Don Paterson’s poem ‘Mercies’

She might have had months left of her dog-years,
but to be who? She’d grown light as a nest
and spent the whole day under her long ears
listening to the bad radio in her breast.
On the steel bench, knowing what was taking shape
she tried and tried to stand, as if to sign
that she was still of use, and should escape
our selection. [Read the full poem on the Guardian website here >>>]

Marian Keyes on her alcoholism

From How To Fail With Elizabeth Day podcast > https://podcasts.apple.com/ie/podcast/s7-ep6-how-to-fail-marian-keyes/id1407451189?i=1000464666298

Alcohol had been a great friend to me from early teens, and it just became a better and a better friend… Everything was getting worse… My drinking moved from a worry to obviously alcoholic. I felt very depressed and I felt very hopeless, and I was so grateful to alcohol, because I thought, my god, this is helping me, because I was so unhappy, and how would I manage if this was taken from me?

I woke up one Monday morning and I was due to go to work. The depression that goes with heavy drinking is hardly a surprise considering that alcohol is a powerful depressant. I woke up and I thought I cannot go on like this…

Alcoholics are addicts who decide to get help. They often talk about a kind of jumping off point, where you realise you CANNOT CARRY ON as you ARE. But the idea of living without the … alcohol … Well I was in this paralysed, powerless, terrified state; I was on anti-depressants and I was on sleeping tablets; and I had took them all. And I don’t think I wanted to die, I wanted help. I wanted somebody to come along and helicopter me out of it… But by trying to kill myself, no matter how half-hearted it was, it kind of forced me into a point where I could no longer pretend that I was okay. And that got me into a rehab place. But even when I was going in there, I thought I was really DEPRESSED… I thought whatever was wrong with me … I needed to have therapy and some sort of trauma would be identified and then it could be sort of plucked out of me, and then I’d be fine and then I could go back and I’d be a normal person who could manage life and I could drink normally. Jesus, I was delusional, but that is part of the whole illness.

I was just very lucky that I went there and very quickly it dawned on me:

The only thing that’s wrong with me is that I’m an alcoholic.

And the only way I’ll ever be okay is if I stop.

And it was a clear revelation. But also I was heartbroken because this had been my best friend, it was the LOVE OF MY LIFE, it took away my pain, it took away my fear, it took away my sorrow and my heartbreak at my empty life and at my loneliness. The thought of being without it … I grieved it, like the way you would grieve a lover or a person who died. It’s a very powerful relationship, addiction, it’s incredibly enmeshed… and passionate… It’s like having a dysfunctional relationship with an abusive person. I knew what I had to do. And very quickly I became hopeful. My feelings changed really quickly. I was lucky, I think a lot of people who don’t get that immediate lift might relapse. But just because I wasn’t pouring this powerful chemical into my any longer, my mood changed. I could see the wonder of the world, which had seemed like it was misty and ashy and shrouded in grey for so long. And I had hope that I could have a life which was more like the lives other normal people had.

It’s such a hopeless condition, addiction – that feeling that every door is locked, that you’re trapped in this underground room. It is POSSIBLE to recover. It is POSSIBLE. And really and truly for me it was my waking thought, it was all about how I could drink, where I would get it, how I got the money for it, it was everything to me. I can be out now, I can go to parties, I can be at dinner with people, people can drink. I am almost literally blind to alcohol. The freedom I’ve been given, when I was such a prisoner. And now I don’t care if I accidentally smell someone else’s wine – I feel, oh my god! no get it away from me! It’s like horrible stuff.

All it made me feel was miserable for years and years.

Alcohol as a factor in unpremeditated, ‘random’ violence

Via RTÉ Radio 1 …

Lives ‘ripped apart’ after father killed in assault

“The family of a man who was killed after he tried to intervene in a “domestic” dispute between another man and his partner have said they cannot forget or forgive his killer.

Jonathan Dargan, 49, punched Patrick Mullally in the face at around 4am on Harold’s Cross Road, Dublin, on 6 March 2016

His defence counsel said alcohol was a factor, and that he had drank cocktails and driven drunk that night.

Mr Mullally, 56, had been out celebrating his retirement with family and friends when a cyclist told him he had seen a man acting aggressively towards a woman on Harold’s Cross Road. READ HERE >>>

Paul Reynolds, Crime Correspondent, discusses the case >>>

Dorothy Molloy’s poem ‘Gethsemane Day’ about her liver cancer

“They’ve taken my liver down to the lab,
left the rest of me here on the bed;
the blood I am sweating rubs off on the sheet,
but I’m still holding on to my head.


What cocktail is Daddy preparing for me?
What ferments in pathology’s sink?
Tonight they will tell me,
will proffer the cup, and, like it or not, I must drink.”

Taken from the Irish Times review of the collected, The Poems of Dorothy Molly (Faber)

New Life – A Short Story By Jacqui Gregory

From Soberista’s website, a story about an alcoholic grandmother minding her daughter’s child: “They had never really talked about Eleanor’s penchant for gin, but the arrival of her first grandchild had put it on the unwritten agenda.” > https://soberistas.com/news/lifestyle/new-life-a-short-story-by-jacqui-gregory

Questions arose … Would she be able to stay awake for a full day while in charge of the baby?  Would she have the energy and patience to cope? Was she a daytime drinker? How bad was her hangover from the half bottle or so that she downed last night? Maybe she was still drunk? What would happen if she blacked out when the baby needed her? Could there be some kind of terrifying accident?