Magnet for Trouble

How can I explain the love affair an addict has with drugs and alcohol (or their addiction of choice)? How can something be so intensely intoxicating, even after it has proven just how utterly devastating it can be to that which you cherish most in the world; family, friendships, love, connection? Not only that but it actually feeds the ugliest parts of you and helps them grow. The you that is greedy, needy, selfish beyond reason and destructive beyond care. How can something that literally threatens your life be at once, your safety blanket and your worst nightmare? Well, fucked if I know! But I’d like to explore it…

Smoke on the Water!.I’ve been in a few situations recently where drugs have been used openly and it’s blatantly obvious who is an addict and who is casually partying. The casual partier can leave half a bag hidden away for the next time they decide to get a little wild! The addict however, will not be able to think about anything else until every single line/drop/toke/whatever, is in their blood stream and they have exhausted all options of getting more, more, MORE! The addict is exhausting to be around… and exhausting to be. To quote Pringles, “once you pop, you can’t stop!”

Valley of the Dolls Pill Popping Nails Beauty Shoot Photographer: Jamie Nelson Nails: Julie Kandalec Model: Scarlett AngelinaFor non-drug users or the casual partiers out there it is really difficult to understand just how all-consuming it is for the addict to be around drugs. A non-user can carry a conversation with ease, they can look you in the eye when they are talking to you and they are calm and relaxed whether or not there are drugs in the room or even talk of drugs. I, the addict, on the other hand will be a twitchy, anxious, excited, nervous, mess in a dress! My eyes will be darting around the room, I will be fiddling uncontrollably, I’ll likely be salivating like a rabid dog, I will have no idea of and no interest in what you are saying…and that is all before I’ve even taken anything! That is all from my body remembering (or more likely romanticizing) a previous drug-fuelled experience and pumping me full of a fuck-tonne of adrenaline because someone mentioned the love of my life and he’s somewhere in the bloody room! * Swoons dramatically.* Honestly, I wish I was exaggerating but I have had a belly full of more butterflies and a fuller heart staring at a little mound of cocaine being racked up than I have had for men I’ve dated. Okay, okay I hear you! I don’t have the best track record when it comes to beautiful boys… but let’s just put aside the fact that the gauge on my male quality controller is broken for a moment and agree that an inanimate object should never be more powerful than a human person (as shitty as they may be). Damn, even writing about it now is triggering me and I’m getting all itchy and twitchy!

Elizabeth Ilsley

A couple of weeks ago I was at a party with people I didn’t know very well. All of a sudden I turned to see a girl to my left cutting a little pile of coke into nice clean lines (see, I’m romanticising because I’ve been triggered, ew). I’m talking, if I breathed to heavily I could blow it away (no joke, I held my breath)! It was painful! Every cell in my body was screaming for me to smash my face into that lovely little pile of the devils’ snow and snuffle it up like a wild boar looking for truffles (I know, I’m pretty sexy…). As soon as I knew it was in the room my focus changed completely. I could no longer have a relaxed evening chatting with some new, interesting people. I instantly developed tunnel vision and suddenly my eyes could zoom in and out on the entire room. I knew who had drugs, where they were hidden, how I could get them, how much I could scam off each person, who had the good shit and probably even your dealers’ secret security number (well…almost)! I knew everything there was to know and all within seconds of discovering there were drugs in the house. It’s as if your brain just stops observing the rest of the world and you become so systematic and resourceful. All I can liken it to is how a blind person might develop super human hearing. It’s insane, instantaneous and uncontrollable. If I somehow learned how to hone this skill of resourcefulness I would probably be fucking Einstein 2.0 by now! But instead I’m just a poorly recovering junkie with a magnet for trouble and difficulty saying “no”. Whatcha gonna do?!

glitter pills | Daily Dose

There’s something strange about an addict, in that you literally become cosmically drawn to other addicts. I can’t explain it but it’s a strange phenomenon that happens without even trying. Go to N.A. (narcotics anon.) and you will hear it time and time again. Junkies attract junkies! I never overtly looked like a “junkie”, so it can’t be that. If I did my doctors would’ve stopped ‘dealing’ me my oxy years before things got out of control. I always looked like a sweet, white, middle-class girl from suburbia. But put me in a room with drugs or an addict and we will sniff each other out in about 10 seconds flat. Truly, it’s a talent…


For example, I was walking down the street last week and while looking down at my phone I asked the first person I saw for directions. Innocent, enough right? 5 minutes later he was offering me a gram! That is not a rare story. It might be the person I randomly sit next to at the bar or on the bus. I could be in a city I’ve never been to before, not knowing a soul, and still shit would find me. Without even looking for it! Like…wot da funk? I dunno man, it’s got to be some kind of pheromone thing! If I really try to analyse it, maybe it’s something to do with micro movements. Unconsciously we must recognise the slightest of similarities in each other and find that attractive and familiar. Things like dilated pupils, slight twitches, sniffling, shuffling, chomping, chewing, eye movements and skin texture. Then there are subtle things that are said or done, that to the outside observer have nothing to do with addiction but would be clear as day to another user. It’s a match made in junkie heaven…or hell if you are in recovery like me.

