The Story So Far – Chapter 3 – The Habit Grows

CHAPTER 3 – THE HABIT GROWS

Over the previous two years I had been content with maybe four or five cans of strong lager or cider a night, an alternative was a couple of bottles of wine, after training we would always go to the pub and I would have two, maybe three pints and then come home.  Now I had more money, I could buy more and not have to worry as I could still pay the bills.  For the previous two years I had been spending on average £80-100 per week on alcohol, I don’t know how, I wasn’t even earning that sort of money, some weeks I wasn’t earning at all, I had been borrowing money left right and centre, from my parents, from the karate club and even from my kids birthday and Christmas money.  Any money my kids got we put in envelopes in the cupboard for them to spend at some point, ultimately they hardly got to spend any of it, I would borrow it for a drink and never put it back, essentially I was stealing from my kids to feed my habit, some father!

But now I was earning, things began to escalate, now I could afford to spend more in the pub, two or three pints there became four or five and then come home and start on the cans I could now afford to keep in the house.  I would go to the shop just around the corner, buy a number of bottles of wine and cheap cans, I could stock up instead of living from night to night, although if it was in the house I would drink it, I couldn’t help myself anymore.

If I opened a bottle or can and started it before I fell asleep, I would wake up early in the morning and finish whatever was in front of me and then get ready and go to work, nobody suspected a thing.  I began to bring bottles of wine into the house and hide them down the side of the settee, I wouldn’t let them bang together in the bag, I sneaked them into the house and hid them, I don’t know why, but I did, I’m not sure why I bothered because in the morning I would leave all the empties on the kitchen side for Victoria to dispose of, I never hid the empties, which I guess is the norm, I just hid the ones I was bringing in, even though it was pretty obvious what was going on.

During the previous couple of years and also now I was working I would have moments of guilt and realisation, I’m not actually sure when they started, but it would happen when I was in the house and sober.  Usually this would be before I would get ready to go to karate, I would always stay sober for karate, it was the only place I felt normal and in control, the club was going well, it was successful and I enjoyed teaching, it was my release, so I never let drinking get in the way of that, but as I’ve said before as long I had something to do, I was fine, but as soon as the sessions were over I couldn’t wait to get in the pub and get those first couple of drinks down me and then whatever followed.  So these times mainly happened on a Sunday lunch when Victoria and the kids were at church and also Thursday evening’s when they went to her Mum’s for tea.

I would find myself looking into the mirror and all these thoughts would drift through my mind….

“I was not enough.”
“They were all better off without me, the world was better off without me.”
“I was a drain on them, I was wasting everything.”
“I didn’t deserve them.”
“If I were dead, they would get everything paid for, everything I couldn’t give them.”

All these thoughts of not being enough ran through my mind, I would pick up the little penknife that was always on the cabinet next to the bath and I would hold the blade against my wrist, as these thoughts became louder in my head, all I wanted to do was run that blade along my wrist and then get in the bath and wait to die, that was my plan, this happened over and over again, only one thought would stop it, the same thought every time….

“It’s better they live with you as you are,
than with the memory of how they will find you here!”

In other words, they need you regardless of how low and how much of a waste of space I felt, they needed me.  I would always put the blade down after that, but I would be so mad, always so mad, I was in this state of none being, too much of a coward to live, yet too much of a coward to actually end my own life, I was stuck in the middle of life and death and it felt like hell.

This was an event that happen a number of times over the years, always the same cycle, the same thoughts, the same anger, I could never bring myself to do anything more than the empty threats to end my life, they were difficult moments, moments that I kept to myself, moments I couldn’t let anyone else know about.  The sad thing was I knew what was bringing me to this point, I knew what was making me think these dark thoughts, it was the drinking, deep down when I was in these really low moments, I knew the source of all my problems, but I couldn’t do anything about it.  I would have a bath, almost like washing myself clean of these dark thoughts, get ready, go to karate, teach and then hit the pub and the alcohol and forget about it all until the next time.

By February 2012 I was drinking more and more, I started work at 7.30am in the morning, if I went to the pub in the week, I wouldn’t get home until about 1am, I would then put the TV on and carry on drinking until I simply fell asleep.  Many times I fell asleep on the settee, with a can or a bottle of wine in my hand, I was getting that good at it that I wouldn’t even spill a drop, I would wake up and drink it anyway, get up for work and nobody suspected a thing, the only person that really knew what was going on was me, I was hiding it as much as I could, not in a deliberate way, in a semi conscious sort of way, trying to justify it as normal, even going so far as lying about my consumption.

