posted on March 7, 2007 at 7:25 pm

a lot of people are curious about the stuff
theres a lotta books n movies bout the stuff
that give a lotta normal people vicarious thrills
looking in on the naughty world of the stuff
but people never understand the stuff
till theyre in so deep
the stuff aint glamourous or romantic
the stuff aint poetic or literary neither
and it aint jazzy or cool
in fact the stuff is the most embarrassing horrible thing
well ok the honeymoon period
the 1 st time i sniffed the stuff
i loved it
it wasnt what i imagined
it was subtle
i felt detached
my problems felt a long way off
i was wrapped in a delicious sleepy feeling
kinda like after a long day in the country
and then some toasted sandwiches n a warm bath
and you feel real sleepy n dreamy
in fact you felt like a child
and all junkydom pushes you towards acting like a child
selfish stupid child
anyway i didnt get itchy
i didnt vomit
i just felt subtly floaty
nothing spectacular like acid or ecstasy
i just felt…
well…
that it was ok to be me
you see i never really liked myself much
i was vain about myself and egotistical
but i didnt like myself
i was so scared to be alone
to be alone with myself was frightening
but with le stuff du mal
i was happy to sit for hours n hours
pleasantly detached
just thinking these dreamy thoughts
sometimes id drop off to sleep for a few minutes
or a few hours
i could never tell how long
oh and the dreams
you know how in narnia
you spend twenty years there
but when you come back here
its like no time has passed?
well the stuffs like that
inside a beautiful dream
a hundred years may be passing
while the junky sits on yer couch n nods
hes off in a temporary paradise
a soft warm world where no one hurts ya
now listen to this
i never was abused or disadvantaged as a kid
i never was in trouble with the law
my mum n dad were together
in fact i never knew any real pain at all
other than schoolground ridicule
and the slings n arrows of love
so i got into the gear for its anaethetizing property
but there was no great tragedy in my life
i was trying to blot out
i just liked the way it felt
most of the others i ever met
most of em
especially in sweden n at n.a. meetings
they were kids whod been raped beaten ignored
prostituted drunk parents kicked n spat on
they took the gear cos it made them forget
their HORRIFIC childhoods and hence their HORRIFIC lives
and the stuff they had to do to get the gear
i mean fiendss
its 300 bucks a gram in australia
so imagine trying to come up with 2 – 3 hundred bucks
every day!
you can even spend more than that
a lot more
and i did in brief bursts
i was never rich rich
but i had a little
and i blew it all all all
for you see
after about 3 or 4 weeks
of on off on off use
i didnt have any of those fabled withdrawal symptoms
ha ha
was it all a myth like the pot propaganda
well id smoked pot for years n never got hooked on it
ha ha ha
and you know coke
i could take it or leave it
but id rather take it than leave it
but if it wasnt about
i wasnt pawning my grandmother to get it
killer in pawn shop:
how much for the granny?
pawnshop owner appraising her:
mate i’ll give ya 200 hundred, no more
killer:
cmon ive had her in here before for 3 hundred
pawnshop owner:
mate, i already got 3 grannies in the window
killer looks over n 3 old ladies wave back
killer:
ok i’ll take the 2 hundred…
you dont think heroin addiction is funny…?
jesus, its hilarious
the whining whinging junkies and their silly carrying on
its a total comedy
anyway i decided that the stuff wasnt that bad
cos i wasnt getting addicted
you know every so often
i would stop snorting stuff all day long
no
on those “off” days
i’d smoke or eat opium
just for a bit of moderation
just to give myself a rest
and then one day i was walking along
and suddenly i was drenched in cold sweat
i knew this must be something to do with the stuff
i mean from outta nowhere
i was wet from head to foot
awash in a freezing cold sweat
hmmm i thought in some fog
i’ll stop with the stuff n see what happens
this is what happened
the next day after very troubled dreams
i woke up early
the world seemed hyper real and hyper ugly
everything threatened me
or filled me with a vague fear or dismay
i felt so sad n hopeless
the world seemed black
this must be the world of the depressed person
oh pray you never have to visit here
everything hurts you
the sweetest melody
the touch of sunlight
the caress of water
the smell of clean food
everything is gross n disgusting
and my legs ached
and my arms ached
an awful awful awful ache
and my stomach was nauseated in every way
and i couldnt sleep at all anymore
sleep eluded me
and i was left up n alone
thru wee small hours that went on for ever
and all the time i knew that
one little sniff and itd all go away
and sure enough thats what i did
and it did
and then i was hooked
and it went on hooking me in deeper n deeper
and every habit was worse than the last one
yeah i tried to stop
and occaisionally succeeeded in stopping
from time to time
but always enticed back
never could resist a bit more
then i started shooting the stuff
and it all redoubled
the ante was upped
the high was twice as nice
the withdrawal twice as bad
and now we’re talking horror
getting off the gear aint sitting up in bed
with a thermometer in yer mouth reading a magazine
people said its like the flu
jesus i never had a flu that so totally filled me with horror
a flu that put the most vivid nightmarish thoughts in my head
a flu that made me writhe n groan n viciously attack
a flu that makes you rail n roil n squirm n kick
and spew and vomit n cough n sweat n all the rest
too disgusting to go into here
but believe me
its unbearable
and ya just wanna sleep
but uh uh sleep is the last thing on the menu
and after a cuppla days of this
there are very few people who dont say
fuck this!
im getting some dope
and you hobble n limp round to the dealers place
and they laugh as they let ya in
like how naive you were thinking you were
gonna get off again
and ya stand there in their bathroom
looking for a vein
and you catch sight of the wreck in the mirror
and yer filled with pain n ache n nausea
from top to bottom
even my hair hurt n i aint jokin
and then ya get it in
and as the first drop hits yer system
everything is fine
the nausea
the cramps
the depression
the yawning crying freezing shaking idiot
is gone
and there you are
back to normal
standing there
in soaking sweat wet clothes
just having paid a hundred bucks
to feel normal
not great
just back to normal
wow thats a good deal
and so on
and so on
years slip pass
nothing else matters
but avoiding that comedown
you get about 7 or 8 hours
then it starts
you need at a minimum
3 or 4 shots a day
to keep the horrors away
you need a minimum of a hundred bucks a day
you can get by on less but you wont be smiling much
if you get a load of cash somewhere
the stuff can easily increase your tolerance
so you shooting more n feeling it less
i tell ya folks the devil invented this stuff
its tricky malevolent
and its always 3 steps ahead of ya in yer mind
itll make a lying thieving ratbag outta anybody
youll do almost anything to get it
and any reason or honour you thought you possessed
will go up in smoke
youll become a nuisance and a liability
if you ever do get off and out of its grasp
itll be a miracle
its a hard hard slog
ten or so years of trouble n strife
dont do it
dont do it
dont do it

