On August 31st 2004, I started on a journey that I never thought I'd take. Following an overdose from illegal drugs, I began to walk along the road to becoming clean. It was a long, hard journey, one with more lows than highs. It was painful not just for myself, but for my family as well. They debated where they'd gone wrong. They wondered if there'd been warning signs. But none of it would have helped. In those few years I'd chosen to take a dark route into the pits of Hell itself.
Now, exactly ten years later, I'm going through exactly the same process of letting a drug leave my system. For that decade, I've taken a cocktail of various anti-psychotic medications to help with damage I did to my brain. Back in 2004, one friend described it as pulling the cables from a studio patch bay and returning them in the wrong order. I had to relearn how to do things. I still don't drive because I'm nervous of my own perceptions of speed and distance. I never had the chance to learn because, in those later teenage years, I was too wrapped up in what caused me to finally spiral into a life of drug addiction and alcoholism. One day, hopefully, I'll get to learning to drive and it'll be another big achievement for me to celebrate.
But now there's no need for the handful of pills every night. While I will still have the bipolar, the doctors have deemed that I'm now well enough to look after myself. I get up every day, I go to work, I can balance my finances, all things I couldn't do ten years ago when I was writhing on the floor, screaming for the hallucinations to stop. Right now I'm going through many of the symptoms I suffered ten years ago. Hallucinations, muscle spasms, nausea, exhaustion. But I know that, at the end of it, there will be a bright, new life waiting for me.
It feels good to have reached this point in my life. For me, it's an indicator that there are better things in this life. It's giving me a chance to follow my dreams and take the next step. There are plans afoot for large projects much like the ones I worked on before all of this. I'm scared for what will come next. But I'm also excited. I'm looking forward to what happens next.
Many would like us to believe that there isn't a life for those with addictions or mental health issues. Often the two go hand in hand (I still haven't stopped smoking. But I will, one day). But there is. It doesn't matter how old you are, life can begin again. It may take a major event for someone to stop their destructive behaviour. Or they may finally reach a point in the road where they decide that enough is enough. And there's help out there for everyone. As always, I'm here to listen. Click the contact button and send me an email.