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Rated: 18+ · Book · Biographical · #2258138
This is my blog & my hope, writing daily will help me see my progress and log supporters.
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June 7, 2022 at 9:07am
June 7, 2022 at 9:07am
When is a blog not a blog? At what point does it become a journal? Is there any difference between the two? Other than a journal is personal and a blog is out there for all to see. What are the advantages and or disadvantages of either one?

These are rhetorical questions, and it is a good thing they are. I've learned not to expect answers to the questions I pose on this blog (bar a few kind people, who I appreciate very much). For the last week or so, I've been weighing up if I should continue with this blog. Am I helping anyone deal with their own struggles? Am I helping anyone at all? I simply don't know. I certainly hope so, but not knowing, for me, is something of a struggle in itself.

Do I feel sad? Disappointed? Let down? Definitely, I am confused as to why so very few who do read this blog offer any kind of support...other than to read and then leave. My friend Hummingbird offered that this is not a support site, and so, to expect those who read the blog to care about me and my struggles, especially considering we all struggle with something, might be a little presumptuous on my part. I would counter that I was just hopeful, and there's nothing wrong with having hope, is there?

Perhaps she is right, and I do expect too much. But, the way I feel right now is that there is something not quite right here. This blog is the vehicle I use in search of support, and, if there are people along the way who ask for my advice or assistance, I would be glad to help in any way I can. WdC is the freeway that links the towns (individual members, in other words). I used to think that WdC was the community, but, as I previously stated, I don't know if I am the odd one out, or if it's apathy or something else I don't understand. My image of what a community is must be skewed from the reality of what it really is. All I know is that from where I stand, I feel like I'm the car wreck on the side of this freeway and that most are just driving by, with few stopping to offer any form of support. The fact is that most who do read this blog have no intention of stopping or typing..."Hey, Neil...keep up the fight."

For those who never review, and I'm not just talking about reviewing my work, but anyone's sweat and tears...those who read our words and leave without any show of appreciation, encouragement or word of advice because it's too hard or takes too much time or they are too afraid of repercussions or for whatever reason or excuse for doing this, I hope you change this lack of care and try more to support your fellow writers in their journey...but as far as this blog is concerned, there's no blood and nothing more to see.

Do I belong here in this community of like-minded creative people? I hope so, but that's not a question for me to answer.

This is my last entry for this blog...again, thank you to those who have shown me their support and care...you know where to find me if you need me in any way.

June 4, 2022 at 4:00am
June 4, 2022 at 4:00am
When I'm on my bike, it is a form of meditation for me. Focusing on my breathing, gear selection and the hill ahead clears my mind of debris, and when I get back home becomes the best time for me to think and write creatively. This is when most blog posts are born.

In the past, I have given methamphetamines human qualities in my writing...'she' is how I refer to the drug. I'm not sure if this is a good or a bad thing "My Love's Reach

Every time I try to escape her, I fail, and this is why I changed my approach this time around. The three months on and three months off plan, was me avoiding a reality that I, at that stage in my recovery, couldn't face. When I came up with the idea, it was definitely something I was contemplating in a literal sense, but only four weeks into this journey, I am slowly coming to grips with the reality of long term abstinence, or face the fact that I will die much younger than I should.

For the moment, I am using this plan as a crutch...a safety net so to speak. And once the three months is up, I hope and pray that I make the right choice...do another three months without using meth or completely accept that I can no longer use this drug to escape feelings of abandonment, sorrow and loss.

The thing with meth is, it's a great drug to help the user forget...we forget to live and we forget that every day we use, is taking weeks of our lives. We forget how to laugh and how to cry...although once the tolerance becomes outrageous and we can no longer afford or sustain the dosages needed to avoid these feelings overwhelming us, they wash over our lives like a tsunami.

At first, we cry, and then we become fearful of not having the drug...anxiety and severe withdrawals can last for days or even weeks. Then things settle, and the only remnants are nighttime bouts of prickly skin...like someone has a voodoo doll of me and is picking it with a pin, which always comes when I am trying to get to sleep.

Sleep patterns begin to go back to normal after a month. Before this though, especially during the first two weeks, twelve to fifteen hours a day of sleep is required to make up for the months of insomnia, where I recently slept for two nights in fourteen. After one particular binge, I nodded off on my bed one afternoon after not sleeping for many days, and an hour or so later awoke with complete amnesia...I had no idea who or where I was, thinking I must have been drunk at a party and had blacked out. It lasted for around a minute and was really scary stuff.

As the after-effects of taking meth begin to dissipate and the drug clears the system, there comes a flood of emotions and creativity and is almost, if not better, than taking the drug as a newbie. This is too much to control in a normal manner, and as much as it is a very joyous and happy experience, it doesn't last.

Week four is when these good emotions settle. The highs of the last two weeks wane and my moods begin to level out, only at a much lower level than if I hadn't taken the drug in the first place. Things that would cause anyone to feel down, cause me to feel like the world is ending. Sadness and frustration and anger come much too quickly and remaining sober then becomes a struggle to maintain.

Week four through to week twelve will be my test. How much I want my addiction to end, compared to how much I want the high. It is that simple. I have given this some thought and I have a few different ideas that I haven't tried before. I hope these plans can sway that decision when it comes, in my favour. But, there are no guarantees in this battle I wage, and to say otherwise would be a pure and adulterous lie.

June 1, 2022 at 7:40am
June 1, 2022 at 7:40am
I'm questioning something tonight, and maybe it's a case of expecting too much. We are a community here on WDC...like-minded and caring people who support each other in this art that we love. I could be very wrong here, but, at least from where I am standing, there seems to be an imbalance of sorts.

