I was one of those people who would tell others "I don't have an addictive personality, I'll be right". I don't know who I was trying to convince more; them? Or me.
I was always convinced all the bad stuff to do with drugs happened to someone else, happened to the junkie that lived in west Melbourne, happened to the people that couldn't control themselves. How wrong I was. Cocaine was my Achilles heal. It took me on some fascinating journeys where I would play in the 5th dimension, and not want to return. And on one particular afternoon I almost didn't.
It was an accident- I'd been up for several days, (I don't remember how long), and I booted too much, like WAY too much in one hit. It left me frothing on the floor, unconscious, requiring reviving. They very nearly lost me. The drug had me so ferociously that as soon as I got out of hospital after my overdose, the first thing I went and did was use again. I had no awareness around what a problem it had become and what damage it was doing to not only my physiology and my mental state, but also my psyche. It tore my soul into millions of pieces.
I thought I would never be able to pick myself up and put myself back together and no one could save me but me. There came a time when the love for the drug wore off and the come down just wasn't worth it anymore, and it ran its course.
I survived. Just.
I got therapy, I got clean with the support of my husband, and I learnt to never underestimate the power drugs can have over you when you're vulnerable or lacking on the inside. I learnt that I already had what I thought drugs were giving me. I just needed to love me.
Just as I was.
Just As I am.
Don't get me wrong. I still have my moments that pull me towards seeking dopamine - that chemical in the brain that seeks newness, powerful excitement. But I know myself well enough to know I'm not bullet proof, I'm a work in progress. I'm no genius by any stretch although I have enough awareness to see patterns forming (time off work, negative mind chatter, bad moods, cravings, relationship breakdowns) to know there's a problem. And I'm much better equipped to manage myself these days.
An excerpt from "Made Beautiful by Scars- real women's stories'
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Copyright Made Beautiful by Scars book series 2016