April 13, 2022

Growing-up with drinking and drugs – Poorini-Ma’s personal story

Poorini-Ma is a Queer, Tamil artist that identifies as a LaDy_X Punkle (pansexual punk uncle) they grew up on Dharawal Country, aka Campbelltown South Western Sydney & now reside on Gadigal Country, Eora.


I still remember the first time I got drunk, which is curious, as I’ve drunk enough since then to tranquilize an elephant – so the fact that I remember is novel. I was 12 years old was the month after my birthday, and I had just begun year 7 at my new high school. I had made friends with new people I did not know before and invited them to my house as my parents worked during the day (latch-door kid). We had a bottle of vodka we mixed it with soft drink and smashed the whole 1L bottle. Yes, one third each. I swear we drunk this in 30mins flat…repeating the phrase “ugh, I feel nothing, I feel nothing” – until we were lying on the floor and the whole room was spinning above us. We were seeking that out-of-body feeling. It was a remarkable feeling. I felt like I was flying, and I knew I was searching for this feeling for some time now. I was hooked.


Cut to ages 14-21, the only way I socialised and had any sort of sexual life was through drugs and alcohol. I was the speed and weed generation. Drink, smoke, and snort. Rinse and repeat. Year after Year, Goey bombs, stollies and bongs. And not in any smart order either, then some E at the school dance. I then met a love at the age of 21, this all happened over Irish Whisky, acid and pink love heart E’s. In my mid-20s I quit smoking weed every day, after a drug-induced psychosis of unrelenting paranoia.


Counselling started for me at the age of 24. I recount during this time, that I slowly reduced my use of drugs, but I still kept up with the drinking. I was drinking anything and everything. Sunday evenings were a deep pit of misery, after the whirlwind of 2-days straight of drinking.


At age 29, my father, the man who had modeled excessive drinking to me since as far back as I could remember – had a life-threatening illness. This near-death experience in my immediate family jolted my nervous system into overdrive. It was less about his mortality and more about the fact that I found myself required to confront my experience of childhood and family in a more direct way than I ever had before. My nerves were shot – I couldn’t think straight, or sleep or relate to people without excessive fear, shame, and guilt. Now I know what I experienced was a literal nervous breakdown. I was put on antidepressant medication for the first time, I also stopped drinking and taking drugs, for the first time in my life for over 17 years. Thankfully the experience of counselling in my mid-20’s, had reminded me that it was possible to change so I found a new psychologist and also a psychiatrist. I also started making more and more queer friends – who could understand and relate to my sexual desires, gender expression as well as political analysis of the unrelenting oppressive systems that we often must navigate or resist.

My new chosen family became this mirror, that opened new realities to be seen, heard and felt and my life begun to change for the better. The axis of my whole life shifted.



Now at the age of 36, soon to be 37 I understand that I have ADHD and am seeking treatment for this neuro-reality. Am on SNRI’s and drink waaaaay less now and don’t do many drugs except for smoking weed and taking mushrooms occasionally. I live a more sober life due to the profoundly loving relationships I have with others in my life and for some embedded self-care skills, plus a better understanding of (in)justice and trauma and mostly living more in align with my values the best I can. The love I have received in its myriad of forms has grown inside as a more compassionate voice which supports my health and wellbeing.


Now I exist to actualize my dreams into reality and embrace my multifaceted sexuality and gender reality. With an aim to be in service to shifting the dial to a more sensitive and kinder social and ecological reality.


LaDy_X  Punkle  OUT !!!