I’m in a bad way I have only just made it to the bathroom before throwing up; sitting there on my cold floor tiles I put my head between my knees just to keep upright. The room is spinning, rotating all around me like some never ending merry go round. I know that this is where I will sleep tonight, not trusting myself to be too far away from the bathroom. Its cold the house is in darkness and has never felt so empty. It’s just me and my drunken stupor, along with my demons, which once again this evening I had attempted to drown. That night had started like any other. Just one drink it will take the edge off…… two would surely not hurt…. the third is to convince yourself that you are in control and not the bottle. You can stop at the drop of a hat, but it would be your decision. You did not need or want any advice, did you ask for it? Why can’t they mind their own business? By the time you get to your fifth you know it’s helping, the pain has receded somewhat. You know what you’re doing it was just for tonight, tomorrow will bring a new day you will stop then. By this point if I’m honest the count is immaterial. I sit backwards and lean against the wall, a bad move, once more I retch without any joy. My stomach is now completely empty, but it seems my system was still trying to rid me of the toxic elements. I then fall into a drink induced sleep, curled into a tight fetal position, hugging the child within me with all my might.
For some of you like me the above is an all too familiar situation, although for me its now past tense. for others your crutch may be different. Drugs are also a path that I know has been walked down, through conversations between myself and others. In an effort to block out the pain we visit places of real danger. Is there a difference? Although this was never a route I tried, I personal see none whatsoever. It’s your comfort blanket no more no less. So how do we stop this rendition of Groundhog Day? The sad fact is that for a time we can’t, the scary part is that we really don’t want to do so. We need the support of our crutch, whichever one we feel supports us the most. It’s not easy to let go of the only thing you feel you have left to take you through the day. You need this to be able to retreat when the world is just too much to take, a place where you are oblivious to all that is going on around you. You’re told that you have to take some control of this off the wall behaviour, the argument is made that if you can go for days without this prop, well then you just don’t need it. I can only speak for myself here, but those words were alien to me for so long. The problem is that it’s not understood that during those days of abstaining, you have been fighting with everything you have in order to do just as they ask.
So how do we get to a place where we feel we are able to let go of that crutch, where we can once more control our urge to drink or take the pills to survive. I am not going to sit here and lie to you, because the point I am trying to make here will be lost. It’s going to take a lot of hard work on your part; it will mean putting your trust in someone that in some manner or form replaces that misplaced security. Take one day at a time. Don’t run before you can walk, go at your own pace not the one set for you. You are the one with complete knowledge of the rate you can move forward. Some days it will feel like the world is falling away from under you, but it’s ok to feel that way. It’s all part of the bigger picture where you grow in strength. Allowing yourself those days are going to be part of your recovery, and yes there will be days when you stumble or fall. Beating yourself up about it has no real purpose, remind yourself that while on this road to recovery, there was always going to be an exception. Keep walking forward towards that mountain, by the time you get there it will have already have become a hill. Change your mind set. Instead of rebuffing yourself for the bad days, praise yourself for the days that went well. It may seem that you are not progressing, but there will come a day when the scales become weighted in the other direction. The good days are outweighing the bad. You will be able to face the world once more, with nothing holding you there but gravity. Stand tall, stand proud, you alone have made this journey in the way and time frame that worked for you. There may still be some doubting Thomas’s out there that are asking can I really do this? You need to believe it was never in question. Deep inside of you your soul was waiting to take flight once more, the only question that ever needed to be asked was regarding the the time frame………

Author's Bio: 

Teresa Joyce was born in 1958 the middle child of three. After losing her father at a very young age; it was to set the pattern for the rest of her life. Losing was something that she would have to get used to. Today she still has some memory of her father, but in truth it’s all a little hazy. Her mother through no fault of her own after that loss had no other alternative, then to return to her parent’s home with her children in tow. This family unit were to spend only a few years there, until the wind of change came around once more. Teresa still holds many happy memories from her time there as a child. Happy memories are something that Teresa holds in very short supply, and she has treasured them always. Her mother was set to meet the man that was to become her stepfather, and they moved on once more to a new city with the promise of a new life. Hopefully it would be a happy one for all concerned, but it became a place for Teresa that felt far more like a prison. One in which she would spend many days months and years hating. Teresa swore to herself that she would leave all this behind her at the first possible occasion. She can still clearly remember the day that she left that family home and joined the Royal Air Force. It was just two months off her sixteenth birthday. Her stepfather had informed her that to remain living in his house, she had to live by his rules. This was a big decision for her to take being so young, but she could no longer live by any rules that he imposed. Never really understanding at that time, what she was really running from. Memories of those years living by his rules were buried so deep, that previous years and events were only a burr to her. Teresa’s Time spent while in the Royal Air Force was very rewarding, and she involved herself in all and everything possible. After meeting her ex -husband whilst she was on leave, she then left this all behind her and married. It was greatly missed and in retrospect, it would be something that she would live to regret many years later. Life as a married woman changed many things for her; the biggest of all would be the arrival of her son. Teresa loved him even before he was born, and he is still able to pull on her heart strings daily.
Sadly after many years, she found herself unable to stay within that marriage. The onset of a set of circumstances beyond her control would stamp its seal, rendering the marriage unworkable. Engineered by the involvement of the one man Teresa had learnt to hate - her stepfather. The marriage was dissolved and there was no going back on her part, that door was firmly closed behind her. Some years later she would find herself in a long term lesbian relationship, firmly believing that anything touched by a man was tainted; bringing with it only pain and heartache. Teresa’s thoughts at that time were that the worst was surly now behind her, but her life was set to make another turn from her envisaged path. It was to arrive in the form of an accident, which once again would alter her life forever. After many months and many doctors reports she was ill health retired, unable to return to work in either one of her two loved occupations. Teresa was affected by this far more then she could have ever expected, she was left alone with nothing but time, and still within the mix of a completely insane situation; it was at this point that Teresa would enter into the mental health care system fully, to have any hope of dealing with everything going on around her. That care umbrella is still part of her everyday life. The loss of her mother through less than adequate health care, brought her pain like she had never thought possible. Teresa saw herself delving deeper and deeper into her own unconscious thoughts, revealing to her at that time memories which seemed so alien. Ultimately her mental health would prove to be a factor, in the disintegration of her then lesbian relationship.
It’s something that Teresa is still trying to come to terms with even now. She now lives alone with only a small dog for company, which in truth she is happy with. Firmly believing that she can’t hurt those she loves, if they are not there for her to do so; to her mind segregation is the answer. Teresa is still unable to work and in constant pain daily. Maybe today you could say that she has once more taken back control of her life, but only outwardly. The truth is she still carries the past along with her, like an uninvited guest at a party. The one that never seems to know when the party is over and it’s time to leave. Teresa is now trying to live her life as fully as possible, through her son and grandson; they have become her light at the end of the tunnel.