When I arrived in my new surroundings I was excited to be invisible again. Changes never really affected me, in fact I welcomed them. The old saying “A rolling stone gathers no moss” was said to me years earlier and it is something that resonates from time to time.
My new environment was fast, was busy, it felt like the centre of the Earth and I immediately fell in love.
I had started my new job much the same as I finished my old one, I still had my blanket. (my blanket being a big tub of Valium). My intake started to creep up the more I started to go out. The more I started to explore, the more I reverted back to original mode. I was in a new place where connections can be fleeting, so having no sort of regulation only fed the monster. I didn’t let myself miss my old friends, my family, my little village. To mask this I started to consume more and more. I was messaging my friend from the Valley with a new address and a new method of exchange, waiting for the postman to deliver the next batch of blues filled me with excitement. It got to a point where I really started to lose myself and became a new me. A selfish me.
I thought at the time I was adapting to my settings, but it wasn’t that at all. It was simple, I was just abusing Valium again.
Oddly, I was excelling at the coalface. People seemed to like me, I was winning awards and I was respected. All things that I still consider important to me, but back thing, all those things did was reinforce I was a winner on Valium.
One business trip I was the other side of the world in an unusual place. I had run out of the Valium I had smuggled over on the plane, so I went in search of some more.
I entered the first dodgy looking chemist I could find. Finally getting over the language barrier, I stood sweating in the poorly lit shop while the tiny man made a phone call. He barked a couple of sentences and then a hole suddenly appeared in the bright white ceiling. Out leapt a square bag; which shingled as it landed on the table. There, in a brown paper bag, were the strongest forty blues I have ever taken in my life. I am writing this now trying hard to recall anything but the only memory I can recall is munching four McSpicys in McDonalds, then riding round a subway in the middle of no where, to a place I have no recollection.
The business trip was full of people in my industry, many well respected globally. I bumped into to one of them a year or so ago and he made a reference about me being able to sleep anywhere. I was confused, so I had to ask what he meant. He responded by telling me that on the long flight, for about an hour there was heavy turbulence, where people and trolleys were crashing around the plane. He went on to say that stewardesses and colleagues were trying to wake me up and put my seat belt on but nothing could wake me. They gave up and all he could see for 40 minutes was my body being tossed around the seats, sinking into floor then popping back up in my chair. All the while being tossed around like a rag doll again and again. He laughed as he re-told the story and he couldn’t understand how I couldn’t remember as people were making a fuss of me once the turbulence had calmed down. I cannot remember this.
When I arrived back home, I was off again. I had been going on trips to Europe with friends from my valley as a way of catching up.
The straw that broke the camels back was on a shitty little trip to seedy little city. I came home and couldn’t remember anything really but this time with a souvenir on my neck that I didn’t know I had. This little gift had me thrown out of my house and my relationship in tatters. It took a day or two for the Valium to wear off and for me to process what I was about to lose. All the hurt, all the damage and all to the person I loved so truly. My friends were so important to me, they still are. But a lot of the time it’s yourself and your family that will feel the brunt of consequence. We ride the waves of success together but when the weather changes, it’s your family that truly feel the wrath of a storm.
So there I sat in a shitty hotel, in a place I didn’t really know, with people who didn’t care about me. This was the first time in my life I started to reflect a little. I began to finally realise the hurt I had caused the people I loved. I realised the person I had become wasn’t who I wanted to be. More importantly I began to realise it wasn’t my friends fault, neither could I blame drink or drugs or even my upbringing. The blame rested firmly on my shoulders. I vowed to quit the booze, ditch the blues and finally get off the bus!
Withdrawal this time was quite unnoticeable. You read horror stories about withdrawal and I had experienced it prior. But this time, there was nothing too drastic. Some reading this may dispute my intake of Valium to not suffer severe withdrawal symptoms but I am being as real as it was, I can only report truth. My abuse was real, very real and there’s no secret to getting away with withdrawal symptoms. Sometimes its easy to neglect the power of the mind, as easily as it can break you; sometimes it can make you and sometimes you just get lucky.
I was flat out with work, I was in a new place, I was clean (no alcohol, no drugs), I was in the gym; training and eating properly for the first time in my life.
After a few months I felt on top of the world, I literally felt I had cracked it, I had worked out life.
But….. Here came my body blow!
*Coalface – Work (my job)