Wednesday, 3 February 2010

i'll drink to that?

Anyone here ever done a cold turkey off drugs, alcohol (fags even)? I've done a few withdrawals in my time. Each time is harder, when you know, what you have to face is grim and the future looks bleak. banal without "special effects".The dark hours seem too silent and the blackness flickers with imagined shadows. Well, i have been drinking on and off for years, it feels so good, to be in that anaesthetised place, the forgetting place, where all you hear is music and your smiling and laughing and sometimes flirting - kissing dancing. A heady and spinning place, I love that sense of no responsibilities, freezing that hedonistic moment in an ethanol laced formaldehyde. When I am drunk, being pissed is a beautiful kaleidoscope, my safe place, better than sex, better than heroin, but not better than love. Nothing substitutes the feeling of love. How can you view reality through a kaleidoscope? There are no answers in a mirage. When you're drunk, lust, self hatred, greed, loss, vanity, need can all disguise themselves as that fragile Goliath, love, but none of those are love, but all are things that can be healed by it.

It noticeably started years ago, in my early twenties when I worked as a hostess in London, i was never a hooker but spent a good few years in my underwear persuading idiots to buy me champagne at a £100 a throw so they could dance with me, I was tall for a girl and stood out. I didn't need to fuck men to screw money out of them, the idea to them was enough. I never lied to a man and told him he would get sex of me, I was astute enough to know that most men are predators and like the chase as much as the kill. I was selling the real quick thinking me, the funny, educated sharp me.I was twenty three, beautiful I suppose, pity really, as I could have set myself up for life.I was offered vast amounts of money for sex but my middle name was never Polo (she made a mint with her hole). it paid for my BA - hostessing served it's purpose but at a cost.

I was pissed for the first two years of my degree it cost me a First Class Honours Degree,(Champagne five nights a week and sometimes upto ten pints of Lowenbrau in the daytime).

My tale is a cautionary tale, I never ever told anyone, but once in 1984 (I was 23 and very light) I came round on some wasteland off The Old Kent Road, near our squat, at dawn, the sun was hovering on the horizon and an orange street lamp flickered in the distance and momentarily confused me, the blow to my head made me think "Two sun's?". I had been attacked, was concussed,my skull had a huge lump on the back, my neck hurt and my back was black and blue, my clothes were ripped, my tights had gone,I have no idea of what had actually happened: the last 10 hours boozing was just a black hole that had vacuumed the previous nights events out of my consciousness. Maybe this is truly a blessing. I had no defense injuries. Two weeks later a man phoned my house and told me he had raped me- i did not know his name or where I had been. I had been so drunk I had given my number to a rapist. Before or after the attack? I don't know, the memories of it are tiny nasty little fragments. I have always been too ashamed to tell anyone. He told me where he had left me.He was mocking me. The stranger was accurate about what he had done to me. Some men enjoy the kill as much as the chase. I had been very naive. I moved house and buried an innocent part of me in South East London.
I went into rehab at the end of my second year and then worked day and night to try and do three years work in four months, write my dissertation and do the final years work. I missed the First Class Honours on my course work, by one point, the panel said no at the appeal, I would have to settle for the 2:1, my alcoholism was no excuse. Clever girls like me take too much for granted and I should have known better. It was a bitter pill, I remain disappointed that I did not get a First. I blame myself.

It's so normal and so acceptable to be trollied, no one really thinks anything of it. I saw being pissed as a badge of subversiveness and rebellion, the fun thing about me, the great enhancer. The reality is far darker.

I woke up one morning last week - Thursday I think, and my tongue was black,and yet again we were running late, my liver was so painful it was giving me a vacating order. "Get a new one I ain't staying here anymore" But a liver's not the easiest thing to replace is it? Alone, the night before I had drunk a litre of Chianti, and half a bottle of Cote de Rhone, that I had lost the previous night and had been too pissed to find. Well it goes off if you don't drink it. My symptoms were bad, later in the day I was in Tesco's struggling not to slur from the previous nights drinking.

I resolutely went to the Dr, and told her what I wanted her to say. I knew the truth. Reality was slapping me in the face.

"Dr, I have been using my brother's suicide as an excuse to drink for nealy three years now, I never drink around the kids, i drink late at night and have always fooled myself that i was aware if there is an emergency, but it's bullshit, if there was an accident I am normally shitfaced by midnight and the reality is there is no one around to pick me up if I fall. . I am stopping Doctor, my brother's voice is in my head saying "you're a disgrace, pack it in Tillie, I did love you and the kids need you".
"Dr, I know my depression is the sister of my alocolism and if I can stop the drinking, these blues will go away. I will need to sleep and let the dreams come back slowly". She reluctantly agrees I need sleeping pills to get me over the first week" She makes it clear if it does'lt work this time I am back in rehab (NO NO NO).

On the detox, it just gets progressivlely worse as the alcohol leaves your system, Yesterday was day four, the worst, the truly dry day, I l spent the day on the sofa in my coat wrapped in a duvet, the heat was on and I was frozen and sweating, dreaming awake and paranoid. I felt totally abandoned. Although I did not know that Angela was in her car driving to Cheshire to care for me as only she so tenderly can do.
I realised who my friends where. Angela me and the kids had Domino's pizza for tea... I knew that this was going to be the day I had to get though. I deliberatley had no money on the house after the take away and had no intention of risking mine and my children's safety. I love them I am doing this for us.

The pills didin't work, but they took the edge of the terrible anxiety. And this time I hope I have done it, the pictures of me and Angela and me and the children are good a reference on the meaning of life and how importance optimism, love and hope's a cliche, but to be true to yourself it's only one day at a time. But today really is another day to have some fun, write some more of my book and let the kids know how truly sorry I really am for having been so selfish. I'm not sure how long I will stay dry but I will try for as long as I can.

Give us a smile, the show will go on!
i did this for the kids
To be an ever nicer person, coz I am dead soft and nice really. A bit daft an flakey but nice with it.

There are millions of men, women and young people who are alcoholic, so I will say this because others are experiencing this too. Good luck my friends. I send love into the ether for you. Send it back to me.
I want to be loved and I need to give love. We are never alone.

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