7 Nights in Rehab

I’ve been torturing myself about whether to write this post or not.

The primary reason for not posting it centres around ‘not airing one’s dirty laundry in public’, and hurting people close to me whom I love. Whilst the main reason for writing it is that every health and art professional I’ve shown my drawings to thinks I should.

For me, what it boiled down to is whether it will have a positive impact on people or a negative one. Particularly, those people who are suffering from that terrible physical and psychological illness – alcoholism.

I went into Smithfield detox centre in July of this year for 8 days, 7 nights. The staff there were amazing. And I came out of the place fully cured of my physical addiction to alcohol. (The problem upon leaving such a facility is coping with one’s mental and emotional addiction. But that, and a quite catastrophic relapse, is for another post.)

The following are a series of drawings I made when I was there to try and capture my emotional state each day whilst going through alcohol withdrawal with the aid of librium and a few injections in the bum! They are not self-portraits as some people think, just a reflection of how I felt.

I must add that not everyone’s experiences are the same as mine. For example, some people don’t have hallucinations.


Withdrawal #1


Withdrawal #2










The Awakening

Anyway, to any readers who are, (or think they might be), suffering from alcoholism, I would highly recommend a detox, so please speak to your GP or NHS alcohol service to see about accessing one.

Also, please feel free to message me privately if there is anything you would like to ask/tell me and I’ll do my best to help. My email is: thereisnocavalry@icloud.com

As of writing, I am 98 days sober and I feel like a new person. Four months ago I didn’t think a new life was possible. I had resigned myself to my fate. But, through the incredible support of friends, family, Arc, The Wellspring, the NHS and AA, I have a brand new, positive outlook on life. And, I can honestly say that I am happy.

A huge thank you to Pathfinder Stockport; Arc Centre; The Wellspring; Smithfield Detox Centre, Manchester;  Pennine Care Trust and NHS Stockport.


Whoa, how’d that little rascal get in here?



Filed under Art, Children, community, Contemporary Arts, Creativity, Education, health, Ideas, Inspiration, love, Medicine, mental health, nhs, Science, Uncategorized, Writing

16 responses to “7 Nights in Rehab

  1. Congrats Dave. Keep up the good fight. 2 away wins on the trot coming up as an added bonus!

  2. Thanks for posting this one, David, and long may your sobriety last.
    I love the art work, as always.

  3. Wow, I wasn’t expecting that, but what a positive post. Best wishes, congratulations and good luck to you. Did you do other drawings whilst there? Was this your idea or some part of the treatment? I hope you don’t mind the questions. OA

    • Hi OA, yes, I did the drawings each day while I was in there. They had an art therapy room, but I was the only one who went in it for the first few days. By the end, other people joined me. That was quite gratifying. One man made cards for his wife and two sons. It wasn’t a part of the treatment. Just a way of helping me visualise what was happening to me. I don’t mind the questions at all. I hope you are well.

    • Sorry OA, I didn’t read your question properly. No, I didn’t do any other drawings while I was in there. I have since though. I did do quite a bit of writing (and reading) while I was there. Some of it I’ll turn into short stories.

  4. I so hope for you to be healthy, happy, and at peace, with light steps. What courage you have. I send my best wishes.

    • Thank you Claudia. Your kind words are gratefully appreciated. I read your short story earlier today about the fish in your hair. I thought it, and the illustration, were wonderful. For some reason, I couldn’t comment on it. Perhaps it was because I was on my smart phone. I’ll try again on my laptop. I wish you well.

      • Thank you. That memory is one I turn to sometimes when I want to remember a very hopeful time in my life when everything was so new to me — when fish swim in your hair and anything might happen, and it would be exciting and good. That feeling of course comes around less as you get older and have more experience, I guess. I still hope for it and I think art and writing help me. Thank you for your comments about it and the illustration. I didn’t say anything about the art in your earlier post, meant to mention how vibrant and immediate it was, and how illustrative and emotive. As I said, I wish the best for you and will be thinking of you.

  5. So brave – keep drawing it out. I appreciate what a difficult decision to put it out there. All the best. xo

  6. grace

    These are amazing, David. Please keep up the good work on all fronts xx

  7. Robert

    Hi Dave
    Thanks for sharing your story. I had no idea about your history. Sounds like your on a good path now. One step at a time 😉

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