Friday, 3 August 2012

I'm An Addict!

Hi! My name's Rae and I'm an addict!

Well, former addict now. Once upon a time, I was hooked on cocaine, amphetamines, ketamine and alcohol. At one point, I pretty much blew my brain thanks to everything I was taking. I was hooked and I loved it. I didn't care that my skin was yellow, my hair was thinning and I was on the verge of losing my liver.

Addicts can be selfish fuckers. I didn't care who was picking up the tab as long as I was drinking, eating, getting high and had a place to sleep. I didn't care if my hand was in your pocket. Hell, you'd better count your fingers once I was done with you. I didn't care as long as I was as high as a kite and had something to bring me back down. Some people may remember me from those days and, to them, I'm sorry and I thank you for staying beside me and believing in me.

For the most part I was a functioning addict. I held down a job and had a relationship. But one day the lights went out. Something in my brain flicked off and on and I found myself spiralling downwards. Hallucinations, shakes, I had the lot. Whether it was an overdose or just my brain deciding it had had enough I don't know. I was admitted to hospital for brain scans and eventually put onto medication to level everything out. One friend dutifully took me to the hospital whenever I needed to go. We spent a lot of time discussing life, the universe and mental health. To him I will be forever grateful. That was in 2004. A couple of years ago I was finally diagnosed with bipolar, something which may be a result of the “breakdown”. I'm still on medication and may be for the rest of my life. I still hallucinate from time to time. The worst episodes see me locking myself away in the windowless bathroom.

It took me four years to get back on my feet. Four years of not working, not writing, not doing a lot of anything. I hated myself. I felt useless and broken, a waste of space and a drain on resources. Several times I contemplated suicide. Eventually a wonderful person in the north took a chance on me and gave me a job. I was finally able to feel something akin to pride.

I've moved since then and am still in touch with the wonderful people from the north. I work another job now. My first novel has been published, my second will be out in October and I'm currently working on my third. Occasionally my brain still flips out, still breaks down. So I still have to be ultra careful, not pushing myself too hard. Occasionally I forget and everything stops.

Why am I writing this? Why am I airing my dirty laundry? Because, no matter how you're feeling, life's not useless. If you feel like crap remember that the sun will rise tomorrow. If you feel like life has lost its lustre, go and find something which inspires you. Never give up no matter how bad you feel. There will always be bad times but there is hope. There are people who are willing to help you. Tomorrow is just another day, another step closer to the person you want to be, another chance to do what you want to do. No matter where you want to be, keep going.

If life gives you lemons, make lemonade!


  1. Well, as I say often, if you feel bored, it is a sigh YOU have become boring, so do something about it... Most people just sit on their asses expecting others to amuse them.
    I love you.

    1. Strangely I'm reading your blog at the same time you commented on this!

      I completely agree and, as we have often seen, many people want things to come to them. They don't think (or don't bother) to get off their asses and do it for themselves. Which is sad, but what can we do?

      Love you too. :)

  2. Oh dear... I knew I connected with you for more than just being a writer. Aside from the thing you and I have already discussed (that you have in common with my S), now I see you have something else in common with my S - Bipolar...and former drug addiction...

    Yes, I knew I needed to connect with you!
    Good for you getting clean... and, of course, all the wonderful writing you're doing!

    1. Yep, right kettle of fish at this end! Thank you for your love and support. I really do appreciate having you around. :) x

  3. I can read this kind of stuff all day. Wish I'd have known this when I interviewed you. Well done for coming off all the bollocks, Rae - and terrific writing too. Wiz xx

    1. Thanks Wiz! I can chatter all day about it. Give me a shout if you ever want another natter. :) Always a pleasure talking to you. :) xxx