The Story So Far – Chapter 6 – The Meeting

CHAPTER 6 – THE MEETING

I wasn’t working that day, I had a little bit of work to do at home and then in the afternoon I had to drop into the Architect’s for a couple of hours.

But I had hatched a plan, I knew Gareth had been away the previous week, but I knew the most important thing I had to do was to call him.  I decided I would give him a few minutes to get in the office, but not long enough that he would be busy with other things when I rang, I decided to ring at exactly 9.10am.  Victoria left with the kids for school and I began pacing the house, restless, nervous, frightened, afraid, I had my phone in my hand, the number there ready to dial and now I was just waiting for the minutes to pass by, until they reached 9.10, it seemed like an eternity.  I sat at the top of the stairs, I was shaking, I was uncontrollably shaking, I was so nervous, I didn’t know if he was going to answer, I didn’t know what I was going to say, all I knew is that I had to make that phone call, I had told Victoria I would call, I had to do it, there was no going back, this wasn’t for her anymore, this was for me, I needed help and I don’t know why, but deep inside something told me it was Gareth that I needed to speak to.

I still to this day don’t know where the courage came from to press that call button, while I sat there waiting there were so many times, I want to just put my phone down and walk away, maybe it was the shame of it all or maybe I didn’t want to stop drinking, maybe the demon inside was fighting back, maybe it sensed that I was putting up a fight now, but when 9.10am came, I pressed the button and the phone began ringing.  I’m not sure whether I ever expected him to answer, I tend not to answer number’s I don’t recognise, I tend to let them go to answer phone and if they leave a message, I call them back, maybe he did the same, these days you get so many cold calls, if you answered everyone you would never get anything done.  If it did go to answer phone, would I leave a message?  I hadn’t prepared for that, but thankfully he answered.

I said hello and then preceded to try to explain to him who I was.  I had known him only through Victoria, how could I explain who I was, if I just said Wayne, he would probably never know who I was, even though he had been told I wanted to speak with him, he’s a busy man, I could be anybody.  So I started to say “hi, it’s Wayne, Victoria’s partner”, that was the only way I could think of to describe who I was, that was how he knew me, it made sense, but I couldn’t say it.  I got has far “hi, it’s Wayne, Vic…….” then I broke down into tears.

Suddenly I realised I wasn’t that anymore, I had somehow lost my identity, who was I anymore, I didn’t like who I saw in the mirror, I was this mess of a man, who had lost control of his life and lost himself along the way, this moment brought everything crashing down around me and all I could do was cry.

Thankfully Gareth was very calming, he understood who I was and gave me a moment to compose myself, he asked how I was doing, to which I managed to reply “not very well” before breaking into even more uncontrollable floods of tears.  Straight away he seemed to understand I needed help and offered to meet, I composed myself and said I needed help sooner rather than later, he offered to meet that very evening, he would come around to see me, he would check with his wife to make sure she had nothing planned and call me back later to confirm.

As soon as I put the phone down I knew I had done the right thing, I knew I had to sort myself out.  I immediately jumped in the shower, shaved for what seemed the first time in ages and went into town to buy things like new underwear and toiletries.  This may seem a bit odd, but to be honest I had let myself go badly over the last few years.  I used to shave every day, but that had become a chore, so I let myself go unshaved for weeks, until it became itchy, then I would shave it off and then let it grow back.  I rarely showered, I would have a bath a couple of times a week, but that was it, mainly if I wasn’t working I would lounge around in the same clothes for days, if I needed drink from the shop, I would put a tracksuit over what I was wearing, go to the shop and the comeback, take off the tracksuit and carry on.  All my underwear was worn out, socks and underpants were full of holes, I know Gareth wasn’t going to see them, but this was the start of a new me, this day was the start of me getting my life back in order and looking after myself.  I always used to style my hair, over the last few years I couldn’t even be bothered doing that, I just watered it and flattened it to my head, I never liked it like that, but I couldn’t be bothered doing anything with it anymore, this morning I started doing my hair once again, I wanted to start putting distance between myself and that lazy alcoholic good for nothing slob I had become.

After I had been in town and tidied myself up a bit, I went out to the Architect’s for a few hours, it seemed to drag on little longer than I wanted, I remember panicking a little bit, I know I couldn’t mess up this evening, this was the most import thing I had to do, this was all about sorting my life out, this was getting help and getting well, this was about saving a life, mine!  As I left the office and walked home, Gareth rang and confirmed our meeting, he also asked if he could bring someone with him, it was someone from Church, but someone I knew, I had known his family for many years and also knew that his family had been torn apart by alcoholism too, I agreed to this, it didn’t matter, I just needed someone to talk to.

Victoria was going out that night, when I got home she knew about my meeting, she had actually gone to Gareth and checked that I had called him, I not sure she trusted that I would, but she knew I needed help and she knew that this was the place to start.

Usually when Victoria was going out, I would make a run to the shop, I had to get my provisions for the night, she knew I had to drink by then and she knew that I never actually got drunk and the kids would be okay, so this evening she asked me if I needed to go to the shop before she went out, meaning did I need to get any alcohol.

