Lake Mabprachan, East Pattaya, 5th December, 2010.

Yet more apologies for the break in service; I have been busy trying to build a new life with my little Noo and this, I regret, has taken precedence over my other activities.

In addition, my good Australian friend, Bob, has been staying with me since last week and that has also restricted the time I can spend blogging.

Some of you seem to have misunderstood my last blog regarding the breakup with Wan. Upon re-reading what I have written, I can well understand the confusion.

Although it is ultimately really of little consequence, just for the record, I will advise that it was me, Mobi, that gave Wan the ‘heave-ho’, not the other way round. It is true that she took all her things with her when she travelled to Roi Et to attend her son’s school meeting and no doubt,  at the back of her mind, she was thinking that there was a possibility that she may not return. But during a number of phones calls we had while she was away, she made it very clear to me that she had every intention of returning. So it was I, not her, who did the dirty deed. I told her that I thought the relationship was going nowhere, for all the reasons I have previously enumerated on this blog – lack of intimacy, her continual pining over her son, her family and her life generally back in Issan, etcetera and so forth.

Maybe I simply pushed her before she decided to jump. I will never know for sure.

In any event, she accepted my decision with good grace and subsequently informed me that she now had a job working in the rice paddies as a labourer, earning 180 Baht per day. This saddened me but there is little I can do. She was compensated adequately for the time she spent with me and I cannot, willy nilly, support ex- girlfriends in Issan who have fallen on hard times. I feel very sorry for her in her present circumstances but I am happy that she has found an alternative employment to working in a bar and I feel that she will find a way to manage. Her ex-husband now gives her a small maintenance payment which covers her son’s living and school expenses, and her extended family is by no means impecunious. Wan and her mother are both land owners, she, her mother and Aunt own their own houses, she runs a car and has access to financial help from both local banks and village funds. I believe that one way or another she will survive.

So Wan has gone for good and I am now shacked up with the delightful Noo. Noo has been with me for just over two weeks and she is making very happy and content. While by no means ugly, she is not particularly beautiful, but has a lovely, cute little figure and is just a bundle of fun and energy. She seems to be genuinely grateful to me for taking her out of the bar where she had been working for the past ten months to support her two sons who live with her parents in Nong Khai. She had previously worked in a factory in Bangkok where she was a fork lift truck operator!! Her English is quite poor, so once again I am having to stretch my brain when conversing with her in Thai. Lately I seem to have become linguistically lazy and out of the habit of speaking a lot of Thai and this latest development in my life has been a bit of a ‘wake up call, ‘language-wise.

Noo is very industrious around the home and insists in washing all my clothes, cooks my meals, (she is a good cook of Thai food) and generally ministers to my every need. She is never moody, makes no attempt to control me and is never angry with me, even when she has every right to be so. It is early days but this time I seem to have ‘struck gold’. My good friend, Bob, who has been with me for a few days and has previously spent a great many years in Thailand. He speaks better Thai better than I do and has had a number of long term relationships with Thai women. Bob has expressed his opinion that Noo is indeed a gem and has warned me not to fuck this one up.

I will do my best.

On the drinking front, well I have not been totally abstemious but neither has my drinking become out of control. My drinking patterns have been much the same as I recounted in my last blog. Some days I do not drink at all, last Saturday I had a few beers with an old friend at one of the lakeside bars, the first day Bob arrived we drank a bottle of wine plus a few extra glasses between us at a nearby restaurant. I admit I was a bit pissed when I went to bed that night, but that’s about it.

For now, at least, I am able to go through the day without yearning for a drink, and on the occasions that I do have a beer or a glass of wine, I feel no desire to drink to excess.

Am I an alcoholic who has managed to convert himself into a controlled drinker? I don’t know. It’s far too early to make that sort of judgement. If I am still drinking in the same, controlled way, a year down the line, then maybe I would be correct to arrive at that conclusion. Others might conclude that I was never a true alcoholic in the first place – and that may well be true.