67 Responses to “the stuff that dreams are made of”

  1. avatar
    knot | 7 March 2007 at 8:53 pm #

    well, yes. my brother Mikey just got outta rehab, this was his second trip, but for cocaine. he was calling me at 2 or 3 in the morning to tell me that the little people were in the ceiling and under the furniture, spying on him, so he couldn’t sleep.(I guess I told him one too many bedtime stories, and they all lodged upstairs in his brainpan, waiting.) Then the crazy violence, and of course all the extras you mention. my entire family (we can’t agree on much)got together for an intervention & I was the lucky sod they sent upstairs to drag Mikey outta his room by the hair. I think he is doing better this time. I love my brother. I hope he is ok.

  2. avatar
    davem | 7 March 2007 at 9:09 pm #

    So proud of you for sorting your life out and dazzled by the creative explosion that’s followed.
    It’s a real blessing.

  3. avatar
    nv | 7 March 2007 at 9:14 pm #

    what sensitive antennae
    your butterfly soul must have
    to emerge as colourful
    from the horrors of that cocoon

    you have master numbers, nevets
    surely you have been told before
    as much is given
    much is expected

    7 is the expression
    maybe carried over from a past li-
    the number of mystics
    of music scales
    the number of colors in a rainbow
    a vibration that also tends to
    feel isolated
    because not many understand
    loved by thousands
    but not by the self

    1 is for the ego
    such a unique number
    beginings and initiations
    there will never be another quite like you

    33 is actually the number of the christ
    go ahead, look it up if ya don’t believe me, jesus in bondi
    3 typically achieves fame
    it expresses itself as others cannot or won’t allow themselves
    it’s purpose is to show us
    all the beauty
    you’ve got two of em, nevets
    3/3 for 6
    a family number, that 6
    only here your family is quite large

    idunno about Lady Di’s phrophetic dream, but
    got a predilection of my own:
    this year is a 22
    numeric vibration of the master builder
    ask for it esskay
    it’ll be yours
    hard work you’ve never been afraid of-in 4 years time being you can have more fame than you’ve had before, n money too
    see how it comes to you when you
    humble your intentions and ask but
    don’t expect it
    just like everything
    just like god
    it flows to you

    ~nv

  4. avatar
    the dean | 7 March 2007 at 9:20 pm #

    Yours is a dark victory of sorts.

  5. avatar
    damien | 7 March 2007 at 9:35 pm #

    Thanks for that, Steve.

    I’m glad you made it through to the other side and that you’re still with us.

  6. avatar
    Symon | 7 March 2007 at 9:44 pm #

    Steve…I’ve never used at all…so I can’t understand the pain and horror. But I have lived life and I feel like I know a little about the strength of human spirit, hope and life….yours must be truely heroic.

    I hope and pray that all you want now is the pleasure of your muse, the love of your family and the awe of your true believers coursing through you everyday.

    Carpe diem.

  7. avatar
    mattdavison | 7 March 2007 at 9:45 pm #

    The T’B needs a R 18 rating at times I feel.

    Sk…. whatever you choose to play with is fine with me, but it is a subject laced in risk..

    Risk is not good.

    Risk is risky…

    risk is when the end of the road makes it’s cameo…it appears like a mirage, comming and going up in-front of you’re eyes.

    The more risk the clearer the end of the road becomes.

    I should know.

    I don’t think the bumper and the twill’s would want their dad to take on any more risk. Do you?
    lv Matt

  8. avatar
    CAPTAIN BEYOND | 7 March 2007 at 9:57 pm #

    me never crossed that line of “shooting up”, but me did ponder it way back when, thank God me am still here to talk bout it and write bout it just for you me esskay…
    Hollywood

  9. avatar
    kat | 7 March 2007 at 9:58 pm #

    i’ve had people try to persuade me to do it. its a great big no i will stick to ;)=~~~~

  10. avatar
    veleska1970 | 7 March 2007 at 10:03 pm #

    i guess most people have a story of sorts that they can relate to this one. i’ve never done anything like that, but i did have a husband that was such a fucking bastard that i began drinking heavily to “get away”…..and then i finally realized i wasn’t getting away anywhere but to even further down the hell hole, so i stopped. wasn’t easy, but just the same. our divorce was nasty, but not as difficult as putting down that bottle and not taking another drink.

    like i said~~you’re an inspiration, steve. to have gone through that horror and come out the other side of the long, dark tunnel is amazing, to say the least. i’m glad you made it.