Since 2000 I had been on medication for chronic high blood pressure, which is an hereditary issue, periodically I was supposed to go to the Doctor’s to have regulation checks and test, twice a year in fact, I used to avoid them as much as possible until I got the letters stated my prescription would be stopped until I attended a review.  I would then make an appointment and get checked out.  The night before I either didn’t drink or only drank a couple of cans.  The medication somehow kept my blood pressure acceptable, but the Doctor always asked those lifestyle questions about diet etc, including the question about alcohol consumption, I knew what that they considered 11 units of alcohol the limit per week for a healthy lifestyle, I didn’t pretend to be a saint, I would pitch a number a little higher than that, but at least half of the real total, in truth I don’t think I knew the real total of what I was drinking, but I certainly wasn’t going to admit it to a Doctor, even on the contract for employment at my new job there was the question about alcohol consumption, again I lied, this time I made it look more like I was a good little boy and kept the figure somewhere near the 11 unit limit, I couldn’t admit to anyone how much I was drinking, not even myself.

For the first time in many years, that February I got Victoria a valentines card, I wrote in it that I loved her still and always will, when I came home from work that night the card was nowhere to be seen, neither was there was any mention of it at all, I guess it went straight in the bin. I really wanted to follow the card up, to make a gesture to Victoria, but finding it was nowhere to be seen, I lost heart, I knew I was going to hear those words she had uttered before, I couldn’t bear that pain, so went about my daily routine and drank as usual to hide the pain, to remove myself from the hurt and put all the torment off for another day, one that wasn’t far away.

As February fading and March came around I was definitely drinking more than ever, by now I was spending around £150 a week on alcohol, between the pub and the little shop around the corner.  I didn’t have to try to face the demons on nights I had no money for alcohol, now I had money, I always had a few cans in the house, although by now my drink of choice was wine and two bottles of it a night, plus a couple of cans as a starter.  By now it didn’t matter how much I drank, I never felt drunk, I still had all my wits about me, I could walk fine, I could talk fine, no staggering or slurring of words, yet it still kept me removed from the pain and anguish, it relaxed me enough to take me away from everything and I needed that, I panicked without it, I couldn’t cope, with it I slept like a log and the real world seemed so far away.

MONSTER by SKILLET
The secret side of me
I never let you see
I keep it caged
But I can’t control it
So stay away from me
The beast is ugly
I feel the rage
And I just can’t hold it

It’s scratching on the walls
In the closet, in the halls
It comes awake
And I can’t control it
Hiding under the bed
In my body, in my head
Why won’t somebody come and save me from this?
Make it end!

I feel it deep within,
It’s just beneath the skin
I must confess that I feel like a monster
I hate what I’ve become
The nightmare’s just begun
I must confess that I feel like a monster
I, I feel like a monster
I, I feel like a monster

My secret side I keep
Hid under lock and key
I keep it caged
But I can’t control it
Cause if I let him out
He’ll tear me up
And break me down
Why won’t somebody come and save me from this?
Make it end!

I feel it deep within,
It’s just beneath the skin
I must confess that I feel like a monster
I hate what I’ve become
The nightmare’s just begun
I must confess that I feel like a monster

I feel it deep within,
It’s just beneath the skin
I must confess that I feel like a monster
I, I feel like a monster
I, I feel like a monster

It’s hiding in the dark
It’s teeth are razor sharp
There’s no escape for me
It wants my soul,
It wants my heart

No one can hear me scream
Maybe it’s just a dream
Or maybe it’s inside of me
Stop this monster!

I feel it deep within,
It’s just beneath the skin
I must confess that I feel like a monster
I hate what I’ve become
The nightmare’s just begun
I must confess that I feel like a monster

I feel it deep within,
It’s just beneath the skin
I must confess that I feel like a monster
I’m gonna lose control
Here’s something radical
I must confess that I feel like a monster

I, I feel like a monster

I, I feel like a monster

I, I feel like a monster

I, I feel like a monster

3 thoughts on “The Story So Far – Chapter 3 – The Habit Grows

  1. beingmepresently

    Again I am recognising much of this. I think my partner is at some stage between this post and your last one.

    We had a really bad Christmas last year – he was drunk for 3 days straight. He took the children’s Christmas money which his Father sent. The cheque arrived just a few days ago – he hasn’t mentioned it yet.

    My partner also plays squash – he is able to stay sober for this like you did with the Karate.

    My partner is also a high functioning alcoholic. I don’t see any signs that he is suicidal or wanting to hurt himself though which I am grateful for. X

    Reply

Leave a Reply to beingmepresently Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.