me myself and i
You don't need a degree in fashion to fit in in rehab....Because everyone looks the same in there. Tracksuits and hoodies by day, Pj's and hoodies by night.
We were one huge "blind date from hell" fest. Styled by W*therspoons and the stuff that J*remy Kyles wet dreams are made of.
We all looked rough as rats.
Because you're not out to impress anyone in rehab. Or meet the love of your life.... You're too busy trying to get well. And so for a girl like me who normally won't leave the house unless I'm mascared up to the max, not having to make the effort for a while was liberating.
The first few days I was in there, I did do the works.....habit more than anything. But then I realised that it would be much more productive to grab an extra half an hour in bed every morning, and rock up to morning check-in looking like a garbage pail kid like everyone else, than faff about trying to get my eyeliner straight for a bunch of people who actually didn't give a rats ass what i looked like.
I live in a teeny tiny village somewhere in the deep South West of England. All thatched roofs and tractors and wellington boots.
It's chocolate box stuff.
We have a Post Office, a tiny pub, a chip shop and a church. There's nothing else for miles... Unless we are counting sheep and cows here, in which case there are loads.
I have no idea how many people live in the village. I've only met a couple so far. Mainly the rude woman from the post office who won't actually talk to me because technically I'm an emmet and so I should go back to where I came from, instead of darkening her door in my attempts to buy chocolate or milk or stamps or whatever.
But apart from the (very) odd one like her, most people are pretty friendly. They are more than happy to talk.
I'm just not ready to talk back yet...
So I go to the little church instead and I sit and talk to Godot.
A friend of mine is writing a book - A compilation of personal accounts centred around the #metoo hashtag.
Because we share this in common, my friend and I. We've both experienced the devastation, but thankfully, years later we've worked our way through it and come out on the other side using our respective coping mechanisms. Mine involved talking to a trusted friend at the time, seeking professional help, and eventually writing about it years later on my blog. My friend however, took a slightly less conventional approach....
We were chatting online. We talked about the book; discussed our own experiences, and I asked her if she had ever had counselling. After a minutes hesitation, her reply was "Not unless you count talking to the fridge"...
It was meant to be a joke, but it gave me a kind of lightbulb moment...which I thought that I might share...
You see, a fridge is designed with a door that can be opened 24 hours a day, meaning that it's always there when you need it. That's kind of handy at 3.00am when your head is going crazy and there's no-one else around...
A fridge can't talk, so it can't "give advice" or interrupt you mid-flow. It can't tell the time or walk away either...meaning that you can talk for England if you need too and it won't be going anywhere until that shit is off your chest. No, a fridges job is to basically chill the wine and keep the chocolate safe for when you've finished off-loading and need consolation...
It's the perfect tool for the job.
So he's coming to see me. This amazing "blast from the past" super-cool person of mine.
Because it's going to be amazing.
Me and him. A hotel room somewhere. And an absolute whale of a time guaranteed. All arranged lastminute.com which is always how we roll...
A "Hey _____ I've been thinking. I've missed your face. And I'd really love to come see you again ...are you gonna be free between ____ and _____? (Him)
(Me) "What's there to even think about? Do it. Come see me. Get in the car and get down here...will be amazing. So yes. I'll make sure that I'm free...'cos I've missed your face too..." kind of conversation.
And so he's coming. To see me. In two weeks. I'm turning cartwheels.
Fuck...I'm turning cartwheels.
I need to do a risk assesment...
Mental illness runs in my family.
Addiction and suicide are rife - My fathers side mainly.
I have his hair. And the same blue/grey eyes. I wonder if this counts? That one day this will be enough to tip me over - and I get to join the ranks of all of those who came before me.
They grew up in and out of care, my fathers family...Seven institutionalised adults came churning out of the machine after my nan decided that she didn't much like children after all once they'd arrived. I can only imagine the damage that did to them all...I can't even begin to imagine how that must have felt.