08 July 2009

Back for a while

Kay and I just got back from a lovely week with my mother. The weather was fantastic - mainly hot, sunny and humid with a scary thunderous downpour at the end. We all had a great time, shopping, shopping, shopping, lunching out, shopping, walks along the seafront, more shopping and (oh) shopping. I relaxed, as I was getting quite stressed of late, Kay relaxed, forgetting all about the trauma of exams, and my mother enjoyed our company, as she spends far too many long days on her own.

On our return to Greg today, we found
  • he had not eaten any food left in the fridge.
  • he had not taken any of his medication.
  • he was still wearing the same clothes we left him in a week ago.
  • he had not organised a handyman to do an urgent job in the house. I shall now have to get on and do that as a priority.
  • he has not reduced his alcohol consumption in preparation for a cataract operation he is having tomorrow.
  • he had not provided fresh water for the dog (he swears he had but there was grime around the bowl and algae floating on the top! The first thing I did on getting home was to wash out the water bowl and refill it with fresh water and the dog hurled himself at it and drank with gusto!)
Within 5 minutes of being home, my stress levels were sky high again. Grrrrr


laurie said...

i am completely amazed that the man is still alive.

Almost American said...

Glad you had a good time while you were away. Sorry to hear what you returned to - especially sorry to hear about the dog because it wasn't his fault Greg didn't look after him!

aims said...

I too am amazed that you found him still in the land of the living. He must be pickled.

You know my thoughts on this my friend.

Nota Bene said...

Are you sure you did enough shopping?

Poor dog.

Sad about Greg.

Sadder still about your stress levels.

The Drinker said...

Mmm, having been on the other side of this I do recognise Greg's situation. My girlfriend going away for work was always a trigger for me to shut down all parts of my life apart from drinking - I'd probably eat a kebab every other day and she's come back to a similar scene as you've just described: nothing down, mess piling up.

I'm sure you've had all sorts of advice from people better qualified than I, but on the sunny side of the street, I say, I WAS like that. I'm not now.

There's much talk in alcoholism treatment of the magical Rock Bottom, which must be hit and the fact that anyone who stops this 'orrible, lonely, deathly hell hole (I've been very close) being hit is effectively "enabling" the drinker's behaviour. I don't know where I stand on that and I'm sure it's crossed your mind, but, with a family, how can you allow life to slump into the soggy mess that Greg's drinking should, by rights, precipitate?

God, it's hard for you so all I can offer is my empathy and indeed to all of you.

All the best,

The now sober, Cardiff Drunk.

The Drinker said...

I should also say that I'm lucky in my relative youth - not far off 40. But, in hospital on the good ol' NHS I saw people older than Greg who had gone further down than him, some to the, if you drink again you die stage. So, there is hope, but of course you need an inpatient detox which in my experience takes a long wait and you need him to sign up to it.

Sorry, I'm not adding much of merit or help. I do enjoy (if enjoy is the right word) yr blog though and it helped open my eyes a little to how my drinking affected those I love.

Daphne Wayne-Bough said...

How can it not occur to a drinker that the dog needs a drink too! Oh, yeah, that's right ... Greg's the only one in the room.

You could always dilute a bottle of vodka with antifreeze and tell the police that Greg bought it off a dodgy Russian bloke in the pub.

Sorry, but I'd have killed him by now. It's taking him too long to do it himself.

Anonymous said...

Great that the three generations all spent an enjoyable week in each other's company. A much needed break from the stress.

I'm sure deep down you were not expecting much less than you found after returning home but not nice all the same. Roll on the trip to Greece and another much needed break from it all. I hope you and Kay have a wonderful relaxing time in the sun.

All the best


Working Mum said...

I think that they key was not to expect him to have done anything while you were away. Glad you had a good time though.

DogLover said...

Here's a suggestion, Roserio: next time take the dog with you or put him in kennels!

Good to read The Drinker's comments - from the other side of the picture. In your understandable frustration, I hope you can retain a bit of sympathy for Greg's agony; he has his path to follow and you, with the help of your Al-Anon friends, yours. As ever, best wishes, Rosiero.

rosiero said...

Thank you for all your lovely comments. In particular to:

The Drinker - I especially appreciated your comments from the "other side". I suspect Greg will soon find his rock bottom and will be very lonely indeed for a while. Whether that will galvanise him to do something about it, I don't know, but he has detoxed three times before (twice as an emergency admission to hospital) so it has not stopped him going back to alcohol again, but then again he has refused the rehab part afterwards which is necessary to come to terms with *why* he drinks.

Doglover - I would put Snoopy in a kennel if he were the sort of dog who could be left with strangers, but he hates parting from us and howls the place down if we are gone for even a few hours. We tried leaving him with a friend for a day once (when kay and I had to go North to look at a university and he whined all day. We have never left him with a kennel for this reason. We just don't have the heart to do it to him. I shall take him with us the next time I go to my mother, but to Greece?

Frosty said...

What can anyone say other than they're glad you & Kay got a bit of a break but sad about what you came back to.

Thanks to the Drinker. Gives me hope that someone I know in a similar situation may be able to eventually recover.

So glad I found this blog...

Anonymous said...

Soap the stairs my dear, soap the stairs,


The Drinker said...

Thanks for the thanks. Nothing like feeling useful...

On the rehab of detox I'd say it's going to be a mixed bag depending on where you are and the old cliches about asking for help/recognising the problem/wanting to change are cliches for the cliched reason that they are true. As I was coming to the end of my drinking, I'm sorry to say that I couldn't have been more content and even my girlfriend was relatively happy. It sounds mad I know, but, she works, and I had my routine involving the pub and many pints of cider - there were lots of things we couldn't and didn't do but she'd come home to find me relatively composted but still compus and I was with it enough to do the duty of making the tea and sitting in front of the telly with her. Greg's obviously been going for longer than I but I would imagine he too is pretty content with his life - even hangovers aren't too much of a bother when you know your hair of the dog and starting work on the next one are never far away. I can't offer much in the way of speaking-from-experience from my end but perhaps if you could do a little to disrupt this cosy routine and get him to recognise some of the unpleasantness of drinking - withdrawals will kick in pretty early in the day for him and though we often don't eat for days, no food on tap is uncomfortable.

My 'rehab' experience in South Wales was two weeks of group therapy - I was lucky, it was well run and I knew (from the ward) and was comfortable with all the fellow groupees so was quite happy to engage positively with it all. Without that I think it would have been going-through-the-motions useless...

Keep on trucking Rosiero.

Big love from Kerdiv.