Ask Me Why I’m An Alcoholic

I have cleansed the taste if you from my tongue. Not with the saliva of another, no -I have washed it with the staunch taste of liquor; as strong as our passion, as bitter as our parting.

It isn’t long before I am seeing double, the way I did after each occasion that your fists acquainted themselves with my skull. Even more swiftly and I black out, not unlike the times your fingers became tendrils seeking my throat as the basis of their support, or the way my eyelid took on an inky hue every time someone that wasn’t you called me “pretty”, and you called me “whore”.

Nowadays, I am more familiar with the names of Jack Daniels, Johnny Walker and Jose freakin’ Cuervo than I will ever be with the multitude of men who attempt to press themselves against me at night, seeing my vacant eyes as an invitation between my thighs.

I am no whore, for were I to have invited multiple men inside of me simultaneously as you so desperately desired, or allowed you to witness numerous men abusing my body until I was as empty as the bottles I now frequently guzzle you may never have let me go when my head prevailed over the idiocy of my heart. The revolt ripples through me and I try sterilise the sin with a tot of tequila – or, you know, a bottle of gin.

But when I awake on a park bench in the early hours with bare recollections of the evening before, yet the anguish you inflicted still screams prominently in the front of my mind akin to the headaches that have made themselves a home in my cranium -with my tongue as their welcome mat- it’s as clear as the liquid I love that I can never escape the horror that your existence embodies. I can never flee the pain you inflicted, and the harsh reality grounds me with as much force as your fists ever did.

And in that moment of clarity I know I can acknowledge the hurt and be hindered, or accept the pain and proceed.

I feel this deserves a toast.

But instead, I put the bottle down… and pick myself up.

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To Be United in the States Of America, or Kingdom?

Growing up as a South African born female with dual citizenship, my Swiss passport has always stirred the DRD4-7R gene -also known as the “wanderlust gene”- within me. Restless anticipation ensured my head was always dreamily adrift in the clouds, and my feet never planted firmly on the ground. By age 15, I had already moved to 10 different locations, had been a pupil of 8 schools and had 0 sense of stability.

This was not a life; this was a lifestyle, a choice I had consciously made and with every passing year, with every bad decision and worse outcome my Swiss citizenship seemed more like the traveling lottery ticket I had won at birth, assuring salvation from a land that was little more than broken promises and shattered dreams. By 22, I finally cashed out and although it had never been my intention to live in the United Kingdom I somehow found myself, hopes barely intact and a future as unpredictable as the demons from my past, on English soil… And here I am.

Now, a year and a half later, my DRD4-7R gene remains the only constant in my life. I have not outgrown it, but I have grown attached to the country I am in. In stark contrast to the third-world hellhole (of astounding natural beauty, and ever-missed idyllic climate), I am in first-world heaven. The inhabitants are, for the most part, both well-educated and well-spoken, their cultural norm of social pubbing not only coincides with, but encourages, my binge drinking, their economy goes from strength to strength and their currency holds the security that has always eluded me. And yet I find myself battling the urge of upheaval. Having initiated my Hospitality Management Diploma course, an opportunity to spend time in the United States of America has never been more imminent: it is possible for me to be employed as a waitress on golf courses in America, gaining valuable work experience and satiating my hunger for adventure, if this is the path I decided to pursue. In one of the 8 schools I attended, I was taught the method of creating lists to detail the benefits of differing options. This post is my personal list for each, so that I may reflect upon, ponder over and inevitably conclude an appropriate course of action.

