Jim Wilson’s Blog, 16 December 2015
Another Xmas is upon us.
At this time of year, we are meant to be with our families (such as they might be) and to be all joyous and giving and everything else that goes around under that dear old mulberry tree where life is confusing at best.
We may look at people on the street at this time of year and they seem to be happy and winging their way home with a Xmas tree under each arm and whistling too. Here in America, I see glowing people wearing four layers of designer clothing as the winter closes in. That’s what they do to keep people at bay.
But, at Xmas I always think of my friends who may be stuck on Methadone or may be in rehab or jail and they may even be dead because they couldn’t hack the pace. The pace quickens in our electrified and digital age. It’s love one day and a landslide the next.
I know everyone is pre-occupied with either American or New Zealand politics right now and the ‘political subjects’ of the day which may include Muslims, Guns, Donald Trump, Social Media and Climate Change.
In America in 2013 almost 25,000 people died of prescription drug overdoses and about 16,000 of the deaths were from prescription opiates. Heroin overdoses are not included in these figures. That makes the data all the more frightening. It’s not terrorism, it’s merely ‘junkies’. Junkies are the scum who come to borrow a glass of milk and sell your refrigerator for ten dollars.
So, that’s mainly what I think about when I’m not turning my mind to beauty. If I want to feel devastated, then I think of the people whose breathing gave out after one too many OxyContin.
Opiate overdose is a very lonely way to die and I’ve had a lot of mates who went way out west from far too many opiates or the ramifications of using those self-same drugs. Maybe it was the liver disease that got them or the heart attacks.
I’ve overdosed on opiates a few times and spent time in ‘Intensive Care’. I’m bound to say they were good drugs. I didn’t wake up thinking about politics, I woke up wanting to get loaded again with my mates.
My mates who died were all lonely people and in the end they didn’t ‘connect’ with anyone. They had no possibilities that excited them.
I also have friends who will pick up their methadone a day or two before Xmas and then consume it all at once. They’ll end up ‘hanging out’ on Xmas day and feeling a cold that goes right through to their very marrow. If they had twenty-five heaters in the house and even though it may be summer, it won’t make a damn bit of difference. They will have Antarctica within them until they get another dose.
I am speaking as someone who once spent a Xmas Day or two in jail whilst hanging out and that taught me a lot about life. No one is going to come and rescue you because no one can save you from yourself. That grip on one’s own throat is the hardest thing to remove in this life.
Drug addiction… Self-inflicted? I really don’t think so. I merely think that a lot of people in the world today do not know what to do with their Emotions and Feelings. Many people are in a very deep and miserable painful place and I feel for them. They might scream about John Key or Donald Trump for a while to alleviate the pressure of being powerless and isolated.
Or they might even drive accidentally into a bridge.
Personal responsibility? I believe in that as well. But I have to say I have met many people in ‘recovery’ who, in my opinion, are way more toxic than they ever were when they were stoned. They might be dry and sober and yet spiritually malicious. They may be borderline personalities. Does praying to God help these people?
Yes, it’s no good trip for a lot of folk at Xmas. You may be around toxic people. Your own family might be a contagious disease.
But, my year went reasonably well. I have learned to keep moving and forge ahead. I have something like 22 completed chapters of my memoir finished and Phantom Billstickers has done well and prevailed over the odds. That’s all very satisfying.
There’s been some great books this year and some very good music. I’ve admired some really gnarly cars and met some people I like a lot. I’ve taken some okay photographs and met some of the coolest doggies (and cats) on God’s Green Earth. I’ve walked in the woods a lot and admired mother nature for doing what she does. I’ve missed my own Mum a lot (1999 R.I.P) but I’m better with all that now.
I feel loved and that’s different for me. I’ve never really felt loved before and I’ve always been so difficult (in many ways) that it was impossible to love me. I regularly said ‘no’ to the ice-cream because I was afraid. But now I sense that I’m letting the veil down. It had to go and it belongs way back there in dear old Russell Street in Dunedin.
My parents were very good people but in our house sunshine wasn’t really allowed and the summer was outlawed. That’s probably why I listened to the Velvet Underground (and countless others) but those days are over now. I enjoy putting up poetry posters around the world like I mean it man. I now like sunshine better than a black jersey and a pair of sunglasses in a dark room.
Thanks to those who stuck to me like glue this year and all the others.
I am a work in progress.