Why Do I Do This To Myself All The Time?
I make a list of all the things I need to pay today and I stare at it helpless for about a minute.
This is a pointless exercise. Adding up what you owe when you have no money to your name at all is crazy.
I have no cigarettes, no booze, and no drugs. Yes, those are first on my list, they always are. I have no money, no food, and lots and lots of bills to pay, including my rent. How come it seems I need to pay rent more often than I get paid?
Each month I sit at my table and do the same thing. Each month it doesn’t help me at all. Why do I bother? Is money just going to fly out of the paper at me?
I hear my mother’s voice in my head saying that money doesn’t grow on trees.
Then I hear my father’s voice in my head saying not to buy anything if you don’t have the cash to buy it. Never buy on credit.
Yeah, I know all that, but this is ridiculous.
Every month I pay my credit card first, then draw as much as I can out of it again to pay the amount due on another credit card and I bounce that money around as much as I can.
But each time I pay a credit card the interest and bank fees get deducted off. Then I have less money to pay the next credit card or loan with.
I’ve taken out loans all over the place.
I pay no attention to the interest rate, the installments amounts… nothing. I just want to get out of the immediate trouble I am in and then refuse to face the consequences of those actions.
Each time I take out a loan I make myself believe this is the answer.
I try and get the biggest amount possible all the time, my intentions are to try and consolidate my debt and pay off as much as I can off all my loans and credit cards so that I can manage to pay back my debt.
Each time I do something stupid when the money comes through. I buy some nice things. I have a fat party. I buy drugs…
In a flash, the money is all gone and I have not paid anything off.
But things will come right sometime. I know they will. It will be ok.
I push the notepad out of my way because I have wasted enough energy worrying about something I can do nothing about right now.
So what problem am I facing right now and can I do something about that? I have no drugs, no alcohol, and no cigarettes.
I have no petrol in my car and the red light has been flashing for two days. I just know it won’t make another trip to work.
What To Do?
I’m going to go out. That much is clear in my mind. I start thinking about who I can call for money that I can get hold of right now.
I’m a bit stuck here too. I have pushed my family and my friends’ good nature too far lately. I know I can borrow money from them again one day but today is not that day. That will be looking for trouble.
A plan starts forming in my mind and I wonder if I am completely crazy. Best case scenario I will manage to get a few drinks and maybe smoke or two. Worst case scenario I will get nothing and be stranded with a car that has no petrol. The fact that my car will be stranded somewhere even if my plan works well is pushed away.
I rationalize this problem with myself by saying well if I go nowhere then tomorrow when I try and make it to work I will be stranded anyway right? So what is the difference?
Happy as a pig in poop, now that I have a plan. I go and get dressed and put loads of make upon.
I jump in my car and make a conscious decision to have fun no matter what happens. I won’t worry about anything until it happens.
It is quite pointless worrying about something that hasn’t happened yet, isn’t it?
As I start the car I scratch around in the overflowing ashtray for some stompies (cigarette butts). I pick out one that has a little bit left and light it up.
See life isn’t so bad, I still have stompies!
And off I go.
My journey takes me halfway between my home and my destination but I was wise. I purposely drove along the main road so that there would be the most traffic so I can hitch a ride.
Now, most people would probably try and make it back home somehow, but not me. I won’t let something small like this stand in my way.
I quickly grab a few more choice stompies, jump out my car and lock it.
Yes, I am on the main road but not in the best of areas so I hold my keys in my hand with the sharp bittie through my fingers so I can poke someone’s eye out of they try and mug me.
I start giggling thinking how pissed off someone will be to mug me. No money, a petrol-less dinged up car that is in for repairs more often than in action, and a few stompies.
Yip, That Is All I Have To Offer.
I start thinking, if you can get my car started you can have it. This thought makes me laugh out loud.
A car is driving past so I smile and stick out my thumb. They must’ve seen me laughing like a crazy woman all on my own because it seems like they are speeding up. I pull a zap at them just because I can.
Luck is on my side, the next car that comes by stops for me.
