Ian Wilding had no idea what lay ahead of him when he first experienced alcohol. To Ian, discovering alcohol was like a hippie discovering L.S.D. in the 60’s where everything made sense and the troubled world around them fitted together neatly like a jigsaw puzzle.
What Ian didn’t realise was that the fact that his father was an alcoholic put him at a higher risk of becoming an alcoholic himself. Children of alcoholics are about four times more likely than the general population to develop alcohol problems. Children of alcoholics also have a higher risk for many other behavioral and emotional problems. Ian thought that he would never end up like his father. Dead at the age of 45 from liver disease.
When Ian began to drink he was the life of the party….and remained so for many years. It wasn’t until his late 20’s that the pressures of his work as a lawyer saw Ian begin to drink to relax. By this time he was married but his drinking wasn’t an issue so his wife paid no attention to it. Then Ian began drinking alone. He had seen his father do it but was unaware that this was a big warning sign of impending alcoholism.
As Ian continued to drink to relax he found himself drinking before social events. His tolerance to alcohol was also increasing. His wife began to notice his increasing dependence on alcohol and voiced her concerns. Ian said that he would stop. Ian stopped drinking for three days until he began shaking and sweating profusely. He went to the local liquor store and bought a hip flask of vodka. It relieved his unpleasant symptoms immediately and he felt on top off the world again.
He took to sneaking hip flasks of vodka and having drinks. His tolerance soon increased again and a hip flasks became bottles of vodka. He reached a point where he had six bottles of vodka hidden around the house and garden. He also had a bottle of vodka in his drawer at work. Ian was drinking a bottle of vodka a day and nobody suspected a thing.
It wasn’t until Ian was arrested for exceeding the legal limit that his drinking was found out. His reading was sky high. The only way that he managed to stay out of jail was to complete a four month rehab programme. Ian had no option.
He attended the programme and was a model client. All the while, however, he couldn’t wait to complete the course in order to have another drink. He thought that he could handle it.
The day after completing the programme, Ian was drinking again. Three months later he was apprehended again for exceeding the legal limit. This time he was going to prison. He was sentenced to three months imprisonment which he duly served out. Upon his release his wife was ever wary of any drinking that he may be partaking in. Ian was drinking again. His wife found a half empty bottle of vodka hidden in a wormwood bush in the garden and threw Ian out. In a fit of despair, Ian quit his job. In reality, all he wanted to do was drink.
Ian bed-hopped at friends houses for two weeks until he found a tiny bedsit overlooking the local docks to live in.
Today Ian is on unemployment benefits. He spends his time on the veranda of his bedsit watching the cargo boats come and go in the dock area. He has no intention of quitting drinking. He has nothing left to lose….except his life.
It took just one drink.