Thursday … A Drunk Like You …
Courtesy: Joshua Uhl Flickr
It is a cold night. And as the East Coast is getting pounded by snow and sleet and rain, it is snowing on our fair city tonight.
The week is winding down. Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day. I did my shop on the way out. It did not seem that there was a run on cards and chocolates. However the flower cart was doing brisk business tonight as I walked through the mall on the way home.
We had heat in the church, which made the masses very happy. We sat an almost full membership tonight and a few guests and visitors from out of town. I chose to read from the Big Book and “A Drunk Like You” because I identified with many parts of the story. My story is long and there are brief vignettes in the story that happened to me early on.
Our storyteller, with some time under his belt, gets on a plane and decides that he might not be an alcoholic, but is in the rooms, takes a drink, and another and another.
Many of us identify with the fact the many do not remember ever taking just one.
Very early in my drinking career, I had a really good job, managing a travel agency. We had all the perks one could ever ask for and it was alcohol aplenty in the office, during work hours. The message? Drinking was accepted. We had it to share with clients and we drank it ourselves.
I was chaperoned on a trip across Europe as a teen-ager. A trip that one should be ever grateful for, because who would be able to afford such an extravagant trip all expenses paid?
We flew first class on Pan Am in those days. From Miami to London England. I drank all the way across the Atlantic, and drank my way across Europe as it panned out in front of me.
I drank, but nobody, including my chaperone said “Enough already.” He just tried to ditch me in Germany and I would not have had the where withal or the money to get me back home.
He hung in with me in any case. The most sober few days I had on my trip was in Rome. I at least had to be sober to experience the Vatican in all its glory, clear headed.
On the final leg home from Switzerland to New York and then on the Miami, I had copped a huge resentment (this is all in hindsight), and it was not a pretty ending to a whirlwind trip across Europe.
I was a problem drinker from the Get Go. But nobody was none the wiser. and nobody said anything about “a problem.” Funny that the adults in my world at that time just let me spin out of control. Nobody took me aside and said … “I think you might have a problem.”
Silence gives consent they say …
That was the story of my life for decades afterwards. Where I went, there I was. Me, the bottle and the drunk. I read these stories from the back of the book, and they elicit certain memories and thoughts.
In the end I was a danger to myself. Not necessarily to others. I would have continued to drink myself into the ground had divine intervention not stepped in when it did.
I am powerless over the first drink, as long as I don’t start with the first one. Which is why we need constant reminders of what it was like to keep us on the balance of “staying stopped.”
It was a good night. Everybody was happy to see one another.
I’ve done all I can do to make them comfortable.
More to come, stay tuned …