Jomtien, 14th September, 2010

The “Home” page is my daily blog. The remaining tabs contain previously blogged, episodic ‘stories’, which are now re-published in chronological order.


I have now been sober for 8 days and feeling stronger, (in my struggles with alcohol), every day.

Yesterday I attended an AA meeting and I hope to attend another meeting today.

As I have previously blogged, I am not feeling particularly great, but neither  am I feeling particularly down. I am sort of ‘neutral’ and I have a certain energy about me that has been absent for a very long time.

I am not jumping up at the crack of dawn and going for a 30 minute jog along the beach and then rushing home to get stuck into all manner of chores and tasks that have long been neglected.

No, the changes are not that dramatic, and as you will see below, some of my weaknesses are still present.

But I am staying sober and am keeping myself reasonably busy; tidying my condo, watering my parched pot plants, washing the dishes, shopping for sensible food, and actually doing some healthy, proper cooking. On top of this I have been catching up with family email correspondence; declining an invitation sent to me over a year ago to attend a nephew’s wedding in Cape town and confirming my attendance to my youngest daughter’s wedding in England next August.

I haven’t been in England since 2005 and that was the last time that I saw any of my family. It was the summer of 2005, when I went there for three weeks to visit with my family  and for them to meet Dang, my wife. The visit was indelibly marred by my wife barely making it back to our then home in Bangkok in time to make the flight and my discovery as soon as we returned to Thailand that she had been having some kind of casual affair with a Belgium man named “Uni”. Dang behaved reasonably well while we were in England, although she gave me a very hard time in the bedroom – which I was later to assume was the result of her affair with Uni, who was no doubt much more capable of satisfying her than I was.

Since then, the quality of my life has slowly degenerated as my marriage collapsed and I descended into my ‘alcoholic hell’. I have been a virtual ‘zombie’ for five years and it is high time I got a grip on myself.

So the incentive to stay sober is huge. My target will be almost 0ne year’s sobriety that I can take with me to England so that it will be a sober, healthier, and enlightened father who gives his daughter away.

Yesterday, reverting back to my old ways,  I visited one of my Gentlemen’s clubs in the afternoon, and although my heart wasn’t really in it, I agreed to pick up one of my lady friends after work and bring her home. I had already ‘blown her out’ previously on the flimsiest of pretexts, so this time I felt more or less obliged to make up for it.

Unfortunately, since I arrived back from Cambodia I have not been feeling that great and last night, just after I had made arrangements to pick her from her room, I realised I was burning  with a high fever. But I felt I had no choice but to meet my obligations and she came home and stayed with me overnight. She slept like a log and I hardly slept at all as my fever refused to abate. I now have a serious chest infection with a hacking cough which is creating not a little discomfort.

Today I was scheduled to drive to Bangkok for an appointment with my psychotherapist, but I decided to cancel out as I am in no fit state to drive.

The lady was very nice, and helped me to clean up the condo this morning and I dropped her back at her room and then came straight back home as I am really not feeling at all well.

I was happy when she was gone. I am really getting used to being alone and am feeling more comfortable with this situation with every day that passes.

This is the first time for as long as I can remember that I have no hang ups over marriages, affairs or relationships that are either developing, or, more commonly, are going bad on me. I have absolutely no woman in my life and for the first time that I can remember, I am OK with the situation. I am not deliriously happy and I hope that one day, I may enter into a new, stable relationship, but I am in no hurry.  For now, I am content. I feel that this, as much as anything, is the reason that this time around, my attempts to stay sober may well succeed.

After a long delay, I will now continue my story of Nid.

Parts 1 to 5 can be found in chronological order under the ‘Nid’ tab.


NID (Part6)


All the indignation should have been on my side.

Nid, my wife had taken a large wad of my money and had promptly disappeared for weeks after telling me she would be going to Pattaya for one night with her friends. To make matters worse,  she was caught red-handed with a handsome, young Thai man, obviously her lover.

But she started yelling at me – demanding to know what I was doing in Pattaya, and why was I ‘following her’?

