Breaking Point

In July 2014, I found myself in what felt like a hole that I would never be able to scrape my way out of. At this point my drinking had taken over my life completely for over a year. I was unable to drink like a ‘normal person’. If I had more than a couple of drinks, I would feel the insatiable thirst for more and more and more. There was never enough, until I passed out. Waking up from drinking felt like every ounce of emotional pain I’d ever felt rolled into one huge ball, hitting me around the head, punching me in the stomach, over and over again. It was unbearable. Some people may think this weak. That’s OK. I felt weak. I would have done anything at that moment for alcohol, to make that pain go away. I often wonder if for an addict emotional pain feels different or if it is just that we are weak and unable to bear these feelings. I suppose I will never know as I can never feel another human’s pain. Either way, when I woke up from numbing the pain, I would check cupboards, try to drain the dregs of bottles I’d emptied weeks before. At this stage I was sharing a flat with a friends brother. We had a good friendship. He didn’t try to take advantage of my complete lack of self esteem as so many other ‘friends’ had. I relied on him too much though, for emotional and financial support. I was deeply infatuated with my current boyfriend. From the first day I’d met him, I knew, I had to be with him. Possibly the first man I ever actively pursued. In a world that felt dark, empty, impossible, he was the only light. I now understand that this can never work. The day I discovered he was cheating on me, was like no other, the pain that was kept at bay using my two drugs of choice, alcohol and a man, came flooding in, engulfing my mind and body like a tidal wave. Whilst he was still in my bed, sleeping, I went out and bought two bottles of vodka, down an alleyway, I poured a bottle of a soft drink away, poured in the alcohol, then wandered to the local park and sat under a tree, drinking back the numbing liquid. Nothing could numb that pain though. When I went back, he didn’t notice that I’d been drinking, he never did, so wrapped up in himself. Eventually I told him to leave my flat. I screamed, shouted, pushed him out of the door. The next 3 days are a blur. I would drink until I passed out, wake, drink until I passed out, sob . uncontrollably. I was told after that friends came to visit but I had passed out. Unconscious but still with tears streaming down my face. On the fourth morning, a Saturday, I was meant to be at my nieces birthday party. I made it to the train station, still so drunk, I got on the train. I arrived at the town where my brother lives. Fear engulfed me, I couldn’t turn up this drunk, I just couldn’t do it. I went into the toilets, lay on the dirty floor, sobbing, my heart breaking, my world crumbling. I had nothing left. I couldn’t keep a job. I was sacked from 5 that year, mostly for not turning up. I would sit and look at people on facebook, going for walks, so jealous that they were able to do these things, knowing that even if I stayed sober for long enough to do these things, I would only be waiting for the moment that I could get drunk. I was useless, a waste of air, life, space. I had to get out. Out of my life, out of letting people down, out of not living my life. I got back onto a return train. when I was near home, I went into my local shop, bought every type of medication I could and as much vodka as I could afford. I went home and washed it all down. The next thing I remember is waking up in a room in hospital with my younger brother holding my hand and crying. My dad, begging me not to do this to him. A nurse or doctor asked if I still wanted to die, I did. That day I ran away from the hospital, went home, started drinking again, saw the police coming, climbed out of my window, hid under a car, ran around my local area wearing no shoes and eventually was found and taken to hospital. I spent a few days on a mental health ward. This was a terrifying few days, I remember thinking, if I can just get out of here I will never be sad again. The staff on that ward didn’t care. They didn’t help. I was alone, scared, depressed, lost. After I left the ward, I started drinking again. This went on until November 5th 2014. This should have been my turning point, sometimes rock bottom doesn’t look like you imagine it to.

