The Story So Far – Chapter 1 – The Slide


I guess this story starts somewhere around October/November 2009, at that point in my life everything seemed fine, myself and Victoria were totally in love, in fact we were even trying for another child, a brother or sister to our son and daughter.  But then things began to unravel, it wasn’t as though I wasn’t drinking at that point in my life, I was, just the reasons were ultimately different, at that point I was a recreational drinker, I know I drank almost every evening and even at that point more that was normal, but as I say I wasn’t drinking to escape at that point, it wasn’t a crutch or pain reliever, it was just that I liked a drink, did I have control over it at that point?  The truth is I don’t really know, I never tested that resolve to go without.

I was self employed but on contract to an Architect, which was full weekly work and regular monthly payment, there were a few bills piling up, but otherwise we were okay.  Then sometime in late October I was told there wasn’t the work to keep me working full time, I would only be needed when it was necessary.  At that point I signed on as unemployed as a similar contract like the one I was on was unlikely, due to the financial crisis that was hitting the whole world.

Attending the dole office was a real downer, that was the first time that I felt like I had failed, I hadn’t had to do that in my life at that point, I was demoralised.  But having been self employed complicated things, I was sent so much paperwork to fill in it was unbelievable.  By that time the architects come through with a little bit more work, I decided not to fill in the paperwork and sign off before I had even received a payment.  I also applied for a number of permanent jobs, but I never even received a reply or any acknowledgement, which simply made things even worse.

As 2010 came around I was beginning to struggle, I tried at first, when I was working things were okay, as long as I had something to get up for I was fine, but that was only odd days at a time, maybe a week or so of work, then nothing for a while.  That’s when I became distant, where I began to withdraw from family life and I guess drinking became more than a recreational thing and actually I began to use it to get by.  As bills became unpaid and money became scarce, I would struggle to sleep through the night without waking with reoccurring dreams of stress and struggle, that’s when I became aware that the more I drank, the less frequent those kind of dreams became, instead of dealing with what was actually causing those dreams and getting my life in order, I began to chose to take a different path and bypass the problem.

It was around that time I made my first big mistake, Victoria had been attending Church for some time and had decided to get Baptised, she never asked me to attend, she shouldn’t really have had to, I should have been there by her side, I never offered, I never asked and I never went, I regretted that immediately, I knew I had made a big mistake, I couldn’t admit that to her, so I withdrew even more.

Come the beginning of April we had to have the family dog put down.  He had developed a tumour in his back end, which was getting worse and worse, it looked a mess.  But we didn’t have the money to get it treated, until we could ignore it no more.  Victoria arranged for a visit to the Vet and I took him one Monday morning.  I never brought him home.

It was beyond treatment or treatment that we could afford and given Wylie’s age, the Vet advised we have him put down.  It was a hard decision, but it was one we couldn’t disagree with.  I looked into his eyes as he slowly went to sleep, I kept crying how sorry I was, I blamed myself.

If I hadn’t wasted money on drinking we could have afforded his treatment earlier and all would have been okay, but I knew deep down I had let him down.  His death hit me hard, I didn’t do anything for a week or so, I had work to do from home, but I couldn’t do anything, I just sat there in all my self pity and the only way to escape it all and put it out of my mind was to keep drinking, numb the pain, remove the guilt, remove myself from everything.

Work and money wise, things never picked up, it remained the same way over the coming months, just a few days here and there, money came in as and when.  As I began to drink more and more, I don’t know where the money came from, by now I was in that frame of mind that my alcohol consumption came before anything else, I made sure I had enough to drink each night, before I considered paying any bills, I managed to pay the rent each month, but other bills were being missed, but my drinking continued.  I was borrowing money from everywhere to bankroll my drinking, everything else I left Victoria to deal with.  I left her to deal with all the dept letters and phone calls, I didn’t want anything to do with it and couldn’t bring myself to do anything about it.

Sometime during July I began sleeping on the settee, I just began to fall asleep there watching TV and drinking, some nights I would just fall asleep on the living room floor.  It wasn’t a conscious decision to do that, but eventually it just became the norm, my bed was the settee and actually, it still is, five years on I still sleep on the settee, I could sleep in a bed in one of the bedrooms, but even now I can’t bring myself to do that, so I remain here on the settee.

At one point during the year a bailiff for the Inland Revenue knocked on the door, I was out working, Victoria had to deal with that, she rang me at work to let me know, he was only interested in taking any car I owned to cover what I owed, which by this time was around £8000.  I don’t drive, I never have, I have never even taken a lesson or owned a provisional license, it just never interested me, he left empty handed.  By that time Victoria had been working with the Citizen’s Advice Bureau, who had taken on our dept management, they contacted everyone we owed and made repayment arrangements with them, small enough that we could manage and we started repaying the dept we had amassed at that point.  Money was tight, but still I made sure I had my alcohol provisions before I paid anything.

There were times when I had no money at all and I tried to get through the night without drinking.  Those were bad nights, I would be irritable and short tempered.  Some nights I would pace around the house, wringing my hands continuously or scratching at the skin on my arms, sometimes enough to take the skin off and draw blood.  There were night’s when I was so bad, Victoria would dig out the money she was saving and give it to me to get something to drink, she would say she couldn’t have me in the house like that, she even on one occasion called me “Fun Bobby” referring to the character from the TV show Friends, who was the life and soul of the party when drunk, but depressed and miserable when sober, that was me, it really was and I would say even at that point I knew it!

