The “pre-recovery” trip

This was the last trip I did before my recovery. It was my wake up call, my rock bottom. It was the “get better or die” journey. It’s a bit of a skim over the entire trip but you’ll get the drift I hope……..


 

THE LAST TRIP or The wake up call

Part 1.  BARROW CREEK

                                 I sold my freehold house, that I had borrowed against to support my thriving drug and alcohol addiction, and bought a mobile home as well as the craziest “intelligent” dog , a Labrador pup I named Gertrude. Poor girl was doomed from the start with a name like that!!. I’d travelled around Australia before in a combi and loved it but that’s another story (or book). I had quite a few thousand left over as well. The only reason I owned a house in the country freehold, was because I was left some money after my beloved “little gran” died. I walked into a transportable home builder and payed cash for a house….. that was a buzz. The plan was to hit the fruit picking circuit again, eventually. I finally headed off up the centre of Australia. Not quite sure where I was going from there. Last time I just kept meeting people, backpackers etc., and followed them. I got as far as Barrow Creek in the Northern Territory.barrow creek2                                 This was just a truck stop come petrol station come van stopover. There was nothing there and nothing for miles around except two aboriginal missions. The place did sell booze so I was ok. There was also a post box so I could get drugs posted to me as well….all set for a stay!! They also supplied the local aborigines with, I think it was, 3 cans of beer each per day with the blessing of the elders. Wine and spirits were forbidden, it sent them crazy. I got along really well with the locals (aborigines) . They actually adopted me and gave me an Aborigine name which I can’t remember!! I still have paintings in my van they did for me. There was the owner, Scottish Les, his missus, Aussie Helen some very scary wandering butcher or something that was staying there and helping out I think, Ian, the young guy who served behind the counter and could stare straight through you with steely eyes but a nice bloke and Wendy, the backpacking German girl who was helping out with the office while she was there. I stayed in the “caravan park” which was a block of dirt next to the main building. Wendy and I spent a lot of time in the van, smoking, drinking, playing cards etc!!!.  There was also the beginnings of a posh motel that never got finished on site as well.

                                      The Barrow Creek roadhouse was famous for two things…… on the walls inside were banknotes from all over the world plastered everywhere. You couldn’t see the walls for the money.barrow creek3 It was a tradition started many years ago for a particular reason, not sure what!!!! I think it had something to do with the locals or bush rangers, many years ago instead of taking their money out bush with them, they just pinned their money on the wall with their name on it and it would be there to spend when they got back…..who needs a bank!!!!! The next thing it was famous for was the following……

Joanne Rachael Lees  is known for her ordeal in central Australia when, as a young British tourist travelling with her partner Peter Falconio, she was attacked and subjected to an attempted abduction by a man later identified as Bradley John Murdoch. Lees escaped her attacker, but Falconio was never found, and in 2005 Murdoch was convicted of his murder.barrow creek6

The events took place on a remote stretch of highway near Barrow Creek in outback Northern Territory, Australia on 14 July 2001. Lees was the chief crown witness in the subsequent murder trial of Bradley John Murdoch conducted in Darwin.

The story while I was there was that Peter Falconio’s body was in a cellar under the station and the cops never looked in there for some reason and no one else was game to go down there!!!! Spooky place!! Joanne turned up at Barrow Creek, half-naked, to raise the alarm.

                                   So lets get to the adventure at Barrow Creek. It was supposed to go like this…… Les and Helen were going to Tasmania for a Freemason convention. Ian was to look after the shop, Wendy the paperwork and ordering and The Butcher was to do runs into Alice Springs, which is 3 and 1/2 hours away, every couple of days to get fuel, booze and supplies for the station. The reason this had to be done was because Les had a bad credit rating and no one would supply him without cash. They had to drive to  Alice and bring back fuel in massive containers on a trailer to supply travellers stopping for fuel. One crazy system!!! Once Les and Helen left, the Butcher started acting even stranger, especially toward Wendy and was really creeping her out. She had two doors to get into her room, one at the front and one at the back. Among other things, the Butcher decided to put an external lock on the back door “for her protection” but it meant she couldn’t get out in a hurry if she had to. Wendy told Les what was happening so Les told the Butcher to leave, which he did under protest…. one man down. Wendy got sick of the whole ordeal and left the next day. This left Ian and me.

