ONCE AN ADDICT, ALWAYS ONE..? Met this old friend a couple of months back who I used to share a house with, along with five other house "mates". She is an actress/teacher/healer. (Some mixture.) Her boyf is what I always thought was a "recovered" cocaine addict. He'd been the chair at NA meetings. Didn't use coke any more. Drank alcohol without seeming to have an alcohol problem. Took the odd couple of Es now and then.
... All these are things NA would view seriously and tell you you'd "relapsed". Some years ago we went to a New Year's party together. It was supposed to be this enormous illegal squat-rave. We drove round Hackney in a cab. He was drunk and being fractious with the driver, who wanted paying in advance. Wouldn't give driver more than half the money. Couldn't find the right place. Eventually we did get to a party. I remember thinking "this is well decked out for an illegal rave" - Grecian pillars made of film-prop type material, beautiful lighting, silky full-length curtains against the otherwise plain-brick walls. I found out at the party's end that we'd inadvertently gatecrashed a club-decorator's private party which explained it all. Anyhow, meanwhile we both took some Es and this guy's behaviour grew from bad to embarrassing. At one point he was on the floor kissing this poor girl's (boot-shod) feet. While I rolled my eyes back to said girl's eye-rolling friends then told him: "Get up, man. She doesn't want to marry you." I had to literally drag him off her. Without detaching her shoe. Which was difficult but I did eventually manage.
Before this incident I had thought this guy was seriously okay and that NA were wrong. Because he'd done all 12 steps in the programme of abstinence. And had (in their eyes) "put a foot wrong" and been okay. Ever since that night I've not been so sure that anyone can be okay once they've been addicted to drugs and use again. Even if it's NOT the old "drug of choice".
Thought I'd throw that little anecdote in there. Anyway, his girlfriend since told me he'd relapsed quite badly on the "charlie" (as they call cocaine round here) and his acting-out had caused massive trouble amongst their friends. But she stuck by him.
Anyway, point two is, she'd run into some of my oldold friends, the ones I had before this heroin ever got to me. I found out my exbestfriend felt guity about "not having helped more" (but what help can you give someone when they're spiralling down, a grown adult, in absolute charge of their own actions? What help CAN anyone else give if that person doesn't REALLY want to change?) I thought this informally passed-on message from my exfriend odd because I'd actually gone and written a bunch of letters to people from my past a couple of weeks before, meaning to restrike-up the friendships. There's no real reason these people shouldn't want to talk. As soon as the drug-habit "got" me I purposefully stayed away to save my friendships. Otherwise I would not have been able to resist continually pleading destitution and asking for money. I know what I'm like. Get away with something like that once and it becomes yet another habit.
I'm not even thinking of seeing these people. I just thought it might be nice to exchange emails. I've still got their parents' addresses. Just haven't worked out what I'm going to do.
COMPIEGNE - NAPOLEON's PALACE - On our senior citizen excursion we also visited the Palais of Compiègne. It was an enormous building ! Built by Louis XV and Louis XVI, and remodelled by b...
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