addiction · Alcoholism · getting sober · Middle Class Britain · Neighbours · Teenagers · Uncategorized

How to Upset the Neighbours

How to upset the neighbours…

So we, my slightly insane crowd of special people (and the rabbit), moved in to our middle class house on our very quiet middle class street 6 months ago.

Until recently I thought I was pretty middle class so I’d fit right in, I have a barbeque after all so I must be. In fact I googled it! I have a smart TV, a Dyson hoover thing, some vinyl (but no record player, the ex-husband has that), an IMac, Samsonite AND Antler luggage (only one is stipulated on the list of things that makes one middle class). I have at least 2 sets of matching coasters and a Mulberry bag. So there you have it, I MUST be middle class…

It was all going swimmingly well with the neighbours when we first moved in, they were super friendly, anything they can do to help, there were bin collection day timetables posted through the letter box, sweet conversations about how to prune the apparently rare apple tree in the back garden, I even got a card and a kiss on the cheek at Christmas. Through January and February though it all got a bit frosty. Not so middle class anymore, a bit trailer trash instead I’d say. I think they could have coped with my not very middle class looking front garden, and I have to say it is a front garden disaster, a disaster that will be dealt with when it’s not bloody raining. It’s the noise that comes out of my house that is more trailer trash than middle-class. It’s impossible to be middle-class or even slightly civilized with a teenage boy and an alcoholic bf in the house (or face planted in the front garden at 1am for that matter) the shouting is astonishing. The teenager is shouting, stamping around the house, the ubiquitous teenage, and extremely loud door slamming. The bf is shouting, mostly at the shouting teenager, or he is pissed, throwing stones at my bedroom window because he has forgotten his keys again. If it wakes me up, it wakes them up. Where did my middle class ‘I must talk things through rationally and with respect’ attitude go? I must find it again and quickly because all this shouting is bringing my house into disrepute and I am no longer as middle-class as I thought I was. It is written all over the neighbours faces. My declining status as middle class in this very quite neighbourhood is either a result of the noisiness of my special people or it’s the Mulberry bags, have the neighbours worked out that I have a load of fake ones?

addiction · Alcoholism

A Trip to the Cinema

 

So he has a plan. The plan is, wait for it… to stop drinking vodka. It is not to stop drinking; it is just to stop drinking the ‘problem’ drink. The other half of the plan is to stay at my house for a bit so I can stop him drinking the offending drink. Now I am not hugely convinced by this plan but let’s roll with it for a while and see where we end up.

The first hurdle in this new plan was Friday night, normally we would have gone to the pub for a few hours, I would have come home and he would stay out for a while, bring a take away home, then sit there drinking for the rest of the evening. That normally culminated in an argument as he got more and more pissed and all logic went out of the window. Far from looking forward to Friday nights, I had come to dread them a bit. They would always start off ok but the endings were never pretty.

This week I thought we would give the movies a try. I love going to the cinema, I love sitting in the dark, throwing popcorn down my throat as fast as I can, being half deafened by the noise. I just love it. I have been to the cinema loads in the time I have known ABF (Alcoholic Boyfriend) but he has only ever come with me once, the pub was always his choice of venue for a night out and I think the cinema was always a bit of a no no with him because they don’t sell booze. So, with new resolve, off we trotted for our Friday night at the cinema.

First challenge, to popcorn or not to popcorn – now I am not normally mean but I DON’T share my popcorn. Not with anyone. Ever. He got the message pretty quickly. In the absence of either booze or minstrels (we live in a small town with a small cinema but even I was shocked at the lack of minstrels) on my advice, he settled for a pack of Revels. Revels are one of those packs of sweets that are made for cinema trips – I don’t think I am alone in that I wouldn’t ever consider buying a packet of revels unless I was in a cinema setting, let alone eat an entire bag. But it’s all part of the cinema experience, along with ridiculous amounts of popcorn, ice cream and giant bottle of water to wash it all down with that will hopefully stop you feeling too sick to enjoy the film.

I hadn’t even considered for one second that he had never had a bag of Revels before, so when the first handful was met with loud protests that went something along the lines of ‘what kind of shite is this, this isn’t proper chocolate’, I was a bit taken a back, until that penny dropped. Cue lesson in cinema Revel eating…It’s all about what they feel like, because obviously you can’t see shit in the cinema. The flat ones are Minstrels, the big round ones are Maltesers, the really small round ones are toffee (why do the makers of chocolates insist on inflicting toffee ones on us?), the funny shaped small ones are raisins (ditto previous question Mr. Chocolate Maker) and once you have eaten all of those you are left with the ‘good’ ones – orange centre, strawberry centre and coffee centres.

