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.