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.
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.
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....
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....
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.
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.
Before I met M I was a fox.
That's not me being big-headed. I just was. I was confident, outgoing and liked to show my seductive side.
I used to have flings. Wear pretty, girly playsuits and dresses with sky-high heels. I Drank Champagne; dabbled in Class A's in swanky hotel rooms. I was careless and fearless. I knew who I was and where I was coming from..
Then I let somebody steal my sparkle.
He was drawn to my face, my figure and my confidence. But then used them as weapons against me.
At first I didn't notice the signs. But then they became unmissable. And inner fox went down the rabbit hole - having found herself surplus to requirements.
My pretty dresses became jeans and leggings. My heels became converse and ballet pumps. My make up went from elegant and girly to muted, then faded....then non existent. My beautiful, crazy cave-womanish hair that always drew compliments was hidden in buns and side ponytails. So that I wouldn't attract attention.
It wasn't enough.
Every man who glanced at me wanted to take me to bed. Most of the women too....according to the way that M's mind worked. In his head I was constantly out shagging the world the minute that his back was turned. I couldn't keep up with his accusations and escalating violence. Because of course I needed to be punished for being so "available" to everyone who crossed my path.....He drained my vitality and left me with ashes.
Anyway, that was a year ago.
I left him. Although not before significant damage had been done to my head and my confidence.
I've been trying to rebuild for a while. And now I'm taking my power back.
Despite his "encouragement" and suggestions that I "donate" my "old" wardrobe back then to the charity shop, I didn't. I kept hold of my pretty dresses and my shoes. Well, the ones that he didn't manage to wreck anyway....
They are here, now, in my wardrobe.....
I unpacked them today...
Because inner fox has been missing for too long, and I want her back. I miss her. She completes me.....
So today I have made what I used to call an "executive decision"....and I am going back down into that rabbit hole. But I'm not staying long. It's just a flying visit. And when I come out I will have both my inner fox and my sparkle back....
And this time I'm keeping hold of them....
I'm writing in Wetherspoons.
I caught the bus into town. Had the obligatory conversations with the characters and old dears who live in my sleepy little village while I waited at the bus stop outside the post office a.k.a - The hub of our tranquil little corner of the world. Then I buried my head in a book for the duration of the journey until I reached my destination.
After a bit of retail therapy I'll catch the bus back. Walking through these green fields of nothingness until I reach my little van tucked away amongst the trees, out here in nowheresville.
I'll lock myself in. Later I'll cook. Maybe listen to music. Shower, and then write or watch Netflix. I'll either be in bed before Midnight or still awake at 3....
At some point I need to think about socialising.
People are friendly here; There's a generation gap a lot of the time but I quite like it. They probably already know who I am. A quick fling with a work colleague probably hasn't done me any favours thanks to his disgruntled ex girlfriend who, so I've heard on the grapevine, couldn't wait to tell all and sundry what a floozy I am. Maybe she needs to get over it. She definitely needs to stop taking my tips. It's been 18 months since they split. And she's welcome to try and get him back. Although I doubt that he would have her...she's a bit of a cow....(my thoughts, his words). Massive arse....
Anyway - Socialising....It's on my to-do list. It's necessary. But it's a daunting prospect. It's such a tiny place. One wrong move here and you're screwed. And I'm kind of the queen of making wrong moves. Plus I'm scared. I find it hard to trust people. A side effect of living with drop outs and criminals during my brief stint in rehab and supported housing. I didn't really get to mix with normal. Just the broken and flawed.
It's changed me a little bit. Toughened me up. Given me an edge that I'm not sure I like. I'm struggling to get to grips with this new, suspicious me. I give off an aura of a woman not to be messed with. Don't get me wrong, it has its plus points - I no longer get hit on in Wetherspoons for example; I've clearly moved up a few notches since those days.... But it's a bit of a double edged sword when you are new in town and are looking to make new friends.
Everything here is chocolate box territory. There are a lot of tractors and happy, muddy dogs walked by equally happy "dressed for the weather" villagers. All itching to find out more about the new girl.
There are two pubs. Proper cosy village affairs. All draft beers and real ales. I stand out in my sobriety on the rare occasion that I venture out. That, coupled with the fact that I'm new in town makes me stick out here like a sore thumb.
The old me wouldn't bat an eyelid at being sat on her own amongst strangers in a strange town. But I'm not the old me anymore. My confidence took a hiding after the pyschopath boyfriend episode. So I'm much quieter these days. Bordering on shy. Which is making me just want to stay a recluse. It's so much easier than contemplating putting myself out there....
I've lived here for three months and I don't know any streetnames, or cut-throughs or anybody's name apart from those of my work colleagues. That's a bit unsettling. I feel almost agoraphobic which isn't especially helpful to my state of mind after the year I've had already.
So I'm not sure how to handle this right now. It's all a little bit overwhelming. I feel damned if I do and damned if I don't. I'm lonely but I'm scared to socialise. Not exactly a winning combination. Especially if in the future I want to think about dating again....because at this rate unless any future potential Mr Right breaks in to my caravan he's unlikely to find me. And if he was to break in then obviously I would be phoning the police - not contemplating going out with him.....God. Sometimes I wish that our little post office/convienience store sold new heads. They sell just about everything else. That way I could trade this one in and just crack on. Unfortunately, although they do a mean line in novelty keyrings and postcards for those amongst us just passing through, they don't appear to have any heads in stock.