                                  I was already doing odd jobs around the station, replacing broken toilets,retiling etc., using stuff that was left in the unfinished motel, not being payed as such, just free dinner and rent which was $6.00 per night. Being the amazingly nice guy that I am, I jumped in to help. I was doing the booze, fuel and supply run into Alice every second day or so. I didn’t have a driver’s licence, hadn’t had one for years!! There was never any talk from Les about how much he was going to pay me so I would just put a couple of extra bottles of vodka on the order as part payment

the park, my dog and my postie bike

the park, my dog and my postie bike

for my help. To try to do the right thing, I wouldn’t drink before I left on the Alice runs…that was #uckin hard. On the way back I would stop at the roadhouse about 100 kilometres before Barrow Creek and have one or two beers to stop the chronic shakes I would have developed by that stage of the day, I’d earned it. I remember one of my stops there, the back of the four-wheel drive was packed with booze for the station and I normally covered it with a blanket but the blanket had slid off. I was inside having my first beer when I happened to look outside and saw a group of aborigines surrounding the car, they saw the booze… I shat myself, bolted out, started the car and took off. It was just as well, a bit further down the road I was pulled over by a cop who breath tested me and because I’d only had one I was under… again my guardian angel watching over me! Another time I drove the van into Alice because it was just a booze run (no fuel). The van was chocka’s with cartons of booze. I decided to camp in the carpark of a supermarket.  That way I could have a few too many drinks in the arvo and travel back first thing in the morning. During the night, on a few occasions, there was banging on the van, blackfellas seeing if anyone was home. Luckily I had my dog with me and she’d bark at them. They didn’t like that and disappeared quickly, never the less I got bugger all sleep!! In between all this, while we were looking after shop, the local blackfellas got hold of some wine and all hell broke loose out the front of the station. There was a  heap of ugly fights, windscreens smashed and overall mayhem. We stood out the front with baseball bats in case they tried getting into the station for the booze. I don’t know what I would have done had they tried. It was damn scary!!  It was an absolutely crazy week or so, flat out trying to keep the place going.

                                    When Helen and Les got back, Les didn’t say boo to me. It was really strange. Helen couldn’t or wouldn’t offer any explanation. Helen and I got along well while Les was a strange, stand offish guy. He was keen to talk to me on the phone from Tasmania when all the shit was happening and he needed me to help but when he returned I got the silent treatment. It was like I’d done something terribly wrong or it was his way of getting out of paying me. He also made it very hard for me to get hold of him, always busy doing something. Luckily I’d been paying myself with a big bottle of vodka and a cask of wine every day or so as well as an evening meal. The evening meal consisted of a frozen seafood “platter” that I threw in the deep fryer. A man of simple needs!! I got jack of this after a few days and took the opportunity to move on. I decided to head to Wycliffe Well, about 100 kilometres north. One of the locals hitched a lift with me. On the trip to Wycliffe, this fella was telling me to never stop for an Aborigine on the side of the road. He was telling me not to trust any of them. He explained that they would send one black fella out onto the road, to flag you down for help, and when you stopped a heap would jump out of the bushes and rob you. My travelling partner and advice giver WAS a black fella….. I couldn’t believe he was basically telling me not to trust him. Nothing happened, I think he thought I was one of them.

