When I was drinking it was simply terrible.
I was playing the drums with a group of mates and a bottle of port was passed around. I would have been about 16 years old and still at high school. A girl who had shown interest and I was interested in her came around to hear our music (such as it was). I went up to her and talked for a bit and then told her I was drinking. She shrugged her shoulders as if to say ‘So what?’ and walked off. I was not bothered and took another swig at the bottle.
When I look back that was a sign of things to come. On that occasion I distinctly preferred drinking to a relationship with a girl.
The next time I drank I had a blackout. The same mates and we were at a beach party. I remember the early part of the night, then nothing until I found myself vomiting several hours later.
A family party next saw me being the life of the party. Trouble is I don’t remember anything for several hours. I came to as we were leaving and everyone was giving me compliments and asking me not to leave. Mum and Dad bundled me into the car and I wanted to go back.
After awhile Dad said “Fred, you drink too much and it has the wrong affect on you.” Well, I dismissed that as coming from an old man who no longer knew how to enjoy himself – the generation gap.
What I didn’t know was that his father was probably an alcoholic and he really did know what he was talking about. Dad’s words were to be a prophesy of my life story for the next 17 years. I drank too much and it had the wrong affect on me.