Want to know what you’re REALLY like? Look at your friends.

I think Bob Marley wrote ‘Everything’s Gonna Be Alright’ to indoctrinate young people into making bad decisions, regardless of the consequences. When I moved to (what I like to call) ‘Hippy Dippy Bristol’ by myself at seventeen, I was submerged into the world of dodgy dip-dyed harem pants, eye-watering variants of incense sticks, squats with very dubious drainage systems (a bucket), ear-popping sound systems and not least of all – drugs. My friends and I would wander around as if we were simulations in a real-life video game, protected by innumerable ‘life’. If things screwed up, fuck it! We were going to be young forever. Only when the rosy glow of my youth eventually withers into a crumpled mess on the floor then and only then, I would consider growing up.

Keith Hearing ‘Earth Day’ postcard (print) I picked up at The Tate Liverpool. You are your friends! #hippylife

When I was first introduced to heroin it didn’t frighten me any more than having my bare feet suspended over the bed as a child before rushing to the toilet. A momentary rush of adrenaline and it was over. The whole thing felt inconsequential. I had guessed from a young age that my life would take a dark turn, and therefore when it did, I was not surprised. In reflection, I was preyed upon by a man who wanted an underage girl to take drugs with. A thirty-year-old who needed my youth as a self-esteem boost. Like a bug, I volunteered myself into the claws of his carnivorous ‘snap!’ before I realised what had happened.

It’s my birthday on Monday, making that cataclysmic, cherry-popping moment exactly: seven years ago. Starting university, I am surrounded by people who were the age I was when I took that wrong turn. I can see no similarities between myself and them. I’ve always known there was corruptible darkness within me and my friends never made it seem odd because they were equally audacious. Watching silently in the background at the young people around me now, I understand the world I created for myself is disparate in comparison.

I believe that the people you surround yourself with are the most accurate mirrors of your temperament, ambitions and goals, humour and self-worth. Maybe that’s why I feel most at home when I’m with my recovery group. There is an open-mindedness that is rarely available outside the walls of such a community. I don’t want to become short-sighted and narrow-minded like the people inside the stone-brick buildings of this university. Having heard them talk in class about homelessness, I felt a pit in the bottom of my stomach. If I have to segregate myself from such ignorance to avoid feeling like a betrayer of my community, then I will. The world needs to understand that being an addict does not make you a criminal or a bad person. It doesn’t mean you have no worth, nor does it mean you are lazy or stupid.

Reflecting on the social circles that have imbued my life-decisions, I see a correlation between my behaviour and the decline of my mental health. I know that seems obvious but having imposter syndrome, sometimes I feel that I’m not part of a group and therefore am an independent choice maker. Clearly, that is not the case.
You don’t have to be a recovering addict to relate to the point I am making. You are the people who you choose to dedicate your time too. If you feel like someone has come into your life that is a bad influence, cut them off. Put yourself first.

Lots of love,

Forever and always,

Lily Rose x

Do I need a personality transplant?

I’m beginning to realise how narrow-minded students are at this university. It is a haven for angry-liberals who have no intention of opening their inner circles (or minds) to someone new. I feel marginalised, people take one look at me, hear my accent and presume I’ve been fed with a silver spoon my entire life. I grew up on a council estate, but when I got adopted aged ten years old I suddenly found myself at a private school, where everyone pronounced their words correctly. I had to refine my heavy London accent to fit in.

My results at school were awful so I didn’t have much choice when it came to picking out a university. I love being here academically but because I’m ‘an arty type’ with a posh accent I am struggling to find my place. Being a recovering addict hasn’t helped either.

I found out last Monday that a friend of mine from Primary school ( I was still in foster care then) passed away from terminal cancer. We had kept in touch all those years and I am devasted. I’ve been quiet all week in class and at halls, yet not one person asked if I’m okay. Her funeral is tomorrow. When did people become so unconcerned for one another? I attempted to tell my teacher but chickened out. I know what they are thinking: it’s just a dumb capricious posh girl having a strop. Walking into the classroom with mascara streaking down my face like melted crayon has left me open to taunting and not a concern. The side-ways glances and hushed giggles tell me that much.

