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Tuesday Thoughts …

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Courtesy: Korybalski

The snow began to fall this evening, We are sitting at (-4c/-6c w.c.) And more snow is on the way. Thankfully we are not in the major snow event zone this time.

I am not feeling quite myself today. A cold is coming on and I am feeling a bit wonky, so on the way out I did my supermarket safari and stopped at the pharmacy for some cold/flu pills.

It was a good meeting. We sat almost 50 folks. And we read from Living Sober, number #20, “Remembering your last Drunk.”

I picked this reading on purpose and the person I wanted to participate in this reading did not show up for the meeting tonight. UGH !!!

I got to the church about 5:30, and folks were waiting since 5. Set up went quickly one of our newbies is on coffee which freed me up to do tables and the girls did chairs. Then they paired off to read their books for an hour.

They say that the farther you are away from your last drink, the closer you are to your next drink. People tend to forget their last drink as they get sober, so today’s reading was a good reminder for many.

“We will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it…”

We heard a bunch of good advice regarding the reading. Old timers share that with remembering the past, and being able to recall the past, when working with others, can use their experience to help others coming along the path.

For me, I don’t remember my last drink. But I do remember my last drunk. At the end of my drinking, I was an all or nothing binge drinker. My Saturday nights were reserved for getting pretty and going to the club (Salvation) and partying it up with all the buff boys, that I so badly wanted to be part of.

And the first hour I drank to excess, and at 1 a.m. religiously, they would blast a tank of liquid nitrogen and that would chill the crowd, and it was then that the shirts would come off and the music would pound because everybody was fairly buzzed or fairly high, and the night continued.

I kept drinking like I always had. I knew I was coming to the end of my drinking because I kept praying for the hangover of death to come. And for that to occur, I had to drink to the point that would trigger such an event.

I don’t remember taking my last drink, nor how I got home, who poured me into a cab, and how I got through two locked secure doors, into my apartment. I do remember that I got terribly sick and on my knees paid homage to the porcelain god.

I never usually got sick. I would always come home on that Sunday morning from the bar, turn on the tv and sink into sleep with a movie playing on the VCR. I worked a Sunday – Wednesday schedule, so I would get a little sleep in order to be at work by noon on Sunday.

I prayed for that hangover.

The second prayer I said was for God to put an alcoholic in my path, which actually did happen, within days of uttering that prayer. That person eventually took me back to my first meeting.

I sat through a Gay meeting of A.A. but did not connect with anyone, nor did anyone notice me coming or going. So I waited outside for the next meeting which was at 10, and that’s when I met Fonda and Ed and a bevy of other alcoholics, who hugged and welcomed me. I sat with them and got sober with them, and we are still friends to this day, however far apart we are, thanks to Facebook, we are just a short note away from each other.

Consequently, that bar I used to drink in (Salvation) soon closed and never reopened. And I joke that the best drunk left the building so they had to close. I had to walk past that building to get to the Sober on South Beach Group.

What I remember from that time after my last drunk, was the feelings of shame and demoralization I felt. And how long it took me to come to see myself in better light. When I went out, I left my handful of friends with no explanation nor warning that I was skipping town. I did not tell anyone what I was up to, except for the woman who was moving away as well, because we shared a moving truck.

When I returned to Miami and got sober, I hid on the beach, hoping that I would NOT run into my old friends because I felt so ashamed at the major jackpot I found myself in and kicking myself that I did that to myself with no way out, it was total insanity.

But news travels fast in certain circles. And the folks on the mainland found out that I was getting sober on the beach, and it was Christmas Eve 2001, that we met in the Poinciana meeting one night. I got lots of hugs, but I could not escape the looks of sorrow on the faces of folks, because I was at a bottom, and was working my way back.

I am sober today – in spite of myself. Because of the goodness of God and the members who took me in when I most needed it. I remember those times fondly, because many folks broke bread with me, shared their homes with me and helped me regain my dignity and for that I will always be grateful.

A good night was had by all.

More to come, stay tuned…

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