My heart ♥ is in your hands

I lie awake in the debths of night

A pain as raw as the pain I felt when I gave birth to you

Fills my body

My heart ♥ a weight so heavy in my chest

My heart ♥ as strong as a lions

Or as delicate as butterfly wings

I endure the pain

I have no choice

There is no pain relief that will take this pain away

I wait

You can continue to drink your alcohol, your pain relief, until the day

You break my fragile as a butterfly wings heart ♥

Or you can reach out to the many hands outstretched to you

And make my heart ♥ whole and strong again

My heart ♥ is in your hands

If only you knew

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I can’t Believe it, he is still sober

I started writing this two weeks ago, when Faith was sober, I never got round to publishing it. Since then things have changed again. But I will leave my first few hopeful paragraphs………..

What’s this? What’s happening?

I’ve  got used to calling Faith only to hear the drunken voice that I know only too well. Even when he’s sober I ready myself when I call him, to hear his drunken answer so I know he’s back drinking.

But this time, so far it hasn’t happened.

So I have told him I will visit this weekend with food parcels. I would give him enough food for a year if I thought he would stay sober.

But today he is, So today I will help him with food. He still hasn’t managed to sort his benefits situation, and I know it’s not because he hasn’t tried, so he has money to pay his rent but nothing else.

I asked him how many days he has been sober and he answered with “I don’t know, I haven’t been counting” This is a little different, he usually adds on a few imaginary days. Maybe, just maybe, the fact that he needs to stay sober to sort this benefits situation has been a factor?

Back to today.

I think the reason he wasn’t drinking was simply he had no money.

When I visited him with the food both he and his girlfriend were happy and thankful.

She had plans to see here son the next weekend. All positive thoughts and plans for the future. I think this is the first time they have ever both been totally sober together.

A few days later I spoke to Faith, he sounded very down and mmmm maybe he’d had a drink. He certainly wasn’t drunk, but, I had that feeling. I decided not to ask, it would change nothing if I did.

Then he started not picking up when I called, so I knew.

I haven’t spoken to him since until tonight. He said his girlfriend Hope, had gone out and was not answering her phone, he was concerned. He sounded pretty sober, but I knew.

I asked if Hope was drinking, he said yes she was and quite a lot. I then asked him, he replied just enough not to get the shakes. Well that’s a little different to the norm, usually he would be totally out of it.

I decided to broach the subject of rehab. He listened, he said he seemed to be in a cycle off being sober for a few weeks then drinking. I thought, he had been in that cycle for years, but didn’t say. He said his best chance of getting into rehab was if he was to go to ADAB, I might have that wrong, but it is support for addicts as far as I know. He said he could get a support worker if he went there. I said “but you haven’t gone, you knew about the place, even had an appointment, but you didn’t go”

I reminded him his life was not able to move forward while in this circle. Of course, it’s up to him, nothing I can do. He sounded OKish, he said I love you mum. So that’s it. Update. For once I’ve had a good few weeks without worry, let’s see how much longer it lasts.

Feelings of guilt

IMG_0987Why oh why am I feeling guilty?

I have had two very short phone calls with Faith over the last few days.

He is sober, how I wish I could feel excited and happy about this. I should do, it’s what I want more than anything in the world isn’t it?

I guess it’s because I know it won’t last and I don’t want to feel the pain of disappointment when he drinks again.

But when I have spoken to him I have been very negative and ended up raising my voice. It’s not what he needs and I don’t know why I’m doing it.

Well I do know why. He is now having to deal with the financial problems caused by his drinking. His benefits have been stopped. He has had no money coming in for 6 weeks now. The reason I sent him money to cover his rent.

The confusion of his alcoholic life means sick notes have not arrived on time and where they should. He has been unable to sort things out because he has been either in hospital or drinking and incapable. He has been told he now has to start again. Put in a new claim. Which asked questions such as can you walk 10 yards unaided? Well that’s a joke, it depends if he is drinking and how much. I know if he completes these forms himself he will not get benefits. He will need to start looking for work or get nothing.

I am totally against people claiming money and not working. I work full time and have worked most of my life. I also would love for Faith to be working. I also know at the moment he is not capable of holding down a job. If he gets a job and gets sacked for drinking or not turning up, which will happen, he will again lose the right to any benefits. He will end up homeless.

