I am not sure that people understand too much when I say that I have never not been on drugs. Not anything harder or more serious, I suppose, except for the more rare youthful indiscretions and mistakes. But regular medication, painkillers, sedation – these are things that I have not had to live without for 15 years. I was in and out of hospital before I was five due to a constant neglect. Dehydration, cracking my head open – these were regular Saturdays.
So despite a diagnosis and isolating the cause of my madness and my bleeding and screaming, I am only at the bottom of the ladder in terms of drugs leaving my system. Friends and family are, for the most part, glad that I know the situation and that I can start to fix 21 years of abuse. But the boredom, the shaking, the staying awake for more than five hours – it sounds hopeful and good in the way that a detox should, but it is hard when you are not used to being clean. My liver hurts like a leg that’s been sawn off, like a leg that you can still feel even though it’s dead. My blood wants desperately to be thicker, redder – but my health is not yet in any better shape. For the most part it is a good thing. But the understanding that you cannot undo 21 years of abuse is the saddest; second only to realising you suffered in the first place. For the first time I am trying to see myself as a person that needs constant care and aid, a person that cannot just be a shell. I am sure that for some self-love is as natural as breathing. That bathing and telling yourself you are good and nourishing a body and not being afraid to be proud when you have done something well. But for myself, self-medication and letting myself slip into a routine of nothings was always much easier. I want to be a friend. I want to be a partner, to be bright and funny and helpful at times. But I am only at the bottom of a ladder, and I’ve never been one for heights. Self-love sometimes means spending money and not checking the hob over, over, over. I have some things and a blackness in my centre that need to come out and I am not sure if I, or anybody else, will like the person that I am when it is embraced. To be dark and honest, to talk about death and fear and confront things that have happened – these are not natural. Suppression, repression, medication, ignorance – these are natural. Recognising that I deserve to be happy is not. I need support like a newborn child, I need to learn to help myself breathe and grow. Thank you for your patience if you offer me any; and I am sorry to lose you if you can’t. Isolation, truth, and letting the drugs leave your system are hard pills to swallow. That little three year old girl with curly brown hair and an ignorant smile deserved to be watered and nurtured and fed and treated and allowed to grow; and she still does now. I am not inherently evil because I have been rude and cruel and projected my own insecurities and problems onto the world around me. I am not evil but I am sorry.