Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Antabuse works! But, does it have its dangers?

I can now say officially that Antabuse works.

I don't mean that of course, I'm not an official of anything, barely even the boss of me and I don't wear a uniform or have a clip board.

What I mean to say is that I accidentally ingested some alcohol - nearly a week ago now, last Friday - and the Antabuse in my system reacted badly to it in the promised way.

We had someone over for dinner and Mrs CD cooked. I remember her asking if anyone minded if she put some wine in the sauce (our guest had a couple of food allergies) and no-one did. Least of all me, I believed it would be cooked off.

Sadly, dear reader, it was not.

So. Later that evening my heart started to race. I did notice it at the time, but didn't pay it too much attention. I'd had a couple of spliffs and found the experience of having a guest over (both she and Mrs CD drank a bit of wine and got a bit tiddly) nerve wracking.

In the morning however, it was obvious that this was more than a passing little bit of physical silliness.

I woke up with the racing heart still racing and a headache. I went downstairs to make a cup of tea for us both and the effort made me light-headed and shaky. Mrs CD tried to take my pulse when I told her and reported that it was too irregular to count.

I must admit I wasn't overly concerned. Apart from anything, I pay my physical health very little regard and, through all the years of drinking as much as anything, I'm used to being in bad physical state - it's my default setting. But, we did phone NHS direct, who were very nice and said if it got any worse we should call an ambulance.

It didn't, so we didn't.

It had passed by Sunday and on Monday I had the strange feeling of being hungover.

I mentioned this to my website pal when I went round - it put me out of action for a whole day after all - and he popped Antabuse into google and got up the wikipedia page.

It turns out that Antabuse stops the breakdown of dopamine too. I am not a chemist, I'm not very much, but I am starting to get more and more wary of the stuff that's going on in my brain and wondering if it's part of the reason that I feel so grey and flat and emotionless at the minute.

My brain is being treated by Antabuse (as it turns out); Trazadone (a sort of SSRI antidepressant), and Campral, and I don't have any emotions! Really, that's how it feels - I've spoken about it in counselling in terms of my lack of anger about anything, and recently my lack of pleasure in anything, and it's put down to the things the rest of my addiction is put down to - stuff from childhood. But, maybe there's a chemical thing too. I wonder what it's like to not f**k up your brain chemistry, to just have the natural stuff in there? I wonder, because I don't know - I've been taking antidepressants for a dozen years.

I'd like to find out. I'd like to be normal.

If you spent it, thank you for your time.

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