Category Archives: recovery

Emergence

You may think the string of incidents were diffident coincidence
in a realm of hellish dissidence where a sea of dread precipitance
threatened to consume her as she bowed down in subservience,
her subversive habit stealing all her health and wealth and sense.

You may think the chain of happenings were merely complex happenstance,
but when I confessed her story with an air of stirring urgency,
describing her submergence in that churning pool of murk,
friends and strangers prayed for her, without a word of urging,
and although it seemed at first that recovery was hesitant,
my curled-up girl was rising into gradual emergence
in increasing increments like trilling choruses in dirges,
and every surge built up my trust that balance would return.

You may think the list of incidents were accidents of chance,
when her vicious ex gave vent to his violent vindictiveness,
immediately following a solution I’d been offered
by a kindly friend who proffered his own home as her address
to give her safe support and an escape from this vicinity,
and far from being reticent about a change of residence
to an unfamiliar city, livid marks around her face
gave instant sense of danger, and wisdom took its place.

You may think the string of incidents were no more than coincidence.
You may say that it was happenstance; a strung-up chain of chance,
but whatever the reason, she’s been clean for this last season,
so I kick darkness into innocence, as I freely sing and dance.

.

Words for Peace: South Africa.

Peace in Africaans :

Vrede

Find the pronunciation HERE.

.

©Jane Paterson Basil

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Adrenaline

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The brain
in all its intricacy —
with its loops and channels;
its constant relaying of information;
its complex knowledge of all our mechanics,
its well designed, microcosmic boxes
where twiddly bits fit —
has not yet figured a way
to assess and segregate
abject terror from happy surprise.

My heart’s palpitating, my fingers are shaking
sharp claws in my gut are gesticulating.
Electric shocks are making me twitch;
my body is saying my brain is a bitch.

I should be dancing or lustily singing,
but my skin is itching, my ears are ringing.
I should be enjoying a thrilling day,
but all of my energy’s slunk away.

Nevertheless I will share my good news –
my daughter’s recovering, my son is too.
I am as happy as I can be
that my lost babies have come back to me.

My brain,
believing me to be in danger
has given me a toxic dose of adrenaline,
to help me to fight or to flee.

In helpless panic, I lurch
between these two inapt acts,
unable to break away.

©Jane Paterson Basil

I’m Alright

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

“I’m alright,
I’m alright, I’m alright.”
Recited each time my children tripped and I tumbled,
and, while I was not alright, 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 alright,
I’m alright,” 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 alright.

.

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

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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