Category Archives: Reflections

Just Holding On

Not sure how I’m holding on – but I am.

One day, one second at a time.

Always a silver lining.

When I start to drift away I imagine I’m a balloon and hold tightly onto the ribbon – gently tugging myself back to earth.

Luv,

Isabella.

The Beginning of the End or The Start of Something New?

Saturday April 21st 2016 – I went back to AA a shaking, shivering mess, huddled in my thick parka and scarf, crying and ashamed. Defeated and full of remorse and fear. The Big Book says it all, the program speaks of the alcoholic who is truly defeated and ready to admit powerlessness. With that change came a loss of all of my connections as most of them were toxic, based on shared addictions and my decision to be abstinent and sober was too confronting for most friends. I lost my best friend – alcohol – and then my minimal friendships because I finally realised I couldn’t keep doing the same old behaviours and expect positive changes.

One friend – Philly – said to me “I miss the drunk Isabella” – at the time I didn’t know what to say, yet internally I was screaming and shouting abuse. I wanted to shout, punch and pummel him with reminders of drunken calls, near fatal overdoses, falls and near death experiences. I didn’t say anything.

What I did do was cease contact with Philly who had been in my life since I was 18. Philly had been my best friend for a decade in my 20’s, in my 30’s we still had drunken, drug fuelled catch ups every couple of years. Philly who professed undying love for me, who I had called whilst overdosing and would visit me in hospital when Joey saved my arse from dying. Philly who admitted he did nothing when I called him to say goodbye, that I had taken a shit load of meds and wine – because he was home alone and too drunk to so anything to save or help me.

Philly would try to tempt me with alcohol, drugs or both. Every. Single. Time I tried to get sober. Is that friendship? Is that healthy? Is that fair? Is that love? No. That’s what addiction does to people – it fights to keep its friends close and equally unwell so that the individual does not have to face their own addictions, struggles, pain and self sabotaging choices and actions.

My desperate desire to be sober held a mirror up to my friends and showed them their own sickness – which they were not ready to accept. It was not my place to force them to see their own addictions, pain and chaos created by their addictions. And that’s ok. Some friends I distanced myself from slowly and carefully as I did not want to harm them further. Others turned on me – lashing out in anger, blaming and critising me for my new lifestyle and quiet voice of change. These friends ceased contact with me and it was explosive, painful and full of anger and arguments – recriminations and judgements from both sides. I had yet to learn to avoid or cease the toxic patterns of our friendships or relationship – something I still struggle with today.

Yet here I am – still sober, with a small group of strong healthy friends who only want the best for me. I now seek healthy, balanced company. I seem to be almost “adopted” by people who see something in me that they like. I question their desire to be my friend – are they crazy? Do they pity me? What do they think I can give them in return for their amazing qualities, support and friendship? Are they nuts???

I am slowly learning to accept that others see something in me I do not yet fully see or own. I observe their healthy choices, listen to their love of excercise, healthy eating and gardening, gigs, music festivals, travel (NO girls I am never going to be into excercise like you – that’s where I draw the line!!!!) and, occasionally I ask for advice and act on it.

The only changes I should be focusing on is that of my own choices and life – other peoples lives are their own business. Until their choices and actions impact me – THEN it’s my business up to a point.

In summary –

Luv,

Me.

Isabella.

Joey – you almost killed me.

Joey – you almost killed me.

But you didn’t.

You say you saved me – yet you were the reason I needed saving.

You pushed me to the edge and tipped me over – fascinated by the chaos and tears you caused.

You saw the pain yet could not feel it – incapable of empathy – you studied it yet could not replicate it.

Trapped in your own madness you did everything you could to drag me under with you. To blame me for your cruelty, your complete and utter disrespect and duplicity from the day you moved into my apartment and life.

I willingly let go of the very essence of sanity to explore the world through your eyes. The horror was too great at times – the emptiness in your soul infected me with the desire to die. Be done with the pain.

Yet I managed to escape time after time. I would hook myself into your arms knowing that with the love came loathing and shame. Love? No. Not love. Loathing. Pure hatred of self painted in the colours of love and lust. Desire parading as friendship – cutting each other deep with every word of love.

True insanity from the start – I was finally free of you in 2016.

2017 – I came back for more – hoping you had changed as you said you had. You lied yet again and I left. Yet again. Refusing to speak to you for over a year. You did not stop trying to win me back – let’s be friends. You are so strong. The strongest woman I know Isabella- I’m here for you.

2019 – I was no longer strong. I was weakened. Something had broken inside of me before I answered that fateful call and let you back in my life. I begged you with tears in my eyes not to hurt me, told you I was broken as never before. You held me close and told me I was “the answer”, I dared to believe once again.