I have worked so hard to improve my writing in the eighteen months I've been here. One hundred and seventy pieces that I have put my heart and soul into all on my port for others to enjoy...at least, that's the hope. I check my stats regularly and can see which pieces are going well (how many have read each one) and which are not.

Some items have well over a hundred reads, and yet, will have perhaps one or two reviews. Now, as an artist, this puzzles me. Does this mean the story is rubbish and out of the hundred people who read it, only a few thought it worthy of spending a few minutes writing a short review...or even just thanking me for sharing? Is it that most are indifferent? Or, is it that the majority just couldn't be bothered to give back to the artist what they took out?

In Australia, when we drive in the country, there used to be dotted around the place stalls where the farmer would place fruit or produce at the front gate. No one is in attendance and there is usually an honesty box where if we, the public, stop in and take something from the stall, it is understood that a donation of sorts is placed into the box. There are no fixed prices and it is up to the individual what they think is a fair thing...perhaps just some loose change will suffice. And at the end of the day, the farmer's kids would go down to the front gate, gather any leftovers and check the box.

Once upon a time, not so long ago, it would be almost unheard of for someone to take something and not leave some form of payment in the honesty box. But, times have changed, and it isn't surprising that nowadays, nowhere near as many of these stalls are about. I will leave it to your imagination why this is so, but it certainly says something about a community where people take the work of another and give nothing in return.

Should I be bitter about this lack of consideration? I know I have read some works on other people's ports and not reviewed them...mostly because I couldn't identify with the work, and if this is true for everyone who has read my work, that tells me that I should take up another hobby because obviously, two or three out of a hundred or more who read me think I am worth the five minutes it takes, and the other 98% think I am hopeless. You see, that's what happens...when there is no feedback from the majority, we assume that the work must therefore be rubbish.

I spend quite a bit of time and effort writing this blog. It's not just about my life, but trying to do it in a way that people will find interesting or educational. When I began this blog, it was never going to be just about me. I hoped that it might help someone else who finds themselves in a similar place...addicted to drugs.

I am thankful to all those who have supported me throughout my journey so far...

Simply a LeJenD
Buddhangela's Brave and Crazy
Benjamin Black
Jon Dakota
Rapali Goswami
Tina launching into the deep
Sum 1
Mary Ann MCPhedran
Kare Enga back in Montana
Michael Jay Aich
Dog Pack saving4 premium renew
QP doll
Warped Sanity
Samberine Everose
Lazy Writer
Mischevious Mike
Snow is Writing Poetry
Cass--Ready for Summer Spirit
Rising Tide...

That's quite a list and I thank you all for showing your support. This is why I continue because without these people SHOWING me they care...even a simple click of a thumbs up is all that it takes, I doubt I would.

I am going to do more reviews to try to change this apathy towards showing support for each other's work...anyone who thinks along the same lines is welcome to join.
May 31, 2022 at 7:46am
May 31, 2022 at 7:46am
Yesterday marked three weeks since I used meth, but it feels more like four or five. In the last week, I have had cravings. These pangs of want pass quickly, especially if I keep myself occupied. If I have to go from one day at a time to one hour at a time, in the hope that I won't relapse, I will. To relapse now, at such an early stage, would be a crushing defeat for me.

I'm living my life in increments. Each week broken down into days, and the days into hours as addiction begins to bite down on my resolve. I know what's coming...excuses, so I can justify going back to familiar grounds. One bad day and a chance meeting with someone who would love to bring me down to where they exist...in the gutter.

I wish I could say in all honesty that I will prevail. That I WILL say, "NO!" But, I've been down this road too many times before to feel or act overconfident...or even just confident. The reason for the three-month plan was to give me a goal longer than one day, but smaller than forever. Which is something my mind recoils at the mere thought of, even though I know in my heart it is the best thing for me in my life.

I do three weight sessions a week, and at the start of each week, I increase the weights by a kilo or two depending on what particular exercise I am performing...slight increments that will build strength and boost confidence...all will be for nothing if I give in to temptation and use again. Common sense says I would be crazy to even contemplate going down that road again, but impulse is one of the hardest things to overcome when my adrenalin kicks in and thoughts of using this drug enter my mind.

I need to avoid triggers, but even this is nearly impossible. Like today, when realised it has been three months since I last took a break from being a full-time caregiver. During the pandemic, I went eighteen months without a single day to myself, which beat me down to a point I don't even want to think about. And then, when I finally did take a break, I used every single day for fourteen days straight...only sleeping a couple of nights in between.

This was why I wanted to go to Thailand...no connections to buy drugs (I am not foolish enough to try to buy drugs in a foreign country, especially there). But, I got scammed by the travel agent and didn't just lose my money, but any desire to travel OS. So instead, I went to the Gold Coast, where I drowned my sorrows with meth. And now that I need to take a break again, it has become a trigger because my addicted brain associates taking a holiday with using.

I'm not down yet (maybe just a little today), and I still feel good about this decision to stop. But, I am becoming concerned that I will fail again, and even this concern could become the trigger for me to throw in the towel and accept that I am never going to be free.

May 30, 2022 at 7:22am
May 30, 2022 at 7:22am
I didn't post on my blog yesterday. Not because I didn't have anything to say...far from it. It was because I had too much to say.

Last night, I began writing right here, but it soon became apparent that this was not going to be a blog post, but a static item. So, I finished the piece, copied and pasted it to create a new item, and deleted it from my blog. I then got a message from a friend, who offered to live chat and by the time we were done, it was getting late, and as I had to be up early to attend an appointment for a flu vaccine, I went to sleep.

