Monday, 13 May 2013

9 years - but who's counting?

Well I obviously am!

Yes somehow unbelievably it is 9 years since I took my last alcoholic drink.  If you want a brief summary of my drinking career read My Drinking Story.  Friday 14th May 2004 - I remember it well!  I was already in the pub, well it was a Friday and it was after noon after all, when Mrs F text me about something we'd been waiting on. "Tonight we can celebrate" said the text.  Of course my stupid brain looked at that and did the usual flip and a voice, one of my voices, said "But frankly your life is still shite pal. What a loser!".   That was it I went on one of my many regular drinking binges.  (There is a whole book worth of stuff around why I did that, about my lack of self-worth, my need for external gratification and acknowledgements but coupled with an internal knowledge that they were not enough anyway.  If you can't love yourself as you are you'll never be happy even if you win the biggest lottery win in the world!)

I got home about 7pm I think, by then Mrs F was not happy as I'd supposed to been home much earlier than that to take our daughter to a swimming lesson, so she had had to take her and the plans for the "celebration" were in tatters already, or gently burning in the oven at least.  Oh yes and the TV had broken.  My son informed me of my wife's anger and the issue with the TV.  That was it the opportunity to redeem myself, I donned the full suit of armour and got on my white charger, well I phoned the TV repair company.   When she came back in I informed her in my drunken state that I'd saved the day.   She didn't bow down and thank me profusely for saving her from this great disaster, in fact she wasn't much impressed at all!  So I snapped at her and she snapped back at me and we had a most awful almighty row.  Btw it has to be said that Mrs F and I don't row, it just is not how our relationship has ever functioned.    Before the sun set that night I was lying curled up just crying and hating myself and how I was and how I acted and the fact that I just couldn't stop bloody drinking!  I felt so utterly defeated.  Mrs F quietly told me life couldn't go on like this.  I knew that too and I vowed to finally do something about it - and not rely on myself which had singularly shown itself to not be a good strategy.

In a few days I was in rehab, in weeks back home to a tentative rebuilding of a marriage and family and then in AA trying to cope with that voice which now was saying things like "You can cope, just cut down, you're not like those others you can cope with it"...   utter madness!  I see that hopelessness in newcomers eyes regularly at AA meetings, for many they fail to stop drinking, to be honest what makes someone like me stop and others don't I really don't know it is the finest of lines between being an arrested alcoholic and a still active one.

Today is a normal Tuesday.  I'll get up and go to work, I'll come home, I'll either go to a meeting or I'll take my daughter to swimming club as Mrs F probably needs to visit her Mum in hospital.  None of it that special, and so it should be so, I've just not drunk alcohol for another day and it is just another day like which for me is a minor miracle every day I manage to cope with life without having to resort to alcohol.  Also to anyone who is or ever has been part of AA - my eternal gratitude to you I don't believe I'd have made it this far without you.

13 comments:

  1. Such a clear memory. Does drinking ever completely fade to black? Or is it always there on the outskirts?

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    1. For me the answer is NO - partly because I work to remember, my head would, as happened repeatedly in my last year of drinking, say things like "You'll be ok now" and I wasn't clearly. So it is important I keep an open door on the past so I don't get persuaded to drink again today. Also that day and time is such a vivid memory because it was for me my low point.

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  2. Congratulations, Graham!!!

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  3. Well done F - Ron, stirring stuff and a struggle at dry times I'm sure - but you've kept going amd that's what counts

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  4. Congrats!!! Fantastic stuff, Graham. Those last few days / weeks always remain with us, don't they? The insanity, the madness, the chaos, the horrible physical, mental and emotional damage...it's amazing how much we put ourselves and our families through. Mrs F is good people :)

    What a journey you've been on, and your music is a manifestation of that, as is your writing here.

    Thank you for being in my path and the things I learn from you keeps me on the right way.

    Cheers,

    Paul

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    1. As I too learn from you Paul. Thanks

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  5. Well done on quitting, my friend! There's so much more in life than alcohol.

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  6. well done...... my friend has just done about 9 weeks so I've still got most things crossed but he does seem to be getting better day by day!!

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  7. And ditto from me too. Like YAH I have a friend going through it. Three weeks in. It's very difficult for her--her entire social life centres (centred, I should say) around pubs and alcohol.

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    1. I thought mine did too but in the end actually really it didn't and I gained so much more than I ever lost.

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  8. My apologies for the lateness, but a most happy 9 years to you. Well done, friend. Thank you for sharing your story too.

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  9. Happy Anniversary! Worth celebrating!

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