trippy disney cocaine drugs lsd acid psychedelic Alice In Wonderland Drogas psicodelico psicodelia nebulosa alucinaciones nebaBeing in recovery is really hard. The reasons are layered and boring but basically it takes all of me not to use. I’m not too bad if I’m around non-users, but if you shove a cake that reads “Eat Me” under my nose… I’m gonna eat the fucking cake! It’s like asking Hugh Heffner (god rest his soul…) to settle for one pair of tatas for the rest of his life, or Kanye to reduce his self-proclaimed God status, simply to King. It’s probably technically possible…but it’s going to be a struggle and you can pretty much guarantee there will be a fight!
 The only thing that gives me hope in my recovery is overcoming anorexia in my past. It might not sound relevant but eating disorders are another form of addiction and self-harm. I had never experienced anything as mentally, physically and emotionally all-consuming as anorexia was, until I found drug addiction. To me, it feels the same. You slowly and painfully torture yourself with starvation for those rare moments of reward when someone looks at you and says “My are you tiny!”. Every shiver you feel from lack of blood flow and body fat, every period your body skips because it doesn’t have the energy to function properly, every time your friends and family look at you worried because you’re skin and bones; all of this produces such an incredible high that anything else pales in comparison. I didn’t used to be able to walk past a window without “checking” to see if I’d suddenly put on 40kg in the 10 minutes since I last checked. I couldn’t go out with my boyfriend for dinner without starving myself all day and punishing myself with intensive exercise later. I weighed what little food I ate obsessively. I exercised on zero energy until I would cry on the treadmill utterly depleted and desperate for someone to rescue me. I couldn’t look at celebrities or friends or anyone without comparing myself to them and of course, always coming up short. I hated myself. Every tiny, waif-like, inch of myself, but I overcame that. Now, not only do I think I’m smoking hot (I’m also super humble), I’m also getting pretty good at loving myself sick and treating myself with more kindness and compassion. So, if I can live in Italy and eat pasta on the daily without a second thought then I’m convinced I can have a successful recovery from drug addiction. I mean, a year ago I couldn’t imagine a life where I wasn’t shoving oxycontin up my nose every hour on the hour and today, although I’ve relapsed in other areas, I am proud to say I haven’t had a single oxy. Yasssss Queen!

Gestalten | Food Art by Vanessa Mckeown

I will never forget the first time I ate pasta during my anorexia recovery. It was a minuscule bowl of tortellini. I lay on the kitchen floor crying and screaming hysterically because I was petrified of putting it in my mouth. Imagine being terrified of pasta?! Pasta is the bomb-diggity! Finally, I ate it. I whaled some more. My whole family were in the next room ignoring me. They’d probably been told to by some psychologist, but at the time I just thought they were heartless ass-holes (Saaaarrrrry, love you mumma..!). I was fucking furious and full of guilt but ultimately, I was proud. Digestion hurt like a mofo as I felt the pasta crawl slowly though my guts that night as I tried to sleep. It was all I could do to remind myself that this could be a life-changing moment, if only I let it. This was a moment that I would draw strength and reassurance from for years to come and continue to do so throughout this new bitch of a challenge.

NeilI could have never imagined a life where I wasn’t taking opiates every day or where I could forget something so simple as the calorie count of a green apple. But today I have no idea what anything weighs (not even myself) and I am proud to say I have forgotten all the calories I memorised during my anorexia (must be all the drugs…OMG JK, JK Rowling!!!).  I truly have a passionate love affair with drugs and my addiction specialist told me that my body would forever remember how good they felt and crave that sensation. But what my body doesn’t remind me about are the times I’ve worked so hard on forgetting. The times I’ve woken up next to someone wanting to pull a coyote ugly* just to escape, or the shame of using after months of sobriety and having to start back at day #1 again, or losing friends due to my shitty actions that I can’t even remember…the list goes on. However, once I was deeply attached to and in love with my anorexia as well and now there is nothing appealing to me about starving myself to fit into a dress or a mould that society has shaped for me. So, fuck that noise! I am a ball of mental illness and insecurity so naturally I am susceptible to addiction and self-loathing behaviours, but the more challenges I’m given just provides me with more opportunities to prove to myself that I am the strong, bad-ass bitch I always knew I could be! Watch this space, because if I can do this I can fucking rule the world! Step aside Yonce**!  partition

*The person is so ugly you’d rather chew off your own arm than risk waking them!

