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Old 11-22-2006, 11:54 AM
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Yep, guess you are right about me going to visit. It is kinda weird.
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Old 11-22-2006, 05:37 PM
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I do not do AA anymore either but I do have lunch with my old sponsor from time to time. He's very cool about my not doing AA and is happy I am sober.
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Old 11-23-2006, 06:51 AM
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Ah same as Leo here really, my sponsor always supported me 100%. When I had bad urges a while back but weren't in AA anymore I gave her a call and she talked to me. She's a sweet lady. Never been one of those Big Book thumpers anyway to begin with, lol. She just got into AA cuz at the time she got sober it was the only self help group available and well yeah being into a thing for so long makes it really hard to leave. I don't live near her anymore but maybe one day I gather the courage to visit my old town Maastricht again. Then I can ask her for luch or coffee or something.

Marte
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Old 11-23-2006, 06:59 AM
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I think she'd really enjoy that, Marte!

Shalom!
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Old 03-05-2007, 12:50 PM
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You Are Not a Failure

By De W.


Personal experience ... Sober 10 years, thought it would be absolutely no problem. Put myself in a very challenging situation, lapsed for 2 years while in that situation. Got my self out (actually not by choice, but it worked out) and now have 2 years again. What didn't work for me was believing in the one-drink-leads-to-a-drunk. That is what I drank to. Ok. So you fell down.

Here is something I wrote, when I had 24 hours this last time. Maybe it will help someone else.

Because You have a Failure, You are not a Failure.

I choose. I choose what path to follow. I choose which way to go. I may not consciously choose to fail, but I can choose to go in another direction when the failure comes to light. This is what I have been learning.

I am not what I do. If I make a mistake, I am not a mistake. If I do bad things, I am not a bad person.

I am inherently good. Whether or not I do anything with my life, my life has meaning. If I have a failure, it does not mean I am a failure. If I slip it doesn't mean I am lost. Negative thinking is just that: Thinking. It is not "reality." If I put my negative thoughts into action, I have chosen to do so.

Whatever I do at any given moment is what I perceive to be the best action. Two seconds later it might seem like the worst possible thing I could have done. In the moment of the decision however, it may have seemed to be to my advantage. I can change the direction at any time. I can be honest about the action taken and move on to the next one.

That's important for me to admit and move on. Dwelling on it doesn't help.

I am scared to death to break my abstinence. I can hear myself dare me to do it. I can make the choice not to. If I do however break my abstinence, I am not a failure. I am acting on a compulsion. I choose whether to continue the behavior. Bad behavior does not make a bad person.

People, humanity, is (if not good) at least neutral. My reason for existence is to do what I can to make a difference. A lot of this is regurgitated from other readings and hearings. I am not sure I am totally convinced, except when I remember "I love you." "I am not convinced I deserve it." "You don't have to deserve it. IT JUST IS." Then I know I am something special. Failures and all. I am living proof that if you have a failure, you are not a failure. I keep picking myself up and moving on.***

I read this everyday for quite awhile and since my recent difficulty with new days/new beginnings I have it out again. I thought it might help someone else.

(The conversation was one I had with that 'still quiet voice' inside myself about 4 years into my first phase of recovery/discovery. It had a major impact on me then, and still does today.)

De W. -- Life is what happens while you are making other plans.
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Old 03-11-2007, 06:18 PM
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Applause for the Struggling

By Gregg F.


Hi all, I just ran a 5K race this morning. The same race I wanted to run for the past two years. The same race I passed in my car last Labor Day, racing to the bar to get there as soon as it opened. A knot in my gut made worse by viewing the happy faces of the runners.

Something can be learned by me from the runners. It seems the people that struggled the most got the most support, cheers and applause. No one was judged because they didn't train harder, thus improving their performance. No, everyone was cheered on just the same for being in the race -- actually a social run for most.

I think staying sober might be like running. Some of us alcoholically challenged may have an actual talent for staying sober, while for others it is a lot more difficult. I think that from now on I should applaud those even more that are having a difficult time, for there is a lot to say for someone just for being in the race. The motive for being there or the amount of training doesn't matter, but what matters is that they are with me in the same endeavor.

Those of us that have been doing really well for a long period of time stumble and get back up and go again should really be cheered for it is a challenge to begin again from this new perspective.

Marianne, I raise my diet soda to you this morn and say three cheers to ya. Three cheers to all of us.

