4 Months, 26 Days – still sober.
What Mobi did
I have been out and about, checking out the local ‘merchandise’ but I have to confess that the more I look and the more I continue my research, the more I am beginning to realise that the merchandise at home is far better than anything available ‘off the shelf’.
As I have written many times before, Noo is a delightful little thing, and nothing has happened over the past 6 months to change this view. She is an even-tempered, sweet, fun-loving, solicitous and hard-working lady, who never insists on doing things her way, never lies and never tries to control me or my life.
I give her a modest sum for shopping and housekeeping and she keeps meticulous account of every Baht that she spends.
To date we have not had a single argument – not even the slightest tiff. Yes, I am occasionally grumpy with her – for no justifiable reason – but she never reacts. She just stays quiet and smiles at me and it isn’t many minutes before I realise what a ‘heel’ I have been and I quickly apologise.
From time to time, when I can’t find something in the house, I accuse her of moving or hiding it, and of course she strenuously denies it. Then I realise that it wasn’t her at all – it was me – Mobi – who had moved the misplaced item, so I own up and admit that it wasn’t her after all, it must have been one of the dogs who did it. This never fails to raise a beaming smile and a kiss! God bless her!
The only deviousness I could accuse Noo of is her despicable, conniving behaviour when I wake up in the morning. Before I am properly awake, she insists of starting my day off on the right foot with some unbelievable, exquisite ‘pleasures’ between the sheets!! I know this is her wicked plan, for she has learnt that at 63 years of age, I probably only have one ‘shot’ a day inside me. So she can feel confident that after enticing me to ‘shoot my load’ in the mornings, I will not be straying too much for the rest of the day…..
There are times when I have to blink to make sure this isn’t all a dream. What did I do to deserve such a good hearted, lovely, sexy woman? Maybe after a lifetime of mistakes, it is finally my turn to have some good luck.
Whatever the reason I have been thinking more and more about my extra -curricular activities and am trying to keep them in check. I doubt I will ever desist entirely, but it was starting to get out of hand and Noo doesn’t deserve it. I don’t want to end up being the Arnie -Pattaya -Terminator, or the Dark side Strauss- Kahn, for that matter…
Having said that, there are some lovely little ladies in my latest local – the Frogger – all hailing from one of my favourite Thai provinces – Patchabun. They all hail from Petchabun as the owner’s wife is from there and not only are they all quite young, but they are all very pretty and without childl. I have been particularly taken with one lovely 21 year old, who has a stunning face, slim figure and legs that most girls would die for. She is all sweetness and light – ‘butter wouldn’t melt in her mouth’. She is such a contrast from most of the brassy, forward girls I encounter around the Lake that she is a refreshing change . My sex addiction is always on the lookout for something new and different and this little lady, Pen by name, may fit Mobi’s bill. Will I bed her? I honestly don’t know. Probably not – I still wish to keep faithful to Noo.
I know – I am a bit of a bastard – but what’s a randy bastard supposed to do?
Of AA, Thai Visa and suspensions…
Since I last blogged I have been somewhat fanatically engaged in debating my ‘alcoholism’ thread in the Thai Visa forum and nearly got banned for my efforts. I was told by the moderator of this particular thread that I was not allowed to have debate – only a ‘polite discussion’ and that a final warning was issued to me when I had the temerity to respond to someone who had just made a totally unjustified attack on me. Here is what I posted that caused so much consternation:-
‘….you make me laugh, I can only think that you are becoming increasingly agitated as your normal rationality seems to be going by the board ….’
I was absolutely astonished by such draconian action in a forum where the ‘cut and thrust’ of vigorous debate is usually the order of the day. I was told that in this thread – the one about alcoholism – I was not allowed to argue or debate – only to express views and opinions politely!!!
