Something I hear on a regular basis from outside my own head is, “depression is your problem, you’re not an addict”. This isn’t coming from medical professionals, rather my own family and friends. The issue of course is that ever since I was 11 I have bounced from one self destructive behaviour to another: self harm, food restriction, drugs, back to self harm, then drink. At this point, as someone inside my own head, I would say that I’m an addict with existing depression and anxiety issues and everyone with their own diagnosis that isn’t my shrink can go fuck a cactus.
The idea of having an addict in my family is absolutely more taboo than any other mental health issue. This shit runs rampant in my family, as does untreated addiction issues, both of which have been leading my family to early graves for generations. But I have the honour of being the first person to openly attend 12 step meetings and not be all all cloak and dagger about it. The popular opinion appears to be that addiction is a simple lack of self control. I should go to the gym like a normal person, but lazy skank that I am with no willpower, I choose to drink all day and suffer horrendous consequences for the fun of it.
I am absolutely responsible for my drinking and drugging, but every sober minute is a personal victory since inhabiting this particular skin and brain is apparently something I find challenging and wish to escape from. Considering how much effort I put into concealing my using, recovery isn’t something to be ashamed of and if the words, “right, it’s been fun but I’m fucking off to a meeting now” causes someone’s skin to itch, then that’s on them, not me.
The final fucked up point of this post is “yuck, your feelings are not contagious” which is phrase I just decided I liked whilst in the shower. Because I have been unwell (i.e. mentally unstable), my behaviour is under a microscope of twattishness. If I hold a conversation with someone, I’m informed or even better, I overhear, that I am deemed “manic” even though my doctor will verify that I have zero history of this. If i am quiet, which I often am as I liked to observe, read a book and be left then fuck alone, then I’m prodded, informed I’m “down” and repeatedly asked “what’s wrong with you?” To which apparently any answer I give is inappropriate.
Not knowing who I am in terms of an inherent sense of self has been a problem for a while. It was one of the first things I sacrificed at the altar of the booze. However now I’m sober and there is a sense of…something inhabiting this particular body, I find that I’m discovering new things about myself every day and not permitting the feelings of others to dictate how I feel within myself is a big thing that’s just started happening, hence the “yuck, your feelings are not contagious”.
As it turns out, I’m introverted, need plenty of time alone, love to read, like coffee, hate reality television, I’m obsessed with Hannibal and all related books etc, I like William Blake’s art, I don’t like biographies, I don’t enjoy debates, I like walking in forests, I like opera music, I don’t like tuna as much as I thought I did and I’m better with kids than in thought I was.
That list most likely sounds stupid, but everything on there was like a hazy thought since I was often drunk or in such a bad place that any idea of who I was kept floating away just out of my grasp.