Just A girl on mental health
“My name’s _______ and I’m an alcoholic.
That’s how it works.
You sit in some room – the library, an annexe, the church hall or whatever, and you dunk your biscuits into your lukewarm tea, and you reveal to the world your most shameful secret.
Only I’ve never said those words.
I’ve never wanted to, or felt as though this is how I should announce myself to people from now on…. especially people who don’t have the faintest idea about who I am or what makes me tick. And when it came to the people that do actually know me, a label wasn’t necessary back then anyway. Because actions speak louder than words, and my actions stated categorically to just about everyone around me that I was an absolute train-wreck.
I never used to drink in the mornings.
Until I met someone who did and thought that it would be rude not to… and I was paying for the beers anyway and so I had to make sure that I got some – Otherwise he had an unfair advantage. Thats kind of how it started. The beginning of the end of me.
Because my morning drinking started to take hold and my 10am became 8, my 8 became 6 and my 6 became anytime after midnight. So basically as soon as I opened my eyes then that can was open.
And that was when I knew I was fucked.
I had a flat at that time. Supported housing. To get me off sofas and to give me some stability. It was supposed to get me back on track and give me something to focus on, and I loved it.
I called it my Princess Pad…..but then I let the morning drinker guy move in with me and suddenly it wasn’t the Princess Pad anymore. It was a drinking den. Because that was all we ever did.
And then all of my money went on supporting us both. Because he lost his job. And despite promising me the moon on a stick, he didn’t get another one…. He didn’t even try. So long story short. I asked him to leave. He robbed me blind and the keys went back to the housing association.
And that was how I became the littlest hobo. Also known as “No fixed abode.”
It’s not nice being the littlest hobo when you’re a woman. I mean obviously, its not nice being homeless for anyone, male or female. But it makes you that little bit more vulnerable when you are a woman.
Because the vultures come out – and boy do they make sure that they pick those bones of yours clean.
I was stalked, intimidated, assaulted, and robbed. And that was just for starters… because every man and his dog becomes a scavenger when you are a woman on her arse. So I think that it’s safe to assume, that by the time I was admitted to detox, I was no longer a train-wreck. My head and my body were now more of a ten-car pile up. And it was going to mean all hands on deck if they were going to succeed in pulling me out of the wreckage. Because I was pretty much done.
No husband, no home, no money, no prospects. Everything I had was gone. And in their place a series of shit boyfriends and one big fuck-off addiction to alcohol.
I had absolutely nothing left apart from this one last thing… and that thing wanted to kill me, so I wasn’t overly optimistic.
I couldn’t be medicated the first day as there was too much alcohol in my system. And so I woke up terrified in the night, because the flowers on my duvet cover had come alive and I was convinced that they were trying to eat me.
I started my meds the next day.
And it was a really hard slog. Four months worth of really hard slog, if we are going to be specific.
A lot of my friends didn’t make it. Which was horrendous.
But I was determined.
And so I re-programmed both my body and my mind completely. Nothing from my old life was allowed to stay. I did an absolute clean sweep and was ruthless about cutting ties. And I walked out of rehab months down the line and I was straight-headed and addiction free.
And I tentatively started again.
And I now have a job and good friends and a nice place to live.
And I tell other people my story so that they can learn from my mistakes. And hopefully be inspired.
Because these days I do have a label.
One that I’m super proud of….
“My name is _______ and I am a writer”….