Warning – this post is intense and may be hard to read for some people but it needs to be said.
I’m not perfect. In fact, I am far from perfect. I never will be perfect, and I never want to be perfect – that would just be boring. I am a human being who has been handed a shit hand of cards and I have to play those cards, deal with losing and pick up the pack and start winning.
Mental Health and Addictions aren’t glamourised per se, but no-one really talks about what it’s REALLY like. I think this is bullshit, not that I want people to feel sorry for me or have any sympathy for me but so that people can really understand the torture we go through.
I am suffering at the moment, and it’s my fault, my problem and I have to deal with it. I’ve done no wrong (at least not on purpose) but my head has fucked with me and has slowly taken me back in to some of my old behavioural patterns without me realising. The difficulty with this is it’s a mental thing, a mental addiction that I’m suffering from at the moment. It’s not as easy as just putting down a drink, putting down a joint etc. I am having to totally change the way I am thinking and feeling so that I don’t ruin any more relationships. It sounds easy – ‘just don’t think about it, distract yourself’… yeh, right, easy for you to say!! We live with these nagging voices in our heads that tell us we can’t do it, we’re useless, everyone will leave us, no one loves us etc etc. And it is fucking bullshit!!!! It’s torture!! And trying to shut those voices up whilst trying to change the way we think and feel at the same time is crippling.
Yesterday, I was suffering horrendously, those voices were going wild, I was in the full grips of the evil withdrawal and it was almost like I was possessed. I could feel it getting worse and worse as it was coming on and I ended up curled in a ball rocking back and forth screaming a blood curdling scream like I was being murdered. I don’t know where this scream came from but it just tore out of me and was echoing around the room. My poor dog, Crunchie, was doing her best to cheer me up and lick away the tears but it just was relentless. Recently, I saw the play ‘People, Places and Things’ in the West End which is about a young woman going in to rehab and going through withdrawal. I know ‘normal’ people who have seen it will have come out going ‘well, that was a bit extreme, I’m sure it’s not that bad’ but they have NO idea. To give you a little insight in to the scene I’m describing, she is in her room in rehab – she’s trying to have a conversation with one of the members of staff as the withdrawal starts kicking in. She starts pacing the floor, getting a bit fidgety, scratching her arms, rubbing her face, pulling her hair. Then it starts getting worse, she’s pacing the floor faster, trying to tear her skin off her arms and legs, panicking. Then the screaming starts, real guttural blood curdling screams as if she’s possessed and then she falls to the floor. Sounds extreme right? That’s what it is actually like to go through withdrawal and I’ve never seen or heard it described more accurately. You feel like there is a caged animal inside you, going wild and escaping, tearing its way out of your body. The anxiety is like a bull storming around your chest, head butting your heart and trying to burst out. The voices that tell you you’re not worth it are screaming at you with megaphones and a loud screeching brass band and drums, trying to get you to give in and relapse and then something happens – this is when I fell to the floor shaking and all goes silent. I would never wish this experience on my worst enemy. The frustrating thing is, yes, it’s my fault. I know it’s my fault, I put myself in this position and I’m fucking well going to beat these voices and demons and I’m going to do it. I am sick – it’s not an excuse for my behaviour or for the things I’ve done, I am mentally ill. And I admit it, I’m not going to shy away from it, it’s the truth. So I now have to work on getting myself better and build things back up again, healthily.
One thing I’m really proud of myself for doing during the torture is I made a cake. A Blood Orange traybake. It could have been better but from the photo below you can probably tell I wasn’t too happy or being too gentle!
Here is the recipe I used, it was delicious I’m not gonna lie, and it was just something nice and easy to make whilst I was being tormented and it helped me get through. Plus, cake is always awesome!!
Blood Orange Drizzle Cake
175g unsalted Butter
175g Caster Sugar
175g plain flour
1tsp baking powder
2 tbsp milk
pinch of salt
3 blood oranges, zested and squeezed
3tbsp icing sugar
Pre-heat the oven to 180c and grease or line a swiss roll tin.
Cream together the butter and sugar until it’s nice and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Add a tbsp (can add more if you want the sponge more zingy!) of orange zest and mix in.
Sieve together the flour and baking powder and stir in to the wet mix. Add the milk and stir until the mix is nice and smooth.
Pour the mix in to the tin, smooth it down as best as possible and bake in the oven for about 15minutes until it is golden on top and springy to the touch.
Whilst it is baking – mix together the blood orange juice, the rest of the zest and the icing sugar.
Once the sponge is cooked, turn it on to a wire cooling rack and drench in the juice mix. Allow to cool and then tuck in with a nice cuppa tea!