Sunday Sundries … To Employers
The skies are foreboding. I think we are in for some rain tonight.
It was a usual Sunday, here and there. I was out early and cranked out coffee and set up. Thankful to be alone to do my work with my tunes. I’ve been obsessed with Breaking Benjamin as of late. It’s a little edgy and dark, rock in a sort of way.
Today we continued with the Big Book and chapter 10 – To Employers.
The last grouping of chapters, written by an alcoholic for others who are not, have elicited varying opinions on the texts. That was true for today’s reading.
Being a third generation alcoholic I think back to my parents and their parents and wonder how they got around work, with the amount of alcohol they partook in for the whole of my life.
I was lucky that when I graduated from High School, I succeeded in finding good work that quickly became a great enabler to drink. Travel and tourism was a good choice because I had it really good, in hindsight. Terrible that I pissed on those opportunities by engaging in less than appropriate behavior.
But all of us imbibed. Especially at the 5 o’clock hour. We took long trips to far flung places in the world just so we could drink. San Francisco, New York City, Buenos Aires, Rio, all the capitols of Europe.
My only trip through Europe as a young man, I drank my way across the continent, and it was not pretty by any stretch of the imagination. My companion tried several times, to loose me in places like Germany and Italy, but someone had to get me home in one piece and like a good alcoholic – I copped a resentment of him on the final leg back to the U.S. and that ended badly.
When I moved from the office to a corporate job in travel, alcohol was the norm.
How good was it that your employer spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on champagne celebrations in house, during working hours. It was perfect.
I never lost a job because of my drinking. I always quit before the truth could come to light. It was more, and I had to have more. Even if I had to fuck you over for it.
It went from bad to worse. I went from corporate travel into the bar business. How cool was that? Tomorrow is a big day so stay tuned for that, because it is part of this whole drama.
I was a heavy drinker at age 25 … and only the threat of death curbed my desire to drink. At work, we were demanded Never to drink on the job. It was against the rules. So I drank after hours from 3 to 7 a.m. In those days in Fort Lauderdale, the way it was and who was open at what time, you could, very easily, drink around the clock.
Suicide was one of those experiences that took away my ability to stop. Finally my boss got me into therapy for survivors of suicide. It was bad, really bad. I had begun work at the best job I ever had in my life, and I was sorely fucking up.
The year before I got sober the first time, my first sponsor got sober. And he always kept a Big Book on his cash register. Many times I asked him what that Big Book was and his reply never changed.
“When you want to know what it is – I will explain it to you, but not until then.”
I did not really want to know. Until I had hit my bottom outside the COPA nightclub, the night I attempted to kill myself with the drink, after spending a good month and a half running from a death sentence.
I could run no longer.
Some one had to intervene or I was going to die, and that’s what happened. I hit my first meeting. And the rest, they say is history. I loved my job. And all the men I worked with. I would lay down my life for any of them. I was safe, protected from society. I was sober and working at the bar was about the safest place I could imagine I could work and never have the desire to drink ever again.
But like they say, “All good things must come to an end…”
I moved city after the bar fell into hostile hands. I quit my job, my protectors moved to San Francisco, and I was too young to pull up stakes and follow.
I cherished an unholy ideal … I was waiting for my father to drop dead so I could reclaim my mother and spend the rest of my life caring for her.
He lived … I never got that ideal to come to fruition. I was stupid. I should have gone, and sometimes I kick myself for not going. Life would have been so different. But I knew I just couldn’t go. I needed special medical care and Miami was the place for that. That’s where I ended up for a number of years.
I tell the story that in my first year of sobriety, most of the gay men in the room treated the newcomer like race horses. Bets were places on our heads to see who would go out and drink again.
I stayed sober, in spite of them. And when I reached a year, I took my chip and told them all to go fuck themselves.
I stayed sober 4 years and a little more.
I pulled a geographic into a slip – I pulled a second geographic back – I put down the drugs – but not necessarily the drink. From July 2000 until December 2001, I drank. But I also had sober periods during that year and a few months.
In the end it was an alcoholic who brought me back, by divine intervention.
God moved heaven and earth to prove to me that HE existed and that salvation was mine to have. I just needed to follow. And I did.
During those years I worked in corporate travel, my parent had thrown me out of the house and I ended up homeless. My parents were true bigots.
I moved in with a woman who had a big family, who’s kids had all moved away and she lived in this big house. So she rented me a room and we lived together for a while. Happily.
Until one day …
We had worked together with a few others at a local travel agency, where we had our fill of traveling around the world and drinking our ways around.
But she was the first to get sober. (Hindsight – we are all sober today)
While she was getting sober and going to meetings, I continued to hunt for a man and drink my way through my life. (There is actually a story in the back of the Big Book Edition 4 – that is all about me).
I was drinking away my rent money. And being a scoundrel. I shit on that relationship and I paid dearly for the disrespectful way I treated her.
I would forever be making this amend until I am dead.
I came home one night after a night out drinking, and the locks had been changed. Her son was there to open the door and tell me that I could not come in until I paid my rent, wearing the clothes on my back.
I left that night and relocated to Ft. Lauderdale. I worked at the Port of Miami, and on my next paycheck, went and paid my rent. I packed what little I had and left her there. Ashamed of me…
I continued to drink for a few more years. And a few years into sobriety, when I moved to Miami for treatment for AIDS, I went into a meeting, and God as my witness, I walked into the room, there was my lady friend – more than 4 years sober.
I got majorly Bitch slapped.
I had become the alcoholic tornado running roughshod through her life.
And now I was sober. Just a few years.
I pray for her every day that I am sober today.
I moved here in 2002. And I’ve been sober since December 9th 2001.
Tomorrow we celebrate a milestone. A very important day.
Stay tuned. More to come…