It used to be that I reached out to alcohol for friendship, support and encouragement. A vivid memory from over 20 years ago still haunts me from time to time. Actually another has just popped up. I’ll go with the easiest to write about first. I remember being 14 and so freaking drunk on Beer that I spewed through my fucking nostrils. I can actually still feel the burn as I remember this. Needless to say, that was the very last time I ever touched Beer.
However, that is not the most haunting memory I have with alcohol. After refusing to drink Beer again I had little choice other than to go top shelf. Pink Chardon and Marque Vue wines although fantastically cheap for us young students still on pocket money for income however I’d done my time with them also. Along came a rather astute friend by the name of Wilson – surname Whiskey. Wilsons Whiskey although relatively cheap, kept me going for a few years.
The memory that haunts me goes back to when I was around the age of 22-23. My sons father had recently died in my arms, I’d given my very young son up to Welfare for long term foster care and what was left of my emotional and mental health went to utter shit. I remember walking along a particular street in Karori, Wellington, NZ with my drop dead gorgeous Trade Aide back pack over my shoulders that was concealing who had become my bestie – Wilson Whiskey. I may have even had a glass in my back pack too.
Wilson’s Whiskey was not only all I had left in the world, it was all that I wanted. I felt so done with people – particularly women betraying me. I felt so done in – defeated by life. Wilson more than nurtured me during those dark days. He kept me alive, and I am so grateful that with everything in this world at that time that I could have chosen to support me, Wilson was the only one that stepped up. And continued to step up.
It used to be, that I went through periods of all or nothing in terms of alcohol usage or other drug usage. I rarely felt a need to do both alcohol and other drugs together at the same time so I didn’t. I also thank the ‘other’ drugs I used / abused, for having helped keep me alive.
I stepped into my first a&d residential rehab, Monday the 31st of May 1993. It was a place in Plimmerton called Aspell House, immediately across the road from a low laying beach. I stepped into my second a&d residential rehab, also a Monday, also the 31st – of January though, 1994. I was permitted to remain there for an entire year. It was pretty much the best year of my life ever – for a long long time. I was 24 years of age.
My third and final stint at rehab was around 6 years later and because I was on the road to relapse and decided I better get my arse into gear before I did pick up an illegal drug. I went through the Taha Māori programme at Queen Mary Hospital in Hanmer Springs. The programme absolutely sucked – although they were quick to tell me that it was actually my attitude that sucked. There weren’t to know that I’d actually been working with people in two different residential rehabs over the last 6 years to know what I was talking about. Institutional Abuse. That’s what it is when people in a position of power and authority are unwilling to point that all critical finger back at their work ethic, their systems, policies their whatevers.
It used to be, that I preferred to hide behind celibacy than to face off against chronic fears of men seeing my body. And a full on fear of white penis’s stemming from prolonged sexual traumas over a span of too many years. I called myself a “born again virgin”. I eventually lost my 2nd virginity something like 12 years after my son’s father had died. It was disastrous and I literally chose to go rusty down there for a few more years after that.
It used to be, that I had a similar relationship with McDonalds – like the one I did with Wilson. I was between the ages of 17-19 when my last parent died – my mother. She’d had a tumultuous life with binge eating and pill popping. For whatever reason, she stopped eating altogether and by the time she was admitted to hospital, her internal organs had begun to eat themselves. She had starved her body that hard out. Not that I’d had a relationship with my mother since around the age of 11’ish to feel a need to actually grieve for her, the comprehension that I was free of parents certainly helped propel me into what I then perceived as ‘the light’. And as you know, McDonald’s has a very bright light, and it’s yellow. McDonald’s nurtured me for some time.
And now I’m on a huge mission to gain control in terms of what I eat, how I eat, when I eat, how much I eat. Naturally I hope to achieve this before my body goes something like ‘fuck you I’m outta here’ and my beautiful heart or something else bows down to death.
It would be a real bitch to have my body bow down to death before I get to actualise the life that I’ve really only begun to create for myself over the last year. I worry about this from time to time. Sadly enough, I worry more for my beautiful cat and who she will allow to care for her if I do die before she does. How fucking broken arsed is that?
It used to be, I loved alcohol, other drugs and food, way more than what I believed I could ever love myself. It’s true that I do love my son and grandchild, very much. It is also true, that I love my cat more than what I have ever loved any living soul, ever. She has provided me with protection – as I have her. She has shown me trust – that’s not to be taken lightly. She has allowed me to participate in her life. And we have a special partnership that I’ve never had with Wilson, McDonald’s or any other drug.