15 May 2019

Falling Off the Wagon

I was once given the statistic by Alcoholics Anonymous that for every ten alcoholics that try to give up alcohol permanently, either by detox, rehab or their own efforts, only one will continue to stay off alcohol for the rest of their life. This means that nine, yes NINE, will succumb to the demon drink again.  Greg was certainly one of those nine. I suppose, if someone were to tell me to stay off chocolate for the rest of my life, I would forever be thinking of chocolate. It's like when you decide to go on a diet. All you can think of are the yummiest, calorie-rich foods on God's earth and crave them until - to hell with the diet!  Or, if told not to think of a black cat, your mind will more than likely  conjure up a black cat.

I have rarely seen programmes or plays on TV where anyone relapses. Usually the die-hard alcoholic stops drinking and everything in the garden is lovely forever more. Fiction can bend the rules better than fact. But lately there have been some instances on TV where reformed alcoholics have fallen off the wagon and the acting has been very realistic. Phil Mitchell in Eastenders did a very good portrayal a while ago and more recently Peter Barlow in Coronation Street. There's going to be a no doubt harrowing serial start tonight on Channel 4 called The Virtues about a recovering alcoholic who falls spectacularly off the wagon, drinking to numb his pain as his son emigrates to Australia. Won't be easy viewing,  but sadly it will be a case in favour of the statistics.

Image result for The Virtues channel 4
Photo courtesy of Radio Times