Monthly Archives: April 2016

Discussing Bad Habits

I met an old friend today, yet wanted to shift the discussion away from just drinking problems
That’s because there are any manner other bad habits and drinking has a stigma in society

I know I had some major problems and they caused me to fall ill, but my aim is to teach people to stop all bad habits and have a balanced approach

Some people enjoy drinking; some hate it; and some get defensive about it. It’s a very sensitive topic and different people view it differently. To the average person it’s on their minds all of the time and is culturally impossible to ignore

I found myself embarrassed talking about just drinking today, so I am going to try re-evaluating my message to a general bad habit theme so I can hope to help others

So I am going to try this generalist approach and see how we fare

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No TV wanted in Hospital

How was I feeling on the hospital ward for seven days, not my period in ICU?
I was fairly glum. I had little or no motivation and shunned most activities.

I didn’t want to read papers, books or magazines. I had no interest in the portable DVD player. I could have access to the Internet or the TV from the Pay-per- View service, but I just wasn’t interested

It could have been the drugs that made me so glum, but deep down I knew better

I had been hospitalised without any notice. At that time I had no idea what my condition was, nor how it was caused. I knew I had vomited a lot of blood and my surgeon had mentioned something about tying things up when he first arrived, just before surgery, but at that time on the hospital ward, I didn’t know what was up. I didn’t know how long I would survive. No one was telling me anything and so I had no rudder

And I didn’t want to ask, because they were all so damming and critical of my drinking habit.  They did not seem to care that I had no idea I could do this.

My life had always been based on instinct. Instinct to do things based on what I had experienced, what I thought was right and what I thought was fairly well balanced.  How wrong was I?

Something had gone seriously wrong and without motivation to do anything, probably the result of the drugs, I couldn’t steer my thoughts into a positive mental attitude. There was no way of directing my energies towards a positive outcome. As a result I shunned any distractions.

There was no point reading or writing anything, watching or listening to anything. Why would I waste my energy absorbing information on topics I didn’t know whether I would live long enough to actually think about

I became self absorbed and I smiled outwardly, but inwardly I was static

I couldn’t think of death. I didn’t know I had nearly just died. But I also couldn’t think of living

So for the first time in a long time I watched no TV

For those seven days on the hospital ward I just survived on my own. It was just time passing and my memory of it now is mainly just blank

Two Bottle Wine Man

I went to the 7-11 store last night and saw a man in the checkout aisle. Two bottles of matching wine. An offer. There was no way he was drinking responsibly

And then I saw a post from a best friend who said his second bottle of wine had helped his hangover

The world is allowing itself to go mad. Consistent hard drinking is killing livers and making people suffer.

The deportment of that man was just worrying. His stomach was sagging, his chins doubling and it was clear any sense of common sense – when it comes to alcohol and the effect it would have on his body – was just being forgotten.

I hope that others will learn from these stories of mine. No one should have to experience vomiting blood like I did

A Book Delivered to the Hospital Ward

Here is one of my memories from hospital after surviving nearly bleeding out.

When you are recovering on a hospital ward any number of visitors can sidle up to your bed. There is security on the wards, but hospitals still allow various institutions housed within their walls to visit. Usually  its just family, nurses and doctors, but some social workers come along, health care people, tea ladies and of course the chapel has a permanent fixture somewhere.

I had two visits from the church. The first was as interesting as a cup of tea in a seaside cafe; the second was as lovely as lunch at the Ritz in Paris.

On neither occasion was any refreshment served on my hospital ward.

The first church visitors delivered what has become known as “the hotel bible”. Two delegates from the hospital chapel came along un-invited and appeared mystified that despite the seriousness of my hospitalisation, I was fairly chipper in avoiding their attention, especially as it became apparent that they were not leaving unless they had left the book behind

They continued their endeavours to convince me of the merits of the publication, but I was still weak. I did not fancy the discussion, have the stomach, will power nor energy to enter into a theological debate.  So I smiled.  Took their book. Heard their congratulations on my survival and waved weakly, as they left.

The second visit was from an older man with a beautiful smile and a very youthful spring in his step, and was I man I recognised instantly. This vicar – “Ric the Vic” – had buried my mother and christened my son. He had been passing the ward, had recognised by siblings and popped in to say hello to me just by chance.

This second religious visit was much more than welcome, as he recognised my views and scepticism on many things, including my questions over following the bible, a book written thousands of years ago, as a way to conduct one’s life.

He never asked me about my drinking. Just how I was getting on. Like a friend.
I still have the hotel bible in my lockup. It’s in my discharge hospital bag remaining unopened, as is my heart and enthusiasm to investigate the stories within.  It is surprising that the first visitors were permitted to attend at my bed-side, so clearly there were concerns about me, yet even now no one dictates to me on religion.  I know a lot more than most, but we should all be allowed our own understanding of such matters.

A little guidance perhaps, but that’s it.

The Temptation to Drink Has Just Gone

I would like to assure you I will not drink again.
Consider the scene.

We are on holiday. There are open bottles of champagne and red wine just sitting next to where I am cooking.
I am tired. We have histrionics all around from needy family and friends. And it’s upsetting. And I want to lose myself somewhere. Again. Like I used to, but the depth of my sorrow from my illness knows to remind me there is no escape in drinking.

I will not drink again

This has happened before. When my tongue felt thirsty. Three months ago. Yet I knew I was tired. And I wouldn’t. Drink that is.

Someone was winding me up.  I acknowledged it straight away.  I knew her tactics and I needed an escape. Needed time away from hormonal anger, that comes along.

But I was stronger than a few silly words.  Completely powerful and its so easy to remember intensive care.

I wouldn’t. Not even a little bit. Life and health mean too much to me.

I will deal with my friend another way