Shrove Tuesday

Day 60: It’s been two months since my last drop of alcohol. The day in question remains pretty clear in my mind. Up to a point. I was off work because the girls were on half term and we went to the park and played around the house for most of the morning. Nothing too out of the ordinary. It was a Tuesday. My wife was at work. Wouldn’t be home until 5pm.

I remember my oldest daughter’s room was a mess so I started cleaning it whilst they played in the youngest daughter’s bedroom. I wasn’t overly stressed and I wasn’t consciously depressed. I was craving a drink though. Maybe it was boredom, the monotonous day I was living and also the fact I knew for another 3-4 hours I’d be cleaning and entertaining kids before my wife returned home. My little girls are not difficult to look after and I love them dearly but the life I was living like so many others was draining. Working from home, parenting and pottering in the house with nowhere to go. No socialising with friends. Having a drink took the edge off and made me relax.

It was about 3pm when I decided to have a drink. I had some cans of Red Stripe lager in the garden so I had four of them as I sorted out the bedroom and checked the girls were behaving. My wife returned home, she’d had a stressful day at work so I encouraged her to have a bath and I’d make the girls some pancakes (it was shrove Tuesday) The craving for more drink after my afternoon beers was there and I remembered I had a bottle of Gin in the garden box. I made several trips into the garden to take sips from the bottle. Back on to the house to continue helping the girls make pancakes look pretty with their array of fillings and toppings. My wife oblivious to my secret drinking that day.

It gets much more vague after that. The evening consisted of me acting strange around my wife. Looking vacant and not making much sense when I spoke. I was taking Propanolol at the time but popping these prescription beta blockers like sweets. I became unsteady on my feet and confused. All in all I hadn’t had that much alcohol by my standards – especially given the consumption had been spread over about 5 hours.

What followed was my exit from the family home, bare footed and in my nightwear and running off into the nearby fields and woodland. The police were called. I returned home at some point and then tried to run out again which resulted in a scuffle with the two policemen. I don’t remember this. There is a hole in the plaster of my living room wall as a souvenir of the event though. Paramedics arrived, I was taken to hospital under police guard and after a number of hours a Doctor asked if I’d voluntarily agree to entering treatment as an inpatient at the local psychiatric hospital. I was told if I declined they had the powers to section me under the Mental Health Act.

Whilst I don’t remember anything post pancake making and the conversation with the doctor in hospital I do then remember being taken by the police to the hospital at about 1am. And that was that. I haven’t drank since. Since Shrove Tuesday.

Author: Happy Daddy

A married thirtysomething Dad of two young daughters navigating my way through life a day at a time

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