Day 22: Sipping on Rainbows

7e501438ed5e959df2c6b1971880bd8b.jpgDear Vodka

I found that my pillow was wet by the time I woke up.

I cried last night – in my sleep. 

The anti-depressants hit me pretty hard when I take them. What a lot of people don’t know is that anti-depressants eventually take you to an extreme low before they bring you up. I feel like crap. This just isn’t working out…

I went for a jog after I realised that Thomas was still asleep. I really needed to speak to him but I didn’t want him to worry about me again. I’d put him through enough hell already with my D&A. He was on holiday for Pete’s sake!

So, I went for a jog instead.

As I crossed the road onto the cycler’s path, I spotted a homeless man picking up his cardboard mattress and bags which he had obviously used to sleep on. I went over to him to help him because he looked like he needed the help. As I approached him and greeted, he looked at me with a disgusted scowl on his face. I motioned to help him but he mumbled on about “young kids of today” and “these privileged people showing fake sympathy to make themselves feel better,” ignoring my offer. I stood with my hands on my hips, demanding his attention. He violently waved his hand in the air, shooing me away. I sprinted home, tears pouring down my flushed cheeks, my heart beat pounding in my ears.

I told Sarah (my therapist) about it and she said that I probably felt guilty about something and that the man’s rejection triggered the emotional reaction I experienced. I felt a bit lighter when I got home but not quite okay. Perhaps I just needed food in my system. I opened the doors to the pantry and spotted a bottle of vodka. With wet eyes, I grabbed it and went into my room. I stared at the bottle lying in front of me, contemplating on whether or not to open it.

I walked to the kitchen and emptied the contents of the bottle into the sink, but not before some of it spilled onto my fingers. I smelt it, bringing it closer and closer to my desperate tongue. I couldn’t do it. I was weak now but I wouldn’t dig my own grave. Not again.

I sat under the piercing heat of the shower water as each droplet penetrated the surface of my skin, turning it pink. I sat and I sat, until I feel asleep.

I woke up in my PJs. But I wasn’t my bed. I was in Mum and Dad’s bed with Mum’s encompassing arms slowing dragging me back into the world of my subconscious…

XOX

Charlie

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DAY 21: The Monday Blues

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Dear Vodka

You know that saying that goes something like “don’t count your eggs before they hatch?” Well, I did just that! It’s just one drama after the other! I’m so frustrated…

I had a fantastic weekend at Aiden’s and a pleasant lunch at the Reeds. Roman finally decided to work with me and not against me. Gran got me a kitten (Lily) and Mum and I, at last, sorted things out. But I guess that man up there just can’t give me a rest! Or perhaps someone’s made an effigy of me and is doing some crazy voodoo shit! I mean seriously?! What did I do that was so bad to deserve this….I’m at a loss!

The day started off on an average note. Theo picked me up with Ellie for school. I hung out with her until the bell rang for the first period. Mr Nolan reminded us that our project is due in two weeks’ time. Mrs Humphrey, our Maths teacher gave us a spot test and then it happened; the thing that made everything go downhill…Let me make one thing straight before anyone’s judgemental honkers go off! Firstly, I am not a violent person. Secondly, I catch on nonsense but never at the expense of my reputation. And thirdly, I am NOT a liar or a cheater. I know that this is hearsay or whatever but it’s the truth. It’s my truth.

So, there we were writing our Math spot test and all of a sudden, Barbara (a.ka. Queen B), shrieked and pointed to the underside of my notebook. I immediately looked up in shock and then down at my book. It was a sheet of mathematical formulae and equations!!!

Okay, let’s just put things into perspective: I have no idea how that page got there but I suspect that Barbara slipped it onto my desk when no one was looking since she sits at the desk next to mine. And another thing is that, when I write, I rest my head on my hand, elbow on the table, while my right-hand writes, so I wouldn’t have seen her put it there because I was facing away from her. But you know how the story goes…no witnesses, no proof.

Mrs Humphrey completely freaked and sent me to the principal’s office immediately after shouting something about ‘dishonesty’ and ‘lack of integrity’ and ‘no respect for her subject,’ as I walked down the hallway to the office. She didn’t even give me a chance to defend myself before she instructed Barbara to accompany me there to make sure that I didn’t get “lost” along the way!

Of course, I was going to confront Barbara about it. After all, it could only be her. Who else would want me to get in trouble, or worse expelled? She just laughed and said “Oh well. You mess with me, you’ll get what you deserve.” I was obviously confused at that point as to what the bloody hell she was talking about because I’d never really interacted with her before now. When she noted the confusion on my face, she yanked on my hair and shoved me into the office door but not before I reacted unthinkingly by slapping her right cheek. Did it leave a mark? Yes. Did the principal exit his office in time to see that part? Why, of course. Did my mother get called in? Absolutely! And, dear Vodka, did I get suspended? Well, there’s no doubt about it!

