Anne Lamott said that you can get the monkey off your back, but the circus never leaves town.

Theres a lot at stake, I think that’s the wrong attitude to take with any recovery. Yes, there’s a lot at stake, but you can do without the pressure. I can do without pressure. Remember I need to detach myself from the struggle.

But that’s not easy, detachment that is, you can’t detach yourself from something that is happening to your own body. The urges are strong and being busy can only take you so far. Having a mind like mine, the kind that doesnt sleep, intrusive thoughts are the least of your worries.

It’s like the throbbing isn’t even really there. It’s like the crawling isn’t even happening under your skin. And it’s like your skin isn’t really skin. But a drum, pounding and pounding and pounding like a match sending little scared soldiers to die. And if detachment was what you wanted, all you get is something ad close to it as possible, an out of body experience and you know how that goes, baby rabbits —

Tunnel vision. Narrowed focus. Everything slows down to a crescendo. And the thing you wanted to run away from is the thing you’re actually chasing.

And you look at your watch and it’s just 10 o’clock. And you crank up the volume on your iPod, while you pretend to read to keep the voices down, but they’ve learnt to shout above your organised chaos . And this goes on and on and on and next you glance at your watch, only fifteen minutes have passed. This is the dependency distance of time, everything is slower and slower and slower, everything can touch you and you can touch everything.

But you don’t.
You reach instead for the Ambien. Because it’s not really cheating if you get a little pharmaceutical help. Because if I can’t have detachment, I’ll settle for numbness.


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