Yesterday I spoke with my brother J and he will come down to visit next week, he said. It was lovely to hear from him. We had a long chat and I told him how it was here.

On Monday I’ll be going into my fifth week. I’m almost at the halfway point. It hasn’t been a cake walk but it hasn’t been super tough either. I haven’t cracked up yet!

I dreamed about Siyana last night. It was something like I found a load of messages on her phone. These messages were actually chats she had open on different dating websites. She was having about 20 different conversations with 20 different guys. I felt sick when I woke up. The dream was highly ironic, as she suspected me of “seeing someone” after she found messages to a friend of mine on my facebook account. She knew the login and went on to check something for me as we are not allowed mobile phones or computers in here, not even access to them. Anything electrical for that matter. They took my electric shaver from me when I checked in. But back to the dream: all the profiles and pictures she had up on these dating sites were really kinky, she was topless in most of them. She had done some modelling, but these ones were beyond any of the photo shoots she had done. I was sick and worried when I woke up. Obviously this dream was telling me something. Was it saying, well now YOU know how it feels to think you’re partner is cheating! Well I hadn’t been cheating. That pissed me off! Why didn’t she just believe me? There was nothing in the messages to suggest I was having any sexual relations with my friend, who happens to be a girl. I met up with her on a few occasions after work for coffee, as I was having these problems in the relationship through the drinking. It was for support. I don’t know why Siyana could not get that.

We had the group therapy session today with K. Some of the questions on the board were: “Do u now see you lived in a world of fantasy?” “From this are you becoming more interested in following what others say than in following and indulging your own thinking in a world of your own?” These questions were becoming repetitive. For the first one I wrote: “Yes I do. I lied so often and so casually to cover up my drinking all through my life”. And for number 2: “I am open minded to what people say. I understand that I have to stop following my habit of thinking, what comes into my mind straightway needs to be checked and examined.”

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After work in the second meeting, we elaborated on what was covered in the first one. The questioning in the sessions seems to get to some of the guys in the group. I don’t mind it at all. It gives me a chance to honestly talk about myself without having to lie or cover up. I have nothing to prove or nothing to be ashamed of in here. Heal what is sick in me. I’m realising that I need therapy. I should have been going to counselling regularly. I make my mind up to that when I’m back outside. It should be part of my recovery.

Then there was a bit of a fight between two guys in the group. A few words were exchanged, then suddenly one of the guys jumped up and threatened to hit the other guy with a chair. A few of the guys in this group have been in prison and sometimes there is a bit of an aggressive air. But this was over nothing and eventually it calmed down. The reaction of saying I’ll swing a chair at him, was definitely uncalled for. There’s a lot of that hard man macho bullshit goes on in here and it’s stupid.

Later I spoke with Siyana. I could tell she was down. I think she wants to leave Ireland and go back home. I also think she thinks that she can’t trust me anymore. I don’t trust myself, so how can she have trust in me. If I can stay sober I am convinced I can restore that trust. Once I’m not drinking I can be that guy that she loves, the guy she perhaps can’t see in me anymore. I can bring that guy back. I hope I can. I wrote Siyana a letter and went to bed.




Saturday. Was up just before 9 to get breakfast in. I was as quick as a fox getting the porridge and toast as the staff  were taking everything back into the kitchen. After my cleaning duties, I read for a while then rang Siyana before going to mass. She had just woken up. I asked her what she was up to. She wasn’t 100 per cent sure she said. She was going to book her tickets for Bulgaria.

About 2.40, my name was called out on reception. It was my Mam and Dad. We went for tea and a slice of banoffi cake in the restaurant. It was good to see them but I felt anxious at the same time. We talked about my nieces and nephews, how smart one brother’s kids were and how crazy the other one’s were.

“I might just do six weeks in here,” I said. “If I feel strong I will leave.”

“No stay for the twelve. It’s only twelve weeks,” my Mam said.

“Easy for you to say though. You’re not in here.”

Da didn’t say anything as usual. He drummed his fingers on the table and looked around in the absent way he does.

After the tea, my mam bought a few plants in the garden centre. We put them in the car and went into the coffee shop for another 15 mins. My Mam said her brother and sister were over from England and that she’s would be up again in two weeks.

I waved them off in the carpark. That was the difficult part, watching them go. I went into the TV room and watched the rest of the rugby match, Ireland v Scotland in the Six nations. That was the final match and Ireland ended up finishing 3rd.

I rang Siyana again before bed. She was sad that we were separated. But not more than me. It was lonely in here. Tomorrow we get our jobs, which will make the time go quicker.



Head felt very stuffy this morning. Missed the meditation at 8. Couldn’t get out of bed for it. Got up at 8.45, washed, went down for breakfast. After we got the cleaning duties done etc, I went down for tea with two of the lads.We had a nice chat and walked around the grounds together. The guys that are in my group are mostly sound and we can share a laugh, which helps. Me and another guy, Neil, discussed our war stories and there were a lot of similarities. Alcoholism is a madness. It takes over the brain, a bit like a kamikazee pilot at the wheel of a plane.

In the therapy class today, we spoke of choices. We can make choices that can be a gain or a loss to our recovery. True. I suppose it’s also a choice of working out which is more of a gain than a loss.

After dinner when I went to the shop, there was a letter for me. On the back, and I didn’t immediately notice the handwriting, “Siyana Kovacheva, 90 Drumcondra Road Lower”. Inside was a card she made for me, “I’m with ya,” the writing said, “even when I’m not.” There was the imprint of her lipstick kiss on it. It was the only Happy St. Patrick’s Day card I ever received, and it was the sweetest thing ever. And it reminded me that Siyana is the sweetest person I’ve ever met.

Mass was cancelled for some reason, so I just lay around on my bed and read for the afternoon. I’m reading two books at the moment, “The Gum Thief” by Douglas Coupland and “Riven Rock” by TC Boyle. I’ve known about TC Boyle for some time but I’ve never got around to reading him. A lot of critics say he’s one of the best fiction writers alive.

In Riven Rock the story is hard to follow as it jumps around alot – also might be down to the librium – but the writing is breathtaking in places. All over the place actually.

Around 7.30 I made a call to Siyana. She was in the middle of a double shift at work, was planning on going into town later. I suppose being Paddy’s Day and everything tomorrow town would be great craic to go out. She doesn’t drink much anyway. I remembered last year when we went out on Paddy’s Day. It was about one month after we moved in together, and even then she was starting to see my drink problem. Me, her and a friend of mine Brian, all went out together for a few drinks. It started out well but eventually the night turned into a disaster. She met up with some of her friends and we were having drinks, chatting. It was all fairly civil enough until I called a friend of mine and got cocaine. We met more people, a couple of Swedish girls included and we all went back and drank and did coke. As if it wasn’t bad enough when Siyana went to bed I stayed in the living room with the rest of them, she having to get up for work the next day but the music blaring until 4 or 5 anyway. I think that set the tone, laid down some kind of marker for how crazy things would get. When she eventually kicked them all out of the house and my other friend Brian stayed on the couch, the next morning when she went to work, me and Brian went drinking again. The drinking binges however possible became worse.