As promised, Zara Barrie returned to the three-part series and shared her journey of pain and self-healing.
If you missed it Part 1, be sure to check it out here to really get the full picture.
In this post, Zara tells us what caused her self-medication and the mechanisms she used to numb herself. She must have gotten out of this cycle, which she will tell us all about now.
Let’s get to that …
For so long I had been so deeply afraid, so embarrassedly embarrassed, so openly convinced that if I twisted my lips around the truth, the rage of my own shame would kill me.
But I swear by my higher power (Lana Del Rey) the night I called my brother in Los Angeles and told him to be constantly black, unwaveringly sad, relying on Xanax to quell the anxiety that shot through my body like lightning once I let go sober and calm, and the most unusual, stumbled by the texture of the exposed brick in my apartment – the muffler of shame softened.
Shame’s arms were still wrapped around my neck, but her grip no longer choked me.
A few days after talking to my brother, I went to a doctor with a family friend in London. My eyes almost fell out of the hole as soon as I stepped into her office. This was no ordinary doctor. She had giant, gorgeous fake tits spilling out of Barbie’s pink blouse, a mini skirt that kissed the tops of her (very shiny) tanned thighs, and a Texas-style beauty queen blowout. He felt like a sign of the great divine. This was mine kind of girl. You see, in London I always felt too extra, too emotional, too loud, too decorated with crystals, a ostentatious palm tree from Beverly Hills among alluring English roses. I immediately calmed down with the glittering presence of the most glamorous, top doctor that ever existed. (Lana del Rey for sure sent me).
“What’s going on, darling?” She stammered. Her serious medical eyes artistically contrasted the incredibly sexy outfit.
“I’m afraid I’m going crazy,” I said, staring at her legs, wondering how she got them …dazzling.
“Why?” The sexy doctor asked.
“Well, uh, I’m really very depressed. And really, really, really upset. I drink too much because I am so depressed, so upset and so empty and it seems to me that it only helps. “I paused. I held my breath. Breathing meant feeling, and feeling meant crying, too really he did not want to go there. I had been numb for so long that the emotionally vacant spot was my comfort zone. I clenched my fists and tightened the muscles in my shoulders to prevent the tears from creeping insidiously toward my canals.
“What else?” She didn’t seem particularly bothered by anything I just said. Because of her behavior, I seemed to feel less like a space alien and more like what I was: a girl. The girl is going through a fucking hard time, but the girl anyway.
I decided to continue. “Well, I’m also developing this obsession with textures.”
She didn’t flinch. “Go on.”
“Just as my brain gets hooked on weird textures and it feels like my skin is crawling off my body and staying with me for days, I actually feel like I want to rip my flesh out just when I talk about it. Wine helps him disappear. But I’m afraid I’m going crazy. ”
“I am sorry to inform you that it was it is not go crazy. “
“I didn’t?” I asked. I felt like a little child who had just been informed contrary to what her deepest fears had convinced her to be true, there was no monster under her bed.
“No. You have depression and anxiety and chronic intrusive thoughts. “
“It simply came to our notice then thoughts? ”
“It’s a form of obsessive-compulsive disorder. Where unwanted, intrusive thoughts or images get stuck in his head. It’s a nightmare. But it’s not that unusual. I have it too. ”
Is she there too?
“Yes darling. I have it too.” She cooed as she read my thoughts. “It works in my family. It’s a biochemical issue. It’s not a big deal at all! I’ll prescribe you a small dose of antidepressant.”
“Okay,” I said nervously. It was funny that I was scared to take an antidepressant, but I lightly recklessly put a dirty ecstasy pill in my mouth the previous weekend.
She took a bright pink pencil and wrote me a recipe. “Try to sort this out, but listen, darling. You should go to therapy. There may be some pain in you that you have to face. ”
“Of course.” I tweeted. I would have taken antidepressants, but therapy was out of the question.
Two weeks later I was sitting on the train and heading to work, when I first felt a sweet rush of serotonin scatter across my sad brain.
