As a person in recovery, writing often helps me make sense of my self and the world around. At times I’ve no idea how I feel or what I am? One minute I’ve convinced myself I’m a remorseful psychopath wandering around comfortably numb. A moment later I’ve transformed into a hopeless romantic with love in his heart.
I can read a page of words and feel as if I’ve reached a point of understanding, then after re-reading my head feels like a box of scrabble pieces scattered all over the floor, reluctantly coming together for an awkward dinner date.
I often feel confused, guilty and frustrated and wish that I could edit emotions like I can words.
Last night I dreamt I was in the middle of the Yankee stadium. Guilt, frustration and shame came flying at me in the form of killer baseballs. They were impossible to hit. A stranger in the crowd shouted out,
‘Let them flow through you, like water.’
But I couldn’t and felt the pain of each one, like a thousand orphan children crying for their fathers.
It’s 5am and I’m trapped in no man’s land. It’s spikey, uninviting and painful. My very essence has been torn to shreds like a Siamese twin sliced apart from its soulmate. Comfort has left me for someone who cares. I’d like to cut off my arms, morph into the statue of Aphrodite and never embrace another soul.
An African nurse with a soothing voice asks if I would like her to pray for me. The concerned frown upon her round face reminds me of a Parisian clown. She gently places a hand upon my shoulder then kneels beside me and recites the lord’s prayer. My mind struggles to accept her words. They sound distorted, like they’re coming from the mouth of Charlie Brown’s teacher.
My world churns eternal regret. I inhale every rancid odour in the room like a bloodhound trailing deer. My tears are sincere but too late. I’m about to be exposed for what I am. A vulnerable, scared, little boy who knows nothing.
My bones creak like an old man playing his last game of backgammon. I don’t know if I can do this. I look up, on the wall and spot the serenity prayer,
‘God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to accept the difference’.
I couldn’t leave you before, I was scared. I feared walking into the unknown without you to guide me. I had no safe house, no witness protection plan, no faith. I imagined that you’d hunt me down and torture me to within an inch of my life; expose me to the world, leave me vulnerable and alone.
What once stood tall and proud is now dirty and torn. I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired. My soul is broken and wonders aimlessly in an overgrown graveyard.
I’ll be here for three long weeks, alone and scared like a lost 10-year-old child.
Extreme pain will soon arrive, it will not be alone, guilt and shame accompany it every time. I’ve caused hurt and pain to people that I loved. The past is going to beat the fuck out of me and I deserve it. I know it’s coming. I’m scared. I’ve hit rock bottom and I’ve nowhere else to go.
Fear of detox lingers around like stale, second hand smoke. The change of environment on top of opiate withdrawal has confused my equilibrium ,making it quirky, like a goose that flies north for the winter.
I suspect what will come flying at me. A million regrets too strong to halt, my passage of time stuck in purgatory, lost in a game that I no longer wish to play. But as the Japanese writer
Haruki Murakami once said,
‘Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional.’
I shall chant this mantra as my body sweats and screams. Preparing myself for when the life blood returns and I once more experiencing the intensity of myself.
I’m here to claim back my soul, give myself choices, take back my potential. I will slowly stomp through the storm with my head held high. Concentrate on the holy mission of recovery jihad and fight a good fight.
It’s 5am and I’m trapped in no man’s land. My body feels like a big itch that I cannot scratch. Every sense is confused, weeping tears of pity. My very essence is torn to shreds, like a self-obsessed Siamese twin violently sliced apart. Comfort has left me for someone who cares. I want to cut off my arms, become like the statue of Aphrodite and never embrace another soul.
An African nurse with a kind, soothing voice senses my pain and asks if I would like her to pray for me. I stare with gold fish eyes, silently warning that the devil is inside and is trying to destroy my soul. The concerned frown upon her round face reminds me of a Parisian clown. She places a hand on my shoulder, kneels and recites the lord’s prayer. I try to listen, but my mind is doing acrobatics.
The acids inside my stomach feel corrosive and unkind, they bubble and burn like a witch’s cauldron. The only thing I can smell is the rancid stench of a city gone amok. I feel sick. I don’t know if I can do this. I look up on the wall and spot the serenity prayer,
‘God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference’.