Sunday, 24 August 2008
photo by Andrew Ebrahim
I am one of the marginal people. I am unconventional. That qualifies me for alcoholic chat because marginal people can sometimes end up with alcoholics.
If one questions society, or does not fit cleanly into society one is marginalized. It doesn't mean we are bad, quite the opposite. People who don't "play the game" and conform are often very good people. But the mass of people are too frightened to be unconventional even if they want to be. Fear drives a lot of what we do.
After a while one realizes that it will be almost impossible to find a person enlightened enough to accept ones minor idiosyncrasies and accepts the bottom rung of the ladder and makes do.
I have said that Jane is a binge drinker, meaning that she is sober for say 2 to 3 weeks and then binges for about 5-9 days and then restarts the cycle. The thing is it isn't that simple. In fact the more I know her (and it takes a lifetime to know her because she is so bl**dy secrative) the more I am certain she is in fact a simple alcoholic who wants to drink more or less all of the time but barely manages to drink a little less. The truth is she drinks a lot in between the binges but it is hard to tell sometimes as she hides it so well.
I have known her for 9-10 years and never seen her drink alcohol yet she can drink 2 bottles of Vodka in a day with ease. I should know because she has just gone through a binge (was this a binge or just drinking more than normal?) and when she binges I buy the Vodka because if she buys it she exposes herself to being mugged. She looks awful when she binges. She loses weight and is weak and emaciated. She has bruises and a black eye. Her hair is appalling, greasy and matted. She shuffles forward and speaks slowly. She is not fit to be out on the street and has been mugged in the past.
She asks for booze. If I refuse she'll shuffle out into the street and face danger. I have to buy for her. I bought two bottles on one shopping trip hoping she would drink one per day. She drank both in one day. Eventually I had to put my foot down as I have a responsibility to avoid negligence. She is now ending her binge I think. I advised 2 valium and one anti-sickness pill to avoid hospital. She took my advice and is in great discomfort but will probably get over the latest binge until the next one.
I am thinking of changing the relationship to one of a paid carer. That might create a better balance in the relationship. And I would care better for her and be less angry as I would be paid to accept whatever came at me. Could and would she pay though?
Update: Jane is nicely zonked out and I am hopeful of a reasonable nights sleep as sometimes she can be undergoing the after effects of a binge at night which can be a kind of hell. It usually ends up with an ambulance coming around at 2 in the morning. I'll keep my finger crossed as I don't want the chaos of Jane coming off a binge during the night ahead.
She just, this minute, called out my name. When I answer she goes silent. This is always the case. Sometimes she doesn't know why she called out. Sometimes she wants something.
Alcoholic chat to alcoholic chat of Feb 2008