Today is my first day of sobriety.
I think I have stopped. I hope I have.
Why did I drink? I am not sure, but I will try to analyze my motives.
I had been sober for 127 days, and prior to that I managed 90 odd days before I went on a five day drunk in Chiang Mai. On that occasion I blew up at an AA meeting and went out and started drinking, but thinking back on it, I am sure that I was just using the so-called upset as an excuse. Deep down I had already decided that I was going to drink.
This time it is not so easy to figure it out. I just been through one of the worst depressions in my life, over Christmas and the New Year, but I hadn’t picked up a drink. But I had started to miss a lot of meetings and I had already been warned that this would lead to me drinking. Maybe once the idea that I might pick up a drink was started to germinate in my mind, it was only a matter of time before the idea became a reality.
But what actually triggered it?
Something pretty crazy, which only confirms to me how sick I am and that I still have a long way to go along the road to mental stability.
I think most of my readers will understand by now that I have a severe hang up with relationships. All my life I have sought out women who I must have realised, in some way, would become abusive or destructive in the relationship, as it developed.
I am now starting to realise that I have some kind of “addiction:” to ‘bad’ women and bad relationships, and that I seek them, because in some kind of twisted way, I seem to ‘get off’ on the emotional pain that is produced by them.
Maybe my addiction is akin to a gambler’s addiction, as I understand that a gambler doesn’t really care if he wins or loses, (and many are happy to lose), as it is the “high” they get from the thrill of the chase, the risk and excitement they enjoy as they follow the fortunes of their wager.
So my return to the bottle involved a woman – it had to, didn’t it?
I had seen this girl in a pub I started to patronize in the afternoons and evenings. It was a large drinking and eating establishment in the Jomtien suburbs, and was patronized mainly by expat residents, but also by a reasonable number of male tourists, many of whom had been to Pattaya many times before. The place was cheap, friendly, and had good food, and I felt comfortable there. I had seen the girl in question for several evenings in a row, leading up to the new year, always sitting at the bar, buying her own beer and drinking slowly, while chatting away to the female bar tenders. She wasn’t working there – she was a customer – and she is very pretty. Her name is Lek.
Then when I went to the pub on New Year’s day and I was surprised to find Lek behind the bar, busy working. I asked her why she was now working, and she showed me her empty pockets – no money.
So over the next couple of days I chatted her up, bought her some drinks, and eventually she agreed to go home with me. We had a lovely evening in my condo, and by now I knew her background. She was 21, came from Khon Kaen, had a six month old baby from a Thai man who had dumped her – the usual story. She had been obliged to leave college and find a job to pay for her baby’s upkeep. As soon as she came to my room she immediately jumped on my computer and started emailing and chatting to all her college mates in KonKaen, and it became apparent that she had considerable PC skills, and was no fool.
Although I had only just met her, I took an immediate fancy to her. We had no sexual relations that night, and in the morning, I took her out for breakfast and then drove her back to her room. She had agreed she would stay with me again that night, but wanted to go to work as she enjoyed working with her friends, and she told me that I could come and pick her up when she finished work around 12 midnight.
That was fine by me, and later I went to have lunch at the pub and to confirm that she would still come home with me that evening. She said yes, but to come a bit later, about 1 a.m. as she thought they would be very busy. I noticed she had changed from a fairly modest dress into revealing shorts and spaghetti top, but thought nothing of it.
So I spent the rest of the afternoon, and evening at home and around 12.30 that night I called Lek to see if she was ready to be collected. She said the pub was still busy, and she would call me when to come and collect her from her room, which was nearby.
I waited and waited, not suspecting a thing. But by 1.30 I started to wonder what was going on. I called her many times; no answer. I knew that pub never stayed open that late at night, so by this time I was getting myself into a state. I decided to go down to the pub and see what was going on. Five minutes later, I saw what I suspected would be the case; the pub closed, shuttered and in total darkness. It had obviously closed some time ago, because it takes them an hour to clear up and close down everything up after the last customer has gone.
My feelings were totally ridiculous. Here was a pretty girl, younger than my youngest daughter, who had I known for a few days and who I could not possibly have any feelings for, yet I felt as distressed and hurt as if I had just discovered my wife of five years in bed with another man. My feelings were totally over the top, and I knew it.
Yes, she had taken me for a sucker, but so what? What did I expect? And why was I so upset. We hardly knew each other. The more I thought about it the more I realised that I truly was one “f.cked up dude” (as dear Stephanie told me), who had the emotional maturity of a twelve year old.
So in the end, I am not sure what I was more upset about: the fact that this lady had lied to me, and was no doubt out with some other man at that moment, or the fact that it was hurting me so much, and that these feelings were completely ridiculous and illogical.
when I was younger, I can recall being quite able to take in my stride the ‘cut and thrust’ of Thai bar girls coming and going and lying to me, and I learned to give as good as I got. So for some reason my mental state was obviously deteriorating. Maybe all the relationship shit that I have been through has left me indelibly scarred and quite incapable of forming a normal relationship and being able to handle all these devious ladies.
It was 2.a.m; I drove to Walking Street, parked up, walked into a bar and ordered a beer. One beer followed another, and one bar followed another, and by 7.a.m. I was drunk, drove home alone and crashed.
I woke at noon, still pissed, and went out to continue my binge. I ended up in the early morning in Jomtien in one of the all night beer bars, and latched onto another young thing, who eventually came home with me, when I finally decided that I had drunk enough whisky, which had inevitably followed my consumption of umpteen bottles of beer.
Yesterday I felt pretty bad, although I had had a decent enough sleep. In the afternoon I went back to my local pub, saw the recalcitrant Lek at work behind the bar, greeted her, bought her a drink and behaved as though nothing had happened. She was still nursing a hangover from her exploits the night she had lied to me, and had apparently gone out with friends and ended up paralytic. (A guilt trip maybe?).
I was still feeling pretty bad, so I ordered a few beers to make the pain go away, and after a while, when I was tipsy, I decided to take a different girl from the pub home with me.
I didn’t do it particularly to piss off Lek – for I doubt that would be possible, in fact she was probably relieved that I wasn’t going to hassle her any more.
I had another good night’s sleep – yes I always sleep better when not alone – and today I will try hard to stop drinking.
We shall see.
I am not sure if and when I will go back to AA. I will think about it for a day or so.
I re-print below a comment on this subject, and my reply:
friend, on January 6th, 2010 at 3:47 am Said:
The day count of being sober is one of the problems I have with the AA.
You drank for a day so you have to start from zero again. It’s a way of conning you into believing you have failed. Will always fail and always need them and their god.
Being sober for 123 days has been great for your health.
Drinking on day 124 doesn’t mean you have to keep drinking.
You just need a break from the world for a while.
Tomorrow, prove to yourself, that you can stop again.
Good luck, mate.
I tend to agree with you about the ‘day count’. The first time I slipped, I had no problem going back and starting the day count for a second time. This time though, I fell less ambivalent about it. I will feel that I have failed, and even if I am not judged as such, I will be regarded as someone who failed because I didn’t follow the programme properly – and I didn’t.
There will also be a lot of patronizing – I will be treated as a ‘child’ and given sage advice from those who have had many years of sobriety under their belts. I am not sure I am ready for this, and the anticipation of such treatment may keep me away and even keep me drinking.
I don’t think they have ever claimed that it is “their” God and I think you are being a bit unfair here. I completely accept the notion that probably the only way for a true alcoholic to ultimately remain sober is to find some kind of spirituality – whatever that may be. As always, I am almost jealous of those who have found God or their “Higher Power”, as it surely works for them, and I can see it in their daily lives. For me, I am still looking.