Of course it is a load of old tosh, and as much as I regret to say it, I fear that the real motives behind this attempt to stifle Mobi was because the particular Moderator (who in all other respects has been an angel in shining light), doesn’t share Mobi’s views on AA and alcoholism. It has become increasingly apparent to this observer that dedicated believers in the AA, invariable adopt an extremely hostile attitude to anyone who dares to challenge or question the AA in any way whatsoever. This has been evident from my own thread, where I am continually attacked and have my words distorted or twisted. They accuse me of starting an anti- AA thread. The crazy thing is that there is no way the thread started off as anti-AA, in any way shape or form, but as the attacks have grown and the dogmatic refusal to even to intelligently discuss my points, then I have to admit I becoming more and more anti-AA in every day that passes.
It never occurred to me before, but I am now starting to wonder if there isn’t something in the 12 step programme itself that not only keeps its adherents sober, but also turns some of them into nasty, malicious zealots who unmercifully attack anyone who challenges their beliefs, whether by fair means or foul.
Today, I made my first substantial post since the moderator issued her warning to me, so we will see what happens. Here is what I wrote, which is on the same theme as my above comments.
“….With the greatest respect, whatever criticisms I may have levelled at AA and however ‘questionable’ my personal experiences may have been, I have never once said that I do not believe that AA works.
Of course it works – the hundreds of thousands world worldwide who regularly attend AA meetings, work the steps and stay sober are testament to that fact. Furthermore, I must now be into double figures in terms of the number of times on this thread alone I have exhorted people with drink problems to go to AA.
I just don’t happen to believe that AA will work for me and that attendance at AA meetings and working the programme is not the ONLY way to sobriety. That is my personal opinion – I may be wrong, but increasingly my research into this matter seems to indicate that I am probably correct.
It really is quite revealing how committed members of AA are so quick to miss-read, and to misjudge and condemn anyone who tries to criticise anything about the AA programme or indeed anyone who may suggest that there are alternative ways of staying sober. I am not writing this in argumentative way, but simply stating it as an observation.
The passion with which AA members defend their organisation and the vehemence in which they ‘attack’ anyone with an opposing or alternative view is, to me, very interesting; as is the assertion by some people on this thread that I am trying to discourage people from attending AA which is patently untrue.
Again – don’t get me wrong – I am purely interested in the motivations of such people and am not trying to take them to task per se. If you do a quick Google on AA on the internet and seek out sites where researchers are questioning some aspects of the AA programme, you will find that there are AA people who attack the researchers or the authors of studies which such intensity that it makes you wonder why they do it?
If they believe that the AA programme works then fine – why can’t they live and let live? Or is it because deep down they fear that some unspoken truths will see the light of day? ( For example the true success rate of the AA programme? )
Stanton Peele, Ph.D., J.D., is a seminal figure in the addiction field. He has been a pioneer in applying addiction beyond the area of drugs and alcohol, social-environmental causes of addiction, harm reduction treatment (non-abstinent improvements for addicts), and self-cure of addiction.
He has presented these ideas and data in a series of nine books and over 250 professional and popular articles. Recognition for his academic achievements in addiction has included the Mark Keller Award from the Rutgers Center of Alcohol Studies and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Drug Policy Alliance. Dr Peele lectures internationally on the meaning, treatment, and future of addiction.
Stanton wrote a positive review on Charles Buf’s ‘AA: Cult or Cure’. I am not going to cut and paste his entire lengthy piece here, as anyone who is interested can Google it. But for the lazy amongst you, here is his closing paragraph:
“But the good news is that America’s honeymoon with AA is nearly over. Chaz traces this cultural shift to the recent more critical thrust of popular articles on AA and its 12-step philosophy, repeated negative court decisions on the constitutionality of forcing people to attend AA/12-step programs, and a growing awareness of AA’s limited effectiveness…. In the next quarter century, Chaz predicts, what has often been AA’s reign of terror over American alcoholism treatment will end….”
I also commend any students seeking to widen their knowledge, to actually read the book reviewed by Dr Stanton, namely: ‘AA: Cult of Cure’, which is available free, on the internet.
If you do not have the time or inclination to read all of it, then just read Chapter 7, which deals with established statistics and facts, many from the AA itself, which clearly establishes the low success rates and the high recidivism rates within the AA programme and the comparable success (or failure) rates of alternative and/or do it yourself treatment. I know you can prove anything with numbers, but I urge you just read it and draw your own conclusions.