  11. avatar
    12str | 7 March 2007 at 10:13 pm #

    oh fuck man!! terrible….glad you came out allright….

  12. avatar
    Anonymous | 7 March 2007 at 10:14 pm #

    yeah, its sad…A bad cold to catch.This hell is also similar to other variations…this is the tiresome chain i’m moaning about…I live there..i’m not dead yet just in constant purgatory…God those symptoms and the fucking outlandish nightmares and hideous hellish sensitivity that comes with withdrawal..of any serious drug addiction..I dunno…I’m not sure I’ll ever feel free or right again…after awhile the shame and self-doubt are overwhelming…Steve, thanks for sharing and warning others…its serious shit..Dee in Tx. ….. on a sad note, my outdoor fish are slowly dying…from a water change, i guess…i’m getting ready to go bury a beautiful silver Koi and little goldie…Ive lost so many over the years, one way or another, I feel like giving up- but i wont..Shantih and Selah..oh well. Good tidings to all…………………………………………….

  13. avatar
    Centuryhouse | 7 March 2007 at 10:17 pm #

    Excellent blog.

  14. avatar
    John Garratt | 7 March 2007 at 10:18 pm #

    “this must be the world of the depressed person
    oh pray you never have to visit here
    everything hurts you”

    That’s pretty much the world of the bi-polar bear. I’ve never taken a drug since depression keeps my hands full.

    John Garratt

  15. avatar
    Renee | 7 March 2007 at 10:31 pm #

    Wow, I’m not sure what I’ve been missin on the bloggy here
    but that was seriously disturbing
    Sorry, I haven’t been keepin up ๐Ÿ™
    Glad that part of your life is behind you, sounds like a horrible existence
    I’ve struggled with a few vices, but my most difficult challenge
    has been overcoming my tendency towards negative thinking and fear
    I’ve had a positive change in my life recently (new job!) which has been forcing me to confront some hang-ups that I have
    it’s uncomfortable physically and emotionally
    but I know that if I face these fears head-on, these things will cease being an issue and I’ll be free of them
    we have a tremendous ability to create our own heaven or hell
    simply through the way we choose to think and react
    I’m tired of being in hell, how bout you ๐Ÿ˜‰

  16. avatar
    Anonymous | 7 March 2007 at 10:34 pm #

    SK,

    You have posted alot of great stuff on this blogg but nothing has surpased today.

    An honest , heart felt post , i hope it also reaches some who need to hear it.

    Thanking you
    DR

  17. avatar
    Anonymous | 7 March 2007 at 10:36 pm #

    best thing you’ve written for weeks

  18. avatar
    Anonymous | 7 March 2007 at 10:49 pm #

    hi steve!

    an amazing story with happy ending.I’m so glad that you are with us making the greatest music instead of beeing on the other side.
    stay with us and your family.They need you and love you.

    en fanatstisk sterk historie du forteller.Du er laget av noe spesielt som har kommet deg ut av dette helvete.(norwegian)

    I’m looking forward to cobenhagen in april.

    have a nice day
    thor-arne

  19. avatar
    Anonymous | 7 March 2007 at 10:54 pm #

    Hey, you know, i was thinking…and thinking…one: I’m seeing nice flashes of intelligence throughout these comments- and thats pretty cool..but i was also just wonderin to myself about how many Sk devotees or fans have had both religious experiences and drug addictions…and what a cracked lot we were (are) …like some kind of cult…and one more thing…i guess you could say I’ve seen God…with the help of mushroom tea. Of course, the real deal is sorta astrological…serious Crisis and Necessity…an initiatory thing…makes you read St. John of the Cross and such…but my beatification faded away, and ive been left with this nightmarish wasteland for some time…..I don’t know anymore…sorry for the long and stupid commentia…Dee in Tx~*~

  20. avatar
    shadrac blintz | 7 March 2007 at 11:11 pm #

    that was inspired.
    i’m going to keep your story and show it to my kids when they are old enough to need to understand (too soon i fear)
    i’ll tell you though, my 20s and early 30s were a mess of depression self-hatred etc, without any major addictions, but luckily i’d learned to meditate instead of medicate.

    my personal observation:

    it’s a hard world.
    to merely exist is to suffer (notwithstanding all the rest of the crap that goes on at all levels of society).
    delusion and illusion (ye ol’ web of maya) hold sway and always will.
    the unwary will fall prey
    we are all unwary
    ——-
    observed possible solution (at a personal level):

    compassion, empathy, awareness and forgiveness for
    all beings

    yeah, I know: words are easy, but the action is tough

    aye, but there’s the rub….

  21. avatar
    Anonymous | 7 March 2007 at 11:13 pm #

    I’m so grateful too that you’re out of that hell hole forever sk, we need you here with us more than you’ll ever, ever know.
    Love you always,
    Amanda
    P.S. I know you never answer my questions, but what’s going on with the “talking bloggy”? Is it going to happen or were you just teasing us…hmmmm????

