Wilma's Life and Alcoholism ... This Is Not An Encouraging Story. Yet.
I got into a habit of drinking a bottle of wine every night. As my wages increased, so did my wine consumption. From every second night to every night. From one bottle to one and a half. Or even one wine and a bottle of beer stolen from my parents. I didn't even like the taste of beer but I wished to prolong the vibe.
I had a compulsion to stay up late even with work in the morning. If there was no beer after my bottle of wine, I would search through the cupboards for anything. Southern Comfort. Port. Despite detesting the smell of whiskey, I once poured a measure and drowned the taste with coke.
I got away with it for quite a while in work. But as a health care professional, I always put clients first and gave my utmost. I never under-performed. I was always praised and commended for my performance.
UNTIL ... my manager got a whiff of alcohol off me. That was brushed off. But a couple of mornings I couldn't face driving to work. For one, I was over the limit and didn't want a driving prohibition. Not to mention the shame of a notice in the local paper.
As my excuses began to wear thinner and the smell of alcohol more often, I managed to incur a couple of warnings, some informal, a couple formal. Yes, I was scared. I didn't want this at all. I was a young, intelligent, attractive woman, with college and lots of interesting life experience/travel behind me.
I wasn't content in any areas of my life at the time and I really dreaded the mundane non-stop daily grind. My life just seemed empty ...
all work. I couldn't see a way out, I saw myself there in 20 years, still unhappy.
My boss was very abusive, luckily we only saw her a few times a year, but when she arrived, she was a negative whirlwind and an abusive tyrant. On the evening she cornered me and cursed and swore at me, damning me and belittling me to the worst,
I'd already had a bad day. "I'm f**cked up of the sight of you" she screeched. I shook with indignancy, I had been her best employee. Perhaps if I hadn't been slightly hungover I might have conducted myself better, but there really was no talking to her at that stage. She was due back again the next day.
That night, something inside me tripped. Yes, I was drinking a bottle of wine and I wanted more. I had a feeling of dread for the next day because SHE would be there. I sank a bottle, then half another.
I knew I was beyond work for the morning, beyond answering to the devil herself, beyond driving. But I couldn't just call in sick. Not AGAIN. Besides it would be so obvious with the boss from hell being there. It had to be something dramatic. Dramatic is what I did.
I swallowed 12 paracetamol on top of my one and a half bottles of wine. I rang the Samaritans and said what I'd done. There were a lot of awkward silences, but the woman did bring home a few points. Nevertheless, I was sure I was helping myself. No, I did not want to die. I wanted some way out.
The ambulance arrived fairly swiftly. I had just managed to grab clean underwear and my toothbrush.