In the morning, I arrived back from my appointment and checked my emails on WDC. There were none and just by chance, I thought I would check out the newsfeed. The first item on the newsfeed was for a competition...something I swore I would never do again after feeling so disappointed with the first and only writing comp I have entered on WDC. I worked so hard on that piece, and when it was judged not good enough (there were only two entrants in that particular category, mine and one other, and deserving or not, in my mind at least, my story came last). I am somewhat ashamed to admit that it had quite an effect on my moral...I suppose you could say that my ego was well and truly dented.

Looking back, this is part and parcel of entering a competition...we cannot all be winners and most will not win. I thought about how pieces of art get judged in the first place. If only one person judges, it comes down to a very narrow set of qualities that they, and they alone look for and like. Beauty is very much in the eyes of the beholder, and I tried my best not to feel down about the result, but it was in vain, and so, I resigned myself to never again subject my art to be judged in a competition. I was to be my own judge...if I work hard and am confident in my skills and imagination to tell a good story, then that should be enough for me.

The competition I saw on the newsfeed was to write from a prompt, and I almost went straight past it, but something drew me to the image. Immediately, the story began to form in my head and I KNEW at that moment that I was going to write this piece and enter.

As I always do, I allowed the story to tell itself. A jockey riding on the back of a beast, guiding it, but not defining its nature nor controlling its destiny. And at the end of the day, I had what I wanted...something I am proud of. It doesn't matter if it comes in first or last. I have a story that will live on long after I am gone and a body of work that I am proud of.

My fear was to again feel the disappointment of not winning, but what I learned from that loss far outweighs any joy or pride I would have felt if I had won. Life is a strange and sometimes cruel thing, but we can gain more from the knocks and what it throws at us if we have the right attitude. To understand and embrace that sometimes we get more from the failures of life than we do from the successes.

Of course, I hope that whoever reads my story gets enjoyment from it...but even if some don't think it is such a good piece, that's not the end of the world....and the only thing that really matters, is that I like it.
May 28, 2022 at 7:06am
May 28, 2022 at 7:06am
Today, I cleaned...meth makes a person not care...about anything. I looked at my room and thought...Ewwwww...so, I pulled everything out and cleaned the walls, the drawers, the ceiling fan, the TV unit (what is it about a TV unit that attracts so much dust?) and stripped my bed and washed the sheets.

I know one thing, tonight when I get into bed, it's going to be a nice feeling knowing that I have a spotless room.

I had just gotten finished with my room and was about to make myself some lunch when I heard a loud noise like something had fallen in the laundry. Turns out that when I had washed my sheets, I hadn't put the (almost full) bottle of fabric softener back on the shelf properly. It had dropped off the shelf and exploded. The walls and the floor were covered in the liquid that had by then flowed under the washing machine.

Then, as I felt my anger rise, I calmed myself...realising that it wasn't the end of the world (fabric softener is way easier to clean up than if it was a full bottle of washing detergent), and there wasn't a lot I could do about it by then. So, I cleaned it all up and finally, after about an hour, ate my lunch.

Things happen...but it's not the things that count, it's how we deal with them. Later, I got on my bike and let the things that bring me down go. Thinking instead about how much I will benefit from these good choices I am making right now.
May 27, 2022 at 8:30am
May 27, 2022 at 8:30am
Today was a good day. I could easily get used to this.

Mom needed a haircut and since the pandemic, it's been hard to get her usual services done. Because of her disabilities (arthritis, macular degeneration and obesity), we have her doctor make house calls when appropriate (or phone consultations when it's just a script). We have stairs, and so, it's not easy to transport her to places...and the truth is, she prefers to stay home and watch her British comedy TV shows (even though she can't make out much on the screen) for the hundredth time. It doesn't matter to her and she laughs every time.

This virus has caused us all to adapt... both negative and positive...the negatives we are all aware of, but for me, the positives are that I have had to learn to do the services for my mom we would ordinarily get someone else in to do. I've had to learn to cut her toenails and also cut her hair.

Not one to do things by halves, I put on a routine as I gave her a haircut, acting like she is at a real salon and I am her gay hairdresser. I fussed and fluffed and chatted...mimicing the campest man you have ever met. I told her, with a hand on my hip, "Darling, you look spectacular!" And even though she is blind and can't actually tell if I do a good job or not, I took my time and tried my best to make sure her hair looked as beautiful as I could make it.

I then dropped the gay hairdresser persona and mowed my lawn...not that a gay man can't mow lawns, it's just that I have my man's man reputation to uphold...Ummmm, I think that came out wrong, but who cares when the sun is shining, my lawn is singing, my mom looks beautiful and I am not under the influence of drugs.
May 27, 2022 at 3:49am
May 27, 2022 at 3:49am
I've been having trouble with my neighbours...on both sides. On one side, some young people moved in around October 2021. They were all on welfare, had no need to go to sleep at a reasonable time and were often still playing loud music and having drunken parties (even during the week) until the wee hours, then sleeping most of the day. On the other side, they have two dogs which when left unattended, bark incessantly until someone gets home, which can be all day and sometimes all night.

We tolerated this because we are not the kind of people who complain, and, as I have discovered in the last few months, complaining does nothing to change their lack of care for our situation. Since I have stopped using meth, however, my tolerance for their bad behaviour and for the constant barking has dropped to dangerously low levels.

So, I called in the cavalry...a fellow who goes by the name of, Mr Don.T. Farquithme. He is not a nice guy (just ask my neighbours), but he does have a knack for creating change in those who I personally, had no hope of getting to see my point.

