I was supposed to raise my medication almost two weeks ago; what the doctor didn’t know was that I hadn’t been taking it, so, as I was deemed to need it, I began it on a lower dose.

Today I increased it to the expected level.

My vision closed in, my limbs began to shake, I felt just a little sick, but I was sitting , so I didn’t notice the other symptoms.

At the ring of the doorbell I staggered into a standing position and noticed that my knees were bending, in the way I’ve seen my son’s knees buckle when he was on particular drugs, but I didn’t give in, no, I made my winding way around furniture which had expanded since I woke this morning, leaving narrower gaps for me to negotiate.

I calculated; already hours had passed since I took that little pill. I spoke through the intercom, but the words came out the wrong shape; I could almost see them; magically writhing chunks of elastic detritus brought to life by the tide, making me nervous.

I mustn’t be seen like this by those who will gossip and misunderstand.

It was a relief to learn that my guest was a man who’s familiar with chemical that play with the mind. It was just Laura’s ex who had come to collect his key, which she’d given to me.

Joe was talking fast and he seemed excited. His eyes were wide and his pupils contracted but even like that he could see there was something amiss; let’s face it, it couldn’t be missed,with my erratic gait and the way I collapsed, but when I explained what medication I was taking he smiled in glee.

He related an occasion he’d taken the same thing without a prescription, but he took a bigger heap, and pretty soon we were laughing together, discussing shamons and things of the spirit, while I made him a cup of tea.

He stayed for a while and we talked about Laura, and by the time he left he’d agreed to come to me in the event of tragedy, and hold me and help me to see that it’s only her body which will decay; her spirit will finally be free, and we’ll find a way to celebrate a life which I made, which never wanted to be.

He hugged me and told me he needed a friend like me; a friend who is crackers and understands him.

You may call Joe a druggie, an addict, a junkie, and he wouldn’t disagree, but the first time I met him I felt a connection, a recognition, and though we are different in the way we live, in our souls we are really the same.

With him I feel liberated, intied from convention, polite pretention, stripped down to the depths of me. I know he’s a friend, I know he’s a soulmate, I knew it instantly. It’s love without need for sadness or pity, and it’s a rare emotion to see.

And yes, he lives on mind altering substances, but I won’t let prejudice cage me, difference enrage me, judgement disengage me. It doesn’t decrease my feeling of kinship.

Amidst all this, I spoke to my doctor and listed my symptoms. He waited for me to say I would like to discontinue my medication, replace it with nothing and see how it goes. His agreement was instant; even eager, and he admitted he doesn’t like Lyrica [lie-ree-sa]. It had been recommended by a psychiatrist I had seen.

Now a streaky sea of evening sky advances, and still I am shaky, still I am staggering, still I am off my face. Which probably proves I am not the type to misuse drugs, or I would be more immune, and the message is strengthened by my decision to give up taking prescribed medication, even though it’s the kind that’s desired on the street.

And in case you wonder, when I wake up tomorrow, straight and sober, I’ll still know that Joe is my friend.

©Jane Paterson Basil


Author: janebasilblog

Jane sits around and writes a bit, then she does some other stuff, then she sits around and writes a bit more, then she eats something. Sometimes, at night, she goes to bed.

10 thoughts on “Crackers”

    1. It could be – I’m terrified of them, so when I’m prescribed them for anxiety so severe that I have a seizure, perhaps it’s no wonder the symptoms worsen when I’m prescribed a drug that’s BEING SOLD ON THE STREET to get people high.
      Here’s the daftest thing of all – on a conscious level I don’t even feel that anxious these days.
      Who am I kidding – I’ve just learned to keep the panic at bay.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I do indeed – going to the gym has helped me with that. Also good posture helps. An upright stance helps you to face the world head- on. The panic isn’t a problem. I can push it away in a matter of seconds, and I can disguise the anxiety and the fear, even forget about it for a while, but it never goes. Now things have stepped up a pace with Laura, and my chest burns with it. Those who know me, and have seen her in the flesh, know that there is nothing more I can do, for either of us.
        The only hope I have left is that she breaks her leg and it’s put in traction for a few months. Cruel as that may sound, it may give her a chance. But could she live with her history as one of the most degenerate addicts in town? I don’t know.
        She wants nothing to do with me as I won’t give her money for drugs.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, yes, I checked it out – and it took six months for me to get brave /desperate/stupid enough to take it.
      It’s the latest trend on the street. Thanks to Paul word got around that I’d been prescribed it, and I have people coming up to me when I walk down the road, asking me if I’ll sell it. What I have has a street value of over £300. It’s going back to the pharmacy and be destroyed.
      I was so out of it yesterday. I’m scared to read what I wrote – I know the content, but not how it scans.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I was off my face, and apart from when Joe was here I hated it. I didn’t sleep AT ALL, and I’m on a massive comedown today. I was like someone on the street who’s taken about six times as much as I did.
      I’m glad Joe comes across ok – I was worried that it may have sounded like we were having a crack-party for two. We were waving our arms madly, raving about Buddha and Jesus. I love how we come from opposite ends of the field, but we meet in the middle, even when I’m not wasted. I’m friendly with a lot of addicts, but he’s different.
      I reckon he’ll be there, with the strengths which I lack. It’ll confuse the hell out of my older girls, who may think we’re in love 🙂 but it’s Laura he loves.

      Liked by 1 person

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