I was so taken aback by the vehemence of her anger that I didn’t know what to say, and just mumbled something to the effect that I had been worried about her.

She slightly softened her demeanour, asked me where I was staying and told me to go there and she would meet me later that morning.

I was so infatuated with her and so incapable of independent thought that I obeyed her like an automaton.

She was true to her word and came to my room an hour later and together we returned to Bangkok. When we returned to our room she berated me yet again, this time  for the state of our room and spent the rest of the afternoon and evening tidying up and cleaning the room, which had admittedly been left in a pretty dire state.

Then came the body blow. She announced she would return to Pattaya that night and wouldn’t come back again until the following week. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing but felt powerless to stop her. She had made no reference to the money, or gave me any explanation as to what she was doing in Pattaya, except that she was enjoying herself with ‘friends’.

Before I realised what had happened, she had packed her bag with some fresh clothes and was gone in the night, leaving me sitting there, alone, the stupid cuckold husband; the idiot farang. For the first time since I had met Nid, I started to seriously question what on earth I had got myself into. For the first time I started to seriously consider the possibility of leaving her. As much as I was besotted with her, I was being treated with total callousness and this couldn’t be allowed to continue

In the event, Nid returned after a couple of days, with no explanation of what had curtailed her latest sojourn and she just settled back into life as though nothing had ever happened. Of course the money was never mentioned again.

Years later, looking back on that first serious problem with Nid, I could only surmise what had really happened. I was to learn much later of her penchant for Thai men and she was probably keeping that man in Pattaya, with my money. The young man had probably discarded Nid the minute that the money had run out.

So life rumbled along. I was continuing to burn the mid night oil, with concert promotions and entertaining all the myriad agents and other show business contacts that were increasingly turning up in Bangkok; with  offers of  procuring artists for concerts and demanding to be shown the delights that Bangkok had to offer. There was rarely a quiet moment.

One day Ittiput mentioned to me that when he was at the passport office applying for was new passport, had had seen my wife, Nid there. He had spoken to her and asked her why she wanted a passport and she had told him; “Just in case Mobi decides to take me with him to England.”

Nid hadn’t said anything to me about getting a passport, but I was so preoccupied with my work that I barely gave it a second thought.

Maybe three to four months after her last disappearing act, Nid suddenly announced one day that she had to go up country to her home in Lop Buri as her mother was very ill. It sounded plausible enough and when she told me she would be gone about a week I wished her “God speed’ and hoped that her mother would get better soon.

As before, one week turned to two and just as I was starting to fear the worst, I received a letter from her in the regular Thai post, addressed to me in English, but with the body of the letter in Thai. I took the letter to a Thai friend for translation. In effect, she told me that her mother was still very ill so she couldn’t return home for the time being.

I was considerably cheered by this missive and thought that this time she really was telling me the truth.

Another two weeks went by and I was starting to feel uneasy once again, when lo and behold, another letter arrived for me. It was very similar in content to the first letter  and I was starting to feel slightly uneasy. In spite of these genuine letters, with genuine postmarks, I was beginning to smell a rat. I was now missing her like crazy, but recalled with a sinking feeling the previous episode in Pattaya, so I resolved  to take both letters to the Derby King  in Patpong and get another opinion on the contents of the letters and what was really going on.

I handed the letters to the elderly bar tender at the Derby King, who I had known since my arrival back in Thailand and who spoke very good English. I asked her for a fresh translation.

She looked at me, looked at the letters and smiled. I asked her why she was smiling but she said nothing, except to give me pretty much the same translation that I had already received from my Thai friend. Then she showed the letters to some of the other bar girls and they all had a good laugh and smiled at me.

I knew something was up. I knew that they knew something but they weren’t about to tell me. I looked at them, demanding to know what was going on, but their lips were sealed. I could tell they were sorry for me and wanted to tell me, wanted to say what Nid was up to but their ‘code of honour’ prevented them. I stared imploringly at one, particularly sympathetic girl, who I knew quite well. I watched her as she turned and looked towards some post cards that had been cello-taped to the bottom of the large mirror behind the bar.