I tell the guy where I am going and I hope like mad he is not an axe murderer. I look around the car and quickly see that he is a smoker. I put on my sweetest smile and say I have left my cigarettes at home, please may I bum one.
He happily gives me one and I know this is going to be a good night.
I jump out a little while later and take a short walk to the pub I wanted to go to. It is a pool pub which I love. I really like playing pool.
Unfortunately, I have no money for pool tonight and nobody to play with either.
I put on my happy and friendly face and walk up to the bar. I choose a bar chair a few seats away from a group of men.
First I make sure that they notice I am scanning the room like I am looking for someone. I then look at my watch and sit down.
The barman walks up and asks me what I want to drink. I tell him it is fine, I am meeting someone here first and I will wait until he comes before I order.
After a few minutes, I pull my mobile out of my bag like I am checking for messages. Then I ask the barman for a glass of water with ice and lemon, please.
Again I pull out my phone and dial my message box and listen while nobody picks up.
One of the men from the group come and offer me a drink. I pretend like I am torn…. I tell him I would love to but I am actually waiting for a date.
He laughs and tells me that my date is already late, so even if he does pitch it will be good for him to have a bit of competition!
I giggle in a flirty way and say well then thank you I would love a drink.
These lovely chaps continue to keep the drinks flowing. Every now and then one sympathizes with me for being stood up and it takes me a moment to click what he is on about.
I think back to earlier in the evening about how miserable I was. Now I have booze and company that dotes on me. Funny how the wheel turns.
Suddenly the bar is getting emptier, most of the group of men have left and there are only two left now.
I am starting to worry, are they also wanting to leave now and then what do I do. I guess I will just have to try and make it home… or something.
One of the guys suggested we leave and invited me to go with. I happily went along.
Did Problem-Solve For Now Right?
We go to one of their flats and it is stocked nicely with booze. Then one of them pulls out some cocaine.
I am so stoked and can’t get over my luck. I wonder how exactly I managed to get this so right.
Maybe birds of a feather just gravitate towards each other?
The coke doesn’t last long between us. I am getting annoyed because they cut such small wimpy lines but I can’t say anything because they are being so sweet and I am being a leech.
Now I can’t figure out what to do so I just wait for what feels like an eternity for one of the guys to make the suggestion of more cocaine.
They look at their watches and wonder if they can bother their dealer so late. What? No ways, of course, you can. It’s only 2 am and they are dealers, right?
No, they are too worried they will upset him so I tell them no worries I know someone that will deliver no problem.
I act all embarrassed and say that I just don’t have any money because when my date invited me out he insisted he pays so I never bothered with my purse…
They said they will happily pay, they will meet him down the road where the ATM is so they can draw the money. Bonus!
I ring my dealer and make arrangements. He asks about the money I owe him and I said I am bringing him new business and they are paying… fine he’ll come.
The deal goes down without a hitch and we are all back at the flat again, drinking and snorting away.
It’s now after 4 am and it is clear the night is over. I tell the guys thanks for an amazing night but I really must get back home.
They look at each other and then at me. It is an uncomfortable moment. Obviously they don’t feel like driving me anywhere, so I put on my brave face and thank them for a lovely evening and I walk towards the door.
They jump up and offer to give me a lift. I tell them they really don’t need to do that. They say it is no problem.
They ask me if my car is at the pub and before I can stop myself I tell them where my car is. They both give me a very strange look.
I smile and say don’t worry it’s a long story.
I wonder if I should feed them a long sob story and see if they get me some petrol money but I am too proud right now to do that.
So they drop me off at my car and they wait behind me, being gentlemen, waiting for me to drive off safely before they leave.
I get out my phone and pretend to be on a call and wave happily at them. They turn around and drive off.
Now I am sitting in my car in a dodgy area and it is nearly 5 am.
OK think Lynne, think!
First thing is to get home. I can think about nothing but getting to the safety of my home. My nerves are on edge now from too much booze and cocaine and no sleep.
Also, I must get to work. But first I must get home so I can have a shower, brush my teeth, and change my clothes.
