Wheeled into a room, one window and an en suite. Refrigerator in the corner, standard bedside cabinet, the only thing that was standard in this room. Rising from the wheelchair to get into the bed took an exerted effort to transport the chest drain and pot plus ones own emaciated mass.
An urge to alleviate the pressure building on my bladder spurned me to look for avenues of urination. To my surprise I found an en suite bathroom. i didn’t question the door on my left on arrival, assuming it had an assortment of mops and paper towels etc. The wet room had a walk in shower and basin shrouded in fluorescent light coursing from two neon beams above.
Unshakable dread crept into my thoughts, skulking underneath the pleasantries and light heartedness. Air conditioning churning away with its monotonous drone. This is fucking quarantine.
I recall being woken up in a triage ward a few hours after my initial arrival. Shook awake by a doctor to be told, forewarned, that my odds of survival were 50/50 and I must stop abusing alcohol. Resentment burned in my heart.
I looked to the window to feel a breeze, hear a bird or an engine, to smell food cooking. Rivets. Cold steel window frame securely fitted to the wall ensured my fate, my impending doom, my existential reality, my vulnerability, my fear.
A feeling of immense gratitude enveloped my surroundings as I sat there in the church hall. The AA meeting about to commence, the previous feelings of fear, hurt and resentment reduced to a state of humility and simple reflection.
I was enlightened by the idea of somebody preparing a place for me. This gesture, Jesus like, created an opportunity for spiritual growth. Somebody had dedicated their time and effort so that I could sit here, sipping tea, resenting and seething with character defects. I listened sot hat ignorance could be washed away.
I felt gratitude genuinely in a way that expelled the feelings of unworthiness and inferiority. I had found my tribe, a sanctuary in which I could develop and learn how to experience life without having to seek oblivion.
I didn’t share my experience, strength and hope that evening, however I did learn to appreciate the facility and the means in which an addicted person can begin to heal, learn and recover.
Entombed in the back bedroom of a terraced house, bewildered, bemused and anticipating indulgence coupled with foreboding despair. Striking the balance between intoxication and two looming forces, withdrawal and blackout. Reaching for the luke warm strong white cider not knowing if it’s dusk or dawn. Guzzling the unpalatable source of replenishment to the point of despair and disgust. Wretchedness.
Beard growth, greasy hair, unkept fingernails, sallow skin. Blood shot eyes, rancid breath, fur lined tongue, bile emptying from acid stripped gullet and accompanying stomach. Bloated and deprived of nourishment.
Floating, transient existence. Questionable energy resource other than the incessant need to consume alcohol. Wash when I get back, they won’t smell my breath through the perspex. Grappling with the urge, the need, the obsession, the futility and banality of addiction.
Warped perspective, vision similar to a wide angle lens. I see everything, crystalised, and yet my senses betray and beguile. The approach to the hallowed purveyor of said article so desperately required is imminent. Unable to salivate, body like an absorption of all that is fulfilling. Piss like mucous, running non existent snot manifesting as moist sniffles. The door to the elusive treasure trove of tremendous trepidation and insurmountable suffering awaits, beckoning like an alluring hazard. The metal door handle is bulbous and I know it’s to be pushed as opposed to pulled. I literally use my body weight to shoulder the door ajar.
Relief shrouds my very being, behold, the answer, the cure. Without hesitation and doubt, my salvation.