This Sunday, I went to Houghton House’s special Celebrating Recovery event.
They were celebrating all their former inmates who made the one-year mark, which I did last November.
I felt all kinds of proud to go up there and collect my passive-aggressive recovery gifts to the ringing sound of applause (i.e. soap wrapped in paper that reads: ‘Removes stubborn character defects. Suitable for delicate over-sensitivity). I wanted to hug the very attractive Natasha, but my sensai, Danny Rand, had taught me not to give into temptations of the flesh. I also wanted to give a speech, but time was short, and we needed to allocate as much time as possible to founding partner Dan Wolf’s fifteen minute five minute closing address.
“I just want to thank my parents, for supporting me through this first year of life/death struggle. To God for maybe existing, though I believe in the form of Loki, who is now dead at the hands of Thanos – sorry, spoiler warning, but it isn’t my fault you haven’t watched the movie by now. I also wanted to thank the Academy for their belief in my performance, even while knowing my acting skills are more B-grade than Walker, Texas Ranger. And finally, to the staff of Houghton, who never fail to welcome me whenever I am there for my therapy sessions. Always with wide-smiles, always supportive, always excited to see I’m doing so well. I love them all. Especially Kerry, she’s a king of kick-ass.”
Getting my dose of Iron. (A Step in the Right Direction, Part II)
Drugs kept me up all night during early active addiction. Drugs made me toss and turn under my sweat-filled duvet. Drugs made sure I was still up to hear the terrifying sound of the Dawn Choir on a work day.
These days, I’m normally asleep by 11:30. But I wanted my Sunday lie-in this week, because I’ve gotten hooked on my new addiction, Stepping. The Stepper has been amazing. My idea of raising my pulse rate in the bad old days involved a rolled up R10 note.
These days, it’s stepping on an exercise machine while watching Iron Fist and its chief kung fu protagonist, Danny Rand, fighting the evil criminal organisation, The Hand (fist against hand? Seems like the odds are against him, i.e. paper beats rock every time).
Those hardcore fighting scenes get me so enveloped in the action, that I barely notice my legs pumping the Stepper, barely notice my exhaustion, and my limits being broken.
Saturday night, I went a full 23 minutes non-stop before needing a break. I used to break every nine minutes. Then, after swigging down water, I managed another half an hour right till the episode ended on another cliff-hanger.
I’ve really been Iron Fisting hard, and it feels so… good. I just don’t understand the strange looks from people when I tell them that. What’s wrong with Iron Fisting? Hard?
I’ve started work at my new job. More of a way of High Life, really. Already had some great successes this past week – including a very cool blog which impressed my colleagues. I’d share it with you all here, but that might reveal my identity. A closely guarded secret that only, like, 30 people know.
It turns out I’m the most senior person in my division there. Feels weird taking on the responsibility.
But my word-fu is stronger than I imagined.
On Friday, a junior writer handed me some work – there was a lot wrong with it. I was proud of how I handled it though. I made sure not to disparage, not to be arrogant either. After all, I too was a junior writer once. And had mentors who helped hone my talents. So I did some rewriting. But I went through it with her, explaining the whys of writing well. I explained the essence of crafting copy. I made sure she knew I was in her shoes not that long ago, and owed so much to my forebears.
Mentoring another writer is tricky. Because we feel our heart and soul is in our writing. Any perceived criticism is a jagged icicle in the chest. I knew she felt it, and I felt awkward.
But when I showed her how to improve her copy, when she saw how it flowed so much better… there was that spark in her eyes… the moment of insight, the moment of growth.
My cat habit is out of hand.
My neighbour asked me the other day who my new girlfriend is. “What girlfriend?” I asked. “Oh,” she replied. “The one who sings such lovely songs to your cats.”
FML. I turned red.
But I can’t help it. I sing to them. I miss them so much during the day, that when I see my cats, all I want to do is shower them with love. Cuddles. Songs. Treats.
Life is grand. I’m on the way up. Drugs and alcohol never managed to steal my soul. Sear it, yes, but even bad burns heal, with the right treatment.
That I owe to Houghton House, and their wonderful team.
I’m free from the other type of cat now, methcathinone, after a decade-long destructive relationship. I’ll always, always be free of it, provided I keep working on my Recovery.
The only cat now is the kind that bumps noses and nuzzles.
Soft, calming purrs easing my spirit.
It’s the only cat I need for a life complete.