Today I have been sober for 16 days
It is 54 days since I last wrote in this blog.
A few irritating little “odds and ends” have occurred in my life, all of which, one way or another, conspired to keep me away from my Blog.
On the 22nd July, the last time I blogged, I wrote that I had been sober for 27 days. Well I actually made my first goal of 30 days, and went on to stay sober for 60 days before eventually succumbing and picking up a drink.
In all, I drank again for a period of just 6 days, and stopped once again on 30th August.
Well I have a little time to spare, so I will fill you in on some of the more recent background of alcoholic Mobi, before, opening the doors once again on my past life of drinking.
One of the many crosses that I have had to bear in this life is the fact that for the past six years I have been married to an alcoholic Thai lady – my sixth wife. And as anyone will tell you two alcoholics married to each other can produce a very potent and combustible relationship.
About a year ago, a close friend, who happens to be a qualified therapist, suggested to me that all my marriages seem to have followed a familiar pattern, in as much as I always seemed to be seeking a wife who in essence behaved like my father, in some desperate, subconscious attempt to change them, and thereby correct all the wrongs that my father had committed.
He is probably correct, as all my wives, to varying degrees, have been control freaks with domineering personalities and terrible tempers.
The present one is probably head of the class.
Almost from the first time that I met her, she displayed irrational behaviour, which as time went on, became volatile, and even violent. In the early days of our relationship, (when we lived in Bangkok) she would never return home at the promised time, and would invariably arrive back very late, drunk, and pick a fight with me. After a brief period during which I would patiently wait at home for her, I resumed my own carousing activities, becoming as drunk as she was, and when we finally met up at home, the inevitable storm would erupt.
All this was before we were married, and even on the odd occasions that we both went out together, often with friends, there would reach a point in the evening when the alcohol would suddenly, without warning take control of her and her whole personality would change from a pleasant, fun loving girl friend, to the “girl friend from Hell”, and she would shout and fight with me as though I had just tried to murder her.
I threw her out several times during this period, on one occasion she left for several weeks, but my drinking was also out of control and in my melancholy and lonely states, I would eventually relent and ask her to come back.
We certainly had some terrible fights in those first 3 years, and as time went on, she became more and more violent and used to punch me and hit me with whatever was to hand. In the days following these fights I would often drown my sorrows at one of my locals, sporting a black eye and cuts and bruises all over my face and arms.
To give you an idea of how bad it was, we lived in a large rented apartment off Soi 31, Sukhumvit for the first 2 years of our relationship, but were eventually obliged to move as the owner had had enough of our fights and noise late at night, and after several warnings (including a penal rent increase), he threw us out.
During this period I was slowly becoming aware of the concept of alcoholism as a disease and the need for me to do something about it, and I even ‘Googled’ the AA website one day, and read some of the information posted there. But that’s as far as it went. Never the less, I guess the seed was sown.
But it was much, much later, in fact only very recently that I finally realised that my wife was also an alcoholic. I was fooled into thinking she was just a heavy social drinker, whose “bad side” came to the fore when she drank, and also because she was a binge drinker. She didn’t drink every day. She would drink sometimes for several days, and then she became so ill that she would stop for several days, or even longer. I thought that if she could stop at will, something I couldn’t do, then she couldn’t be an alcoholic. It wasn’t until I started going to AA meetings and reading their literature, that I realised that binge drinkers are every bit alcoholics, as those who drink every day.
So not only did I continue to hope that things between us would improve, I also became convinced that I was the cause of all the conflict, and that if I cut down on my drinking, everything would be fine. Of course I was deluding myself, aided and abetted by my alcoholic wife, who insisted that she never did anything wrong and it was my drinking and drunken temper that caused all the problems.
So 4 years ago we were legally married, and we had a huge party in her home village, during which she got drunk out of her mind, had a fight with her closest friends who had driven up from Bangkok to attend the ceremony and to this day has not made up with a couple of them.
A year later we moved into a huge house that I had been building near Pattaya, not far from the Mabprachan reservoir.
If it were possible, things became even worse when we moved to Pattaya. My wife was insanely jealous every time I went out somewhere by myself, convinced that I was “short-timing”. (Later I realised that it wasn’t so much jealousy, but all part of her control freak mentality, and also the fear that I might find someone better than her, and kick her out).
She made a few friends in Pattaya, and, more significantly, her friends from Bangkok would make regular trips to Pattaya, whereupon she would drive in to go drinking with them, and often I wouldn’t see her for days. There were many occasions when she would go to Pattaya one afternoon for a shopping trip, and several days later I would find out that she had gone to Bangkok. Even on the occasions when she came home, she would never arrive before 4 or 5 in the morning, often much later,and she would be completely drunk, invariably sleeping for days on end.
She was also “playing around” I had already caught her on a couple of ocassions before we moved to Pattaya (she left her phone at home one day and a farang sent her an SMS. When I looked her messages I found a great deal of incriminating evidence). Then after we moved, I managed to establish that she was screwing around on a more or less regular basis, both in Pattaya and in Bangkok. I also used to travel to Bangkok with her on numerous occasions as I had hospital appointments, and I can’t think of a single occasion when she didn’t go out, get drunk and not return to the hotel.
On many occasions she caused me to miss my appointments, and I had to drive back to Pattaya and re-schedule the appointments.
Her violence was also on the increase, and she would attack me and she would destroy property in my house, including furniture and even pull plants up by their roots. After one drunken rage, I took some photos of the destruction she had caused, and it looked like a tornado had passed through my house. My mobile phone and car were also frequent targets of her rage, and I may well qualify as being the most regular purchaser of new telephones in Thailand.
I could go on…and on…. but I think that the foregoing has given you a “taste” of what I have had to put up with for the past 6 years, and why her behaviour has not been conducive to my own attempts to stop drinking.