I have suggested both days he contacts citizens advice bureau. But he won’t listen. I know there are people there who can help him. Today’s excuse was OK I will do but then I can’t go and sort my housing benefit at the council and I can’t…….. the list goes on. Why can’t you do all those things? I juggle my time every day. I have had a particularly busy stressful day trying to fit too much into too short a time. But I gave it my best!.

But after the call I realise I am being negative, probably controlling, I never thought of myself like that before. I am telling him what to do instead of letting him make his own decisions and mistakes. But I know he needs this help, I know how difficult it is to get the benefits that he does need. I know who picks up the mess when it doesn’t work.

How do I shut up,  stop this interfering. Let him just do it his way.

My problem is my fear of him dying.

I know if he doesn’t sort this out it could send him spiralling  into a black hole. If he loses his room he will be on the streets without his girlfriend, I know she would go back to her family. I won’t have him back here.

I don’t think he would survive being on the streets and losing her.

So that is why my frustration with him for not just trying my advice, boiled over.

After our conversation I felt stressed and he felt upset, and I realise he is obviously trying to stay sober and my conversation hasn’t helped him.

I did say it was lovely to speak to him sober.

I just know how important it is to get this benefit situation sorted and quickly, not at his “this time next year pace”

So that is why I am feeling guilty. I pray I haven’t pushed him to drink again. I just find it frustrating seeing how naive he is about things but he won’t accept help.

This has been a change, we have not been like this before. Maybe it’s a good thing, he’s being more assertive. If he stays sober , he can work and it won’t be a problem. The trouble is I have no belief in him anymore.

Maybe I do need to get out of his life.

 

 

 

Less contact and a period of calm for me, but it doesn’t take away the worry

Well it hasn’t been exactly no contact over the last few days but it has been minimal and I have refused to be drawn into their dramas.

I finally had a phonecall apologising. It wasn’t a total apology and I still don’t think Faith realised how wrong and hurtful he had been. They tried to tell me the police had called and apologised to them!  What!!!  Are you serious?  I honestly believe they don’t know what is fact and what is fiction in their alcohol affected brains.

I’m afraid I didn’t just accept his apology simply because I felt he was saying sorry but he didn’t know what for.  I told him very clearly about the untruths he and Hope had accused me of. He couldn’t grasp what I was saying and phoned me later asking questions but he had the whole situation confused again.

I’m worried his brain is being permanently affected now.

The next time he called, I let it go to answerphone, he was looking for sympathy again.  “We are both sick,  we must have picked up a bug, we can’t keep water down”

This is where, what to you or me would just be an annoying unpleasant thing to deal with,  for a dependant alcoholic, it can be much more serious.  If you can’t keep water down you can’t keep alcohol down either. Which then causes much more serious symptoms.

I just replied by message “You had better both go to hospital then”

That’s all,  no sympathy.

I later hear they both were admitted to hospital at different times.  Faith was kept in for 2 days.

He called to let me know he was on his way home,  again it went to answerphone.  It was good to hear him sounding sober.

But I know it won’t last,  the hospital will have discharged him telling him to have small amounts of alcohol to help with the symptoms of withdrawal.

I didn’t believe this,  until I heard it for myself.

He is an alcoholic,  he can’t have “just a small amount”

So he will return to his drinking, I know this for a fact.

So it has worked for me, stepping back, life for me has been calmer.

It doesn’t stop this ache in my heart and fear in my stomach though.

I feel an overwhelming sadness

IMG_0803It’s day 2 of no contact.

That doesn’t mean I haven’t heard from Faith, it means I haven’t responded.

I am starting to feel a terrible sadness inside. Do I really have to stop contact for him to find his way? Will it help him? Is this what I must do?

There are no guides  –

If  A doesn’t work then resort to B. If all else fails switch off and re-boot.

It has given me some much needed peace. And I am important, I work bloody hard, full time, elderly parents that also need and deserve my time and attention.

He has called twice, first time I’m at work and it’s easy to ignore, still more accusations left on my answerphone. Then again when he knows I am home and he sounds more sober. This is the first one that starts I love you mum, I want us to have a relationship, please call me. That’s harder to ignore, but I have, and I will today.

Maybe tomorrow I will send him a message telling him I will only speak to him when he is sober. I will not answer his calls until I can hear in his voice he is.