Argh!!!! Just recounting the events infuriates me. Of course, Mum was furious and totally flabbergasted all at once but, in all fairness, I didn’t care at that moment. Barbara. I don’t even want her name in my book…

So, the result is that I’m suspended with no cell phone, no TV (even though I don’t care that much about it; it’s a load of consumerism and propaganda), no laptop and my Mum doesn’t want to speak to me. But at least it’s only in effect until Wednesday. Thank goodness for that because I cannot bear to not see the rustic blue doors to the entrance of our school and the overwhelming smell of bleach and floor polish, with the plethora of hormones and ubiquitous chatter. I know that the talk will be about me when I get back but, as the saying goes… “If you can’t convince them, confuse them.”

When Roman came over after school to start on the project, he said that Barbara and Aiden had a ‘thing’ and that he completely abandoned her when those terrible things started happening to him. According to Roman, Barbara was ‘a cool chick’ but now she’s simply obsessed with getting Aiden back (how cliché). I still couldn’t understand why she’d do something like that if hardly anyone knew about Aiden and mine’s friendship but then it clicked…Instagram! He probably still has her on there and to be honest, Aiden and the boys and I took loads of pictures on the weekend. That must’ve triggered it!

I just hope that my friends believe me and forgive me for reacting the way I did. Even I can’t excuse me slapping Barbara. I didn’t want to tell anyone that she called me ‘a lesbian slut.’ Frankly, I don’t even want to know how she came to that conclusion. I’ve put Lydia behind me; it’s in the past.

I’m seeing Sarah tomorrow…my therapist…I’m quite proud of how I’ve been dealing with the D&A (depression and anxiety) lately but I guess today’s events reminded me of how miserable I am and what a disappointment I can be. I know that it’s not true but that’s what depression does. I slipped two anti-depressants earlier. I shouldn’t have. I was making progress. I think I should use the landline to call Chloe. I really miss her…I need her ray of sunshine right now…

XOX

Charlie

Day 20: Lunch with the reeds

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Dear Vodka

I fell asleep soundly on Aiden’s bed and woke up with his feet in my face.

Yeah. We slept in the same bed!!

When I came to my senses, I jumped out of bed, causing Aiden to spring up and grab his lacrosse stick. He looked both startled and dazed. It was hilarious. I doubled over laughing. That was until he tackled me and once again, managed to throw me into the pool.

I seriously need to work on my defence techniques!

Speaking of defence techniques, Aiden and I did a quick session at the kickboxing centre, taking a much-welcomed swim afterwards. It was only about seven thirty but I needed to get to the bookstore. Today was my last day until I returned whenever. The morning move by swiftly and once Catherine took over from me, I felt relieved. I’d be just in time for lunch with Theo and Ellie’s family. Theo picked me up from the bookstore but I was in no mood to speak to him. What he did was horrible and if Aiden wasn’t as forgiving as he is, our friendship would have been ruined. Theo kept on apologising in the car but I simply turned up the volume on the radio and he shut his chat box.

Ellie was psyched to see me and so was I to see her. She took me on a tour of their house and she showed me her photography collection from all the years that she’s been studying photography. She’s on the yearbook committee as well, as the photographer obviously. She hopes to pursue a career in it and already has an internship at a local company.

Once lunch was over, I offered to clear the dishes and Theo helped me. Mr and Mrs Reed were attending a high tea and Ellie volunteered to photograph the event. Great! I dreaded the moment they left but I had to deal with it. Theo said nothing as we cleaned the dishes but I knew that he was dying to say something. I broke the ice with “want to play rock, paper, scissors?” We did one round and he won. It was time to spill. He apologised first and then explained why he had acted out. It wasn’t easy for me to forgive him but I asked for some time. He obliged. I felt slightly relieved that we’d at least gotten that out of the way. I wouldn’t want to lose Theo but he needs to know his limits.

Theo dropped me at home after our talk. Home sweet home. Everyone was watching a movie and Mum wanted to know about my weekend. I told her that I’d tell her some other time. All I wanted to do was stand under a hot shower, smothered in lavender-scented shower gel. I wanted to lie on my bed with Lava and Lily and fall asleep whilst the sunlight streaming in through my bedroom window played with the honey-coloured strands of my hair. And that’s exactly what I did!

XOX

Charlie

Chloe Childs Pose

Hello again,  diary, slash journal slash failing social experiment.

