alcohol, art, sobriety and escape

the following was a comment on my blog post alcohol and art. i really enjoyed the insights, and with the commenter’s (lew’s) permission, i am sharing the gift of his reflections here.

it’s hard to know what’s real anymore. on the one hand i know that alcohol hinders me, certainly in my social life, but in my writing too. on the other hand, i feel like i’ve learnt a lot over the course of our coupling, and i continue to learn things. it is mostly about myself, but to know about others, it helps to know of yourself. and this has certainly helped my writing in a profound way. but where it has helped my writing in an important way, it has hindered it structurally. in the way that a tidy room can make for a tidy mind, a tidy mind can make for a tidy novel. and a mind, and often a room, is rarely tidy under the extreme conditions of alcoholic relapse. of two novels i’ve completed (unpublished as of yet), one was written in abstinence immediately upon discharge from hospital, and one was written very much in the middle of relapse. the first is very readable, i’m informed, and it seems to have a quality that some people need in a book, the second is not as readable.

without art, i could see abstinence and sobriety as a rich necessity to the comfort of my life, yes. but i am not without art, and this allows for a creative mind. alcoholism is a mind game, and, of course, an addiction. an artist makes a myth as much as a romantic historian, it is embedded somehow. but then perhaps the answer is in this mind game of a problem. perhaps i need to find a creative way to divorce drink.

i should add that i’ve made sweeping generalisations here that i am not qualified to make. and this is only part of my addiction. a part that nevertheless convolutes and contorts my attachment to escapism. for that is what it truly boils down to. escapism. even for an artist whose concern is getting at the truth, and probably uncovering horrors along the way, the work is escapism. perhaps one of the connections between artists and alcohol, is the need to escape. of course, all of us need to escape, but there is a depth achieved in art where we can lose ourselves (perhaps it is the same for anyone who works hard and deeply cares about what they do, creativity exists in most professions). and then to drink can be seen as to escape from escape, but i don’t feel it is. it is a continuation.

there is a contradiction between this and my first comment, but i’ve recognised over the course of this comment that i lied in the first (and using the word ‘truth’ too, but that’s another topic) – to myself as much as anyone. i never drink to wind down. quite the opposite. i drink to wind-up. after writing, i feel it is alright to drink. especially if i’ve had a good session. in fact, it is pretty much the only time i feel it is alright to drink.

i shall stop now, i’ve meandered a little. this is the first day i’ve gone without a drink in while. i can’t visualise a period of abstinence, there is too much ahead in the next two months. but i shall try to break from it for a day or two. lock myself away and ignore the knocking at the door or the phone calls. perhaps october.

32 thoughts on “alcohol, art, sobriety and escape

  1. Gerdchen

    As an artist I can say alcohol could only support a little but destroy a lot more. Creativity comes from inside. It doesn’t need drugs to flow, only a clear mind and open heart.

  2. Greg Savoie

    Alcohol and art have too long been associated positively in the public eye. Ernest Hemingway, Elizabeth Wertzel, Kurt Cobain. The image projected of them is brilliant artists with “difficulties”. Truth (yes, truth!!) is these people suffered immensely. They were miserable, sad to a degree which is unfathomable for most.

    Yes, they created some masterful work, their artistry is not debatable.

    How we see their existence in its entirety, and what we can learn from it is immense, and priceless.

    I’m not a writer by any means, by the complex life of Ernest Hemingway has always fascinated me. Having been through years of depression and alcohol abuse, I tell myself “Strive to be as creative as Hemingway, just don’t make it as difficult on yourself as he did”
    .-= Greg Savoie´s last blog ..Am I better? =-.

  3. isabella mori (@moritherapy)

    i hope i didn’t come across as glorifying the use of alcohol. i just think it’s useful to look reality in the eye. some artists find it very difficult to “divorce”, as lew puts it so aptly, alcohol use from the creative act. and often the first step in lessening (or even dissolving) a difficulty is simply to tell its story.
    .-= isabella mori (@moritherapy)´s last blog ..cat couple on a wordless wednesday =-.

  4. John Folk-Williams

    isabella –

    I think you’ve hit it in your last comment. Writing down what’s going on is a big step in getting perspective of this. Lew has such ambivalence about alcohol that repeating conflicting views in writing may be especially helpful. Why else write all this down – and so well & thoughtfully. I doubt alcohol is only a mind game, though. I’ve seen the physical damage in too many friends.

