I want to go find a builders square store because I remember going to them when I was a kid with my mom or dad and it exists in a very strange nostalgia part of me.
When I was a little kid, I thought Builder’s Square was boring and always wanted to wait in the car while my dad went inside, so he told me that “sucky-nosed monsters” lived in the parking lot at Builders Square and they find little kid who wanted to wait in the car and squish through the cracks in the car door and suck out all of your bones through their noses and leave bags of skin filled with flesh jelly for the parents when they get back.
I was fucking terrified of Builders Square.
The hardest part about having been a drug user is not getting over your physical addiction. Getting clean (especially cold turkey) is like having your entire body stretched on the rack over a pit of glowing hot charcoal while someone screams at you for all the bad things you’ve ever done in a language you don’t understand while whipping you with a cat-o-nine-tails covered in Icy-Hot for five days (this might turn some of you on, I don’t know). But, in general, most of the worst is over within a week or two (unless, PAWS - which is a whole other horrible can of worms). At least that’s how it was for me.
Once that’s done, you can get involved with group meetings and therapy sessions, but when so much of your life has been spent in the singular, repetitive, circular pursuit of drugs/being high/needing drugs/being high, it’s hard to remember what hobbies and interests are. You replaced all that with a pretty cleanly defined narrative that you repeated every day and it took up all of your time, energy, and money. Now what? Sobriety is an awful bore and a lot of people fall back into using just so they can have something to do, damn it.
If you’ve made it this far, congratulations. Until I get into graduate school (six months, ideally), I was in desperate need of something to focus on to keep me from idle temptation. Then I remembered all of the little wood carvings and toys my dad made for me when I was little. Some were simple, some elaborate, but they were the best things in the world and I’ve taken them with me to college and back. I held them in my hand as I sobbed, remembering my childhood, disgusted with the person I’d become, and, eventually, in their own small part, they helped me to get clean.
Now, I’ve got a nine month old nephew who is just about the right age for me to start making things for (by the time he’s remembering things, I’ll have hopefully gained some proficiency), and I’d like to make him little things and tell him when he’s older, “Aunt Laura made this while she was getting clean. It gave her something to focus on and you helped her through it, even though you couldn’t have been aware.” Maybe one day it will help him get his life back on track when he’s derailed, or, more hopefully, maybe he’ll never need that. Either way, it’s time to start making some shitty toys, so I’ll have something halfway decent to give him by the time he learns how to be embarrassed by gifts.