I’ve been tardy with my recordings of late because I had exams and that’s more important when it takes all your time and energy. At least this year there is no boys taking my attention away.  I’ve aced the Piano exam. I managed to get lost in the music for the first time in forever and I’m not sure who was more shocked when it was over, my parents or my teacher. I wanted to say… Yeah, I’m able to play a symphony without making a single error now. But I wasn’t interested in bragging.

That horrible piece of my heart, Gabriel Rockerfeller has left back to New York.

Regret nothing they say but I regret the hell out of him if I’m honest. Aren’t I supposed to be too young for regrets? Well, no. Teenage girls are full of all kinds of regrets. Falling in love with the school hottie, having sex with him because he told me that he loved me and failing my entire school year! Well, yes. Regrets – I have a truckload.

Otherwise, I’m attending therapy twice a week like clockwork. I get gorgeous emails from Finn every few days. Mom and I are on speaking terms for a long while now. Dad can now finally look me in the eyes again and Jack and I are still good. Charlie?

I’m not sure what’s happening with Charlie anymore. I never see her. Sadly, she’s like my only friend but we never see each other. Ever. We text though. Just the usual ‘hows your day been?’ but her reply is always just ‘my day was manic!’ To be fair my usual response is normally, ‘my days was insane.’ If only Charlie knew just how insane some days are.

I’m looking to add some unusual skill to my repertoire. I’m not sure what yet. I’m mad about pottery. Mom and I took a few pottery classes earlier this year. That could be cool but I think one of those sculpting wheels would be expensive and with my treatments and the stays in the clinic this year, I think my parents aren’t in the position to invest in something so… permanent. Then looking through Pinterest I found calligraphy under hobbies and it seems to be the ‘it’ thing. Some people are managing to turn it into a small business. So, that could be cool. But would I have the time though?

Oh! Now, that I’m officially on holiday I’ve taken to reading moms’ Harry Potter collection. I started reading the Philosophers’ stone once but I must have got distracted because my leggy bookmark was in the book waiting for me, like an old friend. 🙂 Finn has been reading Harry Potter lately which is why I’m reading it. Damn it! Writing it down on paper makes me realise that I’m doing it again. I’m doing things because the boy in my life is doing them. Now, I’m doubting whether I even like Harry Potter books at all or do I like it because Finn likes it? This is awful. 😦

This is awful. 😦

Day 19: Pandora’s Box Continued…

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Dear Vodka

!!!!!! Argh! What is life?

Aiden wouldn’t speak to me when we got home. He threw his keys on the kitchen counter and shut his bedroom door. I started crying. I felt so overwhelmed! The worst thing was that I didn’t even know what was going on. Why would Theo act out like that and what had Aiden done to deserve the title of ‘traitor’ from Theo?

Aiden eventually surfaced from his room and allowed me to explain myself. We sat on opposite sides of the sofa and I could feel the tension sparking between us. I told Aiden why I didn’t want anyone to know about my depression and anxiety and he apologised for being so brash about the matter. After a moment, he told me that he had a history with Theo. They were close friends until Aiden’s parent’s death and the incident with his best friend. Theo started believing everything that people were saying and Aiden allowed him to drift away because he didn’t want to hurt anyone else. Theo resents him for giving up on their friendship and Aiden hates Theo for believing all those stories about him so easily. They haven’t spoken since. They avoid each other like the plague.

I proposed that the only solution was to sort this issue out at the party. Aiden straight out refused but I reminded him that I’d be with him every step of the way when I took his hand in mine.

Step 1 complete!

Aiden and I prepared for the party. I wore my favourite black velvet crossover mid-drift top with a high-waisted check skirt and stockings. I paired it with a black pair of combat boots. I put my hair up into a messy bun, coating up my lips with a touch of deep red lipstick and my eyelids with liquid eyeliner, Cleopatra style. Aiden cleaned up pretty well too with his torn jeans and a navy Guess t-shirt. He’d actually put a comb through his locks!

We arrived at the party with a mission to repair his relationship with Theo. I am officially glad to say that I was successful! It was mighty difficult but I won’t go into the details now. All that matters now is that they’re friends once again. Well, to be more accurate, they’re acquaintances because Aiden thought it best that they remain that way. I had to agree with him. Putting back four years’ worth of a friendship is a whole other obstacle. And besides, Aiden is still working on himself. That takes time. We left the party around eleven because Aiden doesn’t like driving at night. We had a good time however, even if it was short. Time flies when you’re having fun!

