We often think of relationships as being between 2 or more people who develop a mutual understanding of each other’s needs, wants and desires and endeavour to fulfil them to the best of their abilities.
A working relationship is a powerful synergetic tool and instrument that enables the individuals to reach their fullest potential, mutually supportive, beneficial and an agreement between the parties.
Is it then possible to have a relationship with an inanimate object, most people would say no definitely not however I would disagree with this thought and indeed have had a very good relationship with an inanimate object along with many people who have experienced the same things.You are probably sitting there thinking how could this be?, well let me try to explain.
If we understand a relationship as being something that works between one or more things or people then we have to consider a person’s relationship with food, drugs either prescription or illicit and also alcohol.
Caroline Knapp wrote a book entitled Drinking, A love story, having read that book and a number of others especially on the subject of alcohol and alcoholism, I can fully understand this idea and concept.
A person may have a relationship with food because certain foods may give a person a feel good factor, chocolates, biscuits and certain other foods may cause the person who is eating them to feel on top of the world. Often though the reason why people reach for comfort foods changes, it could be when they are celebrating or commiserating, when things in life seem really good or when you are in the depths of despair.
Many people describe this as being an emotional eater and I have a great deal of sympathy and understanding of this because I too do the same, in times of stress or discomfort I reach for the Jelly babies, wine gums, chocolate bar or anything that will give me a feel good factor rather than something practical and filling, then you feel guilty when you have put weight on, your clothes no longer fit like they did, you lose the motivation and desire in the first instance and then you have to dig deep to pull yourself out of it.
My relationship though from my early teenage years was definitely alcohol and more often than not spirits.
I think that the above really sums up what alcohol really is seen by a lot of people, I often described it as being my worst enemy and my best friend both at the same time, a total contradiction and yet an absolute truth to me.
I saw it as my best friend as it was reliable, I knew the taste, the feel of it as it slid down my throat, the reaction that I would get from it and the way that it would make me feel, whether that was more outgoing, confident, self-assured or seemingly more acceptable company to others, although a lot of the time I drank alone.
My worst enemy because it clouded my judgment, released my inhibitions, after all on a friends stag night a group of us wandered through a local park stark naked and even had a conversation with a couple of men fishing at the lake at the bottom of the park, we all remained in a state of undress, I think that they were probably more embarrassed than we were, I do wonder though if we had been sober would we of done the same thing.
It clouds your judgment and what seems like a good idea at the time often ends up being the most disastrous and you still have to face the consequences. We also think about the trail of destruction that we leave not necessarily in a physical sense but in an emotional sense, just because we want that one last drink, although that one last drink never ends up being that one last drink until you have to stop just because, the time that you reach that stage on a night out feels like you are reaching a void, a depth of despair, your whole body aches and you feel a sense of loss and sadness that until the next day leaves you feeling lonely and ever so vulnerable.
The only thing that will fix it is the first sip of the day, the lubricating of the throat and the old feeling of being awakened and ready to start the day ahead, the merry go round begins once more.
Why then would you put yourself through this rollercoaster of emotions, this path to self-destruction, this thing that destroys your life in one foul sweep and yet you keep on going, if your marriage fails as 2 of mine did, the first I can definitely attribute to alcohol and the second had a lot of partying and alcohol in it and many things happened in a physically inappropriate sense, one night we had gone out and were drinking home brew wine, one of my ex-wifes friends had sat next to me on the sofa and was trying different lipsticks especially flavoured ones and we started to kiss, making the excuse that she wanted me to taste test the lipsticks, how ridiculous this seems now but at the time it felt almost normal and just what people did.
Friday afternoons I would find a bar and play pool on my own, drink and play Led Zeppelin’s Stairway to heaven on the jukebox, this was a great release after a long week at work and would be how the weekend began, when people started to come into the bar I would then leave, I didn’t want to be in that type of company, I don’t know why but I would always find my familiar, my comfort zone, my safe and happy place and then I would drink until the end of the night.
The hardest thing to accept is that this is how your life looks, success in a bottle and yet physically it damaged me immensely, I was hospitalised before I was 30 years of age so that would have been pre 1994, with alcoholic hepatitis and was told that I had a year if I continued to drink the way that I did, so I walked out of my consultants room and stopped for a year, after going back I was told that my liver was in pretty good shape and I went straight into the pub to celebrate, I was hooked once more, all of the good that I had done, I was undoing in a very fast and lose way, before I knew it I was drinking as much as I was before and acting in the very same way and I continued for a couple of years until April of 1997, when I decided I no longer wanted my life to be run and dictated by a clock in a bar and an amount of money that could be spent on alcohol each and every day.
I poured a bottle of Glenfiddich single malt whisky down the sink and that was it, the start of my journey to a better life and recovery, now some 22 years later and my life is greatly improved, I have a wonderful relationship with my partner, I have very few close friends but they are the people that I want in my life, my family and my partners family play a big part in how I want my life to be, I live by the coast and it is really good and quiet.
How do I spend my time now?
I have decided to spend some time developing this blog as a way of sharing my life, my choices and my failures and successes with others, highlighting that there is always another way.
I go to the gym regularly.
This year I have done a 5k and a 15 miles walk for charity.
I have been baptised in the sea, it was cold but refreshing and really enjoyable. I even had a swim before being baptised.
I volunteer with a community transport charity and am a trustee.
I enjoy time out with my partner and play pool with her 1 night a week and enjoy eating out.
My relationships are built on a more solid foundation, I like to think that I am more dependable and my health is a lot better than it was especially during my drinking days.
I also feel a great deal freer, addiction is like being in a chain of bondage but not to a person but a substance and it controls your thoughts and impulses.
I am so grateful that I no longer drink and I no longer have the desire to, if things are going badly I accept that, talk it through and look for solutions to the problems.
I do suffer from depression and anxiety but I don’t believe that has anything to do with the alcohol dependency but more about life and its circumstances.