” We’re all of us sentenced to solitary confinement inside our own skins, for life”
Tennessee Williams 1957
Just been reading some old journals and can’t help but smile, funny how the same issues keep cropping up, issues that I still struggle with today like getting enough solitude, and prioritising own needs over others. It’s also a regular theme in life that there’s so much more I want to do and experience, I often mention having kids and state that I need to do x y or z before having kids. I write about it as a given, as though it’ll just happen one day when I’ve done all the other things I need to before becoming a parent and I never really explore why I would want to have kids but write lots about why I shouldn’t or why I’m not ready, or how things should be before venturing on such a life-long commitment. I would rather not be a parent than be a rubbish parent, that’s still true today but I would like to have a family and experience the joy of nurturing another’s development and growth, I get nervous about being able to manage it alongside my own needs, I sometimes wonder if I’m too selfish and set in my ways.
Eight years ago I was living in Westward Ho! with my partner Marcel and my dog Charlie, I had a heroin habit and was using 1.5 grams of heroin daily, injected into my groin. I was sex working to support my habit and income and was trying to make changes, I was going through a period of reflection about my life and future, I was scared of getting stuck and scared of my inability to change. I was involved in drug services and had started exploring the idea of rehab after a near death experience earlier in the year that left me with nasty blood infections and pneumonia from injecting heroin.
“ I would rather be able to appreciate things I can not have than to have things I am not able to appreciate”
Elbert Hubbard 1927
I’m really upset, life is not going the way I wanted, I’m so confused and I can’t carry on like this. I keep trying to be positive and hopeful but I know I’m just avoiding dealing with stuff and I need to now or my depression is going to take over and I’ll be unable to do anything.
All this thinking about rehab and the future has made me realise there is still so much I want to do with life, so much more I still need to experience, I know there’s still potential in me, I have to make the most of life and realise my dreams; writing dreams and travel dreams. I’m realising I need to make a change now. I’m sad because I know that I’m not living life as I should. I so want some time alone, I’m not getting anything done and it’s getting me down. I’m feeling the pressure of having to support us both whilst Marcel not at sea. It’s making me want to be on my own for a while so I can make sense of all the confusion, I can’t do that when around others, it’s as though my thoughts get infected by others presence. I love Marcel, he’s my best friend and means the world to me, I hate the thought of hurting him but I’m not sure if us being together is helping either of us really. I’m excited about going to rehab and actually facing up to some of my issues. I’m excited about life after rehab and all the potential that exists, it’s hard to share that with him as I don’t know if he’ll be able to make changes too whilst I’m away at rehab, if he doesn’t what does that mean.
There are still lots of things I want to do before I settle down and have kids, I want to experience more, I want to build a writing career, and of course I need to get drug free and healthy. I don’t want him to hate me for wanting time alone, it’s not that I don’t love him cause I do, so much and that’s what leaves me more confused, am I giving up on him and us by going to rehab, I wish he could go to rehab too somewhere else and we could both get well. I need to talk to him, I know he senses something is wrong, I don’t want him to think he’s done anything wrong as he hasn’t, he’s tried loads to make changes and is off to sea for a couple of weeks soon, he’s making efforts to change, I don’t want him to change unless he wants to, I want him to be happy, to like himself, to enjoy life. If we could both sort our shit out we could have a future, that’s a big If. I don’t know, I’m so confused, hard to think straight when no time alone, I wait until he goes to sea and then think things through clearly.
Whilst Marcel is at sea for a couple of weeks I’m gonna attempt a bit of reduction/detox, give up the gear and manage on methadone only.
Friday – have my last doo dah! Get repeat prescriptions for sleepers, tidy the flat, long walk with Charlie to Appledore and Riverpath, get scripts from chemist, take 45ml methadone at bedtime, have a long bath to wind down before sleep.
Saturday – I’ll wake early, take 30ml methadone and go for long morning walk on burrows and then cook myself breakfast on return, I need to eat and keep busy so I don’t start longing for a doo dah. I’ve gotta get over my resistance to methadone, I enjoy having a hit, I like the ritual of it, I like the immediate feeling.
Detox plan didn’t go to plan, ended up using more not less, oh gosh, why am I so useless, why can’t I just stick to it. I give up because it literally does my head in, trying to distract myself and avoiding wanting a hit just makes me want one more, as soon as I give in I can get on with stuff, stupid habits, stupid behaviour, stupid head. Ok, enough of the negativity, my Negative Automatic Thoughts NAT’s are on overdrive, time to be grateful.
10 Reasons I’m Grateful
1: I am grateful to live in a beautiful place where I can see, hear and feel the sea all the time.
2: I am grateful to have Charlie in my life, my ever faithful friend. I love the walks and time we share.
3: I’m grateful the police listened and they are finally taking action against my abuser.
4: I’m grateful to have a lively and curious mind full of ideas and dreams.
5: I’m grateful for the love I shared with my mum and to have her spirit with me.
6: I’m grateful for my health and the joy experienced from having an active and agile body.
7: I’m grateful for my home and the stability and comfort it provides.
8: I’m grateful to have food to eat and water drink and to generally have basic needs met.
9: I’m grateful for my strength and resilience, for continued trying, for not giving up.
10: I’m grateful for the chance to go to rehab and the opportunity to overcome my issues.
“Wise men appreciate all men, for they see the good in each and know how hard it is to make anything good”
Baltasar Gracian 1647
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