    John
    .-= John Folk-Williams´s last blog ..Recovery from Depression’s Words =-.

  5. isabella mori (@moritherapy)

    john – exactly. more often than not, it’s the ambivalence that causes problems. many people who say, “i’ve had it, i want to get rid of my addiction, what does it take?” are well on the way to recovery. but most problems that we face as humans stem from the fact that we get quite the nice payoff from staying in a situation that appears to be unhealthy.

    yes, sustained heavy drinking typically results in physical damage. my father, for example, miraculously survived the psychological aspects as well as the liver damage – but then he died of pancreatic cancer, which is (somewhat) associated with heavy drinking. (and even more with smoking, which was also one of his addictions. the fact that smoking is often not referred to as an addiction might be another thing to talk about here on this blog … )
    .-= isabella mori (@moritherapy)´s last blog ..bye bye B-line =-.

  6. Lew

    Alcoholism is not only a mind game. It is an addiction and a mind game, the result of which has very real physical effects. If it wasn’t a mind game, we might see what we are doing to ourselves and take heed.

    I don’t want to die young. Sometimes I might say I do, and sometimes if feels that way – more often than I could accurately express. But I want to see a few years, write a few things, I want to make my thirties, for Christ’s sake. But still I drink, still my mind finds ways to trick me into drinking, bluffs and double-bluffs. The ego, that comes with artistry, proffers the glory of tragedy; the pain of my lifestyle shows up profundities of the self; I trick myself out of drinking, then feel weakened without it, physically in some respects, but psychologically, more pertinently. I mean, how do we know if we are physically addicted?

    Is it withdrawals? Do the trembling hands that occur at times, prove the physical addiction? I go days without drinking at times, most weeks at least a day. Today I am sober, or at least I am not drinking or taking drugs. Yes, a drink may help, but I won’t drink because I have a duty to my father and I can’t be a help if I’m in vino the whole time. He drinks heavily himself, but I just couldn’t leave the house to see him without having a break from drink, or else being drunk.

    What I am saying is, I have some strength to hold off the booze, even if that means being a recluse. But that strength, which is little, and borne of duty, will not hold off the myriad games of the mind that, in part thanks to creativity, keeps me pickled in a jar, a sheet of glass from the world’s touch.

    And I smoke too, so let’s try and explore the distinction. When I have no cigarettes, I need a cigarette, no rhyme or reason – or at the very most, and ’tis rare, I might find and use stress as my excuse. But drink. There is writing, there is being sociable (as false as it may be, in truth), there is feeling lighter, there is an ugly bravado that rears its fat head and says ‘at least you can out drink the best of them.’ There is innocence, child-like suspension, an excuse to prevent true adulthood. There is the escape from an unromantic world, that, as a writer, rather naively swears in the face of a marketing world, a cold world, a murderous world, a world of deceit. Excuse after excuse that, even though I can express this, still tricks me.

    Because maybe my sodden mind is right? This is the game of games.

  7. Lew

    Day 9 of sobriety. Looking back, even over my words on here, I see a big falseness. This is not to say that I’ve lied per se, but perhaps been caught in my own myth, a myth more complicated than Art and Drink. But then who knows where the myth ends, is this the myth? Does the myth even exist at all?

    What I mean is, I don’t recognise the person who wrote on here a week or so ago.

    A bit confused.

  8. Lew

    As far as drinking goes, I’m in a relatively controlled state at the moment. I’ve just come out the other end of another month long bender and this is because my current situation requires sobriety. I’m not sober, but four or five days a week I’m dry – if I wasn’t, I couldn’t function. This is not a solid situation. I am quite depressed. I feel trapped and lonely.

    The advantage of drinking is the illusion of a social life. I interact with people. Of course, I have no real relationship, but for those hours I can kid myself and life is bearable. The advantage of sobriety is purely creation, the ability to write, to express myself, in the hope of giving pleasure to others (partly, at least) – although I’m not in the most creative period of my life. Having said this, the answer I proffer here is reliant on my mood. If I was in a better mood, I might say, sobriety offers health, clarity of mind, the ability to function, the slow reintergration into society, the possibility of loving and being loved. Right now, health is the last thing on my mind.

