25 Oct 2012
30 years clean today.
Yes, a milestone day of gratitude and amazement : 30 years clean of drugs. I surrendered, showed the white flag and put down recreational drugs, pills, spliff, abuse of prescribed drugs, alcohol, amyl nitrates and nicotine all on the same day and went cold turkey, trembling, shaking and hardly sleeping for 5 weeks. But I committed to a new way of life. A clean one, a day at a time. I did, I did, I did, but don’t try this at home folks, without support. With support, fellowship & unity, we can and do recover.
Three decades ago today age 35, October 26th 1982, I awoke in my flat, ( later deemed ‘unfit for human habitation’ by the Environmental Health Department ), and realised the junkie game was up on this first clean day. I had been using & drinking for 3 days with the blinds drawn, unwashed and hardly eating, after 14 months of alcohol abstinence sobriety with AA. My 8th relapse in 18 months. I was at the end of a horrendous Human Interferon drug trial, every 48 hours for 3 months, at the Royal Free Hospital in London, to halt chronic active Hepatitis B, which didn’t work and everyone died on the trial except me. From this trial synthetic Interferon was created to treat Hep C in 1988 ( then called non A, non B ) using a tenth of the interferon strength used in 1982.
On October 28th 1982, 2 days clean and washed up, I sat in a Wimpy Bar on the corner of Charing Cross Road with my then AA sponsor, ‘Angry Sue’. She didn’t scold me but spoke in a hushed tone “I think it’s time to look at your drug problem”. She went on ” . . . there is a new fellowship in London, just 2 years old here, with one meeting a day, it’s called Narcotics Anonymous. The next evening I readily went to Hampstead ” Hampstead Heroes” meeting, the following Saturday I went to Chelsea ” Early Risers” opposite the Charter Clinic, one of only 2 rehabs in the UK.
I’ve been clean since my first *NA meeting. I’ve not drank, smoked or used drugs since that white flag day, a few days before. The preamble read out in the meeting was different then, reading ‘ as long as you don’t pick up that first *pill, drink, fix or drug* ‘ so I knew I was ‘home’ when I heard the Ist step about ADDICTION being the issue, not alcohol like in AA. Later it got amended to ‘ as long as you don’t pick up that first *drug* that we use in literature today. Many of us had AA sponsors in those early days, most NA groups just had photocopied literature fro America, such as it was, and a ‘good meeting’ was one where a junkie hadn’t stolen the kettle.
I got clean before the Basic Text was published in 1983, way before fantastic plastic recovery key rings and Green & Gold study material published 1993. Way before ecstasy, wine box inventions and Baileys Irish Cream. Way before SUN Newspaper skag kids, Boy George on smack, George & Elton coming OUT, Perrier Water and coffee in pubs. Way before Celebrity Rehab, Oprah and mainstream self help books.
But Narcotics Anonymous was there and it was free : anyone could attend. The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop using. I certainly had that. NA kept me clean and everyone that attended smoky church hall basements, community centres, rooms in mental hospitals and * the meeting after the meeting*, I thank you all and bathe in your courage, experience, strength and hope. Major thanks and respect to Jimmie K and the gift of 12 Steps to NA from AA. It is still a day at a time, life on lives terms but what a life enhancing, glorious life I have had.
If I can change my life around, anyone can.
During early recovery I discovered that I was a drug addict, an alcoholic, a chronic debtor, a codependent, a liar, a cheat, a sex addict and a candidate for change. I took the view that I wanted to live. In 1996 I released incurable chronic active Hepatitis B from my body with no medication, just Spiritual Rebirthing Yogic Breathwork, trust and diligence. I avoid, the best I can, on a daily basis the 4 ‘P’s : Projection, Procrastination, People Pleasing & Perfectionism. Without these defects, we are well on our way.
I am no one. I am no thing. The Teachings are known by many. The Teachings form the core of all religions. But few understand. The Teachings are known by all on the High path. I have come to share the Teachings not to talk about this Babaji or that Babaji. To separate Babaji into this Babaji or that Babaji is not Simplicity. This will only lead to separation and despair. It is better to concentrate on Truth, Simplicity, Love and Service than to concentrate on which Babaji belongs to which category. No One cannot be separated. No Thing cannot be categorized. To separate No Thing will only lead to despair. Attach to the Teachings not the Teacher.
Walk on the High Path but follow No One.