"This is the book of life I should have read before leaving university in London.
It's got it all.
Sex, sex tourism, drugs, alcohol, alcoholism, prostitution & suicide.
In my search for sex and sobriety I travel from London to Amsterdam; to San Francisco, California; to Bangkok & Pattaya in Thailand and to Manila, Angeles City & Subic Bay in the Philippines.
Don't end up a loser like me.
Read this book."
- Paul Pisces
The Process of Recovery
I wake up early at 6am. I feel bad. If I was still an alcoholic I would be reaching for the whisky, vodka or rum bottle for the first drink of the day. Instead I reach for the fizzy water bottle. Fluids are important for recovery, especially water. Loads of it. After a pint of water, I decide to have a cup of coffee. I don't have the shakes because I haven't been on alcohol for a long enough continuous period.
I don't have a hangover (headache, nausea) because alcoholics don't often get these but I do feel very agitated and unable to relax. I don't remember last night very well. I don't remember going to bed but I woke up in bed so I must have, probably around 7-30pm. Very early for me but I was so tired. I do remember being tired last night. Very tired indeed.
Although I don't have a headache as such, I do crave peace and quiet. I have turned the telly on but with the sound down. I could work today if I had to but it would be a struggle. I couldn't do anything complicated because my concentration is bad. I am not at all focused. Fortunately all I've got to do today is recover. Slowly.
I've read the last page of what I wrote last night and I was obviously babbling. Mania had set in. Mania is a problem with hardened alcoholics.
One cup of coffee down, so I'll go and make another. Two cups of coffee, a shit and plenty of fizzy water. That's the recipe for today.
Today's big news is of a trader in America with an Irish bank who has 'lost' $750 million dollars in currency speculation. A bit like Nick Leeson and Barings Bank. I've read Nick Leeson's autobiography 'Rogue Trader' and it was very good as I remember. No sex though. No one mentions sex in autobiographies. Except me. I've ordered the comedian Jim Davidson's first autobiography 'The Full Monty' from Amazon.com and I should get it in one or two days time. I wonder if that will have sex in it? (It didn't.)
The trader in America is of interest to me because I follow the markets, especially since the dot com crash while I was in San Francisco. It appears to me that the markets are still highly overpriced and liable to collapse. The entire capitalist system is being destroyed by greed and incompetence but that's only my opinion - I could be wrong. In fact I hope I am wrong because if the system collapses, no one will want my book, no one will want my computer skills, no one will want me. A bit like the current situation really. OK. I hope the system does collapse then.
I do need quiet. Quiet is important because I am jumpy. My nerves are bad. Even when I am sober I am an anxious kind of guy. I am always seeking security in terms of financial security and physical security. It's alcohol that gives me a release from the anxiety. Perhaps that's why I depended on it for so long.
After this second cup of coffee, I'll have a shit and then I'll check my email. I'll also check the lottery ticket that I bought yesterday when I was out buying the bottle of rum.
An important tip for recovering alcoholics is not to keep alcohol in the home. If I have alcohol here, I usually drink it. I can overrule this urge but not normally for very long. If it's there I am going to drink it. And if you really need to have a binge, just buy half a bottle of spirits. That's plenty enough and much easier to recover from that a whole bottle.
The coffee has put some caffeine in my blood stream and that has precipitated my bowels to begin to move. In the toilet my shit is good and reasonably firm. This is a good sign. A hardened alcoholic tends to have sloppy shits or diarrhea because of the digestive problems alcohol causes.
I am having trouble concentrating. Ideas are coming thick and fast and I want to do several things at once. This again is normal during recovery. I make lists. The best thing to do is make lists and come back to the tasks later if you can. The other important thing is to try and relax. Find some quiet, drink water, make lists and relax. You'll feel better eventually.
I check my lottery ticket. No win for me. That's another quid down the drain. Next on my list is to check my email. That will take me a while. I am having another cup of coffee but decaffeinated this time. I like the warm fluid but I don't need any more caffeine in my system. My body is still racing due to the alcohol withdrawal and I expect that my heart rate and blood pressure are well above normal. I am sweating lightly too. No shakes though.
The only email of interest is from a company called 'World Productions' rejecting my book.
The worst thing about today is the feeling of not being quite right. Not ill but not well. A feeling of being out of control. I know it's due to the alcohol withdrawal but it still feels very uncomfortable. The quick way to cure this is to drink alcohol. The sensible way to cure this is to drink water and wait.
I'll drink water and wait for the postman to come. I need some good news.
By 8am I am getting occasional bursts of lucidity. They don't last long. I am drinking a lot of water and pissing a lot. This allows the body to eliminate the byproducts of alcohol poisoning as quickly as possible. I am calm but my mind is still racing, which continues to make it difficult to concentrate.
Long term alcohol dependence causes many problems such as vitamin loss, poor digestion, physical shaking and a dry skin, which can lead to eczema and psoriasis. This is in addition to the well-known cirrhosis of the liver. All of the cells of the body come under assault and that's why long term alcoholics look so ill. They are very ill.
At 10am the post arrives. There are three more rejections - two from publishers and one from an agent. The agent has merely scrawled a note to the effect that her list is full across the bottom of my letter to her. The publishers have sent me standard rejection letters.
It is now noon so it has been twenty-four hours since I opened the bottle of rum. I have just eaten an early lunch consisting of cheese, ham, tomato and bread. It is good to eat. I still feel restless but things are improving, I think. I may not fully recover until tomorrow. You wouldn't be able to tell that anything was wrong with me by looking at me. It's all inside. It's all chemical imbalance in the brain. My brain is working too fast and I can't relax. I can't focus.
By the evening I am feeling better. Relaxed and calm. My concentration is returning. I spend the evening watching television and eating a take away curry. I go to bed early and sleep. Tomorrow I will feel good.
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