I was absolutely horrified, I couldn’t believe she had asked me that, I responding with “why are we out of coffee?”  I just couldn’t believe it, I knew that this evening I couldn’t get it wrong, there was no way I was drinking this evening, this was about me getting help and there was no way I was going to drink in front of a Pastor, not tonight anyway.  I remember telling her how afraid I was, she told me there was nothing to be afraid of and there was no need to be afraid of them, I remember biting back with “I’m not afraid of them, I’m afraid of me!”

So Victoria went out and the kids were told to stay quietly in the bedroom, while I sat there waiting once more for the minutes to pass by, once again I began to shake and the nervousness took over.

I watched through the curtains as they pulled up and went to the back door to meet them, they came into my front room and both sat on the settee opposite mine, I sat there, nervous, afraid.

From the start Gareth made it clear that he wasn’t here to preach to me, he was here to listen and find out what it was that was needed for me to get the help required.  He started by asking about my drinking.  I told him as much as I could, I have to say that I honestly didn’t lie to him, I told him as much as I could, the sad fact was that as I was hiding the truth from myself, it was only over the next few weeks and many conversations with various people about my drinking, that I finally got to the truth about how much I was drinking, which was far more than I told Gareth, as I say I never consciously lied to him, I just didn’t know the truth myself.

As I spoke I continually broke down in tears, I’ve never cried so much in so short a time.  I seemed to get it together for a while, only to start speaking again and then start crying along with it, I must have looked like a complete and utter mess, in truth I was a complete and utter mess and this night it was all finally beginning to come out into the open.  One of the things I remember the most was each time I broke down, I could see the pain reflected in Gareth’s face and Alex’s also, I could see it was painful to watch, this guy who everyone thought had it all together was coming apart at the seams before their eyes.

I tried to be as honest as possible, the truth was as I say, that most of what was going on I had buried so deep it was hard to admit it to myself, never mind admit it to anyone else.  But as the night went along, I felt a weight being lifted, I felt that the more I spoke and the more I admitted, the less pain I carried in my heart.

As the night went on Gareth mentioned God and how great life can be with Jesus in it, but that was my choice if I wanted it.  He mentioned one thing from the Bible, which was the story of the Jesus calming the storm after the Disciples had panicked, he said that was what I needed in my life, someone to calm my storm.  He offered to pray for me, which I agreed to, I don’t remember anything he said in the prayer, I just sat there with my head in my hands, quietly sobbing into my fingers.

We talked about Church, Gareth said if I felt like I wanted to come, then I should just let them know, I could just sit quietly at the back if I wanted.  There was no pressure, he never tried to preach to me, he made a lot of good suggestions to help me.  I told him how I felt after speaking with him that morning, that I felt I needed to put so many things right and that I had already started the process.

After they had left I felt so encouraged, I felt I was ready to start fighting back against this addiction, at no point that evening had I felt like drinking, the third of a bottle was still where I left it that morning, it was still over the fridge, but I felt after a night of tears and sobbing that there was a peace over me, for a while at least.

WALLS by THE ROCKET SUMMER
The story of my life I can’t quite comprehend.
Don’t tell me if you know how it ends.
When everywhere you go feels like a mirror maze,
And you’re not sure how you’re stuck in this place…

And you got nowhere else to go
And you’re lost within your own home,
And you’re trying so hard to win,
You keep trying, it’s embarrassing.
And how you don’t even know,
But you know you’re off the tracks…
And how did you get in here?
Thinking how did I get in here?

I’ll help you break the walls down.
I’ll help you break the walls down…
Bust you out, and take you home,
Believe you me you are not alone,
I’ll help you break the walls down.

Does anybody know where February went?
I was hoping that by not it would be the end of this:
When you open up a book and read a thousand lines,
But you don’t really read you just move your eyes.

And you got nowhere else to go
And you’re lost within your own home,
And you’re trying so hard to win,
You keep trying, it’s embarrassing.
And how you don’t even know,
But you know you’re off the tracks…
And how did you get in here?
Thinking how did I get in here?

I’ll help you break the walls down.
I’ll help you break the walls down…
Bust you out, and take you home,
Believe you me you are not alone,
I’ll help you break the walls down.

And I know this is random
But just this morning I saw
The sun reflecting off the lawn and window,
Oh I don’t know why but I thought you should know.

When you got nowhere else to go
And you’re lost within your own home,
And you’re trying so hard to win,
You keep trying, it’s embarrassing.
And how you don’t even know,
But you know you’re off the tracks…
And how did you get in here?
Thinking how did I get in here?

I’ll help you break the walls down.
I’ll help you break the walls down…
Bust you out, and take you home,
Believe you me you are not alone,
I’ll help you break the walls down.

And all the weight,
You carry,
Will disappear,
And I will willingly,
Embrace you so,
You lay your head.
So come on home,
Come on home,
Come on home,

Yeah, yeah.
Yeah, yeah.

5 thoughts on “The Story So Far – Chapter 6 – The Meeting

  1. time2refuel

    You are brave and you are strong and you are loved. God’s grace and strength will see you through. I may not know you personally but you have moved me to tears with your story and have touched my heart. I am praying for you…for peace, for joy, for healing.

    Reply

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