Maybe not everything is so bad. I thought happily. As I hopped over the train and entered Oxford Street, I suddenly felt that Christmas was on my mind. I felt the dark curtains drawn over the window of my heart suddenly open and all this sunlight spilled into me.
I felt like I could see the glow beautifying the path of my future again!
That’s it. I have no problem with drinking! I don’t have to go back to the trauma of the past! I don’t need therapy! I need all these magic pills! THIS. IS. THE. ANSWER.
And that was the answer. At first. And then little by little the demons found their way back into my orbit.
It started with nightmares. Gory, picturesque nightmares about being held by big, scary people. Then the shame of my ex-girlfriend returned. She mocked me that my parents would soon find out who I was really was. The medication helped me get out of bed in the morning, but failed to fix what I felt was broken inside me. She was unable to erase the past.
I wish I could tell you that I understood that right away and went to therapy. But I am one of the most stubborn bitches you will ever meet. The lack of will to give in is my greatest strength and deadliest weakness. I didn’t go to therapy. I didn’t go to a trusted friend. I went back to the bar and drank from oblivion.
It’s not that for the first few blissful months I was completely sober on antidepressants, but I didn’t feel the need to run away with a drink. For the first time in many years, I drank for fun, not to numb.
But the demons have returned, as have my blackouts.
Now that I jumped on antidepressants, my tolerance was lower than ever before. One large glass of wine made me stumble and lure. Two large glasses of wine and the next day I couldn’t think of anything. And I was a different drunk than ever before. The pills mixed with booze made me wild and reckless. I ate the supermodel’s birthday candle right off her cake at a trendy party in Notting Hill (it was a special kind mortifying and still makes me hide under a blanket for the rest of my life). I jumped into the shopping carts rolling down the busy street at 2 a.m. and almost opened my face. And most dangerously, I started inviting strangers into my studio apartment. At this point, my roommate moved in with her boyfriend so I was free to let my self-destructive flag fly in peace.
One morning I woke up with such a heavy heart that I thought it was going to fall out of my chest. I knew something really darkness had happened to me the night before. I didn’t have to look at the black and blue bruises that adorned my skinny wrists like matching cuff bracelets to know that someone had hurt me. Someone did something against my will. My spirit was polluted.
Once again, I peeked into the vast path of my future. I watched the glare that paved the way disappear before my eyes one by one. My bright future looked flat, dull and blurry like before I started taking antidepressants.
I got on a plane and decided to stay at my parents ’house in Florida for a while. I called the therapist. I was broken, but my life was in question. I knew that. If I hadn’t died from a drink or drug overdose, I would have died from the situations I put myself under the influence of. There was no quick fix. There was no magic pill. I had to tear off that pink patch and look at the wound in its bare bloody color.
The therapist I went to visit, Catherine had warm hazel eyes and a southern flash. She wasn’t as glamorous as a London doctor, but she radiated such radiant energy as if she were illuminated from within.
“What’s happening.” She asked. Nag Champa incense was burning in the background.
“I am afraid to feel. I’m so afraid to feel. I try to numb my feelings with drugs and alcohol and it doesn’t work. I’m so afraid to feel. “I was shaking.
“Why are you so Are you afraid to feel, Zara? “The tenderness that bled from her voice when she said my name out loud made me start crying hysterically.
“Because those feelings are so scary, I think they’re going to kill me.”
“Feelings can’t kill you.”
“I can not?”
“No. Feelings are not monsters that will kill you in your sleep. This is not actually physically possible. Get away from them with booze and drugs could kill you. But feelings won’t. ”
“Even the really really bad ones?”
“Even really really bad.”
It was the moment when I learned the most powerful lesson I have ever learned in my life, the one I repeat every time I am tempted to downplay unpleasant emotions.
Feelings can’t kill you. He can run away from them.
Follow us for the third part in which Zara will give us all the tips for self-forgiveness and how she found freedom.
+ hear Alexis Haines on the television of addiction and reality.
++ how to exercise emotional intelligence.