Last year I succeeded in stopping drinking for almost nine months, but eventually went back to the bottle as the result of my wife’s outrageous behaviour. I believe the incident that was the final trigger was when I discovered that she had been staying with a farang in Bangkok. I too went to Bangkok and got gloriously drunk and didn’t return home for a couple of weeks.
Then, towards the end of last year I left her again after another incident of a similar nature, but this time I was drinking very heavily, and my state of health and impaired mental state eventually drove me back home.
I should also mention that during last year, I had a horrific accident in my Toyota Fortuner when drunk, and was lucky to escape with minor injuries. The car was a write off. Then I rented a car and had another bad accident in that, and at long last started to realise I was reaching the end of the line with my drinking. I had been a drunk driver for longer than I cared to remember and had never has so much as a scratch; well – maybe one or two scratches – but certainly nothing that was in any way serious. I used to pride myself on it. I was invulnerable – I could be paralytic, almost unable to walk. But still manage to climb behind a wheel and drive home safely. Well that arrogant, foolish, selfish and evil allusion was finally smashed.
Being the perverse alcoholic that I am, I then went promptly out and ordered a new, shiny black BMW with incredible acceleration and a top speed of 260 kms/hr. Apart from one or two crunches, praise God, it is still in one piece.
Early this year, I left my wife yet again, and I drove to Bangkok and stayed there a couple of nights before flying to Cambodia. On the second night I got very drunk, and woke up the following morning in my hotel to discover that there was nasty crunch on the car’s wing. I thought hard, but eventually, all I could remember was standing in the middle of Sukhumvit Road in the early hours and paying some money to a Thai whose car I had hit. I remembered nothing before, and nothing subsequent to that.
I got very drunk during my journey to Phnom Penh and luckily my friend, who is a sober member of AA, met me and took care of me until I sobered up, after another night of hard drinking in the bars of Phnom Penh. The next day we drove to Sihanoukville where my friend lived, and I confessed to him that I had reached the end of the line with my drinking and that if I carried on, I would surely die or kill someone else.
The next day I attended the first and the smallest AA meeting I have ever been to. Just me and him, in his house, and I heard enough at that meeting to convince me that I had indeed better stop if I was to live to old age.
But stopped for one day only, as the next evening I went to the local bar and ordered a Diet Coke, but they gave me a beer, and I said to myself: “What the Heck?”
The next morning I woke up drunk, on the beach, which was several kilometers away from the bar where I started drinking, and had no recollection of how I got there. The blackouts were coming fast and furious.
So once again I decided to stop, and this time I was more successful, and managed to stay sober for quite a while.
I returned to Pattaya, and returned to my home. My friend from Cambodia, plus another friend who I had met over there came to Pattaya soon after, and they both took me to my first AA meeting in Pattaya. This was in January of this year. I went to several meetings with them while they were here, but I didn’t really get too much out of the meetings, and when my friends left Pattaya, I stopped going. I had been sober for several weeks at this point, and felt that I didn’t need AA to remain sober. I thought I had it licked. There was no way in the world I was going to even pick up a drink again.
Things were still bad on the home front. My wife were still fighting, she was still going out and getting drunk on an ever more frequent basis and still disappearing for days at a time.
So I eventually concluded I would never stay sober in this kind of environment and made a decision to leave her for good, and employ a lawyer to negotiate a divorce settlement.
I moved a lot of my personal stuff to a friend’s house (without her knowledge), and one day when she was out on the razzle, I packed up and left for good – or so I thought at the time. I stayed a while in Pattaya and then went to Bangkok, and finally flew back to Phnom Penh, while my lawyer back in Pattaya went to see her and tried to negotiate an amicable settlement.
At first, negotiations seemed to go well, and it appeared that she was going to be reasonable. But nearly three months later, just before she was due to sign the divorce settlement agreement, something happened, and she changed her mind and refused to talk to my lawyer any more. I had returned to Pattaya this point, to finalise matters, and was of course extremely upset at this turn of events.
During my 3 months away from home I had spent time in Thailand, Cambodia and the Philippines, and near the end of my time away, when I was in The Philippines, I started drinking again. I am not sure what precipitated it, but it happened and that was that.
I hadn’t spoken to my wife for the best part of three months, but when the agreement fell through I decided to contact her to see what I could salvage, and as a result of that initial contact, she begged me to come home and promised that she would truly change.
I believed her.
Upon my return we sat down and had a long “clear the air” session, and tried to work out a new basis for a happy relationship. A few weeks later, on my birthday, I stopped drinking again. Soon after this my wife stared to get up to her old tricks: going out, getting drunk and not coming home.
Ground Hog day had truly arrived.
Towards the end of June, a particularly bad incident happened – she had gone out, was getting drunk and was clearly lying to me about where she was and who she was with on the phone, and I fell off the wagon and got very, very drunk. I hadn’t drunk for 3 weeks and my tolerance was low.
I became so drunk that I could hardly walk, and I was walking around my swimming pool near my fish pond in the wee hours of the morning, and lost my balance and fell head first into the fish pond. My head was under the water and I couldn’t move. I was drowning; and would have drowned if two Thai men, who I had been drinking with in my garden annex, hadn’t heard me fall in. When they realised what had happened they rushed over and pulled me out. I got unsteadily to my feet, retraced my steps to the annex, and resumed my drinking. It was only several days later, when I was completely sober and free of alcohol withdrawal, that I realised how near I had come to death.
The next day an AA friend from Bangkok met me in Pattaya, and we had a long talk, the result of which was that I made the decision to stop drinking once again and started to go to AA meetings on a regular basis.
This was on June 25th 2009.
(I shall try and complete this “catch -up” tomorrow, and then get back to “Mobi’s Story” over the next few days.)