Mr Don.T. Farquithme suggested that we take the initiative and the fight up to those who have had it all their own way far too long. So, early one morning about a week ago, we started my lawnmower right next to the fence between the young folk and us. He also suggested we play some very loud and repetitive techno music with my expensive portable speaker, which we placed just near the back door on that side of our home, but not so far outside that they might jump the fence and 'acquire' my speaker as spoils of war. This action did not please the young folk, as they launched bleary-eyed complaints over the fence in our direction.

At this point, Mr Don.T.Farquithme went to the fence and said/yelled (because it was hard to hear anything with the racket), in his extremely assertive way, "How do you like it, hey!?" Several sets of bleary eyes answered the question by yelling back at us with unintelligible (because of the racket) words. And, even though our question was asked rhetorically, I think it may have been a little too early for them to comprehend this fact.

I figured we had made our point, and I instructed my bad-tempered friend to cease hostilities andI then offered a truce. I was told in no uncertain terms where I could stick my truce and after I explained to them that nothing goes in, only out from said place, they retired to (I assume) talk tactics or go back to bed.

However, since this day, there has been an uneasy ceasefire. This may have been as a result of the actions of my fellow antagonist's suggestions or maybe it was because a couple of the enemy combatants appear to have found employment, and so, are now living with more routine in their lives. In any case...mission accomplished.

So, aggression on the western front has fallen silent, but on the eastern front, the barking continued. Mr Don.T.Farquithme suggested another onslaught, but I made the decision (as Commander and Chief) to try to avoid going to war in favour of diplomacy. I typed a letter, using the skills learned here on WDC, pleading our case and begging for the barking dog issue to be addressed. Unfortunately, there was no response. They likely hoped that we would just go away, as had been the way for so long.

After the obligatory, "I told you so!" from my angry friend, my very loud portable speaker was placed in my garage and the roller door left open just a crack, so no thieves could steal it and yet, open enough so the recording of a dog barking I found on Spotify, left on repeat, would find its way to the desired target. After just one afternoon and evening of this onslaught, the dog situation has been resolved. I don't know where they have put the dogs...that is irrelevant to us as we sat down to dinner...and for dessert, a lovely piece of quiet.
May 26, 2022 at 9:44am
May 26, 2022 at 9:44am
Firstly...thanks to those who helped me with this most difficult of questions...how to find happiness.

Moving on...inevitability? When you think about it, inevitability is a lot like matter in that it is all around us, and yet we never see it. Buy a new car, and it is inevitable that at some point, it will get its first scratch, need servicing, gain miles and eventually, need replacing.

We are born, and we will die...this is an inevitability no one can escape, and yet we don't walk around all day thinking about it. Perhaps this is because we are so aware and understand there is nothing we can do to change it. Of course, there will be moments of reflection, especially when we inevitably become sick, have an accident or become old, but on the whole, we don't tend to ponder on this, our own mortality.

With these latest developments in Europe, we could say that war is an inevitable thing...that sooner or later, one group of people will attack another and fight until there is an ending to hostilities. Whether there are any gains or benefits from this thing called war is debatable, but I think there would be few who would believe that war is a good thing.

I was born in 1964...a very good time to come into the world. I was too young to have been called to fight in the Vietnam war, and until the conflicts in the Gulf region during the 1990s, I had never known war. Living in Australia, so far away and with only our regular army (Australian SAS) soldiers involved in those conflicts, the effect it had on me personally was minimal. We are so very lucky to live in this country, and I was lucky to be born at the time I was.

Never having suffered any major terrorist attacks and only three mass shootings, the Hoddle Street massacre in 1987 where seven people lost their lives, the Milperra Mother's day massacre in 1986 where seven died and the infamous Port Arthur massacre in 1990 where thirty-five were killed, the government of Australia made gun ownership here much more difficult. They completely outlawed semi-automatic rifles, pistols of any kind (other than police or security, and even they must leave their weapons secured at their respective places of work when off duty), and pump-action rifles. Whether you agree with this kind of ruling or not, there is no escaping the statistics that since the government buyback, which saw thousands of newly illegal guns crushed and made inoperable, not one mass shooting has happened anywhere in Australia. Since the change in gun ownership laws, there has been a steady decrease in gun deaths going from 618 in 1991 down to 229 in 2019. Common sense says this downward trend was inevitable.

When you have millions of guns in the hands of ordinary citizens, it gives the impression of creating a safer place to live. Having a handgun in the top drawer is a great thing if someone enters your home with bad intent and you happen to discover the culprit before he sees you...unless of course, he has time to use his weapon before you do. But, the tragic reality of a child discovering the gun and being a child, who is without the ability to see the possible outcome of holding and pulling the trigger of this home security tool, then becomes one of the many horrors of mass gun ownership.

We are proof that not owning a gun doesn't cause us to become vulnerable...on the contrary, it makes us safer. It is not inevitable that living in the US or any other country where gun ownership is as easy as going into your local Scheels, and twenty-four hours later, walking out with the gun of your choice means that you are more safe, but it absolutely makes it more likely that you will become another statistic of gun violence.

Bad guys in Australia still have guns, but they mostly shoot each other. Yes, there are robberies, and bystanders do sometimes become victims of stray bullets, but this is rare.

