Recovery Matters

Wings of Fury: trying to quit the addict’s fear habit.

Addicts experience a lot of fear because of drugs and alcohol.


So what’s recovery like?

It depends who you ask, because this week J.D proves to be a wimp when confronted with a stinging issue.


Recovery is about doing things differently. No longer living in fear is one of them. I no longer fear flashing blue lights, for instance. Stops at roadblocks do not cause liquid terror to run down my pants. I know there’s no chance of me experiencing Surprise Date Night at one of Sandton Police Station’s holding cells.

That’s recovery from drugs and alcohol for you. I’m free from worry.

Except that this is me we’re talking about.

And I worry about almost everything. Like Woody Allen, I’m a Great Worrier. We are worriers of the highest order, much like the warriors of the Knights Templar. Both contemplate a mass of bodies strewn on a blood-soaked battlefield, guts hung from trees, hands and legs left metres from their former owners, and enough crushed skull fragments to make you think it was Christmas morning.

But whereas the Templars imagined these things because they were about to have another day at the Jerusalem office, circa violent Crusades, I imagine these things when I’m going into any old office. I’ve been told I catastrophize. The worst-case scenario is inevitable.

“We’re all going to die! Every one of us! They’ll defenestrate us from the fourth floor! There won’t be anything to bury! My poor mother, she won’t even be able to identify me at the morgue!”

“J.D, dude, it’s just a client revert. They’re just not happy with one… small… piece… of… the… creative.”

“You fool! That one small thing was everything! They think we f$c#ed with them! They have to make an example of us! They’ll hang us with our entrails! They’ll flay us alive! They’ll tie us to boats, coat honey on us, and wait till wasps plant their eggs in our eyes!”

“Dude, you should be on medication.”

“I am on medication!”

“Then in a straightjacket.”

Fear is the mind-killer, to quote Frank Hubbert. It shuts down the rational side of the brain. Or subverts it. It drives a horrific campaign of conquest on your goals. I was, for instance, trying to come up with an idea for this week’s blog, but instead all I can do is obsess about an issue most consider insignificant. Which is why I must apologise about there being no blog this week.

See, I was leaving the house the other day when I noticed a miniature mud igloo on my door. A small little mud igloo. With an even smaller little hole in it.

Took me a few stupefying moments to connect the dots. It’s almost like I believed gunk and dirt had manifested in that spot on its own. Like a crystal forming in a cave of mystery. Nothing else needed.

But then I wondered, “Is this maybe an ant’s nest? Teeny tiny little ant’s nest? Is this where the bloody blighters are coming from?” I had an Ant issue, they were always On my kitchen counter, ready to call up all their mates in 60 seconds whenever I dropped so much as a crumb.

60 seconds! Those wiggling antennae are cellular.


fear of worry

But, no, it wasn’t an ant’s nest. I did that Who Wants To Be A Millionaire thing, and asked the audience. In this case, Facebook. It’s a wasp’s nest.

Wasps.

Initially I was confused. However, as there aren’t many Anglo-Saxons in my area, I realised I was dealing with those devil-possessed flying hypodermic needles. Ever since I was a child, I quivered  in fear at the sight of them. A lion charging at me. Hah! I merely have to sing Hakuna matata. But a wasp? It’s like being on the English countryside and seeing the entire Luftwaffe appearing in the sky.

(I recently met a pilot who’d fit right in with the Luftwaffe. Cough cough.)

Panic time.

Now, I’m not 100% sure the best way to get rid of them. Insecticide the flying faqwad out of the nest? What if some wasps survived, and they seethe for vengeance? Sigh. All I need now is a gang of orphaned stinger-armed insects with a blood feud against me. They’d come for me at the worst possible moment. When I’m using the toilet, stepping out the shower, or getting romantic with my iPad.

This required some forethought. This required strategizing. The first step being… Do not step out the front door. Do not open for any reason.

Someone knocked on my door. My one-floor down neighbour.

“Hellooo? Helloo? Ah yoo huhm? Ey sah youh cah, youh mus’ be huhm?”

“Don’t knock on the door,” I screamed from the other side of it. “Can’t you tell? It’s a wasp’s nest there!”

“Thee littah thin’? Not was’. Was’ baby was’. It goh nowh.”

I was even more confused. An incubation chamber maybe? For one of those spider-hunting wasps, where they drag a live, but paralysed spider into it, lay a single wasp egg, and close it up?

If you think you have it bad, imagine being paralysed, but alive, and waiting for a wasp egg to hatch on you. So it could eat you.

“I’m still not opening that door!”

I definitely heard what was most certainly chiding, or swearing, but I couldn’t understand it.

“Mah chil’wen bahl ehn up oh youh balhony. Pleaz thwoah ih dowh.”

“Sure, sure, will do.”

Lovely woman, when I’m not being a freak, or her children aren’t stirring up trouble.

Stupid kids and their stupid splatter patterned puffed-up ball, causing neighbourly tensions like this. It made me want to Google ‘How to have crab-apple trees as pot plants’. Or maybe as a bonsai. With really small crab-apples.

I live in an apartment, but maybe I could dig up a part of my living room, soil it up, and have a real crab-apple tree, with full sized crab-apples.

Then I wouldn’t have to worry about the kids anymore.

They would be the ones worrying about me.

The only problem with a crab-apple tree, especially indoors, is it might attract wasps.

Then I’d be worrying about how my new wasp nests clashed with my curtains.

And I really would hate to have to worry.


 

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