    As it stands, l don’t feel it possible to refrain from drinking. I want the escape, the people, and, peversely, the pain I am causing myself. But I am clearly not without hope, because to refrain from drinking for four or five days a week is truly hard, and why would I do it if I felt my situation was truly hopeless? But still, in the back of my head, I know I only have to maintain this control for another ten weeks (only!). This is not to say I intend to return to seemingly perpetual drunkenness – I hope I don’t – but that I’ll at least have the choice.

    At the moment, all I want to do is run away. I’m just taking it a day at a time, and enduring the hurt.

    How would you answer the same question, Denise? And good luck with your abstinence.

    Lew

  9. Pingback: Alcohol and art, depression undertreated and sacred clowns | Mental Health Camp

  10. Denise

    HiLew,
    My advantages if I stop drinking . (My entire life would change) 1.My health would improve as I want to live a long and happy life.
    2.My relationships with other people (i.e.) my partner, friends! in other words I would be much more alert & hopefully fully fuctionalto deal with the outside world.
    3.I would be able to take on a job again and try to forefill my position to my full ability.
    4.I enjoy sports, & regually go tothe gym. When not drinking.
    5.My social life would improve as I have alot of friends who don’t drink at all, & some who are able to just have the one drink.
    6. I can take up new challengs with a clear head & look forward to them. (i.e.) a. take a degree or diploma, in a subject that interests me. b. planing and looking forward to a holiday

    At this moment in time I can’t see any disadvantages if I stop drinking.

    If I continue to drink.
    In my case, I basically I would not be able to forfill all the reasons I’ve given for not drinking, and lets face it I’am only kidding myself and going down that road time after time. WASTING (TIME) (LIFE) & (HAPPINESS)
    To be honest I am miserable when I drink.

    What I really have to think about now is what my triggers are?
    What alternative behaviour I can take if I have an urge to drink.

    What the outcome wold be.

    What triggers you and how do you overcome this?

    Whats your Alternative?

    Denise
    .-= Denise´s last blog ..Gene Link to Obsessive Compulsive Disorder =-.

  11. Lew

    I spend a lot of time thinking about this, thinking how I can escape alcohol, because it seems alcohol is the one thing that holds me back. What I mean is, to move to the next level in my life I need total abstinence. Where I am right now, abstinence seems impossible.

    My triggers involve social interaction. I don’t/can’t socialise without alcohol, and when my friends – or the people in my life – are with me, neither do they. Of course, some socialise with other friends without a drink, but with me it’s a given. I guess I can’t stomach who I am, I don’t really like myself too much. When I have a drink it doesn’t matter if I don’t like myself. This is not to say I think I’m bad person – I’m not. And when I’m drunk, I often find myself thinking I’m a great person, once the drink has oiled the social mechanism. True, drink can turn on me from time to time, but then I will find a hole of my own to stew in; for the most, I’m a pretty good drunk, no harm to anybody but myself. Anyway, the only way I can see abstinence working, is if I avoid everybody around me.

    And it’s not just my friends. My family are big drinkers. It’s what we do. And as I’ve learnt before, I cannot go into a pub without having a drink – I have done before, in abstinence, but it eventually wears me down. I must add, when I write ‘big drinkers,’ I don’t mean alcoholics, not by my own defintion. Big drinkers are common where we live, but most function fairly successfully. Drinking is a lifestyle, perhaps an archaic tradition in many British communities, descendants of devotees of Bacchus. It’s a way of dealing with the humdrum of life; maybe it’s an expression of the futility of it all. But I guess my dreams are big, and I can’t keep bashing away at the brain cells if I am to succeed.

    I digress, but my musings upon the mythology of alcohol highlight my problem. Those nights when we are all tanked up are religious experiences. Sometimes it is rather beautiful, transcendental communion – not that this would be a common view. My view of alcohol makes it hard. I often feel it is the creative reasoning of the alcoholic. We kid ourselves.

    Triggers other than people, pubs and where I live, relate to my mood and dissatisfaction at my life – the result of alcohol to some extent, the vicious circle. And because of my love of writing, and my hankering for writers like Hemingway or Kafka (who wasn’t a big drinker, but socially uncomfortable), it is easy to trick myself into drinking, spurring on the tragedy – mind games of the ego. And I’ve tried to give these writers up, looked to other scribes, but I can’t help liking these guys, they just write so goddam brilliantly.

