Monday: The Morning Drink, Discuss …
Can I just say, right now, that it was terribly DANGEROUS outside tonight. A fine sheen of ice covers every square inch of real estate, sidewalks, roads, walls, etc … So much ice that walking from point A to point B was an exercise in fine balance and agility.
People were slipping and sliding all over the place.
The Morning Drink
Did you drink in the morning? For many, the “morning drink” is that fine line, that many used to justify their drinking. If you did not drink in the morning, one was not necessarily an alcoholic, or so we thought.
I have some questions about “The Morning Drink.”
- What do you consider MORNING ?
- Is it morning if you did not go to sleep yet ?
- If your nightly drinking, extended into the morning, does that count as morning ?
I had knowledge of what alcoholism looked like from a family perspective. So my alcoholic practice had certain rules.
- I never bought alcohol at a liquor store, ever
- I never kept alcohol in my home, ever
- I never drank in the morning
- Once I crossed into hard liquor, I never drank beer again, so beer does not count
- I always had to go OUT to drink.
- Or I drank in other places, other than home
When I was much younger, I engaged in levels of alcoholism.
I was told, in my twenties, that alcohol was going to make me acceptable to others. I once had a job, where alcohol was served in the office. Later, I worked for R.C.I. International, then Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines. Alcohol was served at special events, during work hours, and open bar was the name of the game with new ship introductions.
Happy Hour was very useful, because happy hour got the ball rolling. Then I would drive home, change my clothes and return to the bar, for the nightly drinking ritual until last call or until the ugly lights came on.
Going out to the bar or club was a part of life. It was the lubricating event that usually sealed the deal for human sexual interaction. I drank most nights, but back then, You usually did not drink in the morning, unless ONE, there was an open bar in the a.m.,or TWO, you had alcohol at home, which I never had at home.
When I lived in Fort Lauderdale, you could actually drink 23 hours a day. Beginning at happy hour, (5 p.m.) you would begin the ritual. Then, you either stayed where you were, or you went to a secondary location to continue drinking all night, (8p.m. to 2 a.m.)
When that bar/club/location, closed for the night, you could go to a club, that was open after hours, or open into the wee hours of the morning. (2 a.m. to 6 a.m.)
When that bar/club/location closed, you would be forced to endure 60 minutes without a drink, which usually lent itself to going to the Diner to get breakfast, and give your liver a break for an hour.(6 a.m. to 7 a.m.)
At 7 a.m. one local bar opened for business. It was open for twenty three hours a day.
So if you planned accordingly, you could reasonably drink, 23 hours a day/night.
I only did that maybe a couple of times. That was pretty desperate drinking.
I know, for a fact, that on one particular morning that I continued drinking into that 23rd hour, the next decision I made, sealed my mortal well being and ended my sexual viability.
I can piece together what went down after years of trying to figure out the specifics. That morning, specifically, was the morning that I crossed the invisible line into AIDS.
I know that James was sick when he killed himself, which was a year prior to my diagnosis.
I was working for Todd by then, but I was not yet sober. It would be another year before I got sick, but I was told that I carried for well over a year, before I got very sick with hepatitis hence, activating my immune system, and AIDS exploded into my system.
Like I said, I never drank in the morning, if you want to split hairs.
If I had not gone to bed, it was not morning yet, so that did not count.
It’s that morning drink that will kill you.
It almost killed me – Literally.
Even when drugs were introduced, when I went back out, by my own hand, it wasn’t alcohol that was the problem, it was POT. Our days began with a joint and continued well into the day and into the night, all night, until you either passed out or ran out of weed.
You can see above, that my sober decision skills were nonexistent.
Even sober, I could not make things work on my own, and I certainly did not think straight when I was drunk for sure. My brain was fucked for a very long time.
Sometimes, I am under no illusion, that at certain times, I should not do anything, make any decisions, or even leave the house for that matter.