Gregg F.
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Old 03-12-2007, 04:33 AM
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Great post.
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Old 08-14-2008, 09:04 AM
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A Loner in Sweden

by Jan A.


Many years ago I became intellectually clear over that I was an alcoholic. I belonged to the 10% of the Western population that had no mechanism to stop drinking once started. Conclusion: Don't ever drink alcohol! - Easy to say. However, I had studied articles and books about the Minnesota model and I guessed that the most effective part of the treatment was that alcoholics came together. They talked about their experiences of drinking and their hopes to get rid of this heavy burden.

At the same time research has showed that a main factor causing alcoholism was the personal genetic constitution. Alcoholism was not bad moral and insufficient self control. Alcoholism could be regarded as a "bad construction" like diabetes or as a sickness. We alcoholics got more self respect by hearing this but the problem was still there.

I had only vaguely heard about AA at that time, so I didn't join a group. Maybe there was none to find in my town. Instead I started talking with alcoholic friends about trying to stop drinking. Most of us really wanted to achieve sobriety. During these talks and discussions I was sober all the time. Weeks added to months and I was still sober. Sometimes I had to help my friends to the detox clinic. Of course I sometimes was tempted to drink during that time but I could manage it by reading the literature of the Minnesota model.

After about three years in this sort of living I met a neighbour at my summer house. We came to talk about "life" and he told me that he was a sober alcoholic in AA. I told him that I had the same problem but that I was on my way out from active alcoholism. He asked me to go with him to an AA meeting this evening. I did and I was rather impressed of the friendly and calm atmosphere of this meeting.

Then I joined AA for many years - a group had started in my home town. When I told my story about my way to sobriety I was always told that I wasn't really sober - I had only fought with "white knuckles" during these years outside AA. I still get angry hearing such nonsense - I had rather had a harmonic time with my alcoholic friends and with myself. A demanding time and a lucky.

Being a non-believer wasn't always easy in AA. So much talking about God and the HP and at the same time AA had no connection to any sect (The Preamble). Lots of contradictions. Since I was a teenager I have had a secular view and this caused me intellectual problems all the time. At same time: AA was the only game in town. And I had got friends there who I really could rely on. I needed the friendly talking and these weekly sessions of good humor and discussions of important topics. I STILL NEED IT! It is rather curious; some members of AA are atheists, other agnostics, some true believers, others who want to believe but can't and some who think they are God themselves. All these people seem to get along in some way or another within AA.

A few years ago I got a new problem with AA. I was elected a member of the Literature Committee of central AA in Sweden and now one had decided to make a new translation into Swedish of the Big Book (the latest American edition). I wasn't directly put to work with the translation but I had to give my opinion about the translation and to help find suitable Swedish wordings when the translators were in doubt. It became more and more trying to be involved in this work. How could I have an opinion about religious matters that I regarded as nonsense? I decided to resign recently and I am happy for that.

Since I connected to Internet about a year ago I have checked homepages concerning humanism, skepticism and recovery from "-isms". I found SOS on the net this autumn and here I am. I STRONGLY BELIEVE THAT MY WAY TO SOBRIETY WAS THE WAY SOS TELLS US IN PRIORITY ONE. The only difference is that I had no name on my own way. My sobriety has to date lasted more than 16 years, so I am convinced that Priority One is the right way to follow. AA helped me in many ways during the years - you need friends along the road. I have read the books by James Christopher and I am a strong supporter of SOS.

I wish I could start SOS groups in my home country. Maybe I can, but it will take a lot of time. Although many Swedes are able to read and talk English, we can't have our meetings in English. We need to translate a lot of the available original literature (with permissions re copyright, of course) into Swedish. I cannot do it myself, I am 68 and have even other things to do. I guess that I must first send out the message that SOS exists and get some fellows joining me and SOS. When we are a gang here that can keep contact with one another and when the circumstances are favourable to get something successfully done, then it is the right time to start.

In the nearest future I have to be a "loner" in Sweden but it will be OK now that I have joined this group in the listserve.

I thank you all and I wish you all the best and I'm looking forward to taking part in this forum.

Tag inte den foersta! (Don't pick up the first one!)

Jan Armann, Sweden
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Old 08-14-2008, 03:58 PM
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I missed this thread til now. A lot of great posts Doorknob - thanks
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Old 08-14-2008, 07:14 PM
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wow!!!! this is absolutely an awsome thread...thanks dk and thanks dee for reviving it. I can't tell you how much I am being helped by this right now!!!!