In the end, it matters little. What matters to me is that I can continue to keep my drinking under control and that I can start to immerse myself in some meaningful activities with what remains of my life, many of them, hopefully with Noo.

There are many activities in my mind that I wish to make a start on in the near future, and I guess top of the list is to lose some weight and get fitter. I am woefully unfit and my blood sugars are way too high for most of the time so I must get a grip on that side of my life before it is too late. I haven’t seen a heart, diabetes, eye (glaucoma) or prostate specialist for over two years and that is something I must attend to. I did finally make it to a dentist where I was told that if I let my gums go much longer, then all my teeth will start to loosen and eventually fall out. So I have quite a number of health issues that require urgent attention.

At least my concern over these issues can be construed as a sign that I am slowly emerging from my alcoholic fog.

7 thoughts on “Lake Mabprachan, East Pattaya, 5th December, 2010.”

  1. Correction to my previous comment, my apology, at second reading I see you are not critical of the program of AA but believe some within the fellowship to be conceited and narrow minded. AA is full of sick alcoholics, what do you expect. Some more spiritually fit than others.

    Well I’m sure you can understand that for those within the fellowship of AA who’s lives of been saved from a literal hell, they feel strong passion for the program and wish others to have the freedom they’ve found as it’s part of the program to pass it on and seek out others to help. So please do not mistake passion for conceit or approaches from well informed AA’s as coming from being on a “high horse”. Most are well meaning and wish only to be helpful. Some tolerance for those who have been sparred the horrors of alcoholism and their effort to carry the message would not be in any way a mistake.

    It’s funny, I wish more people in the fellowship new enough of the literature to accurately quote it and be able to communicate the program accurately but this is far from reality. I have grown to be very discouraged by the modern day AA fellowship. As an AA member for around 20 years I hear more and more mis-information and rhetoric not found in the literature within the fellowship. Within some groups the rhetoric that get’s kicked around is far removed from what’s actually within the text. The phrases I mentioned in my earlier comment for instance. It’s quite sad to the extent that I believe it’s giving AA a bad track record. I for one am not the most popular person in some meetings as I seem to rub some AA’s the wrong way when talking about the program in the book. They feel I “intellectualize” the program when I’m actually just relaying the material as best I can. Many AA’s are easily angered and threatened, they are sore at the world etc.. etc.. It’s typical of many alcoholics especially those who have not fully treated the disease with the program and have been going on with their AA lives without full knowledge of the program.

    One this is for certain and I wholly believe is true. The program of AA found in the first 164 pages of the big book and the 12 steps and traditions offer not only an almost guaranteed sustained abstinence from booze for real alcoholics it offers an amazing way of leading a happy fulfilling life. –True and unblemished spirituality through spiritual action.


  2. I’m just trying to be helpful. Being critical of a simple spiritual program does little good in my view.

    I have a question, you say in your comment:
    “in my opinion they take too little account of the wide ranging factors that may cause a particular person to drink to excess.”

    Since you’ve been good enough to reply to my comments I’d appreciate it if you could take a few more minutes and explain to me what exactly are some of the wide ranging factors that may cause a person to drink in excess?

    thank you, MoMoMo.


    1. MoMoMo….. It is not a SIMPLE spiritual programme. It is a programme that is all embracing in it’s insistence that in order to have any hope of remaining sober, the alcoholic must acknowledge God (or a Higher Power) as the entity that must become a significant factor in his/her life.

      Just a quick perusal of the twelve step programme will not leave the reader in any doubt that without God and his/her personal surrender to God, and leading a life in which God plays a huge part, there is no hope.

      As to factors that may lead a person to drink, without that person being a fully fledged alcoholic – well there are many examples, some obvious, others not so obvious. At the top of the list would be people who have suffered a traumatic in event in their life, such as the loss of a close relative or friend, and serious life changing accident, severe emotional problems such as the breakup of a relationship or marriage….. etcetera.

