And the tables turn

(c) Stik

So, well, I’m still here even though it’s a new year and I wrote that ultra depressing post as 2013 petered into 2014. I had some lovely concerned comments from many of you – for which I’m very grateful.

I don’t know what it is about the ends of years that gets me so teary eyed and damned despondent. Maybe I feel like I’m still in the same place, treading the same black water – and it stinks.

But as we all know, nothing changes without effort. So, without making any resolutions as such, I’m simply going to try to make an effort to change my fate, even if a little. I’ll try to stop being a fly on the wall of my own life and actively enter the fray – dodging the rolled up newspapers and whatever other objects get hurled my way.

As for the titular tables – these would be Ben’s. Remember his friend? The one who tried to commit suicide last year? He’s relapsed again. It must be the fifth time now, since the two of them have been out of rehab. When Ben is on the phone with him, you can hear his frustration as he urges his friend to go to the hospital. The guy hasn’t eaten very much in weeks, and has vomited blood at least once. When someone called an ambulance for him, he refused to get in. He’s still drinking.

Even Ben, who has tried to be as sympathetic and patient as possible, is fraying. Sometimes, he doesn’t pick up when his friend rings – because he can’t face the inevitably lengthy, addled conversation with a desperate drunk.

Watching how Ben deals with his friend, I tell myself that maybe now he understands what it was like for me. “At least you don’t have to live with him,” I say to Ben one day, hoping to elicit some kind of acknowledgement. He sort of nods his head, but goes no further.

So, there it is. Rosie is in bed right now with fever. Ben instant messaged me to say that he is still on the phone with his friend who has managed to fill the time of several people this evening. In some ways, I’d say this experience might be even better for Ben than AA (which he doesn’t attend, anyway). Perhaps it’s a way towards greater self-awareness, while reminding him in grizzly detail just how devastating alcohol can be. Let’s hope.

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8 thoughts on “And the tables turn

  1. Well, I have to say that I have been like Ben, on the phone with a fellow alcoholic who is drunk. It’s not fun, and my mind always went to the place of “how did my wife and others deal with me day in and day out like this?” Ugh. Mind you, I was hiding my alcoholism, but still, they had to deal with the inevitabilities of my mood and behaviour.

    Now I understand why Alanon is around. I would need something for myself to be able to deal. Frankly, I probably would have left me if the tables were turned. There are some who just have more compassion and patience I guess.

    I hope Rosie feels better…and you too 🙂

    Love and light,
    Paul

    • It would be astonishing if one didn’t find some self-awareness in the experience. I’m glad you had it. Ben has it, too, I think. Unfortunately, although the friend finally consented to get into the ambulance, he was later discharged and is back home again. Who knows what will become of him. I fear the worst.

  2. I’ve no doubt that the experience Ben is having right now with his friend is being very thoughtfully considered in his own mind, relative to his own behaviour over the years. (Even though you are not getting an emphatic agreement or outpouring of regret)

    Like those of us who have lived with alcoholics, who have a certain type of understanding & empathy for each other, so too would alcoholics themselves and when you state that ‘experience might be even better for Ben than AA’ – you may be right, though AA does have a fairly strong support system usually.. 🙂 – The experience may also be quite confronting and stressful.

    It’s been a week since this post, so I hope things are looking up and Rosie is better now

    ML
    xx

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