I will come back to this often I am sure!


thank you thank you thank you (ok a little excited!!!):ghug3
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Old 08-14-2008, 07:38 PM
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Actually, I added a new story this morning. These have helped me so many times, and if it weren't for these and other LifeRing online resources I may have very well given up already. These are from the LifeRing email support group (LifeRing *****! Group), which is ongoing still. Check out the dates on these, some go way back. Most of these were made into a book which I also have. Here are some of what is available today:

Gateway to Email Lists

If you go to Unhooked.com, there are links to all kinds of stuff on the front page.

Check it out!

DK
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Old 08-14-2008, 08:35 PM
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thanks DK

I had nothing to do with anything Nands

D
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Old 08-15-2008, 04:56 AM
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Your right deee...relooked and doornob revieved it....so I unthank you .... you are terribly unimportant
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Old 08-15-2008, 06:05 AM
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I had been working on this thread before I threw in the towel last time. For me, these not only validate the struggle I've had with the status quo in treatment and support groups, but equally as important, that there are other ways to conquer addiction. Keepers are my BB.
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Old 08-15-2008, 05:53 PM
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No More Time Outs

By Dudley A.


In my youth (when I was 54 - 8 years ago) I discovered that I had a problem with excessive alcohol consumption, a condition which seemed to worsen with age because when the kids left home and the dog died I felt there were no longer any restrictions on how much booze I could consume.

Like anyone else new to the game, I felt it would be appropriate to seek help from those who should know how to deal with such conditions, to wit: AA and the rehab industry.

After very brief dealings with both, I concluded that I didn't want to get involved with a Jim Jones mindset merely to stop drinking. Accordingly I decided to stop without any assistance from the "experts."

I did help get an SOS group going here in Atlanta and for that matter still attend - not because I am "recovering" from anything, but simply because I rather enjoy an intelligent conversation from time to time and I feel it important for newcomers to observe first hand that there is indeed life after booze.

This morning I worked out with my weights and stair stepper for about 1/2 hour, rode my bicycle to the tennis courts (only about 3/4 mile) and then played tennis until noon. This afternoon I did some volunteer work for a couple of hours, played CPA for a while and then got involved with this computer gadget. Tonight it was my turn to cook so I spent some time preparing a nourishing meal for my wife and me. Last week I had a complete physical and it was determined that I was disgustingly healthy except that I still have a problem with shortness of breath as a result of smoking 3 packs of Marlboros for as long as I can remember. (I gave up the cigarettes 6 years ago.)

Eight years ago the only exercise I ever got was bending my elbow, and eating was something that was done only out of necessity; neither the taste of the food nor the nourishment provided seemed to have any relevance. What was important was that I could start drinking after work - and the hell with the rest of the world. I was always too embarrassed to have my blood pressure taken by a doctor so would volunteer to give a pint of blood. Sometimes they took it and sometimes they didn't, but the important thing was that I didn't have to answer any questions.

Any of this sound familiar?

I, of course, was not an alcoholic but suffered from a "Designer Impairment" because I never hit rock bottom nor got a bunch of DUIs and that sort of thing. (I did drive into a tree on one occasion and into a house on another, but that was because I was dealing with "stress"!) In some circles I am suffering from Denial, but between you and me I've enjoyed every minute of it - for a total of eight years.

When I first had to confront my reality I read everything I could about "alcoholism" but avoided all of the traditional crap which smacked of a religious resolution. If Columbus and I were the only ones who refused to join the Flat Earth Society, then so be it. It was a very enlightening exercise, but in the end the issue I had to resolve was one of control; either the booze was going to control the rest of my life or I was. I decided on the latter, and the rest wasn't all that big a deal. (I've always maintained that sobriety gets easier with age because you're in the fourth quarter and you're out of time outs).

(10/28/96)
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Old 08-15-2008, 06:40 PM
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The Worst Week of My Life

By Gary S.


In 1987, I was a 29 year-old optical engineer at a large aerospace company in So. California. Although I was making good money at that time, we never managed to accumulate anything. My wife Kay and I lived in a two bedroom apartment which we shared with two cats (no kids yet). Every morning I would wake up with a hangover and go lean over the bathtub for about 15 minutes telling myself I had to quit drinking so much. I wasn't throwing up - just trying to wake up. There would always be some reason to start a fight with Kay before going to work. (On those rare occasions when I did not, I made note of it, and Kay always told me how "good" I was doing that morning.) The hangovers would last until about noon. Sometimes after work I would go out for a drink and wind up calling Kay to tell her I would be late (I was a very responsible drunk). Other nights I would go home and work on my computer. If I hadn't started drinking already, inevitably an alarm went off in my brain at 9:00 p.m. telling me it was time. From then on I proceeded to get drunk, although rarely to the point of blackout in the latter years. [...]

