‘The last time I thought about taking heroin was yesterday.’
Ha! At least I got your attention.
Not my words, but Russell Brand’s from an article about his Life Without Drugs. Clean and sober for the past ten years, he continues, ‘I had received “an inconvenient truth” from a beautiful woman. It wasn’t about climate change – I’m not that ecologically switched on – she told me she was pregnant and it wasn’t mine.’
‘I cannot accurately convey to you the efficiency of heroin in neutralising pain. It transforms a tight, white fist into a gentle, brown wave. From my first inhalation 15 years ago, it fumigated my private hell and lay me down in its hazy pastures and a bathroom floor in Hackney embraced me like a womb.
This shadow is darkly cast on the retina of my soul and whenever I am dislodged from comfort my focus falls there.’
Don’t you just admire his vocabulary?
The part that stuck in my mind though the most was this,
‘Drugs and alcohol are not my problem, reality is my problem, drugs and alcohol are my solution.’
Don’t we all have our escape from reality? Something happens in our body, some kind of feeling, and we ‘deal with it’. We stuff it down or cover it up or kill it. We scroll, flick, phone, yell, blame in silence, eat, drink, be merry, get happy, not give a fuck, text, sext, smoke, use, run, sweat it out, fat blast it away, worry in overdrive, attack, strategise, rationalise, plan holidays, sleep… all to avoid feeling ‘it’.
This week I actually felt it. It started with a shelf and some control issues. It ended with me accepting that I couldn’t have 100% control over the way the flat looked. I said yes, I’d do it, I’d consult and then I felt it – the knot in the pit of my stomach.
‘You have to get rid of it,’ he said.
‘No, I just have to feel it.’
I didn’t try to argue or fight it. I felt it.
The feeling dissipated. It left without ceremony.
I can do this.
I don’t have a million clever words like Russell Brand but I have this.