                                       After arriving at Wycliffe Well, the UFO capital of Australia, I settled into the caravan park.wycliffe1 That’s all that was there, the service station and caravan park. I quickly got friendly with the owner, Arc, a Dutchman, and the on site care taker Dave, and his wife, who were travelling around Australia and had stopped there about a year earlier and stayed. I think she was writing a book about the outback. I was soon doing odd jobs around the caravan park to pay for my stay, food and booze. No confusion this time, Arc and I discussed the arrangement first. I had a lot of fun there for my short stay. I had a disco type laser light that would shoot flashing coloured lights for quite a distant. At night I would sit out the front of my van, with my dog, music blaring and my light show aimed in the trees in the park. I was noticing cars on the highway slowing down and some stopping. I couldn’t figure out why at first. Then it dawned on me, I was in the UFO capital of Aus. and passersby must have been freaking out seeing flashing lights in the pitch darkness apparently coming out of the trees. That was fun!! I had an old postie motorbike that I’d bought in Adelaide before I left and stuck a milk crate on the back to cart my tools around the caravan park. I used it a lot at Barrow Creek as well, It was a heap of fun scooting around the outback on a postie bike. A group of poms that were staying there nick-named me “carny Steve”. It seemed like every second day the caretaker, Dave, had to take the 4 wheel drive down the highway, to drag a dead cow back that had been killed by a Brown snake. They were dumped way out the back of the caravan park. The local Aborigines were entertaining with their drunken antics in the servo driveway. They had a spot under a bridge where they drank all day. I had no idea where they would appear from, or where they were getting their booze from, they just appeared! The Aborigines were not allowed into the caravan park. There was a great big brick and iron gate at wycliffe3the entrance that was kept closed to keep them out. The brick wall only extended a few meters on each side of the driveway, the rest of the park was only fenced off with a 3 foot high wire fence. Somehow that was enough to keep them out. One day I spotted one of them wandering into the park because the gate was left open. I let the boss know and he bolted out there with a shot-gun to “shoo” the guy out!!!! I remember another time there was a guy parked on the highway across from the petrol station for hours and hours. He had painted all his finger nails black. He never got out of the car. It was about 40 degrees. The car wasn’t running and all the windows were up. We kept watching and waiting for something to happen, nothing did, he just started the car and left about 5 or 6 hours later. Very spooky!!.  Life in the outback!!

                                      About a week or two later, Arc summoned me to the office. He told me I had to leave straight away. This blew me away as we were getting along really well. It turned out Les from Barrow Creek, the asshole, had told the local cops that I had stolen bottles of vodka from him. The cops called in and asked Arc if he’d seen me, or my van, at any stage. Arc told him he’d never seen me and they left without checking the park. Arc then gave me a heap of booze to last me a while but on the proviso I got outta town immediately. I did. Arc was a nice bloke!! The adventure continued….


PART 2.  CARNARVON

                              I made my way to Carnarvon in Western Australia. I’d been there before. The first time I went travelling in my Kombi, I ended up in Carnarvon, and about 80 kilometres north of town is a place called Quobba.  It’s probably my favourite place in Australia. No, It IS my favourite place in Aus. Quobba was still untouched by local government or tourist bullshit, It was still a local secret. Don’t tell anyone about it!! This place is awesome. On my first trip I met a girl there, Sue, that was traveling with her 5 year old son , Aarron, their great big dog and an amazing rat named Matilda in an old Denning bus with a 4 wheel drive being towed behind. We ended up traveling  together for quite a while. I was only going to stay in Quobba for about a week. I think we stayed for 3 months. This place consisted

the "shanty" town

the “shanty” town

the cliffs

the cliffs

blowholes

blowholes

    of, and in a very compact area, a section of massive cliffs with king waves crashing against them, the ocean was a deep vivid blue, blowholes that shot jets of water 20 or 30 meters into the air with a huge explosive sound. Just around the corner was a tiny island you could walk across to, at low tide, on a reef of oysters. You were allowed to take as many oysters as you could eat. On the island was an eagle nest that looked like a mini volcano erupting from the ground, it was about 2-3 meters high.

eagle nest

eagle nest

The island and the reef sheltered a beautiful sandy beach that was perfect for snorkelling. Colourful tropical fish were everywhere in the sheltered waters, you weren’t allowed  to fish but you could feed them. A “shanty” town had formed, amongst the sand dunes, by locals building tin shacks to holiday in. They even had bogus street names and two “suburbs”, Upper Quobba and Lower Quobba. This place was just beautifully amazing!!!!!

