapse. I was faced with a harsh reality at a very young age. Words like rehab, addiction, drunk, high, etc. were part of my vocabulary since I was about six. My dad has made me proud and disappointed me more times than I can count, and sometimes has managed to do both in one day. I love my father unconditionally. I’ve been by his side through every step of this battle and I will continue to do so.

Addiction is very misunderstood and addicts are…

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My Girl

 

A horn hoots
declaring the presence of a shimmering streak of girlified purple.

She has arrived.

Every time I see it, the van is more like a picture of her passion for life; satin flowers line the windscreen, their electric  illumination redolent of  celebration, the interior displays a pink patchwork of fiddly fun and fluffy fake fur, a giant print of pouting lips kisses the rear.

If it was mine I’d describe it as irony,
mimicking a wry shrug, a  humorous smile,
but this vehicle tells a cute tale of the brave miles
that have sped her to rejuvenation.

Long legs emerge, and a strong body follows.
Her added height has no extra centimetres;
they remain the same
as back when
psychosos1.png
sanity retreated.

These days she stands so high.

I’m dazzled by her beauty
and the bright summer that sizzles in her vicinity.
How she shines…
the sun has abandoned its home in the sky
to sparkle in the depths of her eyes
and bask in the highlights of her burnished hair.

A shadow creeps up from behind,
briefly entering my mind

then she hugs me
and gives me that smile,
and I know this is real.

She savors every moment of her new life,
and I savor every moment she is with me.

The Daily Post #Savor

©Jane Paterson Basil

Roseate

…………………………..I count the days,
……………each night keeping track of the remainder,
…….like a child subtracting each sleep, awaiting
..the thrill of waking on Christmas day,
and yet…
and yet her arrival
 .is like the delivery of an unlikely gift,
..  .one that I expected to be a lipstick in an excruciating shade of pink,
……   .sent by a dotty aunt; or a vase that has been shattered in transit,
…………   .but turns out to be the book that I was longing for,
……………….even though, until I held it in my hand,
…………………I hadn’t known of its existence..As I unwrap the packaging
…………………..I sense…
………………….I sense that it holds a key —
……………….or more than that, it is a key —
………….]which will unlock a lifetime of doors,
…………each one containing a new secret to happiness.
………..This book has a life of its own,
………..and it does not renage on its promise.

…………….She arrives, delivered
…………….. ….by her rugged protector. As I hold my risen girl, her smile
………………………reminds me: the dotty aunt has been banished.
………………………..Her shocking jokes of cosmetic horror and broken glass
………………………..lie buried beneath my daughter’s safe castle.
…………………. …Each visit…
…………………each visit is like a revelation;
……………she is well. She speaks flowers, and when she goes
…………my words sit upon the petals of happiness that she has scattered.
………..I gradually gather them up, until I have enough
…………to describe my gratitude and love.

……………..I write…
…………………I write of her rehabilitation.
…………………..My roseate words and phrases
………………….fall fragrantly upon the page,
…………….echoing feminine grace.

..rose-stem

The Daily Post #Revelation

©Jane Paterson Basil

……….

…………

When you reach the apex

coast-731410__480

I used to watch you clucking your skewed way toward routine danger –
two brutal daily stabs if the cash could be accrued —
felt like crying, yet ate up the sight of you,
hungry for a clue that something had changed.

I waited for a glance, maybe a wave —
but, blind to these stale-lemonade eyes that filtered rainbows from my life,
you strode toward a spiral destiny, as if hell-bent,
your sagging clothes a locomotion of holes,
displaying scraped parchment, stretched thin over sharp bones.

Was that really you, and was it so recent?
Seems no more than a bad dream
that left me weeping,
long, long ago.

The streets hold no echo of your desperate trips.
Shamed alleys contain no ghost of your guilty visits;
so brief and so frequent, with whispered exchange…
and though I hanker to see your face,
I am glad you are safe, and far out of range.

Each moment spent with you feeds  into my memory;
I soak up your words, to keep ’til I see you again.
They murmer as I go to sleep, raise me as I wake,
speak to me in the silence of work, and aid sweet meditation.

Your very being gleams as you speak of where you have been,
what you have seen, done, will do, and will become,
days became weeks, soon to be months, each one noble and clean.
My heart rises as you share your love of life,
and meets yours when you say you love me.

You have burnt the empty coffin of an abandoned destiny,
kicked away the ashes, that they may nourish healthy seed,
thrown away all you don’t need, embraced wise selectivity,
and set your spirit free.

May the hills you climb rise gently to welcome each brave step,
and when you reach the apex, may you gaze upon a calm sea.

xxx

©Jane Paterson Basil

My Reprieve

flowers_two

Lost in a mire
for half their lives and more,
two children, their maturity halted by addiction…

…and I could point my finger at causes,
or take the blame upon myself.
I could break down in shame and remorse,
but the past would remain the same.

I could try to turn back time
and change the way their lives became;
as if I may find relief in the madness
of that aspect of grief.

I could do all these things and more;
these sad practices I acted out a thousand times before,
but they relieved me of my feeble susceptibility,
when they exchanged lies and deceit for honest fight.
Each day they draw clean swords, and slash at their demons,
and with each clash the demons get weaker.

They are retrieving their lives,
thereby returning mine to me,
and so I say, with gratitude and pride,
Thank you for all you have achieved.
Thank you for the reprieve.

A tribute to my two younger children, Laura and Paul.

The Daily Post #Reprieve

©Jane Paterson Basil

New Horizons

ship unmoored.jpg

Built well,
but not yet strong enough
to take the heartless weight of dark cargo
dumped deep in her unready  hold,
the beautiful boat became unmoored
from the harbour of her home.

Her anchor slipped through shifting sands
as the ship’s sails were buffeted
by each errant gust of wind.

The rudder broke, the bowsprit split,
the fo’c’sle ghosts awoke and moaned
whilst helplessly she floated to and fro,
sometimes so close that her landlocked crew
had high hopes that they may reach her —
but each time the wild waves beat them back,
leaving them treading water, and her bobbing on the sea,
growing smaller as the winds ripped her sails
and whipped her away.

Gails attacked her lonely deck.
Sea brine ate her failing timbers,
cracked her weakened keel, and seeped into her hull.

At the stroke of doom, a miracle occurred;
drawing her to safer waters.
The tainted cargo began melting away,
and her anchor finally held sway.

When the big ship sailed her way,
its kindly captain saw this brave, but ailing boat.
Throwing her a lifeline, he led her to a safer shore,
where he forged a golden anchor,
replaced her broken parts, reinforced her base,
and painted her in brightest shades,
that she may proudly sail again.

Dedicated to David. You rock!

PS Love to Laura. I see you sail and I’m proud of you. xxx

The Daily Post #Unmoored

©Jane Paterson Basil