Sunday, 24 January 2016

Taking to Drink

Yesterday I was doing things the wrong way round and clearing out a cupboard in father's room at the back which hasn't been touched since July 2014.  The clothes were easy to deal with, and I'll shift the tools or dispose of them, but I wanted to cry when I found the ten empty whisky bottles hidden in the corner.

Father drank a lot.  Drinking took over his life.  He didn't miss a day of drink.  He drank bottle after bottle of whisky, litres of the stuff.  He dabbled occasionally with brandy, rum or baileys and while he normally waited until after lunch to start, all bets were off on holiday or at Christmas.  A few years ago there was a good deal at Asda and I bought literally dozens of bottles of whisky while it was on - and they only lasted a couple of months.  Even when he was no longer physically able to drink things that had not been thickened, he was still controlled by alcohol and insisted we bought bottles of wine for the nurses at the care home every week.

I neatly put the bottles from the cupboard in a carrier bag when really I wanted to shout and cry and swear.  A drink in itself isn't a bad thing.  A few glasses now and again isn't a bad thing.  I quite like an occasional drink.  And father was never a nasty drunk.  He smiled, talked some rubbish and went to sleep.  But those bottles, and all the other bottles, stole my father.

July 2014 father was taken into hospital because he suddenly couldn't walk.  That night he was kept in and had another attack.  Comparing the two scans from when he was admitted and the attack while he was there the hospital suggested that he had had a seizure.  He was a lot worse.  He could no longer move his right side.  The doctors talked of areas of brain damage.  When they heard how much he drank, they thought that would explain a lot.  He died six months ago now and I am still lost.

My father was always active and energetic with such a young attitude to life.  I honestly believe it was all the drink that took him.  Not the occasional whisky, not the brandy in the mid morning coffee, not the baileys to keep the cold out, not the rum, not the schnapps, not the local artisan cider or the local artisan beer that it would be shame not to try.  It was the relentless over consumption.  If he had been a moderate drinker I believe he would still be here.

I've got a space for some of the craft stuff, now, and I can start moving stuff there,  It's all the wrong way round, but at least things are getting cleared.

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