                                Back to the second time in Carnarvon, on the last trip. I got into town and started looking for work in the plantations. There wasn’t much around but I eventually found a bit of work in a sorting shed. It was a flat-out job and no opportunity to sneak out for a top up drink. In all of my fruit picking, packing jobs, I would get up at least 2 hours before start time and fill up with booze to be able to start the day. At this stage it was about half a bottle of vodka. I got around the drinking problem by filling a 2 litre, insulated, drink container with vodka mixed with water. At lunch time I would go out to the van to “check the dog” and get some serious booze into me. It was too difficult to camp on the side of the road around Carnarvon, so I booked into one of the caravan parks. Once again I met some great characters in the park and a lot of fun was had. One of the guys I met in the park was a traveling Australian Dutchman builder by the name of Dutchy. (I’ll call him Dutchy because I can’t remember his name!) Dutchy had a Labrador exactly the same as mine, only it was intelligent and white. I think its name was Lucy. Lucy and Gertrude loved each other and the water. we’d take them down to the ocean and they would run amuck.  P1000347

                          Dutchy was planning on staying in Carnarvon for quite some time. He was getting plenty of work and the town was great. I, on the other hand, had no idea what I was going to do. Dutchy ended up renting a house in town and wanted me to move in with him to help with the rent. This reminds me of a joke I made up…… 5 ants go to rent a house, they can’t afford it so they go back to the nest and get 5 more ants, they were then tenants (ten ants!), anyway, I digress, back to the story. Somewhere in between me moving out of the caravan park and moving in with Dutchy, Carnarvon had a “once in a hundred year” flood. Running through the middle of town was The Gascoyne river. This river was dry most of the time but apparently “ran” under the surface. Farmers had pumps everywhere pumping water from the underground river to supply their farms. There had been a heap of rain in the mountains way north of Carnarvon so there was plenty of warning that a flood was approaching. I was helping the farmers I was working with, to raise everything we could, as high as we could, so they wouldn’t get damaged. I’m talking fridge’s, freezers, furniture, anything we could. I went down to the river to watch the flood arrive. It was amazing to watch. I was expecting this wall of water to be rushing down the dry riverbed. It wasn’t. It started as a slow trickle of water down the middle of the river which slowly rose to fill the entire riverbed. Then it started gathering momentum. It was at this stage everyone was ordered home as all roads and bridges would be cut off soon. By the time I got back to the caravan park water was slowly covering the roads. A couple of the others in the caravan park, and I, decided to go to the servo next door to get supplies of booze. The water was about ankle-deep as we headed over there, across the front of the caravan park. All of a sudden I dropped into a huge hole in the ground. I was covered in water up to my neck. One of the guys I was with quickly pulled me out. The ground was still dry only one foot away from the hole. Why I was walking in the water was beyond me!. I still had my beer in my hand, hadn’t spilt a drop. I felt something running down my leg. I’d cut my leg on something down the whole. I was open to the bone!!!! I remember thinking “this is bad, more than a bandage job”.  It turns out the caravan park had removed their underground pump so it wouldn’t get damaged by the flood and left the cover open. We yelled out to the S.E.S. They came over and drove me to the hospital. It turned out to be pretty major. Surgery, skin grafts and I managed to get a gang green infection in the leg as well. The water I cut myself in wasn’t exactly clean!! I was so lucky I didn’t lose my leg. This was my second sign on this trip, from my angel, that the drinking was out of my control. Do something about it!

