A story of grief by a man and a boy
Thank God for chicken pox. I never thought I’d say that given the pain I was in and how disgusting I still look and feel, but they did come with an upside. They made me stop drinking. It’s not that I have a problem but I was finding it easier to count the number of days that I hadn’t had any alcohol since my wife died than those that I had. Just one some days, others a few, but regardless of the number it was starting to become habitual. And that was starting to make me feel uncomfortable.
I guess the easy thing to have done would have been not to have one, but then I realised something while I was lying in bed trying not to scratch. The drink had become more than just liquid refreshment. It had become something to break up the day. It had become hope.
Perhaps the day would get easier at 7pm if I had a drink and tried to relax.
Maybe my temper would calm at 4pm if I just had the one.
Perhaps I’d feel less anxious if I had a little alcohol running through my veins by midday.
But what I hoped for never came. Just disappointment, tears and the occasional hangover. Something like fun once or twice, but certainly disproportionate to the number of days that I’d had a drink.
So the pox has left me wondering, ‘what’s the point?’ In a way I feel better for having felt so bad. I’ve realised there’s just no benefit in me drinking even nearly every day. It’s not like it even dulls the pain. It just makes it worse the next day.
Let’s be clear, as I write I’m just finishing a glass of wine, but then it’s been two weeks and no one is perfect. I’m just far more likely to put the kettle on than reach for the bottle opener now and that, I’m pleased to say, comes as a huge relief.