    But the reality of it is, beyond all of this, I am going to die a young, lonely, miserable death if I continue drinking as I am. Even having the four days off a week, I’m still drinking far, far above the weekly recommended limit; it is not uncommon for me to drink 40+ units in one session. My body is tired and clumsy, I’m perpetually ill, colds, infections; my skin is losing its colour to be replaced by the beginnings of the red alcohol spots and blemishes; widened pores. I ache and tremble. And I’m only 29 years old.

    I’m sorry to ramble and whine. But even so, I live in hope. And heck, some days are alright.

    How you finding it all? Figured the triggers out?

  12. Lew

    I quit drinking Saturday. That’s my intention anyway. To quit. Whenever I get talking about it, I seem to find the strength and desire from somewhere. My sister said she’s quitting for Lent too, so that might help.

  13. Traveler Wendell

    If succeeding in our craft, career or even socially takes “putting it all out there at once”, or taking the chance that our best isn’t good enough to succeed, then maybe having a vice or addiction that limits our abilities, keeps us from truly failing. Of course, it keeps us from truly succeeding too.

  14. Lew

    Aha! Interesting. I maintain to this day that I forced my addiction on myself to excuse myself from failure. I had failed at university due to smoking a lot of dope, amongst other drugs, and not doing the work. 3 months before I knew I would have to return to my hometown, I made the conscious decision to drink, with the express intention of returning home and into rehab – whilst simultaneously excusing myself from my failure by blaming the booze (which, let’s face it, appears to be an occupational hazard – even if it isn’t). Everyday until I returned, I walked the streets of London blowing my uni loan, drinking and filling a self-indulgent diary with ideas, characters and general whining.

    I’m not proud of myself, and this awful idea from a somewhat warped mind (clear mind, just warped and depressed) backfired. Yes, I went into rehab on my return, but when I came out I was back on the booze within weeks, and that next long period (years) was far worse than the uni period. I came to see alcohol in a different light, as a companion, because without my knowing it a dependency was formed. I had little control, despite initially feeling I had made the conscious decision to drink, really drink. It got to the stage where I couldn’t leave the house without a drink inside me; it became a lifestyle, I had to make plans on a daily basis just to live my life with alcohol, in order to function. How much of this period was consciously self-inflicted, I no longer know, but to become an alcoholic at a relatively young age is anything but easy.

    Five years after that stay on a psychiatric ward, I was back on the ward. Since then it has been a slow and bumpy ride trying to get back on track. I have more control now than I did before, a lot more control. In some respects I could be positive and say I’m winning the battle, but my life feels like it’s on hold.

    I think you make an astute point. But still, the relationship a drunk has with drink is complex, because for a person to become an alcoholic – I think it is fair to say – it takes years. And years of many downs and beatings. The idea that booze absolves one from failure, be it a conscious thought or not, is probably prevalent in many alcoholics, but then the idea that one is a failure because of booze is also there, really there, in bloodshot eyes, cuts, scars and bruises, aches and pains, toxic sweats, diarrhoea, carbolic piss and most importantly in the reaction of others.

  15. Traveler

    I used to know a musician that used to tell me he never went on stage alone. Alcohol is most definitely a companion. Fickle, moody and sometimes downright mean but a companion none the less.
    I know someone who is a brilliant artist who will not succeed in life, let alone his art. Whenever things get too close to success he tumbles and usually tumbles big. I don’t pretend to be an expert but I really don’t think it has to do with him not thinking he deserves to succeed, I think it scares him that he might succeed. He knows how to fail but he hasn’t a clue how to succeed, so he goes with what he knows.
    Like I said, I’m no expert. Just my two cents.

  16. Denise

    Hi Lew,
    I am pleased for you, giving up alcohol for lent
    You asked me about my TRIGGERS. My main ones are:-
    1. Boredom
    2. I can become very anxious about the simplest of things, which leads me to negitive thoughts, that leads me to go downhill.
    3. My main TRIGGER. Is when I hav’ant had a drink for 3 to 5 months say. I start thinking well you’ve done well. ONE won’t hurt you, I actually convenience myself I’ll just have the ONE DRINK. But I don’t ofcourse

    DISTRACTION or ALTERNATIVE BEHAVIOUR.

    Keep a diary, i.e. Organizer, Planner. I can at least then plan a week or two ahead, and know what I am doing!
    SAY:-
    1. Three times a week at the gym (I feel great afterwards.)
    2. I can go swimming with my mate, go for a coffee afterwards, catch up.
    3. Housework, I don’t always like it, but the satisfaction I have when I’ve finished is HUGE.
    4. Reading.
    5. Relaxing, having time to myself to do what I want to do.

