Had to say farewell to a friend today. Well, more of an acquaintance than a friend but someone who has played a huge part in my life just lately, and probably a huge part in my life going forward from now. I`ve hardly mentioned this young fellow in my story, a matter I intend to put right this evening.
Let’s go back a few months. I`m still drinking, things seem to be falling apart all around me, I`d been failing to get off the ale quite consistently for quite some time. Maybe through lack of trying, maybe I just wasn’t ready, who knows? I had seen addiction councillors on a couple of occasions to no avail…they didn’t know what I was going through…they had no idea what it was like to be an addict, who were they to judge and advise me I thought. After a long chat with my GP and several long chats with Sarah I decided to give it another go. Self-referred to “Swanswell” as it was then known or "Turning Point" as it has become and got my first appointment. Back of the chemist, little consulting room, Tuesday just after lunch. Perfect. Just in time for a couple on the way home before tea. Sitting in the room waiting for me was a young man by the name of Priyesh. I sat down and we chatted. We chatted about drink, about home, about moods, about my physical and mental health, about the health of those around me. We went through some official stuff and that was it, meeting over. Cool. Not too bad then.
Next meeting we started talking numbers, units, cravings, urges and all the stats surrounding my drinking. When did I start? When was I last dry? All that sort of stuff. He suggested I joined a “group” and I laughed. Never I said. Look how wrong that turned out to be. We agreed on a structured period where I would gradually decrease my intake over a few weeks. Seemed simple on paper. X number of cans this week, x-1 the following week and so on and so forth. Unfortunately, that didn’t work. All through this Priyesh was very understanding and willing to listen, yes, I know that’s his job, but he had managed to get me to talk. No mean achievement.
Following an incident that I may talk about another time, Sarah and I decided things couldn’t go on as they were. She was at her wits end and I was slowly but surely drinking myself to death. Something would have to give. Priyesh and I had discussed the idea of a detox and it was at this point we decided that this was the way forward. Things happened very quickly after the initial decision and the story of the detox is told elsewhere. As part of the discussions Priyesh once again brought up the “group” and I agreed to attend. If you are a regular reader you will know how much of a positive affect the group has had on me. So positive in fact that this is where I come to say farewell to Priyesh. I am now over a month dry, I have a good support network in place in the group and my circle of friends. I also have an outlook on life that is more positive than at any time I can remember.
So farewell Priyesh. Keep up the good work. Rest easy in the knowledge that you may well have played a part in saving my life, or at least given me some of the tools I need to save it myself.
If you have tried counselling for whatever reason in the past and it hasn’t done you any good don’t give up on it. The problem may just be you haven’t found the right counsellor yet. It might be that the time is not quite right for you. Keep trying, it’s worth the effort.