An alcoholic’s day

When we put out a call for readers to get in touch to share a ‘typical day’ for them – in their job, hobby, life – a regular commenter stepped up.

Craig J offered to share with us what his life was like when alcohol was the only thing that mattered. The truthful account might be upsetting to some, so please do exercise caution.

Support for those dealing with alcoholism can be found at:
CHART Kirklees – 01484 353333 https://www.changegrowlive.org/chart-kirklees/huddersfield
Kirklees in Recovery – https://kirkleesinrecovery.com/
The Basement Project – 01422 383063 – https://thebasementproject.org.uk/
ASK Kirklees – 07435 567401 – https://www.alcoholsupport.com/kirklees/

I have been drinking since I was about 11, but heavily since I was around 25. I never really thought I had a problem, because I never hid any booze around the house, as most people who deny they have a problem would. I could easily drink a litre of vodka in an hour and sleep it off like nothing was wrong, then go to work and repeat the process without eating for days.

A typical Sunday when I was drinking heavily would go like this.

If I hadn’t drunk enough on Saturday for me to sleep, I would open 3 litres of strong cider and drink until I knew I would sleep.  

Sunday morning, I would wake between 6am-7am.  Shaking, sweating. In the shower I’d go (I’ve always been hygienic, no matter what). I’d go downstairs for a coffee, hoping my partner would wake early so I could get to the pub bang on 11am – opening time.

No breakfast but a few swigs of cider to stop the shakes.

In the pub, my first pint would take 30 mins to drink. Had to drink the first one slowly, to stop myself gagging.  After the first pint, it was catch-up with friends time, and I mean catch up on pints, not conversation.

Everyone knew I liked a drink, but nobody knew how much I drank because they were all drinking 10- 12 pints in the short period of time that I was. Only difference was, I did this every day. 

My partner picked me up from the pub and we’d go home for Sunday dinner. She’d serve it, and I’d look at it and start gipping at the thought of eating it.  Obviously, she wasn’t happy, so I’d go in the other room and pour myself more cider.  I’d fall asleep for an hour, then wake  up and finish whatever cider was left in the open bottle.  I’d know I hadn’t had enough, so I’d open another 3 litres til I felt I could sleep the whole night. 

This happened on a daily basis.

I have fallen downstairs numerous times losing teeth but not caring, because there is no pain when you’re drunk. I messed myself regularly. I’ve also been hospitalised four times due to injuries from falling and losing my balance.when you don’t care you just don’t care.  

I couldn’t wash, dress or even bathe myself at one point.   I didn’t eat for up to 4 days at a time at my worst, as I had lost so much weight. 

I am still an alcoholic because I still drink.  But I only drink a little, because I don’t want to put everyone through that again; and to be honest I don’t want to put myself through it again.  People who care about me watched me go from an active man, wasting away to this person that just drank and slept.  Nothing, and I mean nothing, means as much to you as the drink when you’re in that place.  Not even family.

When the liver specialist told me it was booze or me, I chose me. Drinking took me from 10st to 8st 2lb.  I’m now at 11st 8lb, my heaviest weight ever (I’ve always been very slight in weight).  I still enjoy drinking and still go to the pub every month or so, but after 3 pints that’s me done.  I have a blood test every 3 months, and so far so good, my liver is doing better.

I guess alcoholism is like being a junkie (though I’ve never tried drugs myself).  It’s an illness that nobody understands unless you have been there and are fighting to get out the other side. I used to mock junkies going for their methadone, now I sympathise because there is no substitute for alcohol that can give you the buzz. You have a choice, it’s you or the booze.

I chose me.

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