Sunday, December 27, 2009

Home is where the...

"I'm at home," I told Mrs CD on the phone.

"Whose home?" she asked.

Good question. This, my parents' home, still feels like my home. I'm slow, I don't deal with change well, I can't cope with it so I ignore it and then it doesn't go away so I smash it in the head with binge-level drink and drug use and create a crisis that will send me home. Addicts and depressants are like this.

Just a visit this time, in order to see my brother, who has the bad fortune to celebrate his birthday on Boxing Day.

Mrs CD is in our home, which I only occasionally think of as my home - partly because of the SSFI's next door and partly because I didn't chose to live there (not the house, the street, the area, the city or the country, although I am delighted to be in the land of my mother's fathers), but I've never chosen to do anything in my life. This sounds dramatic I know, but, sadly it is true. This is why, when I think of change, and the changes I would like to make to my life I think in apocalyptic terms - this hasn't been my life at all, it has been the life of other people, the life of alcohol and drugs and the life of fear.

I'd like my own life.

I wonder what that's like? Perhaps you can tell me.

These posts should have more structure dontcha think? I do. I think I should start writing with more discipline, but I just sit and type - I enjoy it, so sod yer if you don't - with little thought of how it might read. This, you lucky person (in so far as you exist) is a sewage outlet straight from the mind of the Cardiff Drunk - although, as I've said before, you're not getting the whole picture, that would be too horrible.

So, now it strikes me that I was struck yesterday with a Pavlovian response that sent me salivating for a drink. I drove home (whose?) from Cardiff and managed to troll straight past my intended junction. No big deal, I have two choices and the second takes me through my old stomping grounds when I was a successful journalist (sod it, I've had too much regret about the way that time ended - in drink, in overdose, in solicitor's offices trying to put together an employment tribunal case - another course that was chosen for me by others. Digression again. But, yes, sod it. I was extraordinarily good at my job. You might not guess it from this, and that's why I worry that I ought to write more 'professionally', but I was a fucking natural.)

Where was I? I was driving through what I used to call my patch and as I turned off to drive past where I once lived so happily - in a place where I chose to live with a friend who I chose to live with - I started to salivate for booze.

The road I used to toddle down after work after having gone to the pub for a couple after the office shut and with a car full of Guinness and with a bag of the best quality green stuff waiting for me at home.

God, I thought I was really happy then, though I was almost certainly storing up trouble for myself. Much happier than I am now, I sometimes think when I'm down. Sober though I be.

Mrs CD asked me that the other day. She has a habit of asking these unanswerably big questions: "Am I alright for you?", "Do you want someone sexier?" and so on. And, the other day it was, "Did I force you to come here, were you happy there on your farm with your drink and your dope?"

"My life is much better now," I told her.

And, it is. I was in debt then, and it was mounting. But, I had a job and I was a functioning alcoholic, in fact my drinking was of concern to others - primarily my parents - but not to me. My lifestyle was not healthy but it was part of me and it was my part of me, the same with the smoking - both things I chose. Perhaps that's what it's like for me to chose my life, not very good. But I guess this is what this is all about, the self-esteem books which lie unread, the counselling, the antabuse, the trying to grow up.

If you spent it, thank you for your time.

Frilly crackers to yer.

Cardiff Drunk.


Anonymous said...

It seems magnificent phrase to me is

Tom Rees said...

Dear Cardiff:
I feel like it may sound so hollow after your brilliant description of your miserable depression, but I truly, truly enjoy your blog. At the same time I enjoy it, however, I see such a clear reflection of my own mind (the way it was until about 4 years ago, anyhow) that it frightens me.
You see I was clinically depressed also for about 10 years and just didn't know it, and certainly wouldn't listen to anybody who might suggest there was something wrong with me as well, even my Dad -- who is a brilliant physician. After all, I knew I was alcoholic, and crap, that was enough to deal with. The notion that drinking may not be a part of my life was an absolute joke deep down, as I knew it always would. So why bother trying to get help from a Doctor? I didn't need to be told I was mentally ill, as I knew I was miserable and life -- where it had once been a very colorful place, slowly lost its brightness and then indeed all color until everything was just in lighter and darker shades of gray.

I thought I was destined to be in that horrible place forever, and damn near killed myself between all the drink, and the prescription pills and other things. I got with a violent girl who kicked me so hard one night (she was a brilliant doctor also, just a stark raving lunatic when she drank and drugged -- and all the time I suppose) that I fully ruptured my spleen off the main artery. Twice I died as I bled out, and twice they revived me, and here I am. Here I am writing an alter ego and saying there is hope, whilst knowing it will fall on deaf ears. Or as I started to say, it would sound hollow -- though I know you wish it didn't. After messing around with a shrink for years and taking this pill and that pill nothing worked for a damn until I went to rehab, and got on the right mix of meds to treat a dual diagnosis. But hell, my response is turning into a blog of its own. You can read a few of my accounts, though I am working on other projects and don't have barely the time I'd like to for writing. You are extremely talented and shall write a fantastic book using some of your material, once out the other end. More later, Take care, Tom Rees - sober and happy again for 4 years. Sounds like I am bragging but I am not--just trying to say it can be done, when you find the drinking is to drown the depression. Once the depression is fully gone the URGE to drink can indeed miraculously lift, as it did for me, and I hope will for you one day. Tom Rees

The Drinker said...

Thanks anonymous, I wish I knew which phrase it was to which you refer, then I'd repeat it often...

The Drinker said...

And, thank you Tom,

What a lovely long post and your kind words are, well, kind and make me feel good and special and all those sorts of things.

I'm glad you got out of it. I have days now when I can imagine not drinking, so maybe it's just a matter of time.

I really appreciate the time you spent and the good intentions - it doesn't sound hollow at all, it sounds heartfelt dear boy.

People who have made it are very useful to people who haven't yet. Oh, and give us a job! ;o)

Take it steady young un.