herald

Saturday 16 December 2017

I'm losing my addiction fight admits hero Paul

McGRATH: I don't like person I've become

PAUL McGrath fears he is losing his battle with addiction.

In a searingly honest assessment, the 50-year-old said he was turning into "a person that I don't like. I'm upsetting people.

"I don't like the way I've been acting lately."

And he added: "I'm genuinely trying to fight a winning battle, but I'm nearly certain I'm not winning it."

He admits he's been to "something like 13 or 14 rehabs" but that a lot of the time he is back drinking again within weeks. Paul, who became a grandfather two months ago, wants to see his granddaughter grow up.

He says he knows "I can't do too many more" rehabs. "A lot of the fight is gone out of me.

"I seem forever drawn to this thing of 'I'll just get one last bottle from somewhere and that'll be it'. Then I'll take one tablet too many, or a drink on a table too many, and I lose the plot.

"That's what hurting me at the moment because I was told that this is what could happen but I never thought I'd be up in front of a court for assaulting someone or taking a car."

Paul was before a court recently for a drunken night which cost him his driving licence for three years. Two days after the incident, the 65-year-old victim had called to his house saying he would not press charges on the worst of what had happened to him that evening.



KINDNESS

"When this man had the kindness to come up to my house and say the things he said, I just thought this can't be right any more.

"Something snapped in me that night that led to the court case and I'm very concerned about that, very much so. I mean I've been warned so many times in rehab that this doesn't get better, it gets worse and here I am now, knowing that it is getting worse."

While he had one 14 month period clear of pills and alcohol, he feels in the last two years he has been slipping back. "I've been taking things for so long that my brain is so used to the chemicals I feel I almost can't function without them."

Later this week, Paul will be in Dublin to launch a warts-and-all DVD of his life story and his football.

csheehy@herald.ie

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