Some things are inevitable, yet some are caused, and we need to acknowledge the difference and have the courage to say enough is enough. I understand that sometimes war is unavoidable, especially when dictators decide they want more...and that one day I will die, but some things just don't make sense when a teenage kid can access guns and then go kill innocent children...and in my opinion, this is one of the great shames of a country which holds itself up as one of the greatest on earth.
May 25, 2022 at 1:01am
May 25, 2022 at 1:01am
Twenty-four hours have gone by, and so far, only one person (privately) has put forth any suggestions on what it is that might make us happier.

So, I asked this somewhat difficult question to a person I have the utmost respect and faith in...my mom. She rushed her initial answer. She's in so much pain with her arthritic knees and immediately said, "New knees." I pointed out to her that at 87, she would have to undergo at least two major surgeries and many hours of anesthetic, which in older people is a high-risk proposal...and then followed by months of rehabilitation and physio. She then changed her mind about this choice.

I pointed out to her, as I should have to anyone reading Part I, that this thing we think will bring us happiness needs to be something within the realms of possibility and not something beyond our capabilities or technological reach. So, she sat thoughtfully for a few moments and said, "Happiness comes from within...it is a choice we make. Circumstances do play a part, but on the whole, a person needs to love who they are, or they will never find happiness."

We as a society certainly do underestimate the wisdom of the older people in our communities (I could have said 'the elderly', but for some unknown reason, she hates that term...so it is omitted for this reason). So, from what my wise old mom says, happiness is there for us all to embrace, and all we have to do is look in the mirror and love the person we see. Be satisfied and accepting of who and what we are.

Easy right?

Well, we all know life is complex, and simple answers to complex questions rarely fit. But is it really that hard? Is it too much to ask for us to give ourselves this gift of love and acceptance? Or do we CHOOSE to be critical...to be harsh...to hate what and who it is we see reflected back at us?

Answers have an annoying way of creating more questions...which is why I prefer to ask questions rather than solve them. There needs to be a balance...we don't have to love what we have done in the past, but we do need to forgive ourselves for them (thank you, Hummingbird, for pointing out this wisdom to me). We may not like our physical appearance, but we do need to love the person within the body we have been given. And, if we find our body image is causing us issues, there are ways we can change, which will help us not just mentally, but physically as well.

If we answered that we are, in fact, not happy...or that we would like to have more happiness in our day to day lives than we do right now...it requires you to make changes, which can be a difficult thing to accomplish and deal with. Humans are creatures of habit, but if these habits are causing us issues, then we, and we alone must take on the responsibility for making the adjustments needed, so we may find what it is my mom says it takes to find real happiness..to truly love who we are.

May 24, 2022 at 8:58am
May 24, 2022 at 8:58am
Today, I did the double...every second day weights, and every day I ride my bike. And after only one week, I can already feel my body changing. More muscle and less fat. More strength, less weakness...emotional, physical and mental.

Today, I attended my session with my Counsellor, Vicki. We spoke about the plan ahead and where she feels I might benefit, and where I thought I might. Then the question came up...what do I hope to get from coming to see her? I answered her question with a question (a typical avoidance tactic that she saw right through and immediately brought back to the original question). Damn, she is good...perhaps even better at sourcing the issues than I am at avoiding them.

Today, I conceded to a degree...she had me, and I knew it. So, I went along with her little plan (for now at least) to try and help me find what it is that is bothering me enough that I keep going back to a drug that I KNOW is going to cause me all the issues that it does. Then her next question...am I happy? To which I said, "Who is Vicki?" Another attempt at avoiding...and totally justified this time because this is a very difficult question...and there was some truth to my reply...who is happy? Really happy?

Are you? I'm talking to you...the person who might happen to be reading this blog...and if you can honestly say that you are, that may be the most valuable thing you can ever possess. But, if you cannot genuinely say that you are happy...do you know why? I know that this blog is about me...my trials and tribulations, but I'm interested in people, and not just in my own life. Input from others will help me more than you can possibly know.

Ask anyone you like what it is they want that will make them happy? Anything at all, and all they need do is say it, and it is theirs, I doubt that many could think of a worthy answer. Oh, in the first few seconds, we all THINK we know, but if you sit down and really think about it...don't rush because this is a HUGE decision...what do I want that I think would make me happy?

My thought is to put aside material things...they are just things, and if I chose a sports car or even to be rich (financially), I have serious questions as to if these things are going to bring me real happiness. We might think they would, and perhaps for some, this might just be true, but once the novelty of the sports car wears off...or the money runs out when you will come to realise who your friends really are.

What about world peace? Or a cure for cancer? So much more noble and thoughtful of those who suffer oppression or disease, but would this bring true happiness to you?

So, if anyone can tell me what it is they feel might bring happiness to anyone who may have this niggling feeling of being unhappy without an affinitive reason why (spirituality is for some the answer, but is, in a lot of ways, like a drug, and not something that I would consider for myself), PLEASE share. Or, if, like me, you have no clue, take comfort in the knowledge that at least you are not alone, and there are likely billions of others who are in the same boat. Not being alone might itself be the answer because using meth creates the feeling of being alone, no matter how many people there are in the world.
May 23, 2022 at 8:06am
May 23, 2022 at 8:06am
There are positives and negatives to any choices that we make. When I am using meth, contrary to popular belief, I am not as likely to be involved in a confrontation. The reasons are...I couldn't be bothered...I lack the confidence to be assertive, and the time spent arguing could be better spent using more meth. In many ways, I am easier for others to get along with whilst I am using.

There was an advertising campaign here in Australia that portrayed the average meth user as a violent and crazy person who must not be trusted and is likely to lash out in a rage...and the simple truth is that we are not all like this. One night a few years ago, I developed an infection at an injection site...Cellulitis. I knew by the heat and the red and swollen skin on my arm that I had to get myself to the hospital as soon as possible because this condition can quickly turn from an infection into something much worse...septicemia.

