Bridges to Normal Living

camp bestival

” You’re not clean” The look of consternation on my face should have been enough. I reply “Why do you think that?” “You don’t go to meetings” I look at them and ask “how clean are you” “two weeks I’m back from a relapse” “Well done for coming back that couldn’t have been easy for you. Let me explain some thing to you. I have been clean for nearly six years and I work my programme accordingly. I don’t feel the need to sit in meetings every week or every month because I just don’t need to. I don’t want to find myself institutionalised inside this programme and I got clean so that I could enjoy life and be happy, which I am in more ways than I could go into. You know that this programme is meant to be a bridge to normal living right?” “Um yeah” “Well that’s what I’m doing living life on life’s terms, sometimes it’s difficult but mostly it’s great. I’m self aware enough to know if I needed a meeting to get myself to one.” “So you’re clean?” “Yes I’m clean and I intend to stay that way” “How have you managed six years?” “By never picking up no matter what curve balls life throws at me, because I know I’m worth more than that and my life has never been so good, and I followed this programme and did my step work fearlessly and honestly. You can do it too, just keep at it and love yourself, give yourself a chance.” “Why do I keep relapsing?” “I don’t know only you know that, all I can tell you is work the programme and believe in yourself you can face life on a more level playing field and surmount life’s difficulties. We’ve been given the most wonderful gift, make the best use of it that you can.”

Just a day in the life, here’s to all the little battles we win that make up huge victories over the disease of addiction. One minute, hour, day, week, month, year, decade…


Here, There, Loss and Carrying On.

I haven’t written for a while, every time I have sat down to write life has thrown a curve ball. Therefore the blog’s been on the back burner.

The beginning of the year was tinged with immense sadness and loss. My friend passed away in fact he was a friend to many people. If anyone was the epitomy of a twelve step program it was him. He selflessly helped everyone irrespective of whether he was fond of them or not. He was my heart brother and I his sister, we used to chuckle about that. It was an odd bond a mutually sick heart a combination of genetics and past abuses.  One night he fell asleep and never woke up, I felt broken by it but pleased that his higher power had given him the release that we all secretly wish for, peaceful and painless. I miss him immensely, so how do we carry on? We put one foot in front of the other and stay clean, hold each other through the worst of it and forever hold him in our hearts.  The wheel of life continues turning it does feel harsh but time does not stop for any of the living.

March has brought gigs a plenty and I went to see Stiff Little Fingers last week. Outstanding gig, though I was happy to not be downstairs having half drunk pints of Lager being thrown over me. Fabulous live band to be recommended.

For my friend……….


Toxic Overload

Toxic Overload

I haven’t blogged for awhile it has been busy in many ways.

Horrendous business meeting last night, ego’s flying and cocks out. I must admit I am seriously reconsidering my role in this. Most of my life I’ve had my voice removed from me, I really didn’t come into recovery to have my voice removed from me by my fellows. The group is supposed to be a democracy not a platform for some people to impose their will or ideals upon the group. No one should be dictating or should I say DICKtating? Absolutely disgraceful behaviour and you have to wonder how someone so immensely ego driven could hold the position they do. This person for the brief time they decided to grace the meeting held court and spent his time shouting, ending with an I’m not going to discuss this anymore It’s making me angry, then swiftly got up and left. This is not acceptable behaviour and shows a vast amount of immaturity, quite frankly if I wanted to see children throwing their toys out of the pram I can visit a nursery. I feel this is going to be an ongoing problem while people cannot keep their ego’s in check or their need to dominate over people. It’s really not a happy situation with no cohesion, I see problems ahead.

Upwards and onwards though and I throw this one over to my hp to deal with at the moment and some Karma thrown into the mix.

The Three Truths, Jails, Institutions & Death.

Copy (2) of Forty Hall 009

These are the things that await us if we continue to use any mind altering substance. They are an undeniable truth. There is no escape except to step out of the madness, not an easy thing to do by any means but with a lot of love, patience and understanding and a good program it is possible. Life is good and everything is possible, you just have to believe and put the work in.

I’m sitting at home writing to one of my friends that finds himself incarcerated in the States. His own journey has been painful to watch, myself and another friend tried to help him. We could see how quickly his life was spiralling completely out of control. It was obvious where it was going and I tried to get him to see that. The day before his court date we were talking and he was petrified, he knew what the outcome was going to be. He thanked me and said I was right in what I had said to him and that he wished he had listened. It broke my heart to hear that and I must admit made me weep. This person is not a bad person at all, but a good hearted man and an incredibly sensitive one and a gifted musician. This letter I’m writing is difficult for me I feel an immense amount of sadness around it but also I feel a fair amount of joy at being in contact with him again. I had to ask a friend what should I write about? Should I write about my own freedom to do the things I love when he has none of that? My friends reply, “be yourself, write what you want.” I have taken that onboard and the words are flowing nicely. I can only hope the appeal that is in process is successful and that soon he will be free and also that he will step outside of the madness now. I live in hope, I hope he will too.

When life gives you Lemons…..

Dad @ Work circa 1960

That is my Dad, it would have been his birthday today.

I think my life would have been different if he had not died two days before I was born. It was the first of many Lemons given to me by the Universe. His death has had a lasting effect on me. It led to my step father being able to get through my Mums door and all the hideous consequences that came with that.

Conquering the Lemons is a tremendous life skill, a survival skill. Sometimes it literally is about the will to survive, to get through whatever it is. So many years drugs where the thing that got me through some horrible times, nothing like a narcotic to numb the pain both psychologically and sometimes physically. The downside is though that not being in your right mind leads the way to more Lemons dropping on you. An unclear mind leads to poor decision making, and I found that I never considered nor cared about the consequences of my actions or the potential dangers that lied within.

