I’m a Recovering Drug Addict. There. I said it. 

I’m a recovering addict of prescription drugs.

I didn’t admit this to myself until the addiction was out of control and my life was ruled by my heavy addiction.

 This is my story in brief.

In 2010 I became desperately ill and spent around 3 years in hospital barely going home during that time. I almost lost my life twice.

Being this unwell stemmed from the serious domestic abuse I suffered for 17 years while I was with my ex husband. Long story. 

 During that time I had over 100 surgeries to fix my broken body.

Obviously the surgeons needed a way to keep me pain free. That’s when I got hooked up to a morphine drip. Whenever I was in pain all I had to do was press the button and a dose would enter my blood stream through the central line.

I was also on Tramadol (for the pain)…. Cyclizine (anti sickness)…. Temazepam (sleeping tablets) and lots more. 

 Problems started when I finally got discharged and went home. I couldn’t deal with the pain. The doctors prescribed me all the meds and I took them all.

Not just the recommended dosage. Half a pill here. An extra pill there. I was doubling and trebling some doses. 

 I suddenly realised that as the pain reduced my reliance on the tablets became stronger. I started enjoying the high they gave me. Morphine was the best. It numbed me. I didn’t feel anything.
 

Whenever my ex did anything I’d immediatley go to my drawer and take a cocktail of pills and swallow them. I always felt better. They knocked me out. I would fall asleep and not have to think of what had happened to me. 

 I began lying to my Doctor telling him how much pain I was in…. begging him to renew my prescription over and over again. I cried. I did whatever it took to get the pills I needed.

I was hooked.
Totally hooked. 

 One day I read about morphine addicts and didn’t even realise this was me.

I wasn’t addicted. I needed them for medical reasons. 

I was in pain. 

 Or was I? 

 I read morphine was an opiate.

 Same family as heroine.

That moment.
That realisation.
That thunderbolt moment.

I’m an addict.
Not just any addict.
A drug addict. 

 I tried to wean myself off them.
I got the shakes. The sweats. Anger. Frustration. Serious withdrawal issues. I relapsed. Couldn’t do it. 

 This pattern continued for over 5 years.

Eventually with a huge amount of willpower and patience and having time to myself to go through the withdrawal process I managed to slowly cut down all the pills I was taking. 

 During this whole time no one had any idea what I was doing. It was a battle I was fighting on my own…. 

 Now it’s been almost 2 years and I have had no relapse. However I still find myself thinking of it every single day…. especially when I’m having a particularly difficult time.

But so far I’ve been able to stick to it. 

 I don’t think I will ever be free mentally from this serious addiction that controlled me for over 5 years but I have learned to live with it…. 

 This is the first time I have ever shared this with anyone…. feel drained….

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Did he Really Ever Love Me?

I’m screaming 
Yet no sounds comes out 

The frustration 

Rising 

The pain 

Never ending…
Talk to me 

I beg 

Please 

Just 

Talk to me 

But he’s silent. 
Nothing. 

Not a word. 
Eventually 

“What do you want me to say?”

He says nonchalantly….
“Something”

I’m pleading

“Anything

Anything at all 

Tell me something 

So I know you care….

Or do you not 

Give a shit about me”?
My tears 

Slowly escape my eyes 

I can’t stop them 

Fuck 

Please don’t 

Shut down on me 

Don’t cut 

Yourself off from me…
He turns away 

Won’t look at me 

He’s on his phone 

No eye contact 

Not a word 

Passes his lips…
Let’s go out 

Take a walk

Make things okay

I suggest 

Willing 

Hoping 

to change the 

Suffocating 

Atmosphere…
Okay.

He grudgingly agrees. 

Gets dressed 

Walks ahead 

Far ahead.
I’m standing there 

Watching the man I love 

Walk way ahead of me 

Uncaring 

Never turning back 

And i stop.
What am I doing?

Why am I with someone 

who doesn’t actually love me?

What would happen if I 

Stopped walking?

