On The Way To Wonderland

The Book.  The Movie.  The Journey.

As Lewis Carroll wrote in Alice in Wonderland:
Very few things indeed were really impossible.

My tumultuous trip down a very deep and dark rabbit hole began in my early teens and I experienced decades of colourful and mad adventures around the globe until I hit hard against the bottom of it in 2004. I found myself on Coogee Beach, Australia, with a brutal drug and booze fuelled hangover and I was ruined; emotionally, mentally, physically and financially.

Over the years, I’d grappled with anxiety, anorexia, exercising and overspending addictions and had survived several near fatal overdoses, in two languages, while being in the grip of hard drug and spending addiction – owing an eye-watering amount of money in credit card debts across two continents with Interpol casing me.

Like Carroll’s rabbit, my time was ticking, and I was far from where I wanted to be. In fact, the chasm between the life I wanted and my reality was a devastating blow to my ego. There was no other way. I had to accept that my disease had its foot on my throat and if I wanted to live, I had to get honest with myself and someone else and get help. It was do or die time.  

I reached out to a friend who I felt safe to share with free of judgement. I met her for a cup of tea at the Queen Victoria Building in Sydney and got completely honest with myself and her about the full impact of my addiction on me and my life. A life I felt I couldn’t live anymore. I dramatically downloaded a truthful and transparent account of how bad my drug and spending habit had become and that I saw no way out. I sat there, highly anxious, sweating with shame, sitting there with no idea of what she would say to this trainwreck of a story.

She showed up in that fragile, vulnerable and potent moment of possibility with such love, compassion and forgiveness, in a way I will never forget. She lovingly, respectively and with deep presence asked me a life changing question for which I knew I’d forgotten the answer.

She looked in my eyes and asked me, at depth, Alice, Who are you? Who are you really? Beyond the layers of shame, pain and addictions.

In a cosmic moment my Caterpillar esque companion connected me with the spark of my essence; that quantum core which is made of the same matter of everything in our known universe.

She shined a light of love and acceptance on my self imposed prison and reminded me that I have a birthright and access to the same life force that has created our known universe. In a moment of love, light and acceptance, she reminded me that I have access to the limitless potential of the universe the moment I let it in. I can create any reality I want in consciousness; if I remember that I am loved, worthy and free to choose who I want to be.  

I am here because of these life saving conversations. Real open and honest connections with people I trust have been essential for me to survive day to day through the deadly dance with addiction.  Join me in some real, raw and radical conversations about recovery with lived experience and experts in the field. Let’s strip the stigma, secrecy and shame away and find freedom from our addictions through our heart-led stories, spirit, strength, and solutions.

Yes, it’s a deadly disease but must have a laugh along the way. You’re not alone. There are options. Let’s continue the conversation. 

“You are only given a spark of madness; you mustn’t lose it.”
Robin Williams

In honour of Robin Williams whose comedy has helped keep me alive.  

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