OF COURSE, it's easy to be flip now. The weeks are stretching into months since I had a drink. In that time, I haven't felt panic, despair or loneliness, let alone the continuous misery that stalks continuous drinking. It's hard to see that life now. The days had no beginning and no end. So let's say it's 3pm of any day, sometime before I got here.

I've woken from an hour of drunken stupor and need just one to steady myself out. But it isn't enough and before long the wine bottle's empty and I'm feeling "better".

The television's on, the curtains closed. I watch a black and white movie and wait for darkness to fall. The last thing I want is to face the world. But the wine soon wears off, so I finish the remains of some whisky and feel a kind of strength return.

At six o'clock I go to the pub, first checking myself in the mirror, as I do several times a day to see if the drink is showing. I delude myself that it isn't.

The pub is the only time of day that is even apparently enjoyable. It's the only time of day I actually talk to anyone else. I want to see nobody outside a pub.

But even with this apparent, fleeting enjoyment, obsession with drink is so strong I'm thinking about the next drink before the current one is finished. Drink is more important than everything.

I leave at 8pm for my last stop, the wine shop, before the night stretches ahead for 12 hours.

I watch television until I'm drunk enough to go to "sleep". I listen to the BBC World Service all night. Alcoholics love the World Service - it keeps the loneliness at bay.

Two or three times I get up and swig from a bottle until I have enough to fall into another stupor. By dawn the drink's gone and the shop doesn't open for an hour.

My body is screaming for alcohol. I watch the clock creep agonisingly towards 8.30am. The relief of opening time is huge.

I buy three more bottles of wine and a bottle of scotch, plus a can of beer for the two-minute journey back home.

A bottle of wine keeps my frayed nerves at bay, but my head is numb. I can't read anything, let alone work, so I have a bath and try to wash myself "clean". It's 9.30 in the morning.

For two hours I drink, then fall into bed. I wake around 1pm and try to make myself look right for a visit to the pub. I drink there for an hour and come home to collapse until 3pm again. This is why I'm in rehab.