That’s Not Funny

You may find this hard to believe, but i’m quite the hedonist. OK, so maybe it’s not hard to believe.

Point is, “good times” sums up pretty much the entire bedrock foundation of why i drank.

If it’s not fun i won’t do it

was my credo for 30 odd years. Very odd years.

The funny thing is is that it wasn’t. Funny, that is. My drinking was neither funny nor fun.

The longest my binge buzz peak ever lasted was 3  hours. That’s the absolute longest and a generous estimate at that. After came the spending of all my money, followed by self humiliation, the dangerous trip home, the physical hangover (12 hours minimum), the spiritual hangover the day after that, then the financial hole that lasted for weeks which led to depression and unavoidably more drinking.

i thought i was all about the fun yet i was consistently misleading a life that inevitably took me into a downward spiral of sufferance. The misconception that i was in a constant search for happiness while steadily walking further and further away from it is one more attestation to the insanity i was drowning myself in.

No one ever came to Alcoholics Anonymous because they were having too much fun.

This was one of the first lessons i learned In AA.


About Al K Hall

Like a battered drinker or a punch drunk boxer, i am here for another round. For those of you who don’t know me, i’m a semi-professional writer on the rocks and a non-practicing alcoholic (if after 30 years of practicing, you still can't do something well, it's best to just give it up). For those of you who do know me, thanks for stopping by anyway and where’s the ten bucks you owe me? Welcome to my Bar None. A hole in the wall where we can hang out and trade the kind of stories you swap only when you’ve had one too many and either can’t find your way home or are afraid to. Hell, it’s cheaper than therapy and plus the pictures are prettier. Here we’ll crack open bottles and jokes and ‘last call’ are the only dirty words you’ll never hear. Pull up a stool and make yourselves at home.

Posted on November 13, 2011, in Alcoholics Anonymous, Alcoholism, Lessons in Recovery, Recovery and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 12 Comments.

  1. You know I’m proud of you, right?

    Thanks Al, this post is one I’ll definitely read over and over again. Great reminder for me.

    • Thanks Bats!

      i am what people who have gone on before me have taught me to be. Like people with 2+ years sobriety, for example. Holy Bats! People like you!

      Keep coming back,

      Al K Hall

  2. ” ‘If it’s not fun i won’t do it’ was my credo for 30 odd years. Very odd years.

    The funny thing is is that it wasn’t. Funny, that is. My drinking was neither funny nor fun.”

    I just told you what I am about to write, from across the room in our respective work places, but I wanted to write it here, too. Just because. Like Bats, I am proud of you.

    I had a lot of semi-arguments/discussions/whatever with the former Drunk You as well as the you who still wanted to go out & get drunk about how “It just ISN’T fun or funny anymore!!” There were a couple of times I can think of where you were drunk (after I wised up and realized that if I wanted you to stop drinking, the best think I could do was stop drinking myself…) and having a lot of fun, and I felt it was anything but. There was a lot of misery in that cycle.

    It is very, very healing for me to read in black and white print that you just don’t find the “fun” in “drunk” anymore, not even in theory. Both of them happen to have the letter U in them, but that’s about it, huh. It’s a huge relief to me that you have come to your senses in this area, that you have come to see the insanity clearly. WHEW. I am so glad.

    What I like best about these posts is that not only do I see a better you in the day-to-day in how you act, but these posts are the true evidence that there is a change in the way you THINK, also. That’s tremendous. Huge stuff, huge progress. They make me feel a lot of hope that the transformation is real and true, and that I can trust it.

    • Mrs Demeanor!

      Thanks for stopping by from across the room, lol. What can i say other than it’s impossible to tell somebody to do something they are not ready or willing to do. Fortunately, i was able to find my way out of the insanity!

      Keep coming back;

      Al K Hall

  3. There’s a nice used bookstore that also serves as a coffee shop near where I live. This morning I was sitting there, enjoying my breakfast and I spotted a book on alcoholism on the shelf. Although a lot of it was the same useless drivel, it contained an interesting observation that I can’t quote verbatim but went something like “you have to be made of pretty strong stock to drink excessively, whether it is on a daily basis or on binges. Most people get sick pretty quickly. They couldn’t be an ‘alcoholic’ even if they wanted to. Their bodies just can’t take it.” The ability put up with all that shit for 20-30 years for the sake of a buzz is actually something admirable in a perverse way. Of course, what’s more admirable is realizing the insanity and arresting it before it completely destroys you. But the same stock that got you through all the insults you inflicted upon your body and mind is going to carry you through and allow you to become better and stronger as you progress in your recovery.

    This gets me musing about how there must be a genetic component to it. Somehow, at some point in my lineage, maybe having the ability to function with a diet of 30% alcohol actually was key to survival. Like the Irish who used to subsist on potatoes, fermenting some of them into alcohol so they could have something in the event of a famine. When the famine came, only those who could handle a primarily alcoholic diet survived. It’s similar to Native Americans. Their ability to store fat and subsist off of bad food is what kept them alive through the lean times. Now, in the age of fast food and cheap liquor, that same ability is what is making them severely obese and chronically drunk. Not sure. Maybe this is nonsense.

    At any rate, this is where I diverge from all that character defect dwelling and self-excoriation they teach in AA. I don’t think your past drinking should define you. What happened happened. Learn from it and move on is my motto. Everyone you deal with (friends, coworkers, strangers you just met) are more interested in what you think and do now. So focus on being interesting, creative, and successful.

    • ITSB!

      Strong stock is one way to put it. i like the molly coddling of, “no one else is strong enough to be a drunk like you”! That brought a smile to my face.

      As for the self-excoriation (holy shit! it is a word, you large vocab guy, you), a lot of that is probably my own self-deprecation shit coming through. i think the AA things is that you have to realize you need help, that’s the character defect part. i have to realize i cannot control my drinking to be in the program. When i post these “insanity” things, it’s just me realizing all the ways i thought i was cool and wasn’t.

      Keep coming back,

      Al K Hall

      • Disease? Character defect? Insanity? I say NO! I say it’s a highly evolved genotype that is no longer relevant to survival in the modern world. But know this my friend. If a food shortage hits and there is only beer, wine, and liquor left, I know I will survive. Until that day, well, probably better to keep the phenotype suppressed.

        • [Shhh! You’re getting dangerously close to revealing my secret plans to take over the world.

          The code word is: Bender Apocalypse.

          i’ll keep you posted.

          Over and out.]

  4. There’s no reply button for the above apocalyptic comment but I have to let you know, I was thinking when Boat said if ‘there was only beer, wine, or liquor left’….hmmm, I could handle that. Then the Bender comment just threw me off and now I can barely type from laughing so hard.

    But seriously…heehee…

  5. Crap … i’m not getting notification of your posts! Damn it!

    OK … to the post … yeah, it’s a “fun” ride … which is the big lie. Drinking always turns that corner. … then turns into the Catch 22. Which started first? Am i unhappy because i’m drinking or am i drinking because i’m unhappy.

    Important thing is: Don’t step in. Don’t drink and find out. OOOOHHHH if it were that easy … we’d all be having a merry, sober time.

    Sober, Mel (who is having trouble getting posts from Katherine, Jen and pretty much everyone). ok … chilling … i think.

    • Sober Mel!

      Thanks for the comment. Exactly, breaking the vicious circle downward is what’s needed. i’ve been sober for 10+ months and haven’t felt so good since the 1980s. Just knowing that helps keep me sober.

      Keep coming back,

      Al K Hall

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