Take for example this piece of utter madness. I met my second husband while on a two week holiday. I had met him quite a few years before, but this time we seemed to have an attraction. I brought him home and when he was well settled in it became apparent that he had a considerable crack and alcohol problem. To top that off he was a paranoid schizophrenic and combined with his drug problems he was a ticking timebomb. Can you see the poor decision making? I became pretty adept at walking on eggshells very quickly. I was living in fear in my own home, the place that had always been a sanctuary for me. The day came and I knew it would where he beat on me. Someone called the police and they took him away. He escaped jail by signing himself in to a mental institution. He returned home after a week and things were pretty quiet. A month later he did it again this time though I needed hospital treatment and several stitches in my head. I was a mess black and blue for 7 weeks. The police took him away and eventually he was jailed for five years for actual bodily harm with intent. More drugs followed I just couldn’t cope with the absolute and total rage he had reigned down on me.

The upside to this, because there always is one, was that now I was free of him forever. I never considered the consequences of my actions until it was too late. It wasn’t all horrible some of it was fun, but not enough fun to cancel out the horrible. A year later I went into recovery, a clear mind thinks before it acts. I’ve had some Lemons drop on me since then but none of them have been of my own creation. Most of the Lemons now are friends and relatives dieing and simple life things that I don’t really class as Lemons. Nothing’s a crisis, nothing’s impossible to deal with. Life is how it always should have been, simple and sweet.

Lazing on a sunny afternoon.


Gorgeous day in London. Good food and great company make the day a thing of joy. The Sunday roast has been devoured and the pudding demolished.

Good to see some friends I haven’t seen for awhile. The conversation is bright and stimulating. We’ve found a solution to most of the world’s ills. The tea flows, none of us drink alcohol. We don’t need it. Construct, deconstruct everything laid bare. How we laugh at ourselves and the rest of the world. It’s a breath of fresh air. I take a large inhale and giggle, this will be happening again.

One of my friends says “do a curry night Karen, I bet it’s better than Sappy’s!” I look at him and raise an eyebrow “I didn’t know you are a fan” We grin and nod to each other. “Curry it is then next week.”

Happiness is yellow

happiness is yellow

So many people don’t have it, walking around in a permanent state of misery. Captured in the headlights of their own particular insanity. Don’t pour your misery and lack of attention on me. I am my own person and my happiness depends only upon me and no other person. Some people are wracked with negative emotions never really stepping outside of their playgrounds. Always blaming someone else for how they feel, never taking responsibility for themselves. This is childish behaviour and shows poor self awareness, like a child that cannot get what it wants throws a tantrum. Some people really need to look at themselves honestly and make a change. The attention seeker is possibly the saddest of them all, walking around thinking people are their possessions. It’s sad because all people are free in spirit and are only chained by what they wish to be. You cannot possess any human being, to think you can is sickness. I deflect your sickness don’t give it mind or comment just like everyone else.

Sad day for music, goodbye B.B.


The morning news breaks the loss of blues legend B. B. King. The loss of such a major talent ripples through any music lover’s heart. I know we can’t live forever but there’s just some people you wish could. The Sun shines a little dimmer today with the loss of this great creative.

Last night I got out my music manuscripts, started to read the dots. Something I was taught as a young child still remains with me and I still have a lot of love for it. The crotchets minims and quavers etc coming to life. I sat at my keyboard and started to play. I haven’t played at all since I’ve been in recovery and not at all for over 10 years. To my utter surprise and delight the finger exercises I always do whilst queueing or on trains or buses have kept my fingers surprisingly nimble. There’s a fire in them that’s being transferred to the keys, the sounds coming back are sweet. I had forgotten how much I love to play, the thrill of it all. I played for a couple of hours and shall do so again.

I leave you with B. B. King The Thrill Is Gone.

Spread a little joy


Spread a little joy where ever you go. A smile can turn someone else’s day around.

Feeling out of sync today, missed my meditation and it’s showing on me. Focus out of whack and a restlessness that’s driving me nuts. Saw some art today and now I’m bidding, fell in love and it feeds my soul. A daily dose of that would not go amiss. Why can’t we all have some beauty on our walls? One reason I like graffiti artists, they give their art to the masses and it’s all free.

Busy day tomorrow lots of things to do, a bit of bad time management on my part. Meetings and appointments it’s all go. Upwards and onwards till the verdant starts calling again.

The joy of seeing people succeed and the clean time birthday.

hello sweetie

In the anonymous fellowships we have two birthdays. We have our belly button birthday which is the day we are born and we have our clean time birthday the day we stop using our substance of choice.

The clean time birthday is celebrated with joy and a great amount of exuberance because it is the proof positive that the program works. It offers a lot of strength and hope especially to the newcomer. It’s no mean feat to have beaten off the demons for another year, we become walking miracles. The promise of never having to use again comes to fruition. A daily battle that we have won.

I was advised that on my C.T birthday I should do plenty of meetings to show others what can be achieved, it’s a form of carrying the message. We celebrate with keyrings clap’s and hugs and we do it with exuberance, whether it’s the first surrender right through to multiple years.

Today a fellow and a blogger I follow hits 17yrs clean and serene. To me that is a thing of wonder another year where he has beaten his demons and risen above his addiction. This is inspiring stuff, a piece of magic, another year of kicking away the dark side which likes to try and draw us in. So happy birthday sweetness, keep on keeping on. This fellow dances with you on this very special day.