On March 3, 1987, I went to an urgent care clinic with a sprained wrist. I had a hard time getting anyone to look at my wrist since all the questions were about my drinking. Finally I was told that my liver was enlarged, and it was time to stop. My initial reaction was relief. I had known virtually since the day I started drinking that this day was coming, and when it did, I was almost glad for it to be over. Little did I know then what getting over it would actually entail.

It took two or three days for it to really hit me. I was one big raw nerve without alcohol. I believe that by brain is a very poor producer of whatever chemical it is that gives us a sense of well-being and contentment; and that is was only too glad to have alcohol take over its responsibilities in that area, so that even its limited native ability was very much diminished by alcohol. (In fact it would take almost two years for it to get back to what is normal for me, which is what I meant by "Little did I know then ...")

It was then that I sought out AA, since I had always known that AA was where you turned if you were an alcoholic and wanted to stop drinking. Now different AA groups have widely differing characters. Had I walked into the meeting I attend right now, I would probably have fit in better than I did. What I found was a group of lower bottom alcoholics and addicts. I made the following entry in my journal for, appropriately enough, Friday, March 13. (The entry was not actually made *on* that day, but recreated on March 25 from notes taken earlier - hence the past tense.)

"I decided to try controlled drinking. I was going to drink varying amounts each day according to a prescribed schedule for 12 weeks. I already knew in my mind that I was an alcoholic but I was not convinced that I was powerless over alcohol. It was hard for me to feel like an alcoholic deep down since I had not gone through the endless trying to quit and not being able to as most alcoholics have. I thought that if I made it for the 12 weeks, I would still be an alcoholic but at least I wouldn't be as bad off as those losers at AA who had to fantasize about God to keep themselves from drinking."

Most of what I know about what I was feeling at the time comes from my journal, most of which is too personal (read "embarrassing") to print, especially under the watchful eye of webmasters and newsletter editors. I cheated on the schedule only once, then made up for it the next day. My self respect required that I take only one of two actions: continue the experiment, or return to total abstinence. I ended the experiment after 1 week, which I think speaks for itself. The torture of moderate drinking was something I could not continue to bear - abstinence was far preferable.

To end the story here would make me look stronger and more noble than I deserve to look. In order to achieve "closure" with alcohol, I had to have - you guessed it - a last drunk, which I proceeded to do on Friday, March 20 - actually blacked out on that one. The next day, my OCD kicked in telling me that the "closure" had not been done well enough: there were things I had to be thinking while having that last drink. I had several drinks over the next three days trying to get it right. My most recent (dare I say "last") drink was on Monday, March 23, 1987.

Now you will no doubt think that your case is different. I was in the throws of withdrawal, while you have several years sobriety behind you. You may be right. However, any further experimentation will have to be carried out on your end. I cannot look at my history and not think that I was an alcoholic because I have a physiological propensity to alcohol addiction. My sense of responsibility, discipline, and will power were at least average, and I think above average. My brief experiment with moderate drinking was notable for its intensity, but I tortured myself for *years* with moderate smoking when I was even younger.

I would try to think of an elegant way to end this, but its late again, I have a final exam this week, and I don't want to delay getting this out any longer, so I'll just say Good Luck and Best Wishes, GAry
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Old 08-23-2008, 02:53 PM
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The Real Birds and Foxes

by Jerome C.


I had this idea I used to use on AA'ers who said I had to get spiritual to stay sober. I would say that alcohol made me very spiritual, that's why they call it spirits in a bottle. The thing I needed to do is come down to earth and get out of the fantasy, spirit filled world my mind was taking me to when inebriated. If I want to go back to the spirit world I will start taking drugs or drinking again. However, since drinking is not an option for me then.....well it's the real birds, foxes, etc in the "real" world that I will be seeing.
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Old 08-23-2008, 02:56 PM
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I'm Going to Be There For This Kid

by Rick G.


I thought I would take this opportunity to mention something that I noticed again yesterday. I love my new life since I quit drinking and drugging and here's one of the benefits of being straight that maybe some people in early recovery haven't noticed yet. Took me years to catch on, but most seem to see it sooner than I did.

