Thursday 18 January 2018

National denial of alcohol abuse

Sir — I spent last weekend in a treatment centre for depression and addictions, of which gambling, alcohol and drugs have all been issues for me. I had the opportunity to read the Sunday Independent, which was full of stories about the revelations surrounding Gerry Ryan’s death.

I read most of the articles, and was particularly taken by one written by Declan Lynch referring to our constant denial as a nation of our need and acceptance of alcohol and all the trouble it brings on us. He spoke of alcohol in such a way that only us Paddys (the current laughing stock of the world no less) can read that article,and think no more about it. Well, not me. It had a profound affect on me, and I wanted to add to Mr Lynch’s attempt to highlight the booze obsession in this country, indeed in the Irish worldwide.

Don’t get me wrong, I love the drink. I love it too much, and I am not ashamed to admit it. I am in treatment because I am so depressed and anxietyriddled that I cannot stand myself in any way. I escape by gambling, drinking, and smoking marijuana, with no self control. I have been a cocaine addict in the past, and I am done with feeling that way, even though it took me a long time to stand up and say it.

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