This is going to possibly be a controversial topic, but it is very much on my mind,and plays into my life story.
In 2016 I was court sectioned to a long term rehabilitation center for a year.
If you were to look at my LinkedIn account, you will see that despite struggling with a substance use disorder, I was functioning in society, yes, and I get it, obviously not as fully functioning as someone who didn’t have a substance use disorder, but none the less functioning.
I understand the circumstances under which I was court sectioned by my family – I had been writing fraudulent scripts for prescription diet pills, in dangerously large amounts, and a full criminal investigation into the fraud had taken place, and a warrant of arrest had been issued.
This is where I must bring into the picture the fact that my primary diagnosis is that of an eating disorder.
At the age of 11 years I was diagnosed with anorexia, and since then struggled with debilitating bulimia, a binge eating disorder, with accompanying depression.
And prescription diet pills completely took away my need to eat, especially after I had binged, they served as a way of purging, along with laxatives and diuretics and excessive exercise.
I had enormous pressure on me when I started modeling again at the age of 43yrs, after 13yrs being out of the industry.
I also had joined the thriving Cape Town film industry as a featured film extra.
My income now depended on my looks.
Below are some of my modeling portfolio photos. (Also, two pictures of my new home in Fraserburg).
You can see the pressure that I was under to maintain a low body weight, that I am not sure would have been possible without prescription diet pills.
The other issue for my family is that my husband and myself had sold our house,and they were left with the dilemma of where I should live, at a time when professionals, especially my psychiatrist, were encouraging a court section.
The problem here is removing someone like myself from society to a long term institution where most of the inmates were court sectioned, where for the first time I was introduced to hard core street drugs, forming very close bonds with users who introduced me to mainlining methamphetamine, and I was also introduced to the manufacturers and distributors of GHB from the Cape Flats in Cape Town.
I just have to expose this.
The public and family needs to know that just locking someone who is suffering from a substance use disorder up for a year will not solve the problem.
It is in my opinion damaging.
It certainly was damaging for me.
I felt completely betrayed by my family, the very people whom I should have been able to turn to to get me out of a situation that I knew was damaging for me, kept me under the section, no matter how much I pleaded my case that the facility was damaging.
I want to stress the following points here, I was court sectioned by my family and a social worker, yet I was never interviewed by the social worker, and it was never explained to me that I had a right to fight the section in court.
Even criminals have a defense, and their day in court.
I never did.
It is only with the family’s side of the story that the section is issued, I never had a voice in any of this.
I feel I need to research this more, as this is just from my heart, my personal experience.
And why I am bringing this up today is that I have now joined the staff in a volunteer capacity here at Inner Peace to manage the marketing and social media and promotional work for Inner Peace.
It is the first time that I have worked since 31st December 2015.
I have been in treatment since May last year and I have lost all confidence in myself to fulfill a work position in society, in fact I can go as far as to say that I have lost all confidence in myself to live in the outside world, outside the walls of an institution.
I have got used to life in an institution, and although hard, life outside the walls of an institution seems harder now.
So today is a very important personal step in my journey.
I am going to have to learn to trust that I still have the capacity to be professional.
To get up every day and arrive on time consistently.
I have moved completely out of Inner Peace to a nearby cottage that I am sharing with the social worker who works here at Inner Peace.
I have to learn to trust that I can be on my own again.
That I can be in the cottage on my own, with myself. In other words, it has now become a fairly complex process to reintegrate me back into society and for me to learn that I can indeed trust myself to function in society again.
Today is the first step in this process.