20 September 2008

Detox Clinic


The detox clinic was apparently run on a strict
regime . Absolutely no visitors at all at any time... to avoid banned substances being smuggled in and to avoid any upset to the routine or to the state of calm. All luggage was searched on arrival before being returned to its owner in their designated room. Regular searches were made throughout Greg's stay to ensure drugs or alcohol had not somehow been smuggled in. He was not allowed a mobile phone in case it interfered with his rest and relaxation. All phone calls from me or from him had to be made through the central office phone, so they were never private. There were set mealtimes and all inmates had to wash their plates and cutlery afterwards. As the ten-day detox progressed, Greg's appetite went from non-existent to three courses each meal. They were wholesome and large to restore much needed nutrients. Lots of stodgy puddings for dessert with lashings of custard. There were set times too for the medicines to be dispensed. The alcohol withdrawal programme was based on a high dose of diazepam at the beginning which gradually reduced as the ten days passed.

In the mornings, there were sessions to discuss their addictions, triggers and ways of avoiding them. After lunch there were sessions to de-stress them such as Indian Head Massage or Yoga. In the evenings there were more soul-searching sessions and then leisure time to watch TV, or read in your room,
or play pool. A hairdresser visited once a week too. Most of the inmates were hardened drinkers or drug addicts who had lost family or partners and were borderline down-and-outs. The programme gave them a chance to be pampered, empty their souls and relax. Greg made quite few friends in there. They all had one thing in common whatever their background and that was their addiction. They shared life stories; they supported one another when they broke down in the sessions; they smoked cigarettes in the yard together; they commiserated when any one of them had to leave to go home.

Back at Alcoholic Daze House, life was very peaceful. Kay and I were able to sleep soundly knowing that we were not going to wake up with flames from a fallen cigarette licking round us. We could relax without fear of hearing Greg stumble about, or without dread of him deliberately sabotaging our TV viewing or study with his drunken rantings. We were also smoke-free and could breathe. The ten days went by remarkably quickly and I found I actually enjoyed the independence and the calm. I was quite happy coping with single-living and was not so sure I wanted Greg to come back.

All too soon enough, the ten days were up and the time had come when I had to collect Greg from the Clinic and bring him home. As I drove through the sunny London streets, my heart got heavier and heavier. I wanted this to work so much, but the freedom I had just experienced made me realise I could cope alone, if I needed to. The whole experience had made me a stronger person. In the clinic car park, I waited for Greg to come through the security door. As he emerged, he waved and called to the friends he had made, as they leaned out of the upstairs windows.
Enforced bosom buddies. He had told them things he had never shared with me.

As we drove out into the one-way streets with their bus lanes, speed cameras and screaming police cars, as they hared to yet another crime, Greg was already telling me which way I should head, which street I should turn into, forgetting that I had already made the journey there that morning perfectly well without him. I felt resentment. I bit my lip. I did not want to start a row so soon. But when he asked me to stop so he could buy a small bottle of whisky, my heart really sank. At first he said it had been discussed at the clinic that they should be left to make their own decisions and trusted to go carefully. He said I should give him that trust. The occasional glass would be allowed. Then later - when I refused to stop the car - he passed it off and said he had only
been joking. When we got home, I felt I was walking on egg shells. I so did not want to upset things at this early, delicate stage, but my heart felt very heavy and I was full of dread.

10 comments:

aims said...

Oh Roseiro.

Knowing what you are going through right now - my heart just sank along with yours. I even heard a small 'ohh' coming out of my mouth.

Sad sad sad.

Fern said...

My first thought was fury at Greg, my second that 10 days can't possibly be long enough to stop a serious addiction, surely 10 weeks must be more like it or then again perhaps it works for people who actually want to stop drinking.

rosiero said...

Fern - this is why you need to do rehab straight after. The detox literally just rids you of the alcohol in your system so that you don't get the physical delirium tremens/ convulsions/hallucinations if you try to stop on your own. Rehab then goes into why you have the addiction and how to use coping mechanisms to overcome those triggers. But Greg would not contemplate the rehab as he would have needed to be away from home for 6 months and he was not prepared to do that!!

blogthatmama said...

I am willing Greg to go to rehab and for you to have some peace and an easier time of it.

Stinking Billy said...

Rosiero, I know it is only small consolation, but I am so pleased that you having blogging and the friends it brings - especially during the bad times. We are with you all the way, sweetheart x

Crystal Jigsaw said...

I can imagine you were. Independence is a wonderful thing when we get the chance to it.

CJ xx

Millennium Housewife said...

I am dreading the next bit Rosiero, I hope I'm wrong MH xxx

DulwichDivorcee said...

Oh Rosiero, I felt so sad when Greg asked you to stop for whisky. And so angry! I hate to say it but his heart doesn't seem to be in this at all. He really needs that rehab - and so do you! xx

Fat, frumpy and fifty... said...

'walking on egg shells'..is an apt short analogy for the way life is like for the wife.

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