Not The Slide
So I'm writing about my addiction, and I'm trying to find a title for this piece that begins to describe what that was like.
I bandied around a few ideas and doodled for a bit but nothing I thought of came even remotely close to touching on what I had been through. And then I remembered The Beautiful South and a song that they sang called The Slide. It was written about addiction, and straight away I knew that I had my title.
A slide is fast. You sit down, you let go and you whizz around at a hundred miles an hour. Then you stop, stand up, dust yourself off and you're ready to go again "Can we go faster next time pleeeeaaaase ??"
My addiction was not fast. It was slow. Painfully, horribly slow. A suicide attempt that took twenty years. My addiction was So Not.The.Slide.
A horrific year took me to the brink. I lost my husband, my home, and everything that the last 12 years had stood for pretty much overnight. I was just about keeping things together....And then my cat died - The last thing I had that had any meaning or value to me and I lost it.
He was my little dude. This furry, one eyed no-tailed ball of glue that had held me together when everything around me was gone was dead and I couldn't take it. A horrible finale to a horrific year. I was already heartbroken - now I was bereft. I made the decision to put him to sleep because I could see that he was dying....well that made two of us. I went back to my temporary home where we had lived, pressed the fuck-it button and waited for the shit to spectacularly hit the fan...
Wetherspoons became my second home. There are no white knights on horses in Wetherspoons - just drunken arseholes who occasionally like to bet on them. I drank there to avoid being alone. I pretended that I was just a girl having a drink in a bar in order to escape the horror that my life was quickly becoming.
Men loved an attractive, single, lonely woman drinking by herself - they thought it was Christmas. I dated lunatics. Lived with a few. My life was rapidly turning into The Hunger Games. I was playing with fire and starting to get burned.
I smashed things. Bits of me mainly. My ribs, my coccyx, my knee. (I don't remember that one although I was reliably informed that I fell down some stairs). I had to match my eyeshadow to my black eye for weeks...That was a pavement.
I lost things. Or had them stolen.
One particularly twattish ex burgled me. He even took my salt. He doesn't like salt. Wanker.
I was assaulted. Several times on several different levels. I was sofa surfing, living at a convicted arsonists house surrounded by cans of accelerants, whilst hiding from a pyschopath ex who basically wanted me dead. My life was a car crash.
By the time I was taken to detox I was too ill to think straight, let alone think for myself. I was 6 stone, my hair was falling out and I was vomiting blood and bile several times a day. There was no food to bring up. I couldnt eat. Basically I was fucked. Pretty much game over.
I drank 4 pints the morning of detox. Not loads but enough to help me find the courage to get in the car. The whole way there I wanted to jump out. I knew if I did I would die. Maybe not that day but the clock was definitely ticking. I could hear it.
I was too drunk to be medicated that day. I vaguely remember being weighed and breathalysed. Then I was searched. So were all of my posessions. I was officially in detox.
It saved my life. 6 weeks of lock-down. No contact with the outside world with only a visit to the doctor masquerading as a day out. Staff were by my side constantly. It was full on. It was exactly what I needed.
4 months later I came out the other side. I fought my addiction with every ounce of strength I had as soon as I was well enough to think straight. I've always been a fighter. It's a trait I learned as a child. It's always served me well.
I'm tee-total these days. My dick-head radar is fully switched on and working perfectly. I no longer date or spend my time with idiot men.
I have some good friends.....new and old. People who stick by me through thick and thin. Everything about my old life has gone. I've buried my past. I'm starting from scratch. I live in a hostel while I'm figuring out my next move. It's cool. I wake up these days and there's no added damage to me. Nothing is broken or bruised. I'm not scared anymore.
Most of all I'm me again. The pretty, funny crazy me that I was before all of this shit happened. My hairs grown back. I eat well and look after myself.
When the time's right, I'll move out of here and into a place of my own. I'll get another cat in memory of my little man. I miss him every day. I owe my life to him. So thank you Little man for keeping me going as long as you did. I'm eternally grateful now. There's a light at the end of this tunnel. I see that now. So this one's for you xx