I’m really not sure if this is protection for me, or as I have read, what I must do for him to be at that place where he wants recovery beyond all else.

I always thought having children was a learning curve that you learn as you go. I didn’t realise that it went on into their adulthood. One thing I have learnt and I am absolutely certain about is, there are no rules, ever! You do what you think is right at the time, maybe you will fuck up occasionally, but one message I would always pass on to my children is “go by your gut feeling, and if you are told that it is wrong, and you still feel your way is the right way then just do it” Don’t be afraid….

As I am tonight.

Thats why I am thinking tomorrow I will send a message to him.

“I will speak to you again, but only when you are sober”

I would love a few responses from you peeps that have found sobriety, how would you feel receiving this message? how did you feel?

Sending out love

 

 

 

A quiet day, no madness, it nearly feels normal

IMG_0802

When I woke, I called Faith. Yes I know, I know I said I was stepping back, and I am. But he called me in the early hours, I didn’t answer but he left a message which I listened to this morning.

It was more accusations. “Why had I called the police, now I had messed everything up. I am so angry with you” I didn’t listen to all of it, there was no point.

I wanted to call him in the morning when he was sober tell him one last time –

I called the police last week when you were confused and sat by a busy road because I was frightened for your safety.

I did not mention Hope, your girlfriend or her son.

I did not call Hopes mother, she called me.

If you do not want me to react when I am concerned about you I cannot know what is happening in your life.

So I am stepping out of it .

Of course he was still drunk and groggy, he didn’t take it in. But I had said it. I needed to, to make it real for me.

I have had two calls today when I was at work. Both times I didn’t answer. When I listened to the messages he left, there were more accusations, I was glad I didn’t answer. It made me more determined.

Tonight I have been out for my excercise class and I feel more relaxed. The worry is still there but I feel calmer.

How long can I keep this up? I know I must for both of us.

 

 

A continuation of the madness and chaos, but enough is enough

After my last post “exhausted with chaos” things have been calmer. It has been wonderful to talk to my sober son, it feels like I have him back again, but I know it’s only temporary as he is doing none of the things he needs to do to stay sober. The fact he has no access to cash after his girlfriend froze his card is probably the reason he has stayed sober this long.

Today he got his  bank card back, today the police decided to check he was OK.  Today everything went into total chaos again.

I had a dentist appointment, the short time I was in the chair I had a 2 missed calls. One from Faith, the other from number withheld. I call Faith when I’m out.

I wish I hadn’t. “Why have you called the police about me? Why have you told them about x (his girlfriends son who she is not seeing because of her drinking) and more accusations and swearing. I cut him off. I then listen to the answerphone message left by the unknown number, the police.

” I have just checked on Faith, he appears less under the influence of alcohol than he did last time I spoke to him, his girlfriend tells me he has seen the doctor so we have no concerns over him, I hope this puts your mind at rest”.

Well, I don’t know, obviously last time my point that “he may sound like he’s drunk but he’s not, he is sick and needs to be in hospital” just didn’t get through. And now your visit to him has just caused more chaos and confusion.

I call Faith again to reassure him that the police were only checking on him to see that he was safe. All I get is more abuse and accusations, apparently they “interrogated” his girlfriend. I decide there is no point carrying on the conversation and drive on to work.

Lunchtime I look at my phone , that was a mistake. This is something new I have not talked about on here, my brother is estranged from his son. I think that’s the right word to describe it. I have been the piggy in the middle between him and his x wife trying to sort contact. My brother is very difficult to deal with, and things have broken down. Today is the day he announces that he wants nothing to do with the negative people in his life which starts with me and “my parents”

Just breath just breath and return to the office and work. My elderly parents will be traumatised, he has done this so many times to them but they are getting so old and frail, my dad is 90 this year. This could kill my mum, because she is like me, a mum, no matter what, you love your kids.

