This isn't going to be a very cheery post I'm afraid, but hopefully by tonight I can show you my two latest glass purchases (yawn) as I gloat over them.
This time of year is supposed to be the most depressing, what with the Christmas bubble having been popped, credit card bills for the same dropping on your doormat, and - for the unlucky few - facing the rest of the winter without a job and no immediate way of paying those bills.
A friend of mine (obviously not that much of a friend, otherwise I might have done something to prevent this) lost his job in a small carpentry workshop a few months ago, and since his house went with it, lost a place to live as well. Eggs and Baskets. His former girlfriend (who has felt sorry for him ever since she gave him the push and married someone else years ago) allowed him to stay in a room of a little hotel she runs, since it was the end of the season. That was 7 months ago.
He has spent pretty much the entire time holed up in the room and drinking cans of strong beer without eating any food that anyone noticed. If he did appear, it was to go downstairs to the bar and drink more beer.
Well, last weekend he was finally carted away to the hospital where he is now - within about 48 hours of actually dying.
Though close to 6 feet tall, he was never a well-built chap, but now he weighs 7 stone and is incoherently ranting because he is brain-damaged through malnutrition and alcohol damage. The doctors do not know if he will ever get his marbles back, but they do know that if they let him out and he has a few more drinks, he will be dead in a matter of days or even hours. He can never safely drink a beer again for the rest of his life.
So as they wait and watch to see how or if he will improve, they are also making plans for his newly granted future. So far, the most probable short-term remedy is to have him sectioned under the mental health act for his own safety.
As you probably know, I (along with a few others) enjoy a drink every now and then, but it's cases like this that make me think that I fall into the 'habitual' category, and not the 'addictive'. Having said that, I think that abuse of alcohol is only a symptom of an underlying cause. You can get people who may be killing themselves by enjoying themselves too much, and then there are the few who drink purely in order to kill themselves.
Q: "Why do you drink?"
A: "I drink to forget."
Q: "Forget what?"
A: "I don't know - I've forgotten."