Bristol

 

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Sunday afternoon. I’ve been doing so well not drinking. 2 weeks without a drop before spectacularly throwing myself off the wagon last night. And the other stuff too. Sitting at a computer. No plans. Unable to make decisions. That’s when I know it’s a bad one. Trying to word a text or even do the washing up is hard and when I get stuck, the jangles. Mr Bo Jangles. What happened? Went to a meetup to get myself out there. Started drinking pints of lager fast. Met an interesting guy. A classic case. Big, well built, good looking, obviously looks after himself. Well dressed but suffers from severe anxiety. It’s the first thing he said when I asked what he did: “I volunteer part time because I had a nervous breakdown.” So we got talking and sharing stories and advice. His father jumped off Clifton Suspension Bridge when S was 23. “That might have something to do with it.” he suggested. and he doesn’t have a good relationship with his mum. He was saying some quite unusual things like about the bouts of anger he gets and how he deals with it by going into the woods and being naked, like some primeval man, and yelling to try and purge himself of the negativity. I took his number. I want to try and help him because I think he finds it difficult socialising with anyone, let alone finding himself a girlfriend.

I said good bye to him and his friend and rode a taxi to the top of town to an underground cocktail bar where I sat at the bar and got through 2 old fashioneds and 3 or 4 cigarettes and swayed my way home. Drunk on my own. And here, where I’m sitting now, I sat for hours smoking, drinking, snorting, listening to music. Does shame have a physical feeling? Yes. It’s like a piece of ice slowly sliding through your chest. It makes you wince. I felt so good not drinking last weekend and on Friday night. The not drinking is as pleasurable as drinking used to be. The feeling of not having to deal with the sort of confusion and itchiness I’m experiencing right now. I need a distraction, a focus to steer me away from the nights out. If I go away or have a walk planned, that’s enough to prevent the craziness happening. Does that mean I have to be perpetually planning the next mission to keep me out of the pub or the drinks cabinet? Here we go again. The constant urge to be planning the next thing. Never sitting still. Never in the moment.

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