Would he notice?
In a foreign country 

I’m alone

Totally alone 

Sobbing 

Knowing this is the end…
He’s gone.

I watched his figure 

Disappear…

Go further 

And 

Further 

Away 

Until I could no longer 

See him.
People are looking at me

I must be a sight 

A pathetic 

Sad 

Forlorn 

Figure of a woman. 
A heartbroken 

Woman

whose heart has been 

Ripped apart…
A man stops

Asks me something 

But I don’t 

Know the language….
“English” 

I whisper 

In between sobs

He reaches out 

A hand around 

My shoulder 

“Are you okay”?

“No. But I will be.

Thank you for asking.”
I walk on

Heading towards the hotel 

but as I get there 

I remember 

The intense 

Pain 

and 

Sadness 

Being stuck in a room 

With someone 

Who won’t talk to you 

Let alone 

Look at you

So I turn around 

And walk away…
I’m still crying 

Feeling so fucking

Alone

Desperate to be at home….

Knowing I need to 

Leave.
Eventually I go back 

He’s turned away 

Completely 

Grunts 

When I whisper hi

He’s glued to his phone 

And I want to run away.
The tears won’t stop

And as I lie in bed 

He hears my sobs 

Yet nothing 

Not a word 

Not a comforting hand…

Blank….
Is this what love is?

Is this how you treat 

Someone you love?

Arguing non stop

Calling me names 

Making threats

Saying all sorts…
Whatever happened to 

The man I fell in love with?

Did he change?

Does he hate me?

Did he ever care?

Did he genuinely ever 

Love me?
I fell in love with a guy 

Who doesn’t exist….

It was all an illusion 

A pretense 

A farce 

and it fucking 

Breaks my heart….

#OneOfUs 

Just finished watching #oneofus.

I asked my 12 year old daughter if she wanted to join me but she wasn’t interested. However at some point she crawled into bed with me and cuddled up as we watched it together. 

When the topic of money being raised to support the religious parent having custody of the kids came up she turned to me and asked why….

I told her this had happened here in London too. Not very long ago  £1m was raised to do exactly this. She seemed shocked. 

I turned to her and looked her in the eye. “I know people whose children were taken away using this money”.  “Really mum? That’s so sad. Do you know them personally”? 

“Yes sweetie.  That money was used against me”.

Fuck. The tears. 

“The time you were taken from me was paid for by the money raised”. 

She is absolutely horrified.  

I’m sure many of you would disagree with having this conversation with a 12 year old but actually it made her realise what went on behind the scenes.

The final scene of the film brought us both to tears…. it made her realise… to some extent the pain I must have gone through and she also realises that there are some extremely evil religious people out there parading as rabbis and community do-gooders.

I’m in awe of the strength and bravery of those involved… xx

Happy New Year??

The final New Year spent as a family….


Every year we would go to friends 

Over the New Year period

They lived an hour away.
Lovely family

Kind

Welcoming 

Ultra religious 

Made us feel at home.
Daniel  (not his real name)

Was like a surrogate dad to my ex

Who had lost his own dad 

Just before we met.
He was able to talk to him 

Like no one else could 

He was honest with him 

They chatted a lot. 
They had known each other 

A while before I came along

Although they accepted me 

And when my kids came along 

They were warm and loving 

To them too. 
Over the years we grew close 

Although I never told them 

What was really going on 

With the person who was 

Supposed to love me…
I think they had their 

Suspicions 

They couldn’t have been oblivious…
The snide remarks

The sarcastic comments 

The disgusting way 

He spoke to me 

Around the dinner table 

In front of all the guests…
He would bring whiskey with him 

Secret stash in his hip flask 

Drank it when no one was watching

And then he would be drunk 

Which was always a disaster…
September 2014

The final New Year as a family…
The things he said to me 

Publicly 

Humiliated me no end 

And I was thoroughly ashamed 

of what was happening 

To us all…
I noticed the glances 

In my direction 

And Daniel’s wife Sarah  

(not her real name)

Even had to step in and tell him

It was not okay to talk that way…
That night the kids went to bed

My ex did too

It was all the alcohol I guess 

And I was awake.
I felt overwhelming sadness

As I sat downstairs 

Trying to formulate my thoughts 

Trying to work out what to do

and how I’d face everyone 

The next day. 
The house was still.

