And…. contact

I finally managed to reach Ben yesterday. Or, I should say, he finally decided to pick up the phone. My friend, Sarita, went down to the flat to see him, and took him to the GP so he could get a referral to the private detox centre we’ve settled on. The GP was rude and abrupt and refused to follow the centre’s procedure. She simply wrote out a generic letter and printed out his case history. I think she takes a dim view of alcoholics, which is fine for her as an individual, but not fine as a doctor. Is this really how severely depressed people should be treated when they visit their doctor?

I’m really hoping that the centre will accept her letter and print-outs as a referral, because we are running out of time. Meanwhile, Ben has insisted that he can manufacture something that will allow him to be detoxed in hospital. None of us thinks this is a good idea. He isn’t thinking clearly and is only doing this because he feels guilty about the added expenditure.

Thing is, if he had taken responsibility in the first place, and stayed off the booze for those last crucial days, he would be in rehab now and we would not be in a position where we have to fork out an additional 2 grand for a detox.

When I spoke to him today, he said he was going down to A&E this morning. I asked him to make sure he tells Sarita once he goes, so she knows where he is, and so she can tell me. He said he would.

I went out with Rosie after speaking to him. I took her to the Biodome where we saw a two-toed sloth, sturgeon, pink spoonbills, macaws, penguins, an otter and much more. For a few hours, I forgot all about Ben and London. I was engrossed in Rosie’s excitement at seeing a caiman, or splashing through a water installation.

When I got back, I tried ringing Ben. There was no answer. Sarita told me he wasn’t answering her calls either. He probably never made it to the hospital.

So tomorrow, I’m back on the phone, ringing London, trying to sort things, trying to get that all-important referral, trying to buy myself some peace of mind.

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8 thoughts on “And…. contact

  1. I am so happy that you had fun with your little girl today and had a few moments of just being and not worrying. It sounds like you have a wonderful girlfriend. It is so disappointing when others don’t treat alcoholism like an illness. I pray for that doctor to find some more compassion and to become more educated about addictions. Hoping and praying that you get things worked out over the phone, and that you can continue to find some more fun moments with Rosie and your family here in Canada. Take care.

  2. I read this and I feel ashamed. Thankfully, I have not gotten to the point that Ben has, but I still feel ashamed for letting my addiction take me to a bad place and what it has done to people around me. I feel angry at Ben because I honestly don’t feel as if he WANTS to be sober. I mean we (alcoholics) all do to a certain extent, but the REAL want has to come from the soul. Sometimes people who think they are helping are really enabling. The help can and will start to be considered as a safety net. We think “well if I relapse, I know the help will be there.” Tough love is in order and as heartless as this may sound, sometimes people need to be left alone in the middle of the ocean where they have no choice but to sink or swim. I admire your strength to stand by him and your courage to walk away.

    • Shame, guilt – these are all such familiar emotions, and they exist on both sides. It is striking how symbiotic the relationship becomes – but also how much we mirror one another. I think you’re right about Ben. He has told me, on many occasions, that he would like to keep drinking, but knows that it just isn’t possible. That is astonishing and disappointing to me, but at least it is honest. I have, at this very moment, made contact with various agencies in London, trying to get Ben into detox. Yes, alarm bells are going off in my head, but here’s his last shot, and he needs to take it. I don’t know what else to do. I just want him somewhere safe so he can start thinking clearly and I can stop worrying. Don’t feel ashamed. You have succeeded in keeping yourself out of that dark place and that is something to feel very proud of.

  3. My ex is both an alcoholic and a compulsive gambler. He is still active in both addictions, and it baffles me. We lost EVERYTHING to the gambling and his dad died from alcohol. How can someone so smart do such stupid things? How could he continue it after all of that?
    I wish, wish, wish more than anything that you could forgive yourself for going on holiday. I wish that you could let go. Ben doesn’t want this help. He doesn’t want to be found. He doesn’t want to stop drinking.
    You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink. Or in our case, you can’t get the flask out of his hand to drink the dang water and not the booze.
    You can’t fix it for him no matter how hard you try. Giving up doesn’t make you a bad person. You are just trying to save yourself.
    Save yourself. You deserve love and happiness. Make him find his way and earn your love. Focus on what you want and need. It isn’t a selfish act. It’s a heroic act.
    Though we have never met, I truly adore you and want what is best for you. I feel your pain. I walk in your shoes. I want what is best for you. Be safe.

    • Oh, StrongerMe, everything you say is so true, and yet I can’t let go. I almost did, but then I thought, this is our shot and we must take it. But that’s the most I can do. It really is. Thank you so much for all your words of encouragement and support. I am so in awe of you – for breaking away and finding a new life for yourself and your boys.

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