  22. avatar
    nv | 7 March 2007 at 11:21 pm #

    Darling Dee in TX
    So much sadness and pain
    i know this ain’t our blogge
    but i feel like i gotta call out
    your crying out

    had a dream last night, er, this morning-
    was in a vivid mossy forest
    emerald and damp
    winter creeks trickled water over rocks
    someone was climbing a moss covered tree
    they slipped, lost their grip
    fell like a dry leaf to the ground
    and lay face up in the creek bed
    eyes closed, face closed
    i tried to help but it was too-

    others may think that the dreamer is the fallen
    i see you there, though
    it’s not the falling that kills us
    Sweet Dee
    Land gentley
    Saddle hope n ride her out of the wasteland

    Peace to you
    ~nv

  23. avatar
    Anonymous | 7 March 2007 at 11:22 pm #

    So your babysitter into a pumpkin, but what about the other guys? I would have liked my cd cover signed, seeing as the band signed for fans when you played concerts with the Pretenders.

    Therese

  24. avatar
    Anonymous | 7 March 2007 at 11:36 pm #

    That wasn’t a blog, it was a crier’s bell…one of the most painful and extraordinary accounts of addiction I’ve read on the net…it should be read and studied in every high school in the land…bravo, killer.

  25. avatar
    paul w | 7 March 2007 at 11:42 pm #

    Thanks for that post Steve. Brutal and honest.
    One question (if it’s something you want to share): what was it that finally made you want to kick it for good? Was there a single event/experience that set you straight, the prodding of loved ones, or a slow realization of what you were doing to yourself?
    -paul

  26. avatar
    CSTCoach | 7 March 2007 at 11:47 pm #

    jesus, that was really unbelievable. i don’t know what to say.

    i’ve never had such experiences. never got into drugs (only booze), i guess cause i was always training as a teen (tho that can be a high of its own, honestly). after reading what you’ve written, i never will. I’ll send that to anyone who’s even thinking about it.

    glad you’re still here with us, killa. really.

    ryan

  27. avatar
    ed in fl | 7 March 2007 at 11:52 pm #

    wow….i never imagined what it was like. Excellent writing.

    ed in fl

  28. avatar
    B Raine | 8 March 2007 at 12:11 am #

    hey man its the brainyone your experience with the stuff was quite familiar….

    junk doesnt discriminate thats 4 sure

    I Made it homeless and strung out in SF sharring dirty easy needles under trucks in the back of gas stations, Lived in abandon buildings, woke up to the cops bangingar on my c window as i tied UP….. “lemme see your hands
    this is a school zone”

    My first experiences were out of curiosity chasing the dragon w/ Bomber from RKL (RIP) He said why nsmoke it when ya can shoot it….

    just as I started to get into gear
    or works as the black dudes on the corner would sell them for 3$ a piece….
    My grandma died…and I experienced withdrawls IN New England….
    I had run from pain from a love
    into the arms of the black bitch who told me I was fine w/ No shoes on my feet or food in my belly….
    I did what I had to do to copp
    and when one enters that world there is no dabbling….
    Hooked physiologically ever since \
    fit me like a rubber glove\

    Never fealt like I knew myself
    anxiety and depression plaged my beeing and H lifted it all away ..and yes its too easy to cure the pain

    I made it through while others in the battle went down around me

    I slipped 10 years later and it costed me dearly…

    since 01 methadone has been my enemy and my savior….I still need
    chemicals to get me out of the house so im not seo panicked to talk….

    But I have somethingan be overcome I never Had a
    beleif that drugs c
    or read poetry or sit in a cafe….

  29. avatar
    nickfiction | 8 March 2007 at 12:25 am #

    sounds like a vicious trap…… i’m amazed it did’nt kill you. I struggled with alcohol for 10 yrs, but kicked it 6 yrs ago and never touched it again. It was truly awful to plan out your whole life around being drunk or ” will I feel well enough tomorrow after being drunk ? ” and then music stops sounding good, you lose interest in everything you used to love. all you think about was making sure you got that drink at nite. And from what I have learned over the years, my problem was just a little one compared to some people……. then, it takes 2 years to come back alive and learn to love all those things you forgot about. I regret losing all that time and opportunity of youth. 6 yrs later I am still sober and hang out in bars and clubs and never look at a drink, thanks SK that was an unbelievably vivid and honest description of your battle. Im glad I never messed with that mess…….

  30. avatar
    PAGEY | 8 March 2007 at 12:37 am #

    These lastt 2 posts should be in a magazine or a leaflet handed out at schools. You have hit the nail right on the head. It is just as you describe maybe a little less on the hard drugs i have been addicted to. You should help others out of the hell. You undertstand and remember it so well. We must never forget the pain. We must always remember how it leads you down to the devils doorstep.

    Thanks for that Steve
    PAGEY

  31. avatar
    indigoruby | 8 March 2007 at 12:48 am #

    Wow.
    It’s almost always the physical stuff that’s focussed on with withdrawal – you don’t get a real sense of the emotional hell and the sleep deprivation and how long it goes on for, even in films where these things could easily be made more vivid. Very scary.

    I snorted heroin once but it wasn’t enough to have an effect. I was with a group of friends, including a registered nurse who offered to inject it for me – but thankfully I have always been totally squeamish about needles, probably because I am very physically sensitive and have no veins near the surface.

    Sounds like you had an extra layer of guilt for needing the stuff when you didn’t have a horrific childhood like a lot of the others, but not liking yourself always comes from not growing up in a conducive environment. The English stiff upper lip, even with the best intentions and especially in previous generations, can have a harsh effect on a very feeling child, and I talk from my own experience here as well. Maybe that’s why you love the grass so much; I do too, because it temporarily melts all those mercilessly critical, rigid voices and lets things flow.

