This is the view from my kitchen window. Over the past 24 months I’ve spent hours caked in anxiety, peering out this window, counting the buses going by, hoping for Ben to materialise, willing him to be on his feet and not lurching, limping or covered in blood. These days, I do this less and less. Ben’s recovery is something I have grown to believe in. Until now.
In my last post, I mentioned Ben’s rehab mentor. More specifically, his relapse. X (let’s call him X since I can’t think of anything better) has been on a bender since Good Friday. Ben has been worried – so worried, in fact, that he racked up unknown telephone charges on my phone line speaking to him all night long. Anyway, X is still necking it and where is Ben tonight but right there with him.
‘I’m alright,’ he tells me earlier tonight. ‘I’m not in danger.’ Sure, maybe not tonight, but surely these things have a way of working on the subconscious?
It’s touching to see Ben reaching out and supporting his friend, but this is his first exposure to alcohol in months. And he is prone to making stupid decisions, as we all know. Is this one of them? Or is this him taking responsibility? I don’t know. I want it to be the latter, but find I can only worry and feel pissed off with him for risking his recovery like this.
The what-if’s have resumed that familiar riff at the back of my mind. And in an instant I’m back here again, scanning the highway outside my window, hoping the anxiety will just drive on by.