When I leave work I call Faith. More accusations, his girlfriend Hope has been interrogated by the police about her son who doesn’t live with her. I try to say I never mentioned his girlfriend or her son, I was just concerned for his safety. Where has this all come from, just the police checking Faith was Ok? I finally tell Faith I cannot deal with this anymore,  I can’t speak to him again until he is sober, enough is enough, I need to protect myself from the global amnesia I suffered in the past  when my brain actually says “enough is enough”

But it doesn’t stop. I turn my phone off. They both call the landline, I ignore it. I decide to make it clearer to him. I message to say I want the money I lent him for rent back (another story) I send my bank details. I reject calls but listen to answerphone messages left by both of them. It appears Faith is going to get cash out to pay me back. That’s a disaster about to happen so I call him to tell him not to get cash, to transfer the money. But, yeah it’s too late. He’s just got money out and some woman spun him a story and disappeared with the cash. I believe him, I know how vulnerable he is. His girlfriend doesn’t, she goes to the shop to check, it’s true.

I have a real heart to heart with his girlfriend, I pull no punches, I tell her straight how it is, why these things keep happening to them, I cannot deal with it anymore, she makes excuses, I will have none of it, I tell her everything, including the fact, she cannot see her son is down to alcohol. She won’t listen.

Then her mother calls, they called her by mistake now she wants to know what’s going on, I tell her everything, I cry.

Tonight I have taken to my bed. I can deal with no more. Tonight my other family has suffered, I haven’t cooked, my younger son quietly does household jobs to help me, I know he’s concerned about me. I cry, I can’t eat, tonight their alcoholism has consumed me. I know I need to step back, for my sanity I have too.

Tonight I have no pretty pictures to add, no spell check, tonight I just had to get my thoughts out, try and soothe my brain.

Thats it. My day, my evening, once again taken over by this addiction and its consequences.

Tomorrow I will go to work and smile, no-one will know, it’s not something to talk about.

 

Exhausted with the chaos

My posts might be a bit mixed up and sporadic.  I write when I have time and when I feel I must.

I actually don’t know how to write about today.  It started last night. Faith had come out of hospital that day and he was sober.  I cannot explain how good it feels to talk to someone who is sober after days or weeks of rubbish conversations.  Well they are not conversations, just me listening.

He called about 10pm to complain about his also alcoholic girlfriend. She had gone up to the shop with his bank card to buy them a pizza.  In her muddled alcohol soaked brain she had put in her pin not his and the cash machine ate his bank card.  Now I need to mention he has no photo ID as he has lost both his passport and driving licence at different drunken times. So the still in detox without supporting medication alcoholic is dealing with another alcoholics chaotic life.  I calm him,  tomorrow it will be sorted.  30 minutes later,  11pm ish,  another call,  she has tidied up while he has been in hospital,  and now can’t remember where she put all his bank papers.  A lot of expletions……

I calm him a little and try to sleep.

6.30 next morning he is on the phone.

I think I have to give his girlfriend a name now…. lets call her “Hope” how fitting, Faith and Hope.

He has walked out of his flat because Hope thinks it’s only 6am in the morning, it is in fact 6.30 am, she wants to sleep, Faith thinks it’s about 11am, he has had enough, all she does is sleep, and these other guys in the room “are they twins?” I am thinking woah,  what’s going on here, it doesn’t take long, the withdrawal symptoms of confusion are here, out in the real world.

I call 111, I know he needs to be back in hospital.  “If your not with him,  there is nothing we can do,  call the police”.  Oh I’ve been here before,  mental health,  the support is zero.

I call Faith. He is sat on a wall by a busy road. He’s not sure where.  I get some details of what he is wearing.

So I call the police,  not 999 just the none emergency number. It rings for 10 minutes before someone answers,  I’m watching the clock as I need to get into work.  They take all the details but say if he doesn’t want to go to hospital they can’t make him.  I tell them I realise that but when he is in hospital and sick like this they take away his rights to leave.  Still the same answer but they will check on him.

I call Faith again. He has gone back to his flat and he and his girlfriend are in the middle of a big argument. It’s impossible to talk to Faith as he is too busy shouting at Hope.  I ask to talk to her,  ask her to be quiet for a moment so I can talk to Faith,  it doesn’t work,  I put down the phone.

I’m late for work, I rush to get ready.  Faith calls again,  he’s left the flat, he’s not going back.  As I’m driving to work I call the police again.  Yes as I am driving I call the police!  All the time I am driving I am looking for the next place I can pull over safely to talk when they answer.  I’m actually just walking into work when they answer.  I try to explain that Faith may appear drunk but he’s not,  I think it’s important they know that.  She interrupts me to say she has an update on the case.