I followed her gaze, looked at the postcards and could see that they were from some European destination. I could see buildings and gardens clearly on one of them. My suspicions were at fever pitch.

Before anyone realised what I was up to. I walked round the bar and pulled two of the post cards from their mountings. The pictures on both cards were scenes of  was Amsterdam. The writing on the back was all in Thai. All that is, except for the tell tale signatures which jumped straight out at me. They were in English and they said: “NID”!!

12 thoughts on “Jomtien, 14th September, 2010”

  1. Thank you for you reply Mobi, I will stick with it as I see that since you have not mentioned any other methods than AA it looks to be the best game in town for me.

    All the best in your 11 days!

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    1. Don’t forget that AA maybe the only game in town but there is invariably more than one AA meeting in town (there are 3 in Pattaya and I have lost count of the number in Bangkok) and each one is different.

      If one meeting doesn’t appeal to you, try another – you’d be surprised how different they can be.

      There seems little point spending large amounts of money going to specialised treatment centres, as most of them only copy the AA 12 step programme which you can get for free in AA.

      Good luck.

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  2. Thanks for your blog, I have looked at it from time to time.

    I’m an alcoholic trying to stay sober. I’m hoping you can help me.

    You said,
    “For every sober alcoholic there is a different story to sobriety and clearly, there is not ‘one method that fits all’.”

    I like that because I’m not sure about AA.

    Just want to know clearly what other methods there are? Just curious as I’d like a way out from my drinking

    I have been following your blog since it came back in my Google. In AA meetings they say there is a common solution to AA, what others do you know of? thanks for any help.

    Harvey from Portland, OR

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    1. Hi ‘wallflower’, thanks for your comment and I hope that maybe today’s blog will give you a little more insight in the road you should probably be taking to achieve sobriety.

      In spite of my hostility to ‘Follower’ and his endless preaching about AA, I actually happen to agree with him in many of his points, which makes it all the more galling that he won’t let go and take ‘something’ to stop his verbal diarrhoea.

      There is little doubt that working the AA 12 step programme, usually within the auspices of AA, but not necessarily, is one of the few truly proven ways for an alcoholic to achieve long lasting sobriety. The huge problem with most of us when approaching the 12 step programme is the concept of a “higher Power’ and spirituality in general.

      I for one, am further back than I once was in accepting the concept of a higher power who will actually help release me from my alcoholic cravings.

      The experts advise you to “fake it to make it” and assure you that somewhere along the line you will “come to believe”. I am certainly prepared to try that approach, as I have nothing to lose and only time will tell if they are right.

      What is absolutely clear is that some of the most eminent psychiatrists and doctors of this and past generations have concluded that the only way that a hopeless alcoholic can achieve sobriety is through some form of spiritual experience or the acceptance of spirituality in their lives.

      It is for this reason that I am also seriously looking into meditation and reading some highly respected books on spirituality by respected writers such as Eckhard Tolle – a personal favourite of mine.

      So my only advice at this stage is to urge you to give AA a try. There is much that is good in AA and with luck you will receive some good advice and guidance.

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  3. Good to see you two having a go at each other – that’s healthy and does show a clarity of thought. However, AA, and I’ve had a number of people I know in Blighty attend them : I’d say an easy 95% of them dropped out and found a different way to treat the particular addiction to alcohol.

    How exactly do you believe in this ‘Higher Power’?. These people were not religious one iota, however, but with support from family, friends and Doctors, and strangely work to give them something to do, it mostly worked out. I’d say the failure rate was about 1 in 4. But, it sure took them a few attempts……….. you don’t learn to skateboard without falling off a few times ; Right?.

    I was drinking far too much earlier this year and beginning to suffer the mental and physical symptons and indeed, am real lucky to have a bunch of Thai workmates and friends, who decided to give me the big lecture to ‘Bring the dog home’ : AA folks can translate that anyway they want from Thai. But it has fuck all to do with a ‘Higher Power’ : Literally, ‘Hey put the leash on boy, you’re getting out of order. Look at yourself.’.

