A while ago, RATG, a Moodscope member, wrote about two lollipop men; one calm and smiling, conscientious, and clearly an alcoholic. The other, smiling and genial, sending folk on their way with a smile, a joke, and sometimes a song. And it was the second one, the sober, smiling genial one, who had a few near misses, being so easily distracted.

Soon, in the comments, were remarks about alcoholism and how well some folk manage to function while addicted.

And I thought about me. And I thought about my dear friend. And I thought about my brother-in-law.

My brother-in-law, sober now for over 30 years, was never an alcoholic. One year he decided to give up alcohol as his New Year Resolution, and after a sober year, chose never to drink again. Inspired by his success, he decided to now give up chocolate for a year. He did not last three months.

My dear friend, an only child, suffered terribly with depression as a teenager and her parents did what they could to help, signing her into a mental hospital where she was given electroconvulsive therapy. She still suffers from the effects of that, almost 50 years later. Her marriage broke up; her husband taking on a new, younger, less bothersome woman. Her parents needed her help in their final years, and she turned to alcohol to help her through the worst times. One child (now in his 40s) blames her for the breakdown of her marriage; the other (now in her late 30s) refused my friend access to her grandchildren, saying my friend “could not be trusted”. Sober now for 10 years, she is doing her best with what she has left, but time, abuse and the rest have left her with severe liver and kidney problems. She reckons every day is a blessing.

And me. I live with constant, debilitating pain which all the doctors in the world (it seems) can do nothing about. Raging at a GP last year, during the first lockdown, when I had been discharged from all access to the Pain Clinic and the specialists there, and the GP could offer me nothing but drugs already tried and proved useless, I said I may as well just go back to treating myself with several slugs of whisky a day. He laughed at me. And he said “yes”.

For my convenience, I have stashed around the house and garden, bottles of whisky. One in my greenhouse, one in my study, one in the craft room. Plus all the rest in the kitchen. I have made my own rules; I have up to 5 slugs a day – but none, ever, after the evening meal. A day or so ago, I wondered if perhaps today I would get through it without any slugs; but decided there was no point in even considering that, they help, even a tiny bit…..and, why should I deprive myself?

But, after RATG’s blog….I wonder; slippery slope. Alcoholic? Me?

A Moodscope member.

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