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  • Writer's pictureMaggie Cee

Causing a commotion

I’ve just got off a teams meeting with a top chief in the Welsh Police and totally buzzing - probably because I still can’t believe where this journey is taking me. The conversations I’m having and the sheer potential of the impact of this work (Co-alc) is mind-blowing to me at the moment. I think it was yesterday or the day before that I suddenly came to a realisation that what I’m working towards is literally groundbreaking. I didn’t realise when I started this journey what the actual goal was you see, I didn’t really know, I still don’t if I’m honest, but I do know that I just have to keep on keeping on somehow.

I am starting to see light at the end of the tunnel at last, with a few breakthrough's recently including the Systematic Research that the Uni of South Wales are in the process of publishing which proves that we are right and that Cocaine and Alcohol together lead to an increased risk of suicide. Albeit that more research is needed, we finally have academic backing to support what I have been trying to convince Welsh Government of for the last arduous four years. Even the new strategy is including drugs and alcohol, although I still fear it still wont be enough to infiltrate the powers that be to actually accept that this little upstart was actually onto something and that if they'd actually have listened when I first contacted them in March 2020 that we might not have lost Shaun, Sam, Arthur or many other of the young people I know of who've taken their lives in the comedown. Shame on you Welsh Government for not listening to us in the first place and trying to dismiss us - it hasn't worked.

Ploughing through the utter chaos of my own life and rather unhealthy life choices that have led me to being obesely overweight and unable to walk properly and behind me right now a table full of paperwork that needs to be fettled and a sink full of dishes - maybe later? It’s quite unbelievable that this broken little girl inside of me is blagging it through a battlefield of unknown parameters, stumbling from one thing to the next and somehow it’s all adding up to something quite fucking impressive if I do say so myself. According to my current peers who throw around phrases such as ‘force of nature’ ‘inspirational woman’ ‘excellent ambassador’, I am held in such very high regard, which to me is the most precious thing of all. As someone who is careless with personal finances, and struggles with the most basic housekeeping and personal care and at times completely paralysed by overwhelm, I find it really difficult to accept and be comfortable with that praise. I still feel like an imposter; even my eventual life story if I ever get around to writing it will probably be entitled  ‘WTF do I know’ because yeah - how DID I get to this point?

Kids, if you’re reading this, I left school with a handful of CSE’s not even O’levels because I hated school and there was never any expectation from my Mum to ‘be’ anything. “Just get a job.” And boy have I had some jobs, over 30 at the last count, a jack of all trades perhaps? It’s true, I might not be able to teach ballroom dancing as I once thought I might do, but give me piece of paper or a computer (preferably a Mac) and it seems there’s nothing I can’t do (apart from a comprehensive filing system - yet I seem to locate a specific file quite quickly or spend the next 2 days hyper-focused on finding that slippery little fecker!  Whether it’s a legal letter, a CV for someone, a leaflet or create a magazine (yes I did that once!), it seems I have garnered a wealth of skills that I have very few qualifications for.

I’m not sure if it’s these constant challenges I seem to relentlessly set myself up for provides the dopamine rushes I thrive on - or perhaps I’m a complete narcissist and only doing all this for the praise?  My analytical brain believes that it’s all part of me feeling like a ‘belong’ to certain groups of people, finding my tribe, usually the more broken the better. Remember the iconic scene in Fight Club where Helena Bonham-Carter’s Marla meets Ed Norton's melancholic character in yet another support group! If only I could get out more, but thanks to my declining mobility and covid-instigated agoraphobia there’s little chance of me doing that in the near future. Do I need to feel needed? There’s certainly a lot of that going on, and it definitely gives my life a purpose, which if I was without all this ‘work' I do worry that I would struggle to feel part of anything or anyone. Whatever the reasons are, there’s no doubt that I’m driven to a point of obsession, which seems to be the overall reason I keep surging forward with this seemingly selfless crusade.

There’s no doubt that I have so much admiration and love for the women I am privileged to represent that have each paid the ultimate price in life’s shitty lottery. As I said in a recent online I rant I shared on Facebook (below - trigger warning), I don’t think I’d survive the death of my only beloved son. I definitely couldn't live with that loss and that’s what motivates me to fight, for them, but also for any mother like me who might not see it coming. If only the ones that are unaware would bloody listen..... now THAT's the challenge.

So, yeah, as I embark on yet another round of overly ambitious plans that will probably result in me having some sort of breakdown during and after, I’m actually trying to put coping strategies in place that I might have some sort of chance of sticking to. I’m laughing as I’m writing it as I know if feels like a fairytale = me and a plan, like one I can follow every day like? Well, laugh as I may but on the first couple of days into it, here I am actually writing for my blog for the first time in well over a year. Not feeling guilty that I should be ‘working’ because this is purely selfish for me. Yes, in part it’s about the work I’ve been doing but it's more about processing the effects that this experience is giving me. Allowing myself to feel pride for the really bloody clever stuff I’ve been doing - the amazing people I’ve thrusted myself at, in hope that they will jump on the carriages of this train and the crazy ride I’ve created - obviously with me driving the said ‘chuffer' with Highway to Hell blasting out in the background.

Are you with me? God help if you’re not on board when I’m ready to go. All aboard the Magster Express is it? Don’t worry if you don’t know what we’re doing, we’re just figuring it out as we go!

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