First Time Out

"You're going to have to take the plunge sometime, you know. You can't spend the rest of your life living as a recluse."

"But how..." even his stammer failed Scott know. He started his shaking. "Look at me! I'm worse now, than ever I was when I was drinking. How the hell..." The sound of his raised voice caused alarm outside as the door to the surgery opened, but Dr. Patheart reassured his assistant that everything was under control.

"Scott, I know how you feel, I really do. Dozens of others have gone through the same thing. They all felt like you and they all came through. If you want to know the truth, I wouldn't have recommended you go, had you reacted any differently. It's only because you know you're weak, that you can get through this. Anyone who felt strong enough, to face this alone, would more than likely fall flat on his face."

Scott scared at him in disbelief. He did so want to be strong. He did want to prove to the doctor that all his trouble had not been in vain. But he'd only been dry for two months. Surely it was far too soon to go to a party.

"Now let's go over the procedure, once more. The one thing you must not do is drink anything, however small an amount it is and however harmless it may seem. Now, you've already told me Richard will be at the party. He knows all about your problem and he knows you're not to drink under any circumstances. Stick close to him. He can help you if temptation strikes. You also have my phone number, should you need it. Now go to the party and have a good time. There's nothing that helps an alcoholic more than realising he can enjoy himself without alcohol."

There were very few people present when he arrived at the party. He planted himself in the farthest corner from the bar from where he had an excellent view of those arriving. One or two people were vaguely familiar. He'd met them at various managerial functions during his time in Sheffield. 30 minutes later Richard had still not arrived. He began to grow uneasy. A waiter came his way with a tray of drinks.

"I'm waiting for a friend," he stuttered. Why had he said that? Why hadn't he just said no? And where was Richard? How on earth could he survive without Richard?"

He needed a drink, and quickly. He took out his packet of Fisherman's Friends extra strong and within seconds was spluttering away.

"Some water," he croaked to the lady next to him who was tucking away into a more than oversize piece of cream cake as if she intended to massacre it. She returned a few minutes later carrying a pint size glass of water.

"They don't come any bigger than this, handsome. Where you from anyway. Haven't seen you around. Not that I've been around myself these last few months. Some problems with the old line. To be quite honest, more than just a few problems. Right as rain now though. Never have thought that I'd weighed well over 120 kilos just six weeks ago, now would you. But I did. Had to have treatment for it and everything. Doc worked wonders, he did. Fantastic. Mind you, he didn't want me to come here tonight. Thought I wasn't ready for it, all this food and like. But I told him I could manage anything after all he did for me."

Scott stared at her as she bubbled away. From the outside he saw an attractive, self-assured woman who knew what she wanted. Her eyes, however, told another message. They had "vulnerable" written all over them. He took a deep breath and interrupting her in full flow he exclaimed:

"Listen, I'm an alcoholic and I need help. I came here tonight almost against my better judgment. My best friend who was supposed to keep an eye on me, has failed to turn up. I need your help. And I suspect you need mine. How about it?"


I have recognized the links before between these two addictions. I am guilty of the food one.

13 September 2009 at 06:33  

Sorry it took a while for me to comment. I liked how this played out. I could hear the pleading in his voice when he asked her for help. Nice job.

16 September 2009 at 01:47  

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