dark am i, yet lovely, a lily among thorns, majestic as stars in procession

dark am i, yet lovely, a lily among thorns, majestic as stars in procession

Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Dreamworld 1

I’m lying in a trench. I am with many other people. It’s dark, so dark. Everyone seems to be in stasis, not quite asleep, but dormant. I peered up to see a balcony with a warden keeping watch on it. He peered out over the mass of bodies with indifference, as if he had been there a very long time. He didn’t look in my direction. I tried to get up, to free myself from the other slumped carcasses and face the truth of what the surface had to offer. But the person next to me held me back. The person next to me held me back with a hook. The person next to me didn’t have a hand, the person next to me had a hook for a hand. But its touch was warm, a tender touch, a kind hook, a loving hook. It didn’t want me to wake up yet, it felt it best that I reside in the quagmire of sleepy ignorant kinsmen. What was above the surface? I must have been sleepwalking because I found myself up and out of that desolate pit of which I never wanted to be reacquainted with again for the whole of my life. I didn’t know where home was but I followed my gut and headed for the brightest star. I followed it until it sank into the twilight, and ended up in a train station. A single carriage pulled up. The warden from the murky hollow cavity in the ground where I had escaped from was driving. He asked me would I like to go back to Sovereign Pit. He said my return was eventually inevitable. Eventually inevitable. I spun on my heels and calmly strolled away into the other direction, leaving the station and its single lonely carriage behind me. It remained there, waiting for me to change my mind. I then found myself in the countryside, lost and confused. I pushed on, no direction in mind, no hurry in my heart, just all of eternity, it felt like, to peruse where I was and how I had gotten there. I was not surprised when a black stallion crossed my path, twice as tall as a regular black stallion. Its underside was covered in nipple-teats, like a pregnant pig. I was also not surprised when it spoke to another horse, behind a bush. The horse it was speaking to spoke back. I couldn’t suppress the notion that they were both conspiring about me. In a brief show of bravado, I told them to fuck off. The wind told me to fuck off back, a disembodied voice across the ether. I glanced down at my feet then, and realised I had no shoes on. This was when I began to get very concerned about my situation. It only just occurred to me that I might be dreaming. Startled, I ducked my head into the nearest stream. To my dismay, this plan failed to work. I was still there in the Dreamworld. The warden from Sovereign Pit drove by in a limousine . He seemed to take pleasure in my aghast reaction to this forlorn wilderness. I could not understand why. I had to wake up though, so I shook my head violently from side to side, shaking in a state of distressed denial. It worked. I awoke in my bed. And that was the end of the Dreamworld. For now. Until I next closed my eyes. Sometimes, I’m afraid to close my eyes.

Saturday, 22 July 2017

Suicide: The Sequel

I’d conquered a high drop from a bridge, but could I conquer hanging from a noose (obviously I did, or I wouldn’t be scribing this now would I?). I did, yes, just about. Hanging – piece of piss. My arse. It’s actually quite difficult. I was spluttering and gagging and coughing and choking and…Awful, just awful. I bailed out. Tilted my neck, took the pressure off, and bailed out. Then I passed out. I woke up later and realised I had a triple whiskey left in my glass on the table top. My first coherent thought was what a shame it would have been to have expired and wasted a perfect untouched triple whiskey. I got sectioned for my first suicide attempt. It was a public fiasco. Stopping traffic, police, mediators, paramedics…my second was the exact opposite. Nobody else knew. It was just me, in my flat. No witnesses. No authorities. No danger of getting locked up again. The song I decided to play on loop while I did this was Wrong, by Depeche Mode. I’m not a fan of Depeche Mode, but this one is a cracker. You could never remake it or do a cover of it; it’s complete in every way. I had to take the duvet cover off my bed and hang it over the top of the door, tied to the handle. Then I had to make a knot. Duvet covers aren’t perfect for hanging – had I used a slick rope, I probably would have succeeded. I may still be hanging there now, so many months later, a fest of maggots and flies. That’s a grisly sight to imagine, but I guess I wouldn’t be any the wiser, would I? I’d be brown bread.