When I arrived at the hospital reception desk, I described the problem and was honest about my drug use. I saw an immediate change in the nurse's demeanour, and so, I tried to convey that I was no threat to any staff...that in fact, I had the utmost respect for the job they do. Unfortunately, this did nothing to reassure them and I was told to go await my name to be called.

I admit that I had not slept in a few days and was extremely tired. I saw a gurney over to one side of the waiting area that looked like a good place for me to lay down and close my eyes until I was called. Soon after this, a security guard approached me and told me I couldn't lay down there, and I had to return to the seating area, which was by this time crowded, and there were no longer any seats available. When I pointed this out, the guy shrugged his shoulders and left. I then laid back down and closed my eyes. Not long after this, I was approached by a nurse who asked me why I was on the gurney. I explained that I wasn't feeling well (which was true) and I felt like I was being treated differently because I was a meth user.

At that point, she left. I fully expected multiple security guards to come and sort out the druggo dickhead on the gurney issue, but to my surprise, I was taken straight into the treatment area and left in a curtained cubicle...much to my relief. As I again closed my eyes, hoping I wouldn't lose my arm by way of amputation, I was attended by a nurse. I smiled and did what she asked and was on my best behaviour. I was calm, in the hope that I would relieve her nerves, but, the entire time she was silent. Not once did she smile or attempt conversation. I eventually had to help her find a usable vein because they were mostly collapsed and not easy to find.

I spent two days on an IV drip as they pumped me full of antibiotics...not something I am proud of, but I said I would be honest on this blog, and this is the truth of what happened. Now that I have no meth in my system, I am becoming less fearful of confrontation, and there are those who must face this new fearless attitude.

Many see confrontation as a bad thing, I am not one of those people. In fact, I see it as a good thing, but only if it is done assertively and not in a way that takes advantage with one person's strength and another's weakness or fear. Being passive will never bring a fair outcome, and the same can be said with being aggressive. And all too often, these two opposites collide in a display of anger/rage that no one should ever have to see or endure...passive/aggressive behaviour.

If we could all learn the skills required, and the desire for compromise...gaining the confidence to ask for what we need, along with a willingness to find a solution that meets both parties' needs, wouldn't the world be a much better place to live?
May 22, 2022 at 9:30am
May 22, 2022 at 9:30am
Today was another day without drugs in my life...another day of serious exercise...another day happy and free from the urges and fears that my drug use commands. Another day that I wish could become my life.

Today, I went to do the groceries and pick up some medications for my mom. Instead of hiding my eyes away from people because I didn't want them to see, I looked directly into their own. And even though I wore a mask to protect myself, and so, my mom, from Covid19. My eyes were smiling...and those who I came into contact with smiled back.

That's a good feeling...no...that's a REALLY good feeling. I am normally a very confident person, outgoing...even cheeky, and, I care about people. Meth takes those attributes away. When I first tried speed all those years ago, it made me dance and laugh and socialise, but meth is not speed, and instead of bringing out the personality that lives inside the user, it isolates...it prevents us from sharing our love...and from feeling loved.

Today was not just another day...it was a day I hope I will remember when the wolves come baying at my door. These next few months I hope will never end, and I can continue to be this happy and open...the person I know and love...when meth will deny me of all this...and of my very existence.
May 21, 2022 at 7:02am
May 21, 2022 at 7:02am
In the previous four months, I ingested a lot of meth, and during this time, I didn't write one creative word. In the past two weeks of not using meth, my word count is around three thousand...not including this blog, answering emails and replying to reviews.

It was like this last time I stopped using (even more so)...there's a jam in the system (meth) which causes a backup, and soon after I discontinue using, creativity erupts like a volcano, spewing ideas like lava into my unprepared mind. I haven't a hope of capturing most of them to use in any future work. At best, I will retain a few, if I am quick enough to document them in my diary before the next idea floods my compromised mind.

There were a few unfinished works that sat stagnant, coincidentally for four months, which are my first priority to finish, add the required amount of polish, check and recheck for grammar and flow and release upon the unsuspecting world (or the twenty or so people who might read them over the coming months). I don't write to be popular or in the hope of being discovered and getting a publishing deal...which it turns out, is lucky for me.

I have by now learned that the only way to achieve those things (being discovered, the popularity along with the adulation and incredible book deals) is to either sell my soul to the devil, in which there will be consequences I will later regret. Or sell my soul to a publishing house, in which there will be consequences I will later regret. Or self publish, in the hope that I will, at the very least, get my money back...although the reality with this approach is there will (likely) be consequences I will later regret.

Someone did once warn me that there is no money in creative art, but at that early stage, I didn't even realise that writing WAS art. Nowe dat I am moore edumacated in dis ting wee b callin wrightin, I undastand wat dey waz on abowt.

I write because I love to write, and just because I have given up on the idea of being the next J.K or Clancy or whoever is trending at that time, doesn't mean I have less to say or don't want many people to read my words. Hell, I'd be happy to give away my time...to collaborate, to help a fellow writer pursue their own desires for that which I have forsaken (for a mention on the inside sleeve of their best seller, of course).

I've spoken to one person (thanks Graywriter) who tried to prop up my failing ambitions of ever getting published, but even he only writes articles for magazines and the like (no disrespect intended, and to me, any writer who can make a few bucks from this art is doing better than the other 95% of us who never will). But, as far as writing and publishing a novel or other serious piece of work, it looks like self-publishing or selling that soul is the only way to go...no matter how good the work is.