XOX

Charlie

Day 19: Pandora’s Box

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Dear Vodka

I swear, Vodka, that whenever things begin to work out, the universe dishes me a serving of some bad karma! Jonah made breakfast for all of us, which was simply cinnamon pancakes and bacon.  I was starving. Despite being awake, I felt like a complete zombie. Aiden picked me up and after noticing that I was barely responding he threw me into the swimming pool. I laughed about it but only once I managed to pull him in with me. After a much-needed shower, breakfast and a light application of make-up, Aiden dropped me off at group therapy. I told him that it was a youth gathering event and that he could fetch me around noon at the back of the centre. He seemed a bit confused but shrugged it off.

The last thing I wanted was Ellie questioning my choice of friends once again. It was great to see Theo again but Ellie was nowhere to be seen. She apparently had some dentist’s appointment. I guess that solved that problem! Theo bought me a berry smoothie at the refreshment station before we went in and our staring competition started. This time, however, one of the girls sitting next to Theo noticed and raised her hand, demanding that the coordinator remove me from the session. Drama queen much? Turns out, she has a thing for Theo and was getting a bit envious of all the attention Theo was directing at me.

Oh well, you win some and you lose some. I did, however, have to share in the group and I got my first “we’re here for you Charlie.” Theo said “not” at the end and everyone glanced in his direction. I simply laughed and said that he had something stuck in his throat. I asked to be excused and he followed shortly after. We stayed in the parking lot for the rest of the session. We caught up on my first week at a new school and he told me about all his catch-up time on series since the university was only staring in a month’s time.

Aiden spotted me sitting on the pavement when he fetched me, so going around the back wasn’t necessary. All was well until he saw Theo. He went absolutely still like a statue. So did Theo. I began to panic. What was happening? Then, all of a sudden, Theo called Aiden a traitor and Aiden looked as if he was going to explode. Theo asked me what I was doing with “this scumbag” and Aiden redirected the remark back at Theo. I’d never seen either of them this upset before! Theo practically grabbed my arm, leading me in the direction of his car but I violently shook him off and got into Aiden’s Jeep. Theo looked betrayed and spat out: “Do you seriously trust this traitor with your life? It’s enough that you’re suffering from depression and anxiety. He’ll only make it worse.” Aiden looked at me and I couldn’t help but feel as if I wanted to disappear into the seat. How could Theo say such things? Aiden looked betrayed too but he just sped off and said nothing throughout the ride home.

 

XOX

Charlie

Clean slates

I saw him. And he saw me.

Shock! A sharp intake of breath.

Dear diary, if you were an actual breathing human being on the other side of this stupid pen and paper what would you say? Would you tell me to just forget about him? Would you tell me that it gets better in the end? Would you tell me that someday I’ll wonder what I ever saw in him? And remind me that I have sweet, darling, Finn? Would you also tell me that first boyfriends have a reputation of being awful pigs?

Perhaps.

I saw him. And he saw me.

Lungs burning. Eyes stinging. A complete exhale.

Would you believe that he just looked at me as they passed me by? Today. In the mall. While I was out with mum.

I accidentally steered mom in the direction of Burger King in my haste to avoid her seeing them too and she ACTUALLY thought I felt like a fucking burger!!! I don’t think I have any more tears left in my body because I’m crying and no tears seem to form. My head is thumping and my ribs ache. My throat is dry and scratchy. Still, no tears. I’m all tapped out.

I wish I had access to a time machine. Not to go back in time. I’d like to go forward. I want to know what happens the day I die. I want to know everything.

Am I old? Is it next week? I wouldn’t be surprised if I suddenly found myself at St Peter’s door next Wednesday. Would be easy that. To slip away into the darkness… but then I think about what gran has said again and again. I’ve put up on my bedroom mirror… scribbled it on the cover of every one of my school books…

ALL OF THIS IS JUST A SEASON IN TIME. IN 10 YEARS FROM NOW WHERE WILL YOU BE?

I know it’s just something to try and convince me there is a future but if I’d succeeded in cutting my wrist last January I wouldn’t have been around to be in Germany. I would have missed out on meeting Finn and Finn is wonderful. Mum says there are many more Finns and Charlies’ out there in the world. Although, the ones I have are pretty amazing.

Exams are killer but they’ve been the focus of my last few weeks. I’ve read and reread all of Finn’s emails to me. He sends me the most gorgeous photos. He wants to be a professional photographer but I’ve seen his charcoal sketches and I think he’ll make an amazing whatever his beautiful soul wants him to be.

But that makes me wonder about what my own future holds and I don’t want to think about that too much. I’ve been working with my therapist and she’s been amazing. No drama. No condescension. Just support and non-judgement. And my parents, of course, they are both exhausting and understanding in equal measure. I’m told to put myself in their shoes in almost every session. I don’t complain about them anymore. I’m trying not to manipulate them. Trying not to lose my temper.

But sometimes… like with the whole burger thing… even I don’t have enough zen left.