I was crying the whole time during the setup. It was the whiskey that made me wishy-washy. Without the whiskey, I wouldn’t have done it. But the drink opened an emotional doorway, and I capsized through it in a weeping mess. It was the voices responsible for my drinking. I’d had ‘em all night and day. It wasn’t my oppressors evil taunts, but my loved ones suffering that I wanted to escape. I was in a kind of virtual reality, listening to my family being tortured. They were begging and pleading with me to end it. So, because I was pissed, I took their advice on board for a change. Fuck this, I thought. I’m gone. I feel like I’m advocating suicide here because I am writing about it. I know there are suicide sites out there full of self-harming gothic teens. It can become quite an ideation, I guess. It is interesting, despite all the sadness connected to it. You’re effectively murdering yourself. I used to think it was a cowardly sin, but my feelings have changed on the subject. You’ve gotta be brave…that’s the first requisite. Bravery. Courage. Fearlessness. You actually need qualities to get this most unnatural act done. Cowardice and uncertainty ain’t gunna help ya.

Or course, nobody should ever feel this way, but there are dark powers in the world today that can quite easily seduce a person into this self-destructive mindset. My suicide wouldn’t have been a real suicide, it was imposed upon me by others, leaving me with very little alternative but to just keep on taking crap. I only describe this stuff here because it means nothing to me now, it’s in the past. I’m neither ashamed nor proud of it; it’s just one of them things. Hopefully, this might help someone out there who is feeling the same way. Time is the greatest healer. I have equal respect for those that succeed in the act of suicide and those that persevere through the misery of living. There is something attractive about taking the matter of your death into your own hands – rather than leaving it to the fates, you decide where, when, and how. But, on the other hand, we are only here once and we should endeavour to make the most of every single day. Why should we have to cut it short against our will? My concluding advice to any young wannabe-suicidees out there who are determined to seriously injure themselves is this: Relax, stay calm and...take up skateboarding. Joking aside, there is very little we can do to help. It’s like terrorism. We are virtually powerless to stop it. I phoned The Samaritans on one occasion and it was like speaking to a robot, which is not to underestimate the important jobs that they do. It’s just that the world is so mad at the moment that explaining the stuff that goes on ‘inside one’s head’ to another person who has not been through the same shit can seem to be impossible – but at least some people out there are at least trying to help curb this harrowing and sorrowful epidemic. What about the recent news of the lead singer from Linkin Park? Another one bites his own dust.

Suicide 1 Here

Friday, 14 July 2017

The Difference Between Prison and Mental Hospital

In prison, for starters, they hand you a job. If you are sensible and wise, as I was (humble brag), you can get yourself a job on the wing. This means you don’t have to spend the whole day too far away from your cell. I myself was given a role doing the laundry. It was one day on, one day off. All it meant was using the washing machine every 45 minutes or so. The laundry room was on the 1st floor, so I was happy to be up and down every other day, keeping fit. I would prioritise my boys and other people I liked, and maybe even fold their clothes all nicely as a warm gesture. The position commanded a certain amount of respect itself, as clothes are a prisoner’s most valued possessions. Aside from work, there were plenty of things to be occupied with on the wing. The job also got me off the wing and over to the industrial laundry unit on the other side of the jail. This involved a peaceful stroll around the whole prison grounds. Ping pong, pool and snooker were standard procedure on each and every single wing. There was an education suite available, with plenty of computers for writing letters on or whatnot, plus there was a library too, with warm-hearted welcoming staff who enjoyed a game of scrabble. A full-size artificial field, with nets, was there for highly competitive inter-wing matches. If you didn’t fancy a game, and you had a pitch-side window in your cell, you could watch the action. There was a chapel, where prisoners from all over met for courses and prayer. Basically, jail was a huge complex with several acres to explore. And let’s not forget a fully-equipped gymnasium and sports hall, where weightlifting, badminton and even yoga classes were on offer. All of these activities can be engaged with on a daily basis. Sometimes I would get to the gym twice a day. There was also the social aspect as well. With hundreds of people on a single wing, you were always meeting new people. Some of them were friendly faces. There was no shortage of laughs or gossip or incidents. And, finally, you had a release date. Something to look forward to.

In hospital, you are cocooned with a dozen other drug-pumped zombies on a claustrophobic ward, and that’s it. Where would you rather be?

