Lucy Kuy, our resident writer and author of the novel “It Wasn’t My Fault – The Autobiography of Lucy Kuy”, has chosen this extremely apt excerpt from her book for our fifth issue of Pipe Down. Lucy has been through some of the most traumatic life experiences; managing to overcome sexual abuse and violence in childhood and then eating disorders and addiction in her adult life. Today she not only still lives to tell the tale, but has come out of it fighting. An inspiration to us all. This extract is particularly hard to read, but gives an incredible insight into the difficulties we can face even when we have stopped abusing drugs and alcohol.
The Brazilian Man
So the day arrived and I was in a state of total panic. The anticipation I had felt waiting for this day to arrive had kept me on an adrenaline high for over a week! I had no idea what the hell to wear and felt nervous all morning. So here I was, 32 years old, scared shitless at the prospect of starting in the dating world for the very first time. Jesus I was a late bloomer I thought to myself as I gathered my bag and keys together from the mess which was my bedroom. I had thrown my entire wardrobe about trying to find a suitable outfit, standard behaviour for a girl going on a first date… I was guessing anyway. Standard behaviour from me full stop to be fair.
So we were meeting at Charing Cross station to go for food initially. I had butterflies in my stomach the entire journey and I knew he did too. As he had told me over WhatsApp. I was glad he was honest about it because it made me feel less of a girl about the whole thing. I didn’t know what was normal really. The thought of being on a date with a man, with possible romance involved minus any alcohol, was serious unchartered territory. But I hadn’t felt ready up until now. And although I was nervous, I had a feeling that’s what happens on first dates. I knew for certain I was simply not going to be jumping in to bed with this guy – my self-respect was far too high and I simply did not agree with that whole ‘your powerless’ over this kind of action. I whole heartedly agreed with my powerlessness towards alcohol but I felt I had solid recovery in place to start slowly dipping my toe in to the world of dating. When alcohol and drugs were thrown in to the mix of dating, then I had zero control over what would happen. It was always going to be game over. I knew for my recovery I had made some serious personal sacrifices when it came to men and love. But I also knew I really had to. I simply had to change my patterns of behaviour when it came to men and to stay away for a while was the best decision I ever made. Those 14 months of abstinence had been very difficult and sometimes, bone crushingly painful. Inside I mean. On my emotions. Sometimes I ached in my heart so badly to be loved I felt it would be easier and less painful to die. Dramatic as it sounds, it was that bad sometimes. But over time I came to realise that simply wasn’t reality. And, shock horror, my feelings wouldn’t kill me. That all along people had been saying how I must love myself before I can love another. And that was so so true. I knew it and the difference was I FELT it with my heart and NOT my head. That said I knew I still had a job on my hands at separating that unfulfilled desire to be looked after. Something I realised I yearned and ached for from my father. And something I also realised I had searched for in a man. Someone who would protect me and look after me….be my knight in shining armour. Realising all of this as I climbed the stairs at Charing Cross probably wasn’t the best timing for an epiphany, so I pushed it out of my mind and tried to focus on the next hour at least.
I made it to the top, wondrously without falling flat on my face, and stepped into the sunlight. I spotted Alex straight away standing on the pavement, head phones in ears, waiting patiently for me to arrive. And I knew it. I don’t know what ‘it’ meant but there was something else I knew on another level about him. Something just felt so natural. Aside from all the doubts I had rushing around in my skull, I just knew this was the start of something memorable. However it turned out. I made my way over to him and enveloped him in a huge hug, it just felt like it was supposed to be that way. He returned it with enthusiasm and saying hi over and over we stood and stared at each other like imbeciles – both thinking exactly the same, because I could read his mind as he could mine – thank God!!! His smile captivated me and he had this beautiful energy that just shone from him when he smiled down at me. The smile that jumped out of his picture at me when I first saw it was even more mesmerising in real life. I could feel the energy of attraction instantly between us and it felt amazing. I think we both must have looked so relieved. Like it was a huge part of the jigsaw that had fitted in to place.
We made our way over to Waggamama’s where we would spend three hours talking non-stop and eating. Then we went on to the National Portrait gallery where we walked around looking at the paintings and chatting between rooms. It was so nice to be on a proper date with someone, I realised. I hadn’t ever done this before and somehow I felt so grown up. We moved on to a local Starbucks where we settled on to a sofa and talked and talked before we leant in for our first kiss. It went on and on and on – and I never wanted it to end. The chemistry between us was palpable. Eventually we were politely told that Starbucks was closing so we decided at 8pm after meeting at midday, it probably was a good idea to part ways. As first dates go, it had been pretty successful and I couldn’t stop myself from smiling the whole way home. By the time I got my connection to Croydon, Alex had already made it clear he would love to see me again and I whole heartedly felt the same.