DRUGS EH?

THERE'S A LOT OF DRUG TAKING IN THESE STRIPS & I DO FEEL RATHER EMBARRASSED BY THIS AS I HAVE BEEN CLEAN SINCE THE PREVIOUS CENTURY.
IN THE PAST, A LOT OF MY LIFE WAS RULED BY DRUGS AND MY ART HAS REFLECTED THIS. IF YOU'RE READING THE BLOODRUNNERS STRIPS IN ORDER, IT MIGHT BE QUITE OBVIOUS THAT NEAR THE END OF THE SERIES, THINGS WERE GETTING OUT OF CONTROL AS JACK SHIT WAS MIRRORING MY PATH DOWN A SLIPPERY SLOPE. IF BLOODRUNNERS HAD CONTINUED, YOU WOULD HAVE SEEN THE CONSEQUENCES OF ALL THIS EXCESS, BUT I GOT SACKED. SO I NEVER GOT TO DRAW JACK PROJECTILE VOMITING, OR LYING BEHIND THE SOFA THINKING HE WAS HAVING A HEART ATTACK. SO INSTEAD, I FEEL THE NEED TO ADD THIS APPENDIX:

"I'M ANDY AND I'M A RECOVERING ADDICT. I HAVE AN ADDICTIVE PERSONALITY. I DIDN'T LIKE REALITY AND WAS ALWAYS LOOKING FOR A FIX TO CHANGE THE WAY I FELT. MY FIRST FIX WAS DRAWING, & AS A TINY BOY, I'D PREFER TO LIVE IN A PAGE OF KNIGHTS IN SHINING ARMOUR THAT I HAD CREATED, THAN IN THE REAL WORLD.

AS A TEENAGER I MOVED ONTO CHEMICALS, STARTING WITH BOOZE AND THEN PROGRESSED THRU THE LOT: GRASS; SPEED; PILLS; COKE; ECSTASY; D.M.T AND SMACK.

I SHOULD HAVE KNOWN I HAD AN ADDICTIVE PERSONALITY  WHEN I WAS 19 AND COULDN'T HANDLE AN EVENING IN LONDON  WITHOUT A JOINT. UNABLE TO SCORE, I DROVE 60 MILES TO NEWBURY FOR ONE MEESLY SMOKE! SINCE THEN THE SHIT HIT THE FAN MANY TIMES BUT I NEVER THOUGHT IT WAS THE DRUGS THAT GOT ME INTO THESE SITUATIONS. DENIAL PLAYED A BIG PART IN MY DISEASE.

IN THE EARLY NINETIES I WAS TOLD  I HAD TO STOP SMOKING CANNABIS BECAUSE  IT WAS SENDING ME BLIND!
I DIDN'T WANT TO HEAR AND SOUGHT A SECOND OPINION:
'SO ANDY,  YOU SAY SMOKING CANNABIS IS SENDING YOU BLIND?'
'YES DOCTOR, WHAT DO YOU SUGGEST?'
'STOP SMOKING IT !'

YEAH RIGHT! MOST PEOPLE WOULD'VE STOPPED WAY BEFORE THAT,
BUT NOT ME. I TRIED EVERYTHING: 
MUSCLE RELAXANTS; EYE EXERCISES; OTHER DRUGS;
I EVEN VOLUNTEERED FOR EXPERIMENTAL LASER SURGERY
[THAT COULD HAVE REALLY SENT ME BLIND]
RATHER THAN GIVE UP SMOKING JOINTS.

I FINALLY FOUND THE MIRACLE CURE THAT ALLOWED ME TO DRAW AGAIN:
IT RELAXED MY EYES, STOPPED THEM HURTING AND ALSO
ALLOWED ME NOT TO THINK ABOUT WHAT A MESS MY LIFE WAS.
WHAT IS THIS MIRACLE DRUG? WHY, HEROIN OF COURSE!
THAT'S A SENSIBLE IDEA ANDY: REPLACE ONE DRUG WITH ANOTHER!
FROM A SO-CALLED 'SOFT DRUG' THAT MADE ME PARANOID, PSYCHOTIC AND WAS SENDING ME BLIND,
TO A KNOWN KILLER THAT I SAID I'D NEVER DO.

THAT, MY FRIENDS, IS THE NATURE OF THE BEAST:

IF YOU ARE AN ADDICT LIKE ME [SOMEONE WITH AN ADDICTIVE PERSONALITY],
YOU MAY RECOGNIZE SOMETHING OF YOURSELF IN MY STORY:
THE PROGRESSION; THE SWAPPING; THE DENIAL, THE DISINTEGRATION.

