Goodbye, Mr. Wonderful: Alcoholism, Addiction and Early Recovery

Goodbye, Mr. Wonderful: Alcoholism, Addiction and Early Recovery

Goodbye, Mr. Wonderful: Alcoholism, Addiction and Early Recovery

Goodbye, Mr. Wonderful: Alcoholism, Addiction and Early Recovery

Synopsis

"Alcohol thought Chris McCully was Mr. Wonderful. When Chris was drinking, he sometimes thought so too - Mr. Generous, Mr. Witty and Charming, Mr. Champagne. But there are other labels - 'chronic alcoholic' (all over the medical notes): 'high risk offender' (in the court record). Goodbye, Mr. Wonderful gives a detailed account of the early stages of recovery from alcoholism. From his admittance into hospital to his life as a writer in the Netherlands, McCully offers a detailed and often analytical reflection on what it feels like to be a recovering alcoholic. There is no cure for alcoholism, but there is daily management, and there is hope. This is a book for anyone who wishes to understand, or wishes that someone else could understand, the process of healing from addiction." Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Excerpt

1. 11 December 1999

I don’t know whether you want the good news or the bad news. The good news is that there’s a rehabilitation clinic that specializes in people whose lives have been invaded. The guest – alcohol, booze, hooch to his American relations – was of course welcome at first. Soon he began vomiting on the curtains, breaking the chairs, seducing and insulting the friends who came less and less often to dinner, and ended by dry-retching into the kitchen sink, onto the carpet, and over the unpaid bills. The bad news is that the same clinic has no bar tariff, and the wine waiters have gone on strike. Permanently.

I’ll spare you the shame, the guilt, the remorse, although like most alcoholics I am expert in virtually nothing but shame, guilt, remorse. What I won’t spare you, and can’t spare myself, is the fear. This is a treatment programme. Today, an endless Sunday of post-withdrawal symptoms – shakings, agitation, nameless fears, and a doughnut that was difficult to keep down – today is my second day. I’ve been diagnosed, admitted, prodded and poked by registrars with kind hands and knowing eyes. I’ve been watched every half hour, even through the night, for the typical symptoms of the drunk in withdrawal, which include black-outs, hallucinations, uncontrollable shakings of hands and body, and clean . . .

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