**Beyoncé, dah! C’mon, Lemonade is almost 2 years old now…

 

 

 

What is Love: baby don’t hurt me

I’ve spent a lifetime falling in what I called L.O.V.E love but now that I’m well on the wrong side of 25 and my ovaries are starting to scream for fertilisation (haha, gross) I’m asking myself, WTF actually is this “love” thing everyone’s always going on about and have I ever truly been in love? Let me give you some context as to how strange it feels for me to even ask myself that question. From the moment I could walk I was chasing boys. I couldn’t count the amount of times I thought I had been in love. I could fall in love with a cartoon character if he glanced at me through the TV at the right angle (shout out to teenage Simba, I mean daiiimn)! I got Simba! Which Disney Animal Are You?I had my first love interest in 4-year-old kinder when a little blonde, bowl-cut kid named Damian simply existed, O.M.G. swoon! When he wasn’t interested, because he was just completely out of my league and totally dreamy (yes, even at 4-years-old they’d figured out I wasn’t one of the cool kids), I quickly turned my attention to the stinky kid that liked bugs and kept rotten apples in his library bag. “That’s better” I thought, as I finally got the attention I felt I deserved, and err yeah…that’s pretty much been my life ever since!

teenage simba | Tumblr
I’ve spent my life falling for the weirdos because pretty boys only like nice girls. Or as mum would say shaking her head, “You always did bring home the strays!”. This referred to boys, friends, cats, that drunk I passed on the street at 5-years-old and cried bloody murder when mum wouldn’t let me help the “sad man”, and there would be many more sad men to come as I got older and more beaten down by the absurdity of life.

Generally how I look at men...sparkly pretty creatures...I do love glitter :)

Mum calls me an orchid because I need the absolute perfect environment to flourish but once I do it’s beautiful and it’s worth it (isn’t she lovely, she is me wee mammy after all). I tend to think I’m more like an over-ripe peach. I’m too fragile and have always been easily bruised but then life gave me actual things to worry about (rude!) and I kind of just started to rot from the inside out and fall apart beyond recognition…also I smell a bit like stale alcohol. Being damaged helped me see trauma in others like an x-ray to their hearts. Knowing how awful they felt made me want to take their pain away. It took a long time and a lot of personal destruction to realise that just as nobody was coming to save me, I couldn’t save anybody else.

pin ✧ bellaxlovee

In The Hab (that’s how the kids say rehab, der! I got it off a heroin addict so you know it’s cool) we would get told off if we tried to help others. They called it ‘care-taking’ and it’s a problem when you yourself need healing because putting all of your attention into helping another serves as a distraction from helping yourself. Just like on an aeroplane when we are told to put an air mask on a child before ourselves, we are useless if we don’t take care of ourselves first. Well, I was utterly useless because I was trying to save all these broken men and yet, I myself was a feking dead-ass peach! These days I aspire to live a selfish life. I’ll admit I’m still working out how to balance this. Sometimes (often) I take this too far and just become a down right self-absorbed twat, but in general I think I’m better when my primary focus is on self-care. As an addict I can get confused by the difference between self-care and self-sabotage. It sounds as though it should be obvious but to an addict mind that is easily persuaded to the ‘dark side’ it’s a difficult balance, but that’s for another day.

nuclear

I read something recently that has royally fucked with my pea brain and is why I wanted to explore the concept of love. I don’t remember it perfectly but it was essentially saying that we don’t fall in love with a person, we fall in love with the way someone makes us feel about ourselves. In a way, we fall more in love with ourselves via someone else’s view of us. Seems nice, right? Someone sees value in us and therefore we feel more value in ourselves. Hazzah! The problem with this is that as peoples’ actions and words change (because change is the only constant and blah-di-blah-blah) we can perceive their change in behaviour as negative. Maybe they say “Bye, I love you,” every morning as they leave for work and one day they simply forget. It’s a small thing right, and it doesn’t have to mean anything at all, but if all of my love for myself is wrapped up in someone else’s view of me, it can mean everything.

Get busy understanding what makes you happy and strong and courageous and do those things. Don't wait for anyone to validate you. Validate yourself!Addicted @fabiennetaksieAt the start of a relationship it’s easy to get swept up in the love bubble. It’s what makes falling in love so much fun (and addictive)! We all know how it works. S/he says nice things to us, dopamine spikes like a drug in the brain and we call that love. It’s not a negative unless you emotionally crash when that initial intensity fades and you will only crash if you don’t have self-worth of your own, which I didn’t. But that feeling we call “falling in love” is not love. True love is unconditional. That is not a small word. That means whatever they do, whatever they say, however they make you feel, you will love them. Jesus, Mary and Joseph, that’s a huge fucking ask! Okay, he eats my last piece of pizza, I’m pissed! But I still love the ass-hole. He cheats on me with my best-friend, kills my cat and eats my last piece of pizza… I’m sorry, but I’m gonna smash a bitch and it’s going to be hard to look him in the eyes and send the prick love!

