Mobi’s last Babble
This is a sad day that I never thought would come.
When I wrote my very first blog, I was a hopeless drunk, rapidly descending into an alcoholic hell from which I never thought I could recover.
Little could I have known that the blog – and me- would still be going more than eight years later and that I would have achieved six years of 100% sobriety.
Here is what I wrote on 7th July 2009.
My name is “Mobi”; I’m an alcoholic!!!
July 7, 2009
This is the start of my very first blog.
The subject of this blog is alcoholism, and in particular, my alcoholism, and what I am doing in my life to combat this sickness.
The purpose of this blog is twofold:
First and foremost – and I make no apologies for this, even if it does seem to go against AA principles – is that I find it cathartic to write about my problems, and further, that there may be folk out there who may read my blog, maybe offer encouragement, and by so doing, give me the strength and determination to continue along my chosen course.
Secondly – and this is certainly in keeping with AA principles, there may be many alcoholics out there who will be encouraged, inspired (dare I hope for such a thing?), and even learn (Oh my God I’m getting too cocky by half!), from my ramblings.
I sincerely hope – whether I succeed or fail miserably – that you, dear readers, may derive some benefit from reading about my life and exploits, as it pertains to my ongoing attempts to stop drinking.
There is one point I wish to make clear at the very outset. The very nature of my story necessitates that I have to be extremely discrete when writing about the people I encounter and interact with in my quest for sobriety. This means that you must take it as ‘read’ that all names and any information that could lead to the discovery of those to whom I refer, will be fictionalised, in order to protect their anonymity.
So please, no speculation on anyone who is mentioned, as I can assure you that in all likelihood you will be way off the mark, as I am quite inventive.
But for me, Mobi, I will be an open book, and accept that as the price I pay for writing this blog.
Pattaya, July 7th, 2009.
It is ironic, (or maybe divine guidance?) that I am starting a blog on alcoholism on the first day of Khao Phanzer, or Buddhist Lent, the time of year when Buddhists, and even some ‘farangs’, try to refrain from alcohol for a period of 3 months.
Today I have been sober for 12 days. This isn’t the first time I have tried to stop drinking, but I sincerely hope it is the last. All previous attempts were carried out more or less on my own, using my own ‘will-power” to stay sober, and as I now believe, all these attempts were destined to fail, sooner or later.
On this, the first day of my blog, some background to my life of drinking is in order.
Since I wrote that first blog, so much has happened in my life. During the past 8 years, I have written hundreds of thousands of words (probably millions if you include the transcripts of my novels) and my blog has received over 270,000 ‘views’. Not a huge number in the grand scheme of things, but far more than I could ever have imagined back in 2009.
When I started blogging, I was 62 and now I am 70. Life has rarely been dull and all the events in my life – big and small, happy and sad, brave and embarrassing, funny and ridiculous – over the past eight years have been faithfully recorded in its annals.
I have become a grandfather and a great uncle several times over; I have acquired a new family, through Lek my sixth wife; I have lost many friends to illness and accidents and not a few to alcoholism. Very recently I also lost my dear sister.
Here are some of the major milestones in these 8 years of life that immediately spring to mind:
- Breaking up with, and later divorcing my fifth wife, Sa.
- Countless drunken exploits and adventures with ‘ladies of the night’, many faithfully recorded in these blogs.
- Attempting suicide.
- Going into therapy and taking treatment for my alcoholism and depression.
- All but writing off my BMW in a drunken accident.
- Badly smashing my wrist in a drunken fall.
- Meeting the woman of my life, Lek, and later marrying her.
- Losing 95% of my savings in an Australian property scam.
- Undergoing open-heart surgery to replace my aortic valve.
- Quitting the booze for good on Jan 1st, 2011.
- Writing and publishing three novels.
- Finally selling my home at a greatly reduced price and splitting the proceeds with my ex-wife, Sa.
- Opening and running a bar for 6 months.
- Making several trips to the UK to visit my family.
- Starting a new career in contract writing.
- And…so much more…that this ageing hard disk cannot immediately bring to mind.
And now, sadly my blog must come to an end, and I must hang up my blogging pen and walk off into the sunset.
I’m afraid I simply no longer have sufficient time to devote to it, and if I can’t do it properly, I’d rather not do it at all.
My present circumstances demand that I spend most of my time trying to earn enough money to pay my bills.
It has been a bit of a shock to the system to return to the work treadmill at the age of 70, when I have been retired for the past 16 years. But I have no choice. At the present time, I am flat out writing content for a large travel website, as well as doing other odd writing jobs as they come in from time to time.
It is low paid and uncertain work, and I am subject to the whims and prejudices of the people I work for on the other side of the world. Sometimes they make all kinds of promises for regular monthly work, only to fade away after a few weeks.
When this current job is finished, I will have to look for the next one, and at the moment I have no idea where that might come from, but I have to hope and pray and keep plugging away.
Once I have completed my daily work, I then try to turn my mind to creative writing for a few hours in the evenings. I am very reluctant to stop this writing as it is the only writing that I enjoy, and I never give up hope that one day I might make some money from it.
Now to my blog.
It normally takes me around two days to complete a weekly blog of four or more articles. The first day (Saturday) I do the writing and sort out pictures etc. I am going to use, and on the second day I do the posting and collating onto the website – no simple task.
Over the years, I have enjoyed doing my blog immensely, but since I started contract writing earlier this year it has become more and more of a chore and has resulted in a lot of stress.
I spend part of my weekends doing contract writing that needs to be completed to tight deadlines, and I also try to work on my latest novel. This leaves me no time to write a blog. I rarely go out, and I sit in front of a computer for seven days a week – most of my waking hours – save a couple of hours late in the evening when I watch a bit of TV
It is just too much for me at my advanced age – and something has to go. Sadly, it is the blog.
I am not going to close or remove the website. It will stay here indefinitely, and it will be automatically updated every time I post a tweet or something on Instagram.
For those of you who may still be interested in the “Life and Times of Mobi D’Ark,” I plan to step up my regular postings on Instagram and Twitter about my daily life, which will automatically be posted on my blog home page, (see the right hand sidebar), and also the Mobi Dark Facebook page.
Finally, may I offer my heartfelt thanks to all of you who have followed me through the years, and especially to those of you who have put thumb and finger to keyboard and sent me comments – for good and bad – about my blogs. Through the years we have had a few lively discussions, and there are still some out there in blog land who think everything I wrote is a bunch of lies. Ah well…
So that’s it, Folks!
These past few weeks have been made even more difficult than usual, following the sad passing away of my long-suffering sister a few weeks ago and then the tragic death of Lek’s father in a motorcycle accident last week.
Now my brother is in hospital after fracturing his tibia and Neung, my 15-year-old stepson was badly injured in yet another motorcycle accident. They say things always go in threes, but we’re up to four and counting…
I don’t know if this is all a sign from someone out there in the great beyond, but it certainly does reinforce the reality of how fickle life can be.
So I will “never say never”…
If my circumstances change…who knows, one day, Mobi’s blog may be back.
But for now, it’s a goodbye from Mobi…
… and an even fonder farewell from Martin.