      What singles these factors out from the alcoholic who has spent his life drinking is that a specific event or set of circumstances event has triggered the descent into excessive drinking, and there will often come a time when the person finally comes to terms with what has happened and will return to their previous, sober or ‘controlled drinking’ existence.

      On the other had, most, if not all, alcoholics can trace their alcoholic roots from an early age and when questioned as to the cause, will never, in my experience, pin point a particular event or incident in their lives that triggered their desire to drink. It is more the result an accumulation of events in life, such as an unhappy or abusive childhood, clinical depression or even simply an unhealthy love of alcohol over a period of time which eventually resulted in total dependency.

      This, of course, can happen to those who have embraced alcohol after a particular traumatic event in their life, but not necessarily so. I believe that many of these so called ‘ heavy drinkers’ can return to sobriety if they manage to come to terms with events and turn their lives around – some within the auspices of AA, but many by their own, unaided efforts. For example some might recover from the loss of a loved one when they meet a new partner, and their drinking will often become more moderate.

      Where Mobi fits into all this remains to be seen. I feel I sit between the two. It is true that my childhood was unhappy and I suffered extreme emotional distress at the hands of an abusive father, and much of my life has contained many traumatic events which have all conspired to turn me into what appears to be an alcoholic.

      But maybe not so. I will write more about this in my blog, shortly.


      1. Dear Mobi, I think you have somehow come to some inaccurate conclusions about the program of AA as well as it might be good to review your definition of simple. What about the program of AA is complex? Given we agree that the opposite of the English word simple is complex. It’s 12 steps are so simple and easy to understand that they can be summarized in a few words: Trust God, Clean House and Help others. Completing the steps and understanding them is in no way limited to the intellectually superior. The fellowship of AA is a living example of that :-). Where in AA literature is there a complete insistence that any alcoholic is, to certainty, doomed without God? On closer study you’ll find that the authors always make certain to say and make plain they do not have the only answer to the problem. (though they know of no other and society at the time did not either) They will claim that belief in a God was the only answer THEY found. They will also insist that if the reader wants what THEY had found the directions must be followed. Quite a number of times, on careful reading, one can find they make clear they do not claim to have the only answer.

        I’ve been spending a good deal of time on my comment, mostly I wish that you at least have accurate appraisal of AA to see that your criticism is unfounded and from some inaccurate conclusions. A prejudice toward the idea of God and spiritual principals for me, would have me doomed. I would have more than likely died of alcoholism without AA. Here is a small example of the authors humility toward the program laid forth. In writing the book they were careful to be humble in what they say and how they say it. They knew who there audience would be 🙂

        from “working with others” step 12
        If he is sincerely interested and wants to see you again, ask him to read this book in the interval. After doing that, he must decide for himself whether he wants to go on. He should not be pushed or prodded by you, his wife, or his friends. If he is to find God, the desire must come from within.

        If he thinks he can do the job in some other way, or prefers some other spiritual approach, encourage him to follow his own conscience. We have no monopoly on God; we merely have an approach that worked with us. But point out that we alcoholics have much in common and that you would like, in any case, to be friendly. Let it go at that. Do not be discouraged if your prospect does not respond at once. Search out another alcoholic and try again. You are sure to find someone desperate enough to accept with eagerness what you offer. We find it a waste of time to keep chasing a man who cannot or will not work with you. If you leave such a person alone, he may soon become convinced that he cannot recover by himself. To spend too much time on any one situation is to deny some other alcoholic an opportunity to live and be happy. One of our Fellowship failed entirely with his first half dozen prospects. He often says that if he had continued to work on them, he might have deprived many others, who have since recovered, of their chance.

        And with that Mr. Mobi, I will leave you alone and if at some time you wish to follow the AA program you’ll know where to find me, for my life is written in that book “Alcoholics Anonymous”. A great way out is there, if one is willing….


  3. MoMoMo….

    I will briefly reiterate what I have said many times in my blog.

    I have read the Big book from cover to cover 4 times, I have listened to it spoken on a DVD and I have attended countless AA meetings where it has been read, section by section and each section has been the subject of discussion and analysis.

