- By girly-d
- On 23/05/2018
- 1 comments
Where to start?
At the beginning then. Meeting the Cheshire Cat.
It would never have happened if 1) I hadn't been out drinking all day trying to avoid a particularly twattish boyfriend who had moved himself in and refused to move out...and 2) If the bottom hadn't fallen through on my case of lager causing my cans to spill out into the road as I finally made my way back home after my said day of drinking was drawing to a close.
Someone happened to see my dilemma ( ie..me, on my hands and knees trying to pick up said cans quickly so that I could get out of the road and therefore decrease my chances of being hit by a car quite significantly) and offered his assistance. He carried my sorry looking case of lager and I tagged alongside carrying the stragglers that wouldnt fit neatly back into the box.
We became friends. When said twattish boyfriend left finally ( along with everything I owned ) he told me to set my standards higher. When I completely ignored that advice, having found myself an even bigger twat to replace the old one, he simply shook his head sadly, told me in no uncertain terms that it would end in tears, but thankfully still continued to look out for me.
Long story short, it quickly became apparant that I had managed to surpass my own stupidity in record time with this one. The guy I was with was a lunatic. My new friend offered me his sofa the night that he had kicked me out and told me to sleep at the train station. Where all the drunks and random weirdos hung out. With no money to actually catch a train.
Not that I had actually done anything to be kicked out for. He was simply raging drunk, looking for a row and it was just the way that he got his kicks. To be fair I was safer taking my chances on the street when he was acting like this...and so I went...and I sat at the train station...
Anyway my friend came to my rescue. And told me that If I had any sense I would leave him. Before I came to some serious harm. Or wound up dead.
And he was right. There was nothing nice about this guy. Just a world of complete and utter headfuck.
So I took up the offer of the sofa that night.
And so it began...
I was to officially enter Wonderland....
He was mad of course.
Clinically insane at one point. But by that stage I was borderline losing it too so we were to get on well together.
It wasn't what I expected. The living room was over-crowded and smelt of Vanilla and cigarette smoke. I hate Vanilla. The sickly sweet smell of it made me gag and I tried hard not to retch. There were cans of accelerant everywhere...mainly lighter fuel. He had told me once that he had served time in Prison. For arson. I believed him. I tried not to look.
I slept in my clothes. I didn't have anything else. He gave me a blanket and a pillow which were later replaced with a sleeping bag, once it became apparant that the sofa may have to be on standby. I slept like a log. Exhaustion and alcohol are a winning combination.
The sofa became my place of safety - and somewhere where I could lose my mind quietly, without violent interruptions from my psychopathic ex. I returned to sleep there time and time again. Mostly in tears after yet another night of abuse from the psychopath I was in a "relationship" with. I kept going back to him...falling for his lies. I obviously had a death wish. It nearly came true once or twice. My guardian angel had her work cut out for sure. Suprised she stuck it out to be fair.... I would have thrown the towel in ages ago. "Sorry love, you're on your own - forgot to mention I have a plane to catch. Gotta go. Have a nice life, bye..." or words to that effect.
I was ill of course. Dangerously so. Had been deteriorating for a while. Mentally as well as physically. I know that now. I just wasn't thinking straight. I was there in body but my mind had gone awol for a while. He could empathise.
He had been institutionalised. Hospitals, prison. They gave him electric shock therapy. He described the horrors to me. I couldn't even imagine.
I didn't sleep well. He would come in to smoke a cigarette or a joint and I would already be awake. We'd chat....about allsorts and then he would wander off to bed, instructing me to wake him if I needed the company. I never did - that would have just been weird.
He was good to me. Respectful. Again, good job really as I don't know how I would have coped otherwise. He never overstepped the invisible line that I had drawn the first night I stayed there......although the thought that he might crossed my mind several times. He provided the sofa and a hot shower (I rarely used it) allowed me to wash my clothes. I provided company and my freaked out, traumatised self along with the very occasional take-away.
He compared me to Alice in wonderland. Pretty accurate. I had the "drink me" part of her journey down pat. He was The Cheshire Cat....C.C for short.
He tried to do nice things for me. He printed out photo's that I had, and made my favourite songs into a playlist. One morning I woke up and there was my favourite photograph of Little man staring down at me from the big screen. It was meant well but it freaked me out a bit if i'm honest.
As I'm writing this i'm shuddering....it's a bit strange looking back. It all was. But at the time it seemed perfectly normal. Every day I was becoming more and more ill. I was still being hounded by the horrible guy I was with...I managed to leave him while his back was turned....now I was hiding from him. My days were spent indoors, with me only venturing out to buy more alcohol once my supplies ran out, and my nights were spent sharing the life of a once clinically insane pensioner with a fondness for setting fire to things.
I didn't need drugs to alter my mind by now..it was pretty much shot to bits all by itself.
