Thursday, 14 July 2011

Yellow cup, with flowers.


I have been to a lot of rehabs. This is not cool - it's incredibly embarrassing. One of them was a really crap one down near Parramatta Road in Sydney. It was a JOKE. You had to jump through so many hoops to get permission to go to a meeting. Staff would turn a blind eye when people were obviously under the influence of something.

I was determined to make the whole 28 days, so I stuck it out. One day, part of the "program" was to actively seek out known triggers - so we all went for a walk up to the nearest pub. And ordered lemonades. Stupidest thing ever - in direct opposition to one of my favourite cliches about keeping yourself safe: "If you sit in a barbers chair long enough ... you're gonna get a haircut."

By this time, I knew a bit about recovery. It was incredibly frustrating - but still, I stuck it out. I didn't want to keep failing. Continual failure wears a person out, you know?

I remember a lot of people, from rehabs over the years. I wonder where they are - if they made it. If they "got" it.

During my stay, I got quite attached to a particular coffee mug. Every single thing in that place was beige, or brown. Curtains, carpet, chairs ... down to the cups in the kitchen. All except this one cup, this one yellow cup with green, pink and orange flowers on it. I "bagsed" it all the time, and even took it into my room at night so nobody else could use it.

My last day, I took it to the kitchen, washed and dried it up. Thought about taking it, but "How much was my honesty worth" yadda yadda. I did the rounds of goodbyes, to my fellow freaks and misfits and beautiful people. I knew some of those people had not one chance in hell of staying clean and I really hoped I was not one of them.

When I was walking out the door, a woman came running up to me and pressed something wrapped into my hands. Her name was Lydia. She was German, still with a really thick accent. A stunning woman with blonde hair and beautiful eyes. Her ex-husband had recently taken full custody of her son and it killed her, she carried so much pain. But still, she could not stop drinking. Wicked conundrum.

"Zis is for you, Eden. Take it. Go. Open later. GO." She was a bossy sweetheart, as soon as I took it I knew what it was straight away.

I got in the car and opened it up, showing Dave my prize. This was September 2000. Almost eleven years ago.

Can you believe that mug is still in perfect condition? I played a kind of trick with it, and just put it in the cupboard with all the other mugs. Pretending there was nothing special about it all. (When you have so many children, most of your shit gets broken. It's the rules.)

It means so much to me - priceless. Every single time I see it and drink from it, I remember where I came from. Sitting in my big house with my beautiful kids and fancy car .... I could lose it all. I never want to lose it all.

Sometimes I feel like I owe it to all my friends who fell by the wayside ... to live my life. Like, really LIVE it, you know?

It's as terrifying as it is exhilarating.

48 comments:

  1. I think you are living your life to the full. I'm proud of you. I hope you're proud of you. x

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  2. It is what it all comes back to.

    Live your goddamn life!

    x

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  3. Eden, only you could take something as simple as a cup and morph it into a truly captivating piece of writing, complete with a powerful metaphor.

    This is simply so beautiful and I feel that mug has stayed unbroken as a symbol of symmetry with you - also unbroken despite the odds stacked against you then.

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  4. I won't leave much of a comment for fear of blubbering harder. You are fucking amazing Eden x

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  5. Eden, this is a beautiful post, I will have top stop opening Edenland at work, everyone is asking me what is wrong, I am crying.... One of your really really best ones. Yes you are Amazing... Awesomely so. xxx Eden' Mum

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  6. I hate you.

    I lose all my words when I read yours.

    xx

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  7. Goddamn.

    xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo

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  8. You bloody deserve six of those cups. Amd matching saucers x

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  9. The cup is your success symbol, but if anything happens and you are without it, unlike others, you know you will still succeed. You were granted the wisdom to know the difference. xx

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  10. Wow.

    Just wow.

    Thank you for sharing that, and a million congratulations for all you've accomplished.

    NG

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  11. that's one hell of a mug.
    xox

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  12. Beautiful goose-bumpy post :) Absolutely... Live it!

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  13. That body of yours has lived a big life. xxx

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  14. You live so much through the words you share. They are so full of life, so full of you. xx

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  15. Amazing post from an amazing woman.
    You are the yellow cup in a world of beige cups :) x

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  16. That cup was really your swan
    White_Oprah63

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  17. That's so great, good on you Eden! The power of belief :)

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  18. I am sitting on the gutter watching my boys ride their bikes and ended up crying into my tea. Thanks Eden for your breathtaking honesty and heaps prouda you . What a legacy you are building for your kids as you really live!!!

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  19. There should be a whole big tea party around that mug x I'll even bake!

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  20. Awesome. Just awesome.
    That cup is a symbol of how far you've come and how strong you are.
    I hope it'll be buried with you.
    x

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  21. German accents. They will forever have a special place in my heart.

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  22. i hope, one day, my husband has something like that.

    you give me hope xxx

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  23. You did the work. You deserve the happy cup.

    If I say I am proud of you, it might sound condescending. Which it is not. I am proud of you. I know what kind of guts it takes. to stick it out.

    I put a large amount of bad things in my system in my late teens into the twenties.

    I try to think about her, the sad me who didn't give a shit if she/me lived or died. I think I was already dead back then.

