“No Room to Live”, the English-language adaptation of the well-known Welsh actor Wynford Ellis Owen’s memoir of addiction and recovery (Welsh title Raslas Bach a Mawr), is a fine book by a fine man. There were many memorable turns of phrase in the book, but I was struck in particular by one that was related quite off-handedly:
In my second year at the Welsh College of Music, the demands of academic work began to interfere with my drinking.
It would by no means constitute a scientifically-validated diagnostic test, but if you relate to the latter half of that sentence, you may have a drinking problem. A normal drinker says things like “I am not going to have a nightcap, because I have an early meeting tomorrow” and “No wine at lunch for me, I have an exam this afternoon and I want to do well” and “I’ll pass on beer because I have to pick the kids up from school in an hour”.
But with addiction, human priorities become reordered. What once seemed the key goals in life become annoying distractions from a new, super-ordinate goal: To consume one’s drug.
This is one of many important insights in this book, which I strongly recommend. And if you would like to help addicted people in Wales find recovery, please consider donating to Wynford’s recovery support organization, Living Room.