I feel terrible for her beautiful family. Life is precious and yet we treat every day with such disdain and carelessness. We should respect our life but most of us haven’t. I became clean from drugs so I could lead a better, kinder existence. I would swap my life for hers in an instant.Rejection by my peers this week has confirmed this for me.

My little routines bring me comfort at a time when I need it the most. The characters in my books are my friends, more intelligent and interesting than anyone I’ve met so far. Most people here need a personality transplant. I wake up and go for a long run, eat some rabbit-food, collect my books, make coffee and walk to class. Afterwards, I hide away amongst the towering bookcases in the library.
Several failed attempts to rally a group together left me frustrated so I went around the art galleries on my own yesterday. No one seems interested in anything other than drinking and social media, or maybe it’s just me. Maybe I need the personality transplant.

Picture taken at ‘The Walker Art Gallery’ Liverpool of a painting by John William Waterhouse called Echo and Narcissus. When did students become so obsessed with themselves? I thought this painting was appropriate for the subject matter of this post.

I’m going to leave this post here before I strangle myself. My self-deprecating rants are boring.

Lily Rose x

Being Alone Sucks.. Ass!

Don’t you just hate the kind of people that brag by association? ‘I was in the same English class in primary school with (insert a famous producer/DJ and a seriously smug face) and I’m a follower on his private Instagram account’. My ex-boyfriend was like that.

I joined the University running society (very exclusive three-member club) and whilst getting to know one another (both in relationships, laughed when I thought that Shaun Mendez was a football player) it dawned on me: I am a rare breed of single.

Both are eighteen and have been together with their partners for 3+ years. I commend any relationship that survives the rocky terrain that is a sixteen-year-olds hormones/sex-drive/general face-palming behaviour. Despite wanting to choke them with their disgusting happiness, I felt an odd sense of pride. Perhaps generation tinder isn’t doomed after all.

But back to me. I am nearly 24 years old (birthday in 3 weeks, get in) and I’ve only ever had one serious relationship and he got me hooked on bloody heroin so yes, I really know how to pick ’em.

I’ve been so lonely here. I’ve only met one person my age and he still lives with his Mum. I thought that I wouldn’t be the only person who was a mature student. There are third-year students but they are too busy working on their dissertations.

Sorry this post is so utterly boring and shit. I promise to put in more effort into the next one!

Lily Rose xxx

‘I can take a taxi to the city because I’m not wasting my money on what is essentially potato starch’

In the Narcotics Anonymous book, it consistently refers to how addicts in recovery isolate themselves. However, making a conscious decision to abstain from drinking to reduce the risk of relapse – does this come under the act of ‘isolation’?

A large amount of British socialisation is done around barrels of beer. Amusingly, I’m now – quote- ‘the boring one’. This is very funny to me because if anything makes a person ‘boring’ it’s someone who spends every other night getting pissed and rubbing themselves up against smelly strangers in the dark to terrible music. Don’t get me wrong – I love a good night out once in a blue moon- but the freshers nights? That is blasphemous to club culture. Why don’t kids go and see live DJ’s anymore? The monotonous life of an eighteen-year-old university fresher is nothing short of insanity.

My life is rich now that I am sober. I have money to do things like go to posh cafes and eat opulent, over-the-top chocolate cake. I can go to fancy Italian restaurants and pretend to be a wine snob. I can take a taxi to the only cinema in the city because I’m not wasting my money on what is essentially potato starch. It feels as if I am on a different time zone to everyone else; I was heading out for a run at seven this morning when I passed a few of my flatmates blind drunk on the stairs, all smudged makeup and slurred words. It was bizarre! It reaffirmed for me why don’t want to be a part of it.

You are welcome to roll your eyes and call me a hypocrite (I am British, so it’s kinda our ‘thing’). I never thought that this would be the part I struggled with the most. Today I have spent the morning in lectures and I am currently sat in the library doing some ‘light reading’.

I always use this blog as an excuse to procrastinate (and/or moan).

Love from,

Lily Rose


‘Sorry, it’s not THAT kind of service’. No, it was more for university students that had developed a part-time ketamine habit on the weekends.

