I am 28 years old and have lived with an addiction for more than half my life. I have had a long way of recovery and still wouldn’t call myself “fully recovered”. I believe that it needs to be acknowledged, that recovery (what ever it may be from – substance abuse, behaviour etc.) is a long and very bumpy journey. I have learnt that (re) lapses are a normal and part of recovery, so I don’t beat my self up anymore if it happens. I have learned to appreciate and focus on what I have accomplished and how far I have come. I have also realised, that my addiction is nothing that I need to be ashamed of. I used to hate, ignore and hide this part of myself for many years and wouldn’t tell anyone. I only now realised I didn’t take myself seriously and accept myself for who I was.
Recovered (or not) the addiction-fragment of myself will always be part of who I am. However, I was also able to see things differently because of it and I believe it gave me the ability to be insightful and understanding. I might even be able to now give to or help someone going through the same because of these experiences lived. I also acknowledge, that asking for help is okay and in fact a very big first step (which often is not easy, asking for help is never easy), but help is out there. I further realised that I was very lucky to have support during this long journey and this is something I will never take for granted. It was also great being able to know people going through the same experiences as I do, because no one really understands until they have been there too. However it is still on me to do it (recovery) and that I am the only one responsible for it. The most important lesson I have learnt is definitely to never give up and believe that recovery is possible (even in my case).
Something short about the sex industry
What irritates me the most when talking about the sex industry or sex workers is the stigma towards this industry and these individuals. No one ever talks, when talking about sex workers, about just women (considering that the majority of sex workers are women). No one ever talks about these women who have so many strengths, skills and experiences, women who may be studying, women who may be mothers and are caring for their children and women who are simply working to earn money (just not in a mainstream industry) like everyone else. I wonder, when this will ever change and when sex workers will bee seen as nothing different but individuals.
I am general a very shy person and never had much self esteem at all. Which I believe are the two main reasons I never had many friends, but I have had a few very good and special ones.
I moved to Australia about two years ago and realised that it is hard to find friends if you are new somewhere and especially don’t really have anywhere to “belong” – I no longer went to university and initially didn’t have a job, both places where one could meet other people. It was/is also hard to meet new people and make new friends in a world where everyone is busy all the time (including myself) and I often felt (and still feel) isolated despite having a partner who is, if I am honest to myself, my only real good friend here; I often miss “my girls”. I hardly ever talk about feeling “lonely” but I believe that through conversations with others at and outside of Project Respect that others feel like I do, (I know that this seems stupid), but to some extent this makes me feel a bit less lonely.