I was ill, malnourished, and could barely walk. Personal hygiene was now completely alien to me. I couldn't brush my teeth, the thought made me retch. I was sick and shaking every morning from withdrawal. I couldn't face taking a shower or changing my clothes as I couldn't bear the thought of him knowing that I was naked on the other side of the door. It just freaked me out. I wore the same clothes daily so I didnt have to get changed. I finally took my boots off after ten days straight and my feet were black. It was horrific....I barely gave two shits. I had gone back to shower at my ex'es......at his invitation. He had been playing "Good cop" and appeared shocked at the state of me. I genuinely thought that he was being nice. Instead he sent me a gloating text message minutes after I had left, debating whether or not he should go for a second shower that day...."not because he needed to...just because he could".....knowing how much that would get to me. True to form. Straight for the jugular.
The clock was ticking. Detox was looming....I just had to keep hold of my sanity for a little while longer. I was even answering to Alice at this point and actually felt like I was her at times. Freaked out doesn't come close.
Alice needed to leave while there was still a chance that sanity could be restored. Her little bag was packed ...she was ready. Her drivers name was Scott. He was taking her to hospital....she was relieved to see that he was driving a seat.....she was pretty convinced that her ticket would have been for the sunshine bus. Alice's time in Wonderland was over....it wasn't a minute too soon.
A new kind of craziness beckoned......and this time there were drugs...
**Disclaimer** C.C was a friend to me when I needed it most. He was my protector and guardian and I am indebted to him for everything he did. He probably saved my life...this is my account of my mental health at that time only and is in no way meant to be disrespectful to him.
The Transformation of Alice....
I have a tea set.
A perfect, bone china, daintily patterned tea set. It cost £12 from a charity shop. To me it's priceless.
It sits on a wooden table in my teeny, tiny garden. The table is set for 5 and there is a clock above it that's set to 6.00 pm exactly. A cheshire cat watches patiently from the trees and a sleeping dormouse is curled up on a chair. Soon it will be time for tea.
It's just how Alice left it that day in her head. When she finally escaped the madness that was Wonderland. But Alice know's a secret that none of the others know yet. Alice isn't coming back. Her tea party days are over. And she's rewriting the book.
Wonderland exists. It is a real actual place. I know this because I went there for a while when my head wasn't working properly. I never want to go back. Wonderland is not a fairy tale full of woodland creatures, curious girls and tea partys. It's a horror film. The drinks are poison and the animals bite.
Wonderland is accessed by invitation only. You don't have to be special. It's not the baftas. You just have to meet the criteria. Too much going on in your head for one person to handle. I exceeded all expectations. Access All Areas. Lucky me.
Twelve months of relentless shit, day in, day out finally tipped me over the edge. The next thing I knew I was on a bus bound for God only knows where. Golden ticket in hand. I didn't have time to pack.
Some people just go for the day. Or a long weekend. Then everything is tickity boo. They've had their blip and off they pop. With a goldfish they've won from the fair as a momento. I was there for months. I couldn't find the exit. And I didn't have a key if I did. I didn't get to see the fair. I stumbled into the house of horrors by mistake.
It was beyond my wildest imagination. My very own room 101.
Everywhere was dark and unknown creatures lurked in the shadows. I could hear them breathing. Feel their breath on my skin. Groping hands on my body as I tried to squeeze past. I tried to run but I couldn't see where I was going. There were potholes and traps everywhere. Sometimes I got away. Sometimes I didn't. My collection of battle scars grew by the day.
I didn't have pretty dresses like Alice. I wore the same clothes constantly and my hair was a mess. The others didn't seem to mind. They were too busy finding new and exciting ways to get wasted. It was impossible to hold a conversation. And pointless to ask for directions back to reality as no one else seemed to want to leave. They were all too busy drinking and eating cake. I couldn't drink anymore, and eating made me sick. Drinking made sure that I didn't know whether it was day or night, Monday or Tuesday or what my real name was... I'd answered to Alice for as long as I could remember. If I was ever going to get out of this place I needed to stop.
I woke up in hospital. With a drip in my arm.
I'd like to say that it had all been a dream. But it hadn't. I'd been living that life for months. A culmination of stress and addiction had reached it's peak. Without medical intervention I would be dead. There's no question in my mind.
I went into detox. And then rehab. It saved my life. Without all of the madness that had surrounded me and a safe place to sleep I could think straight. And now that I wasn't drinking 24/7 as a way to escape the madness, my mind started to slowly piece itself back together.
I was in hospital for months. Followed by supported accomodation. I needed time to process everything that had happened. I left earlier this year.
I live in the country now. In the middle of nowhere. It's been my salvation. A handful of friends know where I am. No one else can find me.
I'm happy and I'm healthy and I live a normal life. I spend time with my friends, I cook and I read and I'm addicted to snapchat. Making up for a year of my life where I wouldn't allow photographs. Addiction is not a good look. It doesn't suit me.
Anyway, I love it here. I spend my days working and writing. I keep myself to myself. No one in this new place knows my story....and to look at me they would never guess.
Occasional strangers pass by my garden. By my own admission it is beautiful. I put a lot of time and effort into it. There are birds and bees and all kinds of creatures living there, and to an outsider I can see that it's quite quirky and idyllic. To me though, for all of its beauty, it's a reminder that mental health is fragile. And the reason behind why I no longer drink tea....