Today I have been sober for 2 days
I haven’t had a drink since Sunday evening.
Last night, for the first time for as long as I can remember, I stayed home and kept away from the pubs and bars. I cooked myself and evening meal at home, and slept around one a.m, alone
I know this is my only hope to break the cycle of bars, women and booze.
On Sunday I had resolved to stay away from women for one week, yet after stopping for a quick ‘night cap” at a bar near to my home, I ended up bringing yet another girl back with me, and promising her the earth.
Almost every night I resolve to change my ways, and almost every night I end up with a girl in my bed. When I don’t, it is because the girl of my choice chooses someone else, and that in itself triggers yet more drinking.
If was able to drink in moderation, then this behaviour might not be so terrible, but as it is, my alcoholic brain does not act in a normal manner, neither with respect to booze, or women, and I end up getting emotionally involved and ‘drowning my perceived sorrows’.
To give you a flavour of the kind of nonsense that goes on in my pathetic life, here the story of one of the many girls who I have become involved with recently.
I met Toi a few weeks ago, working as a cashier/bar tender in a suburban bar that caters for farang residents, and ‘long term’ vacationers. She is quite tall with a nice figure and an excellent, fashionable dress sense.
Toi was one the very few Thai bar girls who insisted in conversing with me in slow, well considered English with a good level of grammatical accuracy.
She told me her story.
She was thirty five, from Surin and had been married to a Thai man when very young. Unfortunately, as a young woman her eating habits became out of control and her weight bloomed to eighty five kilos. Her husband didn’t think too much about this turn of events and instead of trying to help her , he started playing around and sleeping with other women.
Toi left him and resolved to get her weight back down to a reasonable level. She embarked on a programme of strict dieting and exercise, which involved running at least two hours per day.
She told me it took her two years to get down to her current size, which is less than fifty kilos, and during that time she remained alone, separated from her husband.
One day her husband saw her in the Surin market, and at first he didn’t recognize her. He approached her and asked her if she was really Toi, his wife. He asked her if she would go back to him, but she declined.
After that he became a ‘stalker’ at her parents’ home and kept bothering her and begging her to go back to him, but she steadfastly refused. Eventually he became such a nuisance that Toi’s parents had to call the police to restrain him and stop his continuing harassment.
Toi eventually obtained divorce and moved to Bangkok to become a clothes designer for a garment factory. She told me that she had designed nearly all the clothes she wore to work, which accounted for their unusually striking appearance.
She said she had lived alone for the past ten years, and had come to work at the bar one month previously when her friend had called and asked her to join her there. She had become bored with factory life; her salary was very low and she had enjoyed a very limited social life. So she decided to give the bar work a go.
I didn’t doubt the truth of her story. It was told in a matter of fact manner and with a sincerity that made it very believable. Why tell such a story of it wasn’t true?
Toi told me she had taught herself English from books and language tapes, had her own computer and was computer literate, and still went for an hour’s run on most mornings. All in all she was a classy woman, and I decided to pursue a romantic involvement with her.
The ‘courting’ went on for a few days, and to cut a long story short, she eventually agreed to come home with me, and we had an amazing night. I wondered if this might be the ‘wonder-lady’ I had been seeking for so long. She assured me that although she sometimes went out with men from her bar, she never slept with them, just went to the disco or a restaurant. She said that if she had a regular boy friend she would be faithful and stop going out with customers.
The following morning I dropped her back to her room off Pattaya Tai, and at the last moment decided to put some money in her bag. I was starting to veer away from commitment, and thought that if I paid her, then there was no liability. I half expected her to express surprise at my action, but she said nothing, so I let it go.
Later she called me to say that she had to unexpectedly go to Bangkok with her sister that afternoon and would be back the following day.
I started to smell a rat, and the more I thought about it the more I came to the conclusion that I couldn’t really trust her after all, and I’d better forget her.
The next day she called me, and sent me messages but I declined to answer.
