So, on the 30th December I hopped in my car and paid a visit to my ex editor in his new abode in Hove (Brighton). I was there to deliver a chair I had repaired for him and I took my drill down to bang a few holes in his walls to secure a bookcase and a mirror. The plan was then to head over to Hastings and meet up with someone there for a drink, then go to a party on New year’s day.
(Pictures here from Hastings)

On the 30th I drank red wine, maybe a bottle or more – as had been my custom in the past when visiting down there. I didn’t feel great drinking it and then the next morning I woke with panic attacks and anxiety. I persevered and the next day in Hastings I just stuck to a couple of beers. Almost from the first sip the anxiety kicked in. I felt sick with it. Returning to the flat early I just stayed in my room. Mediation brought me out of that but I felt incredibly tired and went to bed at 10.

This morning, waking with panic attacks again, I packed up early and said my goodbyes – I simply could not face that party.

Back here a meditation raised me out of it a bit and I went shopping. Next, after eating something, a second meditation left me incredibly weary and miserable, but I have since shoved myself up out of that.
I begin to wonder now if my years of heavy drinking are the biggest problem, while the grief and accompanying shitstorm just knocked the scab off that wound. If you drink a lot you lose your natural mechanisms for coping with stress. Without alcohol you cannot cope and along comes the depression, anxiety and panic attacks. I of course ended up in a cleft stick because the alcohol also had the effect of making me more depressed, so I couldn’t use it as an out.

Anyway, after this wake-up call I have my New Year’s resolutions. No more alcohol. Frankly I’m getting frightened of what it does to me now. I’m also starting – today – an eight week mindfulness course. These resolutions sit on top of my ones for exercise, learning Greek and writing. I’m tired of this shit and will work every waking moment to beat it.
Happy-fucking-New Year.     

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