♡ pinterest // sadwhore ♡With that in mind I’ve been trying to think if I’ve ever had a relationship where I know, unequivocally, that I loved someone unconditionally. I honestly don’t know. I’d love to say I loved my long-term ex unconditionally but I’d be lying. I absolutely loved him, I still have love for him, but more-so I loved that he loved me. I loved that he was there for me. I loved that he accepted my quirks. I loved how he made me feel about myself and when he stopped showing me how he loved me, or rather our relationship changed and I wasn’t getting what I thought I needed, I stopped loving myself. I stopped seeing my worth because my worth was dependent on him. Ultimately this meant I ended up looking for someone else to tell me all the pretty things I needed to hear in order to like myself again. Obvs this didn’t work out as I had hoped (coz dah) and subsequently, shit it the fan and we broke up in the most spectacular (or hideous) of fashions!

// In need of a detox? Get 10% off your @SkinnyMeTea 'teatox' using our discount code 'Pinterest10' at skinnymetea.com.auSo no, I’ve never had a romantic relationship where I unconditionally loved someone. I’ve always wanted or needed something from them, whether I knew it or not. I think most of us function in our relationships that way if we are honest with ourselves. Unconditional love is haaaaaaaard! *Stomps foot and pouts* The only person I know without a shadow of a doubt, I undeniably love unconditionally is me big bro. He’s my best bud and I would do anything for him as he would and has done for me. He’s the one who took me to the nut house when my mind melted into mush, he’s the person who told me without a hint of judgement that I needed to pull up my socks and get my shit together because he could see I was causing myself more harm than good, he’s the kid that whenever I felt hopeless could make me smile, when no one else could. Simply, to be around him I feel a greater sense of calm; a feeling that is not easy for me to access. I feel like whichever personality I may be channelling that day, is enough and accepted. He knows every single ugly, fun, crazy, psychotic, depressive, angry, anxious, wild, boring, tired, sick, lazy, manic, slutty, mentally ill, artistic, talented, aggressive, confident, volatile and selfish part of me and he still loves me. That is unconditional love and if he can choose to love me unconditionally, as difficult as I make it, I will do anything for him in return, including love him no matter what. Nawww…shuddup! * blush*

Now bro, where’s the body? I know a guy that can help ya get rid of it*!

Still from Harmony Korine’s Spring Breakers

*It’s me… I’m the guy.

 

 

No-frills Amy Winehouse

I know this might sound ultra anti-feminist and probably a little sad, but all I’ve ever wanted in life was to be loved. These days it manifests as love addiction, codependency or obsession with the “lucky” man of the moment! When I was a kid and teen, this manifested in an obsessive and destructive desire for fame. Yes, as a child I wanted, no needed, the world to love me and had decided that achieving Oprah-level fame was the only way I would ever be happy. I’m an addict guys, I don’t do anything by halves! As you may have guessed, I am not a world-wide phenomenon (yet!… hey, old habits die hard) and yes, this was the an incredibly painful lesson I had to learn, but let’s be honest, if I had achieved world domination by the time I was 16 (as I told my father at 13-years-old I would, while he stared at me bemused), I would’ve ended up like Amy Winehouse. I have no doubt. Let’s face it, I was the no-frills, less talented, unsuccessful version of her!

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I was just un/lucky enough to not have the money, fame or paparazzi hounding me during my recovery or fueling my addiction. I also said, yes, yes, yes, to rehab. Which was my saving grace and the only reason I am alive today. Oh, B-T-dubs, this is a PSA; If you don’t like Amy (yas, we are on a first name basis), no offense but…kindly eat a bag of dicks, you’re wrong! She was a beautiful, fragile, love-personified, angel, goddess, queen with talent pouring out of her fingertips as she strummed, she wrote like someone who had seen too much and she had a voice somehow simultaneously like molten chocolate and as if she had been a pack-a-day smoker since she was 10. If you haven’t heard the ‘Back to Black’ album, STOP READING this nonsense and listen immediately! You will understand her, me, yourself and simply the world better. It will do nothing short of change your life. In my humble opinion… But WTF do I know?

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For those of you still around after being insulted and told to stop reading and listen to music, this isn’t just an appreciation post, Amy is key in this story. I relate to her on a profound level. That worries people but then, I worry a lot of people too so, make of that what you will. Yesterday I visited Camden town where the fallen angel lived and tragically died. I was meant to be going on my very first ‘official’ date with my London boyfie, who will now be known as ‘London’, because I am a creative genius and writer extraordinaire! Anyway, here’s a typical example of love addiction for ya! Let me paint the picture…

10 years ago, when I was 19 and naive to the imbalance between beauty and tragedy that life brings, I was still, well, maybe not bright-eyed-and-bushy-tailed, but I wasn’t the bitter, old hag you see before you today (oh yeah, come at me boys)! I was out in Melbourne for the night with a girlfriend when I saw this handsome, older man across the bar and he saw me (yeah yeah, another handsome, older man. Daddy issues, I’m aware!).

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One of her favourite haunts, Camden.

