Yesterday I talked on the phone for two and a half hours with my friend, Adam. This from a guy who, at his worst, avoids the phone like crazy, doesn’t answer the door when people knock and keep all the blinds closed. So obviously, he needed to talk.
I met Adam years ago through my then boyfriend (I think). He is from Castlemaine, but lives in Bendigo now, and a more typical Aussie bloke you will not find! Loves a beer. Too much. At present I would say he is an alcoholic. I think he knows this. He talked about drinking a slab then going to hospital for a rehab stint. He has never done a withdrawal program, but his cousin has. Twice.
Being so far away from him is quite painful – especially when he is like this. He lives alone, is separated with two kids, struggling financially. He has just done a 12 months period with no licence after being caught drink drinking. I think he has figured out that we are both going through similar things with anxiety and depression and is reaching out to me. Yesterday we talked about how really, only people who have experienced this way of living (existing) can understand. We have mutual friends who make all the right noises, say all the right things, but really, they don’t get it when we hate doing things out the front of the house in case we see people, people see us or god forbid! – people talk to us. Adam hates mowing the front lawn, I always take my bins out and back in when it’s dark haha I think we had a good 30 minutes on this topic. He loved it when I told him some days I do not leave the house – even if that means calling in sick – as I cannot be seen by people. Yes, some days my self-esteem and confidence is that low. He does the same thing – it made him happy to know he isn’t alone. We then discussed the guilt – the financial guilt – that sets in afterwards and eats you up for not fulfilling your responsibilities. Ahhh the laughs we had talking about the shite we do.
Adam told me how he used to be called Smiley by his workmates. And he really did used to be. He was one of the most happy-go-lucky guys you’d ever meet. Now he is smiley, but it’s just that fake one. That ‘I’m ok’ smile. You know the one. I told him how when I genuinely smile or laugh nowadays, it feels weird, foreign. I am not used to it. I am used to fake and forced smiles and laughs. How fucking sad is that?! There was another good 30 minutes worth of discussion and reflection.
It was a devastating, yet therapeutic phone call. He realised he is not alone in this shit. I heard from him how bad things are/have been/could be. We discussed some things that has been worrying him. He is trying to keep his house, but told not to show up for work for two weeks as there is none! His ex is a pig bitch from hell who makes every second of contact between him and his kids as painful and difficult as possible. He fights with his Dad, who has remarried since his mum died suddenly a few years back. It’s all too much. It’s not fair. Why do good people suffer this?
He also mentioned he had been drinking since 8am.
I wish I was closer. I like to think I could help more.