Yet from the start, I knew you were up to your old tricks again. Were playing me for a fool. I needed the chaos. The madness. The insanity. The vicious words and humiliation of trying to be someone I knew I would never be and didn’t want to be. I needed your pathological lying to keep me sane this year. How twisted is that? You see, I couldn’t lash out at those who had harmed me – so I allowed you to lash out at me. So I could turn my anger and pain onto you – then hate myself for the person I became around you.

What a vicious and twisted game we played. Yet with emerging horror I have realised – I have not lost my sanity but managed to become strong at times again.

But you Joey – you – have lost the strength you had – you no longer make sense when you scream at me. You have aged immeasurably in the last year – I have trouble remembering your smile. Your desperation to be the man you were when we first met is clear – you yell at me to shut up and turn away when I show you old photos of your handsome smiling face of years gone by. You can’t bear to face the past, are petrified of the future and live to avoid the day as much as you can.

Joey – this year I willingly threw myself into your madness – screaming in anger all the way. Yet knowing I had no future with you – all the while lying to you that we did. You think I am angry and hurt because YOU left me – when in truth I was using you to hurt me. Had never been invested in a future with you – I knew all along it was a charade. And each of us were playing our parts to perfection. Me the victim – you the saviour.

But Joey – I did not foresee that for you life is now intolerable – that your grip on reality has slipped. That with all pieces of yourself you shed, manipulated and lied about – you are no longer a whole person. You are a ghost of yourself – a husk of a man who knows his imperfections too well. And hates himself more than he hates me.

Joey – you nearly broke me, I nearly killed my own essence of self to be by your side. But in the end, we are shards of loneliness, each panting in pain, covered in sweat and blood. There are no winners in this a Joey – I see that now. If I get through this there is no glory – my ego has seen to that – I am as lost and hurt as you are. Yet I have always been aware of my madness – embraced it at times thankfully. Joey – this year you have started owning your souls sickness – against your will – hopefully it’s not too late for you.

Or for me.

As it stands, I worry for the other woman who has been an unwitting part in your play this year. She is a true innocent – you will annihilate her with your sickness if you don’t leave her alone. But you won’t Joey- because you are too afraid to be alone to care about someone else.

Thankfully. I know my toxic self needs to be alone and I will be alone as I have always been. To protect others.

At least I hope so.

Our anthem Vera Blue – We Used To

Isabella.

Towards the Flame – Always

If you choose to dance with the devil do you ever win?

I’ve always stepped towards the flame – not away. Been fascinated by the insanity of others, the threat of danger, taunting others to do their worst and throwing their attempts in their face. Believing I deserved the slashes of deep pain. I’m still standing. Hurt me some more – I dare you.

Speed , scotch and shots.

Speed, scotch and shots on a Sunday afternoon after party in St Kilda. Nothing new or different about the day – I was bone weary, months of sleepless nights and days blending into one. A spinning top – when I’ll stop I didn’t know – yet I wasn’t done.  Falling into bed on Monday nights, sometimes Tuesday nights only to restart the party on Thursday night and the madness starts again.

Matchboxes full of speed – my standard weekend – I was beyond grams, ounces and lines. No measurements required – how much speed does a matchbox hold? I didn’t know and didn’t care. Spilled one in the car? Doesn’t matter – here’s another box. By the way – hold my gun before I hold it to your head – again. I laughed and told you off – as I did the first time you pointed a gun at me. Your name sealed the deal – Ian’s were to always be trouble – and sugar daddies. I always knew I’d be a better friend than a lover – every man and boy I’ve said that to took it as a challenge. They thought they could capture me, that I had a heart under the cold ice exterior. I don’t. I have razors they would slash themselves on trying to prove their worth.

This weekend the Little Ray of Sunshine, her boyfriend and I were at a bar – shots not even touching the sides. We were dancing with eccys flowing through our body – feeling the love and peace. When he first ran through to the back of the club, stark naked, everyone turned to see the spectacle and laugh. Laughter soon turned to horror as the black clothed goons chased him behind the dark, black stage curtains at the back of the club. There was only darkness in the back – his skinny white body emanciated – his ribs stark against the black and red velvet drapes. His  body falling to the dirty sticky floor, the goons laying into him with their boots against his defenceless white body. His cries turned to screams. The goons started wrestling him through the club towards the light of the doorway. Everyone looking on in horror. Stepping away. Away from the naked, bleeding body of the now screaming man – in a headlock – trying to get away from the thugs. I find myself stepping forward – hands outstretched towards him – the horror on his face – the blood on his hands and in his hair. Transferred to my hands.

