You’ve only slept for 4 hours.  It’s not a deep sleep, you are not even sure when you fell asleep.  There’s no feeling of being refreshed, the tiredness having been taken away.  It is a necessity, sometimes your body just gives up.  If you could stay awake forever you would do it. Sleep means you’re not drinking.  You have no idea what time it is,it is dark outside but it could be early evening or early morning, you don’t really care but if it is the middle of the night the shop won’t be open,you know you won’t sleep again so a long night could be in store.

You grasp for the empty bottle next to the sofa to see if there’s anything left, nothing. You look at the clock, it says 2am.  Five hours until you can go to the shop, why the fuck did you move out to this village.  If you were still in London it wouldn’t be a problem.  How are you going to pass these five hours?  You don’t feel too bad yet, but you know within in the next hour you will be ill, by seven will you be able to even make it to the shop? You will, you always do.

There’s a feint feeling of hunger, perhaps you should eat now before you’re too ill to even think about food.  You might even be able to keep it down.  If you eat though you have to cook and the dizziness and sense of dread is slowly starting to descend on you.  Can you even make something? If you stand up for too long you might collapse.  You look back at the clock and realise that only 5 minutes have passed.  5 minutes and you’re already feeling this sick.

You pickup the empty bottle of cheap vodka and try and drink the last drop.  Not the drop that most people think about, they mean a drink, you want the literal last drop, it won’t do anything but there’s a comfort in having the taste in your mouth.

Turning the TV on to see if there’s anything that can keep your mind occupied for five hours.  There won’t be, there never is but you have to try.  Every sound from the TV is amplified, it goes right through your skull, making you flinch.  The colours are distorted, anyone moving too quickly makes you dizzy and nauseous, if you keep it on this channel it’s going to kill you.  In your mind it will kill you, you are about to die because you can’t get what you need and these people on the TV are trying to kill you too.

You are starting to feel the coldness on your back, small shivers down your spine. Taking the blanket to get warm.  After two minutes with the blanket you’re too hot. It needs to go.  Something moves behind you.  You turn quickly too the remains of a shadow move across the wall.  Panic descends, is there someone else here?  A car starts up outside and panic turns into dread.  The noise of the car piercing your soul.  How can you possibly survive another four and a half hours of this?

A sudden thirst makes you want to get up to get some water, but you consider that dangerous, there’s no way you have the energy to do that.  You haven’t drank water for days, you’re skin looks tanned.  Yesterday you were admiring it, now it dawns on you that it’s because you’re blood pressure is sky high.  You have to drink something, more than anything though you need sugar.  In your intermittent sleeps you dream about being in a sweet shop and eating hundreds and hundreds of cola bottles.

A glass of sugary water, it is all you can come up with.  It is becoming difficult to pick up the glass, your hands won’t stop shaking and you’re coordination is gone.  Try the television again, maybe there is something on this time. You flick through the channels.  Nothing holds your attention, you can’t concentrate, it is too difficult.  There’s movement again behind you.  You jump, shivers going through your whole body, your scalp feeling as though there is electricity going through it.

Now the sickness begins to take hold.  You can feel the pain in your stomach becoming worse, you know you will vomit but want to hold it off as long as possible.  Once it starts you won’t be able to stop it.  The thing that is making you sick is what will stop you getting sick.  Only another few hours.  The birds are starting to sing.

Why have you done this to yourself?  Perhaps this time you won’t go to the shop,you’ll ride it out, it only takes 5 days and the worst will be over in 2. Then you can get help, sort yourself out, start living like a normal person does.  It isn’t that bad this time either, you’re sick but not that sick.

Then it hits you full force, dread, fear, you’re terrified, if you don’t go to the shop you’ll die.  Your body won’t make it.  The sickness has started. Retching even though there is nothing to throw up.  There’s someone or something watching you.  You feel light touches on your skin but can’t see anything or anybody.  You move away from the bowl you used for your sick and crawl into a corner.  Curled up, you just want them to leave you alone.  You stay there scared, you don’t want to move.  It slowly gets bright and you dare to get back up and stagger over to the sofa.

If you leave at 6.40 you’ll get there for 7.  Will you be able to make it you ask yourself again?  What other choice do you have but to try.  It’s a cold morning as you step outside but you are starting to burn up.  The jacket you have on is too warm.  You take it off, people looking at you,wearing a t-shirt in the middle of winter.  Walking is difficult, your motor skills are shot to pieces, it feels as though you’re body is being pulled in all different directions.

The shop is open, you head straight for the cheap stuff, it’ll sort you out quickly. The lady at the counter looks at you with pity as you count out the small change you have.  She wonders how does anyone get to that stage?  You don’t care, the sickness will soon be gone.  She will be irrelevant until tomorrow.  There is more of a spring in your step as you head back. You have what you need, you’re not going to die.  This bottle will save your life.

Placing the bottle on the small coffee table you sit back.  Leave it for another half an hour, I can take the sickness for another little while.  It just makes the first one so much better.

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