I get back out of the car and stick my thumb out for a ride.
I am not feeling nearly as confident or happy hitchhiking as I was on my way out. I look totally wired. I look like I’ve been out all night doing drugs and drinking. The type of people driving on the road has changed.
Twenty minutes ago the people on the road were the late partiers, the die-hards. People like me.
Not anymore. Now the people on the road are all wearing suits, they’ve slept all night and they all look and probably smell fresh.
This is going to be embarrassing but I must just suck it up.
I need to get on with it because I mustn’t be late for work.
It is light now and people are staring openly at me.
I feel so exposed and stupid.
I now feel like those guys weren’t actually enjoying my company but they didn’t know what to do with me.
Paranoia creeps through me as I trot down the main road in my high heels, short skirt, and messed up makeup.
I’m just walking with my head down now and not bothering to put out my thumb.
I wonder if it would look more stupid if I took off my heels and walked barefoot because my feet are killing me now. I suddenly feel so tired and emotionally wrecked.
A car pulls up and I turn smiling, trying not to look too fucked up and a man winds down his window.
He offers me a lift but I get a chill down my spine. He really wants me to get in the car, he looks like the cat that got the cream.
I look around at the few cars on the road and say no thank you. I love a walk at this time of the morning.
The smile disappears. His face turns ugly and he tells me I must go fuck myself like the whore that I am. He pulls off and is gone.
It takes me nearly two hours to walk home. A long, painful two hours partly with my high heels on and partly barefoot.
I am so grateful to see my road and as I walk around the corner my road my heart jumps into my throat.
There is my landlady pulling her car out of the house, leaving for work. I duck back around the corner.
My landlady is a lovely woman, she has a nice house and she lives with her two young daughters. I rent a homely granny flat at the back of her property.
Or maybe I should say I screw her over every month since I don’t pay her rent very often. Bumping into her in normal circumstances is uncomfortable for both of us. She wants her money. She is a single mom and needs it to supplement her income. But she is also kind and believes all the bullshit I feed her so she feels sorry for me.
I want to be a good person. I want to pay for her. I have every intention to pay for her. But I just don’t.
I hope she didn’t see me and now I wonder which way she will drive. Will she come past me?
Please Oh Please Don’t!
She turns the corner and looks me straight in the face. I smile and wave, turn away, and quickly rush to the house.
The look of shock on her face knocked me badly.
Just in case she has come back to talk to me I open and close the main gate as fast as I can, locking it, and then I run as fast as I can down the garden to my little gate.
I unlock it, rush in, and lock it behind me. I get inside my flat and lock the door. I run down the length of my flat and I close all the windows and all the curtains. I am sure she has spare keys for my gate and my flat. Don’t most landlords?
I go and put the chain on the door and change the setting on the yale lock so it can’t be unlocked from outside.
OK, I am safe, I am in my sanctuary.
I look at my watch. It is now 7h30am and I am a mess.
Now I’ve done it. How do I get to work in 30 minutes?
I try and come up with a great plan but it sinks in that just having a shower and cleaning myself up will take that amount of time or more.
Even if I had enough time to run down to the train station and get a train, bus, or taxi to work I don’t have any money for transport.
My car is sitting on the side of the road a two-hour walk away and I don’t have any petrol for it.
I call my work and tell them I have a stomach bug. I am so sorry but I can’t make it in.
I’m told to get a doctor’s note which I have to give in on Monday. I say I will make it to a doctor as soon as I stop shitting, it’s really bad you know.
I Put The Phone Down.
I am racking up sick days like there is no tomorrow. It is not my fault, really. I did intend to be at work. I just can’t figure out how to get there.
Even if I didn’t go out last night I would still have gotten stuck halfway to work and I still would have had to phone in with an excuse.
I feel pathetic. I can feel that my time is running out. Everything is closing in on me. The lies, the damages, the sick days.
I can feel that everyone has had enough of me and sooner or later everything is going to catch up with me.
Do you want to share your story & inspire others in their journey to recovery? Write to firstname.lastname@example.org
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