Repeat after me. I am on holiday. I am on holiday. I AM ON HOLIDAY.
Except that I’m not. Today I rang Ben, because I hadn’t heard from him (he usually rings a few times a day to speak to Rosie). I tried him several times, but couldn’t get through. Eventually, I reached him on Skype earlier this evening. Big mistake.
I could tell right away that he was intoxicated. There’s this thing he does with his eyebrow – it goes up in a distracted sort of way. I asked him whether he had been drinking and he replied: “Not yet.”
Apparently, he’d bought a couple of beers and was thinking about drinking them. He told me he went in to the rehab centre to be breathalysed this morning, and tested positive. He said he’d drunk one strong beer the night before. I asked him why. Actually, I didn’t ask. I shouted at him – through my brother’s iPad: WHY? WHY? WHY? And then I told him he’d messed up everything. Even as the words hit the air, I knew they were the wrong ones. I shouldn’t have said anything. In saying them, I’d given him license to wallow – and drink.
He hung up. His mobile is on voicemail. The landline is not working, apparently.
I knew it was a bad idea to leave without ensuring he was already in rehab. I knew he couldn’t be trusted. Now I have a migraine and am desperately trying to arrange a detox for him so he can be admitted to the rehab centre. His mum, who lives on the other side of the world, is trying to do the same.
You see, the centre doesn’t do detoxes. So, he needs to go somewhere else for it. There is no way the NHS is going to pay for another detox, so this, too, will incur a cost.
I keep thinking, if he really wanted it, he would have stuck it out – he would have kept away from the booze these last crucial days. If he had made it to Monday, they would have admitted him, and there would be none of this anxiety, none of this wasted money.
At one point, I even found myself offering to pay for the detox. But the thing is, I’m already paying. I pay every day for his condition in sweat and worry, and given that I have to support a family and pay all the bills, I really don’t think it would be responsible of me to blow the money I need for Rosie on him.
So, what next? First, I need to find a detox centre for him. Then it’s rehab. And then? Then he doesn’t get to come back. I’ve had too much of him tearing my life apart, too much disappointment and despair.