It was the first time I had ever had that movie-like moment where you truly believe in your gut you have just seen the love of your life. I still remember what he was wearing, how his hair was, his smile…and the kicker, his British accent. Well, I was fucked. I’d fallen in love with him before we even left the bar. Problem was, someone else loved him…namely, his (now ex) wife. We chatted, there was fire, he fueled my intensity with pretty words and we went our separate ways. As I write this from the bed in my friends London apartment where I’m crashing, this is the closest I have been to him in 10 years. He has never left my life but also never truly entered it as we lived literal worlds apart. We have been through nothing and at the same time kind of… everything together. Over the years connecting through the florescent lights emanating from our phones. We hardly know each other and yet we know all these significant moments in each other’s lives. Surgery, divorce, break-ups, children, loss of parents and friends, cancer, drugs, life… It’s been a strangely comforting, constant “relationship”. At times when no one else would, he would tell me he loved me, I was beautiful, important, I existed. I felt like if I ever had nothing in my future, at least I had him. He would always be there, just loving me. See, that’s my crazy love-addict mind right there. I had moved on into a relationship that lasted 6 years, I have had people come and go in my life in that time and yet my addiction would tell me that this man has just been quietly twiddling his thumbs, sad and alone in London, desperately waiting for me to arrive and for our love-story to begin! Well, here I am babe, let’s do this thing! Awks…

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This statue of Amy lives in Stables Market, Camden.

On the morning of what was to be our very first date, 10 years in the making, there he is in my phone, doing what any rational person would do, blowing me off and running as fast as he could in the opposite direction to the spiral of insanity that is me. He wouldn’t even know that what he said would impact me so deeply but when he told me “this” [I] was [am] “too intense” and “crazy”, he just so happened to be the third man I cared about (and believed cared about me) this week, who had said the same thing in any number of different ways. I am single AF and yet somehow was dumped 3 times this week! What is life?! I am aware I am intense (a whirlwind/roller coaster/wrecking ball/hurricane…keep ‘em coming boys, I’ve heard it all!),  but you can’t feed my intensity with hopeful words and fall in love with this same intensity, energy and passion, just to tell me it’s too much now. Well, I guess you can and that’s the problem I’m having.

I feel like the sun (ego much?). I feel like from a safe distance I am bright and shiny and pretty to look at but get too close and I’m just so fucking hot I’ll burn you to a measly crisp of the man you once were…omg soz, baiiiii! Or maybe, I’m just a loud, obnoxious, c*nt who drinks too much, swears too much and can’t keep her dick in her pants… but who’s to say! In all honesty though, I’m struggling with this. I am wild and unpredictable, I know that about myself. But this is the me post rehab, post 100 years of therapy and self-study, this is me working my juicy little arse off to be better, and I’m starting to feel like unless I shut up and pacify myself (which isn’t an option coz I gots shit to say!) then I’ll forever be without an intimate love. I know what you’re going to say so let me say it first! I’ll just have to get really good at loving the shit out of myself so that I don’t need no man! * flicks hair and clicks * It would be nice right? I know this is an unpopular thing to say as a strong, independent woman, but I just question whether I’m cut out for that. Don’t get me wrong, I love myself sick, but my fear of loneliness is fucking powerful and sometimes fear trumps love. 

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The Fallen Angel on the side of The Hawley Arms pub.

So, with ‘London’, I was supposed to go on this Amy Winehouse-tour. I wanted to drink in the bars she drank at, see all the amazing street art that has been dedicated to her, walk the streets she used to walk, sit at the bar and write songs in the presence of her memory. I just wanted to experience and honor her, and to thank her for her art and understanding. After being rejected I pulled up me-ol’ cotton socks and took myself on the tour, alone. I did all the fabulous things I wanted to do and in fact it was probably better because I could spend more time writing and connecting with her but after a few too many beers (disguised to myself as “connection”) I had that familiar feeling… I wasn’t just alone, I was lonely. Alcohol is my kryptonite. It turns me from a badass boss bitch who can handle just about anything life throws at me, to literal gutter trash. I become the definition of white-girl-wasted and intensely needy. Let me tell you, feeling needy when you are alone, in a city you don’t know and a recovering sex/love/drug addict who has just relapsed on booze, is a recipe for disaster. I am lucky that none of the brilliant plans I came up with in my drunken haze came to fruition (whatever you’re thinking, yes, I thought about doing it) and instead I just took myself to a hotel, alone, and slept it off. Called my mummy in the morning for a pep talked, had a little cry in the street and pressed re-start on my life and recovery. Aren’t mums just the best?

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I relate to Amy on many levels and not just because we are Eskimo sisters* (now that’s a story!) but because, although she was already using drink and drugs to cope with the pain of existence, it wasn’t until she was broken hearted that she tried to use substances to fill the love she was missing. That was ultimately her downfall. Her addiction to Blake was so strong, it killed her, in every single way. In fact, opiates like heroin or Oxy fill the same receptors in the brain as falling in love does. That’s why they often attract us sensitive, fragile hearts, before subsequently ripping us to shreds. We are desperate to feel loved, even if we have to take it in chemical form. I think that’s the saddest thing I have ever learned. Especially when you realize how much less attractive or desirable you are on drugs/booze. Here we are, ‘the lonely-hearts club’, using unhelpful coping mechanisms because we are heartbroken and craving love and affection, and yet, these strategies are repelling people so much that it becomes a cycle of loneliness. I am somehow simultaneously attractive and lovable and repulsive and terrifying to the opposite sex. If you think meeting me is a “whirlwind” how confused do you think I am most of the time!? Answer: quite.

