Maybe I’m an addict

Well, that was hard. Very hard indeed. I knew it was coming, but didn’t realise just how heavy hitting it would be. You see, I had a friend’s 30th birthday party on Saturday and booked the Monday off work in preparation for a big party. Now, I won’t go into the ins and outs of what I consumed at the party, but I’m sure you can imagine it wasn’t just a little tipple.

One of the reasons I want this blog to be anonymous is so that I can talk about things here that I’d never talk about in real life – to anyone other than my friends and those who know that I dabble in recreational drugs.

It all started when I was 18. A new friend danced up to me in a club in my hometown, armed with a heart shaped pill. “It’s a slippery slope”, she said – and popped it into my mouth. I washed it down with a warm beer, and sure enough I started the slide down the long and truly slippery slope into the world of seemingly never ending partying.

I’m not proud. And as I look back now after well over a decade of drug taking, I wish that moment had have never happened. I spent two years between the ages of 18 and 20 snuffling as many pills as I could, always being the last one awake at parties, wishing that no one would go to sleep because I was terrified of the come down loneliness. It was horrible – the worst. But I never learned, and I, along with many others in my peer group at the time, would toddle along to the same place each and every Saturday, armed with enough chemicals to kill a small horse, if you fed them to it all at once.

At the age of 20 I met my ex, who I was with for 6 years. I didn’t realise at the time, or even long after we had split up to be honest, that his not letting me take drugs wasn’t him being controlling, but actually him being caring. It took about a year to adjust to going out with alcohol only and no chemicals, but once I had adjusted, I was a much happier person. I slept well, I ate well, I didn’t exercise… but you can’t have it all, can you?

We split up when I was 26 and I immediately fell back into it, to medicate the heartbreak that I brought upon myself. This time my poison didn’t come in pill form, but powder that smells like a janitor’s cleaning closet. I was hooked, but it wasn’t good for me and my mental health. The cracks started showing when the man I left my boyfriend for wouldn’t leave his girlfriend. Ok – I know, I was about to be a home-wrecker – something that wouldn’t have happened if I hadn’t been weak and succumb to the white stuff. But I had the most terrifying panic attack after a work Christmas party that still gives me shudders when I walk past the location these days.

Fast forward another 5 years and I have been through quite a lot. I moved to a different country for a while, which didn’t work – so I moved back a year later. I started working for a company I hate (still here, though – but that’s all about to change hopefully) and trained for and ran a couple of marathons. BINGO! The first marathon I ever ran changed my life, albeit temporarily.

I have never trained for anything in my life and I ran it in a faster time than most who run their first marathon. I was achieving and, most importantly, I felt GREAT! I was eating well and hardly drinking, with no chemical in sight.

So why did I go back to it again? Because I’m weak, that’s why. The moment I put myself in a situation where I was offered it, I couldn’t turn it down. A few months later and I’m still doing it. But it has to stop – because on Monday, for the first time ever, I was offered it – and turned it down. But my reaction wasn’t pretty. It sent me into a spiral of anxiety and depressed feelings – for a couple of days afterwards.

What is it that makes me not want to be in a situation where others are doing it and I’m not? I don’t know and that is something I’m currently working on with my Cognitive Behavioural Therapist. I hope it changes – because as far as I’m aware I have two options:

1. Stop hanging out with people who drink and do drugs – sorry, not happening because most people do it in London

2. Be comfortable in a situation where people are drunk and wasted and I’m not

There is a third option, but I don’t think I’m anywhere near being able to do this – drink a couple, stop there and say no if anything extra is offered my way. This would be the desired outcome, but I have to work hard to get there.

One friend who has a very similar personality to me and is also going to CBT at the moment said to me yesterday “If I’m out and I don’t want to be around it, I simply go home and have a cuppa. Lovely”. That sentence is going to stay in my head as long as it takes.

The moral of the story – drugs change your life. In a bad way. They make you anxious. They make you depressed. They change your personality. People have their own choices and as much as I don’t want my nearest and dearest to do it, I can’t change that. What I can do though is try my absolute hardest to abstain. I never thought of myself as an addict, but maybe it’s time to wise up to the facts – I might not be a junkie, but if I didn’t have an addiction I wouldn’t be acting this way. So, here goes… wish me luck.

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