Jomtien, 11th February, 2010

Today I have been sober for four days.

I am still suffering from the after effects of too much alcohol in my system – it seems to take my body a few weeks to get completely back to normal.

I still experience hot flushes, break out in uncontrollable sweats, have chronic diarrhea, itching all over my body amongst other telling symptoms. I had never realised that all these problems were alcohol related until I stopped for long periods last year and found that after a while, the symptoms went away.

In fact I spent a great deal of time and money having my stomach examined by a whole raft of specialists and from every possible angle, (cameras down my throat and up my arse amongst other uncomfortable procedures), as I had been suffering from chronic diarrhea for years.

I told all the specialists that I drank heavily, but none of them pinpointed this as the main reason for my complaint. I think they were confused because they found many chronic medical problems with my digestive tracts which were causing my frequent bowel movements, but what they hadn’t realized was that the damage to my stomach had been brought about by alcohol abuse.

When I stopped drinking, my digestive system started to work properly again, although I discovered by a process of elimination that have also developed extreme lactose intolerance, which again is down to years of alcohol abuse.

So I am aware that my medical well-being is delicately poised, ( I also suffer from insulin dependent diabetes, coronary disease , hypertension, glaucoma and enlarged prostate), and if I needed any additional reasons to quit the booze, then my health is at the top of the list.

I have been to AA meetings for the past two mornings and I am making a determined effort to get back into the routine of waking up early and getting to a meeting.

I spent all day Monday and Tuesday in my condo and stayed alone, cooked alone and slept alone.

Yesterday morning I went to an AA meeting and then returned home, where I stayed until 6 pm. when I decided to take a long planned, but much delayed ‘constitutional’ along the beach.

I had a good walk of about forty five minutes in duration, but I confess that my walk took me along some of the more ‘seedy’ Sois in Jomtien and as I passed one of my former drinking haunts, a girl ran out into the road and called my name. I knew her – a very small and very cute lady who I had taken home on a couple of occasions.

She wanted me to stop but I signaled that I would return later.

I finished my walk, returned home and cooked my evening meal and did some work on my computer.

The girl from the bar kept calling me, and at around ten thirty, I succumbed, and drove down to the bar to meet her.

I told her that I just couldn’t afford to pay for girls any more – my budget was blown. She told me that it was OK and would go with me for free as long as I paid her bar fine.

So I ask you? What is a horny man supposed to do when offered a free lay by a lovely little lady?

I stayed at the bar for ten minutes, had one coke, then paid the bar fine and took her home with me.

I had a good sleep, and woke up early, dropped her back to her room above the bar in Jomtien, and went off to my AA meeting. I confess I felt guilty and gave some money after all. Not the ‘going rate’, but I couldn’t live with myself if I hadn’t paid her something.

Anyway, I am still sober, feeling pretty good, and remain determined to slowly change my life around and try to keep out of the bars as much as I can. If I can’t stay completely away from bar girls, then I will certainly try to cut back on the number and my emotional involvement with them.

Since yesterday, I have been very concerned about Dave in Bangkok.

Yesterday I tried to call him a number of times but his phone was switched to voice mail. I called his lady and she too didn’t answer my calls. Eventually in the afternoon his lady called me and said that she was very worried about Dave, and said he was talking very ‘strangely’.

She handed her phone to Dave and he spoke to me. He spoke very slowly, sounded extremely drunk, and his voice was little more than a feeble croak over the phone. He was mainly incoherent – just rambling. I couldn’t hold any kind of a meaningful conversation, so told him to get some sleep and rang off.

Later, Dave’s lady called me and told me she was at the end of her tether. Dave had fallen down in the bedroom and it took her hours to get him back into bed, seriously injuring her foot in the process. His bodily functions are out of control and he is lying in his own feces and urine, and she is unable to clean him up. She told me she hadn’t slept for days, was completely exhausted, and didn’t know what to do.

I suggested that she remove all the beer and leave him for 24 hours to sober up a bit, and then see what could be done. She said she couldn’t do that because he would shout at her and abuse her. She also said he would order his own beer over the phone, so I told her not to let anyone into the house, but she told me she couldn’t do that. It is clear she is very scared of him.

I told her that if she couldn’t stand it any longer then she must leave him. Maybe after Dave knew she was gone, he might pull himself together – not very likely but it has been known to happen with alcoholics who are facing certain death.

For those of you who haven’t followed this particular saga from the beginning, let me reiterate that Dave has had a number of good friends who have been rallying around him for many years in an effort to help give his life some meaning, to get him usefully employed and try to persuade him to moderate or  stop his drinking.

He has had numerous crises, where he has been rushed to hospital on the point of death and each time, against all odds, he has made a miraculous recovery, only to return to booze after a brief period to start the destructive cycle once again.

His brother sends him a monthly allowance from the UK, and in particular, Bob, my friend in Australia, and me have tried every way to turn his life around, and have tried over and over to convince him to stop drinking. We have visited him frequently, called him almost daily, helped to support him financially for many years, and goodness knows what else. But all our efforts have been to no avail.

The lady who is looking after him is his ex wife. They divorced many years ago and Dave married again. His second wife left him a year or so back, (after nursing him though a number of his alcoholic crises, and finally deciding that she had had enough) and his first wife came back to Bangkok from the south of Thailand to look after him.

She has been doing this purely out of compassion and has no ‘legal’ more moral responsibility to do so. She has received nothing but abuse and heartache from him for all her selfless efforts.

To sum up, Dave has steadfastly refused every attempt from whatever source to help. He is an extremely stubborn and egotistical person who would probably rather die than admit his shortcomings and seek professional help.

Bob and I believe that enough is enough.

Dave is going to die – quite soon, and he is beyond help. If his lady stays, all she will do is postpone his death for a few days or weeks, at what cost to herself? If she leaves him, he will probably die sooner, but either way the end is utterly inevitable.

I will not go to Bangkok. There is nothing I or anyone can do. He is beyond help, and in my delicate state, if I went to see him, in all probability I would pick up a drink.

I spoke to Dave’s lady again this evening.

She is still there but ever more distressed. Dave has been hovering between sleep and consciousness, and when awake, he continues to drink. She told me that he is completely incoherent and there is no point in me trying to talk to him.

I told her if she decides to leave, she should tell him before she goes, so that he knows he is all alone.

She said she could not do that because he would shout at her and abuse her, and she couldn’t stand it. I said that in that case she should write him a note and leave it next to him when he is asleep. She seemed to think that would be a good idea, and promised to call me when she had decided what to do.

For those of you out there who believe in God, please pray for Dave, and ask God to grant him the peace and serenity that he has been seeking for so long.

I am sorry, but I am not in the mood to write another installment of “AZZY MY LOVE”. Maybe tomorrow.

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