A Lonely Man

brae-knocknareaI was twenty one years old and was married for just under a year but on reflection I got married to get out of the family home. My father was a hard working man but was what I now know to be a functioning alcoholic and on many occasions he was very violent towards my mum, brothers and sisters.

My wife was a lovely girl but she had no idea how damaged I was. Neither did I but by this time I had developed a major problem with alcohol and on a few occasions I smoked dope but thankfully the drug scene was not for me. Yet.

Alcohol became the most important thing in my life at that time and I would have said it was insane. I was not addicted to alcohol, my problem was I did not know what addiction was  and how powerful it was. It had consumed my life at such an early age.

I thought I was a good husband, son, brother and uncle but I did not know that darkness was creeping up on me. I was getting depressed and I did not identify this emotion and this was also part of my problem, I could not identify most emotions other that anger, self-pity and fear.

I learned when it was too late that I was not as good a husband as I thought I was. How could I be? My mentor was an alcoholic who was off his head with anger, resentment and jealousy most of the time. That was my father and this is what I was brought up with. This is what I knew. My mother did not deserve this way of life and she never drank herself. She came from a good family and worked hard for her children but addiction does not discriminate it does not care who it hurts – it is the great taker and it takes everything from you.

My marriage ended after one year not because my wife left but because I made her leave. She was interfering in my drinking because I could not drink the way I wanted to. I wanted to be married but have the single life at the same time. I was not a womaniser but alcohol was a better friend than my wife. Now that’s how powerful addiction is and you may say this was cruel, and you may be right, but the pain I was suffering – emotional pain that I could not understand or control was immense. Agony, pure agony. I loved this girl but my lifestyle was tearing us apart.

After she went back to her parents home I thought this is the life and I had no one to dictate to me how I lived and how I behaved. I was ‘free’ but this was an illusion that alcohol had created in my mind. I could party when I wanted, do what I wanted and had no one to answer to.

After six to eight weeks of this freedom I found myself at parties where there could be up to fifty people and plenty music and drink. Yet I was very lonely, insecure and the darkness was coming in closer and closer. I contacted my wife to see if she would come back but she refused and my future just got even darker. Here we go – another emotion on top of all the others – FAILURE.

This sense of failure never just arrived with the failure of my marriage because there were countless other situations in my past where I made the wrong decisions. I thought I was in control but I lost control because I did not know how to share a problem with another human being. It was not the “manly” thing to do to admit you had problems especially within your marriage.

I could see no way out and I was an emotional cripple but did not know it. The more I thought about my position the more I drank and the more I drank the more depressed I became. The darkness was smothering me now and I just wanted the pain to go away. I was causing too many problems all around me, my family and friends and I was ashamed of myself. I could not see life getting any better and didn’t know who could I turn to or who would listen.

Suicide was not on my mind that day. I was out with the boys at the pub having a good time and, as the song says hiding behind the smile and painting the town, but yes this clown was crying all the while. Deep sadness engulfed me when I got home to my mother’s house because she did not deserve another maniac in her life. She deserved some peace in life and at a moments notice the decision was made in my head to end it all. Before I knew what was happening I had swallowed all my mother’s medication of around one hundred plus tablets.

I woke up some two days later in the local hospital with both my parents at the bedside. Seemingly they got sixty two whole tablets out of my body and they don’t know how many dissolved as I had cleaned the cupboard out of all her medication.

I had damaged some organs in my body with the amount of medication I took and it would be some time before I would mend properly. They said I was a lucky man to be still alive.

I knew moments after I swallowed all the pills that I did not want to die but I had taken so much drink that there was no turning back. I was very weak and had no strength left in me and as it turned out my father or brother found me and called an ambulance. This was my third and last attempt at suicide.

I have learned that there is nothing or no-one in this world worth me taking my own life, as it is not mine to take, and only when I got to the point of no return did this realisation become clear to me. I thank the good Lord above for allowing me time to understand myself and hopefully be able to help someone else avoid this type of insanity.

I eventually stopped drinking through AA and it was there where I learned I was not alone. The marriage ended after that and I was deeply saddened because she did not deserve someone like me and I did not set out to hurt anyone in this life.

All I can say is that the meaning of the word ‘love’ was not the type of education I learned in my home when we were growing up. Survival was an instinct that became very strong in me yet I tried to end it all because I could not cope with the emotional pain in my life. Or so I thought.

No matter what comes your way financially, emotionally, physically, spiritually, or mentally you will be able to cope. Just reach out for help and all the numbers are in your local directory in all countries. Pick up the phone because you do not have to go down the road I walked. Suicide may be on your mind but you are not responsible for your thoughts. However you are responsible for your actions so WALK TALL.

Up-Date July 2016

I am still sober, clean and gambling free for a number of years now, suicide has never crossed my mind since I got recovery, I was told in the early days deal with the addiction and you will effectively deal with the depression and suicidal thoughts, I’ve got to say they were correct.

You can overcome the Darkness, and as sure as fate the light does set you free.