Saturday, 15 August 2015

LIFE: Alcohol


I mentioned in my Weekender post for June about my Grandma going into hospital and coming out much better. Well, it's because she came out clean.

My Grandma has been drunk for, I reckon, about three years.

She'd have coffee spiked with rum for breakfast, she'd drink sparkling water with vodka for lunch, and get on the brandy's before the Alan Titchmarsh show at 3pm.

I have known about her alcohol obsession for years. As has everyone in the family. I point blank refused to take buy her alcohol, but the thing with alcoholics is that they play everyone. They manage to make everyone believe it's not so bad, that they haven't had too much, that they can control it, that they don't have any in the house. Well, that's not the case.

She went into hospital after she lost consciousness in public. She still looks respectable, she's not dirty and doesn't smell, so she hid her addiction well. Whilst in A&E, she had a fit. She didn't know who my mum was. She didn't know why she was there. She had hallucinations about fires. She pulled off all the machines and tried to go home - though I'm sure she didn't know where 'home' was. They kept her in for four nights, before we realised some of the new issues might be being caused by her detoxing from the alcohol.

Turns out, the collapsing and the fit was brought on because her body couldn't handle the drink any more. Turns out, her hallucinating and being frightened all the time was because she needed a drink. Turns out, as soon as we told the Doctors she had a drink problem they all went 'aaahhh! So that's what it is!' because they couldn't pinpoint why she'd reacted the way she had. So on the fifth day, she came home. We had a very frank talk, my mum, my Grandma and I and despite everything, she's still on the alcohol, but admitting she has a problem and is now seeking help. I'll take that as a step in the right direction.

Now, why am I telling you this?

Because a week later, my neighbour went crazy through drinking too much alcohol. And you might think I'm exaggerating, but I'm not. He was arrested under the Mental Health Act because he thought a man was going to kill him. The twist (if you can have a twist when a crazy man thinks he's going to get killed) was that the murderer was in his belly. We were obviously worried he might try and cut the man out, or harm someone he thought was the man. He tried to run away from the medical staff who were called to help him and became violent towards police when they came to secure the proceedings - which happened to be in our back garden. As you do.

He is only twenty-five years old.

Summer is great for going out and having a laugh, having a few drinks, having a few BBQ's and messing around. But, take it seriously. My Grandma took three years before starting to black out and lose her memory; my neighbour binged for a week and went literally crazy. You don't need to be an alcoholic to feel the bad effects of alcohol, so be wary.

If you feel like you need to talk to someone about an issue with yourself or about someone you know, here are a few links that can be your first step:

I haven't been paid or asked to post about this topic, or to link to these organisations - since being around people who have suffered I feel that alcoholism should be spoken about and support given to those who need it.

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