Thursday, November 10, 2005

Times Online: Author and journalist A. A. Gill, on alcoholism.

I was, in English terms, very good at drinking. Too good. I had a substantial capacity for absorbing the stuff and had worked out the Dumb Crambo of moving around when your internal gyroscope has fallen over. I learnt to enunciate when my mouth felt like it was made out of putty and my teeth had all changed places and I had the tongue of the dog whose hair I’d consumed.

I drank steadily, with a steely determination. I drank on and through peripheral neuritis, alcoholic gastritis, an atrophied brain, an enlarged liver, a damaged pancreas, blackouts, suicidal depression, anonymous bloody sores and DTs so severe that I would have to take the first drink of the morning using a towel hooked round my neck as a pulley, because I was frightened of knocking my teeth out with the glass.

I went for help one April and the doctor said that I’d better be serious about stopping, because if I didn’t I was unlikely to see another Christmas. Incredulous friends said they couldn’t believe I had a problem as they’d never seen me drunk. The truth was, they’d never seen me sober, I’d just woven drink into the fabric of who I was and I had to unpick it...


Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is a poignant description of what it must be like to be a closet alcoholic highly trained to handle to him/herself in public for survival, and perhaps for denial, and how it gets wound up with identity.

2:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh Adrian, please do tell us about british cuisine. I am longing to visit an english restaurant somewhere. I say, anyone for some jolly good Fish & Chips?
Now, where should I book my flight to? Paris? Brussels? Vienna? Vilnius? Berlin? Rome? Riga? Budapest? Prague? Sotckholm? Oslo? Madrid?,,25609-1730930,00.html

Just how much of a prick can one be? (or shouldn't I have a go as well? A fossilized brit prick).

6:09 AM  

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