And, for the sake of being able to tell anyone who cares to listen (party conversation) that I am a published author, when in fact I paid for the privilege myself...thanks, but I'll pass. Perhaps I could just say (like the one that got away) that I NEARLY got published once.

Is this just another sad story, only without the happy ending (which is not my style at all...the happy ending that is)?

Or perhaps it's the story of a writer who gave up before he even tried...because someone once told him 'it was too hard'?

Or maybe, it's the story of a man who simply loved to write, and didn't care much for fame or fortune, only that the words he wrote would be appreciated by those who cared to read them.
May 21, 2022 at 12:59am
May 21, 2022 at 12:59am
For those who remember my planned trip to Thailand...I was due to fly out of Brisbane at the end of January 2022. Around two weeks before, I received an email from my travel agent advising me that the airline (Singapore Airlines) had cancelled one (or more, they never would specify) of my flights. The situation with Covid 19 made this a fairly common event. The travel agent advised it would cost me $50 for them to apply to the airline for a refund. I wasn't happy about this (either the flight cancellation or the fee to recover my money, as it wasn't me who cancelled), but resigned myself to the facts as they were, and agreed to the demands.

That was four months ago and I still haven't received my $2000 refund, and I believe that I never will.

I'm a Google Local Guide (Level 6) and write reviews of local businesses, restaurants and services I encounter. I also review internet companies, all in order to help others make educated decisions based on others' previous experiences.

Now, you would think that given this fact, I would use reviews to make my own decisions on what companies I use, but unfortunately in the case of the travel agent, I failed to do this, and now look at this failure as a very expensive lesson. The company is called Flight Network.

So, if you are looking to travel and wish to use an agent, DO NOT use this company. They are based in Canada, but have subsidiaries in most developed countries. All the reviews I have read since are the same...one star because unfortunately, this is the lowest rating that can be given. They take the money and won't refund it when they cancel...which they do...a lot.

It's a scam, and myself and many others are the victims. No amount of emails or phone calls will get our money back, and as hard as this is to swallow, it is what it is. These people operate with impunity. They know they can take people's money, steal it, never fulfil their promises and get away with it.

Remember their name...Flight Network...a scam company.
May 20, 2022 at 7:04am
May 20, 2022 at 7:04am
It's been almost two weeks since I used meth, and I have to admit, I feel pretty awesome. Today, I did the double (a workout, followed by thirty minutes of cycling). The lactic acid that caused me a very sleepless night forty-eight hours after the first workout, has dissipated. My strength, although nowhere near the level it was before the last 'relapse' (I've decided that I don't like the word 'relapse' anymore, because it conjures an image of failure...and I didn't fail, I simply chose to use drugs again), is making a comeback. I don't think it will be long (injury free, that is) before I will be back to my old self (whoever that is, that is...lol).

So, the question is...who am I? Am I a junkie who will always turn to drugs whenever things go wrong? Or whenever I just feel like getting high? When I get bored? Tempted? Lured back by friends or dealers? After a lifetime of using drugs, will I know who I am if/when I kick this habit for the long term? Will I even like myself... this person who no longer gets wasted? Who got wasted for whatever and any reason you can put forth.

So many unknowns...and this might be a contributing factor towards why I have never had much success at stopping...fear of the unknown. At least when I am using, I know who I am. I may not always like the person who looks back at me with hollow eyes and a varying degree of despair, but I do understand the place and time and consequences HE must face. Me, without drugs in my life, will be a complete stranger...and I don't trust strangers...at least until they have had time to prove to me they are worthy.
May 19, 2022 at 11:27pm
May 19, 2022 at 11:27pm
For someone who is a drug addict, I sure as hell don't want to be medicated. At this point, if I was to take a drug test, I would be drug free...not a single compound, other than a tiny bit of caffeine, is in my system...and it's a good feeling.

This might seem like a strange thing to say...I would never put nicotine or alcohol into my body, and even pharmaceutical drugs would only be used temporarily, as it was with the Valium, to avert anxiety attacks associated with withdrawal (which I stopped two nights ago). And unless I am diagnosed with a mental illness that requires that I take a prescribed medication, I wouldn't dream of taking those types of drugs recreationally.

You would think after making a statement like that, I would never put such a toxic drug such as meth into my body...but, this is my reality.

All I have to do is kick this one drug and I will be free of addiction...yeah right. The fact is, I will never be free of addiction. I will always be susceptible to the lure of meth...even now, just writing those words, brought on a familiar feeling...an adrenaline rush which always comes before I make the call.

I can do three months of not using...easy. That's the plan and that is set in concrete. What isn't so sure is what I will do in three months.

For anyone who thinks I am on the wrong path, that's your right to believe and who knows, you might just be right. But, if in three months I decide I like where I'm at, and I decide to commit to another three months, who knows where the path I have chosen might lead?

It may be a case of a few years of not using meth, but never having to deal with the issues of denying myself of the choice to use, if that is what I want to do.

This is the path I am on...and I am the only one who will benefit, or fail and face the consequences for that failure.
May 18, 2022 at 3:56am
May 18, 2022 at 3:56am
To quote Dr Smith, from 'Lost in Space' (for those old enough to remember)..."Oh, the pain...the pain of it all."

Lactic acid also reminds me of John Cougar Mellencamp's song 'Hurt So Good' and is what I am feeling right now. Four months of not lifting or peddling and yesterday I thought I was Superman, today...not so much. But, I will continue, after all, it's the only way to get the cobwebs flushed out of my lean tissue and regain some of the strength I had before...well, before.

