Not Happening

Recovery is like coming to the surface after being held underwater for 30 years.

It’s like dying a little more every day from a grueling disease, only to be given a cure 28 years later.

It’s like being freed after being a victim held hostage in captivity for half a lifetime.

There is no way i’d ever want to go back to this kind of suffering now that i’m free from it.

[Dedicated to Mel, who inspired this post.]


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 December 7, 2011, in Alcoholics Anonymous, Alcoholism, Lessons in Recovery, Recovery and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Yes, it is very much like being a hostage. I witnessed that tonight, as I was coming home from a tough day at work.

    There was a man lying on the sidewalk next to the liquor store by my flat. The sidewalk is next to a busy street and I was worried about him. I approached him cautiously, wondering if he had a heart attack or had been mugged or something but it was clear talking to him that he was extremely drunk. If he had attempted to get up and walk, he most likely would have stumbled into the road to his death.

    But that didn’t bother him. He just wanted to lie right there. He was also angry that the liquor store clerk would not sell him any more booze and had kicked him to the curb. When I asked him what I could do to help, all he wanted was for me to go buy him a bottle so he could have more to drink. That must be the insanity and powerlessness the AA types talk about.

    Fortunately, the ambulance came and carted him off to safety. Thinking about it now, I realize there were times in my life when I wasn’t that much different from that man. I remember having to be carried up to my hotel room by a couple of cops in England., wandering around the streets of Tokyo for hours because I couldn’t remember where my hotel was, stumbling out of bars late at night, and having to crawl to get back to my apartment while vomiting. The only thing that kept me from his fate many times was a credit card in my pocket to get a taxi home or to rent a sleazy hotel. If I had allowed things to progress, it is likely I would have been penniless on a sidewalk, with my only desire to have more booze. Hostage, indeed.

    • Thanks for the story, Brother.

      i was close to that situation a couple times myself, but never quite that far. Passed out on the street once, which was more asleep against a fence sitting on the sidewalk with others waiting for a night bus but some guy woke me up because the bus had come and gone and some people were scoping out my bag. Another time i asked for directions from a well dressed group of people and they called the EMTs after i’d staggered away. i got in a fight with the them because they wouldn’t give me a ride back to my place and then walked to the beltway and hitched home. Around the beltway.

      i really really don’t miss drinking, man.

      Thanks for patronizing me,

      Al K Hall

  2. Al, wow THAT was weird! I saw the photo and was pondering how it is that Mel and I NEVER ended up like the chick in the pic when I saw the dedication. Really. I don’t know how it is we never took a photo like that. Perhaps it was because we sent the ‘boys’ in to buy the poison.

    good lord. This hits home. To be pondering Old Life and Living New Life. Never going back: no way. No how. thanks for posting the kind of stuff that brings it home is such a powerful way.

    Peace, Jen

    • LOL! Weird indeed.

      i dedicated it to Mel because i had the impression she was blogging on eggshells around me because she was afraid of triggering a relapse. i’d started the post in a comment, actually, and decided to make a full blown post of it.

      Glad it spoke to you, Jen!

      Keep coming back,

      Al K Hall

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