26.10.2021 | “I can’t stand being the person that I’ve been…”

Lyrics: “Josephine” ~ Frank Turner, 2013

I don’t quite know why one bit of this interview / podcast with Frank Turner stuck with me long after I listened to it yesterday morning on my way to work. He has been open about his mental health issues and his (former) drug use often enough before. Maybe not always as direct as he’s in this bit below, where he talks about how his addiction issues manifest themselves even today, when he hasn’t been doing hard drugs for a few years.

I had so many thoughts running through my mind when I heard that. Just like Jess my first reaction was “Really? I had no idea!”, followed by “I should have known, because that’s what I’ve read / heard / seen from former addicts. It’s a lifelong condition”. Followed by admiration / appreciation for Frank for being able to handle it now and for being so open about it. Followed by… and now we’re getting to the core of this post:

What are the ‘drugs’ I think about every hour, every day, all day, forever? I’m using drugs as a metaphor here, of course, because I don’t drink or smoke or do any kind of harder drugs. Never have. But there are so many other things – behavioural most of all – that are or can be similarly self-destructive to someone’s mental health as drugs are.

So, this morning I started a “my ‘cocaine'” list of some of my own unhelpful / self-destructive behaviour or behavioural patterns in my journal. And trust me there is a wide range of it recognizable for me, when I look at my life and activities more closely. I usually just rather tend not to, because I don’t like what I see when I do. Avoidance. I think that’s the basic theme for most of my issues. I’ll try to be more mindful of that (aka monitor it) for the next few days. But I’m afraid it’s not going to be pretty.

Anyway, thanks once again to Frank for being so open about his own mental health issues. Even if mine have different roots (possibly) and manifestations (definitely) than his, the fact that he talks about it does help. So so much!

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