Everyone was asleep 

And I was alone 

Downstairs 

Thinking 

Just 

Thinking….
Suddenly I got angry 

Why am I living like this

Why am I putting up with this?

Is it right for my kids to see this

To see their mum being 

Treated in this manner?
I felt the pain

The tears 

The lump in my throat 

Choking back the tears

But couldn’t 

And suddenly the dam burst

And I was sobbing

Uncontrollably….
The pain was unimaginable 

My heart was twisted

In agony 

the not knowing 

The questions 

Uncertainties about the future…
Wanting out 

Not knowing how to do it…

Feeling terrified 

Of his reaction

Of the inevitable “punishment”

When I’d tell him all this…
Then I heard footsteps 

Coming down the stairs 

The anxiety I felt was awful 

I felt sick 

To the pit of my stomach.
To my surprise it was Sarah 

Getting herself some water

And she was shocked 

To see I was awake

Until she realised I was crying.
She came into the room 

Asked gently what was going on 

And at that moment 

It all came pouring out. 
She told me to hang on

And went back upstairs

And a few minutes later 

She returned with a 

Sleepy Daniel.
They sat down next to me

And I told them 

What was going on 

All the years

And they had lots of questions…
They asked what I wanted.
I said I was done

I wanted and needed out 

Immediately 

And I even added 

“I want this to be the last chag

Together with you.

No offence. 

But I hope next year

I’m single 

And not staying here”.
After a lot of talking 

Daniel said he would talk to him 

The next day 

And try to help me out.
I knew it would be pointless.
Still I agreed.

It was worth a final try.
Obviously nothing changed. 
And the next year 

I was single 

And was not celebrating 

The New Year…

Finally moving on…..

After living 2 1/2 years as the only openly OTD woman in the hasidic neighbourhood in London I have finally been able to move on to the next stage in my journey!
Today I signed the Tenancy Agreement to my new flat and picked up the keys!!
I’ve started moving my stuff although going from a 6 bedroom marital home to a 2 bedroom flat is going to be challenging. 
At times I never believed this day would ever come.
It’s been a nightmare. 
*  No contact with family or friends from my previous life 

*  Lawyers 

*  Courts

*  Losing the marital home worth in excess of £1,000,000

*  My sons living with their religious father

*  Losing my daughter for several months 

*  constant harassment from the frum community….
The list goes on…
For those of you who have followed my journey you will understand how jubilant I felt today opening the front door to my own new home.
However what I want to say is despite all that I never gave up hope of one day being able to move on and live the life I always dreamed of… yes it’s not how I wanted it to be….
I wish I had my sons with me but shit happens.
But life is amazing right now… I have unbelievably supportive people around me and I’m very fortunate – you know who you are 💖💖
Finally I can smile and say they tried to break me but I came back fighting and never again will I live in pain and suffering…. 
At times its easy to feel helpless when we leave the faith but life gets better one day… I’m proof of that!!

Getting my Daughter into a Local Religious School. The Fight. They didn’t even ask her name…

