Ben has been alcohol-free for eight days now. He still doesn’t get to sleep until 4 or 5 in the morning, which means he is usually beached on the sofa for half the day.
But at least he doesn’t stink of drink. And I don’t have to worry about finding ‘anything’ in, on or around the toilet. He has also done a fair amount of house work since he got back – lots of laundry and cooking. He even bought a steam cleaner off of QVC – with the intention of disinfecting the putrid futon.
We’ve come around to the idea of day rehab, largely because we haven’t a choice. We visited one place down in Brixton. It’s run by people with decades of experience in the system, but they’ve only just set up, so things are a bit ad hoc. Equally, their day programme is not at regular hours – times vary from day to day. Which means that Ben wouldn’t have the kind of routine we were all hoping for. At least, that’s what it looks like.
We’re visiting another centre closer to home on Tuesday. Like the Brixton centre, it offers couples counselling. It also offers family counselling and they run a programme specifically for children – meaning that Rosie might be able to come with us when we both go in. I’m getting ahead of myself. First, we need to visit and get a feel for the place. Then Ben will make his decision.
The idea is for Ben to take the day rehab and see how he manages with it. If it doesn’t suit, he will appeal through his key worker. I did ring around to find out what happened – and by some coincidence, ended up speaking to a woman who had sat on Ben’s panel. She told me the usual – that their first port of call is always to treat a patient in the community. She also said, point blank, that residential treatment costs a lot of money and that they have a finite budget for the year. So that was that.
She did say that Ben could speak to her if he wasn’t happy with the day programme. If he had a persuasive enough reason, she would put that forward to the panel when he appealed.
For now, we’re taking it day by day. Every time Ben goes down to smoke a cigarette (at least 20 times/day), a hundred bats take wing inside my stomach. All those fears. All that anxiety.