If you ask me to describe my life now the words that jump out at me are happy, content, grateful and peace.
Rewind 7 years and ask me the same thing and what words come to mind? Terrified, lonely, dark, hell, hopeless, sad…
Quite a change isn’t it? So I bet you want to know what happened to me?
I grew up in a wonderful and loving family. The problem is I didn’t fit, I could feel it. This deep seated belief that I wasn’t quite right. I wasn’t enough. I wasn’t clever enough. I wasn’t pretty enough. Add any good virtue and I wasn’t enough.
Where this feeling came from I can’t explain, it’s not like I was abused or told I was stupid while I was growing up. Quite the contrary, my parents are loving people that have always supported me no matter what I do, they love me and encourage me and build me up.
The only thing I can think of is that it is inside of me and always has been. In other words I was doomed from the start!
I can blame my addiction on lots of things such as the cruel way the children at school started spreading untrue rumors about me when I was 13 years old, that I was raped at 14 years old, then raped again by someone else a few months later, my first relationship which was destructive and abusive… oh yes I have a whole stack of things I can blame for the way my life turned out.
But it wasn’t any of these things and I know it for a fact. I was already using from the time I was 5 or 6 years old. I used to break into the medicine box (I say break in because it was “child-safe”) and drink the Stopayne right out of the bottle. Stopayne has Codeine in it and yes I am a Cocaine addict.
I am also an alcoholic, a codependent, sex and love addict, self harmer and compulsive spender. I have also been diagnosed bipolar and I have suffered from sleep problems most of my life. Basically I am a bit of a mess at the best of times.
Like I said I don’t believe I am an addict because I was raped but it certainly kicked things off. I started first with cutting myself and then started drinking alcohol and smoking weed. I also got into a relationship with the bad boy in school and things continued to slowly spiral downwards for a very long time.
It was in my early twenties that I started trying out hard drugs for the first time starting with Ecstasy. I never really got into Ecstasy, I tried it a few times and then moved on to other things. It is almost like I could feel I was addict, I was just searching for the one. My drug of choice.
I found my drug of choice, Cocaine when I was 24 years old. I remember that feeling of excitement and dread when I first tried. Deep down I knew that this was it for me, this was trouble. I blocked out that feeling, I made sure I was in deep denial. I shoved it down with the knowledge that I was an alcoholic and couldn’t control my drinking.
From the time I started using Cocaine my fall to rock bottom took me four years. Those four years were the worst years of my life. I hated myself. I could not look myself in the mirror and there was just no hope. I was so ashamed of myself. My addiction affected every aspect of my life. I felt despair all day every day.
It was a vicious cycle. I would use drugs and drink, do despicable things and humiliate myself. Then I wouldn’t be able to face what I had done, I couldn’t look in the mirror. So I used more drugs and drank to block out these feelings, to be numb. This was on repeat for years. The self hatred just got worse and I just used more drugs. Down and down and down I went.
The things I did for my drugs… well let’s just say I sunk to incredibly low levels. I went to places I never thought possible.
When I was 28 years old my parents started to realise that there was something seriously wrong and started what I thought was “getting on my back”. I got angry and I wanted to be left alone. Deep down I knew I had a problem, but I kept telling myself I was fine and trying to carry on.
I was drinking alcohol and using drugs every day at this stage. I couldn’t keep it secret anymore. I eventually went to rehab, not because I wanted to get clean but because I wanted to “prove” to my family I didn’t have a problem.
During rehab my denial was smashed and I started to see myself and my life for what it was: complete chaos. Rehab was a mixture of pleasure and pain. It is hard work living a lie all the time and it was such a relief when I didn’t have to anymore. I could literally feel the burden being removed from my shoulders.
The pain of course was having to face all the horrible things in my life, the person I had become. I had to face my feelings and work through them. There was a lot to work through.
I was introduced to the 12 Step program and it keeps me clean to this day.
I love sharing my story, because maybe another addict will read it and find the motivation and the strength to get help. If you are an addict and need help you are welcome to reach out to me.