At University I remember collapsing when going to get some water. I’d taken a mix of benzos and some painkillers. I always took benzos at uni because otherwise my hands shook, I stumbled on my words, I felt like I couldn’t face it without being numb. The first aid man came and took me to the classroom, where a lecturer (one whom had previously got me in trouble with the dean of the arts for posting an incident that had happened, on social media) actually cared and helped look after me. She told me to eat, have plenty of fluids, and then go home. Which I did. (Admittedly, the reason I took so many that day, was to look ill enough to be able to ask if I could go home, but apparently I took it too far). The following week I was called for a meeting with this lecturer, and the head of the department. They both were warm and welcoming and made me feel like maybe there was hope for me. They told me I needed to look after myself and told me of the university counselling available to me. I was extremely grateful to them, never had anybody cared about my wellbeing at the University, until them.
So they gave me the rest of that month off, telling me to just relax, enjoy Christmas, and catch up the following year. However, sadly, that day I collapsed, was the last day I ever attended a lecture at University again. I was too far gone, down the rabbit hole, rock bottom. I no longer cared about University, or my future, or the subject I was studying. I just wanted to stay in my flat, alone. I tried, for the first few weeks after Christmas, I desperately tried to get the confidence to go back, but the longer I left it, the further I was behind. At a certain point the lecturers stopped emailing, and I stopped believing I could have make that step into the University building ever again. So from January 2018 I just did nothing.
I mean I slept… alot. I actually had a couple of my “buddies” quetiapine given to me as it knocked me straight out. Forget Ambien or Zopiclone, (which I had begged the doctors for, and they had refused… it was only until a time later I checked on my online medical file and found out they had put me down as having a “substance abuse disorder” meaning it’s not likely they’ll ever help me out.) My ‘friends’ (I say it like that because they turned out to be very toxic friends for me to have), said they were concerned. I was always on my own, I always ‘seemed out of it’, I had previously collapsed in the lift on the way to my room after a night of pill popping an boozing with my friend after watching a film at the cinema. I remember being very sick, and that’s when I decided to go. I couldn’t see much, my legs barely worked, and I bumped into everything on the way. My friend who had a pain condition, actually helped me get me to my room, despite her own pain, which I was, and probably always will be, greatful for. Despite her flaws; and we all have them; she was actually very helpful and I don’t know how I’d have made it to my room without her.
Looking back at that memory, I was probably on the edge of overdosing. If not for being sick, I may not have been so lucky just passing out in the lift, aaand then again when I got to my room. The only pet peeve I have with the friend was that she left me there. I personally know that when somebody has been sick, even if just on alcohol, I’d never leave them because of the dangers of choking and then of stopping breathing. However, I was okay. I woke up a few times, couldn’t move from the floor, until eventually I made it to my sofa, where I slept. The following day I had forgotten the move we’d watched, and only really remembered certain parts. It upset me that this is what I’d become, basically.
In terms on University, well, that really was it. Strangely, I did keep seeing the University counsellor for a few weeks, despite her not knowing I wasn’t attending. I honestly wanted to get better. I knew there was no point in even attempting to get sober, when I hadn’t began to recover from some past wounds, the things that were keeping me from being a better, more confident, and hopefully clean/sober person. I’d been admitted to the local psychiatric hospital for observation and a questionnaire, after I had tried to hang myself in my room and one of my mates in the same block of flats found out. He called the doctor and came in with me, and the doctor then called up the facility. I was afraid I might be seen as crazy, so all I did was act as though my issues weren’t that bad, that is was a one off, that I hadn’t planned it in advance etc. (I had already tidied my room, written my letters, delegated where all my stuff would go and to whom, and where what little money I had, would go.) but hearing that might get me locked up, so I said as little as possible.
Luckily they let me go with the possibility of outpatient treatment. I was really worried that with something like this on my files, I might never get to do anything that required a clean bill of health. Now with a suicide attempt being recorded, as well as past self-harm and substance abuse, there was little to no chance I’d ever become a soldier or a policewoman, nothing like that. All the things that would allow me to make a difference in the world. So it got me down. And that meeting with the psychiatrist, was the first but not last time I’d need to get professional help.
Everything is a blur from there, I don’t know how long it was between that and the time I ended up in hospital for a drug overdose. Another ‘suicide attempt’ to add to my ever growing list of problems on my medical file. It really wasn’t something i’d thought much about. Drugs had just become a way of life for me. So when I woke up one morning, whilst staying at my parents house for the weekend, I realised I was in DEEP trouble. I’d vaguely remember taking some sleeping tablets, as at this point, my insomnia was unbearable and I was rarely sleeping. When they didn’t work, I took benzo’s such as Diazepam, Lorazepam and clonazepam. Everything frustrated me. I was angry at myself for being this way. I was angry at my University for not seeing what was going on and trying to help. I was angry at my friends for making me feel like I needed them or I would have nobody else. Like they were the only ones that understood me. I guess I just kept taking things. A few bars of xanax, then a few pregabalins, then some tramadol.
