Today I have been sober for 121 days.
I received a comment in my blog the other day from a lady who said some very nasty and hurtful things about me and my life. I will publish and respond to her comments in due course, but need to collect my thoughts on what she has said before doing so.
Amongst other things, she accused me of being pathetic and in her opinion my behaviour that was the main cause of the breakdown in my relationships and that I had treated my wives appallingly and it was no surprise to her that I was now all alone.
In many ways she is correct, and I would never try to deny it.
I am certainly pathetic, and I have certainly contributed very heavily to my current misery and all the bad things that have happened in my life – particularly my inability to have a happy relationship.
The point that she seems to have missed, is that I when I started this blog, I never claimed to be anything other than what I am – a pathetic alcoholic who is struggling with life and trying to stay sober. My stories are not written with any pride or self justification, they are being written as honestly as possible, so that my readers will understand how an alcoholic often destroys his life, and all too frequently ends up dead before his time, either by his own hand, or due to illness or alcohol induced misadventures.
It is an established fact that alcohol is nowhere near as addictive as hard drugs, and probably even cigarettes. The experts tell us that alcohol dependency is more of a mental condition than an addictive condition and this explains why nearly all alcoholics can stop drinking for days, weeks, months, and in some cases for even years at a time, without any obvious ill effects, then, only too frequently, the alcoholic returns to ‘the bottle’ when his or her mental state somehow determines that they can now drink in moderation, or that a ‘one off’ single drink will do them no harm. This is why it is so important for the recovering alcoholic to have good and regular support, such as AA provides, and to never stop drawing on that support, regardless of the number of years he or she has remained sober. Once an alcoholic – always an alcoholic.
You will see from what I have written in “Mobi’s story” so far, that my drinking was forever reaching new heights, (or depths!), and that my mental state – my ability to make sensible, life changing decisions and logical judgments – was becoming more and more impaired.
Since I have been attending the various meetings of Alcoholics Anonymous in Pattaya and Bangkok, I have had the good fortune to meet and talk with a surprising cross section of alcoholics from all over the world, from all walks of life and of varying educational backgrounds: from business leaders, to university professors to semi literate ex cons. I have come to realise that in many ways we are all very similar to each other; we have comparable stories to tell and we all have the same demons to fight, such as depression, numerous failed relationships, selfish behavior, feelings of guilt and regret, and so on.
In particular, depression is a major part of the lives of so many alcoholics and I doubt if there are many readers who would deny that depression is an illness, even if they dispute the notion that alcoholism is also an illness.
So in due course I will respond further on the comment I received from this lady, and try to deal specifically with the points she has raised. For now, let it suffice for me to say that all you, dear readers, are free to make any comments, criticism or judgments on my life that you choose, but to simply throw insults at me is unhelpful, for I have never denied that, in keeping with many of my fellow alcoholics, I am one of the most pathetic, selfish and self absorbed people you are ever likely to meet. Unfortunately, it is an essential symptom of my condition. It is only by going through a difficult process of intense self examination and trying to correct the worst of my character defects, that I can have any hope of achieving long term sobriety.
Today seems to be a much better day. I think the news about my wife’s infidelity was good for me, for I suspect that somewhere in the inner reaches of my subconscious, I was still clinging to the idea that she might suddenly appear out of the blue, convince me that all my suspicions were wrong and that if I went back to her she would be the most perfect wife that had ever existed. Out of sight is definitely out of mind, and as I hadn’t been suffering daily insults to my intelligence by her unacceptable and unreasonable behaviour, I was starting to forget how bad she really was. This news which I received yesterday, has shaken me out of my revery with a rude shock, and maybe now I can really expurgate those pathetic dreams that I will somehow find happiness by nestling once more in my wife’s treacherous bosom.
Last night I went to see the lady who “blew me out” on Christmas Day. We had a long talk, and I understand her a lot better now. She has worked at a restaurant / bar for the past six months, and had also previously worked there before going back home to take care of her mother for a couple of years. I know for a fact that she has never slept with any customers, and as a result she is very poor, living on her meagre salary and shared tips, nearly all of which are sent to her family. I know the owner, (who has recently tried to stop drinking – but that is another story), and he confirms that many of his customers have been quite upset in the past because she will never agree to go out with any of them.
She is certainly a rarity in promiscuous Pattaya, and I have to admire her determination and spirit. She is twenty seven years old, childless (of course), and is very attractive. I have known her for over three years, and I know she cares about me. She told me that she had decided not to go out with me on Christmas Day because she thinks that I just want to sleep with her and then dump her, and she suspects that I take a different woman to my condo every night. Anyway the conversation moved to the future and she told that she was going home on New Year’s Eve and invited me to go with her. She said she will be there at least a week, and may not return to Pattaya.
I gave this a bit of thought and eventually told her that I would take her to her home (near Arunyapathet), and would stay one or two days there. (These days, I can only take Thai village life in small doses, especially as I am a non drinker). I said that if she wanted to come back to Pattaya I would go and get her. She was very pleased with this offer, and said she wanted her parents and family to meet me. Now this could turn out to be a major disaster, and if she starts to hit on me for too much money and all that jazz, then I will beat a hasty retreat. But she really doesn’t seem to be that kind of person, so I will see what happens. It will do me good to get away from Pattaya for a few days. I really don’t feel like spending new Year here, as I am not in a celebratory sort of mood.
I have one more day to change my mind, but the way I am thinking now, I’ll give it a go.
In the meantime, my depression has lifted and I am feeling more cheerful.