I still got out on the bike today (sore ass from the seat and all) and I feel my fitness hasn't suffered too much from the inactivity. The worst affected area is not on the outside in my physicality, but on my psyche, where I still feel the pangs of guilt and shame.

My Counsellor, Vicki, is not able to diagnose (at least, not legally) mental illness, but certainly recognises the traits. It will be interesting to see if I have PTSD, BPD, or some other mental illness associated with my addiction. God knows, there has been enough trauma in my life to trigger some form or another.

I've never been medicated (other than to try to avert the heebiejeebies from withdrawal...and tonight, I'm not taking any more Valium to ascertain if I am clear of these frightening symptoms or not). I don't feel as if I do have a mental illness, but, who ever does?

In any case, I feel good...the decision to go back to meth after three months is, at this stage, not something I am focusing on. Instead, I am taking one day at a time...and will make that choice in good time.

Dinner tonight for mom and I is baked salmon with garlic and spices with potato gratin...bon appetit.
May 17, 2022 at 6:57am
May 17, 2022 at 6:57am
The thing that suffers the most when I am using drugs is my creativity. I haven't written a word in four long months...other than emails to friends complaining about this or that. To my poor friends who have suffered my negativity and single-minded monotones of self-pity, I apologise. But, the tide has turned (at least for now) and the creative bubble that has festered inside my mind fog, has, after just one week of not using meth, burst...and so, I will now leave you be, and write...ACTUALLY, WRITE.

I love this feeling, and to be honest (which I always am)...and as difficult as this is for me to admit, this feeling beats the hell outta taking drugs, hands down. It's only a shame that it doesn't last, and in three months, I will be yearning for this drug, which robs me of so much.
May 17, 2022 at 3:50am
May 17, 2022 at 3:50am
When I am using meth, I don't train...I don't socialise...I don't care about much at all. This IS one of the disadvantages, but ironically, it is also one of the reasons I like taking meth. There, I said it...there are times when I enjoy taking drugs. Those who consider this is a bad way to think about my lifestyle choices can turn away or condemn me for it. It is the truth, and although you will find most of us who use drugs have a history of having been abused...abuse that has usually been perpetrated upon us from a young age, this is not the only reason we choose to use drugs. Those who choose an alternate lifestyle, also get pleasure from taking drugs. This is a very strong driving mechanism to continue to use. It is not all about escaping our past...dulling the negative feelings we have lived with almost our entire lives.

I would NEVER recommend anyone to take drugs...for whatever reason...but, there are, and always will be, those who want to escape...who want to be taken out of the norm and find some form of pleasure...pleasure that not taking drugs can never come close to. Yes, this is a double-edged sword...where tolerance creates a cycle of requiring more and more of the drug to achieve the desired high, which inevitably causes the problems we see...the face of the drug taker...scabby faced, pale and pasty...stealing from their own mothers to get their next hit...this is the media produced stereotype we all know and hate. Yes, drugs can and do create problems for those who choose the lifestyle...but, the reality is that you could have a neighbour, a workmate or a family member who uses drugs on a regular basis, and you may have no clue that this is the case.

I can tell you as a lifelong user of drugs that there are certain drugs that can and will cause a person to steal from anyone they can to satisfy or more precisely, avert withdrawal. Opioids are one such class of drug that will cause this kind of behaviour. However, most people who don't do opioids, who instead choose stimulants or cannabis, only steal if they were thieves in the first place. After a lifetime of drug-taking, I can categorically say that I have NEVER stolen to support my habit, and most of the people I have come across, who perhaps may be prone to taking advantage of situations, eg; leave your drugs on the table and turn your back and they might consider taking some without your knowledge, but, leave a wallet with cash on the table and most, if not all won't touch a cent (unless they are thieves in the first place and would steal regardless of the drugs).

One of the first things I said when I began this blog was that I am not going to BS anyone...it will be honest, no matter who likes or dislikes what I have to say. This is who I am and this was my promise to you. It was once said to me, "Neil, you are an honest person, and at times, brutally so." Nothing has changed. Whether I am using or not, the truth is so very important to me, and I hope that you, as someone who might consider offering me your support, can, at the very least, appreciate this one small aspect of this blog.

Yesterday I went for my first bike ride in four months...today, I did my first workout in the same time period. Today, I attended my first session with my Counsellor, who, surprisingly, had no problem with the idea of three months off using, and three months on. Her only comment was she only has a problem with drugs IF they cause problems in the user's life, to which I agree wholeheartedly. I don't know if this radical plan I have come up with is going to work, or if it will backfire right into my face. It might do either, but unless I try something different, isn't it one of the definitions of madness to continue to do something one way, yet expect a different result. I'm not looking for your approval or your condemnation...I am looking to find something that works FOR ME. It may not fit in with others' definition of the correct way, but, unless I try, I will never know.

I have made a pact...a commitment to my Counsellor Vicky, to attend my appointments regardless of which cycle I am in, so we can monitor and log the changes and see if this tactic is, as I hope, a way to live without the guilt and shame I feel when I relapse, or a complete bust...in which case we can then look at more traditional methods of therapy.

I want to thank all of you who have supported me in the past...to anyone who thinks I am not on the right path with this, and cannot offer me further support, I completely understand and have no issue with your decision to no longer follow my progress. To those who believe I am still in the fight, be it in a different way to what they might expect, and will continue to support me regardless, I promise you total honesty with how I am feeling and where I am headed. Thank you to everyone who has been here for me, even if you have never posted a comment and just read my blog, I can see the numbers and appreciate this small gift you give to me.

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