    Worked for me – the first four days were not so amusing, but hey, we get on with it don’t we?. I’ll happily share a couple of bottles of beer now, but no more at home, no trouting alone to keep the intake constant. Mobi’s problem is that he does not actually have anyone to voice real concern for him, and, by that, I mean people who will not be critical, but will try to alter his life style a Wee touch and steer him away from the paths that lead him to drink. An intelligent human does not need a bunch of the god squad to work out that particular reasoning.

    Mobi has a load of options in Thailand and he knows it cos’ he ain’t stupid, and these options do not invove any money at all, but until he actually stops putting himself in a repetative situations in Shitsville, nothing is going to change and we will be reading this blog until our grandchildren have finished Uni.

    Anyway, Mobie – however you want to do it, keep up the fight and don’t let the bastards drag you down.

    TT.

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    1. Thank you for what I may call”a voice of reason”. It would be pointless for me to claim that ‘Follower’ has not irritated me, for plainly he has.

      Not content with me taking what most right-thinking people would consider, sensible, practical steps to deal with my alcoholism, he insists on castigating me and extolling me to immediately embrace the so-called ‘higher power’ and rush to work 12 step programme, before I once more drown in a sea of alcohol.

      I have met a number of people in AA who have decades of sobriety behind them who to this day day have not totally embraced the concept of a’ higher power’, and many more who took months – even years – before they worked the AA programme, and none of these have lapsed.

      For every sober alcoholic there is a different story to sobriety and clearly, there is not ‘one method that fits all’.

      I really do feel that this guy is a doom-sayer with some sort of personal agenda – either concious or sub-conscious – for he appears to want to help, yet all he is doing is driving me right back to the bars with all his scaremongering and warnings that I am bound to fail.

      Hopefully, I am smart enough to rise above his ill considered diatribe.

      As far as the changes in lifestyle that you refer to in your comment – I completely agree and I know that my life must start to change course. It is probably my success or otherwise in this endeavour that will ultimately determine my success or otherwise in staying off the booze.

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  4. M, Curious as to your reaction, maybe not so surprised.
    What snap judgement do you feel I made? If it’s bothering you maybe I’ve made a point that’s hit home. Also if you were taking the steps (which is about the only hopeful treatment for real alcoholics) I think we’d be hearing about it by now as you post your activities frequently

    I do know that any real alcoholic who is abstaining will eventually drink if the alcoholism is not treated. Unfortunately, any honest doctor will admit they have no successful treatment for alcoholism. For real alcoholics they have a disease which only a power greater than themselves can conquer. Attaining a *sufficient* connection to a higher power requires the action of taking the steps. I highly recommend getting to it, even by yourself if a suitably motivated AA in your neighborhood cannot be found. One only really needs another person for the 5th step and 12th step.

    Let me ask you, how has going to lot’s of meetings worked for you in the past?

    Going to meetings is great, but will not yield the desired result in less in concert with intensive step work. All AA literature speaks to this fact. I hope you heed my advice. You are much more than a much wedded Pattaya based drunk.

    Something my sponsor told me once. If you keep doing what your doing, you’ll keep getting what you get. Many alcoholics pay the ultimate price finding this out too late.

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    1. You really do enjoy being verbose on my blog, and setting yourself up as some kind of Guru on the subject of alcoholism, don’t you?

      Beware, as I detect a high dose of ego creeping in.

      ‘You are right, I am wrong and I must do what you tell me.’

      You also seem to bear another vice of so many sober alcoholics – the desire to control newcomers – I have seen this over and over again and all it does is send them straight back out to the bars and booze.

      Do you really think that I relate everything I am doing on my blog? I wouldn’t have enough hours in the day if I did that.

      I wrote that I am attending two meetings of AA per day, and left it that , but for you that is by no means sufficient. You have to lecture me on the need to treat my alcoholism, and just attending AA is not enough, and so on and so forth……..

      If I told you I was working the steps with my sponsor I am sure you would come back and say “Not enough!! Don’t think you will be saved just by working the steps!! – you must do this.. and this… and this….