Since my comeback to education after six years I’ve found institutions like universities hold students who are far more polarised on political-ideological fronts. You’re either a conservative c*** or a liberal leftie which, despite growing accusations of antisemitism and misogyny, is the only party out of the two that is socially palatable. I’m too terrified to tell anyone I’m right-wing. When the bird of life shits on you, you tend to have a less than rosy outlook. The rose-tinted glasses I wore when I was a child have become more like a cynical-cyanide yellow. The labour party has become so toxic and please don’t get me started on political correctness. To make matters worse one of my first assignments is on homelessness. Even my teacher is unable to teach without trying to supplant his righteous views (he is definitely a closet bigot). The lessons are unbearable – if people could leave their opinions, prejudices and badly misrepresented misconceptions outside the door than we might be able to have a healthy debate.

This post isn’t going to be about me going on about Brexit (there’s enough of that) but instead about the effects that such divisions have had on the education system. I thought going into university it would be a safe haven for someone like me. A former inmate, a recovering addict and an inspiring writer. Instead, I feel even more like an outsider.

It’s not just the divisions I see in my teachers and fellow pupils. Even the university support systems will help up until a certain point. For example, a support hub for students experiencing drug problems at university; I asked my newly appointed recovery worker at the clinic whether I should use this service as a second point of call. He told me that it wasn’t (and this is a direct quote) ‘THAT kind of service’. No, it was more for university students that had developed a part-time ketamine habit on the weekends or had ‘just a bit TOO much coke that one weekend’. After taking the time to do my research I realised that this charity was run by volunteers and not one health-care professional. It wasn’t for the likes of me, someone who actually has a diagnosed heroin and crack cocaine addiction. Someone who would benefit from a service like that.  

This university screams LEFT-WING. Every tutor and most of the pupils I’ve encountered practically bellow it from the rooftops. And yet, the lack of support for someone like me seems to contradict what someone with those ideological views is meant to be about. It feels like being outside of the cool gang at school – everything is about harbouring a particular image. A drugs support service at university looks great on paper.. but it needs to be more than that. No wonder that the number of students committing suicide is so drastically high. It’s a disgrace.

Does anyone else feel the same? Let me know!

Feeling disheartened. Maybe I should I do something about it?

Lily Rose xxx

‘They are like boxes of Mars bars, indistinguishable from one another and so sickly sweet that spending more than an hour in their company and I would be at risk of social diabetes’

My last post was heavy. Yikes!
I made it to university and I’m finally clean. I have come out the other side with a few scrapes and bruises but nothing I can’t handle. The radio silence was not just for my benefit -I didn’t think talking about something so dark would be good for me or you. The last thing I want is for someone to read my blog and feel triggered by it.
Sustaining my recovery at university is going to be the hardest thing I will ever have to do.

I’m staying in halls with a bunch of independent-living-virgins (all freshly eighteen) hell-bent on drinking themselves silly every night. I can’t be irritated because I was the same back then (the only difference was the drug of choice mine was heroin)

This morning I had woke up to a cloud of smoke emanating suspiciously from underneath the kitchen door. I texted our flat group chat and the culprit very quickly, very sheepishly came in. I was informed that the oven had been left on since three o’clock in the morning. He even told me in a very sincere way, ‘I had put the oven on, on a low heat in case I fell asleep’. I suppose I was impressed at his half-hearted attempt at responsibility. It wasn’t like the house had burnt down? I’ve never been the sensible one. I feel like I don’t know who I am anymore.

They do not know about my past. I haven’t had time to redefine myself yet, I feel perpetually lost, self-deluded and in need of constant reassurance. For what, I couldn’t tell you. Sometimes, I want to scream the truth as if it would exorcise me. I lie in bed at night and imagine the shock and the horror that would slowly creep upon there faces, like a bad chill on the spine, as I told them of my time in prison, of my grafting and the endless drugs.

I speak eloquently and I wear nice clothes. I am a walking, talking oxymoron. I have freckled skin and beautiful lush blonde hair. I look so far from how society expects a drugs user to look like. When I walked into a drugs clinic in Liverpool yesterday the reception just looked me up and down and asked, ‘are you in the right place?’.

I looked at her blankly. I ask myself that question all the time.

Walking to my halls; ‘am I in the right place?’ In class; ‘am I in the right place? In bed; ‘am I in the right place?’

I looked at her and said, as if in defiance to all my insecurities and self-doubt, ‘I am. Are you?’

