When going through withdrawal (Delirium Tremens or the DTs), which happened on a daily basis for me during my heaviest drinking period, I found it immensely helpful to have something to distract me from them. In my case that was Little House on the Prairie or just about anything on TV. I think it was a combination of the movement and the sounds on TV, perhaps the story line, that worked best as the distraction.
I find this odd, really, because I was extremely overwhelmed by real life noise and commotion. I could handle TV, but not reality. Go figure. I simply couldn’t endure much of anything if I hadn’t had a lot of alcohol. Real life activities like going to the grocery store grated on my psyche and nerves like a cement drill. Too much incoming. But once I had about a bottle and a half of wine in my tummy, I could muster the strength and nerve to get my business done, which was usually to go back to the store for more wine.
Another thing I found sort of curious about the DTs was that they didn’t ever hit me until I’d been awake for about an hour. This gave me time first thing in the morning to take care of necessities: shower, walk the dog, find my wine from the previous night, and return any calls I’d ignored the day before. The psychological relief of just seeing a couple of full double bottles of wine made me feel better. I’d tell myself that I’d open one just as soon as I showered and dressed, because Lord forbid I seize and die in my jammies with unkempt hair. I had to be put together every day and look like I gave half a shit about my appearance.
Today, I think I’m relieved that my memory doesn’t serve so well anymore. I remember plenty – enough to write another book – but I’m pretty sure the things I don’t remember are best off forgotten. The new memories I’m creating in my sobriety are going down in journals or right here where I can find them. I’m taking photos, talking with family, creating new relationships and taking care of this aging body of mine. Yeah – life’s a pretty amazing thing when my brain isn’t saturated with alcohol.