Thursday, 15 October 2009

BBC Documentary on alcohol - Do I Drink Too Much

I watched the programme - Do I Drink Too Much? Last night. I recommend it - follow the link.

Very interesting stuff. I love the experiment with the monkeys that shows similar to humans in terms of break down of population it those with alcohol issues and those without. I did think the presenter who admitted his father was "an alcoholic" (Did his Dad come to that conclusion? Was he ever properly diagnosed as such? Or was that just an assumption?) and I think he was desperate to not be like his Dad.

One moment in the whole programme smacked me in the face as he talked about a pub he was stood by where his Dad drank every night after work before coming home, and he described the scene as his Dad came in the house after those drinking sessions. He wondered if his father understood or worried about his drinking and the effect it was having on him. I can't answer that obviously no-one can now his Dad is no longer here but that pattern was so close to my own experience it hit a raw nerve. I can answer for me - I did worry, I did know for years, I did try to stop and fail repeatedly, I tried to control it and was deluded I could on occasions until towards the end when the giving up, trying to control it and then bafflement as to why I was back out of control again became a frightening roller coaster hurtling me towards a predictable end. Death. By accident, by my hand or eventually by some failing of a major organ through alcohol overdoes. I sadly didn't realise in the midst of that grip of the disease at that time the damage it was causing my family. I was never really violent towards them, I was occasionally abusive but really I stole them of peace of mind, I gave them cause to worry and be concerned unnecessarily and I robbed them of a father and husband.

I am an alcoholic, that diagnosis was my privilege having heard others experiences and related my own, how I drank, why I drank and most importantly how I felt about it and how I felt about me and life and my place in the universe. In a room of other self confessed alcoholics I find a bond that is beyond discription I just know I'm one. In the programme the presenter had brain scans whilst intoxicated and a genetic test done to look at whether he met the pattern that shows a predeliction towards alcoholism - fair enough if he needed that. Me I don't. I know exactly what I am. My name is Graham and I am an alcoholic.

Interesting programme although some of the talk about designer drugs to replace alcohol with something less damaging made me smile. Sadly an alcoholic would simply abuse that replacement no doubt the issue being how our brains and personalities need to be satisfied. So nice idea and maybe with some merit but I don't think it removes all the issues by a long way.


  1. I didn't see it. Did they talk to any alcoholics?

    5 years, 5 months: that's a great achievement.

  2. Yes they did Liz - and everyone of them said things I could identify with about how they couldn't stop thinking about alcohol, how they craved it, how they did things that they never intended to do until they had drunk it... etc. Bit like a meeting for me :-)

  3. Never craved it and not had a drink for three days and - until now - not even though about it.

    I just drink copious amounts when I'm in the mood and never before lunchtime.

    Well...I don't remember drinking before lunchtime anyroad....hic....;-)