They say that we all have a "Guardian Angel".
Someone with our best interests at heart, "watching our back", ready to step in and fight our corner the minute that things start to get tricky.
Except that when I was drinking, I didn't need a Guardian Angel. I needed a full time carer. Preferably one who didn't sleep and who was happy to work 25 hours a day, 8 days a week.
"I'm gonna pick up the pieces, and build a Lego House.....if things go wrong I can knock it down...."
He's a clever guy Ed Sheeran - writes all his own material, sings, plays several musical instruments and has a house made out of Lego.
Funnily enough, so do I.
Because Lego is cool. Lego is the future....and my Lego house rocks....
I didn't have the best of weekends.
I got chatted up, which was nice....
By a homeless, drug dealing alcoholic which wasn't quite so....."nice".
On the plus side, I was stone cold sober. So he didn't manage to get my number....Although it did take me slightly longer than it should have done to see right through him and send him packing.... mainly because I try to see the best in people, which is why I was even talking to him in the first place.
If you asked my male friends to sum me up in two words they would use this as a description.
Big hair. Nice arse.
I have a sparkling personality, nice eyes and white teeth too but "Big hair" and "Nice arse" are the dealbreakers....
I stand out a mile because of these badboys. Which is something I didn't think I'd ever be able to say again - Because my addiction took the lot.
Living with an addiction is horrific.
It's Groundhog day. Where the only thing that changes is the amount and severity of bad shit that happens to you.
I still can't believe that this is how I used to live my life.
Or that a typical 24 hours went something like this.
And that, believe it or not, this was what I would class as a "good day" ....(because I really don't want to talk about the bad)....
Welcome to a day in my life back then....
I've had better. But I've also had a hell of a lot worse.....
I don't like my head today.
I don't like the way that it feels, I don't like the thoughts that I'm having, and I really don't like the way that it is talking to me right now.
Today my head is telling me that I'm ugly. That I'm fat.....and, horror of horrors, that my depression is coming back....
My depression is coming back....
Once upon a time there was a girl who lived in a caravan.
She used to have a house but then she used to have a lot of things. That disappeared, like magic...."Poof!!"....
When her husband left her to "go and find himself " which, the girl later discovered, involved hotel rooms in Brighton and a mysterious other woman.....
I remember how scarily brilliant this film was when it first came out. It scared the shit out of me. I was on the edge of my seat with a cushion over my face for at least half of it.
Can you imagine that?? Like if that actually happened to you??
Because you've just happened to cross paths one day with someone who decides that they want what you have. And so they decide to take it....with or without consent. And fuck the consequences...
But then that would never happen obviously. Because Single white female is just a film....
Earlier this year, a very clever lady gifted me this website. She designed it for me herself. Because she wanted me to write.
She said that it would help me to make sense of the stuff that was going on inside of my head. And that once I made a start on trying to get this stuff out of my head and into the open, that a story would start to emerge....My story. Because she thinks that it needs to be told.
Birmingham New Street train station main entrance is not the place for a meltdown. This is what I am telling myself as I wave goodbye to the taxi driver and attempt to drag both myself and my bags through the automatic doors towards the turnstile.
I'm tired, wired and just really need to catch my train today. So, tempting as it is to just sit on a step with my head on my knees and make the world around me go away right now, it's not really an option for me at the minute.
I've travelled 350 miles to see my family.
All two of them.
It's not going great.
I should be sat in my mums house keeping her company but my buttons have been pressed enough for one day and I can't handle that right now. So I'm sat, by myself in Wetherspoons, nursing my pretend beer and killing time until I can't put the rest of the evening off any longer.
It's pissing down.
I'm lying on my bed listening to the rain.
In the distance someone is playing the guitar and there's a magpie dancing on my roof. I'm in the middle of nowhere in my new little house. In my backyard are sheep and cows, buzzards, owls and a peacock.
I'm attracted to chaos like a moth to a flame.
I always have been. Since I was a child - Subconciously re-creating car crash scenarios.
I know where I am with chaos. I know "what to do". It's all I've been used to. Noise and uncertaintainty and drama. So I've always had a plan B for when plan A goes wrong. Which is most of the time.
12 months ago I was unemployable.
I wore the same crumpled clothes for days on end, rarely showered or brushed my teeth and my hair was matted and tangled. I weighed just over 6 stone and was so thin and malnourished that I struggled to walk.
My friend Nathan knows me pretty well - We spend a lot of time together. A lot more time than we used to actually, now that I'm sober and capable of stringing more than just the odd sentence together.