“We called him on his phone and spoke to him, he is fine, we have no cause for concern ”

I try to explain that he might say he is but he is not.  She is very dismissive. I’m just a neurotic mother,  she has more pressing problems. I can tell that’s what she’s thinking.

As I walk through the doors of my work place, late, I struggle to keep back the tears,  she might be busy soon dealing with a road traffic accident, unidentified male has walked out into busy traffic…….

So there we have it,  it’s 8.45 and I feel like I have run a marathon but have a full day at work ahead of me.

I try to forget,  I work.  At lunchtime I call him again.  He is sat in Macdonalds eating a burger Hope bought him.  Yeah he’s fine,  has no recollection of anything that happened earlier that day, “Why was I concerned?”

I can tell he’s better than he was and certainly less agitated, it’s good he’s eating. That always seems to help with the healing of his brain.

When I get home from work I feel total exhaustion.  I can’t explain it. This is the impact the alcoholic has on my life. This is why al-anon tell me to step back and let go,  for my sanity.

How in God’s name do I do that?

Did I say “double trouble”

You wouldn’t be who you are without all the difficult times, be thankful, even through the trials.

Faith was admitted to hospital on the Wednesday before Easter. His girlfriend called me when she was on her way back from the hospital to update me. He was OK, all was good, they were looking after him. The scans for a broken back came back fine.

Tomorrow she will go back and see him, she will take anything he needs with her. OK so tonight I can sleep knowing he is safe.

It’s Thursday today, last day at work before 4 days off. I’m needing that break badly, even though we will be decorating, just some time to breath. I call Faiths girlfriend at lunchtime. No reply. I call her when I leave work. No reply. I call her when I get home, no reply. I am getting concerned, I call a confused Faith, he is not sure but no he hasn’t seen her today.

So, I’m just ready to kick off my shoes and relax, but I can’t, something is wrong I know. Do I spend the night worrying or go now and check on her? I have a key for the flat, I don’t want to worry her parents who live a couple of hours drive away, so I reluctantly get back in the car and drive the 10 miles to their flat. I call again before I let myself in, I’m worried what I might find when I walk in, I know she fits when she doesn’t drink. Still no reply. I walk into the empty flat, no-one, but Faiths rucksack is packed ready with everything he needs in hospital on the bed. Now I am really getting concerned. I have to call her mother. I call to be told she has called her several times today but she hasn’t answered. Now we are both extremely concerned. I call the hospital to see if she has been admitted. No. I know she was going to the launderette, so I check there. No sign of her. I call her mum and say I am going to the hospital to see if they have seen her or heard from her. I’m starting to think she will have to be reported as missing. When oh when will this madness end.

Another drive in busy traffic to the hospital. My restful evening is rapidly disappearing. I go to see Faith, none of the hospital staff have seen or heard from his girlfriend.. I use Faiths phone to call her thinking she might answer to him. Nothing. I try to get some sense out of Faith about where she could be, but now his brain is reacting to having no alcohol and he has no idea what I’m trying to ask him.

I call his girlfriends mother to break the news. She tells me she has tracked her down, she had a fit and was admitted to hospital. She has been there all day. She is actually in the same ward as Faith. So now I am relieved she’s safe, but at the same time angry my precious time has been taken again by these two. I go to see her briefly, she doesn’t look well. By the time I get home it’s 8.30. I’m just exhausted by all this.

It looks like my worst fears are coming true, I’m now involved in the chaotic life of another alcoholic. I can hear all you al-anons out there shouting at me “step back and let go” I try so hard, but when they get so ill, when there is a real possibility of death, it’s so hard.

I know I’m preparing myself for Faiths death, I don’t ever want to think “what if”?

To follow…… security guards and dementia.

And my positive thought for today  All the strength you need is right there, inside you”

 

Stepping back, enabling, how to know when or when not?

I have to write this now.  Yesterday I was talking about encouraging Faiths girlfriends family to speak out and stop enabling.  Also, how I could step back and not worry because I knew there was someone who could step in and call the emergency services if necessary.

I’ve read lots about stepping back and letting go.  I have done this in the past and it pushed Faith to dark place’s,  which I was told was what would need to happen for Faith to get to a place where he wanted recovery enough to make it happen.