    I am working on changing the voices by overwhelming them with nicer ones, but it’s such a lot of work. I think it’s the most important work anyone can do though, learning to be kind to themselves. And the ocean and doing yoga really help for me too.

    Em

    P.s. Caught the Manchester Lane gig – very different being so much further from the front: you pick up a completely different vibe.

  32. avatar
    Tim | 8 March 2007 at 1:14 am #

    One day at a time…Godspeed! (no pun intended)

  33. avatar
    Anonymous | 8 March 2007 at 2:19 am #

    Thank you for sharing your amazing story. It takes courage and humility to share this kind of experience and I really appreciate you for that. Thank you.

  34. avatar
    Anonymous | 8 March 2007 at 2:22 am #

    thank you for sharing. keep coming back.

  35. avatar
    Rehan | 8 March 2007 at 3:55 am #

    A chilling reminder of what it can do to you. I have never touched the stuff and definitely will never do any…better to stick to nature’s own…pot!

  36. avatar
    ...being here, doing this... | 8 March 2007 at 4:14 am #

    “there was not even a fraction of some ego saying
    hey i know what im doing
    no
    that guy had jumped ship
    i mean he started coming back the moment god arrived
    and as he filled up the chamber
    he squeezed god back out
    or god became so bored with his prattle n tripe
    that god just upped n left”

    I was reading this last night…and it reminded me of your experience (it’s from jack kornfield’s “after the ecstasy the laundry”)…

    The dark night came to one meditation teacher after years of inner contemplation and an opening to the divine….

    after many years in both catholic and buddhist communities, it was on a long solitary retreat that the indescribable happened. the closest i can come is to use st augustine’s words – i saw that god was closer to me than i was to myself. god was like a vast ocean and everything i was used to experiencing as myself was a thin membrane, floating on the surface, insubstantial, and then gone….

    when the bliss and divine openness that came with this realisation subsided some months later, i fell into profound heaviness and dread. it was the beginning of a period of hell. after a huge emotional outpouring, everything became stuck in a deadness, without feeling, without meaning. i had moved from the buddhist centre back to ohio to be near to my daughter, taking a meaningless cleaning job. my body developed hives and asthma. the endless inner pain and loss made me feel desperate, close to suicide and psychosis, though outside it all seemed normal. prayers and meditation had become impossible.

    after months of this suffering i finally got so overwhelmed i threw myself down on the bathroom floor and cried out to god for mercy, because i couldn’t go on. in an instant, the whole tortured state of being drained out of me, like water out of a bathtub. for two hours i sat there on the floor in bliss, joy and peace. i saw that all the difficulty was god’s work and i remembered my trust in god and that these sorrows are part of the path. after two hours’ rest, i was i was able to acknowledge that i COULD take it, and that if it was part of god’s work, i wanted it. the very moment i saw that, unbelievably it all came right back – rising up from below as if the bathtub were filling again. everything was exactly as before, exactly as painful and terrible, but that tiny period of god’s mercy made all the difference. i knew i could take it, that i wanted to live through whatever god had given me no matter what. a huge gratitude arose for the grace and tenderness god showed to me then, like the tenderest of mothers, following just out of sight, longing to help us and catch us if we fall. it was there in the worst of my pain that i learned i had no choice but to live in god’s grace.

  37. avatar
    ...being here, doing this... | 8 March 2007 at 4:32 am #

    And another excerpt from the same book that jumped out at me…

    there is no state of enlightened retirement, no experience of awakening that places us outside the truth of change. everything breathes and turns in its cycles. the moon, the stock market, our hearts, the wheeling galaxies all expand and contract with the rhythm of life. all spiritual life exists in an alternation of gain and loss, pleasure and pain. for each of us, even the buddha, it is only by letting go into this truth that we awaken to that which is timeless, the reality of freedom

    for almost everyone who practices, cycles of awakening and openness are followed by periods of fear and contraction. times of profound peace and newfound love are often overtaken by periods of loss, by closing up, fear, or the discovery of betrayal, only to be followed again by equanimity or joy. in mysterious ways the heart reveals itself to be like a flower that opens and closes. this is our nature.

    the only surprising thing is how unexpected this truth can be. it is as if deep down we all hope that some experience, some great realisation, enough years of dedicated practice might finally lift us beyond the touch of life, beyond the mundane struggles of world. we cling to some hope that in spiritual life we can rise above the wounds of our human pain, never to have to suffer them again. we expect som experience to last. but permanence is not true freedom, not the sure heart’s release.

    every wise voyager learns that we cannot hold on to the last port of call, no matter how beautiful. to do so would be like holding our breath, creating a prison from our past. as one zen master puts it…

    “enlightenment is only the beginning, is only a step of the journey. you can’t cling to that as a new identity or you’re in immediate trouble. you have to get back down into the messy business of life, to engage with life for years afterward. only then can you integrate what you have learned. only then can you learn perfect trust.”