    I THEN CAN SEE MY OUTCOME.

    At this time:-
    1. I feel much healthier.
    2. My diet is healthier, I have the odd treat.
    3. I’am more alert, both with other people, and to deal with life’s problen’s. That seemed to be HUGE when I was drinking.
    4. The money I’ve saved. I can plan a holiday, treat myself, save for a rainy day.
    5. I’am not drinking right now so that has to be good.

    Now I have to have a GOAL in my life, I can work on for the next month or so. I need to take steps to make this change. I have to also think, what might get in my way of making my change.

    What woulf your GOAL be and what steps would you take to make the change and what might be in the way.

    Denise

  17. Lew

    What might be in the way? A friend called me last night to arrange a meet up. She lives in Fuerteventura and she’s back in the UK for a couple of weeks. She sent me messages on Facebook and phoned me up a number of times, but I ignored it all – mainly because I’m feeling really down. After a few days I started to feel guilty about it; she’s a good friend and she’s been there for me, even though I’ve never really let her in. So I answered the phone and spoke to her. Within five minutes she got me organising a college reunion against my will – this is with people we haven’t seen for years in some cases. I sent out one of those facebook messages and now it looks like it’s going ahead on Saturday. Needless to say, I have two options here, 1. I don’t go to a reunion I’ve foolishly organised, 2. I drink. I really don’t want to drink.

    This is what gets in the way. People.

    I’ve been really depressed the last couple of weeks. In the hope to cope with the next 10 weeks I went to see the doctor. He prescribed me Citalopram. This was a probably a bad idea, the last time I took SSRI’s (10 years ago), I started cutting myself and eventually tried to kill myself. The last few days, these feelings of utter despair have returned. It’s made my life worse.

    I can get through this. I’ve seen my fair share of depression and I know it will pass. I’ve had thoughts of suicide, but this is merely suicidal ideation, I won’t kill myself. But depression makes situations so much worse, constant stress and anxiety, as you know. I don’t even want to reach for the bottle; I can ride this blue out if people just leave me be, but I don’t have the ability to let people leave me be, because it causes all manner of stress. No matter how many times I explain this, as a last resort, to the many, many people I’ve come to know, no-one truly understands this. They say they get it, but then it’s ‘arr, come on, Lew.’ Perhaps the reason they don’t understand it is because I’ve done all in my power to shelter people from it. They know I’m not well some of the time, they know I have a drink problem, but I never let anybody see me when I’m staring into the void, once the tears have dried and it feels like there’s nothing left.

    I just want to be well and healthy. I want to see the other side, but I’m so steeped in it this side. I can tell you now what will happen Saturday. If I feel like I feel now, I won’t go – and it will cause the corrosive guilt to eat at my gut – or I’ll feel slightly better and I will go. The latter will absolve me of the one guilt, but I will have let myself down.

    The only line of clarity I can offer here, and it’s logic is almost irrelevant, is that this drudgery is purely a mood-influenced diatribe, and maybe things will seem better in the morning. Perhaps then I can consider your questions.

    And good for you, Denise! I’m glad things are looking up and that you’re feeling healthier.

    Lew

  18. Denise

    Hi Lew,

    You’ve mentioned that your friend’s & family know you have a problem. You are doing extremly well, considering your low mood, I’am not one to advise at all, but sureley it is you that must come first here. You can still see your friend whom is visting the UK. But in different surroundings. If she’s a real good friend she will understand. You have come this far since Lent, just think about when this book of your’s. You’ve got me interested, I would like to own one, once it is complete I should imagine its very interesting and most helpful, as I enjoy reading your Emails and lookforward to them

    Denise

  19. Lew

    I ended up drinking last night. I couldn’t have dealt with the social situation any other way. I went into it in a relatively good mood, but my general melancholy was obvious to my friend, despite my best efforts to be lively and jovial. I didn’t have much of a hangover – maybe I was still drunk, this morning – but I was very aware of the way the drink tampers with my resolve.

    One night of it loosens the bolts of self-discipline. I start to fantisize about my image as a writer, which is just about one of the ugliest and most redundant aspects of my personality – I try to coax myself into drinking, convince myself a short life is not a bad thing. But today, I still remain firm despite it all; I fought past the sloth of my next-day-demeanour and fulfilled my responsibilites in the care of my father – one thing to be positive about.