before the fall

before the fall

 

the bridge 1/2 hour before it was covered

the bridge 1/2 hour before it was covered

the servo

 

just after being pulled from the whole

just after being pulled from the whole

 

                                      My biggest problem in hospital was no booze. I told them that I was an alcoholic so they must have medicated me appropriately. The reason I say this is because I didn’t feel too bad while I was there. The other reason I didn’t feel bad was because I medicated myself! How? you ask. When they changed my bandaging, on day two, they flood 1 023gave me laughing gas, nitrous oxide, to ease the pain. I had a private room with a connecting corridor to the next room which had a shared toilet running off of it. The nurses, much to my delight, left the whole nitrous oxide set up in the private corridor.  All I had to do was hobble out of bed, with walking sticks, turn on the gas, inhale through the mask and get bent. I had to get back to the bed before it kicked in proper. I was off the planet most of the time I was there! I still needed to get out as soon as possible as nothing would ever replace the booze. I was in hospital for about a week and during that time the caretakers of the caravan park, an older couple, as well as a young pommy couple, looked after Gurtrude, my dog. It was really nice of them. When I was released I virtually ran to the pub to get the body back to “normal”. I had to go back to hospital every week to have the dressing changed and check on how the wound was healing. It was slow.P1000340 Something to do with my diet, smoking and copious quantities of booze, I suspect, but it did heal well enough for me to look for work again after about 2 months. There was bugger all around after the flood. I moved in with Dutchy soon after I got out of hospital. By moving in I mean parking up the driveway, still living in the van and paying half the rent. To be a successful alcoholic, you need to be alone as much as possible. I had to get out of the caravan park because I was suing them!! It wasn’t personal and the owners were insured. I’d rung a lawyer while I was in hospital and they thought I had a good case. No win, no cost. At first I wanted to sue them because I was mad that they had left the pit open. Maybe it was a bit personal!!. My thoughts were, that if a child was walking across the park, they quite easily could have drowned. Down the track, however, the lawyers were talking big money, so I got exited about a big payout. They ended up talking shit!!!  After it dragged on through court for a few years, to cut a long story short, they won the case, just, and then the bill came…… I was awarded $50,000, the lawyer bill was $55,000!!!!!! What a crock of shit. They agreed to take a “loss” and gave me $5000.  The case wasn’t won until I was almost at the end of my rehab stint. Maybe it was meant to be that way (my angel again, she’s damn tough but smart!). If I was given $50,000 or so, at that stage of my recovery, it could have been very tempting to pick up a drink again.

                                      While I was “living” with Dutchy, he was doing some volunteer work with the local Carnarvon Heritage Group. These guys were repairing the local jetty and building a raised walkway through the local swampland, among other things. I had bugger all to do so I decided to pitch in. I’d been helping out for a few weeks and it was great fun. I could sip away on my wine all day as well. My wine was always disguised in a water bottle or coffee mug so it wasn’t obvious that I was drinking. I never advertised the fact that I was drinking constantly. We were building a gazebo on the swamp land walk and we were lifting sheets of roofing iron off of a pile to slide up onto the roof. There were a couple of new guys on the job that I’d never met before. One of the guys, about 50 years old, must have taken an unliking to me for some reason. I think he was pissed off because he was a local but I, a blow in, was getting preference to help out with the project. As I was getting ready to grab the end of one of the sheets, this guy slid the sheet, full force, at me. It got me in the forearm and, you guessed it, sliced me open almost to the bone!!! What the #fuck…. not again!!! I found out later this guy had a really bad temper and had assaulted people in the past. He was known to the local cops. It was like he snapped for a brief moment because immediately after he’d done it, he started apologising repeatedly and rushed me to the hospital. On the way he was telling me how worried he was that I was going to tell the cops. I decided not to as I was a long way from home and anything could happen with a loose cannon like him. Safer to let it go. If these were all signs, or messages, to try and let me know the drinking was screwing me, which I’m sure they were, I was getting a thumping!!! I still wasn’t listening though. It was time to move on. In AA these are known as a “geographical”. It’s where you move on and hope it all gets better somewhere else. It’s not the booze that’s causing the problems, It’s the place and the people.


