Wednesday, November 30, 2005

more shall be revealed ...

Large Tony got me to thinking. Thinking about the days, no, the years I spent trolling the bars. Mostly bars outside the USA. Places I lived and places I visited from 1988 - 2002. Something like 29 countries.

I'm only now realizing how scared I am -- of people. I suppose I always have been. That's where alcohol came in handy. I loved going to new and different bars. I would get a beer and just stand back in a corner or hang out at the end of the bar. Out of the way. Away from anyone whenever possible. Lord help me if I actually had to speak to a human.

I'd check out the way the place was decorated. See the pictures; are they real or just prints? Look at all the neon signs. What was the bar made out of? Wood? Laminated? Old? New? How about the floor? Carpet, wood or tile? Clean? Dirty? How about the ceiling? They usually were filthy with nicotine stains. Those were my favorite kind. How many beer taps? What kinds of beers and ales? What types of liquor did they have? Cheap or the good stuff? I looked at all these things just about everywhere I went. Of course, I was always checking out the cutomers too, if there were any. I stayed away from the good looking guys, especially if it was a gay bar. Why would they want me anywhere near them? Often I would just have a drink or two, then move on. There was always another bar. Maybe someone would talk to me - somewhere else. So I'd wander down the street or across town to the next place. Make absolutely no effort to speak to anyone. Leave an hour later thinking how stuck up all these people are.

This was my way of life for most of 15 years. My last 15 years. I finally met someone (who initiated the friendship). Someone who not only talked to me, but cared for and about me. Someone I fell in love with. After a year of putting up with my alcoholic behavior, he could not take it any more. Wonder why?

That is when I finally hit my bottom. The turning point.
My time of incomprehensible demoralization.

Today I am grAAteful ...

... that I don't have to do those things or feel that way ANY MORE!
... that I stopped drinking before I stopped breathing
... that we got Mom moved yesterday to a Skilled Nursing Facility, 32 days after her strokes

JUST BECAUSE LIFE HAS BEEN PAINFUL SO FAR DOES NOT MEAN IT HAS TO KEEP HURTING.

17 comments:

GodlessMom said...

I don't think I've ever been inside a bar that didn't have it's own unique personality and I usually end up hiding in the corners of those places too. Fortunately I've outgrown the bar scene.

That is wonderful news about your mom!

AAwoken said...

Beautifully put.

Scott W said...

I still say the fastest way there is out Memorial to Woodway, then turn before 2nd Baptist and come in from the side.

NMAMFQLMSH said...

You know what - I never really cared what the place looked like as long as I was getting drunk.
That is a great post dAAve and made me think and we all know what happens when I do that.
I see you,
JJ

muylajuana said...

Yes, NMAMFQLMSH, we all know it's best not to think--that thinking makes an ass out of you and me.
And you dAAve--I'm grateful that I know you and that you are who you are TODAY--not yesterday or the day before.

Kenny said...

A wonderful share. A lot of times, I reminisce about the past. About how I drank and how no one would talk to me in the bars.

I would finally get so trashed and just try to fall on someone.... anyone that would give me a little attention.

I can't fall on someone these days.... I'm too sober to do it. Maybe that's a good thing.

sirreene said...

I don't remember any of that. It seems so incredibly far removed. A different life. Thanks for the green reminder.

Pat said...

I'm with Sirreene- those days were awful at times and I have to stretch to remember the gory details....then when I do I feel like shit.
Now that life is better you don't need to relive the terrible memories, it serves no purpose but to upset you.

Ricky!!! said...

Our best days are always ahead

DayvudD said...

thanks for reminding me of my nightly excursion, making "the loop" around JR's and SantaFe. It's hard to hit a moving target! Thanks for sharing your perspective. I was talking with someone about this the other day. I think it's about LEARNING how to socialize. I practice at events like the Round Up! Glad to hear about your mom. peace.

castor said...

I am able to relate to your situation of that time and your lonliness ...

Thank goodness you were able to recognize the forlornness of that way!

Besides, do you know that you look similar to the French philosopher Albert Camus?
It was Trudging who detected it:-)!

Have a look on my blog, Dave!

lash505 said...

Ok, I didn't care

dAAve said...

pat - that is one point on which we disagree (imagine that LOL).

For me (and I only speak for me), I need to remember those bad times. It increases my gratitude each day to remember where I was and how far I've come. If I forget my history, I may be doomed to repeat it.

That's just me, though. Love ya.

Mary Christine said...

What a wonderful post and comments. When I was a young woman, I would sit my young self at a bar and men would buy me drinks, and then sidle up to me for conversation. I would usually say something charming like "get f---d", they would be shocked because I looked so young and innocent. By the end of the night, no one had any illusions that I was young and innocent - when I was covered with vomit, urine, whatever. I find that it is vital for me to remember those times. I need to keep it fresh in my mind why it is that I am in Alcoholics Anonymous and why I do all this stuff! Also, my life can sometimes seem like it stinks until I remember what it used to be like. then I get grateful real quick!

Boston B. said...

I've changed my title to CreAAtive Intelligence

Craftylady said...

Glad the move went ok and your mom is now settled. No doubt knowing that Pat is in a nice place will be a huge weight off yours and Lisa's shoulders.

As for the comment re your visits to bars ... what can I say that I haven't already said!!

Erik Mann said...

another great blog from you guys. i'd point you to mine but it isn't yet the way I'd like it. i do have a website that I think is cool, kind of almost about martial art certificate