An excerpt from

A Wild and Precious Life: A Recovery Anthology

Lily Dunn and Zoe Gilbert

Tail of the Donkey
by Ford Dagenham

So I was cutting down wasn't I? Then stop O clock for me in maybe ten days. Cos of the blackness it was, the screaming nerves and the loss of buzz.

So in the daytime supermarket wasn't I? With the fishwives and lonely men in their mum-hemmed jeans.

So I had a basket of steak and onions and those little wines cos I was cutting down PROPERLY wasn't I? Like the doctor said to. No dangerous plummet to nothing all sudden like. Tail off, the doctor said, like I was the donkey in that kids’ game.

But my hands did stuff without me didn't they? Gone and got some whisky too hadn't they?

And at the checkout the orange woman with penciled-in eyebrows was bleeping barcodes super slow wasn't she? Cos of her Disney-painted nails.

So I had time to, if I wanted to, if I could, cos the booze aisle was right close, but I wasn't about to was I? Put it back I mean. Have some last hurrah couldn't I?

So it was whisky with red wine chasers that night wasn't it? And all pleased with myself I christened it the Fuckbrain Hurricane.

I suffered blackness, screaming nerves and a raging howling anti-buzz that became the clearest Moment Of Clarity I had ever ever known.

EVERYTHING was fine. Had always BEEN fine and always WILL be fine. A world in order. Beautiful it was. So stopping would be fine too wouldn't it? It would. It would. It WOULD.