    I am not the foremost expert 0n The Big Book, but neither am I a total ignoramus. I have read all the passages you have quoted in your comments and remember them very well.

    With all due respect, I have to say that it always amazes me how conceited all you AA people appear to be when you get on you high horse and tell people such as I that the Big Book is always right and that I ignore it’s pronouncements at my peril.

    The question of who is or isn’t an alcoholic is by no means as black and white as most members of AA would like to believe and in my opinion they take too little account of the wide ranging factors that may cause a particular person to drink to excess.

    I will not argue the point here, as the arguments, for and against, could fill a large volume. Lets just say that I acknowledge AA has worked for countless thousands of otherwise ‘hopeless’ cases and brought happiness and sobriety to many who would have probably died had it not been for the excellent services of AA. In this there is no doubt.

    But please understand that no one size fits all.

    Time will tell if I relapse into an excessive drinker, if I stay as an occasional, controlled drinker, or if I eventually stop drinking for good.

    I know what you think, so let’s just see what happens over the forthcoming weeks, months and years.

    Despite everything I have been through, I am surprisingly upbeat about my chances. But then again, I would be wouldn’t I?


  4. Let me clarify a bit, pushed the submit button prematurely. This is in effort to help you determine if you are alcoholic or not. If you are a real alcoholic it may be very dangerous for you to take an entire year to determine it.

    The AA book mentions something important which differentiates alcoholics from heavy drinkers, hard drinkers and non-alcoholics.

    Heavy drinkers when given sufficient reason can stop or moderate drinking. Real alcoholics cannot do that. Heavy drinkers/hard drinkers are not alcoholics as illustrated clearly in the AA text.

    If you are able to stop drinking on your own or moderate without any trouble you may not be alcoholic after all. But I highly urge you try the suggestion here.

    Page 31-32: “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.”

    Some other passages which seek to differentiate alcoholics from other “types” of drinkers.

    Heavy drinker:
    Page 108-109: “Your husband may be only a heavy drinker. His drinking may be constant or it may be heavy only on certain occasions. Perhaps he spends too much money for liquor. It may be slowing him up mentally and physically, but he does not see it. Sometimes he is a source of embarrassment to you and his friends. He is positive he can handle his liquor, that it does him no harm, that drinking is necessary in his business. He would probably be insulted if he were called an alcoholic. This world is full of people like him. Some will moderate or stop altogether, and some will not. Of those who keep on, a good number will become true alcoholics after a while.”

    Page 30, paragraph 3: “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.”

    My take on heavy drinkers in AA:
    I have known people in AA who were actually never alcoholics. They were heavy drinkers who just needed a good reason to stop, health, marriage, legal trouble etc.. These people sometimes cloud the program with sayings like. “just don’t drink even if your ass falls off. Or “I choose to not drink today” . Those phrases never appear in any AA text, they are the non program rhetoric of heavy drinkers who found AA and like it for it’s social aspect, just do meetings and really don’t take or need the steps because they are not real alcoholics.

    Mobi, if you are indeed a real alcoholic like me, it’s a very precarious and dangerous state that should be dealt with swiftly as it’s a dangerous terminal condition. If not then I am glad for you for you do not have to face the utter hopelessness that is alcoholism.


  5. Mobi,
    I have read your blog on and off and a bit surprised that you are still not sure if you are alcoholic or not. Have you read the book “Alcoholics Anonymous”? Within that can be found very explicitly how you can determine if you are alcoholic or not. You do not need to “find out” on your own. Read the text and you can actually test yourself.

    Page 20-21: “Then we have a certain type of hard drinker. He may have the habit badly enough to gradually impair him physically and mentally. It may cause him to die a few years before his time. If a sufficiently strong reason – ill health, falling in love, change of environment, or the warning of a doctor – becomes operative, this man can also stop or moderate, although he may find it difficult and troublesome and may even need medical attention.”

    Page 31, paragraph 2: ” 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.”

    Page 31-32: “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


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