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[Copyright 2012 James Deacon]

It was not until the early 1990's that I first discovered what would become my long-term 'drug of choice' .

Don't get me wrong, I was a child of the sixties. Like many others, in high school and at college I'd 'experimented' freely. And unlike Clinton, I had inhaled. (Come to think of it, also unlike Clinton, I had simply smoked my cigars – but that's another story.)

Like many of the other 'designer' habits reaching the UK, my drug of choice had already been growing in popularity in the good ol' US-of-A for many years before it hit our island shores.

For quite a while, I had heard rumours about this particular 'fix' on the grapevine. Let's face it, I was 'doing' what many Regular Joe's would consider some really weird [expletive deleted] at the time, and some of the folks I was involved with, well, let's just say, 100% of the medicines they were taking weren't your regular, over-the-counter products...

Anyhow, like I say, there were lots of rumours; it was supposed to be a really cool trip, the ultimate laid-back experience - but not a 'downer' in the traditional sense. What's more it was supposed to leave you buzzing for days afterwards.

But for a long time it was all just rumours; none of the 'faces' I hung out with had ever tried it themselves. None of us knew where to make the right connection.

Then one day some people came back from a festival in the South. Blissed-out, they were. It was the Real Deal, they assured us; and they were going back for more.

It wasn't long after that, a couple of dealers arrived in town; then another, and another. But hey, back then there was plenty of room for competition. And soon, most of the old crowd were scoring from these guys on a regular basis.

But the quality of this particular 'product' did seem to vary somewhat from one dealer to the next. Something I found out the hard way.

You see, my first 'hit' could well have been my last. First time out I had what can only be described as a really Bad Trip. Nothing like any of the others had experience; and where others had
Blissed out for days afterwards, I also felt quite out of it, but not in a good way. I decided it wasn't for me.

But then a short while later, I met another dealer, scored a free 'hit' of product and wow! Suddenly I understood what everyone had been raving about. I can honestly say I'd never experienced anything quite like it

- and I'd experienced quite some stuff in my time, and that's no lie.

Soon, I was 'using' on a frequent, regular basis. And then, on what even some other users might say was a far too-frequent basis.

Within a very short time, I had to admit, I was well and truly hooked.

My dealer was on speed-dial.
My dealer became my very best friend...

Then one day, it seemed quite out of the blue, “Very Best-friend “made me an offer I couldn't refuse.

An introduction her
own Supplier.

And in what seemed little more than an eye's blink, I was part of the organisation, part of the 'line' (as they called it), a little link in a very strong chain; cautiously passing the product, doing my own deals; sharing the 'sweet sensation' where-ever I could find anyone willing to partake...

In time, I proved my dedication (in various ways I won't go into here) to the 'line'.
I worked hard, and played hard – well, like all the other dealers of this particular drug I knew back then, I was also one of my own best customers: I had (and I reckoned, probably always would have) my own insatiable habit to feed.

Eventually, I reached a point where I was able to set up on my own as an independent Supplier.

Unlike many of my competitors, I didn't go for that whole “bigger is better” philosophy, running a stable of as many dealers as you could set up.

Instead, I sought a few people I could really trust; ran a really tight crew, who knew how to keep themselves way under the radar, knew how to keep silent...

The years rolled slowly by.
Well, no, that's not quite right.
From where I'm looking now, it seems they
flashed by.

And suddenly its almost two
decades since I first heard mention of my particular “drug of choice”, and it hits me – no, not the drug – but the Lightning Flash of realisation:

“What have I been doing with my life! All the wasted years! My terrible addiction.”
and perhaps worse:
“All those poor innocent people I've lured into the clutches of this demon drug!
I've gotta get out; gotta make a change – right now. Today.”

And so I did it.

Perhaps it was the hardest thing I
ever did.

I simply walked away.

The lines of supply, the dealers, the users. All of it. I cut off all contact with them all.

And my own habit – well, I was never one for easy options.

There was only one way to go: “Cold Turkey” - kill or cure.

They say “Whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger” Well, maybe, just maybe, 'they' don't know what the heck they're talking about.

Yeah, “Cold Turkey” - kill or cure

I survived. But as for being cured...

I was holding it together, some days better than others. Some days - I don't recall at all.

And every now and then, my resolve, my will power was sorely tested.

I had kept well away from all my old haunts, no longer hung out with the folks I knew from my “drug of choice” days; but from time to time I'd see an old familiar face...

Or hear a little bit of grapevine-news...

Or someone - maybe someone I didn't even know, would get in touch, wanting my help to make a 'connection'

Or there'd be someone wanting advice about some new strain – some new 'brand' of product they'd just heard of...

Or maybe someone wanting to know the best way to use the product in order to get a particular kind of effect...

Or worse, someone would call, inviting me over to share some product with them and their friends...

And so it went. On and on.

And so many times, I came that close to using, but thankfully, something always managed to pull me back from the bring at the last moment...

Then came the inevitable day, when I “Fell off the Wagon” - Fell from Grace.

The details – the whys, and wherefores, and excuses - are all unimportant.

I gave in to Temptation.

Just one little fix...


Then a blur of unremembered days, weeks.

Then Regret




And so, here I am several weeks later.
The old church hall is quiet.
Eight chairs arranged in a wide circle, each of the other chairs filled with another lost soul like me.

And now its my turn.
And I stand up.
Nervously, I wipe the side of my face with the heel of my hand, for no good reason.
I'm looking round at these people – some looking back attentively, some blankly, some lost in a world of their own.

All are waiting.

Clearing my throat, I can barely get the words out, but I know I have to:

Hi everyone,” I begin.

“ My name's James, and I'm a Reiki Addict. Its been three days since I last 'used'...”

* * * * * * *


Glossary of some 'Drug of choice'-related terms and their meanings:

Drug of choice / Product                   = Reiki

User                                                  = Client

Fix / Hit                                              = Reiki Treatment

Using                                                 = Receiving Reiki Treatments

Dealer                                                = Reiki Practitioner

Supplier                                             = Reiki Teacher

The 'Line'                                           = Reiki Lineage

Share                                                 = Reiki Share

New Strain / Brand of Product          = Reiki Style


[With no disrespect to anyone coping with issues of real Addiction / Dependency]


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