Category Archives: word prompt

Addiction,Recovery, Relapse

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Addiction, recovery, relapse; it’s a loop which grips you like a noose. That first step to recovery is painful and frightening. Many addicts are in two minds about it when they take the first step, so it comes to nothing; in no time they are back on the street scoring. It’s claimed that you have to hit rock bottom before you’re ready for recovery, but rock bottom can be an awfully long way down, with untold dangers on the way.

It’s unusual for an addict to go into permanent recovery at the first attempt. They often get into that familiar pattern: addiction, recovery, relapse, addiction, recovery, relapse. This is traumatising for everyone who cares. Each time the addict relapses they are at high risk of overdose, as their tolerance for the drug has gone down. Family and friends often give up on the addict, but they need to know that with every attempt, there is more chance of success, just as every time a learner driver takes a driving test, they are more likely to pass.

So, addiction, recovery, relapse is a loop which grips you like a noose, but a noose can be untied. The circle can be broken, placing the addict in permanent recovery, though only time can tell if this has occurred.

Addicts get clean every day, and stay clean for the rest of their lives. Some of them go on to work tirelessly to support other addicts through recovery, though their hearts may be torn over and over again. I have great admiration for all recovering addicts.

Today, I pay tribute to recovered addicts everywhere; in particular, two brave young women who will remain nameless (it’s enough that they know who they are); a local man called Jimmy, who has become an inspiration to many in this town; Adam, at the Bideford Lighthouse project, and, of course, my daughter Laura.

I live in hope that I may add my son’s name to this list at some point.

With Grateful thanks to Sumyanna, whose thoughtful suggestion has given me new hope, and who may be pleased to learn that she inspired this post.

The Daily Post #Loop

©Jane Paterson Basil

Retrace

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If I retrace each pace along my failing route;
reverse each inspiration, every foolish move,
take back each sleeping dream, each waking thought,
unpurchase every acquisition bought,
unlearn my hard-earned lessons, one by one,
unbirth my babies, unconceive them from my womb,
unbreak my every vow; yes, reinstate, to then unmake,
unlaugh, uncry, ungrow, that I may take away
each ticking second thieving time has pleated in its depths,
until you walk my way, that I may slow my backward steps –

If I retrace my past and uninstall full four decades,
then halt my retrogression, behind the choice I made –

If I return to that remembered day
when I wept, yet cut the rope, and walked away —
whatever game my wandering mind may play,
no disparate blots would shape the pattern that I made,
for if all memories of unravelled future were erased
each reeled-in moment would replay the same, unfazed.
My cause would still be thinly writ
in rippling water, and a flickering torch would still be lit —
and if I recalled all the film of forty years,
I’d live it all again, dispite the slurry pit of tears.

If I be weakened by romantic promise
and fall into your arms, and if I cry a joyful “Yes!” –
Should that occur, no-one will be saved.
My offspring will not tiptoe gently to their graves —
There’ll be no grave; and though unborn they will remain,
my memories of what will never be
will fester, every pip of non-existence haunting me.

And so, my love, I would not seek to rearrange, or take away
one moment of this life that broke me, made me;
gave me every foul and fulsome day.
I hold our  wilful, wilesome, smiling secrets hidden in my head,
to ease me into restful sleep, as I lie counting in my bed.
I steal a distant pleat of time,
and side-by-side, we stroll down tree-lined lanes;
I stroke your youthful face, and we are still the same, still the same.

Your phantom eyes are sad, while mine are wet,
and yet within your kiss, I breathe this simple phrase:
“Je ne regrette rien.”

No; no regret; though my dream may leave no physical trace,
its spring-fresh scent will never fade.

The Daily Post #Trace

©Jane Paterson Basil

Leaves

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Please;

don’t offer to brew me my favourite tea,
unless you possess the sweetest loose leaves.

Those bags are abhorant;
their taste does not warrant
the honoured bestowal
with the legendary motto of the late Earl Grey,
who, as you may know,
once was political head of the nation
now laughably named the UK.

Loose leaves are a fragrant,
attractive, and blantantly
vastly superior, exquisite treat,
to feeble tea sweepings, both tasteless and sad,
so slyly concealed in a pale, perforated,
limp paper bag.

Please, don’t be confused
between
tea that’s infused
— a spoon for each person and one for the pot,
in water that’s steaming and scaldingly hot —
so lovingly strained, poured into a teacup
of fine bone china or slim porcelain,
daintily lifted and sipped at my leisure,
caressing my palate with citrusy pleasure…
and
dust that is dumped in a thick, chunky mug
— printed with some vulger caption or image —
to be vacantly swilled or unwillingly gulped.

The Daily Post #Infuse

©Jane Paterson Basil

My Reprieve

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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

A Poor Example

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Six foot three,
gleaming, even teeth,
walks with confidence,
clean, impeccably dressed
rippling with reassuring muscle,
manicured, shaven and trim:
Magnificent him.
Mmm…

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His eyes hint at an intimate secret
hidden within a mystery
five fathoms beneath a turgid sea,
where he and I, alone,
may swim… must swim… have swum…
in an alternative reality.
His lips pulse a promise of depths to plumb…..
sensual pleasures to come.

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His voice
is a blatant embrace;
in a purring masculine bass:
.“You have the face of an angel,” he says.

I’m fevered and flustered, bashfully blushing,
I’m stumbling and flushing. I don’t know what to do.
I want to drink champagne out of his shoe,
to sweep inhibitions out of the way
and make crippling love for the rest of the day.

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His velvet voice becomes husky, like rough hessian:
“Have you had surgery? It’s essential to make the best of yourself.
Look at my perfection;
I’ve had hair implants, a tummy tuck, liposuction, silicon, botox shots,
a nose job, throat job, butt-cheek job, a penis extension –
all the better for a blow j……”

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……As I leave
he is yelling that on closer inspection,
his first impression had been a tad sketchy,
and I’m not the woman he’d thought me to be.
My legs are too hairy,
my attitude lairy;
to bed me he’d need a large fee.

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As far as I can see, the flat of my hand
has left a strong impression on his plasticised face;
as for my impression of him…
he’s a pretty poor example of the human race.

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The Daily Post #Impression

©Jane Paterson Basil