I didn’t go back to the bar for one week, and when I did eventually return, there she was, on the customer’s side of the bar entwined with a farang and looking like she was enjoying it immensely.
Being the twisted, alcoholic that I am, I immediately became very jealous, and even more so, when after a short while, the two left together.
The next day I returned to the bar and was surprised and pleased to find her once more ensconced behind the bar back at her normal job.
I admitted to her that I was very jealous, about what I had seen the previous day and she laughed a lot. She said she had waited for me for one week, and I had never once called or sent her a message.
I had to admit it was indeed, all my fault. So that night she once more went home with me. This time I did not have to ‘bar-fine’ her as she insisted that I meet her outside her room in Pattaya Tai, when the bar had closed. This I did for the next three nights and on each occasion, I gave her some money when dropping her off in the morning. She always accepted the money without comment.
This bothered me. If we were truly going to be a ‘proper couple’, while recognising that I would have to help her financially, I didn’t want to have to pay her every time I slept with her – it felt too much like she was just a regular prostitute.
So I decided to put it to the test. On the fourth morning I dropped her off but gave her no money. She said nothing and kissed me goodbye.
That evening I went to see her at her bar, and she told me that when the bar closed she would be going out with her friend to a disco in Walking Street, and wouldn’t be coming home with me. That was OK, as we had discussed doing this before, and I understood that she needed to go out with her friends on occasion.
Then she asked me: “Didn’t you forget something this morning?”
“What’s that?” I asked, with feigned innocence.
I wanted her to say it.
“You forgot to give me any money”, she said, with an embarrassed laugh.
“Oh, oh, did I?”
She said nothing more, but I was seething. and confused. I thought that if she had any discretion or good sense,she would have at least brought up the subject of money in a more delicate manner, rather than just telling me straight out that I had forgotten to pay her. I decided that I would pay her and be off. It was all over she was just another whore.
And that is what I did, and I haven’t seen her or heard from her since.
I haven’t written about my friends lately.
Long time readers of my blog may recall Bob in Australia. You will remember that I had a bit of a disagreement with him on how we dealt with Dave, the alcoholic in Bangkok. I was advised to break of all communications with Dave in a desperate last attempt to persuade him to get some help from AA, but Bob refused to go along with it.
So I broke of communication with both Dave and Bob on the basis that they weren’t doing much for my attempts to stay sober and that I couldn’t do any more for Dave.
Anyway, a short while ago, I decided enough was enough and I have re-established contact with both of them.
I sent the following email to Bob:
“Bob, I want to apologise for my behaviour to you.
You are such a good friend, and I have been an arsehole. I am very sorry for what I have said, and what I accused you of doing with regards to Dave I know you care about him, and you thought you were doing the right thing.
I still believe that if we had both broken contact immediately for a few weeks, it might have been the short sharp shock that he needed to bring him into AA – it was at least worth a try.
But you obviously thought otherwise, and I have to respect your point of view. I shouldn’t have tried to shut you off as a friend, and I will be eternally grateful that you continually refused to accept that is was the end of our friendship.”
As far as Dave was concerned, I just called him and communications were re-established.
Dave must indeed have a charmed life, although I will will be very surprised if he succeeds in lasting through 2010.
I spoke to him a few times in the past week or so, and each time he sounded ever more inebriated. He admitted he had been drinking for quite a while, even though everyone had told him the the next drink would kill him.
Yesterday I called, and discovered that Dave had fallen down the stairs in his house and had suffered severe head injuries. Apparently there was blood everywhere (he is a very large man – 6 feet six, and I would guess well in excess of 120 kilos), and was unconscious when his lady called for an ambulance. This happened a couple of days ago, and amazingly when I called, he was back home in bed. He told me that he had no recollection of the accident or being taken to hospital, but when he came round he insisted on being discharged as he couldn’t afford to stay in hospital.
He has broken an number of bones in his skull, and had an operation to knit them back together. Yesterday he sounded very woozy – hardly surprising considering his current condition and what he had just been through, but today although his speech was even more slurred, he sounded reasonably lucid.
