Story contains themes of substance abuse, self-harm, mental health and violence.
Nothing stays the same, I know that now. But I wasn't always so aware of the ideology that life must change to be lived healthily and safely. Instead, I pushed this truth further away and it left me lost and alone in an abyss that I didn't know could exist. I thought there was no coming back. Is this what my younger self would've wanted?
At the young age of fourteen, my obedience to my mother started to dwindle. I started staying out later than I was supposed to, stopped listening to her orders as much and argued more often. Most would say this is normal for a growing teenager; hormones weren't the case. The 'friends' I surrounded myself with was. They were in deep trouble with the law, every time we went out together we ended up breaking it. We did every drug under the sun. The more I sunk a needle into my vein the easier it was to live. I was dependent on it. The metallic smell of the blood that'd sometimes escape my skin reached my nasal orifice and settled my mind. Just knowing the substance was entering my bloodstream pleased me. Is this what my younger self would've wanted? These people I surrounded myself with weren't my friends. They were far older than me and took advantage of my young age because I was so easily persuaded as my brain was mouldable. They got me addicted to drugs and crime so young to the point it stunted my development. I stopped growing, I stopped being able to learn as easily in school and I was almost always sick or unwell. They'd force me to do favours for them like pick up substances from rudimentary shanties and drug dens, leaving me an easy target for paedophilic acts, which on a few occasions took place. Is this what my younger self would've wanted?
My life was not worth living, I didn't see a point in life and by the age of eighteen, nothing had changed. My life was on a vicious cycle of crime, drugs and sleep. I stopped going to school at fifteen because I was too high most of the time and could no longer gel with the school system. The heroine addiction grew and grew to the point I stopped feeling it thus I began injecting it into my feet. I'd get into fights at clubs, pubs and underground illegal gigs. One time I was severely intoxicated. I was drunk and high on a number of drugs including cocaine and heroin. I don't remember much, but I began beating up two other women. I kicked them in the face and legs. I even broke one of their noses. When I finally realized what I'd just done, I ran. I ran as far and fast as I could into the dark, cold winter night. In a twisted way, running from the police didn't offer me an adrenaline rush anymore, but a taste of melancholy and peace. I ended up in hiding for three days, I was living on the streets of an unknown town and it felt like nothing. Is this what my younger self would've wanted? I soon got addicted to gambling and I began to run out of money quickly, therefore I started to steal from my mother. I stole thousands, yet she never brought it up to me. My mother never did try to help me or even converse with me, she just stood back and watched me sabotage my own life. It was also around this age my mental health started to spiral. I began acting out in severe self-harm and my mood changed constantly. Yet I was never happy. I was either angry, sad, or felt nothing. I began having manic episodes where I'd threaten anyone that cared that I'd kill myself if they didn't give me money and took ungodly risks for the thrill like jumping off cliffs into hypothermic waters. I'd feel on top of the world one minute and like vermin the next. I suffered greatly and nobody gave a single fuck. Is this what my younger self would've wanted?
By the time I was twenty-two, I couldn't feel anything anymore. My mental state was so weary it gave up on trying to feel any emotion. I was confined in an overly toxic cycle I couldn't escape. I was well and truly trapped. However, my mother started to show some concern. She finally acknowledged I was in a dark and empty place and started to talk to me about her concerns.
"What's happened to you darling? You were such a happy child. How did that go wrong?" My mother asked.
I just sat there, staring at the wall, not feeling a word she said to me. Should those words have affected me?
"Tell me how it started. I need to know" She pleaded.
"It's all gone to shit, hasn't it? My life. No coming back now" I said tediously. No emotion behind my words.
"Not if you tell me what's been happening for the past eight years." She smiled weakly.
I paused for a moment, for the first time in eight years I felt a glaze of hope. A shimmer of light flickered in my eyes. Maybe there was a way I could recover.
"Everything's changed." I whimpered, "Nothing will ever be the same again. All my wrongs can never be corrected ever again. Why couldn't everything have just stayed the way it was." My eyes swelled with tears but I couldn't stop them, I felt every emotion flow back to me like everything that had happened to me just hit hard all at once. My mother fondled her arms around me and soothed me into silence.
"Change is beautiful darling. You must embrace it or else you can never be happy. You are different." She said softly.
"Maybe you're not the healthiest at the minute, but you went through all of this so you can be better in the end. It always gets worse before it gets better. Change must happen for a healthy life" I looked up at her and she twinkled at me with tears rolling down her cheeks.
"Change must happen for a healthy life". I repeated.
"Yes, my love. You were never going to stay that happy child, it's just a part of life." She proclaimed.
"Now you must tell me what happened, that way we can get you the help you need."
This is what my younger self would've wanted.