Requiem for a Drink

Day 1


Okay, so it’s actually day 2. But yesterday didn’t count.
Not drinking yesterday was fairly easy. Yesterday I felt ILL, wracked with that distinctive, alcohol induced, deathly cold anxiety, and a feeling of bone-dried-fried tired-out exhaustion. There is a particular, existential sense of unease that grows as alcohol softly tightens its grip on you. It creeps up on you, slipping its claws in, disguised as comfort. The wine-wolf, dressed in sweet-sleep-sheep’s clothing. I fall for it every single time.
Yesterday aside, I’ve clocked up 10 uninterrupted days of obsessive, compulsive binge drinking. Quite suddenly, without any clear warning or trigger, I saw a sudden, jagged spike in my addiction-curve, involving constant, intrusive thoughts around planning and preparing my drinking time.
I had hidden and stolen bottles before, but it got more intricate. Drink half of this and hide the bottle at the back of the cupboard. Open this when he gets home and pretend you’re on your first glass. Drink from the hidden bottle when he’s bathing the kids. Park up the car and drink from the bottle on the way home, speed-smoking a rollie. That kind of thing. I feel an indescribable, almost painful itch inside my chest that grows as soon as I start to think about drink. It comes in waves of anxiety, stirred onwards by the incessant, conflicted internal dialogue…. buy wine, don’t buy wine, buy wine, don’t buy wine, buy wine, buy wine, buy wine. And all the while I’m frantically gathering up excuses. Like bits of dirty laundry grabbed in a hurry, the standards shift. Oh fuck it, it’s not that dirty, whack it on. The stain’s not that noticeable.
And when the first sips pass my grateful lips its like a thunderstorm. A storm inside a wine-cup. And the wine whispers its promises…. keep sipping, keep sipping… sip sip sip until you here the ‘CLICK.’ I carry the glass with me wherever I go. We do the cooking, we sit with the kids, we hang out the washing, we talk to the husband. We do it together. We are a team.
So this is day 1 of my ‘diary’. It’s the conception of an attempt to commit to a path of recovery from alcoholism. I fully anticipate that not every embryo will be viable. But I need to shine a light on the half-obscured, hidden, shadow aspects of my self that have led me to this place I must step back from.
I need to remind myself of how bad things had got.
I need, also, as I’m sure so many of us do, to open up a creative channel for myself through which to express and process the feelings and emotions that have been drowned and distorted for a life-time (well…since around aged 12) by bottle after bottle after bottle of wine.

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