3 Months, 22 Days – still sober
After my small ‘wobble’ of a few days back I am now feeling confident and very strong about my abstinence.
Things had been going along so well that the slightest suggestion that everything may not be as it seems, was enough to upset the apple cart, ever so slightly. But as I have already blogged, I soon realised how foolish this was and am now feeling more positive than ever. Relations with little Noo are excellent; she continues to pleasantly surprise me in so many ways. She is very likely to be the best thing that has happened to me in my life, but I will still continue to take it day by day.
To those of you who are already convinced that she is having a ‘bit on the side’, all I would ask of you is to consider that after all these years of living with Thai women, and knowing and understanding their predilection for lying and treachery, don’t you think I would be able to spot the signs? If you read my ‘stories’ you will see that I always strongly suspected what was going on with my women, almost from the start, but my perverse, drunken nature refused to accept it as a ‘fait a complis’ and I tried to change my women. But I never lost sight of the fact that they were up to no good.
I am continually reassessing my life and what I am doing with it. Some days I feel I could so much more and on other days, I feel that ‘Rome wasn’t built in a day’ and with still less than 4 months sobriety under my belt I shouldn’t expect miracles. The guys in AA say that it takes a minimum of 12 months for an alcoholic to totally rid his body and mind of the effects of a lifetime of drinking. They advise not to make any long term plans or life changing decisions during the first year of sobriety. I don’t know how true this is , but sometimes I feel that I am beating myself up unnecessarily when I worry about not doing more in my life – particularly with regards to taking exercise which is essential for my future health and wellbeing.
What Mobi Did
Yesterday I spent most of the afternoon in Pattaya with Noo and her son, shopping and having some disgusting , but delicious Pizzas. It was early evening when we returned home and I realised that my poor Cookie was so overweight and creaky on her front legs that it was time to take her in hand. We loaded her in the car and drove around the lake to a convenient spot, let her out and sent her swimming for the first time in many years. Swimming is the best exercise for her as, like us, it puts the minimum strain on her legs while allowing her to exercise the joints. Cookie absolute adores her swimming, and the three of us watched lovingly as she chased and retrieved small pieces of wood that we threw into the water for her to collect. There was one particularly amusing moment when Cookie lost sight of the floating wood we had thrown in and retrieved a floating plastic bottle instead. As she swam toward the shore she seems to be making slow progress and when she final landed the bottle, we saw the reason why. It had been tied to an enormous piece of rock and the poor mut had not only swum back with the bottle, she had also dragged the piece of rock, which weighed a ton! (well, not quite…..)
We played for around 15 minutes and then I decided that Cookie had enough and we brought her back home. She was completely exhausted and lay in virtually the same position for hours. When tried to get her to walk she was clearly in pain and I worried that I had made things worse. But this morning she was walking quite well, not really favouring her front legs at all, so I think the exercise worked – I hope so. I will try to take her swimming regularly and have put her on a strict diet to get her weight down. I hope it works.
In June 2002, Mukhtar Mai, now 40, was gang raped on the orders of a village council in Punjab province as punishment, after her younger brother was wrongly accused of having illicit relations with a woman from a rival clan. The boy was 12-years-old at the time and villagers say he was merely seen walking with the girl.
After Mai resisted the urge to commit suicide, (the usual consequence of such an outrage) , she decided to face her accusers and seek justice. The resultant publicity led to arrest of the men in question and a local court sentenced the six accused men to death. But a High Court in Lahore subsequently acquitted five of the men in March 2005, and commuted the sentence for the main accused, Abdul Khaliq, to life imprisonment. Yesterday, Pakistan’s Supreme Court dismissed an appeal by gang rape victim, Mai, against the acquittal of the five men
According to an internationally respected Foundation, working for the protection of women in Pakistan, almost a thousand women were raped in the country during 2010, while more than 2,000 were abducted and almost 1,500 murdered,
A further 500 were the victims of “honour killings”, a custom under which relatives and other fellow tribesmen kill a woman if they believe she had an affair.
Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the United States Joint Chiefs of Staff, has stated categorically that Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence agency (ISI) had maintained a relationship with the Haqqani network – one of the deadliest factions in the Taliban’s Afghan insurgency.
During a visit to Pakistan on Wednesday, Admiral Mullen said:
“Continuing links between the ISI and the Haqqani network, which attacks Nato troops in Afghanistan from safe havens in North Waziristan, are a cause of “continuing strain” in relations between the two countries.
“Haqqani is supporting, funding, training fighters that are killing Americans and killing coalition partners. And I have a sacred obligation to do all I can to make sure that doesn’t happen,”
The Pakistan Army has accused the United States of waging a campaign of “negative propaganda” over its role in the war on al-Qaeda and Taliban militants.
Chief of army staff, General Ashfaq Kayani was quoted as rejecting criticism of its commitment to fighting militants.
“The Pakistan army’s on-going operations are a testimony of our national resolve to defeat terrorism. He, (Kayani), strongly rejected negative propaganda of Pakistan not doing enough and Pakistan army’s lack of clarity on the way forward.”
Ties between Pakistan intelligence and Haqqani are not exactly a secret. In an intercepted phone call, General Kayani once described the elder Haqqani as a “strategic asset.”
I have been accused of making simplistic statements on world events. That may well be true, because sometimes the simplest thoughts and the simplest solutions to the events that are destroying this world will maybe one day turn out to be the only ones that will work.
As long as we have to listen to the obfuscation, hypocrisy and downright lies, to say nothing of the actions of sheer evil by people who are supposed to be our allies, then I can see nothing but pain and increasing strife on this troubled planet.
My ideas are ‘simplistic’ because I advocate an immediate abandonment of places such as Afghanistan and its terrorism surrogate, Pakistan. Afghanistan – a country where the populace rises up and kills indiscriminately, because some nutcase on the other side of the world burns a Koran. Pakistan; where innocent women are regularly gang- raped, beaten and burned alive and where the courts are powerless to stop it. Pakistan, where any criticism of the Koran is punishable by death and where anyone wishing to amend such laws is also murdered by death squads who act with total impunity and are above the law.
I could go on and on.
So it’s simplistic to say: ‘Get the hell out of there and leave them to it’ is it? Well our present policies have singularly failed to work for decades and all that the west has succeed in doing is wasting billions of dollars, causing the deaths of countless members of our brave fighting forces, and becoming the focus for deep seated hatred by a vast majority of Muslims in this world.
So would our withdrawal from this conflict make matters any worse, I ask you? Sure there would be many adverse knock on effects of such a plan, but whatever might happen, could it really be any worse that the intractable situation we find ourselves in today? All those billions that we have committed to Pakistan, Afghanistan and other trouble spots could be used to bolster our defences against terrorist outrages and root out the insurgents within our own society.
I don’t pretend to have all the answers, but at least I am thinking ‘outside the box’. If more people could be encouraged to think the way I do, maybe one day, our leaders will start to see sense and start to plan an exit strategy from these far flung, Muslim- radicalised countries, which no amount of western money, lives and dedication is ever going to fix – at least not by us. We are the very devil- incarnate to them – how on earth can we imagine that they will ever listen to us and do what we say?