Friday, June 26, 2009

Anything to say...?

I don't seem to have a huge amount to say, which is why I haven't been saying it. I ought, of course, to have plenty to say - I've just been through an inpatient detox and changed my life in an enormous way. Therein lies the problem. I do feel bereft and resentful of the world; a foolish and, hopefully, passing feeling.

I've been here before, after detox an enormous sense of achievement and euphoria - I'm gonna write symphonies, climb every mountain ford every stream and reroute the water to permaculture guerrilla plantings of organic vegetables free for all to pick and pluck. Palestinians, Israelis, Christian Evangelists, gay street theatre groups, give me a call, I've got this so-simple idea you're going to love... then, the oh, is this it?

It's quite natural I suppose. I'm in mourning. I haven't read, Drinking, A Love Story, but the title certainly rings true. Something that recently took up around eight to ten hours a day has gone. Us problem drinkers, alcoholics, addicts whatever you want to call us might have come to a bad place with our chosen drug, but, if the rest are anything like me, we sure loved it too. I miss my main interest (and, drinking can be a full-time job my friends), and also my main medication for depression and anxiety - so now I'm sober and I'm depressed and anxious.

My euphoria came in hospital. Despite being scared arseless at the prospect of going in and then sometimes during the process I came to feel very comfortable in there and made some decent friendships I would say - although meeting in such a hothouse environment and sharing such an intense experience people, it's a little hard to say how they will, or even should - official advice on entering the ward is explicitly not to form relationships and even exchanging phone numbers is frowned upon - develop.

While in the hospital, with its Kafkaesque corridors, I was also in a cotton wool bubble. Four meals a day served up; sent to appointments; summoned to take medication; a day course to attend and even told when to go to bed - midnight in the week, 1am at weekends.

So, I'm struggling a bit now. I drank, at least in some measure, to deal with an over-sensitivity to my surroundings that bordered on occasion on paranoid, crippling fear. I've been out of any kind of lifestyle that requires a regime or a routine for at least two years now. My routine was this (and there was a comfort even in this) wake around 9am, watch Mrs CD leave for work, throw up, sit listening to the radio waiting for a 'decent' time to go to the pub but must be before the shakes set in, then from noon, or 1pm, or 2pm, drink in the pub and read the paper and chat to friends till 6pm-ish - go home via corner shop for cans and cook then drink till sleep - repeat. It wasn't sustainable or rewarding or healthy but it sure made life very easy to deal with.

Now, this all comes across as appallingly self-indulgent and ungrateful even. So I would like to make it clear I am hugely grateful for this chance; the stories of others I met in the ward made it very clear to me that I have been extraordinarily lucky - there were tragedies, lifestyles, health, legal, housing, etc. etc. problems and surroundings I quite simply could not countenance surviving.

So, I'm pleased to be clean and hoping for better things but, as ever, I'm just trying to be honest and I know that in many ways the hard work starts now.

If you spent it, thank you for your time.

The Drinker.

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