Freak For The Valium

Self portrait using clown filter (app unknown)

Suggested audio: The Fear by Lilly Allen

This sassy piece was written almost two years ago whilst reflecting upon myself, probably during an episode of negative thinking, typically with self-effacing humour, and ranted onto paper instead of in someone’s ear! I thought I’d share it as it reveals my raw honesty. A trait I’m unsure if good or bad? That’s another post altogether.

ValiumFreak. FrecklesandValium. You may have stumbled across these (now defunct) handles on social media and wondered what’s the deal with the Valium. The freckled freak who loves horror and the inappropriate. A mono avatar undeterred by deterrents. Who refuses to pander to the judgemental whose interests differ. Freckles is considered a bit of a ‘character’. But with character comes reason and my reason is because I’m, erm, “not right” as a potential suitor once said.

Well I am right but “I’m just a girl, interrupted“, the last line uttered in the biographical film Girl, Interrupted (1999) about Susanna Kaysen who was admitted to a psychiatric ward and diagnosed with borderline personality disorder. Do you know what it’s like to be “interrupted“? Mind function malfunction on an almost hourly basis because your thoughts and actions are interrupted with those of the less desirable type.

As far back as I can remember I felt there was something ‘weird’ with me. Not depression as thought by many GPs but, well, something. I felt anxious, paranoid, on edge, was hyper irritable at times, swore a lot, had ‘controversial’ opinions, outbursts and a whole host of other emotions and physiological reactions. My emotional responses ranged from nobody’s home to Tasmanian Devil on too many blue smarties. I couldn’t control it, couldn’t help myself.

The inappropriate odd kid at school nicknamed Carrie (which the then horror whore in me loved) who didn’t know how to ‘fit in’ and pinched out of other kids’ school bags.

From 8 until the age of 35 I shoplifted out of compulsion and felt good doing it. Getting caught in TK Maxx and being honest about why I did it prevented police action. I stopped after many sessions of CBT and CAT. Now I, like everybody nowadays, pilfer music and images off the net… same thing mofos!

Imagine wanting to die but wanting to live. Abusing yourself with anything around you. Your weapons of tissue mass destruction hidden away for moments of needing a surge of “feeling”, existing or self hate.

After years of psychotherapy I was diagnosed with borderline personality disorder aka emotional instability. Suddenly everything added up! Made perfect sense! I was prescribed the appropriate medication and after a record breaking amount of cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), I was then sent for the more challenging cognitive analytical therapy (CAT) and given a workbook called Dialectical Behavioural Therapy. One tough textbook but it helps.

The therapy was very challenging and empties your skull of all that festering toxic green mist. I then had to lay my cards on the table and dissect everything since I was about 6. I was deemed a “wannabe vigilante” after the psychologist hearing my rants which I believed I was right and society so fucking wrong. But it helped me understand myself and my diagnosis. And I still stuck to my guns. You see, you are adamant your ‘controversial’ opinions are damn right. Controversial according to who, I don’t know or care. That’s me though. A bio-weapon of adamant mass destruction.

The hardest part was informing family and friends as advised. Most said nothing. What can they say? Yet some were wonderfully supportive. Some backed off. Okay then, fuck off.

I have to remain focused on what I’ve learned NOT what I am. Does it still make me weird like that teenager I was? I don’t know but apparently hashtag ‘weird is good’.

© Copyright: Sharon Lawson™

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