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Amy used to sneak behind the bar here and pull beers for the customers.

I don’t want to end on that super depressing note. It’s all a bit close for my usual more objective approach but I was called to write and it’s helping me process so cheers for reading along with me. Yesterday was a day where I was triggered around every corner and didn’t have enough back-ups in place to protect myself. Ultimately, as long as I learn and become more aware, I’m okay. I get to let go of a man who I have identified as an addiction, I’ve been reminded that when sober I am the strongest mother fucker I’ve ever known but drinking makes me incredibly vulnerable and, in a way, although I am accepting that maybe I am too intense to find love (whatever that is, I’m still learning) another part of me is incredibly excited that if and when I do he will be the strongest, bravest, most patient man on the planet and so, why would I rush meeting him? He sounds fab (potential love addiction talking, I’ve got no feking idea anymore)!

Let’s watch and find out!

*Eskimo sisters definition  – you’re welcome internet!

Nineteen – this is one of the first songs I ever wrote and it is still one of my favourites today. This is his song…

Love Addiction; is it seedy AF?

So…what the holy-Dr-Drew (Celebrity Rehab – C’mon I haven’t lost you already have I?!) is love addiction? It sounds seedy AF. Is it even a real thing? I mean, everyone loves love right?! Love is the best! Sure, love in its purest, unconditional form is immeasurably beautiful. But that is not the experience of a love addict. As always, all I can talk about is my experience but what I’ve learned from uncovering my severe co-dependence in rehab, to attending the charmingly named SLAA (sex and love addicts anonymous) meetings since, is that I am not unique and I am certainly not alone. Which was oddly comforting, even for someone as self-absorbed as me!

love is cool

How does one become addicted to “love”? I use the word love throughout but understand that it is not real love you are addicted to. It is the chemical response in your brain of how another person makes you feel needed, safe and seen. You are addicted to an experience drawn from another human being and the problem with that is that humans are inconsistent, changeable and flawed. And even if by some miracle they weren’t, your response to the same actions would change over time. It’s an addiction, right? So just like taking a drug to get you high, you need more and more each time to achieve the same euphoric high you got the first time. It’s the same with love addiction and there in-lies its ultimate pain and destruction. Because how the fuck-sticks can one solitary human being continuously pour ALL of their love and devotion, attention, time and energy into another who constantly wants and needs more or they will fall apart? They can’t. It’s impossible. Even if your husband/boyfriend/girlfriend/lover, quit their job to stay home, give you pats and tell you, “You’re a beautiful, special, princess, unicorn, Goddess!every single day, eventually you would be bored and disheartened again. You’re not an asshole, but your addiction is. Your addict brain would start to question, “Wait…he didn’t say I was talented, or charming, or smart or funny!? He thinks I’m boring and plain and stupid! OMG, he’s going to find someone else! Is she prettier than me? HE HATES MEEEE?!” It’s extreme paranoia and anxiety for the addict, and it’s suffocating and completely draining for the carer. Notice I say carer, because this person is no longer your partner. It is impossible to be equals in a relationship with an addict (any type of addict) in full addiction. IM-POSS-I-BLE. Drugs that the world desperately need. The most crucial is Empathy and Love.   Artwork By : Valerio Loi

Anywhosels, as you can see, the relationship is simply fucking doomed! So, when the person you need to fulfil your every emotional and physical need inevitably fails, you will be susceptible to fulfilment from any other source. That slimy man that winked at you on the train is the now your soul mate (until you follow him off the train and he subsequently locks you in a room until you start to scream…true story. I probably don’t need to tell you this but…DON’T FOLLOW STRANGE MEN OFF TRAINS)! The gorgeous psychiatrist you were assigned in rehab? Yeah, he’s paid to be kind to you! But the ones that are truly dangerous are the ones that actually like you back. They are the ones you end up falling in “love” with and now not only are you about to break your partners heart but anyone else who comes in contact with your addict-style “love”.  Basically, you’ll inevitably fuck up royally due to your (current) inability to practice loyal, unconditional love.

It sounds like some evil master plan but I promise you it’s not. The goal has always been pure. The goal is love. It’s just been a very misguided, deranged, obsessive, societally-manipulated, male-focussed, damsel-in-distress version of love that you’re about to soul-crushingly learn never even existed. Let’s stop on that for a second… The only thing you have been trained as a little girl to desire and fight for your entire life, is a sham. I’m not saying love is a sham. Der, love is da bomb! Obsessive, addictive, needy, clingy, jealous, I’ll-never-be-happy-without-you, love-at-first-sight, knight-in-shining armour “love,” is a sham. Thanks Walt Disney…ya dick!