PART 3. PERTH W.A.

                                 I was heading south toward Perth when I remembered that I’d “threatened” my brother, Dave, who lives in Perth, that I might pop in at some stage during my travels. I was not far from Perth when I rang him and let him know I was calling in. A bit of a shock I think!!! From here on things get very vague, the booze was really kicking in. Somewhere north of Perth, I think it was Lancelin, I’d visited a shark farm and as I was heading out, there were a P1000402couple of young backpackers hitching a lift. I think they were Dutch or French or something likeP1000407 that and I have no idea what their names were. They were headed to Perth, so why not. It wasn’t long after we headed off that I could tell they weren’t comfortable with me, driving, and swigging from my vodka bottle. I’m pretty perceptive with things like that!! I offered to let them take turns at driving. For some reason they jumped at the idea. It was great for me as well, I didn’t have to worry about cops. So from there to Perth one would drive while the other and I  played Uno. Uno cards were the one thing I always made sure I had on hand. It didn’t matter what nationality, or if they could speak good English, all backpackers know how to play Uno. It seems to be the international card game. When we got to Perth I had to get my brother to drive them to the train station to continue their travels. I wasn’t anywhere near sober enough!!

                                  I stayed at my brothers place for a while. Dave had to take me to the doc’s on a regular basis as I was still having problems with my leg and the lawyers wanted it to look as bad as possible, Turds!! Between Dave and his beautiful “wife” Nicole I was taken care of pretty well. At that stage I wasn’t eating much, it got in the way of drinking, so Nic and Dave had to virtually force feed me!! While I was there my crazy dog, Gurtrude, decided to run away. It was only about 1 meter between Dave’s gate and my van. Gurt took the opportunity to bolt. We spent ages trying to find her. She eventually turned up at the council dog pound. The dog catcher was kind enough to let me off of the fine but told me if it happened again he’d have to fine me. So what happened a week or so later….. yep, she bolted again. This time we never found her. Hopefully someone took her in. I hope she’s in a big backyard with kids to keep her occupied. I’d hate to think if anyone tried to use her as a seeing eye dog, as she was a labrador. Both the person and Gurt would still be wandering aimlessly around Australia!!! After a brief 4 month stay and flying back to Adelaide for fathers day in between, I decided to continue my travels and left Perth. I left the postie bike with Dave, it was a pain in the neck getting it in and out of the van.

Dave and the postie bike

Dave and the postie bike


PART 4.  MANJIMUP  W.A.

                                 After leaving Perth I headed south to Manjimup. I’d been there on my Kombi trip, years  before and worked there for a while, pruning grapevines. Again, I had heaps of fun on that trip and met some awesome people, including Maria. She was an Italian girl traveling around Australia with a friend. We stayed together for her final 6 months in Australia before she had to return to Italy. I’ll go into that trip on the Amazing Kombi journey page. This time, however, was a mess.

                                 When I arrived in Manjimup I tried to find the guy I had worked for last time. He didn’t seem to exist anymore. This buggered up my plans. I remember camping just out of town for about two weeks. Money was running out fast and I needed to get another dole form in so I decided to camp up, drink, watch videos and wait until my next dole form was due to put in. It wasn’t so much a conscious decision, it just happened!! The alcohol was laying down the rules and I was following. I started looking for work again after I got my next dole money. I didn’t want to, I had to. I would have been quite happy sitting in the van, drinking the days away. You can’t do that with no money! I’d heard that there was work in the next town, Pemberton, picking avocado’s, so I headed there. I approached a couple of farms and got work almost straight away. Things were starting to work out! I found a fantastic place to stay, not far from the farm. It was a huge campsite in amongst the forest. There were a heap of self contained cottages on site. The owners lived there as well and they were great. They allowed me to run a power cord all the way from their house, to the van.

