You wake up one day at 45 years old. You are a recovering alcoholic, a recovered anorexic, a former prostitute, and former drug user…. you wonder how you got here. Are you meant to be HERE? Has the big hand of life placed you where you should be while in the midst of addiction, obsession, blackouts, and anxiety? Are you still where you are meant to be?
I feel like I am probably one of the lucky ones. I have a good job. I have a loving partner and a great home on the beach, I don’t own it and maybe I would have if I hadn’t drank, binged or drugged away the majority of my money over the past 20 years, but I am safe and I am loved.
But I still wonder. I made so many decisions based on pleasing my innate desires, my faulty wiring, the fears that quietly chased me down dangerous roads and backstreets to find safety in shadows.
I grew up in a small town, my parents divorced when I was 16 and it wasn’t pretty, but is it ever? I don’t think most teenager girls then starve themselves down to hospitalisation weight, and almost die. Most don’t head overseas to London to escape as soon as they have gained enough weight and then enrol in Psychology at university (probably to work out why I was so fucked up), and prostitute themselves through five years of study.
Maybe you think non-judgmentally “ah well, I guess people go to all lengths to get themselves ahead in life” and that’s very kind of you, but no, I still borrowed off the government to pay for everything, the money from sleeping with strangers for five years went on cocaine, ecstasy, alcohol and a good time.
Nothing tangible, not holidays and certainly not my education. I was already living to feed my desires. Sometimes I slept with gang members, sometimes I was dropped at fancy hotels to sleep with famous people, sometimes it was old men that just wanted to chat. I had no thoughts for my safety and sometimes I think I didn’t really care about myself enough to worry anyway.
I moved to Sydney, got a great job in Sales (so glad I spent all that money on a Psychology degree when anyone close to me could have told me for free a) I was crazy and b) I didn’t like people enough to be a psychologist!)
So began 15 years of serious partying. It was fun, in the beginning. I went to clubs Thursday through to Sunday, I took copious amounts of drugs, I made lots of friends, I dressed up, I drank, I blacked out, I woke up and did it all again for weeks, months, then years on end. I held down a job, I had relationships, I lived with guys. It was all FUN….until it wasn’t.
Somehow alcohol went from a friend to an enemy that was trying to kill me. A best friend that had whispered horrible words about everything else in my life. It had wedged myself between my will to live, just like anorexia had, but this was so much worse.