So, as you can imagine, the morning was hell. I still couldn’t see and I sat there, taking deep breaths, trying to figure out how to pretend I was completely sober. My Mum came to take me to the bus stop where I’d get the bus to University. She saw me walking and swaying, barely moving an inch each step, which is when she ran back to me to beg me to tell her what I took. I told her I had only taken my anti-depressants and some propanalol (which was a heart-rate reducing tablet I got prescribed to limit the physical causes of anxiety). She took me straight to hospital, where I asked to talk to the doctors in private. They asked me to give them what I’d taken, without lying, or it could be serious. I showed them a bag full of xanax and a box full of a mixture of pregabalin, codeine, tramadol, lorazeapam, diazepam etc. She told me to hand them in, which at the time I thought nothing of.
I was in and out of it for most of the day, but I made sure my doctor, on the basis of confidentiality, didn’t tell my parents the truth. So he said the problem may well be because of the mix of the heart tablets and anti-depressants. I started to feel bad that the doctor couldn’t say the truth, and could see it went against all his better judgement. I felt like a cow that day, it was unfair of me. So, in the end, I told my Mum. I told her I had overdosed on a lot of things and that is was an accident and will never happen again. (Basically top of the list of addicts’ sayings.) The mad thing was, I still had a bunch of pills hidden in my bag. When the curtains around me closed, I just grabbed a couple of pregabalin without even thinking. Then when the doctors came to check on me, they said there was no sign of improvement, it looked like it’d gotten worse, in fact. So I stayed the night.
That night was the weirdest night of my life. I knew the ton of xanax and box of other stuff they’d locked in the drawer next to me. Like, how is that for temptation?! I did everything I could to get them out. I used a key to try and open it (futile, as all keys are different), then I trued using hair clip to skillfully open the lock (which apparently, only happens in the movies). Last straw, I turned the cabinet upside down to try and reach the pills through the gap that i found in the draw. It very nearly worked until the cabinet crashed ontop of my foot. The doctors came running and helped me get it back up. The one woman saw the ‘utsensil’ i was using to try and pick the lock, and thought I was trying to self-harm. (Which was a good idea to me at the time!). It took me a while but I owed up to the fact I was trying to get a hold of my drug.
This my friends, is when I realised I was out of my head. I was off my face, I was… an addict. IT was the moment of truth. I had overdosed on a mix of like 8 different things hoping it might kill me, then I had been admitted, lying to my parents, then while recovering from my overdose, I took more pills, and then did everything I could to get the rest of them out of the locked draw. Who the hell was I and what the hell was I doing? When it was time to go home, they doctor came with the big bag of xanax and the box of other ‘goodies’, and told me that technically they are mine, but they are also illegal. They can’t throw it unless I say it’s okay to. I said I’ll keep them. In front of my Dad, I begged them to give them to me. I know for sure that I was a different person back then because there’s no way in the whole of my past, would I have let my Dad see me in that state, watching me beg for my illegal drugs back. It was a low low point of my life, and I’ll never forget the look my parents gave me when they saw I was, undoubtedly, an addict.
That didn’t stop me from spending the rest of my University year (now non-existent) partying with random people, giving out my speed (worst decision ever because that could have gotten me in so much trouble, but they asked and I can’t say no, due to my anxiety.) After a while though, for my friends, it wasn’t so fun. For them, they can get drunk and go clubs and enjoy it, for me, I hated clubs. I hated the loud music and feeling trapped. On drugs, I felt I could do anything. It took us 2 hours to get ready one day, and that main reason was because I was cutting and snorting speed with coke. I can’t even believe it even now. Me, putting coke up my nose.
We started hanging out less and less. My friends only liked me because I was the reliable one. The one who did everything they asked, treated them, bought our takeouts with my money. I did the one girls washing up often, cleaning her room, taking her bins down, getting her food and drink, going to the shop for her, making her doctors appointments, helping her walk, cook, clean. But as an addict, I was unreliable. I said no, to doing all her chores. I said yes to me and no to her. I do feel for her, she has a chronic illness and I also have chronic pain, and not to anywhere near her extent, but I couldn’t keep being a slave. We drifted more and more apart and another girl came into her life. At that point, it was fine with me, another friend she could corrupt.
The reason why i stopped enjoying her company was that she’d not ask anybody else what they’d want to watch, what music did I want to put on? What genre did I want? Never those questions. Always “come down, we’re watching this”. I did it because I was lonely, ill, depressed. I had nothing better to do, But when drugs came along, it didn;t seem to matter anymore. We grew apart, and it was pretty much my fault, but I won’t take all the blame for that.
As University started to end, I started becoming a better person, and took less and less drugs. My ‘dealers’ had turned their back on me (one time I took a whole gram of MDMA and I was a complete mess; paranoid, hallucinations, fast heartbeat etc), and the girl who knew I’d taken it and who I’d said I was scared to, had called my countries ambulance system, and the dealers within that group told her my address. That way our ambulance people knew where to go and came and knocked on my door. They must have seen me in quite the state! That was another time of the many times I was admitted to A&E. Horrible, embarrassing feeling. From around then on, especially with my group of dealers telling me they wont send anything anymore because I’m too far gone, I decided to cut back, and after I finished up at University, I went back home to my parents, where I am living now, relatively sober (but not completely)