They come around with startling regularity.
This time last year I was laying in a hospital bed, on the wrong end of a long history of alcohol abuse and with an "heroic" quantity of paracetamol coursing through my digestive and blood system.
It was a classic cry for help scenario, and but for the grace of NHS personnel here go I.
It was also a particularly cold and calulated scenario that I undertook, buying beer and tablets from many venues across town before stuffing 8 or 9 cans of 9% lager and approx. 98 pills down my throat before calmly walking back up the river bank to the bridge and calling an ambulance. I'd already checked that unless I lay prone at the river bank then that amount of pills would not kill me, though perhaps going for a swim at one point was bordering on the *not a very good idea* area of life preservation.
Lasting memories of the day include the despatcher asking me whether I was likely to be violent to the ambulance crew. I laughed and ensured them I would be more likely to pass out. I was highly embarrassed when they switched on the "blues and twos" to ferry me to safety, and I think that was the moment I realised what a complete and utter dick I had been.
Then there was the guy who administered the dose of something that "may make me feel a bit queasy". He lied. I have never vomited like that before or thankfully since, and I never intend to again.
There was the converation with the ward sister (after I had been moved from A&E) who I told that I still had some beer in my bag. I said "I guess you're going to take that off me?" She said, "Not unless you want me to". This spun me out, so when I said "Yes, please" and she asked me if she wanted me to destroy them, I was even more phased. I of course said "Yes", and after a brief stay on the ward I walked out a free man, and so totally detoxicated that far too many people (many who do not know the full story until they read this) commented on how healthy I was looking.
So 12 months on, the "beast" is tamed, totally for quite some time, and now is allowed out with a muzzle.
Over those 12 months I was again embarassed by the concern that people showed and how happy they were that my drinking was in check. I didn't react that well to said concern, I've never been that good at that sort of stuff but I'd like to say thank you to all those who expressed that concern, and all those who made me realise that I was loved so much. It really did help.
I no longer feel the urge to get totally pissed every night, and in some ways I'm glad what I did. I still feel supreme guilt at the NHS resources I wasted, the stress that I put my closest friends under, and the fact that I was so weak in spirit to just do something by myself, but one year on I have plans forming in my mind that don't involve me drinking myself to death, and that can only be a good thing. I hope.
Edit: Thanks to the link from Tom I learnt a new word - parasuicide