Lesson in cinema Revels eating dispensed he starts on consuming said bag of chocolates. We are still only at the advert stage at this point. An ad for Wild Turkey flashes across the screen and with a gob full of chocolate he proclaims loudly again that ‘Wild Turkey’ is awful stuff because it is too sweet! Speechless!

He was quickly told to shut up and watch the movie. Which he duly did and it was brilliant.

I fully expected to be dragged into the pub ‘for a quick one’ on the way home but there was no mention of it. Woo Hoo, are we getting there? My elation was short lived because he got home and poured a glass of whiskey instead of the usual vodka. Now anyone can see that whiskey is never going to be a good replacement for vodka. But I am not giving up hope you; let’s see how this goes…

addiction · Alcoholism · Uncategorized

Apparently It’s Funny

Apparently it’s funny. Opening the front door at 1 am to your bf of 3 and a half years who has blood all over his face, dirt and mud smeared and stuck all over his clothes and who can’t really stand up properly because he’s so drunk. Apparently that’s funny. To all you alcoholics out there, just so you know, it ain’t funny….

It isn’t funny at the time, it isn’t funny when you are wiping the blood and mud from facial orifices at 1 in the morning, whilst you are in your pj’s and had been asleep for an hour and a half already. It isn’t funny when you have 2 kids upstairs who could easily be woken with all the kerfuffle. It isn’t funny in the morning when you are recounting the story of how you face planted the dirt in my front garden and you are telling me how comical it was. It just ain’t funny. Full Stop. Never was, never will be.

I don’t know how I got here. The last time I wrote anything like this, and these things are very cathartic for me, I was recounting the story of sitting in an addiction counselors office, with the man I love being told he was an alcoholic, feeling very sad and a bit bemused as to how I got there. But I was full of hope that the roller coaster might end and I might have the man I love full time, not just when he is sober.

Right now I am not just bemused, I am full of anger. I thought I knew quite a lot about addiction and I guess I do. I have spent quite a lot of time between these 2 incidents reading countless articles and blogs on addiction and recovery. I am a serial visitor to the AA website, trying to understand the ‘disease’, trying to get the man I love to see some sense and deal with his addiction. And to be honest, I am pretty sick of reading about how the alcoholic has no choice, it’s a disease, that the alcoholic will either die or somehow hit rock bottom and seek help. Bollocks to that, you have a choice, stop drinking.

There is a lot of literature out there on addiction from the addict’s perspective, a lot of how the ‘disease’ works, on how the disease affects the alcoholic mentally and physically, a lot of accounts of recovery. There doesn’t however, seem as much on the wife/husband/girlfriend/boyfriend/partner of an alcoholic and the impact on us. How are we supposed to deal with the destructive behavior of the man/woman we love? The stuff that’s out there tells us to protect ourselves and leave. I don’t want to leave. I want the man I love to be the man he can be, if he is sober. I want him to stop the self-centered, self-pitying, self-destructive behavior and, in the immortal words of Irvin Welsh (or was it Wham?), I want him to Choose Life. I want him and every other alcoholic to choose themselves, choose the people stood in front of you, the people who love you, the people who offer and want to support you, the people who want you back. Stop turning up on our doorsteps pissed, stop shutting us out, stop blaming us, manipulating us, emotionally blackmailing us, stop your sniveling whinging and whining and, for god’s sake, stop choosing to drink. It’s not funny…

According to government statistics 1.4 million people in the UK are dependent on alcohol. That’s a lot of people. That’s a lot of not very funny alcohol induced dramas. That’s a lot of people like me, people who love an alcoholic and who have all these feelings of anger, sadness, disappointment, hope, trust, miss-trust, a whole host of conflicting emotions. And there isn’t a lot written about the hope, fear, disappointment, guilt, shame, worry for the people who have to live with these not very funny alcoholic incidents.

So what will happen next to my alcoholic and to me? What happens after 3.5 years of roller coaster hope and disappointment, 3.5 years of will he stop/won’t he stop, 3.5 years of he’s stopped drinking, oh no, he has started again? What happens after this latest 2 weeks of blaming and shaming me whilst he was on a mad boozing frenzy that culminated in my not very funny 1am visit?

He has a plan. Let’s see…