‘That sounds cosy’ said Mrs McGillicuddy. ‘Well, I suppose it does, but do you know any partnership that does not involve really difficult arguments. In fact, I always think that the real test of a partnership is the quality of the arguments that take place. Jane is not going to get much help from a friend who won’t stand up to her, tell her the truth and argue their corner!’
Now Mrs McGillicuddy could certainly hold her own with the butcher in her High Street, and with the vicar, but Jane was a different matter! She felt a little weak and got up for a strengthening drink when she remembered what they were talking about, so pretended she just needed to stretch her legs.
Later that evening, Mrs McGillicuddy turned to the section in the book concerning milestones in the addicts career. She was now quite used to thinking of Jane as an addict, though she thought Jane would be horrified by the suggestion! Well, Jane had passed the initiation stage long ago and had moved beyond the phase of controlled use – her rituals of use (when, where,how much) were established, she was established in a social network where her drinking could be sustained. It was hard to think of any of her friends where drinking was not part of the relationship. Jane now had a wide repertoire of excuses for a drink – feeling good, feeling bad, to keep other people company, to calm the nerves and so on!