Since all my kids grew up and moved out, I decided to move my office home. I love it (except for the traffic jam in our home) because I get to be at work and home at the same time now half of the time. But the best thing about it is my daughter brings her baby, our granddaughter, over almost every day. I can stop work and go visit.

My wife and I had two kids, but I have little idea what babies are like. You see, I missed most of that part of my kids' life. Oh, I was living at home, but I was more interested in getting loaded, and missed the REAL growing up of my kids. I didn't even realize that until our granddaughter was born about seven months ago. There I was standing in the hospital waiting room thinking "what happens next? When will they come out and give us an update? I'm so new at this and it feels great!" I realized that I had never really held a baby and played with it. I'd never fed one or changed a diaper since they didn't trust me not to drop my kids on the floor, and I'd never even looked at any other babies.

I was around for all the years my kids grew up, but I now realize I wasn't there. And for the last ten years I've been trying to make up for my mistakes by buying cars and things, creating jobs that they could do that I didn't need to have done and giving cash, instead of being there for them. I'm going to BE THERE for this kid and for my own, and for my wife from now on.

Nothing is more important than the people that I love, but I've made them play second to every whim I've ever had. By wasting time being addicted, we shortened our living lives and cheated ourselves and our families out of us.

We're going to have some tough times around here for awhile soon. I'm not looking forward to this event, but I am grateful that I'll be able to participate this time and feel the pain and loss like the rest of the human beings.
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Old 08-26-2008, 01:38 PM
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It's Not Worth It

By John R.


Dear Friends, life has its ups and downs and in the last few months I noticed how depression and mood swings affect even our friends with the longest sobriety. I've started feeling a little down lately and I realized that I am lonely and miss the drinking friends I used to have. It's funny how they never call anymore. All they needed was a drinking buddy I guess. I can't fulfill that role anymore.

After 8 months of sobriety, the longest being 3 weeks prior to that in the last 20 years, I felt I had come so far and was so self-confident that I could now test my ability to drink in moderation. It started so innocently when I played golf with a local pharmacist patient at my local club and thought I'd ask her to join me for a cocktail up in the clubhouse lounge. She had a drink and I had two. She said that more than one made her sleepy. I realized then I wanted more but left with just a mild buzz. When I think back I realize that if I weren't an alcoholic I wouldn't have wanted more and would have just enjoyed the mild buzz I had. Anyway, the next day I truly believed I could control my drinking and starting going to bars and buying alcohol to take home and drink. The quantity increased within a week so much that I remember waking up with a hangover and wanting to drink to relieve the symptoms. That I did. Then came the fifth a night after work to relieve the previous day's hangover and the night sweat, nausea, and diarrhea.

Finally, I was totally miserable and totally dependent and trapped on alcohol and realized that it had happened all over. Then I knew what I had to do. I had to endure the terrible withdrawal symptoms. I had been drinking a fifth of vodka a night for two weeks after a dozen other lesser drunks. The things I did during that period seem incredible now. This was from mid-May until last week. I was encouraged by the letters to Randy and quit again this week. It was terrible. I knew it would be horrible but it was worse than that. I had chest pains and almost had to call an ambulance. I quit drinking Monday at 2 pm when the bottle was empty. I knew I had to work on Tuesday and thought I could get through it. I was wrong. By midnight Monday night I was sober and feeling nauseous like hell. On the verge of throwing up, and with diarrhea every hour until my butt was bleeding and burning with tremendous pain. The nausea was so bad that at 8 am. I could still barely move out of bed to call in sick. I was totally booked up and they had to reschedule all my patients. The nausea and diarrhea finally subsided 8 hours later! I could work the next day though still hungover but am feeling better now.

The main point is ITS NOT WORTH IT TO TAKE ANY DRINKS AT ALL. The suffering is 100 times worse than the mild pleasure beforehand.

Anyway, I'm sipping chamomile tea and taking Valerian Root capsules to help me sleep at night and get over the shakes. I've been through this before and it's not fun!
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Old 08-26-2008, 02:12 PM
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A Letter From My Father

By Robert B.


