The life of an addict isn’t always what it appears on the outside. Often people have a vision of what an addict looks like. Messy hair, bad skin, no care for their appearance or how they are dressed. This can be true to a certain extent. But there is also the addicts that come disguised.
It requires an enormous amount of effort to keep up appearances. I would say I fall into both categories.
One day, I may be dressed in trackies, untamed hair and eyes sunken, then another day you may see me dressed – up, ready to attend a meeting.
Being an addict is often compared to living two lives.
After struggling with substance abuse from my early 20s, there were time’s where I didn’t care so much for my appearance, that I would often wear the same clothes, not bath or brush my teeth.
All I cared about was when my next drink would be. Sometimes that was as early as 7am. I was immune to feeling anything. The drink numbed my pain but the more I drank, the more pain I would feel. Pretty ironic.
As the years went by, my drinking habits gathered pace and it came to a point, where I felt I didn’t see a way out. I struggled to ask for help because the stigma of shame surrounding British Asian females and addiction, prevented me from speaking up. It wasn’t heard or spoken of. Asian girls just didn’t do that kind of thing. It wasn’t acceptable.
Not even having a good job, friends and a family that loved me, was enough for me. The drink was the only thing that was enough for me.
After an incident that occurred in 2012, that is. A life-changing event that could have left devastating consequences.
I embarked on my new sober life. Using the one thing I felt helped me the most. Running. I had always been a sporty person at school and running was one of those things. It cleared my mind and it gave me focus and a purpose.
Until I relapsed in 2015, three years of staying sober came to a crashing end. And so did the running.