The anger inside of me comes out as sharp and acidic. I feel as if I’ve disguised myself in thick, lavish, face paint, that under the strain is beginning to crack and crease. I feel the rift so bitterly. This persona is beginning to falter and they know it and I know it.

There is only one of them that I like and I shall call him Mark. Mark is into fantasy fiction and has the social skills of a turnip but, we get on. I took him to his first club last night – he sees the real me and it doesn’t bother him. And of course, a night out is not complete until someone punches you in the face. I have a purple blushed cheek in a monument to the fun we had. We could not be more different – have I found my Dustin?

I would be miserable if not for Mark. I forgot how annoying most people are – where are their personalities? They are like boxes of Mars bars, indistinguishable from one another and so sickly sweet that spending more than an hour in their company and I would be at risk of social diabetes. I have to lock myself in my room with the curtains shut if I am exposed for too long.

I know that my past has made me feel like an outsider but perhaps it is more than that. In Bristol I had my hippy kin. Here, the people are so different to what I’m used to. Will I find that kind of undying love and friendship I felt growing up?

I will leave you to Kate Bush now.

Lots of love,

Lily Rose


I messed up this week… bad. I don’t recognise who I’ve become and it’s been horrible. The doctor has decided to put me on Subutex so that my withdrawals won’t be as bad. It’s been a hellish week and I haven’t coped at all, I’ve been suicidal and had to be hospitalised because I had a breakdown and now my legs look like a chopped up beetroot.

I’m not sleeping, I’m eating at bizarre times in the morning because that’s when my sleepers kick in and I no longer feel sick. If I have to go to University on Subutex just so I can cope then that’s what I will have to do.

I hate methadone with vengeance. It is the root of all evil, Hitler invented it after all. His last ‘fuck you’ before he died. I’ve tried to get off this medication twice and twice I have failed. I am hiding from my family because they won’t understand because unless you have experienced it no one does.

I feel so ashamed of myself. I thought I was doing okay but I forgot that methadone stays in your system for quite a long time, it was only after maybe three or four days that everything changed and I had a ‘fell asleep on a bar of chocolate’ type meltdown. Just total carnage.

I just lie in my bed staring at my ceiling, crying,aching,hating,obsessing. I can’t even walk down the street without wanting the pavement to swallow me whole. I feel so depressed, I can’t shower and leaving the house for milk is such an ordeal that I’ve resorted to drinking my coffee black.

All I want is to be sober. This is penance for being an addict as it’s all self inflicted. No one made me put all these chemicals into my body.. and now I am paying the highest price.

There is no shame in taking a few steps back. If it helps me to get from A to B without creating a whole new letter in the alphabet than I am ok doing that.

I hope the next time I post I will be in a better place.

Love from,

Lily Rose


Sleeping Pills and Uni Thrills

I am totally smashing this sober thing straight out the park. Day three off methadone, armed with diazepam (welcome to the dream realm Lily) and a sickeningly positive outlook I am untouchable.

I had my first good nights sleep in a month last night. I woke up feeling fresher than a daisy and the bags under my eyes have mellowed to a more neutral grey. My belly aches, my arms ache, I have creaky knees and, an overwhelming desire to punch everyone – some say I have morphed into a middle aged man overnight. But my brain is far more important and, apart from the odd spout of voilent anger, I am elevated at my progress into the big bad world of sobriety.


(she asks herself)

Living around death, decay and addiction whilst in recovery has only strengthened my resolve to be clean. I am going to university in a little over three months. My brand new life is waiting for me, like a pop-up book, all I need is to turn the page and it can all be mine. If I can get through the next few months, I will be okay.

I spent all of today sorting out student finance. I spend every day filling out forms explaining how many screws I have loose in my brain. It’s frustrating but I know I am going to need all the help I can get. The bank of Mum and Dad is not an option for me. Now all my energy is being focused on getting to University with the best support networks and financial help available to me.

I have a goal and I am so close to it.



Lots of love,

Lily Rose


Officially Sober

There are twenty rooms here. I know the sound of each individual door as it opens, each individuals footsteps, sleep patterns and, even their bathroom habits. I know that if a person comes in and out the front door in the space of five minutes they’ve scored just down the end of the road. I know the girls who work the street because when they get picked up I know that scared and desperate look in their eye. Some girls only come downstairs when their arms are freshly punctured. Over half sit in the front room for a never-ending drink. I can hear the girl coughing in room 17 on the other side of the house. She has lung cancer and she will most likely die in the next few months. Each room carries it’s own secrets, harbouring a new life every few months. At night when I can’t sleep I wonder how many people have called my room home. It’s a house full of pain.

