HELLO PEOPLE. I'm still around. Still trying NOT to take Nasty 'Eroin. It's all nasty nowadays. So piss weak you're paying for nothing and I've regretted it every time. I feel no different off it than on it. So I might as well stay off it, I keep telling myself. I'm off it now. And I thoroughly intend to stay that way!
My head is full of such marvellous creative ideas that I'm more dissatisfied by my Actual Life ~ As It Actually Is ~ than ever before.
I've decided the best thing I can do is to put into operation a certain long-cherished idea for a kiddies' book. Then if some publisher takes it, and I write a few more, I might HOPEFULLY get enough dosh behind me to actually be able to launch my Main Idea (which is a concept for a glossy magazine) ~ like an atom bomb on to an unsuspecting World. Trust me, when they see issue #1, Condé Nast are gonna piss their pants and wish my magazine were theirs.
Years ago, I used to work for a large local newspaper chain, and one thing that taught me about the industry was that, in business terms, a magazine is essentially a load of adverts. Editorial is, in a sense, just filler, because it's the ads that keep any publication afloat. These days they even have a proper name for it. They call it "content" ~ as if it's a vacuum sitting there, longing to be filled in. This isn't exactly true. In the type of book I want to do, there's a great deal of synergy between editorial layouts and advertising. In other words, the heavier somebody advertisers, the heavier they feature in our wondrous photoshoots.
So anyway I've been dwelling on that, in between feeling miserable, misplaced, mishapen. And sitting around wondering what I've done with my life. One thing that is becoming increasingly apparent is that Heroin has no place at all in my future. (As if I hadn't grasped that thorny fact many years ago...)
Every week I've been going to a closed group therapy session at the methadone clinic. Although a cynical side of me sees Group Work as a money-saving exercise, there is a massive upside to doing Group. That is, that I get to be privy to other people's secret insecurities. They're essentially the same as mine. Last week, between four of us, three, including me, appeared to be so miserable we wished we had never been born and were just waiting to die. I get a certain consolation knowing I'm not the only person to feel this way. In a sense, though, I don't care how I feel. As my old friend Clare Bony Arse used to say: "WE'RE ALL ALONE IN THE DARK". Which was particularly poignant coming from Clare, because she had such severe eyesight difficulties (Retinitis Pigmentosa) that she only had 0.5% vision. And there was a real chance that in the next few years she would end up 100% blind. A thought so horrendous that I refused to give it space in my head.
Some of y'all seem to think that I feel especially sorry for myself, as if my own problems and predicament are somehow worse than anybody else's, but this has never been true. I have always, always known at least one person ~ often several people ~ who were considerably worse off than me. I remember years ago trying to explain depression to a person who had almost no grasp on the subject. Everybody seems to think they know depression. But in actuality only one person in TWENTY ever becomes seriously clinically depressed throughout the entire course of their lifetime. So this person says to me something along the lines of "you think you're the only person in the world ever to get depressed" ~ which has never been what I thought. A friend of mine at university had a breakdown so bad she ended up wandering the streets homeless, face covered in snot, convinced her life was the centre of a Satanic plot. It wasn't "schizophrenia", as you might expect. It was just particularly severe depression "with psychotic features" ~ and the doctors treated her with Prozac. So THAT was my idea of bad depression. I never thought my own depression "bad", in fact I thought it didn't count. I never saw myself as "mentally ill" and I never used my depression as an excuse to get out of anything, until things got so bad that I had to drag myself into my doctor's office ~ by which time I was so badly off I could barely string a sentence together. My GP gave me a medical certificate writing me off for the entire academic term. That autumn, at the start of my second year at uni, I spralled down so badly I barely attended any classes at all, and certainly never did any work.
One afternoon they sprang a test on us (probably after weeks of notice, though I had no idea it was going to happen ~ + the marks went towards our final degree classification). I sat there for a few minutes, then wrote some obscenity across my paper in bold capitals and skulked out. It wasn't till years later that I looked back to this era and realized I was a lot worse off than I thought. I ended up dropping out of university, which completely knocked my confidence. Then I got a job and spent every waking our either working or on the way to or from work. Every hour I wasn't working or going to work I was fast asleep. In other words, really, I had no life at all. That's why I want to work again doing something I really believe in. If only I had something to do that I really wanted to do, I would never stop working. I mean, it's not as if I haven't spent more than a decade of my life essentially on a drugged-out vacation. I've had it with drugs and I've had it with living life on perpetual holiday. When I was younger I never, ever envisaged life as a layabout. Even at university, where I knew people who seemed to take pride and revel in their pothead, slacker existences, I never counted myself as one of them. I couldn't relate to their lifestyle at all.
I did end up dossing around quite a lot, but as I put it, I was at the time completely unemployable. I once (around the year 1992 or 1993) went for a job as a cloakroom attendant and I couldn't even get that. It wasn't that I didn't want to work in a nightclub full of pissed-up beer monsters (not my kind of place at all). The point, was that back then, wish zero self-confidence and almost zero social skills, I couldn't even pretend to muster the enthusiasm to get through an interview even for a menial post such as that... NOT good. If I've learned one thing Over The Years, I've learned how to put on a pretty good act. Nobody ever thinks I'm "mentally ill" now until I'm manic enough to appear High On Crack. Until that point I seem to come across either as happy, cheerful, full of enthusiasm or just a bit moody or morose. It does annoy me sometimes that nobody sees how desperate I feel inside ~ but in reality that is a brilliant skill to have in Life ~ and particularly in Business.
Of course most of my more recent problems are self-inflicted (though no junkie ever sees their life entirely that way ~ particularly not when they're lost in the thick of it!) Not until I've dropped the "H" for good and weaned myself off methadone, will I ever truly be able to go Forward. (Much as anything else, you cannot travel the world on Heroin (at least, I would never dare try and do such a thing) ~ and my single most basic ambition is to get the hell OUT of Britain ~ at the earliest opportunity ~ and to STAY OUT ~ FOR EVER!
Ukh I have gabbled on and on. The weekend has started. The dusk is illuminated by a hundred Turkish kebab shops. I have to go.
(Do you see now why I never wanted to write my memoir. I get so bogged down in it all, whenever I turn my attention in that direction. I'm only looking in one direction Today, and that is TO THE FUTURE!
WISHING Y'ALL A CHARMING WEEKEND.
AND IF IT CAN'T BE CHARMING
THEN MAY IT BE TOLERABLE!!