walking trail into the forest

walking trail into the forest

the camp site

the camp site

fellow pickers staying in the same camp

fellow pickers staying in the same camp

                                 The avocado farm was huge, and so were the trees! We were allowed to drive our vehicles to the end of whatever section we were picking. This was great because it allowed me to run to the van every now and then, to get a drink of “water”. I always had my speakers out the window and played music LOUD. Everyone loved it, and the boss didn’t mind. It seemed everywhere I went was a party. Every couple of days I had to drive into town for my supplies of vodka. I was basically on straight vodka now with the occasional wine chaser. Luckily there were two bottle shops in town and I alternated so I wouldn’t look like an alcy. How crazy! I’d also stop off at the backpackers hostel and catch up with some of the other workers. I always had a lot of fun there. I saw bugger all cops in town and as I was heading way out of town, to the campsite, having a few more drinks at the hostel didn’t bother me. I was starting to get more and more drunk at night. Getting up in the morning was getting harder. I usually get up a couple of hours early to get my booze level up to a functioning normal.  I took off a couple of times forgetting to unplug the power lead from the van. One morning I woke up a  lot later than normal, still very drunk and bolted off to work. I was a bit late so instead of meeting everyone at the shed before we headed off, I went straight to the picking area.

an inquisitive frog

an inquisitive frog

I was really struggling to pick anything, I was drunk! This was probably the first time I was not in control of my drinking. The boss hadn’t showed up yet so I told the others I didn’t feel well and was going back to camp. As I was backing out of the row I was in, I managed to reverse UP a small tree. The back wheels were off the ground! We had to rock the van to get it off the tree.  About an hour after returning to the campsite I got a knock on the door. It was payday and my boss had brought my pay check around. He handed me my pay and said not to turn up on his farm drunk again. He turned to leave, stopped, turned back and told me not to bother coming back. That was that. Time to move on.

 


PART 5. THE LAST STRAW

                                    I moved on to the next town, Donnybrook, in search of more work. Just after I got there I met a guy in the local pub who was camped just out of town. He suggested I park the van there while I was looking for work, it was free. He’d found a bit of work concreting in the area. After we got back I got extremely drunk. I was really losing control of the drinking. I was so drunk, I was hallucinating and thought this guy had done something so I insulted him badly. It was very, very vague. This was completely out of character for me. I never caused fights. I was a lover (when I got the chance) not a fighter. This guy beat the crap out of me. I came too, outside my van some time later. I have no idea how long after he knocked me out, he had left. He must have left in a hurry because he’d left some stuff behind. Maybe he thought he’d killed me. When I went in the van and looked in the mirror, I was a mess to say the least. Blood everywhere. Funny thing though, one of the first things I noticed was the fact that he’d straitened my bent nose. I’d always had a slight bend in my nose that I hated. Something good comes out of everything! Looking back now, this was my higher power making one last attempt to make me realise the drinking was killing me. It was like she was shaking me and saying “will you listen to me now!” I started to. I had enough booze in the van to last until the next day so I never bothered going to hospital at that stage, even though I could hardly move my jaw and my eyes were half closed.

one day post bashing

one day post bashing

                               The next day I made my way to the local hospital but before getting there I had to restock. I stopped at the local bottle shop and I’ll never forget the look on the poor girl who served me. I must have looked a mess to say the least.  I self medicated before entering the hospital, I figured I may be in there for a while. diagnosis…….. broken nose, broken jaw, two black eyes and possible concussion!! They got me straight onto a flying doctor plane to Perth. I can’t remember how long I was in hospital for but I had to get my brother, Dave, to drive me back to Donnybrook to get my van. It was 3 1/2 hours away. It was time to head home. The booze had won! The next stage was my recovery.

©Steven Court 2015

 


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