The problem about writing about alcohol –

The main problem with booze when it comes to writing something like this, is that I’ve probable forgotten a lot more than I can remember! I can remember waking up in various detoxes, on the floor at home, in hospital and even in the street but the bits before and for sometime after are a bit of a blur; however I’ll see what I can do.

For as long as I can remember I’ve liked booze a lot. I remember the first ever time getting drunk and feeling like I’d found the magic elixir of life. It didn’t last.

For many years things were ok but I drank more than I should have but mostly with little consequence.

About 10 years ago that all changed.

My marriage ended, my child left and the brakes came off. I drank and I drank and I drank and after not very long at all I was drinking round the clock. That horrible feeling when you wake up in the night and realise you’ve run out or even worse, knowing you’ve got something somewhere but you can’t remember where you’ve hidden in. Why is it that alcoholics hide booze even when there is no one but themselves to hide it from?

Since then I’ve tried counselling, CBT, SMART recovery, anti-depressants, time with a psychiatrist, AA and just white knuckling it at telling myself “never again”.

So far none of them have worked, at least not for long.

They all have their good points and if they work for you then great, but my conundrum is…what do you do if you are an alcoholic that just can’t stop drinking?

I’ve not found a solution, although I’ve coped (as much through luck as anything else) better than some. I’ve still got a job, my daughter still loves and cares for me and I’m writing this from the home of the woman I’ve shared my life with for nearly the last 9 years. But somewhere the whole approach to dealing with alcoholism seems flawed for people like me.

Either you are asked to keep a drink diary, change some patterns in your life and cut down to a safe level. This is fine if you “just” drink too much. If you are like me and can go from having a few drinks on a Friday night to being utterly out of control and prepared to sell your granny for your next drink by Monday morning then this seems a little optimistic.

The other approach is abstinence. Usually either following a home or residential detox (with or without medication) you are encouraged to use some kind of peer support network with the aim of, one day at a time, not picking up a drink again. If you do drink then you pick yourself up, dust yourself off and try again, and again and again! I can’t begin to remember the number of times I’ve done this. It’s not because I lack the will, I’d have given up and just thrown myself into the nearest bottle years ago if that was the case. Is it possible that there are a group of us who would dearly like to stop having alcohol ruin our lives but who can’t stop. What are we supposed to do.

I refuse to believe that I either have to be a helpless drunk (any believe me I’m very helpless when drunk!) or keep trying and failing at the same old tried and, for me, failed methods.

So my thinking for today is how does a hopeless drunk, drink?


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