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I tried really hard to collect men that would love me just enough. God that sounds horrible…! I deeply hoped that if I had the right people that I might just be filled with enough love to survive the pain of existing. I didn’t stop to ask myself why I was in so much pain, I just decided that love was the answer. Pure love would have been, addict “love” was not. So, I did what any addict would do… I binged and overdosed. I squeezed every last ounce of love out of any heart that was available to me. Like a vampire sucking blood, I drained them of their generous, honest, human love until it shrivelled into resentment, fear, exhaustion and heartbreak. When I was finally all alone after using up every last “hit” I could get of the most powerful drug I’ve ever sampled (and trust me…there have been a few), I realised I was more empty, more hollow, more alone, more invisible, and more nothing, than I had ever been in my life. It was hell. It was as though when the hearts I had destroyed left me, I no longer existed. I don’t know how to explain the agony of that. I didn’t exist.

It may sound dramatic (that’s kind of a theme with me), but my experience with co-dependency and love addiction was the most excruciating experience I have ever had. I have had my spine chopped up and put back together due to cancer (that sucked a bag of dicks), I have watched way too many incredibly important people in my life die horrible deaths, I’ve had anxiety since I shot out of the womb; so bad that you could easily mistake me for a shivering Chihuahua on speed. I’ve tried to save myself from the pain of existing in a world that has trained me to hate myself (topic for another day perhaps!) through substance abuse and anorexia that almost killed me…but the pain of losing myself into another person and giving them complete power over my emotions (unwittingly and unwantingly to them) was the most painful thing I have ever had to drag my sorry-ass through. Without comparison.

Tarzan by Joe Kubert (1967)

That’s why I want to talk about love addiction and explore it more, because until I completely fell apart and had to be sent to the loony-bin for it, I had no idea this was even a thing! Yet now I can see I have suffered from this my entire life at varying degrees. As women, most of what we are shown as children, programs us to grow up desiring a co-dependent relationship. Subconsciously we want that big strong Neanderthal-like man to give our power over to (*rolls eyes and hates self for being so cliché and malleable)!  We crave that white knight in the Disney films to scoop us up and take care of us. We expect it. We think it’s our destiny and our purpose and if we don’t find that “perfect” prince-fucking-charming then we are nothing! By the way…sure Prince Chiselled-Jaw is gorgeous and swave but have you noticed how he’s always the most boring person on the planet! I mean, personally I thought I was better than that. I am a feminist, I am an intelligent, strong, brave, “nasty” woman and yet, I still got sucked into this bull-shit fantasy! Da fuk!?

Okay, so… “why me?” Oh, you know, the usual! Abandonment/daddy/life-issues, blah blah blah. Who cares why, what now!? Welcome to step one! I told you I wasn’t going to heal your life, and I’m not. Call my sexy psychiatrist if you want that. But if you do identify with anything I’ve said here I highly recommend going to a SLAA* or co-dependency meeting in your city. They are so supportive and you learn so much about yourself just from hearing other peoples’ stories and sharing your own. It’s truly a beautiful, inclusive experience. Don’t worry, it’s not as seedy and creepy as it sounds. Oh for sure you’ve got your creeps! But it’s not the majority and hey, keeps it interesting! If you have related to me here, you will relate to most people in the meetings. I guarantee you that.
- ̗̀pinterest: @bumblebrri  ̖́-

Additionally, just having the awareness that if I feel like I love someone ‘at first sight’ then I am 1000% in my addiction. If I am obsessing over someone I hardly know, I am in addiction. If I am feeling invisible or lost if I don’t hear from whats-his-name…addiction. If I am feeling manic or euphoric if I do hear from them…yup, addiction! It’s a pain in the tit but I am constantly checking in with myself. I fail all the bloody time. I fail spectacularly, because as an addict I never do anything by halves! But, I’m learning and I’m interested and I want relationships that contain mutual, true, unconditional love, so I’m willing to do the work. As they say in the meetings, one day at a (sometimes-horribly-painfully-slow…) time!

Luv sha!
noone is comeing to save you

PS. This poem is one of the most life-changing things I have ever read. It’s so brutally direct that it smacked some sense into foggy, love-sick, tired brain. It’s now my phone background…coz I’m super cool. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*SLAA: My advice, don’t go to a mixed gender meeting. They exist, but at least for me, it was a really beautiful experience being able to get together and talk and bond with a group of women. That is something as a co-dependent I rarely ever did. I tend to gravitate to the imagined safety and protection of men. Forcing myself out of that comfort zone rewarded me in some really beautiful friendships. Just practically too, as a straight woman…it’s less distracting!

WEB: https://slaafws.org 


Netflix Series:
The only time I have ever seen sex/love addiction represented in media or entertainment is in the new, brilliant Judd Apatow series ‘Love’. Second season they cover it more but I highly recommend it.

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Love & Other Drugs

Today is my birthday.

