When I was a drinker I was liable, occasionally, to be a bit of an animal. I’d think nothing of smashing down a load of beer and shots and then clawing and swearing at the people around me like a loved-up drunken Tasmanian Devil. It was never an anger thing, you understand. I became a hugger and a playfighter. Booze always impassioned me. It made me want to grasp life with gusto, and squeeze it until I could feel the soft bits oozing out between my fingers. It made me want to laugh loudly, eat bloody raw steaks, and get the people I cared about in headlocks. Everything done with fire in the belly, and a fist waving at the sky. A fury and zeal that it’s near on impossible to maintain in sober life, apart from in short controlled bursts (which is a bit of a contradiction really).
It’s now been a month since I had my balls mangled, and everything is pretty much back to normal down there. I’ve got a couple of empty cups at home that need spunking in and emptying into a post box for a doctor to taste (“mmm yes that tastes lovely, and I’m glad to report it’s sperm free”), but that’s not due until September.
The first sobriety milestone most problem drinkers hit is 1 day. Then you hit 1 week, then 1 month, then 100 days, and then the first real biggie is 1 year. After that they lose a bit of meaning as the novelty falls away, and you’re left in a weird sort of booze-free purgatory; a strange coffee-scented realm which exists between the pink clouds of your new exciting sobriety, and your inevitable grey, sober, lonely DEATH. Slowly it dawns on you; the acceptance that this is your life now. I’ve got no facts or figures to back it up (fuck pie charts and proper research, right?) but I’d imagine this 1 year mark to be the point at which a lot of people start jumping off the wagon.
Not many males, at least according to my Facebook feed at the weekend, are fans of Royal weddings. Some blokes, unhappy with the option of simply not watching the wedding of Harry and Meghan, have even gone out of their way to prove how anti-Royal-wedding they are. Banners have gone up, and anti-Royal rants have been scatter-gunned across social media, and that’s all fine. I know there are politics involved here, what with the spending of taxpayers money versus the tourism trade the Royals bring in. It’s not a debate I want to get into, or care enough about to discuss, but it’s one that rages on nonetheless. So, given my general disinterest in the whole thing, I was quite happy with the idea that I might have it on the telly in the background, but would also gladly miss the entire thing pending motivation to hit the climbing wall, or go shopping, or grind through some more matches on NHL 18 on my dusty PS4. Continue reading
A sudden sharp intake of breath.
Oh God! Oh fucking God! What is this? Where am I?
Light dapples through the darkness, turning into thick, white, distorted lazer beams as the rays are captured and bent and twisted by my mangled eyelashes and my thick, crusty eye-goop.
I roll over and push my face down into the pillow. Force myself back towards the warm world of sleep, and dreams about exotic sports cars, and roller coasters built in strangely familiar places, and sex with fat women. Anything to avoid having to think about what awaits me beyond these eyelids. If only they could be locked down and used to keep the outside world away – like a couple of sturdy rusted portcullises; keeping me merrily oblivious to the land outside of this fogged, befuddled head. I consider, for a second, that that may be the experience of coma sufferers. Cut off from everything in front of the eyes, and left floating in a strange galaxy of dreams, limited only by the imagination of the vegetative party. Continue reading
You read a lot about seemingly staunch, fully ‘converted’, solidly-grounded non-drinkers with three, four, five years of sobriety under their belts that suddenly go POP and fall off the wagon. Sometimes this can be a spectacular Gascoigne-esque fall, where the booze-victim finds themselves staggering around an off licence in a dressing gown with their tackle hanging out, and other times this can just mean a couple of wines or beers at home, before a fitful sleep and a fleeting return to the world of abstinence with the counter zero’d (or not – depending whether you view relapse as an expected part of recovery).
In my world, in my little corner of East Milton Keynes (Eastside bitches), it’s been a good few weeks for getting things done. I’m at the start of a week off work – I’m heading soon to a bit of a solo writers retreat in a caravan back oop naarth – and I feel like I’ve literally skidded sideways into the weekend after tying up a fuckload of loose ends. In the last few days the car has been serviced, I’ve taken thirteen people from work on a cool little indoor climbing and caving experience, I’ve hosted a smart little ‘retro gaming & pizza’ party at my gaff (and fucking WON the gaming competition – touch me), I’ve spent a couple of long days getting shit sorted in London, and I’ve even squeezed in a few reet sweaty 10km runs. All of this is cool, and even in my boozing days I like to think I wasn’t the type to sit about in my grundies and let life pass me by, but one BIG thing that has always been good at putting a black cloud over things for me – and that has stuck through me like a giant mucky kebab skewer for years and years – is the unshakable feeling that I’m shite at my job, and that handing over before a holiday will expose me for what I really am. And this worry is far-reaching…
I’ve spent a bit of time recently mulling over the reasons that I ever got into this unhealthy relationship with the booze. When I look back at some of the lads I grew up with, and have known since being six or seven years old, there’s no huge difference in the way our lives progressed. So why was it me that ended up taking the whole thing a bit too far? Why did I think it was funny to drink an entire bottle of Jagermeister and then expose myself to a packed room of rock fans in a pub in Scotland? Why did I get landed with the drinking problem? Why not them bastards?
What’s scarier than finding out your mum has been reading your recovery blog, full of nasty stories about what a twat you’ve spent your whole life being?
But it’s cool. I spoke to her on the phone, and the good news is she supports the blog and understands why I write it. There was the initial jolt of HOLYFUK MY SON IS A MONSTER CALL THE FIRE PEOPLE AND THE ZOO KEEPER AND A PRIEST AND EVERYONE WHAT HAVE I DONE WHAT HAVE I DONE but it’s fine. Continue reading