    Something clicked. Maybe 100's of things clicked at once and I decided I did not want to go out like that. Even the smokes went.

    It is a commitment. You have to be committed to yourself. Which is completely almost impossible when you loath yourself. Just waiting it out, seeping like a bag in toxic tea. But when it clicks, even the tiniest of a click, it can begin a journey.

    That woman who lost her kids and couldn't stop drinking... her sorrow and grief. Ah. took my breath away. So much pain. I want to reach out through the universe and tell her that bad things happen to good people. I want to wrap her in a comfortable quilt, hand her a box of tissues and tell he to let out the sad. Scream it, cry it, talk it, just get it out.

    Maybe she got it. Maybe when she handed you the cup, she saw something "cup worthy" in herself.

    Sharing your raw side, helps others see that they are not alone, and if there is hope for you... just maybe they might catch a little bit too.

    I love your cup Eden. Your cup runneth over with healing tea. I love what it represents. I love you, as my sister blogger.

    If that is not too weird to be loved by a crow. ;-)

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  24. The power of words. And yellow mugs. Kia kaha.

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  25. The power of words. And yellow mugs. Kia kaha.

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  26. Love the mug and love you ;-) The words in this [post my gosh am getting tears in my eyes "stop it now" What a wonderful being you are xxxx

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  27. That is one awesome cup, dude. Thank you for this post

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  28. I am sharing this link. As a first time reader of Eden I am very impressed and moved by this story. Best wishes to you Eden.

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  29. I love how open and honest you are on your blog. So inspiring!

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  30. You are an amazing person and an inspired and inspiring writer. I always said I could write a story about anything, like a coffee mug, but it wouldn't be as damn interesting as yours. It's an incredible feeling to see how your words can move so many people. Almost like a drug, albeit a much healthier one. Keep doing what you're doing, babe. You are my superstar.

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  31. Your tags are fucked, love.

    "posts I should not publish"

    Nope.

    Wrong.

    I♥You, Eden. And I love that you expose yourself like this from your place of promise and hope.

    xxx

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  32. That cup ranks up there with your red boots!!
    How wonderful to have a tangeable item to sip from and remember.
    We will not forget the past nor shut the door to it....fantastic sister!

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  33. You are amazing. You are a brilliantly strong woman who deserves all of the happiness that comes your way. You fought it, you got it and that mug is a symbol of how much you deserve to be healthy and happy.
    Jenn

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  34. I wonder how many of us out here remember September 2000 and have 'stuck' with anything for that long. I wonder how many of us appreciate the 'stuff' we could lose - 'but by grace go I'. And how many of us really live our lives?
    I think I'm going to go buy a yellow cup so that I remember. July 2011.
    Lovely post, Eden. Thank you.

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  35. Life is terrifying. And exhilarating.

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  36. You do more living in a single day than others do in an entire lifetime! Much love!

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  37. Hi Eden, I have been following your blog for some months now... what a chick!! ( Linda and i were grand mates at uni and she led me to edenland via facebook).

    Anyway I just wanted to say hi, as I have been feeling like I am some kind of stalker not acknowledging your awe inspiring blog! You Bazza girls are an amazing lot.

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  38. That's a beautiful memory even amongst sadness. I pray the German lady is doing as well as you seem to be.

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  39. I love this post!! It is so true!! I think you seem to be doing a great job of living life to the fullest.

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  40. On Christmas day in the psych hospital they gave those of us who didn't go home for the day a mug with lollies in it. Mine had a jungle scene - an elephant and a monkey and a toucan and so on amidst a cacophony of colourful foliage. I can't say I ever cherished it. Those animals were too sombré and sweet; they got to me. It was all too pathetic. But I carried it with me until it was taken and then I regretted that it was gone. I don't know why.

    I can't imagine that many of the people I knew then are as blessed as I am now.

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  41. There is nothing else to add, your writing is beautiful you honour your fallen friends by just being here and surviving.
    Take care xoxo

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  42. Every time I come here, I am blown away. I like that you talk to us, not at us. That is a bloody amazing gift Eden.

    We all need a reminder that what we have today can be gone tomorrow. I have just been reminded by this awesome post. Thank You. x

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  43. I love that mug! It is simply amazing that it's still in one piece and I only hope saying that doesn't jinx it!

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  44. This is not a post you should not publish.

    It is honest- you had an issue, and you dealt with it, and even if it took you ten or a thousand times, you've overcome it. You've done so well. You're a fucking inspiration. I love you. And your accent too. Your accent, as well as a German accent, is amazing. I don't know if you've heard mine, but it's plain ass shit.

    I have a zebra from an ambulance when they took me to the psych ward. I have 7 tabs from NA when I was attending before I was terminated from my internship. I don't take it as a sign that I was doing badly- no, I take it as a sign that I've taken a step forward and learnt something from it. The things I have, the material things, they remind me that I'm not there anymore, and they remind me of how far I've come. Cherish that, the road you've taken, the progress you've made.

    You're truly an amazing woman xx

    ~Ashley~
    * Perpetually Me *

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Write to be understood, speak to be heard. - Lawrence Powell

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