This weekend was the Thanksgiving celebration here in Canada. As for me, I am very, very thankful — to still be alive and more or less well, given the volume of my drinking, given the extent of my addiction. I drink a lot every day, but I’m still able to get up and do my job and function quite well, even with a hangover. It’s not where I really want to be, however. I’d rather be free, totally free, finally free, from drinking. But alas, that goal eludes me yet .
I saw a friend of mine in the drugstore this morning. Let’s call him Paul. Paul’s a drunk like me. Not quite the same as me, though. Rather, he is the other type of drunk compared to me. I drink every day. He doesn’t, until he picks up, and then he drinks every day for a month or two, or three, 24-7. He’s a “Binge-drinker”. He described to me today how once he starts, he can’t stop. Early in the morning he waits for the liquor store to open, so he can stop his shakes, his insatiable craving for more, more and more, but just enough more to settle him down. Just enough, he said, so that he can make it to work. Then he paces himself throughout the day. Just enough to keep functioning while he’s at work. Just enough to not be noticed by his boss and co-workers. The truth is, “just enough” isn’t enough–they all notice! They can smell him a mile away. They tolerate him until they can’t tolerate him anymore, and then he gets fired. He’s been fired once a year for the last 10 years. The last time he got fired, it was because he showed up early for an important board meeting. To “prepare” for it he drank a half bottle of whisky. A few minutes into the meeting, he suddenly passed out, he literally fell forward and head-planted onto the boardroom table. Head-planted, passed out, right there in front of all of the head honchos. They “let him go” when he regained consciousness. After these typical two or three month benders, he ends up in the hospital, where they detox him, wish him luck, and then send him back out again. He’s been to rehab. It doesn’t work for him.
Today when I saw Paul, he said he’s been sober for 2 months now, but is jobless, once again. He seemed discouraged. Well, he’s in his early 60’s. It’s getting harder to find work between his binges. Frankly, I think he’s been damn lucky to keep working all this time to date. Damn lucky. He asked me to call him to go for coffee soon. I couldn’t find his number on my phone, so I asked him for it — cell number? home number? home address? I asked. Why all the detail? Because I think he might kill himself soon. I wanted his home address in case he doesn’t answer his phone when I call him to go for that coffee, so I can tell the police where to go to find him, drunk or dead.
This is alcohols effect on some, on Paul, on me in a slightly different way. What to do? WHAT TO DO???