But back to my main theme in this particular post, I would like to print a little of Chaz’ s ‘Preface’ to the second edition of his book when he referred to the horrific aftermath following the publication of the first edition:
“Many of the AA members who called during my interviews were polite and respectful, and wanted to discuss issues. But a fair number of others were just the opposite. They had no interest in discussing issues—all that they wanted to do was to attack me personally.
I particularly remember one fake-friendly caller who, after bragging about his time sober, accused me of lying purely for personal profit, and ended his ad hominem attack with, “You sound might thirsty to me!” I remember another vociferous defender of AA, on another program, who insisted that AA was the only route to recovery and that it had worked beautifully for him, but who was obviously drunk when he called.
At about the same time, newspaper and journal book reviews began to appear, and I fairly quickly noticed a pattern: those written by addiction “professionals” were extremely negative, and in two cases, it seemed to me, deliberately misrepresented what I’d said.
As well, from their assertions and phraseology, I felt quite sure that the authors of these reviews were members of AA, but hadn’t revealed it to their readers. I felt outraged by this. It seemed to me that their behaviour was simply dishonest. I considered it— and still consider it—cowardly and deliberately deceptive.
Taken together, these two things—the sheer hatefulness of many of the pro-AA talk show callers and the hatchet-job reviews by AA members who hid their affiliation with AA—caused me to begin to question my own conclusions about AA’s relative harmlessness…..”
To summarise, as I see it, anyone who is seeking help in achieving long tern sobriety, should, in the first instance, seek the assistance of the AA. If The AA programme works for them and they are able to work the 12 steps and become, sober, happy, joyous and free members of society, then good luck to them.
If however, having tried the AA approach, and for whatever reason, have failed in their quest, then they should not be despondent, as we now know that there are alternative ways to become and stay sober, including, but not limited to ‘going it alone’. And of course, they can always go back to AA at some future date, if other methods also fail to supply the solution.
There! Is that fair enough my friends?
Peace and serenity to all…”
During the past few days I have watched two ‘war’ movies. The first was the multi- Oscar winning The Hurt Locker and the second was ‘Brothers’.
I am not a ‘war movie’ buff, nor an ‘action movie’ buff, but I can nevertheless recommend both of these excellent movies. Like The Deer Hunter, which I reviewed a few days ago, these movies are more about the people who are caught up in war, rather than the wars themselves. The films don’t try to judge the merits of war or go out of their way to portray good and evil. They are studies of the human condition when confronted with extraordinary and life threatening situations.
The Hurt Locker, which is about an American bomb disposal Squad operating in Iraq, admittedly contains a fair amount of blood-thirsty action, but ultimately it is about the members of the squad and how their dangerous jobs affected them.
There has been much criticisms levelled at this movie about the inaccuracies in the story.
It has been said that such bomb squads did not operate in the manner depicted in the movie and that certain events would simply never happen. I have some sympathy for this criticism, as if you are making a deadly serious move i.e. about a recent historical event that is still burning in the hearts and consciousness of many, then I do feel the producers have a duty not to deliberately misrepresent the truth.
However, in general, I doubt that they have misled, as the story is about the people, not about the accuracy of their technical operations, and many within the military have praised it as a work of ‘admitted fiction’ that does much to illustrate the horrors of war and the effect on these brave soldiers – whatever nationality they happen to be.
I can certainly recommend The Hurt Locker as a must for anyone who appreciates good, dramatic and soul searching story telling.
‘Brothers’, in my view, is equally as good, if not a better movie. This is a very different story; it is about an American officer who is captured and held by terrorists in Afghanistan and about his family back in the USA; in particular his wife and his ne’er-do-well, ex-convict brother. The last section of the movie reaches startling heights of dramatic horror. I won’t say any more, as some of my readers may wish to seek this movie out. and I don’t want to spoil it for them. It didn’t win any major awards, but I can assure you that the acting by all concerned is absolutely superb and the direction and overall production is peerless. This movie will shock you to your foundations and make you realise that all of us are not only fallible but also capable of change – some for the better and some for the worst. It is a must see.
NEXT BLOG: A meeting with Dang – my estranged wife….