      As I say, I am attending AA meetings. I take my guidance from members at my meetings, my psychotherapist, ( who is totally supportive of AA and the 12 step programme), my readings of the Big Book, other AA literature and spiritual writers, particularly with regard to meditation and my own research into this disease which spans a number of years.

      Please save all your lecturing and preaching for your own blog, where no doubt your own readers will lap it up.

      Your next diatribe will not be published.

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  5. M,
    Great news on your 8 days. Good going. The only bad news is that you will start suffering from untreated alcoholism unless you treat it.

    Funny thing about alcoholism is that the way alcoholics treat it is to drink. It is the “medicine” for the alcoholic. But when the medicine no longer works we attempt to abstain. In abstinence we then suffer from untreated alcoholism. So, the problem becomes “what do I do to treat my alcoholism now that I cannot use alcohol to treat it? The answer many have found is the spiritual program of AA. A spiritual program which has successfully treated alcoholism in alcoholics for over 70 years. Practicing the program with support from a good solid AA group whose roots lie in studying the big book brings about a brand new life for the alcoholic.

    I abstained from alcoholism many times, once for as long as 6 months. Always during those intervals I failed to treat my alcoholism. If I was lucky and did not drink as the days went by I began suffering from untreated alcoholism. Symptoms like irritability, depression, anxiety, restlessness, sleeplessness surfaced. So, when I came to the point where these were unbearable I inevitably drank. It was only until in desperation that I asked for help from a good solid sponsor who did not sugar coat the program or tell me to take it easy and work a step a month. He had me get into action right away and get into the steps as quick as possible. For with real alcoholics to drink is to die. Many of us do not have another drunk left.

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    1. F, I have blogged that I am attending two AA meetings a day and over the past two years I have attended hundreds of meetings.

      I have heard all you have written in your comment over and over again.

      You must know this so why are you writing it? For me or for you?

      How do you know that I am not ‘treating my alcoholism’?

      I am sorry to say that you appear over-eager to make snap judgements and even more eager to try and ‘put me down’ with your doom laden preaching.

      Dare I say you may be even hopeful that I may fail yet again, so that you can triumphantly tell the world that you ‘told me so’…..

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  6. Dear Mobi,

    I stumbled upon your blogg yesterday and spent most of the afternoon engrossed.

    I love your style of writting and apparent honesty. What a story!!

    I have a fairly self destructive personality myself, although I’m not an alcoholic; at least I don’t think so. I’d love to get together with you sometime to discuss what it is that makes some people susceptible. I friend of mine in auz and who attends AA meetings, tells me its ones body’s inability to process alcohol, but that sounds like a crock to me.

    Anyway, I live and work in BKK but would happily venture down to Pattaya one weekend if you need a distraction.

    Best regards

    crispy

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  7. Three cheers for Mr. Mobi~san…

    Hip Hip… Hooray!
    Hip Hip… Hooray!
    Hip Hip…

    CONGRATULATIONS on your daughter’s upcoming nuptials!

    Your “fresh eyes” now have a new horizon to scan and we ALL know you can keep it pulled together and do this… ODAAT! Eight days is a tremendous start.

    And of course you don’t feel the greatest… right NOW. You’ve been through detox before so you know what to expect, but just keep doing the right things daily… eat well and regularly (every two hours…five or six small meals a day with healthy snacks in between is a great way to naturally stabilize blood sugar), get your body moving even if it’s only walking for 5-10 minutes at a time… you’ll get stronger and healthier every day!

    The human body is a marvelously resilient organism and Hering’s Law of Cure is the rule. Toxin elimination is most imperative in order for the body to get and stay healthy. Expect different maladies to present themselves and then relish in their appearance knowing that it’s your body’s natural way of oozing out the toxins that have built up over time. So celebrate your fevers, your hacking and discomfort and recognize it for what it is… your body’s way back to robust health.

    Take good care of yourself my friend,

    Turk

    P.S. BTW perhaps shaving off that 70s “cookie duster” will have your “fresh eyes” seeing the “New Mobi” looking back at you every time you glimpse a reflection. Change is GOOD… but scary!!! 😉 *LOL*

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