I was off sick on Tuesday. I didn't have a fever, a bug or a biffy water infection. I was depressed. Mentally unwell, if you will.
I'm aware to some that seems ridiculous, overly dramatic, attention seeking, whatever. It's how I felt, and hauling myself out of bed and dragging my sorry arse to work that day seemed impossible. There are several contributing factors to how I arrived in this desperate state, some of which I don't even want to talk about here. These pages are supposed to be candid, open and honest, warts and all. But if I had to rake over some of that shit again now I might not make it to the bottom of the page.
And nor would you.
So let's stick to what we can control, shall we? Booze. On Tuesday morning I had just come off the back of a weekend in Bristol during which I drank far too much. Lager and red wine flowed generously for three consecutive nights, the last of these being Sunday when Emma and I were the last ones left and went for a meal at La Tasca. It is little wonder that my recent problems felt immeasurably magnified. It is now Thursday, and nothing has changed other than the fact that I have not had any more alcohol. While I would stop short of suggesting that I am ready to dance the lambada bollock naked on top of the Liver building, it would be wrong also to deny that I feel better.
I know this because something happened at work yesterday which, if I had come back to it on Tuesday, would have pushed me over the edge. As it was it wasn't pretty and it did affect me, but not nearly as much as it might have done had it taken place a day earlier. Basically I screwed up, not for the first (nor probably last) time. I apologised but there was obvious disappointment all round. Yet I handled it reasonably well, managing at least to avoid plunging into mental meltdown. Progress, considering the hopelessness of Tuesday morning.
So I've decided to stop drinking. Completely. That is altogther. The first test of my ability or otherwise to do this will come tomorrow (Friday). Liverpool John Moores University are the Revolution COW (Company Of The Week, clever eh? No) and as such we are all eligible for 2 for 1 deals on food and drink up until 8.00pm. Now the old me, or me as I am otherwise known to myself, would have seen this as a wonderful opportunity to get twice as lashed for half the price. Instead I am viewing it only as an opportunity to prove to an unsuspecting work force that I am capable of acting sensibly and soberly on a Friday night.
And I will do it. I have never felt motivated to stop drinking, no matter what ridiculous scrapes I have got myself into in the past. I've always been rescued by my delusion and my sense of 'ooh it'll all blow over, is it Friday yet?'. No more. Now I have the motiviation that has always been missing. My recent malaise has finally taught me that the consequences of drinking myself into a stupor are far too grave. That it has taken me 17 years to realise this is a moot point. It is better late than never, is it not?
One can only hope.