Let's Be Weird Together

This has little to no significance for me except that it lets me reflect on where I was this time last year. If you had asked me last year where I expected myself to be in 365-days time I would have sincerely chosen one of two options; 1. I would be married to a gorgeous man from the other side of the world, whom I didn’t know but was about to spend an entire month with in Italy. Orwhich was looking like the more plausible option; 2. In a psych ward, rocking back and forth in a windowless room and occasionally alternating with banging my head into the  wall. Shockingly neither of these illusions came to fruition! However, I am currently writing this from my new home in Italy but thankfully not within the confines of a padded cell! Well done me.

Flash back!

One year ago today I was mere days away from completing the nutrition degree that had stolen every healthy bone in my body just to scrape by on passes. I was the girl in first year making vegan treats to take to lectures and getting a buzz off green tea. Flash forward 5 of the most gruelling years of my life and suddenly I am the brat chain-smoking out the back of the student clinic and surviving on 2-for-1 Red-bulls, and anything sugary I could get my hands on from the 7-11 across the street. Life had given me several jarringly painful kicks to my lady junk and I was spiralling faster than Ramona Singer on a down day (Real Housewives of New York reference, get caught up people)! Add to this a hideous break-up, watching my best friend slowly and painfully die, dad go “missing” and subsequently be found dead, chronic physical pain, my final semester of my degree (treating actual human patients…wot!), a predisposition for mental illness and a propensity for instant gratification; it was unsurprising I quickly developed a dangerous drug habit. In fact, anything that might present a speck of hope at taking away a piece of the misery would get a look in.

glitter pills

A “normal” day might include a diet of caffeine, sugar and cigarettes, copious amounts of prescribed yet severely abused oxycontin or “hillbilly heroin” as the kids call it, cheap alcohol, anything I was already being prescribed for my mental illness(es) and if I was really lucky, sex, more drugs and rock ‘n’ roll (okay, not so much rock ‘n’ roll as crying hysterically on the train listening to Sia…but you get the picture). The aim of the game was distraction. The more dangerous, risky or self-destructive, the better the distraction. The problem is once you’ve lost all reason to live, you look forward to behaviours that challenge death. They are the only thing that help you feel alive. Enter ‘Him’, AKA a co-dependent/suicidal/addicts reason to live. Pressure much? Yeah… just a touch…

cigs

I have a theory that loneliness kills and I was on my last legs. I was tired of chasing men that I didn’t even like, and certainly didn’t like me, just to feel like I existed*. In a moment of intense loneliness, I reached out to the last man I had felt a genuine connection with prior to my long-term ex. This brought me to Him, half-way across the world, in Canada (I don’t make life easy on myself do I?). We had known of each other for my entire life, which was markedly shorter than his, however only really spent one evening together. It was 5 years earlier, during a short trip to Toronto.

As a 22-year-old Aussie girl, I felt pretty special being wined and dined at a fancy restaurant and charmed off my feet by this charismatic, older man… even if his girlfriend at the time happened to join us. How inconvenient! Honestly, I spent the evening with her and can barely remember her face, yet his was etched into my memory forever. The electricity between us was undeniable. However, I left the next day and life did that thing it does…went on.

 By the time I wrote that first infamous message we had each been single from our previous long-term relationships for about a year. This was just long enough to still be emotionally scarred but also ready enough to fall into a distraction that lasted longer than one night. As soon as we made contact again it was on. With a 12-hour time difference and half a world between us we still found a way to talk all day, every day. Within a week, we had booked a month-long trip to Tuscany with an additional week for me to stay at his house in Toronto to “test” what our life would be like together (because obviously we were going to get married and spend the rest of our lives living happily ever after! Right….)? Yeah…somehow things didn’t quite end up like that. I suspect it had something to do with the fact we were both living in a complete fantasy land, had never spent any quality time together, were now together every waking second and I was a drug addict, quite literally on the verge of death, and rapidly slipping into withdrawal. But who’s to say!

As you may have guessed there are stories, some I remember and some that have since been recounted to me by a very cautious, kind and patient man, who for some unknown reason, still talks to me. And I will share them, but this time last year they hadn’t happened yet. We were still in our safe, exciting, hopeful, love bubble, that promised a future of happiness for years to come and told us that all the traumas we had individually experienced up until this point were for this reward of love in front of us! Hmm… we were idiots.

About A Girl: Jess Hannah

My intention with this blog is to tell my stories from the insanity of the last few years, my life since rehab and what it’s like trying to work on my addictions, live with chronic pain/illness and how the fuck I ended up living here in a tiny village in Italy! It’s not about how you can heal and improve your own life because WTF do I know, I’m just some chick who’s been through a lot of weird shit and is narcissistic enough to write about it! Some of my stories are funny, many are tragic, but most are so profoundly unbelievable they almost come back around to funny again!

So strap yourself in kiddos, it’s about to get wild!

* There is a lot in that statement and a lot that needs to be said about the damage caused by co-dependency, love and sex addiction but I’ll unpack that more in another blog to give it the attention it needs.