I wasn't always like this with alcohol my one true love, and, in all honestly my only interest, my only pleasure, the only reason I've had to even get out of bed in the morning, or early afternoon.
I used to be quite a happy little boy. There were problems in my childhood - which I'm no doubt going to come back to in forensic, tedious and self-indulgent detail.
I've relapsed before - three detoxes, three relapses. And, I'm convinced one of the reasons that happened is I never put anything in place to replace that which needed replacing.
I had interests and enthusiasms that predate my drinking, or at least predate my drinking becoming the all-encompassing be-all-and-end-all. Sadly, drink took over many of these interests.
I love music. I learned violin, piano, cornet and recorder as a kiddy. But, classical music just wasn't very cool at school and for complicated reasons I needed to be cool. My love of music switched to a love of pop and rock; initially The Beatles (the only such music my parents would contemplate allowing in the house) then indie, then heavier and more alternative sounds and finally electronica.
But, drink took that interest and made it its own. An excuse to get out of the house and tell my parents I was going to a club or a gig, in reality it was a way to indulge in almighty drinking and drugging sessions, an escape from my unhappy overactive brain and my over controlled home life.
Sport I used to love too. But, it all too quickly became another excuse. "I'm going to football practice, and we'll probably go for a drink after." It was never a drink. I can honestly say that the phrase 'Going for a Drink' is one I have NEVER used truthfully. Maybe there was a time when I said "Fancy a pint?" and had a pint and left. I can't recall it and I don't believe it.
I remember a Billy Connolly joke on the subject. Well, vaguely remember. I think, in his tale, he had a foreign girlfriend not familiar with imperial measurements who on hearing his constant refrain: "I'm going out for a pint," came to believe a pint was a seven foot high container. (Apologies to those who know the joke properly, but you get the gist I'm sure.)
Watching football was another excuse. I can drink quickly and a game on Mr Murdoch's magic Sky box in the pub is quite enough time for me to get through at least six pints - and, there's a game on nearly every day in the season, and if there's not football, there's rugby and in the summer there's cricket.
Other interests - making music, reading, writing - simply fell by the way side because nothing was as consuming as my passion for getting drunk.
Now, I have to try and fill that void.
I'm on day two without alcohol today. With a little help from my friend Diazepam. Mrs Cardiff Drunk and I went for a short walk this afternoon. Passing the local I could feel its pull almost physically. It's warm in there, it's safe in there, people will smile and nod, I can sit and read quietly (without my brain rushing off on its tangents and turning every memory and overheard word into a spiralling never-ending riff).
So, I have to try.
I'm finding writing this a great help. And, the amount of time I spend at the Brighteye forums is an enormous filler of time.
But, I hope to start reading sober. I want to try and write something imaginative. I want to try my hand at freelance writing again. I want to find an exercise I can manage - I'm not in very good physical shape at the moment.
But, my one true love is gone, and good lord I miss it, every minute of every day. I am in mourning, I am alone.