    But even without the increased anxiety, associated with a night of heavy drinking, life is very hard at the moment. I don’t want alcohol, not really, but the numerous situations that crop up are hard to escape, and escaping them at this stage is the unfortunate key to abstinence, for these situations invariably involve my poisonous foe.

    Lew

  20. isabella mori

    lew, i’m still in europe, with limited internet access – looking after my mother, as you are with your father. just wanted to send a thank-you for your words. it just occurred to me that the way you phrase your “reports” tend to strike me as – sober. isn’t that interesting?
    .-= isabella mori (@moritherapy)´s last blog ..Blog down? Up? Down? Up? =-.

  21. Denise

    Hi Lew,
    Although you went out Saturday night,you seem very aware of putting pen to paper. Your answers to my questions are very interesting and if you don’t mind me saying your reports strike me as very sober too. I say again I look forward to hearing from you and reading what you have to say on this subject. By the way well done. As I may assume you are still writing, which is a good sign.
    I have been reading alot about my problem, which has been helping me.
    The first steps I intend to take towards my goal are:-
    1. Finding out more about my drinking problem.
    2. Keeping a Journal or Diary, so I know what I am doing from one day to the next.
    3. I must keep motorvaited to make these changes then I can achieve them.
    I’ve have read I should give myself rewards for the above.
    So I will reward myself, for example:-
    1. A reward in its self, is that my whole body is changing for the better. i.e. health, energy, my brain is more aquired to cope I feel more assertive. My confidence is growing day by day.
    2, I am saving more money, that I would not have when I’am drinking, which leads to:-
    3. I can deposit money in to Bank, Plan a Holiday, (whereas I have one coming up in June to the UK). I also find pleasure in giving to others, which is a reward in its self.
    I have read about Countering?
    The actities I will use to divert my attention from alcohol are:-
    1. I am going back to work next month (part time in a office, which I am really looking forward too.
    2. I love to study, be it on the internet, books, or what ever I can get my hands on. I love learning, which also cuts down my smoking, as well as taking my mind off alcohol.
    3. Last of course housework, I like the appearence of my flat once I’ve cleaned and had a sudden change around, the satisfaction I have is huge.
    I’ve also read about exercising, So Iwill.
    1. go to the GYM, as I love the buse I get when I come out, I could do almost anything, as I am on a high, it is also good for my diet too. So I’am killing two bird’s with one stone.
    2. I like swimming, I have a very good friend I can go with, as she loves swimming too. So I will have company too.
    3. I love to walk, especially along the beach, and climbing over the rocks even at my age, its great fun, cliff paths, and so on. as I walk everywhere. I would only take a bus to a part of the island I wanted to visit, and probabley walk back.
    4. I used to cycle everywhere myself, I would’nt mind starting again.
    I’ve read about relaxing. For me WHAT’S THAT?, I find relaxing hard, I’am more relaxed when I’am doing something! But I suppose I could.
    1. reaed, I enjoy reading all sorts, from fiction to real life stories
    2. I like music, I have my faviourites, like most people, (to tell you the truth If I’am on my own I start dancing I enjoy that too.)
    3. shopping I think its very therapeutic, even if you don’t buy anything.
    I’ve read about Environmental Control?
    The situations, people, thought or emotions I most need to avoid are:-
    1. Most people would say the obvious, having no alcohol in the house, so you are not tempted.
    Whereas my Partner likes a drink, I can say at this moment in time, it does not bother me if he has a larger in the house. Although I have noticed he has cut done considerabley, since I have stopped drinking! He has said he will go out to the pub when he feels like a drink, but it’s very expensive these days.
    2. I would say I would have to avoid my cousin, as she has no understanding at all of my problem. I think she goe’s out of her way to try and make me drink, but that’s what I see and think.
    3. My thought and emotion’s I need to avoid are:- 1. This seems obvious to me to use all the above in oorder to keep my mind occuiped. (i.e. in order to not think totally about drinking),
    2. My emotions, I must try not to worry about problem’s, that hav’ant arised yet . Take a step back and think. Will these really matter in a couple of year’s time.
    There’s a saying “Growing old beats the alternative – dying young.
    What would I do if someone offers me a drink:-
    1. I think of time past, when people have and been persistent. I think thats were wilpower comes in.
    2. Thinking about it now, I can say no to a drink, alternatively have orange juice or coffee, which I can drink one after the other.
    3. Also do I won’t to go down that road again. NO! THINK of getting the balance right. I will be back at square one if I don’t:_
    Way up my Needs and Wants which are:-
    Needs:-
    1. WORK
    2. DEBTS
    3. CHORES
    4. FAMILY

    Wants:-
    1. PLAY
    2. EXERCISE
    3. RELAX
    4. CREATIVITY

    I’am told it is good to have a Contract:-

    It seems I have one I feel much better when I have versed my opion’s to you, I hope I can continue to do so?