As of today, I am off my methadone and I no longer fit the criteria for this type of supported housing – the girls call it a ‘wet-house’. I am feeling for the first time and it’s so much harder to look at the chaos and overwhelming sadness that seems to seep out of every brick, every cracked ceiling and broken chair. I feel guilty all the time that I have been able to stop using and have the opportunity to go to university in September. Watching and understanding up close how much an addiction destroys a person, knowing that was me not that long ago is unnerving. Some days I forget that I was once like that, and to be truthful, most of the time I have no patience for it. I made the decision to move on from drugs, the hardest and most seismic change I have ever undergone. Living in a place which is a constant reminder of where I used to be now I am sober, is so strange. As much as I will miss the people here, I am eager to leave the sound and the smell of addiction in the past.

The next few weeks, maybe even months, are going to be tough. I haven’t been sleeping and I feel so weak. As soon as my body has got back it’s natural rhythm I know that it will all be worth it. I wonder when I look back at this time of my life how I will view it?

Anything worth having is going to take effort. Am I ready? I think so.


I have finally arrived in the last week of my methadone detox. I will be saying my final au revoir to the world of opiates for what (I hope) is the last time. I’ve spent two years of my life waiting in the pharmacy waiting rooms. What will become of my morning routine? What do sober people do? My breakfast ritual has always been to wake-up, get dressed and, get/consume drugs (legally or illegally). How pitiful – I suppose now I ought to get a job like the rest of the Prozac nation.

How do you cope with boredom? I’m serious, how do sober people deal with being bored? I’d rather take a knife to my legs. I used a blunt knife to dent a make-shift garter on myself last night, is that normal? I can feel my old impulses creeping up on me like an unpleasant itch. If I’m not careful I’ll morph into Jim Carey in Yes-Man. I need a new hobby that isn’t moaning on here or writing pumped up fantasy fiction because I don’t need any more reasons to be a certified hermit.

I’ve never tried to understand who I am because I have always felt repulsed by what I saw. Who is the real Lily Rose? When I go to university and reintegrate with kids my age what click will I belong to? I was always a social outcast at school and at college. People accepted I was troubled and drank too much. I was the go-to girl if you wanted some pills, a crazy night out and a sofa to sleep or puke on – when I started taking gear that didn’t really change. I was never was the girl who was asked out to coffee shops. I think I frightened even my friends.

I’m not a hot mess anymore. I’m nearly twenty-four and hardly a misunderstood seventeen years old and besides, I don’t want to be that person anymore. Maybe I’ll be a nerd, even as a kid my head was always stuck in a book. What do nerds do when they are bored? I’ve already decided I need a PS4 if I’ve got any chance of making friends when I move into university halls. See how I talk myself into a frenzied panic? I spend a lot of time thinking about how I will cope. The problems I’ve had for years will still be there, so am I ready? ONE WEEK. ONE WEEK TO GO. Only one. 1. I’ve re-invented myself as some pretty interesting characters over the years. Once I’m completely sober it will be like having a clean slate. So who will I become?

One thing I know for certain is that if I am anything, I’m horny as hell.


I can’t watch a programme with even the mildest of nudity without feeling a certain fire in a certain place.

So this is where I am.

If you’re looking to read a nicely structured article you’ve come to the wrong platform. My head is a mess and so is my writing.

Wish me luck!

Lily Rose xxxx

Stuck in a box with Sid and Nancy

I had a surreal and heavily symbolic dream last night. I’m on 10ml of methadone now so REM sleep is all I can manage. The days of a blissful and uninterrupted snooze are long gone. Deep sleep? Forget it. I toss and turn in my bed, aching, slipping in and out of consciousness.

In this dream, I was trapped in a perspex box which was floating through a grey sky. Inside with me, sat in the opposite corner, was Sid Vicious and Nancy Spungen. They were injecting heroin. I couldn’t get out of the box, I couldn’t move- it felt very menacing.