This date is a strange anniversary for me. I went down to the Outer Banks of North Carolina, and some time around noon my (ex) wife and I were exchanging vows at the Dare County court house in Manteo. Since this was back in my drinking days, the trip up to Nags Head consisted of half a bottle of Pepto Bismal to try and take care of the night before, and the ceremony was followed by a trip to the nearest bar to get where I needed to be. I had gone ahead with the trip, knowing that my dad was terminally ill at the hospital in Bethesda, Md. When we returned, I called and found out that he had died that morning. Not many folks with that distinction, I reckon. Some time much later my mom sent me some of his writings, including a letter he wrote to her brother Tommy Joe, who was having his low points at the time, and shares our (and his) "taste" for the booze. I posted this before, but thought I'd put it out again, a little reminder of how he felt about sobriety. Hope you indulge an old fart. Like father like son...


April 26, '72

Dear Tommy Joe,

I remember an evening in late August of 1935 when a cocky young school teacher spent a late evening with some of his equally cocky students gulping down beer at the 24 Hr. Cafe. Late that night the teacher was still sober, sorta, and Ted Burke, Leo Klimboski and a little smart aleck were drunk. I carried the latter one home (he had some cute sisters) and deposited him quietly on the sleeping porch, hoping he would sober up in time for class the next day. He did.

Tommy, I am an alcoholic. I don't drink. I hope I never drink again. (Mind, I don't say, "I'll never drink again as long as I live". That might be sorta uncomfortable for me to live with.) How did I get down? How did I get up? I have heard from others a million sagas detailing the rationale - irrational in answer to the first of these two questions. They all differ and many are dramatic, tragic, pathetic, frightening, sad - you name it. My own story fits in there somewhere. But, having succumbed to the ailment, its source or sources, though certainly academically important and worthy of pursuit, could for the time be shelved until rehabilitation has been consummated.

The beginning of my own resurrection was rather dramatic. I knew I had a drinking problem. I covered - or attempted to cover. I forgave those who subtly cajoled me to do this or do that. I kept my job. Much absence for illness. Lost too much weight. Wouldn't eat. Developed dietary, digestive, glandular troubles, high blood pressure, diabetes. At the time there didn't seem to be much point in changing my life pattern because the damage - physical, emotional, psychological - appeared inoperable. Might just as well live it up, die soon, and hopefully unaware of it all soaked in alcohol. I would have screamed 'Murder' had I thought that someone was attempting to enslave me; but I blindly set about enslaving myself to a bottle. Slave to a goddamn bottle!

There were so many other things I liked to do and ought to do. Things got worse. A vacation trip to the Rockies; stopped in a small provincial, red-necked town; charged with minor traffic violation; unconventional hair style, foreign-built car, out-of-state tags; sober; searched, manacled, arrested; charged with felony, possession of and transporting of marijuana; jailed three days and nights; mistreated, possessions impounded; newspaper publicity with pictures; national radio networks; F B eyed up to kazoo; Hoover cleaned; the younger set scurrying to the mountains for 'Silverweed', thinking it was grass; a tragicomedy of some moment produced at a cost of only 1 1/2 grand; completely cleared a month later; but the Oklahoma Bradleys disgraced by the oldest son.

Do you perchance remember an essay we studied in English Lit during your senior year at Harrah High School? The author: Alexander Pope; the subject: "Adversity". Its basic postulation was not really new and in earthy, less elegant language might say: after darkness comes the dawn; or Every cloud has a silver lining; or Things must get better 'cause they can't get any worse; or God works in wondrous ways; or ****! ****! enough is enough! Upon release on bond and in a sad mental and physical state, I retreated to Harmony House, a lovely alcohol and drug rehabilitation foundation in Estes Park, Colorado. Interesting people these addicts; wildflowers; birds; deer; abandoned mines; gold panning; park ranger; psychologists; swimming; cameras; rap sessions; folk songs and barber shop singing; leisurely reading; liquor available - coffee preferable; vitamins; wholesome food; Foundation president and staff all alcoholics; a millionaire Texas oil man; a penniless oil field roustabout; tall storied lies; laughter at our own weaknesses; self appraisal; sobriety. The end of a nightmare.

Tommy, I don't envision myself as a paragon of virtuosity, a showpiece for sobriety or any other such nonsensical image. There may be by-products of sobriety that enhance one's empathic approach to other people, but the golden fleece, the silver chalice, is mine. I no longer want to escape adversity. I want to meet it and beat it. Life is fun again. The family doctor is amazed at my vitality and general good health. He thinks he cured me. Maybe he did start the cure when he hinted that I might 'We' not be able to 'hack it' for very much longer. All of this became a undertaking. It was done with the love and understanding of Teddy, relatives, friends, and alcoholics.

We would love to hear from you. Better yet, come and see us. May I help you to the peaceful sleeping porch again?

Love, Bob
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