The USA:

  • The prospect of gratifying my wanderlust-urge, of exploring another continent and indulging in their culture and customs, integrating myself into a contrasting system to that which I am accustomed to.
  • Improving my CV by working internationally, and having it be in the field I am actually studying towards.
  • The agency will assist in handling ALL aspects of my employment, guaranteeing a smooth transition, definite employment and secured accommodation.
  • I will be staying with colleagues in my age range, sharing a home, a life. For so long I have been dependent on the hospitality and housing of those who employ me, those who befriend me or those who are concerned about me. To have a place I can call my own, albeit temporarily, will be a relief. The happiest I have ever been was when living independently, forging a life for myself unaided my the roof of my elders. It would be a shame not to relive that feeling in the near future.
  • Being able to make new acquaintances, and potentially friends. Well is it known (by those I let in) that I am often alone, though seldom lonely. I seek deep, meaningful connections and crave emotional intimacy, but struggle to form and maintain bonds as I rarely seek what I yearn for, and am finicky with whom I am willing to tie myself to. If forced into not only a working but living situation with people in my age group (and with similar interests), it is safe to assume that it is probable solid connections will be made. Due to my nature, the majority of them will be superficial but it stands to reason that I should make at least one friend I will hold dear throughout my life, even in spite of the distance that will follow once our contracts end.

The UK:

  • The currency. At present, this is my primary motivating force as the British Pound is so strong, I would basically earn double the amount of money here than I would for the same amount of hours clocked in anywhere else.
  • Being a resident, in my own abstract way, means that this is now “my place”, if ever there was one for me.
  • The familiarity. This is both a pro and a con. I am comfortable here, and have become accustomed to the country and the way in which it functions. I feel a sense of acceptance, of belonging -and yet, as always, wherever I go and whoever I am with, an outsider. However, nothing ever grows when stagnant. Except moss. And I’d rather be a rolling stone…

I don’t think I even need to go on; if money is my main motivating factor, then my decision should be made already. I have always advocated experience over monetary gain, and replacing the enriching experience of a brief international stint for financial security would be hypocritical. Besides, the UK has felt homely, and like a bird in migration I will always instinctively know when -and where- to return…

I Am A Mason For I Build Walls Around Myself

Loneliness. Each individual has a unique interpretation of loneliness as they experience it. Is it the lack of companions that imparts a sense of aloneness in you? Is it the act of being ostracised by your community, rejected by your peers? A feeling of being misunderstood? Or is it solitude itself?

To me, my loneliness stems from the belief that I am irreparably damaged, that I have been so broken by life that I can never bind the cracks of my shattered self together –let alone deeply bond with another! – that I am so misshapen my psychological model is considered defective, and discarded. My imperfections are not the quirky foibles one can consider endearing, but rather abominable deficiencies so dark the light of day would not hazard an attempt at illuminating them. A sense that although all my broken pieces play hide-and-seek in the mansion of madnesses and I am able to use them to witness, understand and relate to the inhabitants of each room, they are all entire yet fractured whilst I am partial and wrecked. I wander the halls of life, laden with lockers all protecting the treasures of complete existences, holding the promise of potential connections, taunting me with the knowledge that at any moment I could reach in and discover the depths of another. There is no place for me, I am but a tourist, a foreigner –wherever I go, all I am is temporary. Few can get close, and those that do are almost guaranteed to injure themselves on the razor edges of my fragmented remains. In their haste to draw back from the sudden pain, the probability of their mishandling me is likely to multiply my pieces into smaller, less manageable shards whilst inflicting unintentional further harm upon themselves. Broken people break people.

The solitary life has been my default mode for as long as I can remember –I bond, and in intensity, but generally it is exclusive to one person during a given period, and at the exclusion of any other notable attachments. This is sufficient for my needs, but it isn’t uncommon for me to oscillate between being involved and being isolated. Withdrawing into myself and warding off interaction becomes my modus operandi with alarming frequency, and those I love become the ones I lose. The more the pain accumulates, the further I retreat into my own shell. And although externally I inhibit my expression of taste, my inner world is a rich and colourful haven –even when those colours are varying shades of black, with a burst of vehement crimson and an irate blush of scarlet to break the monotony. It is here that I find my solace, and it is here I feel a sense of acceptance; for in my complete unacceptance I am sure, in my faults I am certain, in my failings I am aware.

Loneliness? It isn’t a lack of people with whom you spend your time, but rather the absence of understanding even among those with whom your time is shared. It is a self-imposed sequestration, a selected introspective isolation. And yet in it I have found there is serenity, there is splendour but most importantly? There is safety…