in Stroud I find myself in a minority, which has nothing to do with
my fanatical support of Arsenal or my love of yiddish folk music.
No, I am one of the few people who does not drink alcohol, not even
on the most special of occasions.
I am one of those grateful recovering alcoholics.
It has always struck me as odd that now that I no longer indulge
I am, in the eyes of many, still an alcoholic.
There are a couple of ways to look at this apparent paradox.
I tend to look at alcoholism as a physical, spiritual and emotional
allergy to the stuff. It was after more than twenty years of relentless
and painful self-abuse, that finally here in Stroud I have found
a bit of peace in my life.
all very difficult to explain. It's a bit like I had a drink somewhere
in my teens and then came round some two decades later in a strange
rural town wondering if it had all been a terrible nightmare and
"could I get on with my A levels now please!".
I grew up in London and that was where I finished my drinking. About
a year ago It was suggested to me that I take myself away for a
few months to a place where I had no connections, basically somewhere
I could make a fresh start without the distraction or temptation
of old haunts.
The landscape has changed. My life here in Gloucestershire is simple
for now. It is an amazingly beautiful county in which to come round.
When the senses have shut down for so long, walking along the canal
at dawn or hurtling across Minchinhampton Common on my bike works
wonders on the will to live.
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