Day 378: I’ve just finished making pancakes with my little girls. A very basic event and probably easily forgotten by the pair of them within a day or two. We had a nice 30 mins though.
I won’t forget Shrove Tuesday in a hurry though. It was Pancake Day in 2021 when I last had a drink. When I hit rock bottom.
I don’t remember being overly stressed and I wasn’t consciously depressed that day but that was largely down to me suppressing how I felt with drink. It was half term and I was off work whilst my wife worked. I started drinking beer from early afternoon – 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. In reality it was dependency. I knew alcohol would take the edge off. 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. The pandemic was still very much in it’s deepest hold on us all.
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 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 whilst continuing to help the girls make their 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 2021.