30 Days Of Truth: Day 1

Something you hate about yourself.

A difficult one. Very difficult because I don’t want to go on a rant about the issues I have with body image, or my perceived personality flaws. I’ve never quite bought the belief that flaws are what make you attractive, at least not huge, damaging, life-changing personality issues. Perhaps my overbite does seem strangely cute to men, and maybe the fact that my hair always kinks at the back is endearing… but, emotionally, I have to keep myself carefully packaged so I don’t alienate everybody around me.

After some thought, I’ve decided that the thing I truly hate about myself is my inability to rationalise perfectly normal experiences, and my need to lean on something chemical or damaging to get me through.

I believe I was born with at least a degree of substance dependence. My father (as I’ve talked about in this post) is an alcoholic, my mother’s sister relied on drink for a long time, my sister E drinks to excess, or at least used to, and I’ve spent a lot of my life around people who have had some degree of addiction. I grew up in the early 90’s, when drugs were still seen as somewhat cool. Johnny Depp was a user. Hollywood thrived on cocaine. Housewives were swallowing prozac like sweets. I imagined the world of drugs and drink to be glamourous in a seedy way; and I always¬†preferred the squalid to the classy.

Don’t get me wrong; I’m not a junkie. I have never injected a drug. I have never touched heroin, and never would (although I did fall for the charms of oral morphine for a few months in 2009, when I was living with J). My true addiction lies with over-the-counter medications, specifically co-codamol; at one point I became the woman who goes from pharmacy to pharmacy, buying as many tablets as possible. It’s a cheap, easily-available failsafe; four tablets and I’m calm. I fully believe it has saved my life many times (it stopped me walking into the sea a few years back), but it’s a dangerous addiction and one which, I believe, has started damaging my stomach and liver.

Morphine was a strange mistress. It made me feel sick and itch, but took all the worries away. By taking it, I quickly learned just how people become addicted to heroin. It simply removes everything bad and confusing from your mind and wraps you in a warm, safe blanket. Until you need more. I started drinking a bottle a day. When J found out, he threw the bottles away and shouted at me… it didn’t help. I suppose I needed some understanding, some way of him getting into his thick head that the reason I’d sunk so low was because of his outrageous, controlling nature and frequent mood swings. On the day he disappeared for a week, I took a large mouthful of morphine, followed by a packed joint, a large handful of co-codamol and best part of a bottle of red wine. I spent the entire week in bed, sweating and having nightmares, occasionally waking to take more pills and smoke more. The house was scary at night, I hated being alone in such a dangerous area.

Would I advise anyone against taking morphine for recreational or emotional use? Yes. I really, really would. The slide downwards is scarily fast. Would I take it again? Probably.

In many ways, my addictions have much improved. It’s been a while since I bought any co-codamol, and I’ve purposely avoided the offer of stronger painkillers like tramadol (another past addiction). I haven’t indulged in other emotional crutches either, like self harm or purging for good few months.

I feel like I have things under control right now, or as much as I can. I’ll always have an addictive nature, and part of me sometimes likes it. I enjoy the debauchery and the hedonism of addiction as much as I am chemically in need of it.

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20 Comments

  1. I completely understand dragging the skeletons out of the closet when it comes to self-image and perceived personality issues – most people could probably identify with that to a certain extent…
    Even though I have an ‘addictive personality’, I’ve reached a healthier place in my life where I’ve been able to let go of some of my worst self-destructive behaviors. It was never easy, took a long time and was probably spurred on by several people close to me that have suffered so much more because of their addictions…

    Having chronic pain issues (I have CFS and fibro) makes it so difficult to step away from chemical dependencies or any emotional crutch you have. I wish I could give you some sort of gem of wisdom and tell you you’ll wake up one day without those struggles, but that’s not life. However, it’s so wonderful that you are able to look this deeply into yourself and examine your actions/behaviors/feelings. Most people will never have that kind of honesty, preferring to hide behind societal masks instead… I can’t commend you enough for being so brave!!

  2. Thanks for the “like” on my blog… I’m still not sure how to use this, or would send you a direct message. Anyway, your post made me smile…not that it was supposed to be funny, I’m sure – more a smile of recognition. I was thinking not 10 minutes ago how wonderful it would be if cocodamol wasn’t addictive. They’re the only up-side to the sciatica I sometimes experience.

    There’s some other stuff I could say, but maybe not here.

  3. I wish you would stay away from the chemicals forever, and not feel like you miss them.

    I suppose I can understand missing them, to an extent. I have never, but too many family members have. That is why I wish you wouldn’t. I watched their lives stop. I watched them die inside. I watched myself come to hate them. Is there no other hedonistic activity you could enjoy more than the chemical?

    I feel like I an have addictive personality too, so I learned to stay away; I may be throwing my things out of proportion. I have to stay away from drinking, even though when I am sad, all I want to do is drink. I’ve never been able to drink without drinking until I passed out. I know I could become an alcoholic.

    Anyway, enough about me. I want you to be ok. That’s all I want.

    I think I will do this too, but I may start in January. I’m not sure, it seems so open and scary. I’ll have to think about it. You’re very brave. <3

  4. I so feel you and you put it in a way that I have been looking for to explain it. There is something intense and hedonistic about giving into it. I never understood why I gave in, even after stopping for months. It is like a secret kept in the closet, waiting to get out, and you have your back to the door.

    I love your blog and how honest you are about your life. I can relate to so many of your blogs.

  5. your honesty is so amazing and something to be so proud of. not trying to be cheesy but your level of transparency is pretty inspiring. i don’t know if you read the bible at all and I don’t want to give you a quick “cheer you up” verse cause that would seem trite. but one of my fav verses is Psalm 139:7-10 “where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence? If I ascend to heaven, you are there! If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there! If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me.”

    I totally get the depression spiral. I am MDD myself and even the depression itself can become addictive, let alone whatever symptoms I use to treat it. hang in there woman and don’t be afraid of the light.

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