Saturday, December 6, 2008

Trigger cut. For now.

I don't want to generalise. Generalising is bad - in general - but it can't be avoided - generally.

To stop the waffle, as the waffle finder general, might say. To generalise, alcoholics are, in the main creatures of habit. Bad habits. And, I'm no different.

There are triggers for particularly bad episodes. The worse one for me is when I left on my own, when Mrs Cardiff Drunk goes away on a work trip - that's when it all falls apart. But, even when she's here, the weekends are another trigger.

That's stupid I know - my excuse for drinking during the day, during the week, is that I am on my own. At the weekend I am not. But, I even find that hard. I find loneliness hard. I find company hard. I am a very hard man.

And the weekend means sport. And sport is on telly. And it is best watched in the pub. For me it's the most social time of the week as well - the least isolating. When I go into pubs during the week people are generally thin on the ground, and most of them are, like me, just looking for somewhere to be. Sure, in the C, I have a little gang I cling onto and talk to, but to be honest it's not conversation I greatly relish or enjoy - we're all in the same sort of boat: unemployed, alcoholics, unhappy, so that's what we talk about.

When the football's on, I can talk to people about that. And people strike up conversations quite unbidden; "That was never off-side," "Yes, John Terry is a vile cheat," and so on.

The rugby's even better.

I live in Cardiff now. But I was born in England. My father is English and my mother Welsh, but I always grew up believing that I was Welsh too - to the point where, perhaps as a measure of my insecurity in that role, I've become quite the pro-Welsh bigot at times.

Fortunately where I was brought up, in Gloucestershire, north of the Severn, rugby is the main sport. So it's possible to speak to ordinary people who are knowledgeable about the game because they've played it - if you want to see a sporting crowd of know-nothing glory hunters listen to the crowd at Twickenham on international days; they're a flicking disgrace. The upshot is, a Wales international game in the local guarantees a lovely warm and friendly atmosphere and some decent conversation.

Again, I'm generalising, but it often runs true - and, show me someone in a pub talking loud, ignorant bullshit about football and I'll show you a man in a Manchester United shirt.

Digression, digression, digression.

The short point of all this. Is that while I managed to keep my drinking stable at the far from healthy seven to eight pints a day I was on for a great deal of the time, if I was ever going to stray from even that limit, football or rugby games in the pub were going to be the reason.

So, today, as for the last couple of days, the cravings for booze have begun at around lunchtime, today they have been stronger.

We made it into town Mr Cardiff Drunk and I, made it through the crowds and managed to get a little bit of Christmas shopping done. But, walking past pubs today has been harder. The C, my nearest Sky pub, sang a little siren song to me as I passed.

Nothing has given. I'm still doing fine and I'm still committed to making this a booze-free day. But, it's taken a bit more of the old Diazepam than I've been advised to take - I took one pretty much first thing after getting up and I've just had the second. I'll probably take two this evening.

Then, tomorrow, I will wake up and I will feel as good as I have felt for seven or eight months, and I'm looking forward to it, that's why I'm doing this.

I need to have a shave as well. I haven't shaved for months. I look a fright with a sprouting ginger mess on my chin - although I've quite enjoyed having it in a way, but today, I'll take it off I think. It'll be another change, another move towards feeling better about myself.

Onwards and upwards.

If you spent it thank you for your time.

Leave a comment if you want, I always try to respond in some way.


Anonymous said...

Just wanting to wish you all the best for starting your new job tomorrow. You can do it! You've taken some pretty big steps forward in the last week...

The Drinker said...

Many thanks Anonymous - since cutting down, and with a lot of help from the forums at Brighteye I've lost a hell of a lot of fear, to the extent where I'm almost looking forward to it.

The Cardiff Drunk.