    What do you think so far I value your oppion.

    Don’t forget life isn’t fair, but it’s still good.

    Denise

  22. Lew

    I’m feeling fairly positive today. I finished drinking at 8:00 a.m. on Monday morning, slept for two hours, and since then I’ve been sober. You’ll have to excuse my writing; my sleeping pill is kicking in and it’s starting to take control of my limbs and my vision.

    This recent series of bouts of drink – and cocaine – have been good ones. I’ve had some great times, socially. But physically my body is producing too much blood, and one morning, a week ago, it worried me so much I decided to go to the doctor’s. He ran all the necessary tests and yesterday told me I had raised levels of GGT and triglycerides in my blood, and albumin in my urine. He said they were better than expected, but needless to say, the only way of reducing these levels is to stop drinking. So I begin once again.

    He told me that just because I had better news than expected, it doesn’t mean I should go out and get wasted. He didn’t need to say this of course, but it is the sort of thing that might give cause to continue, and has done in the past. Today, however, knowing the amount of alcohol and drugs I have put in my system – at times, finishing off an all day bender at home with a full bottle of vodka – I felt lucky that my body held out. It sort of soothes the macho-drinking side of me. I am still far from fit, of course, but I want to be.

    And in the spaces in-between oblivion, before the sweet state of booze makes it seem right for me to drink until drop, I’ve been trying to prepare myself for abstinence. The one question I find myself asking above all is, should I continue with my art?

  23. Lew

    How’s it working out for you, Denise? It seems you asked me a question before I abruptly left the site, off to… well, you know how it is. And I didn’t want to start to get really negative, and that was how I was feeling, when you were doing so well.

    Lew

  24. Lew

    Things are quite bad. Art is second to drinking. My sister doesn’t recognise me; I’m doing a bad job of looking after my father; my life is stagnant and stale. Oh, what’s the point?

    I’m beginning to consider seriouslsy whether I’m bi-polar. I’ve had such a low period this year, then up until this morning, for about a week, I’ve been on an indescribable high – not insanity, but wackiness. I’ve filled this high in the same way I fill the lows, with booze. Loneliness is definitely a symptom of my ills. The only time I ever feel on the same level as other people is when drinking, caught in the bacchanalia of a night/day out. Needless to say, this is draining my funds and getting me into a debt that never lifts. I am out of control. I think rehab is the only answer, but I’m scared.

    Oh, damn it, what is the point?

  25. Lew

    On February 17th 2011, my father passed away. I went through a feverish period of intense benders, but in the end I knew I didn’t want to die. I got in touch with an old counsellor and asked if she could help me find a rehab. On November 14th 2011, I entered rehab. I’ve been sober ever since.

    As regards my endeavours in the Arts, I performed in an opera a few months ago, which helped restore a little confidence. I am a member of a choir, which also helps. I also use my spare time volunteering at a local theatre and arts centre (Princess Theatre and Arts Centre in Burnham-on-Sea, UK). At the theatre I have started a theatre company for recovering addicts and I am currently working on devising a piece to be performed in the Spring. The theatre company has been a bumpy ride and it is still in the early days, but it moves forward at a managable pace.

    I am truly blessed to be surrounded by good people. I am truly blessed.

    Lew

  26. sekt in plastikflaschen

    Vielmehr könne auch ein Verzehr von 3 g Zimt am Tag noch im Rahmen normaler Ernährungsgewohnheiten liegen.
    Bunt viele der lecker, oft mit Früchten verziert,
    gehören welche köstlichen Kalorienbomben unter
    den Getränken zu dem Standardsortiment auf
    Partys oder in Bars. Angefangen hat fuer Costers del Sió alles im Jahre 1992, als Hugo Cocktail
    der umtriebige Juan de Porcioles die seine Frau María Buixó das Gut in der Nähe der Stadt Lleida kauften.

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