This weekend Mr Lily and I have gone away. Son’s 1 & 3 are away, and son 2 is with his father. We have a (very) rare free weekend and decided to splash out and book a spa hotel for two nights. The hotel is not too far from home but in the countryside and when we arrived I could feel myself relax immediately. A very lovely dinner, followed by a long deep sleep, and I’m already feeling the benefits.

Dinner last night was weird from the non drinking perspective. This is another first for me, a sober holiday (even a mini one). Like most heavy drinkers, a holiday was always one massive excuse to drink – at times that might usually be unacceptable , and more heavily than at home. After all, “I’m on holiday, I deserve it.” I’m not worried that I will relapse this weekend, I’m with Mr Lily and feel very safe;  more I’m worried that I will be agitated / edgy because I’m not drinking, and that will interfere with relaxing. So, last night; the range of non alcoholic options was very uninspiring, so I settled for sparkling water; the food was delicious, and it was lovely to have dinner, prepared by someone else ! , with Mr Lily. I WAS very aware of alcohol around me: of the couple opposite, where he poured more wine for HIMSELF and not for his companion and then ordered port with dessert; of the next table where the woman was heavily pregnant and not drinking; of the waiters taking bottles through the dining room. I was aware of this, but it didn’t disturb me, and at the conclusion I ordered a peppermint tea to our room, which was THE best peppermint tea I have ever had 🙂

As a slight aside I have come across Alan’s “Drink con” -an emotional self rating tool that can be used to gauge your risk of relapse, by assessing feelings against a scale. I think it’s great, I’d be about a 4 right now, and you can find it here . 

Alan’s Drink Con
I feel great this morning physically, and so pleased I didn’t crack.. I was going to say Mr Lily wouldn’t LET me,  but that’s wrong, I hope he would try to dissuade me if I ordered a drink, but he’s smart enough to know it has to be my decision. 

So, this post is a bit meandering, but I think what I really want to share are my fears about the health of our dear friends J and K. As I previously mentioned, J has had a diagnosis of advanced, incurable prostate cancer for about 15 months now. Despite this, and through a variety of unpleasant procedures and treatments, J has been working, and managing OK.  I think this period of relative normality is almost over. J is on a trial drug. It’s early days, but he is less well. The details don’t matter, but the emotional impact does. K, my dearest friend, is struggling. I’m scared.  With my background – and I have worked in cancer hospitals, and cared for many patients through terminal disease, I am all too aware of a variety of horrible  potential scenarios. And however it goes, this will be tough. I’m scared for J , for the pain, but more for the loss of independence, the slow creeping loss of physical capacity, the increasing dependence on others, the physical indignities of a failing body. I’m afraid that this descent will be slow, painful and cruel, devoid of hope, without respite and that emotionally he will be frightened and angry. 

K too, she is in unstable employment, in a stressful, top management position. She is working full time, caring for J, supporting their 16 year old son, managing the home. As J deteriorates, something will have to give. 

We have a holiday booked together, in just under 3 weeks. It’s in the UK, and despite my (at best) shaky faith, I find myself praying hard that j will be well enough to go. It might be the last holiday, it’s in a beautiful place… They so need the break. We just need to get there…

I know I just need to take this “one day at a time”, not look too far ahead, not worry about what has not yet happened. Mr Lily and I need to support each other, and we will do whatever we can to ease the pressure on J and K.


  1. Love drink con Lily. So glad you are having a great weekend. I know exactly what you mean about being aware of what everyone is drinking around you.
    Very best wishes and hopes to you friends.

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  2. It’s sad and hard to watch a friend’s health battle with cancer. I wish them the best and you the strength for yourself and your friends.

    Hope you are enjoying your time away even though the drink selection is tough. =)

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