When my daughter was 2 I tried to get her into a local religious school. 
My sons were in a hasidic cheder back then and my ex decided it would make the most sense for her to go to a comparable girls’ school.
I was always considered “modern” or “different” even back then although I was (outwardly) religious.  I guess that was due to the fact I went to a fairly normal school and spoke English to a high standard. My ex is a convert which also made us different as a couple and as a family.
And so I was concerned I would struggle to get her in to that particular school. 
I asked for the application form, filled it in with all the details required and waited. And waited. And waited a bit more. 
Eventually I got a call from the lady in charge of vetting potential student’s mothers.  She told me in no uncertain terms that I was not “the kind of mother we want at our school” but they would be willing to give me a chance.  As long as I made changes.
At the time my ex was very difficult and I felt like I had no real option.  I needed her to be accepted. I couldn’t face his anger. Again.
The lady told me in order for me to prove I was really interested in having my daughter at their school the following changes would have to be done immediately. 
1.  I would have to cut my wigs short.  I used to wear wigs that were long and natural looking. And…
2.  I would have to immediatley stop wearing skin colour or black tights.  That was a hard one.  She said in her school the only acceptable form of leg covering was brown stockings. I was adamant that would never be the case so she agreed I could wear a charcoal grey colour instead. 
3.  I would have to be prepared to stop driving as mothers who had daughters in that school were not allowed to drive.
I did point out to this lady that she did indeed drive so why would it be okay for her to insist I stop driving when she was a driver herself? 
She explained that as an older woman it was acceptable for her.  Yeah. Go figure. Nope. Me neither. 
After some discussion as to the specifics of the points I decided I would agree to keep to those rules. I was scared of my then husband and felt I had no option.
So I went shopping for truly ugly coloured tights. I changed from nude colour or black to charcoal grey. 

 
I then grappled with my consciousness and my heart about cutting my wigs. Eventually I decided it was the only way she would be accepted into that school and so therefore I would be prepared to shorten 2 out of the 3 wigs I had. 
It was really tough for me.  I felt unattractive and pressurised into looking a certain way. And what for? For a school I didn’t believe in and a system I had huge issues with. 
And yet I did it.
Only those who truly understand the nature of domestic abuse will really appreciate how forced I felt and how little option I felt I had.
Then I was told the trial period would be 6 months.  I’d have to abide by those rules for the 6 months after which I would be called to a meeting to see how to proceed. 
I stuck by my promises for the stipulated 6 months after which I called up the woman I’d spoken to originally. 
She seemed surprised to hear from me. At that point I honestly expected her to congratulate me and welcome my daughter into her school.
Sadly that wasn’t to be. What she said next shocked me.
“You have to stop wearing skirts that are really long or shorten the ones you wear”. 
Back then I’d wear long flowing skirts almost down to the ground.
“When you have done that and stuck to it for 3 months we will discuss your application”.
Once again I felt helpless. I felt desperate. I needed to get her into this school. Urgently. 
So I agreed. I would wear shorter skirts. For 3 months.  Then I would know what would happen. 
All these changes were draining.

I was being changed. 

Every part of me. 
I was basically being told that being me wasn’t acceptable.
I had to change me.

And so I did.
After 3 months I once again phoned this lady and asked her how to proceed with the application. I confirmed I had abided by the terms set out and she acknowledged it.
“You are still driving” she stated. I confirmed that was indeed the case.
“You cannot drive. Come back to me once you’ve stopped driving for 3 months”.
I snapped.
“So is this some sort of a game to push me off over and over again until I quit my application”? I asked her.
She was quiet. 
I knew my fight was over at that point so I told her what I really thought of her and her school. 
“I only applied because I thought this was the place for my daughter. I really wanted her to get into your school.   Despite the fact that you have made it so difficult for me over such a long period of time didn’t stop me doing all the things you asked of me.
But I have realised something.  You don’t even know me daughter’s name. She was irrelevant to the process. All you cared about was the length of my wigs or the colour of my tights…. and whether I wore a long skirt.
What is my daughter’s name?”

Silence.  

I continued.
“Any school that treats their applicants the way I have been treated is not the place I would ever want my daughter to go to.  What is shameful is you didn’t have the guts to tell me the truth from the start.
You never intended to accept my daughter but you made me go through all the steps regardless.
This is not a school I would want to be a part of.  Goodbye”.
I hung up. 
And cried.

 
A lot.
I felt ashamed and used as part of some religious twisted game.
#jewish #jews  #rabbi  #otd  #Jewish  #mystory  #school