Day 75.  Two sides to Alcohol.

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Good morning!  I managed to have a good catch up with some of you lovely peeps this week and had a really good chat.  The common denominator was alcohol so I’m going to talk about my love affair with the bottle today and take a break from the psych ward accounts.


There’s not a lot of difference between an alcoholic and a binge drinker really, both have a drink problem, once the first drop passes the lips, its game on. The only real difference is that one (binge) drinker has the tiniest amount of discipline in that they’re able to stop for a period of time, willing to withdraw, take the hangover from hell and suffer the D.T’s, the shakes, sweats and sleep problems because of the above. I would do that.



At the same time though, once I’d gone past a few days of drinking, approximately two to three litres of vodka a day, it would become necessary. Necessary to drink for me to stay level, to keep from becoming poorly and before I knew it, I had to have it on the bedside table, hidden under the bed or some where within reach so that I could have a big slug just to get up in the morning. All just to feel level and ‘normal’. Waking up and having nothing ready to drink would be awful, the room would spin, my movement slowed, eyes moving quickly, sometimes the other way round, coordination completely shot to bits, trouble speaking and thinking in unison too. Balance gone and shaking like a leaf. A proper sh*t state indeed and people could tell I wasn’t right even if they didn’t know I was drinking. Whilst taking on this ridiculous amount of liquor I wouldn’t take on any other fluids or eat anything, no food meant a quicker hit from the spirits. Losing incredible amounts of weight each time.

With drinking to excess, comes a lot of problems. The first is that you lie, you lie so much! To yourself, your loved ones, work colleagues, everybody! Just to hide your little drinking secret. You hide bottles, cans or whatever kind of container you de-cant it in to. Vodka, being clear was always good in an empty water bottle. You think you’re getting away with it, a common misconception is that you can’t smell vodka on a drinkers breath. Total rubbish. If you’re drinking, especially excessively, no matter what type of alcohol it is, everybody you come in to contact with can smell it, even if you use mouth wash, scrub your teeth, drink coffee or in my case Red bull to mask it, it’s actually seeping out of your pores and you’re oblivious to it. You think nobody can tell, but everybody can and especially the non drinkers.


Going all out with a depressive poison like this comes with serious physical consequences never mind the mental issues if its kept up. I touched on the liver failure the other day, deep orange eyes, yellow skin and three months in hospital, twice! I was lucky to live on both occasions, my family were prepared for the worst, I was on the transplant list but very unlikely to receive a replacement liver. I had basically packed up, my kidneys had started to shut down as well. I was in the proverbial kaka big time and the doctors didn’t hold any hope, but I had no idea, they kept me asleep. I did this to myself, me, nobody poured it down my neck or forced me to drink it. It was all my doing. The human body is amazingly resilient, but it can only be poisoned so much before it gives up. Luckily for me the liver is excellent at repairing itself and now I’m perfectly healthy, yes I have a little bit of scarring on the liver but my L.F.T’s (liver function test) are perfect now. There is absolutely no doubt though that alcohol has made my depression and anxiety worse than it was. That’s what it does, depressive poison remember.


I should add here just how dangerous it is to just stop drinking once you’re reliant on it. If you suddenly stop, it CAN kill you. you need to come off in a controlled manner, weaned off of it slowly. Preferably being monitored in some way by a medical professional.


I didn’t really stand a chance though, yes I chose to drink, I drank to forget, which so often is the case with drinkers. You see, I grew up around drink. My father was in the army as was my grandfather and myself. Both my dad and gramps even brewed their own beer. The military is a big drinking culture so I was literally always around it. It wasn’t anybody’s fault, it was the done thing, normal even. The difference is that I took it too far whilst everyone else managed it quite well. I was even functional with it and thought I could hide it quite well but as mentioned earlier, everyone knows, they’re not the stupid ones, I was, for thinking I was invincible. They know youre lying but you can’t see it.



I tried all sorts to break the cycle of working away and drying out, to coming home and caning it. AA and group sessions didn’t work for me at all. It wasn’t the talking about it, I always opened up and shared, It was that I just didn’t want to stop really. I enjoyed it, I liked everything about it, I also thought it was under control. Of course it wasn’t, it was controlling me. I would constantly think about where my next drink would come from or how I was going to hide it, or hide the expense. Lots of hiding, lots of lying and a truly rubbish way to live. An endless cycle, but it won’t break until you are honest with yourself and truly WANT to stop. My last partner, whilst helping me deal with the PTSD and finding someone that could actually help me control the flashbacks, also gave me an ultimatum at the time. Her or the poison. I picked her and the same therapist taught me how to change my thought processes and I’ve never looked back. I’ve been sober almost 3 years and never felt better. I can’t stomach even the smell of alcohol now. I don’t miss it one little bit. Like I said, to break the cycle you have to want to, otherwise you’re flogging a dead horse I hope that this has given you some kind of insight in to the mind of an excessive drinker, binge drinker, alcoholic, call it what you will. They’re all labels for very similar afflictions. Much love!


Till next time.


Dan


I’m Karen and my partner was an alcoholic

The Partner of an alcoholic….

Life is a living hell, you can see this person doing their level best to kill themselves off. You watch as they become complacent about life, the bottle, or the bottom of it rather, is their only goal. The personal hygiene goes out of the window, the self care goes, the regard for the people around you goes and it’s all part of the depression alcohol causes. You feel like your walking on egg shells because the depression also brings with it anxiety and irritability. It’s a life spent holding your breath waiting for the next argument, wondering which one of the neighbours are going to phone the police this time?

Questioning everything they tell you because they’re so drunk all the time that they can’t remember half the lies they tell, all in the search for the bottle that chases away their dissatisfaction at life, or the horrors they have seen or indeed inflicted on people.

There is no stability, the only sure thing is that they’re getting drunk, any way, any how, and your going to be babysitting for yet another night. Making sure they eat and get to bed, all the while, you’re the most evil being on the planet for just caring and trying to help!

Coping with the aftermath of life with an alcoholic takes almost as much energy as living with one. But, you need to shed that damage, head held high, learn to be who you were before you met them, and that is a long and winding road. It’s the only road if you want to live any resemblance of a normal life, alcohol destroys everything it touches.

The times I ended up in hospital because he was too hammered to phone an ambulance and the neighbour found me on the path outside turning blue, almost dead

I was attacked in the town centre by a coke head who was trying to steal his wallet and he had given this guy a load of verbal, the guy knocked him out then came after me. Well that was his mistake, he kicked me about a bit then I almost kicked his head clean off, once he ran away, dripping in blood, I had to nurse the alcoholic laying out cold in the street.

Social drinking was a veritable mine field, you never knew how many men you would have to stop from kicking his head in because he just snarled at people, unable to talk properly because of the drink. I should stress here that he never struck me, he was in no state to help either though when I had a small heart attack and was hospitalised.

Life became so unbearable, nothing changed, all the positives had long ago been drowned out by negativity. There was nothing left worth fighting for, if he wasn’t going to help himself, nobody could, and so I called it a day. Not normally the kind of person to give up on anything, I had to give up on him instead of giving up on me.

Karen.

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