He has slept on the streets, been homeless, he has been abused because he was not sober enough to realise what was happening, he has been arrested, he has been so weak through malnutrition that he could not stand, he could have bled to death as he had such a low count of blood clotting cells, he has broken ribs, collar bones fingers and toes, been covered and I don’t exaggerate in bruises, and he has lost his mind. and still he continues to drink. I can’t see a place that’s worse than this other than death.

I read with interest how other mothers have been strong and refused to give money and have stepped back with the wonderful results that their child no longer drinks and how wonderful that is, how hard it was for their mothers to do this.

What about me? I’ve done this, so why do I still have to watch him destroy himself? Did I not do it well enough? Do I have to do more?

When I read back through my old blogs I see I was  enabling, I was learning also, but without a teacher. But I learnt, and I have disowned him, threw him out, didn’t contact him, refused to have him back in my home. What else can I do?

So really what I’m saying is, yeah I get enabling, but there comes a point when you are so scared for their life you have no choice but to step in. I am positive there have been two occasions where, had I not checked on him because I was concerned for him and called an ambulance he would be dead. That final place.

Which leaves me with thoughts of why do some people win this fight with alcohol, while others are taken by it? It can’t just be that the ones that died were enabled to do so? It must come from within that person, how strong they are, how much they want to live?

My worry is Faith is not that strong.

So please don’t judge me and say I am enabling.

While I write this Faith is in hospital, I will write more about this and “wet brain” next time.

I nearly forgot my positive note, I’m really struggling with this one today, I guess it has to be

Through my sons struggles, I have found how how strong I am.

I have just been looking through the many drafts that I have never published and found this, I would have written it in 2015 around the time I have finally accepted that Faith was an alcoholic. It links very well with what I have written above, this was my early days of learning about…….

 

Letting go

Letting go, something that was talked about a lot at the al-anon classes I went to.

It took me a long time to get it.

This is my story of my journey to the place where I let go of my son and his alcoholism and handed him over to his own higher power.

Faith had lost his very lovely girlfriend to the alcohol. She went. she’d had enough of his lies and secret drinking and just his drunkenness. She had tried very hard, but the addiction won every time.

I had become involved in the arguments and I would shout and scream,”Why can’t you just stop drinking, why are you doing this, why are you like this?” So many nights of arguments, telling him he needed help,not knowing where to go to get him the help.

He lived with me, he had come back after he split with his previous girlfriend, I thought because she had a drink problem, I can laugh at that now.

And then his job went, it was suggested he handed in his notice before he was sacked, alcohol had been smelt on him too many times and too many days of calling in sick.

I thought he could not afford to live somewhere on his own, I have always worked, never claimed benefits, I didn’t know how the system worked or anyone that could tell me. So I had no choice other than to let him live with me.

The drinking escalated, I didn’t know I was enabling him, I didn’t know he was piling up huge debts on his credit cards to pay for the alcohol.

He finally admitted he needed help, the months went on, he sometimes managed to get himself to meeting that he was supposed to go to, sometimes not.

He hated himself, he cut himself, how many times I was called into his bedroom in the night because he had cut himself. “if only you would stop drinking, everything would get better” more shouting, screaming and crying. I didn’t understand that he could not stop.

Then what I thought was our salvation, He was given 2 weeks rehabilitation.

I remember taking him, He could only be admitted if his alcohol limit was below a certain level, He sat with a bucket between his legs, being sick and shaking. I cried when I left him, but the relief of not having to worry about what state he would be in when I came home from work, not being woken in the night by him hitting the walls because he hated himself, not having to listen to his crying or being sick, was immense.

My son had been saved. He could do this I knew it. When I went to see him for the first time I was sat down and asked if I had any questions. I had lots, and then I asked “What are the chances of him drinking again” Oh I was so naïve, and when I got the answer I was devastated, it was very rare for this to work first time, most patients needed many admissions. Oh but my son was different.

I picked him up the same day that I took his sister to the airport to go off on her travels. I cried twice that day, once because I felt I was loosing my daughter, if only for a while, and again because I had got my lovely sober son back.

I can’t remember how long it lasted, but it wasn’t long and we were back to the same chaotic distressing unhappy lives.

It was then that I decided that I needed help and eventually found Al Anon. But of course I went looking for help for my son.

I remember that first meeting, a few people spoke about their recovered alcoholic. Ah so there was a cure, I was desperate to find out how they had done it…..