  38. avatar
    ...being here, doing this... | 8 March 2007 at 5:03 am #

    And continuing on along similar themes…

    when the christian mystic julian of norwich says she knows of no lover of god who is kept safe from falling, she is voicing the understanding that to descend is also god’s will. whether we understand this or not, Mara does return. the fall, the descent, and its subsequent humility can be seen as another form of blessing.

    whatever success we have is usually one-sided. then our less developed aspects, or “our shadow” as Jung calls it, come into the light. these are more raw, less controlled aspects of ourselves. there are certain truths we can only learn by descent, truths that bring wholeness and humility in surrender. in times of our heart’s greatest vulnerability, we come close to the selfless mystery of life. we all need periods of fecund time, fallow time, of being drawn closer to the humus of the earth. it is as though something in us slows down, calls us back. and out of that time a deepened knowledge and beauty can emerge.

    we can learn this from the myth of orpheus. because he is a son of the muses, orpheus is able to create the most beautiful human music ever heard. but then shortly after his wedding, his beloved wife, eurydice, dies, and a grieving orpheus follows her spirit all the way to the underworld. with his lyre, confronting the lord of death, he sings of undying love, as the poet rilke describes…

    “a woman so loved that from one lyre came more lament than from all lamenting women, that a whole world of lament arose, in which all nature reappeared: forest and valley…field and stream and animal in sorrow….so greatly was she loved”

    so moving is orpheus’s song that hades allows eurydice to return to the land of light, but on one condition: that orpheus promise not to turn back or look behind him to see her on the long journey home. led by hermes, the god who mediates between two worlds, she silently follows behind orpheus on the slow trek back to the world of light

    Again rilke:

    “He said to himself, they had to be behind him…
    but their steps
    were ominously soft. if only he could
    turn around, just once…”

    it is the way of the heart, our human nature, to turn around – as orpheus eventually does, though it loses eurydice to him forever. we cannot live only in the world of the light. the heart knows that to open it must touch all of the truth, all of what we are, even when that risks the loss of of what we love. finally orpheus’s music must include the eternal strains of loss and grief, to sing fully our deepest understanding

    traditionally it is said that if we don’t honour our unfinished tasks, our karma will remind us, our unresolved conflicts will re-arise; we will be forced to turn towards what we have not faced in ourselves. put simply, the circumstances of human life will insist on getting our attention. our falling needs to be honoured along with our rising. sometimes simply recognising this is all that is necessary.

  39. avatar
    retinasoup | 8 March 2007 at 5:05 am #

    Very touching Steve. Honesty is a beautiful thing. I personally struggle with an alcohol problem, and I could draw many parallels to the description of addiction in your post – although no where near the harrowing intensity you describe.

    Actually, given a chance, I probably would like to smoke opium regularly. I smoked it once, and like you said, all your troubles and anxieties just float off into the distance. It had a subtle effect of tranquility that I enjoyed very much. Luckily I’m too lazy to try and score it or grow poppies. I guess the reason for doing it is similar to why I drink. It is the comfort zone that we all long for. In the end, it’s more like a war zone. There is two sides to every coin.

    The words in your post have helped to convince me not to go there. I hope you include this post in your book because it is definitely one of the best you’ve written.

  40. avatar
    namaste | 8 March 2007 at 5:39 am #

    but there for the grace of god go I….

    I too stumbled, crashed and burnt down a similar path some years ago and miracously (read miracle) came thru the other side. these days I work with others who are trying to break their own cycles of destruction and today was reminded to be grateful and to practise humility. blessed be indeed!

    very cool x

  41. avatar
    captainmission | 8 March 2007 at 6:31 am #

    its good to have ya clean and healthy steve, some one up there wrote, ‘we need you’, and i tend to agree with them, your muse needs you to man, there’s no one else can do what you do, its magick man. im glad these days to see ya laugh and be playful up on the stage, at ease and making people smile.

  42. avatar
    stealthblue | 8 March 2007 at 6:41 am #

    Thank you for that, SK. Glad you made it through that nightmare in disguise. I really don’t think my life would be as rich without you…not to mention everyone else you have touched.

    That is one monster I have refused to ride…thanks to you, thanks to the almighty. Although, I cannot say that I have not dealt with other demons in the past. It may be that some other souls have been saved through your words as well.

    Good job, bean. Lots and lots of peace and love to you, this fambley, and anyone else needing this fine energy.

    Good night,
    Ben V.

  43. avatar
    r@d@r | 8 March 2007 at 6:51 am #

    once you were my hero
    then you were a colleague
    for a while i imagined you a friend
    but now i know we are brothers.

    – r@d@r, who kicked the bottle 1987

  44. avatar
    Anonymous | 8 March 2007 at 7:33 am #

    “Pray constantly” (1 Thess 5:17).
    **********************************

    You’re absolutely right about the devil inventing “the stuff”. It is a well-known fact that drug lords enlist the services of Satanists to “curse” their “illicit stock” so that unsuspecting victims are not just consuming a drug, but are “cursed” in the process with evil and diabolical “wishes”. In this way, if you are addicted to the stuff, you need spiritual intervention as much as physical intervention. Sacramentals such as blessed Holy Water arenโ€™t superstition just as curses aren’t superstition (Blessed Holy Water and Salt dissipates the power of an evil spirit.). Saying prayers are powerful. Prayers addressed to St Michael the Archangel are very powerful. Read “People of the Lies” by Dr Scott Peck if you’re in doubt about the existence of personified evil.

    **********************************
    “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the scheming of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.” Ephesians 6: 10-12.
    **********************************

  45. avatar
    verdelay | 8 March 2007 at 7:42 am #

    Takes many to know one

    Looks like we got a desert island here, full of washed up wrecks and survivors. Taste of salt that won’t wash away.

    First time I tasted le gear I was listening to one of your songs. Paradox. Irony, more like.

    Curiosity had got the better of me.