For those of you who don’t know who this infamous couple is, I will summarise briefly. Sid Vicious was the bass player in the Sex Pistols for a short period of time during the 1970s. Around this time he met Nancy, heroin addict and groupie. The fell in love and begun a drug-fuelled and often violent relationship. In 1978 Nancy died from a knife wound to the abdomen in the room that they shared in the Chelsea Hotel, New York. Sid was charged with her murder but died a few months later from a heroin overdose before the trial could start.

Nancy Spungen and Sid Vicious

Any addict who has been in a relationship based on a drug addiction knows how dark and often painful it can be. Trying to share your love between drugs and another person is impossible. Heroin will always come first. My own using began this way. At seventeen I fell in love with a man twelve years my senior. He was a musician and heroin addict. I was a mentally disturbed, vulnerable young woman. Not long after, I followed suit.

Our relationship was built on self-destruction, domestic abuse and drugs. I was seeking something to fill this emptiness inside me. Within about a year I was a full-blown addict, stealing from my family and ripping off my friends. I thought it was romantic being in a relationship like this. It made the drug taking seem poetic. Until my first cluck of course.

In this dream, I felt so trapped in this tiny space with these two people. They were pinning up and out of it – I couldn’t escape. They encapsulate the co-dependent relationship that started me down this dark path. I didn’t want to look at them.

There are a few meanings I draw from this. As I come off methadone my cravings have come back – not just for the drugs. I hate myself for it but there is a certain allure to a boozy, narcotic crazed love affair. I’ve met a few men lately who fit the criteria perfectly. Of course, now I reject them. The temptation is still there but I’ve grown up. Does it ever really go away? I can’t beat myself up for every guilty thought I have. I lived a hedonistic lifestyle for years so these feelings won’t just dissipate overnight. I also can’t just ignore them. I woke up and phoned my support worker and just cried. I am mourning the person I used to be and that’s nothing to be ashamed of. We can’t always be strong. We can’t pretend it was going to be easy.

It’s such a cliche, isn’t it? We all romanticize our addiction sometimes. Methadone certainly helped to block out these feelings. If I’m going to be well and truly sober, I’m going to have to learn to live with them.

Bringing myself back down to reality is a skill I am still honing. This inside battle I am having, the box I feel trapped in, it’s only temporary. The most important part of recovery is knowing when to admit that you’re struggling.

All the Emotions

As I sit on my bed in the dark watching a documentary about a family dealing with a suicide I am overcome with emotion and sadness. I have spent the past few years playing Russian roulette with my life and not once thinking of the effect it would of had on my family.

I am coming to the end of my methadone detox and I am struggling emotionally. Small details flood me with complex feelings such as anger, sadness, grief, guilt, and shame. Watching such a raw film is difficult. I see the strained family dynamic when confronting a painful event mirrored in my own family. We rarely talked about what happened when I was an addict or the effect it had on my parents especially my Mum. I cannot imagine the agony of lying in bed at night waiting for a knock on the door from a policeman telling you your daughter has died of an overdose.

This past week I have cried daily. I wish I could reach out to my family but I feel almost a sort of “you’ve made your bed now lie in it” thing towards myself. I do not want to burden them any more than I already have.

I know that they will never read this but I am sorry Mum and Dad for everything. All the pain and all those years of sleepless nights and tantrums. If I could take it all back I would in a heartbeat. All I have ever wanted was to make you proud – I have no idea how I veered so dangerously off course. Even tonight when things feel so tough it’s the thought of both of you that keep me going. I love you with all my heart.

Thinking of all the friends I have lost to addiction is hard but it’s the families turmoil that gets me. How many parents have grieved over a child taken from them in such a cruel and Godless way?

Photograph of Jean-Michel Basquiat who was an influential American artist who tragically died of a heroin overdose at 27 years of age.
 December 22, 1960 – August 12, 1988)

I tried to block this all out which was working for a while but now it’s getting harder. I created this blog as an outlet for me whilst detoxing but instead I have been avoiding it completely. However, watching this family talk about what happened to them has made me realise I cannot afford to bottle up all this crap.

If you’re interested in the film I watched, here is the link on BBC iplayer. It’s called Evelyn and was created by a directer called Orlando von Einsiedel. https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/m0005bpr/evelyn