Tonight we are talking about my drinking days. I don't really want to have this conversation but it's Nath and he was worried for a while and so I know that I should.
I take a sip of my drink, grit my teeth and prepare myself for a bumpy ride...
Before I became ill and way before I became a writer, I had a completely different life.
I was a fixer. A magician. A person who performed miracles and made magic happen. If people said that it couldn't be done I would prove them wrong by being the person to do it.
He's home alone.
For 5 days. His housemate's away. Do I want to come over?.....
That should have been a stupid question. Normally I'd be there like a shot...But right now I don't know.
I'm mulling it over in my head. Pro's and cons. Fantastic sex on tap versus potential emotional fallout. Because as much as I want this guy, I'm not sure I want to play this game any more.
Six months ago when I met him, this would have been top of my wishlist. He's cool. I love hanging out with him. But a lot can change in six months. And I have changed beyond all recognition.
My inner fox is begging me to do this. In the bedroom we are fluid. We know instinctively what to do to blow each others heads off. The last person to make me come was him. In a hotel room. Booked last minute because we couldn't bear to wait a second longer than we had to before we got naked. Just us....our massive desire for each other, and two novelty toothbrushes that we grabbed from the Co-op along the way....
Check-in took forever.
And then it was just the two of us. In the same room. Unable to keep our eyes or our hands off each other.
We didn't make breakfast....
It was awesome.
A repeat would be incredible. More of the same and God only knows what else. There's only one problem.
I'm not a booty call. His or anyone else's.
I would love to do this. He knows my body better than i know it myself. And vice versa. But after my journey through detox and rehab and looking back at all of the wrong turns and "not quite right" men that have got me to this point, where I am now sat here writing this, I've realised that I don't want it.
Because the next person I get naked with is going to want more than just five days. I don't want to be strung along, promised the earth and then be left dangling. It's insulting. And bad for my self esteem. I've been through enough now. I'd rather be by myself.
I've never been able to say that before. But it's true.
He's messaging me as I write this. Small talk. Chit chat. Building up to the main event. Which would involve me and him getting naked and picking up from where we left off...I can't say I'm not tempted....
Except it's not going to happen. He can call all he likes. It doesn't mean that I have to pick up the phone..for the first time ever I'm putting my emotional needs first.
Because if this is a booty call then I've done myself a favour....I don't need the headfuck, and if it isn't, well....he needs to raise his game and show me that it's more.
God, this feels weird. Like I've been swapped. With someone who actually has some self-respect....
Wow. Go me....it's only taken me 30 odd years to find some....
So this is a story about a man.
A funny, intelligent and articulate man who has recently snowballed into my day to day life.
Out of the blue. From Nowhere.
Completely unexpectedly, and completely unannounced. It's kind of a complicated story. Involving an extremely complicated man.
Having us compete against each other to see which team could make the best midget gem bridge was the brain child of one of the support workers in detox. It was supposed to keep us out of mischief for an hour while the rest of the staff had a much needed cup of tea.
Unfortunately all it did was create chaos; For two reasons.
One : We were none of us five years old. And told her so. And two : You don't give recovering addicts with an insatiable craving for sugar, sweets. Everyone knows that. It sent us crackers.
Haribo was literally currency in there. Tangfastics were like gold dust by the end of each week. It's all we ever put on our shopping lists. Haribo's, and tobacco if you smoked.
Anyway, three quarters of the midget gems were gone before she'd even got our attention. Which meant that we had uneven numbers of sweets to play with which made it unfair. Which meant that it was a pointless exercise. We ate the rest of the sweets while we relayed this information to her when she came to check on our progress. Which was basically none existent... Much to her dismay.
It was hilarious....
Her day got progressively worse when I refused to take part in the second lesson which involved making a tower out of marshmallows and dried spaghetti. Again, because I am not five years old.
She tried to insist; told me to "let my inner child out to play"....to which I replied that my inner child had already consumed far too many e-numbers for one day thank you very much, and would therefore be much better off if left to read her book quietly on the sofa - in case all of the midget gems she'd consumed in record time earlier made her sick.....Long story short. I didn't have to make the tower. 1-0 to me.
Up until this point I had been completely compliant in treatment. I hadn't dared say no to anything....but now my inner rebel was starting to stir. Which meant that I was getting better. I was finding my voice. It was time to start thinking about getting out of here and onto stage two.
I had been a model patient in detox. They were going to love me in rehab.....