I’m yanked back by my friends – away from the danger – not fast enough to stop the splash of blood onto my face. The music has stopped. There is a stunned silence. Then the music flares once again and the club starts dancing, rhythms and waves willing the horror out of our minds. Yet I cannot lose myself in the music or the drugs. I must leave.

I stumble out of the club. Into the street. Stark sunshine blinding me. The goons black clothing disorientating me further – where is the way out? What is real?  I see glass shards sparkling on the pavement in the harsh hot sunshine. My gaze follows the glass trail to the gutter – there’s more glass, surrounding a rubbish bin. A street sign. Splashes of red amongst the shards. I look at my hands – the red blood mimics the red splashed on the glass. The red on the pavement. The red on the whiteness of vulnerable buttocks. I realise with horror it’s the man from the club. Tossed into the gutter by the goons. It’s clear he’s unconscious, covered in blood. The goons are looking the other way. Men – boys – hover over the inert body – arguing over whether to call the cops or an ambulance. They’re told be the goons to move on – they argue with them – they aren’t responsible for their friends behaviour – they want back in to the after party club. All the while their friend is bleeding on the footpath at their feet.

With horror I realise that half an hour had passed since the assault and no ambulance had been called. I abuse the goons, the spectators, the friends of the man until I’m dragged away by my friends – it’s not safe to lose your shit in St Kilda.

We leave the scene – never knowing what was to become of the man. That’s when we started seeing blood everywhere we went to party – the times had changed. The drunks had infiltrated the rave scene and the violence had escalated – the crazies were making lots of money. And I was hanging out with one of them – as a friend only until he realised I would never become his lover. No matter how much money, drugs or gifts he gave me – I was not ready to stop partying. He was tired of the drugs. I was sad to see the drugs go, yet knew that the time had come for me to move on.

Away from that flame that had dwindled – towards another fire. My self harming was not finished.

I was not yet ready to stop stoking the fire.

Image credit

Just another day.

Forty five,

Still alive,

Split in two,

I know not who.

I don’t normally rely on other people’s written content to explain or communicate my message. However, this year has been so confusing, toxic, shocking and draining that occasionally I have no words.

Nor do I have the energy to conjure up the enthusiasm to write positive and, hopefully, funny/wry observations of my life.

The short poem at the start – actually it’s not a poem – it’s only words. Yet I wrote this post on Sunday and could not continue – I lost the will to think further. I lost a few hours and continue to do so – both figuratively and literally – life has taken on a feeling of surreal surrender.

When looking up humour, the ever faithful and insidious beast that is the unreliable Wikipedia states that there are many “Theories of Humour. One theory of Humour in particular is very fitting for the Unfathomable Life of Isabella.

The “Incongruous Juxtaposition Theory” (don’t you just love the name!! I’m actually in awe of the heading let alone the precise fit of this theory to my life. Full stop). Wiki states:

“……The incongruity theory states that humor is perceived at the moment of realization of incongruity between a concept involved in a certain situation and the real objects thought to be in some relation to the concept.…”

Ha! My life!

Finally – this post was started on Sunday – my 45th birthday. It has taken me until today to have the fortitude to revisit the post and the day. I spent it exactly how I wanted – the same way I have spent all birthdays, anniversaries, Easter’s and Christmas since my mother died in April 2015. Alone. At home. Alive and loved by my cats.

Another irony was my horoscope thanks to Astrology Answers:

“Oct 13, 2019 – You have the Full Moon in Aries in your seventh house of partnerships, Libra. No matter what your relationship status is right now, today’s Full Moon is inspiring you to bring a matter to a close with great relief. Wherever you can show the love in your world right now, Libra, is exactly where you will feel it.

Follow the creative and passionate energy of the Full Moon in Aries today, Libra, and a closed chapter or relief in love or life are very possible. Today’s Full Moon is amplifying some changes or closed chapters for you here. If you are hoping for a partnership to go to the next level, then make a move today as this is in your favor. Your perception is pretty en pointe today as well.

And you will very easily be able to pick up signs and clues from Universe about any partnerships today as well, Libra.

Oh boy did I pick up the signs and clues for partnerships on Sunday. Bye bye Joey.

Until next time.

Luv,

Me.

Memories

Like A Cat

Cyndi Lauper – Like A Cat

I lived in your shadow

I drove your car

You thought I belonged in your four walls

I was never your bunny

I was never, never your pet

When you threw me out the window

I landed on my feet

Yeah you threw me out the window

Like a, like a, like a cat

Hey mister you can never own me

I only let you hold me like a cat

And mister you can never know me

I only let you stroke me, like a, like a

You thought I’d be purring

Curled up by your fire

Don’t want to be kept for your desire

You said I should be happy

But it only made me sad

And when you could never tame me

That made you mad

No you could never tame me

Like a, like a, like a cat

Hey mister you can never own me

I only let you hold me like a cat

And mister you can never know me

I only let you stroke me

You rescued…

Source: LyricFind

FML

Re-reading my posts from years gone by I have been struck by one very obvious fact.

