Thursday, 31 May 2012
The Doctor says I'll have to wait until the alcohol wears off.
It was 4am in the morning and I was sat in A&E, waiting to find out how my best friend was doing after slicing her arm to pieces. I'd been at the hospital along with her Mum and boyfriend since 1.30am and although we didn't know it at the time, we wouldn't be leaving the hospital until 11am the next morning. We'd spend 10 hours in hospital with nothing to do but talk to each other, panic about the previous unfoldings of the evening and work out where it all went wrong.
That day, we had gone to Camden for a day full of an alcohol filled lunch, lots of shopping and random intervals where the other's would have to drag me out of numerous tattoo parlours before I walked out with 'Ken' tattooed in a love heart on my thigh. It was typically my favourite kind of day. I love Camden, I love alcohol, I love shopping and I love that I know my best friend and her family will happily waste their time stopping me from doing something I'd later regret. Roll forward 7 hours later and that brilliant day out seemed like a distant memory.
Hospitals do strange things to people; when I was little, I remember my Dad working at one and on a Saturday morning, after dropping my Mum to work, he'd drive me into his department - where there was a teddy bear wearing a bandage stuck to the department's exterior wall -, make me a cup of tea and leave me with a word search in his office for 20 minutes while he checked that everything was running smoothly. Then as I got older, the hospital became a place I'd fear. Knowing I HAD no choice, if I wanted to get better, than to go there was petrifying at 15 and everything from the clinical white decoration to the way the reception staff were so friendly evoked some kind of emotion that made me want to run screaming from the hills. But then my Granddad died and visiting him hours before he passed away, I saw how hard the staff worked to keep him positive in his last moments and suddenly, this place I once feared became a place I respected. But while I was sat there for those 10 hours, waiting on news about my friend, the hospital just made me think.
It made me think about every decision I've ever made - it made me doubt them, justify them and agree with them all at once -, it made me think about every single person I consider a priority in my life and whether they feel the same (or am I merely an option to them?) and it made me think about what I want to do with my life and how I want to be viewed.
Do I really want to be known as the girl who has a one night stand with somebody she's just met because it'll be a funny story to tell after a glass of wine? Do I want to be known as the girl who can list every single side effect of cocaine because she's felt the effect of it one too many times? And, do I really want to be known as the girl who ran away from the problems she had in a small town, only to create more in an even bigger city?
The collective answer to those 3 questions is no. I don't want to make a decision based purely on the fact that the action will perhaps give a chuckle to a handful of people. I want my family to be proud of me and know that the decisions I make in the future are well thought out and detailed.I would really like to start a story without the first sentence being "so I was really drunk/out of my face..." and lastly, I'd really like to look back in 40 years time and truthfully say "D'ya know what? I HAVE had fun, I have no drunken regrets and I've lived a bloody good life. Plus, I can remember everything from aged 19 upwards because I wasn't so drunk I could barely remember my own name or so high that I chewed the skin from my wrist bones."
I really just want to look back on this crazy thing we call life and not want to cringe from embarrassment.
We all make mistakes - that's a fact. If you can find me one person who will hold their hands up and honestly say they've lived each day perfectly and haven't fucked up once, I'll salute you. In fact, I'll write you a cheque for £1000 (I haven't actually got this much in my bank account so please don't try to prove me right as I won't be able to pay you) and get your name tattooed on my forehead (again, please don't do this. I can't fulfil it. I quite like my forehead). I'll hold my hands up right now and admit that I've made my fair share of them but instead of being sat in that hospital, letting these bad decisions eat me up from the inside, I made probably the most sensible decision I've ever made to start afresh and THINK properly before I act upon something.
Don't get me wrong, I'll still be spontaneously dying my hair green and getting silly things tattooed on me because I'm bored one day but I'm hoping this means I'll be spending less time propped up at the bar, ordering large glasses of wine because I want to forget my previous actions. That night at the hospital, I saw who I want to be and how I want to be viewed. I also saw the type of person I don't want to become. The one thing that was a little bit shady is how to get to where I want to be.
But that's the exciting part; I'm learning every single step of the way and I'm figuring it all out in my head instead of trying to figure out what exactly did happen on that random night out.
Although that night in A&E wasn't very pleasant and I can safely say we all would rather have been at home, drinking tea and watching a random music programme, we all discovered something about ourselves.
Personally, I discovered I have heaps of courage and I should really be putting it to good use instead of bad. Stop being courageous when it comes to sexual experimentation and drugs and start being fearless in my career and ambitions. That's exactly what this is all about.
It's about using your powers for good, instead of evil and striving to be a better person. I've always said that this is my main goal in life - to be a better version of the person I am - but I'm actually going to start putting that into practise.
I guess I have a lot to thank that night in hospital for...(despite my friend probably feeling otherwise, I know that eventually she'll look back on this crazy night and realise everything that happened was for the best. Even if it may not seem like it now.)