WHEN I STARTED, I DID IT BECAUSE I ENJOYED IT; [OR CLAIMED TO]
OKAY, SO DOPE MADE ME PARANOID, BUT DID I EVER CONSIDER STAYING STRAIGHT?
NOT ON YOUR FUCKING LIFE!

IT'S ONLY NOW THAT I'M YEARS CLEAN  OF ALL MOOD ALTERING CHEMICALS,
INCLUDING DRINK, THAT I CAN SEE WHY I TOOK THEM:
I DIDN'T FEEL COMFORTABLE IN MY OWN SKIN AND I WANTED TO CHANGE THE WAY I FELT;
I HAD FEARS THAT I DIDN'T WANT TO FACE, SO I AVOIDED THEM BY BLOTTING THEM OUT;
I HAD A LOT OF ANGER THAT I WANTED TO SUPPRESS, ETC. ETC.
I COULD GO ON, AND ON!

ANYONE CAN STOP TAKING DRUGS; I'VE DONE IT A MILLION TIMES.
THE TRICK IS TO STAY STOPPED!

HOW HAVE I REMAINED CLEAN {A DAY AT A TIME} FOR ALL THESE YEARS?

I GO TO MEETINGS OF NARCOTICS ANONYMOUS AS OFTEN AS POSSIBLE, WHERE I MEET WITH OTHER ADDICTS AND WE HELP EACH OTHER STAY CLEAN. JUNKIES; CRACK-HEADS; SPEED-FREAKS AND DOPERS SHARE THE ROOM WITH ALCOHOLICS, GRANNIES ON VALIUM AND KIDS ON GLUE. BECAUSE THE DRUGS MAY BE DIFFERENT BUT THE PEOPLE ARE THE SAME:
WE HAVE ADDICTIVE PERSONALITIES, BUT WE WANT TO STOP TAKING DRUGS. AND STAY STOPPED!

YOU DON'T EVEN NEED TO BE CLEAN TO COME, 
THE DESIRE TO BE CLEAN IS ENOUGH;

THERE'S NOTHING TO SIGN OR PAY; YOU CAN ARRIVE LATE; LEAVE EARLY. YOU DON'T EVEN HAVE TO SAY YOUR NAME IF YOU DON'T WANT TO.

I SLEPT A LOT IN MY EARLY DAYS AND FARTED LIKE A DEMON!
BUT NOBODY SEEMED TO MIND; THEY JUST SAID 'KEEP COMING BACK'.
AND I DID. AND STILL DO.

MY OWN ADVICE IS:
TRY TO LISTEN; CONCENTRATE ON THE SIMILARITIES IN PEOPLE'S STORIES; REMAIN OPEN MINDED AND IF YOU NEED HELP, ASK FOR IT.

YOU'LL MEET PEOPLE WITH LOTS OF CLEAN-TIME WHO'LL INSPIRE YOU, AND PEOPLE WITH SADDER STORIES THAN YOUR OWN [WHO YOU YOURSELF CAN HELP] AND WHO'LL REMIND YOU HOW MUCH FURTHER DOWN YOU COULD GO.

I WAS CONVINCED IT WAS A CULT BEFORE I CAME, BUT I NOW KNOW IT ISN'T. IT ISN'T RUN WELL ENOUGH TO BE A CULT!
IT'S JUST A BUNCH OF LIKE-MINDED SOULS WITH AN APPETITE FOR (SELF) DESTRUCTION, WHO'VE PULLED BACK FROM THE BRINK IN THE NICK OF TIME.

IF THIS SOUNDS INTERESTING, SEARCH THE WEB OR LOOK IN YELLOW PAGES FOR NARCOTICS ANONYMOUS.
IF YOU'RE IN THE U.K. THE HELPLINE NUMBER IS 03009991212 & WEBSITE: www.ukna.org

I LOOK BACK ON THESE CLEAN YEARS AS THE BEST OF MY LIFE! 
I AM ALIVE, LIKE I'VE NEVER BEEN BEFORE, AND LOVING IT!

I SOMETIMES THINK 'WHY DIDN'T ANYONE TELL ME ABOUT THIS BEFORE?
SHOW ME THE CLUES IN MY BEHAVIOUR?'
I SUPPOSE IT WOULDN'T HAVE MADE ANY DIFFERENCE:
DENIAL IS A POWERFUL THING.
ESPECIALLY TO AN ADDICT. AND I AM AN ADDICT!
AND NOT JUST TO DRUGS. I'LL USE ANYTHING: ADRENALINE; SEX; FOOD; SHOPPING; BIKING. WHAT HAVE YOU GOT? I'LL USE IT!
BUT THAT'S ANOTHER STORY. EVER MOVING FORWARD,
ANDY SPARROW