My entire life is Groundhog Day.

And I fucking detest that movie – it creeps me out.

And it appears I have the lead role.

For fucks sake – can someone re-cast this role – I don’t wanna play no more.

Ta.

A sulking, irritated Isabella.

Photo credit: Ryan Jacob Smith
Fuck My Life

Fear, pain, remorse and the beginning of the end.

This is so true right now – in fact my whole life has been like this. I was always looking after someone else – trying, but mostly forcing, my own will onto others.

I was critical, judgemental and angry at those close to me. I fought, cried and begged them to try to help themselves – knowing that I was forcing my will onto them. Whilst I was also sabotaging and harming myself to resist change and to cope with hating myself.

I was in so much pain and expressed it the only way I knew how – by being angry when they wouldn’t seek help, play the martyr or call me to fix the problem when it had escalated to being a crisis. I’ve lost so many years trying to fix the broken people around me – in the process I lost myself and harmed myself.

Finally in 2016, I admitted I was beaten and wrong – my way never worked – I had to change. No one else.

My last drunken binge was huge and I had no idea it would be the last time I would drink. Wednesday 20th of April, 2016 consisted of lunch drinks at 12pm noon sharp – 3 glasses of red wine in less than an hour.

The waitress was friendly when I first sat down to have “lunch” on my day off, however at the end of the two hours and 6 red wines, she wasn’t as friendly. I was aware of the change in attitude, the looks of astonishment and judgement she was casting at me – it was time to leave. I was completely steady on my feet, no slurring or falling over – which would tell its own story of the high tolerance I had for alcohol.

I hadn’t finished for the day! Oh no! The sun was shining, I was blissfully aware of the world around me and felt beautiful, funny and an abundance of love for everything and everyone. There was no way in hell I was returning to the dark dungeon that housed the dark, moody and depressed Joey who refused to leave my home until he was ready. Oh no. I was determined to have some fucking fun in my life for once. I wanted to party, feel the sun on my face, laugh and feel free.

The day was still young – so much time left to drink and have fun for the day! I was determined to ignore that I had to drive to get home, had work the next day and would eventually have to return to the blackened husk of toxic waste I called home.

I called Anne of Green Gables – my best friend since I was 16 – yep! Of course I could come around and keep her company while she played her role as housewife with 3 children all under the age of 5. I rocked up to her place at 2pm, music blaring, grinning, brandishing two bottles of red wine. The kids loved drunk Isabella – they had no idea why mummy and Isabella were so much fun all of a sudden!!! Anne of Green Gables and I polished both bottles of red wine by 5pm – just in time for me to leave before her husband came home. Being the good friend I am I left another bottle of red wine for her to have that night – I even opened it and poured her a glass. We were so clever doing this – her hubby would think that she had just opened the first bottle for the day! He would never know it would be her second bottle of the day. Hehehehehehe

By 5.30pm I was home safe, no fatalities, car in one piece and as drunk as a skunk – but nooooooo the party would not stop. I cracked open a bottle of white wine so I could be classy and pretend that I had my drinking under control.

It’s now 7.30pm and I was onto the sparking wine and polished that off just in time to drive to the bottle shop for another bottle of sparkling wine for the night. Shops close at 9pm – how rude!

Fuck off Joey – I’ll drive if I want to, I’m fine, and no I don’t want to fuck you! But I do want you to move out of my fucking house and get your stinking rotten carcass out of my grandparents bedroom where you have been festering for 8 months. Thank fuck you are leaving in two weeks – on Mother’s Day of course – you’ll make that fucking day all about you of course.

Ohhhh yeah. That sweet, friendly Isabella had turned into her toxic, abusive revolting individual who was vile and vindictive.

I’m told by Joey that I was pretty full on abusive which I don’t doubt. Anne of Green Gables later told me she had no idea at any stage that I had drank a bottle of red before starting the party at her place. See! Told you I could handle my alcohol and my tolerance was high! Isabella knows her fucking alcohol limits, regularly exceeded them and turned into a blackout, erratic hot pile of mess.

That party on Wednesday 20th April, 2016 had me in bed and hungover for two days. Of which the hours were excruciatingly painful, soul destroying, full of regret, denial, fear, shame, remorse, guilt and the obsessive certainty that I would lose my job, then my car, my house and my life.

Something had to change.

And amazingly it did. One day at a time. Sometimes one hour at a time or one step, second or thought at a time.

More to come.

Luv,

Me.

Isabella

❤️❤️❤️