Still sober – 63 days and counting.
On 27th February I took my last antidepressant pill so I have been clean for 5 days now. Apparently the drug is supposed to take a while to completely work its way out of my system, so I am not counting any chickens yet. But having said that, my previous experience with almost any drug is that I am very resistant to its effects, (hence I generally have to take the maximum for anything to work), so maybe I am already clear of it. In any event I am feeling pretty OK; no signs of sinking into a depression and I am definitely feeling more awake and alert.
I try not to think about it and just get on with my life, which I think is the best way. I would dearly love to be not only sober but completely free of psychotropic medication. While writing this I have just done a quick ‘Google’ and have established that the effects of Remeron should be completely out of my system within 5 days, so I am pretty much there, with no noticeable side effects.
This week I attended two early morning AA meetings, (following my two noon meetings of the previous week) and I enjoyed them both. They were pretty crowded due to the annual AA ‘Round up’ which has just concluded at the Montien Hotel and the stragglers are yet to leave town. After all my forays in and out of AA over the past few years and my various periods of sobriety, I have concluded that I will deal with AA on my terms on not on theirs. This may horrify all the dedicated AA believers, and there was a time when this might have bothered me – but no longer.
My plan is to attend a few meetings every week when I am in Pattaya – maybe 2 or 3 and I will try to switch the times from the morning to midday and sometimes to the evening meets. This way I will get a better cross section of people and the way they are dealing with their day to day problems. If I attend the same meeting each time, I just meet the same people spouting the same things and very quickly that can become boring and lacking in inspiration.
I am not going to worry either about my lack of belief in a ‘personal Higher Power’, nor about getting a sponsor. Nor have I any immediate plans to work the 12 step programme. I will just do regular attendance at meetings and see how things go. Maybe in the future I may embark along some or all of these paths or maybe in the fullness of time, I will drift away from AA completely.
The main point is that I am not putting myself under any pressure on this and neither will I allow anyone else to put me under pressure by insisting that I should do this or that. I fully appreciate that sometimes the way to bring a newly sober alcoholic ‘in from the cold’ is to take him in hand and lead him along the prescribed AA paths and I admit that I too, when first coming into AA was ready and in need of this type of guidance and supervision. But I seem to have got beyond that ‘need’, at least for now. I believe I understand the need for alcoholics to embrace a ‘Higher Power’ and I can see, ever more clearly, how the working of the 12 steps can be so beneficial in the recovery process. I believe in much of what the 12 steps espouses and will do my best to try and live by them but I am not going to work them, one by one with a ‘sponsor’, and tick them off as they are successfully completed.
As they say; there’s more than one way to skin a cat. Please believe me that I am not trying to ‘re-invent the wheel’; I am simply trying to run it with a slightly different type of tyre tread. As the tyre tread becomes slick, it will probably end up looking the same as any other common to garden AA tyre.
What else have I been up to?
I have now had two new sessions on my novel and have written some 2,500 words – not a lot, but I am comfortable that it is now going in the right direction. I will get back into it today for a few hours and see if I can’t make some substantial progress, but as with everything in my life just now, I will not put myself under pressure; so if it happens it happens – if not, the next time round.
I have been in contact with my estranged wife, Dang, about the sale of our house. Without going into details, it is clear that Dang is fast slipping back into the Dang of old and as far as I can determine, seems to be hung over every day and rarely surfaces before noon. Her hair dressing salon is shut half the time – sometimes for several days – when she can’t find staff to keep it open up for her. I saw her a week or so back and she was talking about renting the house out if we couldn’t sell it – something she dismissed out of hand a year ago; a sure sign that she is feeling the pinch. Anyway, through some contacts, I have found a ‘Thai-Chinese’ agent who is willing to either find a Bangkok buyer for substantially below the current asking price, or take it off our hands now for cash, but of course at yet a further, very substantial reduction in our asking price. I would love to take the cash and get this sorry episode wrapped up once and for all, but I still have find out what Dang thinks about this plan as I have yet to find her sober and in a proper frame of mind to talk seriously about it. The last time we had a row when I told her the agent wanted a copy of the Tabien Bahn, (blue house book), and she said she didn’t want to give it to them as she didn’t trust them. I got mad and told her she was being ridiculous and how were we ever going to sell the house if she didn’t trust anyone and what the hell did she think they would be able to do with a copy of her house book? She responded by telling me that I was the one who taught her to be distrustful!! OMG! Talk about red rag to a bull. Anyway we made up and I even apologised to keep the peace but I have yet to tell her about the money being offered.
I have had a few more ventures into some of the seedy establishments that Jomtien and East Pattaya have to offer, but only briefly and only for a bite to eat, a couple of Diet Cokes and a few satisfying gropes. A couple of days ago I was in in one nice little establishment – not far from where I live – when a couple of young scantily-clad beauties were starting to make me very horny. I almost submitted to their ‘ministrations’ but at the last moment decided that I was being ridiculous and that I could get all this and more, from the lovely Nou who was at that very moment waiting for me at home. So I jumped in my car, sped home and got just that.
Job well done….