Sunday, 24 July 2011


Blogging, like tweeting, should never be attempted while drunk.

Firstly I'd like to thank all the people who made sympathetic or helpful comments online, offline and elsewhere, as well as those who made slightly less sympathetic comments.

My post was not ultra clear, I accept. The key point that I was trying to make was about addiction, rather than about anything else. I've always suspected that I would be susceptible to dependency, which is why, as much as anything, I've lived a much more teetotal life than most people.

The reasons why people get on to that staircase of dependency vary from person to person. But once you're on it, it's fantastically seductive.

Anybody who has known me for a while would be amazed at the amount of alcohol I consume, and equally amazed at how tempted I am to start the day off with another glass of wine, rather than my patented arse-kicking, bowel-emptying coffee. If it's safe to do so, sometimes I do.

I'm still managing to balance the seduction of dependency with my legal responsibilities and the rest of my life, so maybe I'm not really addicted at all, maybe I'm in no position to opine.

But the truth of the matter is that whereas I used to be unable to understand how someone like Winehouse or any other intelligent person with talent and success and other good things in their life could succumb to that destructive spiral and throw it all away, when I look at it now, I can now see how perfectly sensible, desirable and indeed inevitable it seems.

I've looked at the "quick and easy" option, and it's way too hard and scary. This is just one small step at a time, a Fabian process to easing your pain, if you will.

I guess I'm right at the top of the stairs at the moment, so I can be a bit more objective. But when it comes to people who "have everything" and "throw it all away", I've certainly become a lot less judgmental.


Fat Jacques said...

Thanks for this post today.

JuliaM said...


"I'm still managing to balance the seduction of dependency with my legal responsibilities and the rest of my life.."

I suspect you aren't alone in that....

Robert Edwards said...

As I alluded to yesterday, Obo, this can be the price exacted to be possessed of a certain type of intelligence. I had a long talk this morning with a good chum who had peered over the edge and into the abyss and he made the point that Amy W suffered from a whole spectrum of 'disorders'; Bilpolarity, a type of Autism and possibly even OCD. She sought, apparently to mask these by the use of whatever lay to hand. He knew some people involved in her career, so I think knew of what he spoke; he had also been a junkie for years.

I drew the parallel with Warren Zevon who, when he eventually cleaned himself up, was subjected to the full-on, all out fury of his own Obsessive Compulsions which displayed as acute paranoia and all sorts of substitute addictions; sex and prescription painkillers being two.

Once he was taking vodka on his cornflakes he realised that this was not a place he wanted to be.

And it's as simple as that. All else is self-control...

Anonymous said...

You're not alone.

When you think about all the venom and spite we have for the rest of the world, it's not that that makes us drink. Gordon Brown didn't make me drink. I did, and that's because I fail to live up to my own standards.

What's worked for me is to have something that will compel me to forgo that wee bit of harmless fun. Start work early. Never work from home. On days off, do something (like go to Stony Stratford).

You are not a dependent. You are smart enough to manage your intake, be it small or large, although if you've been hard at it, you might consider medical supervision.

You can spunk your problems out into this old sock of a blog anytime you like.

Anonymous said...

Obo - you have put into words, yet again, what goes through my head on a daily basis.

But as long as there are people like you around, the bottom of the staircase is still distant.

Angry Exile said...

I guess I'm right at the top of the stairs at the moment...

Glad to hear it, just watch out for roller skates.

Paul said...

Didn't read this before I commented on your post before this one, but it's very true. Look at all the stunning British actors from the 1970s who could and should have gone onto far better things but were crippled by the bottle. Most are dead, and the ones that survive often look in a terrible state.

Jill said...

It's easier to be a drunk/junkie (or more difficult not to be a drunk/junkie depending on your point view) if you're in entertainment rather than working in the 9-5 spectrum. You need to add this into your general genetic determinism.

Uncle Marvo said...

As someone who has spent most of his life (I was going to say "adult" life, but that would be silly) addicted to fags, booze, women and most animals, I should like to point out that as long as you are the master, it won't do you any harm. Just don't waste too much on pension contributions and you're in a win/win situation.

What I *will* say which may be seen as contentious is that if you're thinking of lobbing off the top of the stairs, could you please consider doing it quietly?

Making "about to jump" noises is all well and good, I do it myself often. usually when I want to say something to someone but haven't got the minerals to do it. People do the whole "in front of the train" thing because they have something to say. They probably don't realise what kind of cunt they are, because not only do they win the disrespect of the whole commuter network, but also the family of the traumatised train driver (I know this, I know someone who was the victim).

In your case, I strongly suspect (as in *know*) that the other party is well aware.

And you can call me a cunt if you like, in fact I'd be really put out if you didn't, but seriously, would it not be better to talk to your friends (of which I am one) more privately? You know, so Ms Other Party doesn't keep getting it rubbed in (FNARR), as it were?

Just saying. I expect a healthy argument. Also beer.

Obnoxio The Clown said...

Did you actually read what I wrote? No.

Anonymous said...

Obo, you're at the top of the stairs ? stay there if you can. If you fall down the stairs the twelve steps(Alcoholics Anonymous)back up are. very painful, if you succed you are more than likely to fall down again. The door to detox is a revolving door - once in, you will return. I speak as an alcoholic who's life has been ruined by my addiction. I have tried all the treatments, became addicted to the detox drug which was librium (chlordiazepoxide) at the time, I became addicted to that,was moved onto valium and the same result. They put me on Antabuse so I couldn't drink, and then gave me antidepressants like seroxat (the side effects of which were so bad I tried to top myself), buspar, MAOI's and citalopram. They gave me Campral and told me it would stop the desire to drink - bollocks - it didn't

The truth is I am weak and don't want to give up drink, it eases the anxieties I cannot live with. So far it cost me my livelihood and it has nearly cost me my life twice, the last time a brain aneurysm when I cracked my head on the way home from the pub,

Yes I am sad at how alcohol has blighted my life but it has made me realise how drink and drugs affect peoples lives - my choice ? perhaps but that devil addiction will never leave me.

Stay safe

Timac said...


You could do what I do. Heavy drinking followed by a bit of abstinence (usually 3 months on/ 1 month off). It's a variation on a friend of mine's 4 solid months off a year. It was really hard to get into the habit of doing this but it works for me. Also, take up pot. Seriously. When you have a spliff in you, the desire to drink more than 3 beers evaporates and it helps in the alcohol-free beer period too.

If you have an addictive/compulsive personality as I do, then you have to find ways of managing it. You're going to be like this for the rest of your life, may as well work with it

Anonymous said...

Obo - stay at the top of those stairs. Cling onto that fucking bannister and don't let go.

I have lived with an alcoholic for years. It is a devastating addiction. A wonderful bright and professional person has turned into an unreliable and self-obsessed cunt in front of my eyes.

Sacked from her job, unable to go more than a few days without a four day binge despite AA and loads of support structures and other treatments. And she hates herself. Marriage over, kids traumatised, what a fucking nightmare.

I love a drink. But when you are in the grip of it - it will fuck you up and all those around you. And it doesn't take long, either.

As other posters have said, stay safe. If you can't copntrol it and it starts to control you - run a fucking mile.