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  • They tried to make me go to Rehab...

    I never planned to be an alcoholic. It was never a goal of mine, “something to aspire to” or “one off the bucket list", and with my family background you would think that I’d have known better than to chance it, but the truth was that I didn’t know better, I needed the oblivion at the time and so it kind of just sneaked up on me. Within the space of around about two years, I’d gone from a fairly heavy drinker to an end-stage, totally addicted, alcoholic  mess.

    I ended up in hospital to “dry out" which rid my body of the alcohol that was slowly killing me, but not the demons and insecurities that plagued my head. I had no real support system in place, I had an abusive, alcoholic boyfriend who wanted me sick because then he could control me, and so,  within a week I was back on the booze and the descent into hell began all over again.

    Three months later weighing a tiny six stone, I was rushed into detox, and this time, finally away from him and the subsequent carnage and chaos that was surrounding me, I knew that I had a fighting chance of getting well.

    For the first time in years I could breathe.

    My days consisted of check-ins, group meetings, various classes and activities and three calorie laden meals a day to help me recover from  malnutrition. I had structure and order and crucially no madness to deal with for the first time in years.  I had a room of my own with my own bed and a bath, and for the first time in ages I actually felt safe.

    I spent 6 weeks in detox, followed immediately by 3 months in rehab. I worked my arse off every single day to get better, and when I left I promised myself that I would never pick up a drink again.

    3 and a half years down the line I’ve managed to keep that promise.

    I started an on-line  blog as therapy for myself whilst living in a homeless hostel, as a way to keep myself focussed and sober…and pouring my heart out on paper has helped me make sense of myself and my new sober life.

    Instead of picking up a drink to obliterate myself, these days I write my way out of trouble. I blog and I podcast and I fill my time with healthier things and surround myself with healthier people. I limit negativity and my time on social media. I try to eat well and look after myself as best I can…and I share my story in the hope that it will inspire, educate and maybe give hope to others who find themselves staring into the abyss.

    Three years ago I weighed 6stone 4 and looked like a tramp.

    My hair was falling out and my periods had stopped. My body was shutting itself down in a desperate attempt to keep me alive. My clothes were size 0.

    Today I’m 9 stone ish and a  healthy size ten. My hair is thick and bouncy and my body functions normally again. To look at me today you would never guess the trials I had to overcome to get myself back to some kind of normality…I’m proud of the fact that you would never guess.

     

     

    Read my story here justagirl.emyspot.com or watch a tiny film about that time @IsDepression_

     

  • Beautiful, thought-provoking, mesmerising...


     

    Beautiful. Thought-provoking. Absolutely mesmerising… You know how sometimes we choose not to see things? A couple making a scene in a restaurant say, or some guy in the street maybe, asking for change; only we turn a blind eye because it makes us uncomfortable. We become engrossed in our phones, look down at the pavement, maybe even cross the street for good measure, quietly humming away to ourselves “la,la,la - sorry can’t see you…” as we quickly bolt and make our escape. Well you can’t do that here… because Vicky Moran’s incredible play “No Sweat” shines a spotlight so brightly on the subject matter that there is literally nowhere to hide from the truth. Which is that there is a LGBTQ+homelessness crisis…and it’s getting worse. No Sweat tells the stories of three, young, gay, homeless men, “Tristan”” Alf “and “Charlie”, who randomly cross paths whilst seeking solace in a sauna. It explores and exposes the underlying bigotry, bullying and relationship breakdowns that they face, whilst highlighting a series of hopeless faults and flaws in our called “support” system that not only throws them together, but also, without exception, manages to throw them under the bus. Denholm Spurr shines as “Tristan”, a relative newcomer to the dark streets of London. Lost, lonely, and completely out of his depth, he sleeps with strangers he meets at the spar or on Grindr for free in order to put a roof over his head. James Haymer is incredible as “ Alf”, a street-wise but self-destructive wrecking-ball, fuelled by suspicion, pent-up emotion, and liberal helpings of GHB as he spends his days and nights getting paid by the hour… but it is “Charlie” ( played by Manish Gandhi) who is, without a shadow of a doubt, the absolute shining star of the show. Forced to flee his native Pakistan because he is gay, his heart-breaking story of beatings and brutality, coupled with his fathers twisted attempts to make him “Un-gay”, made me want to cry. Broken-hearted and destitute, he hides himself away in the sauna whilst attempting to seek asylum here, only to be told through a series of increasingly ridiculous interrogations by the Home Office that actually he is “not gay enough” to be allowed to stay. Produced by Reece McMahon, No Sweat is an absolute triumph, managing to be both harrowing and enthralling at the same time. No easy task, when you consider the subject matter. The tiny, yet incredibly intimate venue, means that the audience is seated mere feet away from the cast, and this, coupled with Alex Berry’s ingenuitive portable set design, and genius finishing touches such as the scented “steam” from the sauna that gently wafts through the audience at times, is what helps give the play its eerie, immersive feel. But the thing that really sets this play apart, the thing that sits at the heart of it all, is the fact that all of the stories featured in this play are true. Transcribed by Moran from real interviews, given by real people hoping to expose the plight facing a forgotten generation of homeless gay youth. And they have done this in spades. So, go see this play…and then when you have seen it, go tell all your friends. So that they can tell theirs and then hopefully this play can get the recognition it deserves. Because it’s absolutely beautiful. 4 Stars.

     

    Sent from Mail for Windows 10

     

                                                                                                                                              

                                                                                    

                                                                                        

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