AA ramblings.

At an AA meeting today. An old guy rambled on, just like he does every day. He sits close to the front so he’ll be asked to speak. I sit at the back to avoid it. But the guy next to me, after 5 minutes of complaining about being “back home” (from Mexico) says in a humph that “No-one at AA should be allowed to speak until they have at least 30 days sober. This guy has been coming here for 25 years and hasn’t gone for more than a week”.

I humph back my agreement, which is why I’m sitting way back at the Alano Club’s everyday 2PM meeting, so I won’t be seen or asked to speak. How can I? I’m going without even a day’s worth of absitence. Not yet. But I think this guy has it right. His name is Jim, a huge hand attached to an equally large body, suntanned—he shakes and say’s HELLO. After Mr. Rambler is finished rambling he gets up and say’s, “Well, this is a meeting I won’t be talking about for day’s to come!” then sticks out his hand and say’s goodbye. I join his shadow about 30 seconds later. We both leave the meeting at the half time, aka “smoke break”. Him for a smoke and easy leave of absence. Me, so that I won’t be tempted to stop off at the ol’ watering-hole for a drink before 5. Mission successful.

“Another day in paradise”, I almost said to someone later, but stopped myself, thinking, ruminating quickly; “What’s paradise for me might not be paradise for him”. Nevertheless, to me to live another day IS paradise, a gift, especially while I am still drinking. Yesterday I was screaming down the highway at ridiculous speeds (totally sober–not 5 yet!) to catch the 3:15 ferry-ride back to the mainland, back to my home and love. A stearing-wheel gripping ride back to my paradise. Indeed. Thank God, I made it, so that I can now, just as I have today, live and enjoy yet another day in it.

I swore that I would never write after drinking, but in the last few days have realized that then I might leave this paradise without being heard from again. Now, I feel that I owe it to myself and my loved ones to keep talking, regardless. At least an incenses ashes are still traces of the flame.

Mute…

I haven’t written much lately. “Life” and its vicissitudes have kept me otherwise occupied, distracted, or simply unable.

Why? Well, to begin with, I have suffered from severe anxiety since I was born. Going through 2 foster family mothers before ending up with the third who kept me—all in the first six months of my life—most likely had something to do with that. Then depression reared its ugly head in my early 30’s, which I happily “self-medicated” with alcohol, especially after being separated from my children due to divorce back in 1995, and then followed closely by a rocky second re-bound marriage, on-again-off-again over 10 years. My depression has since lessened but the taste for my self-prescribed medication has not.

Thanks to “real” medication and intensive therapy, I am seeing light at the end of the tunnel. In fact, I am seeing that there actually IS light at the end of that tunnel! While waiting for the clouds to clear, then, I have purposefully chosen not to write, comment, opinion-ate or dare even beer-induced pontificate.

In the meantime, I’m taking life just “one day at a time”. That’s an “AA” (Alcoholics Anonymous) expression. I attended AA off and on for a few years. Great organization. I learned a lot about alcohol addiction and LIFE at AA….and THAT is what this site is all about; discovering and sharing things about life with YOU, with the hope that we ALL might benefit and improve the quality of our individual lives, the lives of our loved ones and perhaps even…the world. I’m a die-hard optimist.

God willing, see you soon, when the sky is clear.

Take care,
Tim

New Year’s Resolution Follow-up

Well, its been 13 days since we made our New Year’s resolutions! Most of us have probably broken them already! And in the end, only 1 out of 12 people will actually accomplish them. But do you know what that statistics don’t say? They don’t say anything about the other 3, 4, or 5 people who WILL keep their resolutions SORT-OF. “Sort-of” means that a few more of those 12 people might not totally accomplish their New Year’s goals, but they can and will keep working towards them!

I have a friend who has a serious problem with alcohol—when he’s drinking it! His doctor told him to quit a couple years ago, quit or eventually die from it because it has been catching up with him as he gets older. Well, he did quit—for about a month. A week later, he quit again, for about 3 months! Since then, three months has pretty much been the longest that he’s been able to go without drinking a drop. The other day he told me how much this has frustrated him. He wants so desperately to quit, he said with a sigh, but just can’t pass that 3 month mark.

Now you tell me—has my friend been successful with his desire to quit drinking? Of course he has (sorry AA)!!! I said to my friend, “Friend, you have already WON your battle with the bottle! You have been able to go for as long as 3 MONTHS without taking a drink! And, you’ve been doing that for the past couple of years. If you can keep on doing what you’ve been doing for the rest of your life, you will never have to worry about alcohol eating away your life and killing you!” He looked at me, clearly stunned.  After a few seconds, his eyes lit up  like big, bright stars and then a huge smile arose.  “That’s right!!!” he bellowed excitedly, then stuck his hand out and gave me one of the firmest and most heartfelt handshakes of my life. And then again after a couple minutes, and then again a couple more minutes after that!

Dear readers: Your New Years resolutions might have been broken, but YOU are not. Tomorrow is a NEW DAY, full of so much opportunity to keep on keeping on. Follow the flame in your heart to your own personal greatness, if only one day, one week, one month, three months—at a time. Starting tomorrow you can start again, or you can keep doing whatever you have already started. Just do it. You can do it!

I’m doing my best to do the same. We’re all in this together!

Cheers
T.