When Todd stepped into my life, He was in the game with me. I was no longer alone, and for a couple of years, under his wing, I did what I was told, I did not make ANY decisions, alone or by myself, and in the end … I Lived !!!
As soon as that guiding hand departed, and left to my own devices, you would have thought that what I learned the two years prior would play out, it didn’t.
The second time I came in, again, I was no longer alone. I put my trust in the group of men and women who helped me get sober again.
When I moved here, I connected to people, who had my back, and the best of intentions. The right people, were in the right place at the right time.
And I’ve said this recently, about my friends … I must have done something right, by NOT doing what I watched my friends do. My decision making skills were honed in the meetings, and with the people I trusted.
I never did anything without a second or third opinion.
Many of the people who got sober when I did, or came in after, and now are double digit sober, are CRACKED in the HEAD. I’ve listened to them week in and week out, and I know what decisions they made, because all those pitfalls are part of their sordid sober story.
And for some, they still, to this day, double digit sober now, Don’t have their SHIT together. Comparing apples to apples, I stayed very close to my center. I never ventured very far from it. And I think that made all the difference.
I was visiting with RAFA earlier tonight, and we were talking about our fellows, and that they see things in a particular way. And when they see or hear something that rocks their moral or spiritual boat/foundation, they loose their shit.
And I jokingly said, I can’t be angry, and I can’t get mad, or show any emotion, in any meeting, in any capacity, in front of any of my friends. I can’t express certain things in public, because that shakes my friends up so much, they they flee in all directions.
I got mad in a meeting, and lost three quarters of my sponsees in one conversation. Rafa, at one time, voiced an opinion, and all of our friends, ostracized him from the fellowship and the group, because he rocked their perfectly tenuous moral boat.
That Boat, I am talking about is like evangelicalism.
Evangelicals are fed one truth. Based on either scripture or a human being (read: Preacher). What they hear, and what they take in, is taken as gospel and that becomes foundational.
Alcoholics and Addicts suffer from the same malady. And I am not sure why. It probably has to do with where they come from, how they were raised, how much life experience they have outside their comfortable community bubble, where they were educated, and finally, how they see the world.
We see this situation play out with our fellows, when you introduce to them alternative ideas or concepts. Or you share an opinion that is not as conservative or as liberal as their own. We’ve seen, over the last year or so, how people react when they hear things that do not necessarily jive with their world views.
Friendships end. Meetings close. Ne meetings open because people are distressed and they need someplace safe to be, so they open a meeting, formed in their image.
People do not return to certain meetings or they go back out and drink and use, which is the most dangerous consequence to differing opinions.
Foundational Sobriety, for some, is as tenuous as the foundation of an Evangelical Christian. They believe certain truths and they bank on those truths never changing, because if they do, people usually implode.
Many years ago, I could not talk about being Gay AND being a Christian.
That one relationship was so abhorrent to some evangelicals, that they mercilessly attacked me for years, on this blog, until I achieved my degree in Religious Studies in University. Then they just went away …
Thank the Baby Jesus …
They just could not wrap their heads around a Gay man being a Christian. That has changed for some, in today’s day and age, but not for many religious.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
My dalliance with The Church of Latter Day Saints, was an honest endeavor with honest Elders in conversation. It was the Mission President who said, in finality, that in order to be baptized in the LDS church, I would have to annul my marriage.
Not Gonna Happen.
Today, I am still waiting on a meeting with said Mission President. Tonight I got a text saying that they were trying to find time for us to meet, so there is movement there.
The ATONEMENT Is everything. It is the guiding force behind the LDS Church.
I’ve atoned, ten times over.
Good sobriety is all about Good Decision making skills.
At least, that is what I have learned so far, by the example shown by other sober people, in the program, who haven’t all made the wisest decisions, and suffered for their poor decision making skills.
Thank the Baby Jesus, I am not one of those poor souls.
Honestly ! It isn’t my ego that says that, but my soul.