Today I have been sober for 60 days.
Yes, I know – yet another unplanned “blog break”.
I am truly sorry, and apologise to all those who have been concerned about my welfare,
First and foremost, I have not been attacked by my wife, my health is as good as can be expected, and I have not taken a drink.
By way of explanation, let me say that when I first moved into my new home, I was, without doubt, “Happy, Joyous and Free”. However, as the days went by, I struggled to get the place properly sorted, and in general terms, reality set in and I started to realise the enormity of what I had done.
As a result, I became very lethargic and depressed. I didn’t take a drink, and I continued to attend the morning AA meetings, but I had great difficulty in sleeping for long periods (which I still do), and found it quite difficult to become motivated and get through the day and do all the things that needed to be done.
That was five days ago. Slowly, my mental state has improved and today, for the first time in quite a while, I have really wanted to write my blog. (Even when I blogged five days ago, I had to force myself very hard to write anything.)
I have mentioned several times that this is by no means the first time that I have attempted to leave my wife, and on the last occasion I was away for almost three months, so in that context this is still very early days. However, on the previous occasions, I hadn’t planned properly; I had nowhere to live and ended up getting very depressed in hotel rooms across South East Asia, which also led me to start drinking again. And once I started drinking, it was really all over – just a matter of time before I returned to the unhappy family fold.
So in spite of the slight depressive set back, I am hanging in and I know that this time in my heart of hearts that I will never go back, no matter what may happen, no matter what she may do or say or promise. It is truly over and I am merely adjusting to my new life and going through the withdrawal symptoms of a sad, broken marriage that is finally at and end.
I cannot be sure that I will not sink into further and worse depressions, and if that happens, it is probable that my blog will dry up again, but within reason I will renew my efforts to keep it going. Even if I cannot write a decent day’s narrative, I will at least write a few lines so that you know I am still alive and kicking.
I have not been completely idle during the past 5 days, and my new home is now about 95% sorted. It could probably have all been done days ago, but better late than never – and in any case – what’s the hurry?
All my personal stuff is unpacked and put away, and although the place is very tastefully furnished, I have had to buy a couple of extra pieces of furniture for my bedroom to put everything in. I think I will still need to buy a small filing cabinet, as at the moment all my files have been stuffed in the wardrobe. I have also purchased a number of other things for the home, and I think I am now pretty much there.
I finally had my ADSL connected by TOT, and while it leaves something to be desired (I ordered a 2 Mpbs connection – the maximum they said I could have where I lived – but am only getting speeds of around 0.650 Mpbs), it is better than my sim ‘air card’ connection that I had been previously using.
I have resolved to do my own housekeeping, as I hate the thought of a maid invading my private space. This is the first time for years that I have done anything like this, but as the place is small, and I am the only one in it, the task is not too arduous. I have found a good, inexpensive laundry that washes and irons my clothes, and I have even started to do a bit of home cooking.
On the spiritual front, I have recently shared at AA meetings, that since I left my wife, my ‘Higher Power’, or God, seems to have ‘gone out the window’. I have stopped thinking about spiritual matters, have stopped praying and some of my worst character defects, like anger, have started to reappear. This is bad, but at least I am aware of it, and as things start to settle, I will renew my efforts to get back to where I was. I still haven’t started the fourth step work in the AA programme, and must do so very soon.
I don’t believe I have mentioned that I now have a new AA sponsor – my third in as many months. This man, I shall call him Jack, is a very dear, elderly American, who has lived in Pattaya for many years, is one of the founder members of the Pattaya morning group, and is the most “Happy, Joyous and Free” alcoholic that I have so far had the pleasure of meeting. I hesitated to ask him if he would consider being my sponsor, as who would take on an ornery person such as myself with such a dubious track record? Fortunately, he solved the problem by volunteering. I don’t think he knows what he’s getting into. Anyway, Jack has a much more ‘laid back’ approach to sponsorship than my previous sponsor, and he has made it clear that I can work the programme at my own pace, and he is not about to try and control my life.
On most days, Jack invites everyone to join him for a coffee at a local Starbucks after the meeting and a few of the regulars invariably accept his offer. I had studiously avoided this gathering, as I am loath to take on new friends, and it all seemed a tad too ‘American’, for this limey to take on board. But I started to realise that most of these guys were really the ‘good guys’ and they genuinely wanted to help, so I have belatedly fallen in line, and have slipped into the habit of adjourning to Starbucks for the obligatory “Americano -Tall” and ‘shooting the shit’ for half an hour or so, at the close of the morning meeting.
Also since I moved, I have had to take care of my sick friend, Dave, from Bangkok who asked me to help him renew his retirement visa. I will not go into details, but for one reason or another he couldn’t get this done at Bangkok immigration, and all his close, Bangkok friends, failed to come up with the goods. So the only alternative was to bring him down to Pattaya.
You may recall that Dave has recently been very ill, in fact at the point of death, due to a ruptured liver, brought on by his chronic alcoholism. Well since he was discharged from hospital, he has made steady progress, but is still quite weak, still in a lot of pain and has chronic diarrhea, the cause of which the doctors have so far failed to identify. (Although I strongly suspect it is due to his damaged liver and maybe they don’t want to tell him).
So last Wednesday I drove to Bangkok and picked him up and brought him down to Pattaya and put him in a room. He was scheduled to stay for two nights, but the following morning I found him in a lot of pain and his general condition seemed to have deteriorated. It was therefor decided that I should take him straight back to Bangkok. Fortunately, I had made all the essential arrangements for his visa, and I was able to pick his passport up later when it was finally issued.
Dave was deposited back home and took a couple of days to ‘recover’ from the trauma of his journey, and then he went back to hospital for a check up, and was told that they wanted to carry out a colonoscopy as they feared he had cancer.
Today Dave had the colonoscopy, and the initial results indicate that although they removed three polyps (which will be checked to see if they are benign), there is no evidence of cancer. That’s the good news, but the bad news is that the cause of his diarrhea remains undiagnosed, and as I said above, I suspect it may be his liver. But I shouldn’t jump the gun on this.
Having Dave down here, and having a lot of time to talk to him, made me realise that his life is now starting to wind down, and I wondered whether either of us would need to worry about his visa this time next year. I think Dave’s situation, on top of my own, contributed to my depression. He has been my friend for 36 years, and in spite of many ups and downs, he has been a good and dear mate. I would miss him horrendously if something were to happen to him.
Dave is just one of life’s unfortunates. – a truly gifted and artistic person who couldn’t come to terms with the modern world, and ultimately never really succeeded at anything.
I will try to offer a prayer for his recovery today.
I am aware that I have been rambling a bit – trying to explain, up date and get a few things off my chest all in one fell swoop.
I don’t know if I have succeeded on any of the counts, but I’ll shut up for now.
I know many of you wish to follow Mobi’s Story, and I will do my utmost to get back to that subject tomorrow – provided the world doesn’t fall in, or the wife doesn’t find me and ‘take out a contract’…..