Wednesday 15th October 2014
On the train returning from seeing a client in Reading. We stayed in a luxury suite at The Great Western Railway Hotel in Reading centre. The suite was the size of my flat, all very plush, massive flat screen tv’s, yes two tv’s! The décor was dark themed, black and brown wood, it was very stylish and so much was provided, extremely expensive champagne, magazines, organic sweets and treats, the robes were the softest I’ve ever felt, and the beauty products were divine, smell heaven!. Staying in nice places does make me feel spoilt and I can’t help but think how unnecessary so much of it is but I have to admit it makes you feel nice, cocooned in specialness just for the night. It’s nice every now and then as a treat I guess but I’d feel uncomfortable living my life with such excess, I like having what I need but indulging in expense for the sake of it does not appeal.
I was reading a copy of Harpers Bazaar and found a piece called Urban Legend about Marianne Faithfull, who was in a relationship with Mick Jagger. In the 1960’s the tabloids were cruel to Marianne following a police raid at Keith Richards house. Marianne was caught taking LSD and other drugs and due to the press coverage she received hate mail. It’s shocking but she was actually hated more than Myra Hindley the serial killer, how can that be right.
The article explains how London made Marianne a star and then when she succumbed to heroin addiction most of that world turned their backs on her, she was homeless and addicted to heroin living on the streets of Soho for two years whilst also suffering from anorexia, poor woman.
Marianne was able to make a slow and at times haphazard come back, the article explains how she felt she’d wasted so much of her life and has finally overcome things and released a new album which paints her past and feelings in a raw, descriptive and evocative way, that’s what the article suggested, I must get a copy and listen, I’m sure there’s much about her creative work that I’ll love.
I must research more on Marianne Faithful, there’s not that many women who are in the public eye who have overcome heroin addiction, there needs to be more visible recovery, if, no, when I get recovery from heroin addiction I vow to make my recovery visible, to try and combat some of the shame and stigma attached. Women do seem to get a harder time of things when addiction surfaces. Many men in the public eye with drug issues have been glamorised and it’s part of the suffering creative identity. When it comes to women like Marianne and others they’re demonised as bad mothers, accused of being sluts and whores and generally subjected to a much more moralistic tone that men receive.
I’ve stopped using and I’m trying to just stay on my methadone in preparation for the Crown Court case next month, I need to be stable to give evidence. I’m having special measures so he’ll be behind a screen but I’ll still know he’s there. I hope I can do it, I hope I can cope with the defence questions, I just need to take deep breaths and speak slowly and clearly, it’s the truth so I mustn’t let them upset me or provoke me, they will try I’m sure.
Reading this journal entry took me right back, I’d totally forgotten about this trip until reading this just a minute ago. Marianne Faithful is a role model to me, she continued to struggle with drug use and addiction for various parts of her life but she kept going, she had dogged determination and a creativity that wouldn’t be supressed. Like Marianne my voice has changed through addiction but I like my voice now, it’s the voice of my journey, it expresses who I am and where I’ve been.
I’m feeling rather refreshed today and I know it’s because I faced up to an issue that’s been causing chaos internally. All that was required was honesty and openness but I’d created scenarios in my head where the expression of truth may cause another distress and because of this I’ve struggled to speak up. I’ve been coaching myself around this, working out what is my responsibility and what’s not. I have a tendency to overthink and over analyse and will often run through events and predict the outcome. The outcome is never as I anticipated and often less intense, it’s a futile endeavour to try and control things but I still do!
Thankfully I had a period of therapy this year and that provided me with a number of tools and perspectives that have assisted me through this time. I know my fear about stating my needs is rooted in old conditioning. I have to work hard to voice things that are negative about my own personal experience, I find it challenging to say this is what I need, this is what will benefit me and help to maintain my mental health and wellbeing.
I will stay in situations in which I’m unhappy for quite some time before I voice things, and in many ways I’m so familiar with feeling supressed that it can feel comfortable. Struggle has become something I almost enjoy, perhaps I’m scared of a life without struggle, perhaps I’m scared of success (whatever that means!) and stability because these things are alien to me, I can deal with struggle but ease, gosh, that’s new!
Anyway, I expressed my thoughts and the person hearing these confessions was shocked which shows how well I manage to hide my internal chaos and present a happy go lucky front. Thankfully, however, I was understood and I’m being supported to create a situation that will help me, simple as that.
So silly that it took me so long to say, there’s a lesson here for sure, if it matters to you, if it’s causing emotional difficulties you owe it to yourself to express that, you also owe it to others, to give them the opportunity to respond, to not underestimate their ability to deal with what you’re saying, to not underestimate their willingness to be supportive. By not sharing our truth we rob others of living theirs and we steal the potential for connection and care. We can’t be scared of the truth, the more we try to disown it, the more is owns us.
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