Today I have been sober for 85 days.
Yes, I know, I haven’t written for 3 weeks, and some of you have assumed the worst: that I have fallen off the wagon, that I have returned to my wife, that she has had me ‘bumped off’ or I have “topped myself” and goodness knows what else.
Well sorry to disappoint the more macabre amongst you, but all of the above is pretty wide of the mark.
The truth is pretty boring, I’m afraid.
I have been soldiering along, staying sober, trying to deal with my new life, sort out my old life, and trying to keep my waves of depression under control, and frankly, just didn’t feel in the mood for writing my blog.
But the sheer weight of concerned messages I have received has convinced me that I had better get my act together and start blogging again.
We alcoholics are renowned procrastinators, as for most of our lives we would always turn to booze rather than face our responsibilities and even just to do our daily chores and duties. I don’t know about others, but for me, once I have started to do something, I am fine and will usually see it through to conclusion. The problem is making the mental effort to begin. Like now – this blog. I have wanted to start writing again for many days, and every time I think about it, I make an excuse to put it off for yet another day. Today, I don’t really know what happened, but I finally made that mental leap, and I am now a ‘happy camper’, blogging away without a care in the world.
So what has happened since I last blogged?
I am now fully settled in to my new “nest”, have bought some additional pieces of furniture, have sorted out all my files and other personal stuff, and last but by no means least, have moved a little ‘house mate’ in with me to keep me warm at nights.
So now it’s a “love Nest”.
Yes I know, I made a resolution to live alone for a while, but I was getting very lonely and very depressed, and when I found this little darling, I decided that she would be therapeutic for my mental state, which has more than proved to be the case. I am sure I will write more about her later, but for now, suffice to say that she is totally different to every woman I have ever lived with before, inasmuch as she is quiet and sensible (not feisty and fun loving), is very careful with money ( not treating me as an ATM machine), has few, if any friends, hardly ever uses the phone, and just generally seems to be what I should have found 40 years ago. She is very intelligent, a good cook and home maker, doesn’t smoke or drink, hates Thai soaps, and prefers to read books, thinks most Thai pop songs are unoriginal, repetitive and boring and prefers foreign music, and so it goes on…..
I am taking this relationship a day at a time, and if at any point I get the familiar warning signals, she will be out of the door in a flash. I will have absolutely no sentiment this time round, and I have no intention of ever getting married again.
But in the meantime, she is making me happy and helping me to forget all my bad experiences, and maybe most importantly, being with her has helped me to lose the remnants of any feelings that I still may have harboured for my errant wife. And course, having a “live-in” has kept me out of the bars and other “night spots”, (which she doesn’t like to go to) and also helps to ease the strain on my bank account.
On the wife front, after a few hiccups, things seem to be progressing slowly but surely in the right direction.
I previously wrote that my wife had agreed to use my friend’s wife as a ‘go between’ to discuss the disposal of the marital assets. Then I received a short, very rude reply to my email proposal, and I responded to the effect that if she couldn’t write in a civil matter, then forget about it, and told her: “Goodbye, have a good life!”
I also received the message, via my friend, that she was no longer prepared to use his wife as a “go between”, so I feared the worst. Deja Vu. Anyway, as the last toss of the coin, I contacted another friend who is married to an elderly “Puyai” Chinese/Thai lady, who knows my wife, and who I know that my wife respects, and asked if she would take over the role of intermediary.
So against my wildest hopes, this seems to have worked and my wife is talking to the new intermediary, and has now answered my emails in a very friendly and polite manner.
There was another minor “blip” when my wife’s sister saw me in Pattaya with my new girlfriend, and duly reported this heinous act. The wife apparently went ballistic, but the new intermediary calmed her down, and told her that it was no more than could be expected and just get used to it.
But generally things are progressing painfully slowly, as the wife is rarely, if ever at home, choosing to spend all her time in Bangkok, doing God knows what, and keeps postponing a meeting that my friend’s wife has set up to discuss everything, which is currently re-scheduled for next Tuesday.
I am still attending daily AA meetings, and have also fallen into the habit of attending the “meeting after the meeting” at Starbucks, where I chat with my sponsor. He has approved my decision to move in a young lady in to take care of me, as he has seen how much happier I am now.
Most days I eat at home, and have even taken in a few movies, my first visits to cinema in years. (In recent years, I would never go with my wife, because she would always go for a meal after the movie, get drunk and end up making trouble.)
Last Monday I came to Bangkok with my young lady where we spent 2 nights, before she took off to see her family in Surat Thani, (her first visit in 5 years – the reasons for which I will explain later), and I flew out to Phom Penh for a week.
My trip to Phnom Penh is mainly for fun, but I have also met up with my friend, Bob, (who I have previous written about) and we are discussing some mutual business together.
During my 2 days in Bangkok, I met my friend Dave for lunch, and he has made yet another miraculous recovery. He looks remarkably fit, has lost a fair amount of weight, and his appetite seems to be almost back to normal. He hasn’t had a drop of booze, and he tells me is off all his medication, which included some very powerful anti-depressants. He is also back working in his recording studio, and has more money in his pocket than he has had for quite a while.
If anyone on this Earth has a “higher power” looking out for him, it is surely Dave.
Dave is worried about the forthcoming Christmas festive period, as this has been a time when he has fallen off the wagon in the past. His so called friends, always turn up around Christmas, and think they are doing him a good turn by exhorting him to get drunk at their expense, and Dave is worried that this situation will re-occur. So my friend Bob and I will try to counter this by getting together with Dave in Bangkok over Christmas, and maybe bring him down to Pattaya, and keep him away from his drinking friends and spend a non alcoholic Christmas with non-drinkers. It remains to be seen if this plan will transpire.
Bob has recently confessed that he lapsed for one night when a friend visited him at his home in Noosa, Queensland. He said he had two glasses of Baileys with his cigar. Of course, I was most concerned and reminded Bob, that it will be almost impossible for him to remain sober if he doesn’t have the support of an organisation such as the AA, and work through a programme like the AA twelve steps. He told me that he considered our daily Skype chat sessions as his ‘AA meeting’, and that I was his sponsor. Well, I am not too sure about all that, and am hoping that his lapse will not repeat itself.
He has also told me since we have been in Phnom Penh together that his abstinence from alcohol has been a huge positive step in his life, and he is now doing things that would have been impossible to do only few months ago. He is hopefully on the brink of a new job, which would have simply not been possible earlier in the year due to his heavy drinking.
So I will return to Thailand on Wednesday, and meet up with my new lady and thence back to Pattaya, to see how things are progressing.