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Phantom Touch

I know there is someone out there
But I don’t know who she is
I know there is someone right for me
But I don’t know where she is
I don’t know who or where she is
But I know this:
I love her
Like a brother
Like a mother
And as a calf drinks from the udder
I draw strength from her phantom embrace
We’re having a Desperado’s Wedding
It’s all the craze
She’ll hand me her virginity on satiny bedding
Our Honeymoon’ll be a fortnight of lazy days
Reach out and touch me although you’re not there
Be it Virtual Reality I don’t care
You kiss me I kiss you back then we’ll call it square
If only I could really touch your soft, cottony hair
We could go for a coffee
Or a ride on the bus
Making me happy
Doesn’t take much
We could go to a party
We could get arty-farty
I’d rather be in Venice
Than be the Neighbourhood Menace
I’d rather be a stone, gathering moss
Than to have not loved at all
Rather than loved and lost
You make my pavements sparkle
You make my grass like driftwood
You make my seas churn with a wonder
Unknown to many
You are my one last penny
My jewel in the sand
Please reach out and take
My lonely, phantom hand
I know there is someone out there for me
But I don’t know who she is
©ATD 2017

Thursday, 1 June 2017

Legal Highs

Here are some examples of the psychoactive substances I more commonly used. The top three, M1, MEOW and BUBBLES, are basically variations of Mephadrone, the golden age of legal highs. These date back to 2009. Aren't they beautiful? I remember being persuaded into trying some for the first time and having virtually no faith in something you could buy legally from behind a counter. Surprisingly, it was pretty powerful stuff. I tended to snort it, like coke. It was maybe a touch more empathic than cocaine though. I’d never been able to afford much coke in the past, but because this stuff was dirt cheap, just nine pounds for a gram, I could afford to act like Scarface on it. It was pretty liberating. I had myself some awfully long-night binges on Mephadrone. In the end, it turned my knees blue. I shit myself. I thought it was a permanent condition. Great times, though. Always available, and a pure product. You knew it wasn’t being cut with God knows what that bunged your nose up. Note how it says plant feeder on the label. They were also known as bath salts. These terminations were legal loopholes to get them on the market with zero responsibility.

The next row of packets are basically Ecstasy tablets. They were more powerful than standard Es, but slightly more dirty a high. Not as lovey. Just one gave you mad double vision, and one time I had the most amazing CEVs from them (closed eye visuals). Whenever I closed my eyes I could see the most incredibly vivid and detailed patterns. The best way to describe it would be a web. If you look very closely at bank notes, you can see miniature intricacies. It was like that, but it was animated. I remember sitting in a dark room, absolutely mesmerised. I was in a trance. I don’t think life will ever get so good again that I’ll be able to buy cheap Es legally from a shop! These APBs didn’t last long, though – they got banned almost straightaway. Note how it says Not For Human Consumption. I’ll just feed them to my plants then shall I?

The next one on the bottom row, BLAST, was like a mild trip. PINK PANTHERS were like mild amphetamines. I was sorry to see these suffer from the blanket ban in 2016. It offered a safer viable substitute to a dangerous street drug. I blame SPICE for that. I’ve never bought a smokable legal high, but they were the ones doing the most damage to people. I’ve only ever tried it once. I had two puffs and was totally stoned. What that drug does to people is nothing short of wacky. People are rolling around in their own sick in public off that shit. But I look back fondly at my small collection of wrappers, almost envious of the time when they were all so readily available. It took all the shadiness away from drug dealing – and made drug taking acceptable. For a brief moment in history, all the usual laws of society as we had always known them seemed to be upside down. It was now legal to get off your face! You could buy drugs in the shop! Any they were cheap as chips!

P.S I can only speak for myself, but partaking in the recreational use of these substances did not affect my mental health in any way, shape or form. Because I’m unfortunate enough to hear voices, it’s perfectly reasonable for the layman to assume that all these wild chemicals have interfered with the balance of my brain. Now, that may very well be true, but I’m still sat here stringing coherent sentences together, and I know in my heart of hearts that no amount of drugs can cause an individual to suddenly start hearing audible phenomena. The two, at least in my case, are unconnected. Just thought I would clear that up. And, while doing so, stick a big middle finger up to the mental health profession. They are all about drugs too, remember. I know which ones I’d rather take. You’re welcome.