Alcohol and Men

Has anybody else ever felt that there’s a huge correlation between addiction to alcohol and addiction to Love and Sex. I know that addiction to male attention is something that I may never shake. I still remember my first kiss. It was at the local swimming pool. My friend approached a blonde boy of a similar age to me, I was 12. This seems so young now. That first kiss was something that I daydreamed about day after day for months to come. After that I was like a woman obsessed. I would leap at the opportunity to kiss any boy that would have me. Throughout my drinking this was something that never really changed. I feel I did some terrible things. I hurt people. Boyfriends. Friends were impacted. I would put the chase of someone I liked above everything else. This is something that I have learnt, perhaps through age and perhaps through sobriety, that no matter how much you may want somebody, it’s never worth risking a good friendship. At the age of 14 I met Paul. He was a boy who lived on the same street as one of my friends. This friend, Suzie, had said that she had a crush on him. For some reason this didn’t stop me from starting a relationship with him. Paul and I quickly went from a couple of kisses to saying that we loved one another, despite the fact that the second time we met up I felt physically repulsed by him (there’s been a common theme throughout my life that I have never let this stop me). Some months later, two horny teenagers, we found ourselves in bed together, at home, on a Sunday afternoon. Nobody was at home. “I could just slip it in” announced Paul as we fumbled around under each others underwear. So he did. It was fully consensual. I felt like a grown up afterwards. I boasted in school the next day that I was no longer a virgin. At 14 I now look back and see that I was a child. A couple of months later, my periods had stopped. The worst had happened. I was pregnant. Just a child myself, I felt sick. I wanted to end my life, to end the life of what felt like a parasite growing inside me. I was made by my school to visit a family planning clinic, where a nurse without warning, put a hand into my vagina to feel around inside me. I still don’t know why this happened. After I left there I fell apart to my best friend, crying, wishing my life would stop or that I could be somebody else. Lost in despair and with a threat from the school nurse that if I did not tell my parents that she would, I went to a friends house. That evening, we all got drunk. I watched as my friend wanked Paul off, I allowed my friends brother to kiss me, to shave my pubic areas, to kiss me, everywhere, we ran around the streets, naked. I drank beers, spirits, whatever we could, for some reason I always remember eating spicey chicken pizza that evening. I was determined that the thing inside me should die. Even as I write this it occurs to me that even at this stage I believed that alcohol was the answer. Needless to say that this didn’t work. I remained pregnant but experienced one of the most painful hangovers I can ever remember having. The situation continued and it was out of my control. One morning as I sat eating my morning bowl of coco pops, my mother received a letter. The letter told her that I was booked in for an out patient appointment at the hospital. “What’s this?” she asked. I took a deep breath and said the words that seemed unthinkable at the time. “I’m pregnant and I need an abortion.” To her credit in this moment after initially erupting she did move on and stay calm. However, some months later, mid argument, I was called a slut, when I cried and said I wasn’t she screamed “well, what was it? the immaculate fucking conception.” These words will probably haunt me for the rest of my life. The sickness I felt, the anger at the situation, towards Paul, may never leave me. After the abortion I refused to talk about it. I broke up with Phil. Taunted him cruelly with my new boyfriend, wanting to inflict on him the pain that I had felt within me. Perhaps my life was already in a spiral at this point, it was a spiral that did not stop, until I was 27 I never felt I regained control of my own wants, needs, thoughts and emotions again.

Welcome to Reality

In just under 1 month I will have been sober for 5 years. Within the first 6 months of sobriety I felt like I was floating on air, all my problems were solved. Never again would I make mistakes, choose the wrong men, hurt myself or anyone else. It turns out that there was a reason that I drank, that addictions generally stem from something being missing from our lives. So now, when I struggle to cope with life, I have to feel my feelings. Alcohol was a way of hiding from the reality of life, from my past and present traumas, the agony and anxiety that at times seems to plague my mind. Within this blog I would like to tell my story, my past, my present and my hopes for the future. I hope that in writing this and sharing my story I can help others who are coping, surviving, overcoming or living with their addiction issues. I have never attended an AA meeting. I think about it all the time, yet something stops me, some fear, insecurity, maybe even an arrogance that made me believe that I don’t need it. I don’t think that that is the right way for everybody. Maybe I’m wrong. If there are people out there who are too scared/don’t fancy AA, then maybe my stories can help them/you to feel less alone. Whether it can help you or not, if nothing else the mistakes I’ve made in my life should hopefully make you laugh, smile or cringe in despair. I hope you enjoy my blog.