Has he relapsed?

This is the question I ask myself daily.

Back-track to a month ago. We were scoping out day rehab programmes. The one in Brixton wasn’t right for Ben, so he opted for one in central London instead. They have been around for decades. The days are consistent and structured. The family counsellor is sympathetic and experienced.

Two days into his treatment and I’m almost positive he relapsed. He came home late from some freelance work that night. He smelled of beer, but he told me he’d been eating chips with vinegar – a familiar excuse. About a week later, he came home blitzed out of his mind. Again, after doing some freelance work. I told the rehab centre. He told the rehab centre. They kept him on. About two weeks later, he relapsed again. He had a gig in the southeast and came home at nearly 1am, having lost his phone and unable to stand up straight. His hand was bleeding. He wet the futon – AGAIN. This time, neither of us told the centre.

I guess the obvious question is, why didn’t I take Rosie and go. Why am I still here? He claims he isn’t drinking, yet I keep smelling alcohol on him. It is a madness with me now – I smell alcohol on everything, all the time. I am hyper-sensitive to the odour in lotions, deodorants, mouthwash, aftershave – everything. His antiperspirant spray is strong and scrambles my olfactory sense so I can’t tell what I’m smelling. When I come home from work, I find him so out of it, I don’t know what to think. As always, he tells me he is just tired and needs to sleep. The mad thing is, there is no smell.

Once an alcoholic, always an alcoholic, I guess. But, I have to ask myself, what is my line. What is the line? When is enough, enough?

He is lying on the sofa, moaning to himself. He does this often. He also talks to himself. He says it’s a comfort mechanism. I don’t know whether it’s the Prozac (he’s on 40mg now). I don’t know whether he’s abusing his meds. My instinct tells me there is something he isn’t telling me. My instinct is telling me he’s lying.

Surely that is the line?