I mentioned to him his slurred speech, and he said he didn’t know why. But then, almost in the same breath, he admitted that he had been drinking beer steadily ever since he had been discharged.
If he didn’t have such a strong constitution, and had inherited his remarkeable “longevity genes”, (both his parents died in their nineties), I am sure he would have been dead years ago. But I doubt even Dave can really last much longer, and in talking to him, I don’t think he expects to either.
I think he has given up.
I am still getting messages from folk, who although well meaning, really don’t understand the nature of an alcoholic and the disease of alcoholism.
They still believe that I can drink in moderation. Yes, of course I can drink in relative moderation (if you call starting at 10 p.m. and finishing at 5 a.m. the next morning in moderation), but sooner or later, a life threatening ‘bender’ will occur. It is as sure as night follows day.
I know this; all alcoholics know this and that is why some of us are desperate to stop, for we know that the next drink may be our last.
Here is an extract from the AA “Big Book”, which I believe, adequately deals with this issue:
Most of us have been unwilling to admit we were real alcoholics. No person likes to think he is bodily and mentally different from his fellows. Therefore, it is not surprising that our drinking careers have been characterized by countless vain attempts to prove we could drink like other people. The idea that somehow, someday he will control and enjoy his drinking is the great obsession of every abnormal drinker. The persistence of this illusion is astonishing. Many pursue it into the gates of insanity or death.
We learned that we had to fully concede to our innermost selves that we were alcoholics. This is the first step in recovery. The delusion that we are like other people, or presently may be, has to be smashed.
We alcoholics are men and women who have lost the ability to control our drinking. We know that no real alcoholic ever recovers control. All of us felt at times that we were regaining control, but such intervals-usually brief-were inevitably followed by still less control, which led in time to pitiful and incomprehensible demoralization. We are convinced to a man that alcoholics of our type are in the grip of a progressive illness. Over any considerable period we get worse, never better.
We are like men who have lost their legs; they never grow new ones. Neither does there appear to be any kind of treatment which will make alcoholics of our kind like other men. We have tried every imaginable remedy. In some instances there has been brief recovery, followed always by a still worse relapse. Physicians who are familiar with alcoholism agree there is no such thing a making a normal drinker out of an alcoholic. Science may one day accomplish this, but it hasn’t done so yet.
Despite all we can say, many who are real alcoholics are not going to believe they are in that class. By every form of self-deception and experimentation, they will try to prove themselves exceptions to the rule, therefore nonalcoholic. If anyone who is showing inability to control his drinking can do the right-about-face and drink like a gentleman, our hats are off to him. Heaven knows, we have tried hard enough and long enough to drink like other people!
Here are some of the methods we have tried: Drinking beer only, limiting the number of drinks, never drinking alone, never drinking in the morning, drinking only at home, never having it in the house, never drinking during business hours, drinking only at parties, switching from scotch to brandy, drinking only natural wines, agreeing to resign if ever drunk on the job, taking a trip, not taking a trip, swearing off forever (with and without a solemn oath), taking more physical exercise, reading inspirational books, going to health farms and sanitariums, accepting voluntary commitment to asylums-we could increase the list ad infinitum.
We do not like to pronounce any individual as alcoholic, but you can quickly diagnose yourself, Step over to the nearest barroom and try some controlled drinking. Try to drink and stop abruptly. Try it more than once. It will not take long for you to decide, if you are honest with yourself about it. It may be worth a bad case of jitters if you get a full knowledge of your condition.
Though there is no way of proving it, we believe that early in our drinking careers most of us could have stopped drinking. But the difficulty is that few alcoholics have enough desire to stop while there is yet time. We have heard of a few instances where people, who showed definite signs of alcoholism, were able to stop for a long period because of an overpowering desire to do so.
So I will see if I can manage to stay away from pubs and bars for one week, and likewise the bar girls. It seems to be the only solution for now.
Tomorrow I will try to get back to “AZZY – MY LOVE”