Tag Archives: addiction

I’m Anxious, Not An Addict

When I twizzle a lock of golden hair around my finger until the snap of strands sound, it isn’t because I am a giddy girl in the throes of flirtation. The notion of a partner has always been more terrifying to me than it has been enticing. I am anxious, not infatuated.

When I still my body and seek shadows as my environment becomes overpopulated, it isn’t because I perceive myself as being too good for the companionship of my peers. Burrowing myself in the retreat of solitude ceases the treacherous spinning of yarns in which my mind becomes knitted. I am anxious, not arrogant.

>When I disguise my ears beneath headphones and disappear into mind and melody, it isn’t because I believe what you are saying to be worthless. Music muffles the suspicion that your words are weapons aiming to tell me that I am less than worthy… The music serves to embellish the background of a life to which I do not feel I belong. I am anxious, not inconsiderate.

When I press a beverage to my lips with alarming frequency and gulp the contents as we share a meal together, it isn’t because I’ve been in urgent need of hydration. The opportunity to occupy my hands and excuse my silence is a subconscious motivator that drowns both tongue and words. I am anxious, not thirsty.

When I consume a disturbing amount of liquor as we sit amidst a gaggle of strangers, all erupting with their own characters that mesh into the night air, it isn’t because I want to be instantaneously inebriated. The liquor only serves to dissolve the walls in which I am enveloped. I am anxious, not an alcoholic.

When my teeth rip the skin from the beds of my fingers until they drip scarlet sheets, my habit is not a statement about my past. Tearing flesh from fingers and feet means I am easing my emotions NOW, not fixating on occurrences back THEN.  I am anxious, not time locked.

When I self-medicate in my spare time until I have merged the darkness of reality with the comfort of neutrality, it isn’t because I found a moment too mundane to endure. My vices aid in alleviating an internal battle so that I am less war and more warrior. I am anxious, not an addict.

When blackened universe speckled with stars form before my eyes as panic attacks and renders my lungs redundant, it isn’t because I want a spotlight shone on me. My heart pounding faster until it unites with my throat isn’t a contrived act in a bid for your attention.  I’m anxious, not desperate.

When you think you can analyse my every action, and neatly label me with a diagnosis so as to know which box to shove me in to and find the shelf to hide me on, know that I am more than my panic attacks and mental disturbances, more than my emotional dysregulation and paranoid withdrawal. I am anxious, not a statistic.

My reactions to this world should not warrant me a stranger riddled with a disease, to be avoided, to be ignored, to be viewed as lesser than and unfit for the reality of this life. I am anxious, not incompetent.

I am anxious, not ill.



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.

When Weight Equals Worth

We are inundated with quotes encouraging change. “Be the change you want to see”, they tell us. “If you do what you have always done, you will get what you have always gotten”, they encourage. And although married to the written word, it becomes glaringly apparent that words are powerless without the more tangible side of things –action. Positive affirmations and inspiring mementos will do wonders for the sense of spirit, but if left in the realm of thought alone and never manifested into the physical plane all we will be is Good Intention, Bad Follow-Through.

Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change. I possess neither the stature nor the metabolism of a runway model. In typical Amy fashion I miss the mark by a few centimetres, and as my frame is naturally inclined toward the hourglass figure all I can do is (primarily express gratitude, as this allows easy shading to transform what is on the canvas into a presentable portrait) work with what I have in the time that I have it. You’ve got to use what Mother Nature gave you before Father Time takes it away, after all. I am destined to live a commercially flawed existence, and although I am not designed to have the structure nor the beauty of Cara Delevingne I am here. I exist. And I am Now.

The courage to change the things I can. Age has found me putting the grams down, but picking kilograms up in their absence. Over the course of a year, I have substituted heavy nights with heavy meals, a lack of sleep with a surplus of sweets, days of caloric deficits with months of kilojoule excesses. An astounding 9 kilograms of pure fat have sought asylum on my figure, and I’ve fed in to their plight. As my stomach has distended and the denial of my enlarging hips no longer plausible after another pair of jeans has fallen prey to the damned Tumble Dryer Syndrome, so too has my self-worth diminished in a feeding frenzy.  As a woman, I have somehow bought in to the belief that my body is an ornament, that my self-worth is inversely proportional to my weight – that the less I weigh, the more I am worth. And so as the months have ticked by and the kilograms piled up my depression has been exacerbated by my unwillingness to control the gluttonous consumption of food, and the stance that an expanding waist meant a diminished worth began to bear more weight than ever. Food and I have always had a love/hate relationship; I love what it tastes like, but hate what it does to my physique. Lately I have taken to devouring intemperate amounts of food, as if filling my stomach would simultaneously rid me of my inner emptiness. Cake, cookies and crisps have slowly bound themselves to what was once akin to a dolphin; sleek and elegant, so certain of movements and now encumbered by blubber, transitioned into an ungainly whale whose entire existence has become an uncomfortable qualm. There are those that cannot comprehend this rapid alteration in appearance, who do not know the lull of avaricious immoderation. To them, I say this: some of us are able to insert so much food into our systems that it becomes acquainted with the artwork of our esophagus walls, that our uvulas are no longer employed as bouncers for the unwanted will exit on their own accord, that we ingest hoisin sauce directly off of spoons because we want to eat -not for nourishment, not to curb hunger nor satiate ourselves, but simply to be funneling food into our faces. Our stomachs may inflate and press painfully against our rib cages in demand that we free ourselves, but with every morsel we are only trapping ourselves in ourselves…

The wisdom to know the difference. I can conquer. I have accumulated addictions in barely three decades that I have capitulated to, and when the Rabbit Hole felt endless with no sign of the promised (Wonder)land in sight I have somehow found the remaining shard of strength within me to sever the ties of my vices and emerge victorious. I have read that surrendering an addiction is like putting a tiger in a cage and locking it away –but with a food addiction, you take the tiger out of that cage for a walk three times a day. I have come to accept that eating is not “black and white”, that following an Orthorexic diet isn’t sustainable and that one block of chocolate is not the equivalent of a tiger’s gaping maw, and does not warrant the overindulgence of every taste my tongue could possibly savour in one sitting. Gradually, I am learning that food does not equate to failure. And as the days go by, I am finding the courage to dismiss the surge of serotonin Lindor tempts me with, to overcome the need for the pressing pain of a ballooning belly and I am replacing it with a healthy attitude –both in lifestyle, and in outlook. Whilst I can change the size of my waist, and I can control the contents of my plate, more importantly than that I can rewire the processing of my thoughts. I have the capacity to transform an entirely negative perception into that of unconditional love and acceptance. Because whether or not I fit into my teenage jeans does not determine whether or not I am worthy of love –especially my own love.