Saturday, July 25, 2009

So now what?

Being an experienced detoxer, I like to think I'm fairly aware of the snares of sobriety, that is those things likely to spark a relapse. And, I feel one of them now.

I've arsed on and on about boredom and anxiety being my chief enemies and they're playing their part in the sheer ordinary complication of real life. That's the danger. Good lord it can be dull being sober. Don't misunderstand me, if ever a routine was deadening, limiting and dull it was my drinking routine. My mind loved it though, my mind was in a safe place.

I told one of the nurses in hospital that I used drink as a way to run away from real life - to avoid responsibility. "You've got a head start by admitting that," she said. (I was, and remain, a fervent self-analyser so can come up with this stuff like falling off a log).

Maybe so. And, now I've stopped running, here is real life in all its crushingly tedious monochrome.

That's why cannabis is a danger - forced to face what we'll just call stuff for now, it's another escape and I give in far too easily to its temptations. That it's not physically addictive and one doesn't wake with a terrible hangover gives dope at least two positives over alcohol - but my character is still that of an addict to escape and altering of consciousness and that's what it is, another means towards fleeing.

I mentioned all this to the nurse when I went to take my Antabuse at the Community Addiction Unit yesterday. "The novelty's wearing off," I said. "I need to find something to do."

She recognised the pattern straight away. "There's a real feeling of invincibility when you first detox," she said.

And it is that which is leaving me. Her chief suggestion was the Therapeutic Day Programme, which I completed, for the second time in hospital. I'm also on the list for counselling with the Cardiff Alcohol and Drugs Team, a possibly double-edged sword I'm rather wary about.

So. There is danger and there needs to be action. There needs to be a change beyond, I'm not drunk.

So, that is what I'm trying to do. The nuts and bolts of life I'm coping relatively well with. I've just finished the washing up, put away a load of dried laundry and cleaned the house - tasks which might as well have been the finding of the Holy Grail and the slaying of several particularly tetchy dragons to my alcoholic self. I still have a social life - via the pub, but that, counter intuitively, doesn't feel a danger to my sobriety. So now, that emptiness needs some filling up.

I've got my volunteering once a week, for two hours. I've got my appointments, at the very least three trips out a week, and now I need to write - and do so for money again.

If you spent it, thank you for your time.

Cardiff Drunk.

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