There were times when she challenged me on my drinking, but I didn’t believe I had a problem and didn’t appreciate being told that, don’t get me wrong I still loved Victoria, that never changed, but the alcohol was now in control, I couldn’t open up liked I used to, I couldn’t fall asleep in her arms anymore after I cried through telling her all my problems, we were distant by now, very distant and I knew I needed to do something about it, but just couldn’t, all I did was drink.  When she challenged me, I hated it, I told I didn’t have a problem, I could stop when I wanted.  Then I would turn around angry, that sort of I’ll show her attitude, I can stop when I like and I will, but being so angry all I wanted was a drink, so that would win out, I’ll show her tomorrow, I need a drink tonight, but that tomorrow never came, I just kept repeating the same thing, it was my ground hog day, repeating the same old cycle every day.

In addition to the work coming in from the architect’s, a friend of my gave me a few days here and there labouring for him, it was money at the end of the day and I needed it, for me it was to drink and then if I had enough left to contribute to the odd bill, but mainly I needed it to drink.

On the days I wasn’t working, I would spend the day just pottering about on the computer, Facebook, games, nothing of any value, nothing to help me get out of this mess, just to indulge my disdain for life at that point.  I tried not to drink during the day, a couple of evenings a week I taught karate, so I definitely didn’t drink before that, but those days were the hard ones, the hours I spent clock watching.  I had this crazy notion that it was acceptable to drink at tea time, to have my tea with a can of cider or a bottle of wine, 6pm in the evening was an acceptable time to the whole of society to drink, before that I would look like an alcoholic who couldn’t control it, in my mind I wasn’t, but I still didn’t want the world to think it either.  But in my room, with the curtains closed to the world outside, in my isolation who would know?  Eventually I began to give in, I would have a couple of cans of cider or lager, I wouldn’t actually start on the wine, just the cans, maybe because I could get rid of the evidence before anyone came home or to be honest, I would drink wine in the evenings and rarely leave a bottle with any left in it, I would buy two bottles and drink them both, if I did leave a bit in the bottle, I would drink it when I woke up anyway, so in the daytime it was just a few cans, after all it would also be okay to have a drink or two at lunch time with my meal, well in my mind it was.

I wanted you to know I love the way you laugh
I wanna hold you high and steal your pain away
I keep your photograph, I know it serves me well
I wanna hold you high and steal your pain

‘Cause I’m broken when I’m open
And I don’t feel like I am strong enough
‘Cause I’m broken when I’m lonesome
And I don’t feel right when you’re gone away

The worst is over now and we can breathe again
I wanna hold you high, you steal my pain away
There’s so much left to learn, and no one left to fight
I wanna hold you high and steal your pain

‘Cause I’m broken when I’m open
And I don’t feel like I am strong enough
‘Cause I’m broken when I’m lonesome
And I don’t feel right when you’re gone away

‘Cause I’m broken when I’m open
And I don’t feel like I am strong enough
‘Cause I’m broken when I’m lonesome
And I don’t feel right when you’re gone away

12 thoughts on “The Story So Far – Chapter 1 – The Slide

  1. Beverley

    Wow very emotional post. , it’s only after reading I realised you was a bloke, this is really brave as most men I kow tend to keep things inside this is a great testimony for others who are still in this position. Although I am the opposite sex your life has mirrored mine in a lot of ways especially the feelings of hopelessness. The only difference i didn’t drink. I do know if my circumstsnces were different I could have fallen prey to drink. The little time I had a glass it did make me feel calm, but had i done that I would not be here today. Looking forward to read other post. God bless.

  2. Bunnet

    Your post is incredibly emotional and very eye opening.

    I was once very close to this, my health problem kept pilling up on top of bills and couldn’t take anymore, I wanted out. It even close my mind to jump out the bridge and someone stop me, someone pull out my darkness and talk to me about Jesus. Silly back then I guess just didn’t know

  3. mechristandchronicdisease

    I learned to drink in college and the only reason it did not go horribly wrong is my chron’s disease does not like alchohal and after three painful bowel blockages they cut out most of my small intestine and I never touched a drop again. I was 21 at the time. I am so glad you did get control over your addiction and I am sure the Lord will use your testimony for His glory!

  4. beingmepresently

    Wow. I recognise so much of my life in here. In my life, it is me on the sofa – for over a year now! It’s so good to see the other side of the story and I’m so glad you found me. If you feel you can offer me any advice when you’re reading my posts, please feel free. I would really appreciate it. I am 100% at my partner’s side but it is taking an enormous toll on our relationship and I feel we’re growing apart steadily – but I really don’t want that to happen. There is a lot for me to read on your blog – but I will read it with interest. X

  5. Anna Waldherr

    I am honored by your post. Have not had the chance to read all the chapters of your testimony. Sounds though as if you have a book angling to get out. Blessings, A.

  6. kennyandrew

    Hello, your story is very touching and I am very happy I stumbled on your blog. My name is Kene. I’ve been following your blog for a while and I just started a project on alcohol and smoking and the love of God in it all. It is to run from September to ending of October. Sir, I think your story would encourage my audience, I would be very delighted if I can get your permission to reblog some of your posts, so my audience can be blessed and also encouraged from it.

    1. waynemali Post author

      Thank you for kind comments, please feel free to use anything from my blog, if anything on here can help someone else, then please use it as you think best.

  7. Pingback: The Story So Far – Chapter 1 – The Slide – Scribbles&Scrawls

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