Sunday, November 16, 2008

Where I am and where I want to be. Welcome to Drunk in Cardiff.

DON'T worry, it's not my life story, just a first post to say a little about the point and purpose of this blog.

I am 37 years old and I have a drink problem. I've had one for a long time.

I was first treated for it in the late 1990s. I'd gone to my GP complaining of depression and anxiety and also a stomach complaint. He took some blood tests and discovered I showed symptoms of heavy drinking.

I successfully completed an outpatient detox, but three months of sobriety later, I relapsed. Soon my drinking was out of control again and my relationship and job went down the pan.

I managed to get some sort of a life back together, with a good job and a lovely girlfriend. I continued to drink, but as I was living at home with my parents, it was controlled.

I moved out and my drinking increased massively. In 2006 I again went for treatment.

I again completed a successful outpatient detox. Six months later, I relapsed and my life collapsed - I lost my job.

I put myself straight back into the hands of the local drugs and alcohol service and detoxed again. I think I lasted about three months again.

I'd been seeing a counsellor as part of my treatment and getting help with the depression that is a toxic chicken dancing around the stinking egg of my drinking.

The counselling was going well - I'd tried before but never really engaged with it or made any progress.

I decided I was better. Or at least well enough in my thinking to start to drink socially and sensibly (as I have done occasionally in my life). I went to a function at my girlfriend's work and had a couple of glasses of wine.

At the moment I drink at least six pints a day.

I need to stop.

I can't stop.

I'm on the waiting list for another detox - it will mean going into hospital this time. I'm also seeing a counsellor through the local drugs and alcohol team. I take antidepressants called Trazodone.

I think I can do it.

I know I must do it.

I'm writing this partly as therapy for myself - counsellors have encouraged it. Partly in the hope that others who have addiction problems will find it useful and that it may help them find the help they need. Partly, because I was a professional journalist for six happy years - I love to write, and I've had articles on my treatment published in the national press. So, I hope this is good professional practice and may even help me find work.

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