The other night I couldn’t sleep. I tossed and turned, had weird dreams, watched Netflix, made tea, still couldn’t sleep, messed around online, eventually smoked a small joint. I slept. And in the morning I did yoga. Cat pose, child’s pose and cobra pose. I’m … Continue reading OM
Are you feeling expansive, Miss V?
There was no name from the texter, he just presumed I would know who it was.
And by the very use of his vocabulary, I did.
My heart started beating a little faster and I really did not want it to. I placed my hand over it, closed my eyes and willed it to slow down.
Six, five, four three…
I did not want to react to him.
I did not want to feel.
Even so, once I was breathing at not two thousand beats a minutes, I texted back.
I have never felt expansive. I am not in a good mood. And my name is not V.
He immediately got all charming and witty and invited me for dinner.
I immediately refused, not asking him about the other woman he had possibly wanted to settle down with. The one who clearly hadn’t worked out because it is a pattern with him. Alone, beautiful woman, alone, let me try another one, alone, let me go back to that one, no, maybe I want to be alone, oh look, another beautiful woman.
And I know, I knew, all that. It was why when we were done, we were done.
Yet my heart was still beating dangerously quickly.
I tucked my phone somewhere deep where I’d never find it again and went for a walk. Put some distance between me and him.
My reaction had astonished me. I’d thought I was totally completely over him.
And I wanted to feel nothing.
Or I wanted to be able to laugh and say god you’re an arrogant jerk and bye bye see you in another lifetime.
Block him off my phone forever.
But I knew I couldn’t do that.
Because even after all this time, I felt something.
I still feel something.
And I cannot help myself.
It’s hard to explain.
Feelings. Passion. Old hurt.
They all mix together. They’re always there.
Today on Facebook I discovered that Mary had a cheese sandwich for lunch and Joe loves his wife so much he just couldn’t manage without her. Suzanne is in a new relationship with Douglas and Rosie’s dog chewed her iPhone.
I liked the cheese sandwich which already had fifty three likes, wished Suzanne a big congratulations even though it is her third relationship in three months, and gave a big shout out to the dog.
And then I updated my status.
Yo Jo’burg, it’s wet and rainy, time to impulsively buy a new pair of boots.
I got ten likes within two minutes.
I thought about ‘impulsively’ going to buy these new boots but instead watched a tutorial on how to apply liquid eyeliner and admired Talia’s holiday pics.
I have no idea who Talia is.
I stalked an old lover, stalked another old lover and thought about stalking a potential lover.
It took a lot of courage not to.
Instead I checked the cheese sandwich. It was up to a hundred and three likes. My boot post was still only on ten.
Ten, even though I hadn’t yet impulsively bought them.
Facebook makes me immobile. I get stuck. I find myself liking things I don’t like. I watch videos that are ridiculous. I tell the whole world about my boots. I waste an inordinate amount of time.
I forced myself to close my computer, leave the house and go to the shoe shop. I found the most fantastic pair of boots. I bought them. I photographed them. I put the photograph on Facebook.
And then, in a very strong moment, I deleted the pic. And I logged out. I deleted the Facebook app.
And I know it’s only the app on my phone and not on my computer. But it’s a start.
It’s time to show off my boots. In real life. They’re cool hey? Feel free to like them. Over here…
Pic lifted off the internet!
It’s confession time.
I drink a ton of coffee.
I quite like sugar.
I have a whisky, or two, almost every evening.
And I take half a sleeping tablet at night before I go to bed.
But when a friend of mine said Violet, you have dependency issues, you’re an addict and you need to get help, rehab help, I got really pissed off.
I love my coffee. I hang out in coffee shops, I write, I order another coffee, I work, I sip, I love it. And it’s just coffee for goodness sake.
Sugar, well, I know I shouldn’t, but you know, a piece of red velvet cake with my coffee every now and again is very nice. And it isn’t every day and hey, it’s not gonna kill me.
Whisky – come on, my Dad’s been having a whisky every night for the last 70 years and he’s (mostly) okay.
It’s the sleeping tablets that are the bigger problem.
Yes. My name is Violet and I am an addict.
And I get that I’m talking exactly like an addict but hey, does it matter so much? Half a tablet a night? For the last five years? They’re also not gonna kill me.
I mean, they might be why I’m a little bit ditzy and forgetful, also why I struggle to wake up in the mornings, but you know –
I only take half.
And I do at least sleep.
But according to my friend I should be getting medical help, therapy and treatment because all these terrible things I do mean I have dependency issues, I am a dependent person, I use crutches, I am an addict, my life will be shorter, ruined, I will die…
Am I in denial?
I genuinely don’t think, apart from the stilnox and even them, that any of these things are soooooo bad for me.
Anyway, I climbed the moral high ground and smugly told him I flushed the pills down the toilet.
Which I did in a very brave and mad moment.
BUT APPARENTLY THAT IS WORSE THAN TAKING THE FUCKING THINGS.
He yelled at me.
Are you nuts mad, come on Violet, what’s wrong with you, how can you flush them down the loo?
Hey, calm down, I said. I thought you’d be proud of me.
You’ve put them in our water supply you idiot. You’ve put them in MY water supply.
And I’m sorry but not sorry. I hope he sleeps really well.
And stops telling me I have a problem.
I’d like to get out
But these little white tablets
Man, they’re hard to quit.
I tried hard not to spill crumbs on the sheets or coffee down my cleavage. I tried hard not to smear butter over the pages or honey on my cheeks.
And I did try really hard to get up and out of bed.
But I couldn’t. Not until I’d read every single last word of Melinda Ferguson’s new book, Crashed.
I almost felt guilty for enjoying the book. Not just enjoying it, loving it. Because I was never overly complimentary about her first book, Smacked, also a memoir on addiction.
I know Melinda, not well, but I know her. We have kids the same age, mutual friends and we’re kinda in the same community. I’d struggled, reading about things that she had done and had to do to get her daily fix. Smacked was a pretty in your face kind of book.
I have to admit, when I read that book, I was harsh.
Judgemental would be the word.
And not just me. I’d sat around many a dinner table where people trashed Melinda and her writing. Not because it’s badly written, because sweet Goddesses she is the most wonderful writer, but because people felt she’d aired just a little too much of her dirty laundry.
In her current book, Crashed, she’s been clean for fifteen years, then smashes a Ferrari. You’ll have to read the book to find out why she even has a Ferrari.
And then she spirals, out of control, fast. And she keeps on, crashing and crashing and crashing.
It’s compulsive reading. She airs a lot more dirty laundry.
And I have been a little obsessed by it.
Because I have learned so much. Apart from Melinda being very bloody brave, she has opened up discussions and debates about addiction. And not just addiction to heroin or crack cocaine but to social media, to sex, to love and to men.
I have one of these addictions. Maybe two. As do a lot of the people around those dinner tables.
Melinda’s journey of self-discovery really shed some light for me. She gave me quite a few boom bang kapow moments. And I realised how harsh I’d been with her first book. Somebody has to write these stories and good for her for being the one.
I don’t think this book is meant to be inspirational. But I found it inspiring. And helpful. And bloody brilliant reading. It’s funny, it’s sad, it’s raw and it’s heartbreaking.
And really worth a read. Buy it.