Today I have been sober for 120 Days.
I am still fighting my depression. I have spent the last three days largely in my room, only venturing out briefly at night to get something to eat. I have missed meetings and must make a big effort to go tomorrow.
This morning I found out through a reliable source that my wife has a Thai boyfriend. This didn’t come as a complete surprise, as I had suspected that might have been the case. There were a number of factors that fueled this suspicion, and if it is the guy I am thinking of, she has been going out with him and sleeping with him for a very long time. During the past year or so she has spent a great deal of time with the owner of the hairdressing school where she used to be a pupil, and has gone away on many occasions with him, to various functions in Bangkok, and even on a trip to Kanchanaburi. I know she used to see him regularly, even when in Pattaya, so I guess he is the one.
When I heard this, it was like someone had suddenly punched me in the stomach, and sucked the air out of my lungs. I like to think that I have largely got over my feelings for her, but news like this still hurts a lot. I don’t know why – maybe it is my ego, but I have been with her for six years, she is a very beautiful woman, and the idea of her sleeping with another man (Thai or otherwise) and probably cuckolding me for years, is a very painful truth to live with.
Fortunately the extreme pain didn’t last too long, and although it still hurts when I think about it, for the most part I can live with it.
Although I am still badly depressed, it nevertheless shows how far I have come in my recovery, for at no time today did I feel like picking up a drink. Six months ago I would have laid on such a drunken binge that I wouldn’t have sobered up for a week.
I do not feel suicidal today, so maybe I am over the worst.
MOBI’S STORY – (PART 27)
THE RETIREMENT YEARS (CONTINUED)
During the period I was in Thailand alone, before returning to England to move my stuff out and send that “divorce fax”, my drinking had reached new levels. The planning and the execution of my divorce plan had unnerved me and I had this terrible feeling in the pit of my stomach. The only thing that took it away and made me feel half way ‘normal’ was copious amounts of whisky. I was well into Black Label whisky during this time, and I had a bottle with me in the hotel, and bottles behind the bars in all my favourite drinking places on Soi 33.
A typical day would see my waking up in the afternoon, feeling like death warmed up, getting a few beers down me to stop the shakes, then forcing some late breakfast into my empty stomach, before taking off to the bars around Sukhumvit. Eventually I would reach the bar where my latest bottle was awaiting my attention, and only then did I start to feel better, and the feeling in my stomach would start to dissipate. I would drink until closing time, when I would then grab a few girls and we would take off to a “kow tom” shop where I continued my drinking. Eventually, I would stagger back to my room in a paralytic state, always alone, and fall into a drunken stupor.
When I returned to England I had to adjust my drinking behaviour or I would never have got anything done, but the evenings were still very drunken affairs, and every night I drank myself to sleep.
Once I had moved myself and my daughter in to our new place, it soon became apparent that the arrangement was not going to work. Our home was a tiny, semi-detached country cottage, with a small kitchen area facing onto a small lounge, and two bedrooms, one above the other. I took the first floor, and Samantha the upper room. It would have been Ok for two, but not for three – plus visitors who came and went at all hours of the day and night, and made varying amounts of noise, ranging from loud music to drunken brawls.
Samantha had been through a emotional and difficult time with her mother, and I felt that trying to impose any sort of discipline on her would be counterproductive. She was ‘finding herself’ and letting her hair down, after having had her natural instincts stifled for most of her life. She was seventeen years old – “Not a girl, but not yet a woman”, (with apologies to Britney Spears).
I hadn’t reckoned on her boyfriend moving in permanently. He was a nice enough, bright young man, who obviously cared for Samantha a great deal, but unfortunately, he was a lazy, dirty, untidy slob, and Samantha immediately aped his habits, no doubt to some extent as a reaction to her mother’s fanatical tidiness. So I had to put up with two teenagers, virtually running riot in a pretty cramped space. They drank, played loud music, ate fast food, or fried something up in the kitchenette, and left the leftover food, plates, pots, pans and dishes all over the place. Their friends would come by in the evenings and they would party night after night. I was forced into my room every night where I drank myself to sleep.
I was uncomfortable, unhappy, and every two –three days had to spend hours and hours trying to clean up, only to see the placed wrecked again within twenty four hours. Samantha was also clearly embarrassed by my presence, and I’m really not sure which of us wanted me to leave the most – her or me. We were still very close, but she needed to be with her friends and she didn’t want her crotchety old Dad around.
So we sat down and talked it through and agreed that I would move out and leave them to it. But where was I to go? The only thing that was keeping me in England was my daughter. I had very few friends, and in any case they were all married, and I would always be the odd one out. It didn’t take long for me to decide to return to Thailand, and see if I couldn’t forge a new life for myself out there. After all, I had known and loved the country for many years; I could get around quite well there, and even spoke a bit of the language. In this age of mobile phones and emails, I would always be in contact with my daughters, and if necessary I could jump on a plane and be back in the UK within twenty four hours.
After getting approval from my two daughters, and advising my divorce lawyer of my plans, I once again flew out to Bangkok in late August 2003 to see what fate might await me.
My divorce was also moving on apace. My wife had finally got the message that there was to be no reconciliation, but had declined to appoint a lawyer to represent her. She agreed that we should divorce, but of course she disputed the proposed settlement that I had offered her, which amounted to approximately 30% of the assets to go to her and 70% to me.
The arguments went backwards and forwards between her and me by email, and as I recall we eventually agreed to a split which was close to 45/55, and which also meant that my wife would retain sole ownership of the house. It turned out to be a very good deal for her, as this was a year or so before house prices took off and she ended up with an asset far higher in value than it’s valuation at the time of the divorce settlement.
So although I had had to hand over a substantial amount of my hard earned wealth and my wife ended up as quite a rich woman, I still had more than enough to see me through for the rest of my life, and I would still be able to live in relative luxury, especially if I decided to remain in Thailand, where the cost of living was so much cheaper.
I made another trip to England during that autumn to deal with a number of matters, including buying a small house, partly as an investment, and partly to provide a better accommodation for my daughter.
I also had an operation on my bladder while I was there, and although I was extremely weak after the operation and was supposed to rest up for a few weeks, I was immediately immersed in the task of moving my daughter from the rented accommodation into my new house, including moving furniture, personal effects and goodness knows what else. I had innumerable arrangements to make and things to do, such as: cleaning the rented accommodation from top to bottom to get my substantial deposit back; paying a mass of bills and getting the utilities all set up in the new house; buying furniture and household stuff , and so on. As time went on, I became weaker and in more and more pain.
My daughter was still shacked up with the same lazy slob, and their assistance with all these tasks was minimal, and I had to ask several times before they would even lift a finger to help. But we all know how selfish and unfeeling teenagers can be so I didn’t give it a lot of thought.
By the time I finally got everything sorted and managed to jump on a plane back to Thailand, I was exhausted and was really very ill. I had a bad fever and was still passing blood, as I hadn’t given my bladder a proper chance to heal. But things were to go from bad to rapidly worse, the minute I arrived back in Bangkok.
For what I haven’t yet related is that when I previously went to in Bangkok in August, I had embarked on a new, disastrous relationship, and yet again, I had trumped my own stupidity by doing something extremely foolish.