…as Marilyn Manson once said.
I have always had this love/hate relationship with drugs and with myself. Ever since I could remember, I always wanted to escape reality. When I was younger, I buried my head in endless books to escape, finding sanctuary within the pages. Then as I got older I unfortunately discovered a more destructive way of escaping; drugs. And I couldn’t get enough of them.
I started drinking when I was about fourteen years old. I can remember the first time I got seriously drunk and feeling so utterly free with my new found confidence. Then I started smoking weed at sixteen, which turned into something more serious by seventeen, when I had my first run in with the police for drink driving. It was then I tried cocaine for the first time. By eighteen I had a bit of a problem with it as I started dating my dealer and he was the first boy to break my heart. It was long after I was diagnosed with depression as well. I do wonder sometimes if it was the drugs that triggered it all off or the heartbreak. Or maybe it was a bit of both? Who knows. One thing I do know for sure is that this was just the beginning of my chaotic and destructive life.
After being diagnosed with depression, the doctors tried to put me on anti-depressants but I refused to take them. I saw this as almost giving into depression and thought it was a sign of weakness to take them. Instead, I had some private Cognitive Behavioural Therapy whilst I was attending Milton Keynes College and things started to get a little better for me. I was lucky enough to get my Diploma in Media Production and start moving forward with my life. Sort of.
I ended up taking a year out before starting university and my main focus was on having fun and getting totally wasted and just enjoying being young. My step sister and I moved out when we were about seventeen or eighteen and we held the best house parties. One house party we had in a house share with her boyfriend at the time and my gay best friend. We had speakers stacked up to the ceiling and a massive nos canister in our living room. I stupidly posted the party on Facebook and about three hundred people showed up. The police ended up raiding it with riot vans.
But it was at this party I tried Ketamine for the first time and I fell head over heels in love with it. I remember walking down the stairs into the front room and I kept saying over and over “I’m walking on marshmallows.” For me that was one of the best experiences I had ever had, as I was able to totally let go of all inhibitions. I felt invincible and I genuinely had not a single fucking care in the world. It helped me forget all the shit that had ever happened to me and just made everything seem so much better. It was a beautiful and dangerous love affair and I started doing it nearly every day.
A year or so later I somehow managed to get into my first choice university, which was The University of East London. I remember pulling up to the entrance and saying “I don’t belong here, turn around, I don’t belong here,” yet ironically it was the only place I ever felt truly myself. It was one of the most terrifying and most amazing things I have ever done and I will never know or understand how I ever did it- my love for drugs didn’t stop, if anything it got worse. I sound like such a fucking cliche but it literally fuelled most of my creativity. And I was happy.
I graduated University and shocked everyone including myself. My mum admitted to me that she didn’t think I would make it through the first year and to be totally honest with you I don’t blame her for thinking that- I changed emotions and directions as quickly as the wind changed the sea. I was a little unstable at the best of times. But the most satisfying part of it all? I was basically on drugs the whole time I was there, yet I managed to graduate with a high 2:1. I once even gave a presentation to four of my tutors on NO sleep, still half cut on pills, mkat and half a bottle of wine. And I got a first. So yeah, you could say my graduation was an accomplishment.
After I graduated, I fell into a low paid but steady job working 9-5 doing office admin. At weekends carried on taking drugs and partying – it was the only thing I knew how, the thing I could do best. I managed to get a pay rise, then a promotion and another pay rise. I was doing pretty well; I was happy, I had friends and a good job, my own place. I was attempting life as an adult and I was winning for the most part. Until I met “Him”.*
After he came and tore my world apart, the really bad drug habit turned into one hell of an addiction. I was easily sniffing six grams of Ketamine a day, along with GHB and cocaine and anything else I could find to numb the immense pain I was in. I was something I never thought I would be. I never admitted to having a “problem”. I was a full blown addict. I then started drinking loads again. Things got better then they got even worse. I started smoking crack everyday and on the occasion heroin, something I am so ashamed to admit, it makes me feel sick. I wasn’t this person, surely? I hated myself so much, I honestly didn’t care who I was anymore. I just wanted it all to end. I wanted to die.
But I didn’t die. I have no idea how, but I managed to fight my demons and my addictions. I wish I knew how I did it so I could give you some advice, but I honestly don’t. The only thing I know is that I just somehow managed to keep on fighting and keep on living, even when life was no longer worth living and I was not a person worth living for. It took a lot of strength to do that, but if I can do it, so can you. Don’t give up.
If you or anyone you know suffers with addiction, the Narcotics Anonomous UK helpline is 0300 999 1212.
*See blog “10 Things I Hate About You”.