    Had a jolly good time (of course) on my childish De Quincy tripp. But then my friends started dying and warping beyond recognition and it began to dawn on me that the plant was stronger than we are. Older than we are. It’s like messing with dragons. That’s something little monkeys shouldn’t do.

    Still, I thought it was pretty hip for a while. But then dog shit would be “cool” if William Burroughs stepped in it.

    hf

  46. avatar
    Anonymous | 8 March 2007 at 7:59 am #

    When I stopped drinking Coca-Cola I had such a bad headache I thought I was going to die. Times that by a thousand and then I may be able to relate to your pain. Thank fuck I never took drugs cause the Coke was bad enough to come off.

  47. avatar
    galamor the wizard | 8 March 2007 at 8:07 am #

    Thanks for bearing your soul, that was really honourable. You never hear how it hooks you in – only the horrors. That was really enlightening. I’m still intrigued though. How did it ever become, to you, a cool thing to do? Or was it that you had done everything else and you thought you’d give it a try? What made you finally give it up? I’d imagine NA meetings are doing a lot of Jesus talking and Vishnu wouldn’t have gone down too well! Is H like alcoholism where you always consider yourself to be an alcoholic? You don’t (obviously) have to answer those questions – hey it’s your blogg!!- but it would be interesting to find out at some stage.

  48. avatar
    Anonymous | 8 March 2007 at 9:22 am #

    FYI

    Bill Wilson, the guy that started A.A. apparently didn’t believe in a Christian God. He was into spiritism. AA’s official literature deny that it’s a Christian organization.

  49. avatar
    Super Star nobody | 8 March 2007 at 10:26 am #

    Man I gotta try me some of that shit, it sounds great. I know I can handle it and not get hooked.
    you’de have to be pretty stupid to get yr self hooked, ..just a little bit here and there now and then, isn’t to bad. I know , i know , gotta be carefull but I’ll be right. Whats better, mokin it or snortin? No way would I shoot it. Can’t wait….

  50. avatar
    fantasticandy | 8 March 2007 at 10:44 am #

    steve,
    i’m so glad that you were able to re-invent yourself.
    perhaps the whole thing was pre-ordained.
    maybe one can only reach a higher state of being by going through a process of total breakdown/reconstruction.
    thoughts on that one prehaps?
    good things to all,
    andy L.

  51. avatar
    eek | 8 March 2007 at 12:24 pm #

    That was pretty damned vivid.

    I appreciate your candor SK, and I’m glad for you; your family and friends; and for us, your fans, that you had the strength and perseverance to get out of your hell.

  52. avatar
    restaurant mark | 8 March 2007 at 1:56 pm #

    thank you steve…hope it’s some what of a release for you getting those thoughts, feelings, and memories out like that…so glad you came through it like you did. for your sake and your family. for mine too…who knows what music you might not have made. i never got into shooting…got a little too turned on to smoking opium for a while…knew i was liking that too much. supply ran out, so it wasn’t an option to do it anymore…thank god! with the heroin, only snorted and smoked it a couple of times. it’s imediately obvious as to why people get hooked though…just felt warm and fuzzy. like you said, not spectacular like acid or x…just kind of ahhh, nice. so happy your life is in a better place now. take care man.

  53. avatar
    Anonymous | 8 March 2007 at 2:10 pm #

    i wont i wont i wont… although during my quest i’ve been tempted, lets say

    extremely open-hearted, Mr. K. also yesterday’s stream…

    already lookin’ 4ward to c u in Amsterdam

    peace & luv’
    cracka

  54. avatar
    Tony Pucci | 8 March 2007 at 3:12 pm #

    glad you kicked it steve
    glad you’re still around
    love your music
    dig your soul
    tp

  55. avatar
    Anonymous | 8 March 2007 at 4:41 pm #

    The thing about serious junkies is they don’t really write about it and if they do they can’t write or they romanticise it.
    A useful and scary tale.
    The thing about any drug really is that it takes you away from reality and since reality is quite hard going for most,it’s hard to go back there. Sure heroin has it’s particular pains,but the drug can be anything, even non chemical like sex or religion or any convenient lie.
    Life’s lessons come hard and some never make it back. Glad you did and can write about it with such brutal honesty.

    George Taxi

  56. avatar
    Anonymous | 8 March 2007 at 4:57 pm #

    http://www.gutenberg.org/catalog/world/readfile?fk_files=17882&pageno=2

  57. avatar
    Anonymous | 8 March 2007 at 5:04 pm #

    Steve, good for you to come clean. It may be a case that being able to express yourself was a way to help others. It’s funny, as we get older and perhaps, wiser. We figure it out. Reminds me of the line from Tantilized. The one about the drugs that were sent. Hired, fired but never inspired. Not to be mean, but this may explain why Sometime anywhere and Mag-spirts are my least 2 fav Church records. Was this around the time you had this problem?

    Someone once told me that it’s okay to learn from your own experiences or mistakes, but it’s better to learn from someone elses.

    Take care of family now Steve, provide the guidance for your children and set the example. They are like a sponge, taking in everything you do.

    Just got the new cd in the mail (el momento siguiente) Wow!! Good stuff. I love Electric Lash (one of my fav songs to begin with) and whats up with Bordello. It’s funny to hear you (can I say this?) yell, raise your voice.

    Enjoy the European tour.
    Some guy who lives in Portland Or.

  58. avatar
    Volumes2002 | 8 March 2007 at 5:44 pm #

    Thanks for being so brutally frank, honest and sharing that. The fun of trainspotting it aint.

    This is so well put it should be read to young kids.

