Rain in my heart

An interesting programme is airing tonight at 9:00pm on BBC2 (UK). It is called ‘Rain in My Heart’, and is described by the Radio Times as follows:

‘This is a shatteringly powerful programme. Veteran film-maker Paul Watson takes an unflinching look at the stories of four alcoholics undergoing treatment at a hospital in Kent. We meet addled souls like Mark, 29, who drinks two bottles of vodka a day, turning the whites of his eyes as yellow as cheap custard and racking his body with shivers. (“It’s like watching some poor animal in distress,” says Watson.) Overseeing the alcoholics’ care is the saintly Dr. Gray Smith-Laing, who observes calmly, “everything we do here is too late: we’ve missed the boat.” It’s a bravura piece of film-making, with jagged editing that jumps around in time and space but delivers moments of poetry. As a portrait of lives in ruin, it’s hard to beat.’

I will watch it to better understand the life-destroying consequences of addiction.

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7 responses to “Rain in my heart

  1. I learned how to drive a car quite late in my life, and my teacher was a guy that was injured terribly by a drunk driver. Before he did anything, he sat me down, and shown me a video on victims of drunk driving. That film got its message across much better than any admonishment on his part.

  2. A follow up on ‘Rain in My Heart’: The documentary was difficult to watch – during filming, two of the patients passed away – but it was very insightful. I cannot recommend the film highly enough for anyone with serious addiction problems, especially alcoholism.

    By coincidence the hospital where a large part of the documentary is filmed is the same hospital where I was born, in Gillingham, Kent.

    Here is a selection of quotes from film:

    These people drink because they’ve got gremlins in them of one sort or another. (Dr) (One patient was abused as a child, another patient’s brother died in a car accident)

    Anybody who’s got family close at hand starts with an advantage. (Dr)

    I’m not an alcoholic so I don’t need help (Patient: a 26 year old girl. From the outsider’s perspective it was clear she had a problem. 2 days later the girl died.)

    What do you think it is that is your worst enemy in you? (Dr)
    Me. I don’t believe in myself. Me, that’s my worst enemy. (Patient)

    And now that you’ve taken a drink? (film maker)
    I don’t feel any better, I just feel worse. (patient)

    I never really enjoyed drinking, I used to do it because it was there. (patient)

    I didn’t have to have it. I just wanted it. (patient)

    An alcoholic has to help themselves before anyone else can help them. (patient’s partner)

    Until they want to stop, there’s nothing you can do. (patient’s partner)

    If you drink you will kill yourself. (Dr)

    You don’t actually listen until you are on death’s doorstep. (patient)

    Why did you start drinking again? (film maker)
    I don’t know, boredom.
    To me, I had no reason to live. (patient)

    By drinking what were you hoping to achieve? (film maker)
    Nothing. (patient)
    Oblivion? (film maker)
    Just to forget abut everything. But it doesn’t make you forget about anything. It makes things worse…until you are totally and utterly out of it, and then you don’t think about it. (patient)

    My problems don’t even register on the radar of what these people were and may still be going through but I think I learned a few things about addiction as well as having some previous ideas reinforced:

    – Feeding an addiction doesn’t necessarily bring happiness of any sort. Indeed, it can often be a form of self-harm.
    – Self-denial and being sneaky: Even admitting that you have a problem can be hard. Alcoholics store alcohol in secret hiding places, so they can drink without being suspected.
    – Relapsing: it is easy to say you are going to stop, but it is hard to stop. You cannot afford to feed the addiction even a little if you want to stop. Stopping requires extraordinary will power.
    – Alcoholism is often the symptom of gremlins, but over time alcoholism can become the biggest gremlin of all.
    – The root cause behind the addiction can involve a low sense of self-worth. If you don’t value yourself and think you have little to live for, it’s much easier to slide in to decline.
    – Addiction can be unbelievably powerful and destructive. Don’t let it in to your life. Find out where it may be lurking, and expunge it as best you can. If you feel you are slipping seek help before the problem grows out control.

    It would be good if documentary makers tackled other common addictions such as smoking, gambling, and eating, with the same kind of brutal honesty. I’m sure programmes like this improve lives.

  3. Michelle, all credit to your driving instructor. Think how many people he will have shown that video to, and affected for the better.

  4. Following my own advice for a balanced life, I turn my back on trading and am going to travel two months in SE Asia. – Happy Christmas, Best wishes for 2007

  5. Best wishes nonadamas and happy travels!

  6. Best wishes nonadamas!

  7. Caravaggio, Addictive thinking is CUNNING. It fools both the addict and the people around the addict. It feeds the vicious circle, the downward spiral.

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