    A close friend of your’s during your demon days once told me of your desparate pleading phone calls at 3am. I’m just so glad that you pulled through all of this.

    Steve, I’ve been reading this blogg for over a year, these last 2 posts seem to me to go so far to explaining much you have written previously on the blogg: why your at : where your at. I just had to post today, only 2nd ever -I just usually read.

    Regrettably one of my best friends could not kick the alcohol demon. whilst I fully realize this is different league the results is the same. It is no easier to watch someone kill themselves, this left me with a feeling of total pain and hopelessness for quite a while.

    Finally, hope to see you at Brighton. Should be a chance for you to do some swimming -but Bondi it ain’t -(and you don’t need the cossi)!!!

    Much Peace and Tolerance to you.

  59. avatar
    gator | 8 March 2007 at 5:49 pm #

    “i was happy to sit for hours n hours/pleasantly detached/just thinking these dreamy thoughts”

    hm. am i being doped at night, every night for the last 30 years? ’cause I have lived my whole conscious life in this state.

  60. avatar
    JJ | 8 March 2007 at 5:55 pm #

    The reality of it all sounds rather hellish, but there’s an appeal to me – sometimes I want to just float away in a dream state, sleep and dream. I had 3 day’s worth of morphine in hospital, and I loved that stuff. Wanted more to take home with me (Anaesthesia’s coming). But on my terms; I don’t want anything controlling me like that. Well, you joined quite a pantheon of musos who were fond of the stuff.
    Some did not make it back. I wouldn’t be ashamed. I understand it. I’ve got a son to live for, and you times 5.

    Thanks for an honest read.

  61. avatar
    davem | 8 March 2007 at 7:53 pm #

    Steve,
    Just wanted to tell you that I love you.

  62. avatar
    Leelinau | 8 March 2007 at 9:22 pm #

    Strongest thing I’ve ever had was alcohol (which IS btw stronger than weed).

    We all have our demons.

    Good to see you won that battle.

    ^_^

  63. avatar
    Anonymous | 8 March 2007 at 10:08 pm #

    Sk,
    I am moved and grateful that yu found your way out of that hell.. I lost 2 good friends that would’ve lived good lives but unfortunately got sick and kept out of people’s radar and they didnt make it, it was frustrating cuz I know there are cats that hung around and enabled alot of it and now they live in the shadow of guilt.
    Its gotta be rough to really be trapped,
    Thanks for fighting for your greatness
    You have so many good things to live for

    peace and love

    jaime r…

  64. avatar
    RA | 8 March 2007 at 10:34 pm #

    In so gald you did it. Sorry I’ve said sweet FA for ages, the mood hasn’t taken me and I’m sorry to say I’ve missed a few days (father). EMS is beautiful. Thanks.
    Peace,

    Richard

  65. avatar
    shawn_el | 8 March 2007 at 10:45 pm #

    SK-

    Hmmm…responding to your point from the beginning…I don’t know how many people think the stuff is glamorous or exciting per se… Maybe it’s perceived that way because glamorous people often get into it, e.g. Mick, Keith, Nikki Sixx, The Time Being?

    But I find it interesting on a philosophical level because it seems to involve people becoming alienated from themselves – it seems worthwhile to ponder why and how that happens. I guess that’s the dilemma with you becoming an addict even though you had nothing to run away from?

    This is something on my mind ever since I learned you were on the gear for a lot of the 90’s, since when I listen to your records from those years it makes me wonder if it’s the real SK. I think a lot of songs from then are your most vivid and imaginative ever: lots of SA, Remindlessness, P=A, MATS; and I *love* the Refo:mation album. But it seems harder to enjoy these knowing that a suffering SK created them.

  66. avatar
    Anonymous | 9 March 2007 at 2:44 pm #

    thankyou. it’s really brave and important that you’re doing this. but one thing i don’t understand …when you weren’t stupid, you knew heroin was as addictive as hell, and that getting addicted would turn you into the kind of skinny, snivelling, lying, rotting, desperate, wheedling, manipulative, corrupted thief we see dropping needles down back alleys in every town in every country in the world, spreading qaids and hepatitus as he or she goes …why didn’t you stay off that one drug at least? were you so uncaring about your own life and those of your family? did you do it to show you didn’t care? you say you didn’t like yourself, but man, why not go see a counsellor, or talk to a pastor or something? why snort, then shoot up smack? it wasn’t like you DIDN’T KNOW that it was the most addictive drug around in those days. was it a giant fuck you to the world? or did you want to die? were you needing someone or something to control you so bad you turned to smack, like some powerful men pay to be chained up and beaten? what was the real reason an intelligent, highly informed man went anywhere near that slime? why did you make yourself a junkie steven?

  67. avatar
    Belfrank | 10 March 2007 at 5:49 am #

    Anon above:
    There but for the grace of God go any of us. I have known SK for a longenough time now including most of his smack days. Myself – I’m t-total and have never taken drugs or alcohol – shamefully not veggie yet.
    Anyway – I read your tirade and you have a point to some degree. But I fear you miss the point. You don’t always have to be stupid to try something like that – just weak. It could happen to you and it could happen to me. I hope and think it never will, but maybe sometimes people get to a place in their lives that they don’t like that they will try any door with escape written on it.
    In such a case you must take leave of your senses – but with heroin for most people it only takes that one lack in judgement.
    SK has explained how he knows what you said so well from experience. Don’t you think he spent most of his spare time in those 10 years asking himself the same questions.

    Belfrank


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