Circles of Life

Drunk is not an option (AlKHall Anonymous sobriety recovery)

i don’t feel like writing.

Back in my drinking days, i used to say my life was a series of circles, like a dartboard, or a still pond after a stone had been dropped into it.

The smallest, innermost circle–the bull’s eye, if you will–represented my basic needs. Eating, sleeping, evacuating… The next circle included things like my children, my family, my job… The following ring was for my passions, seeing movies and blogging, for example.

Whenever my drinking got real bad, i withdrew into the middle of my life and ate and slept and evacuated my bowels but abandoned everything else to the ravages of my disease. i could no longer be a good father, spouse or employee, and often gave up on my blogs.

Currently, i and loved ones are going through a tough period, one filled with a lot of stress and pain and i find myself tempted to withdraw again. To hide from the world. But i know how devastating this thought pattern can be and the dark places it can lead me.

So i’m asking you to please send me and my family good, supportive thoughts (or prayers, if that’s the way you roll) and to understand if my posts here are less frequent and / or are of poorer quality.

Thanks for reading. Keep coming back.

Used 2013-03-12 The True Meaning of Serenity (AlKHall Anonymous sobriety recovery)

The True Meaning of Serenity



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 March 12, 2013, in Alcoholism, Lessons in Recovery, Recovery and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 35 Comments.

  1. Hey Al – I can totally identify with the circles / bulls-eye thing. Very apt.

    But more importantly, I do pray and so I will send good vibes your way. I hope that whatever is going on works out the way it needs to, and that you do find serenity and peace in the storm. Remember, these things too shall pass.

    All the best, and my thoughts your way, kind sir.


  2. I tried to imagine it, but could not… your writing being of a poor quality. You are much too eloquent! I am so sorry to hear you are experiencing hardship, you and your family will top my prayer list tomorrow morning. Since I don’t know the specifics of your troubles, I will leave you with the most energizing generic quote I can immediately recall: “Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.” Theodore Roosevelt quote, but it calms me when I am overwhelmed. May you be granted serenity, courage, and wisdom!

    • Miracle!

      What a nice thing to say. i used the Roosevelt quote earlier this evening in an AA meeting and thought of you. Thank god for the rooms and friends like you.

      Keep coming back,

      Al K Hall

  3. Hey there, Al. Holding you and yours in my heart, as always, and sending you love and light. Be well, or at least as well as you can be while being present. Thinking of you.

  4. Nothing but good thoughts coming to you and your loved ones. I totally understand the urge to withdraw and isolate–still fighting some of those urges too. Just try to keep your head in the right place and know we’re all here for you.

    • ROS!

      Thank you for the visit, my friend, i know you understand how strong the urge to withdraw can be. Thanks for your support and i’ll keep trying to keep my head. 🙂

      Keep coming back,

      Al K Hall

  5. I am keeping you in my thoughts and prayers. May you find the strength to get thru this difficult time and keep connected.

  6. My thoughts are ALWAYS with you Al and your family and and and… dont you forget it. L. 😦

  7. Stay strong, brother. I know how you feel. Im glad you are not still out there and thats a possitive.

  8. Al – I am so sorry to hear you’re going through a rough time. I’m glad you chose to write about it. I know we can’t always be engaged and on the upswing, but you’re sharing openly and asking for thoughts/prayers. We can’t control the crap things that life brings us, but we can choose how much and in what ways we withdraw. First things first and all that, so take care of yourself and your family. Will definitely keep you in my thoughts.

    • BBB,

      Your note was very thoughtful and i so appreciate your perspective. Thank you for keeping us in your thoughts as well, my friend, i do really believe it helps.

      Keep coming back,

      Al K Hall

  9. Al, your posts always uplift me–so much of your experience speaks directly to my own. A few days ago I myself endured one of my darkest days in recent memory and actually could not bring myself to even leave my apartment, I felt so cut off from the rest of the world. I know too well the armor that alcohol builds around we who are susceptible to it, how we harden ourselves and draw within, hiding, in oblivion, trying to tell ourselves we just don’t care anymore–drunk. But in that cocoon there’s only emptiness. Life happens outside, and it DOES hurt, for sure. But out there’s the only place to be, and I thank you for affirming that time after time. Hang on in your own struggles. I know you are strong. All the best to you and your family, things get better.

    • M,

      What a poignant comment. It’s so nice to feel understood and really makes a difference. i wouldn’t consider myself a positive example and so your kind words are as helpful as they are unexpected.

      Keep coming back,

      Al K Hall

  10. Sending only positive things through the universe to you. Be well.


  11. Oh Mr Hall.. what’s up? Definately sending you lots and lots of love and hugs and positive vibes and strength and calm and green tea and chocolate and elephants… sorry got a bit carried away with myself there. Don’t worry about us or your writing .. just do what you need to do. If you just want to post one line then do that.. if you want to retreat for a while then do that.. whatever you do just don’t drink! We are here for you. Sending positive vibes from New Zealand xxxx

  12. inthesameboatla

    Hang in there, Brother Al. 1000 happy endings to you!
    (That’s at least 3 year’s worth.)

  13. with love, from me, to you. sending out any kind of angels you believe in. do you believe in *this* kind of angel? here’s a dozen. how about hugs from the universe? i can do those, too.

  14. Oh man! Positive thoughts indeed! Yea, the shit will come down sometimes, and it’s not because you’re not working your program. I feel that my higher power “ups the ante” from time to time to test my mettle. There’s always a new layer to peel back. The thing about writing (especially “personal”) blogs is that when you feel judged or like you JUST DON’T want to do it for awhile, you feel guilty, you feel judged and guilty. Hey another circle.

    Sorry, not making fun of the situation. It’s just that sometimes no matter what you do, how “good” you are, however honest you are, however well you’re doing, how FAR you’ve come; it’s not always a vanilla world out there. You are where you are supposed to be. Everything is the way it’s supposed to be for whatever reason. You haven’t done anything wrong …

    Here’s to a BOUNCE BACK … some nice balance, love, and all that good stuff. Yer pal, Mel

    • Thanks for the good thoughts and the wise words, pal! It’s true that i’ve been collecting tools for years now for just such emergencies and i think i should be able to pull through in One Peace.

      Keep coming back,

      Al K Hall

  15. Oh yea, and “invalid choice” DRUNK is NOT an option. Always enjoy your graphics!!! Peace man, Mel

  16. Iucundum Platea

    Very sorry to hear you are going through a rough patch. Went through a terrible one a few weeks ago. Thought it would never end… it did. Being there, being sober, helped all. Pray. Keep on trucking baby, gotta keep on trucking. My best to you and yours.

    • Iucundum Lector! You’ve reminded me of a post i put up a couple months ago: There is no problem you can have that sobriety cannot solve. Thank you for the reminder. 🙂

      Keep coming back,

      Al K Hall

  17. Dear Al

    The Dude Abides right! Great post. Honest. Hard. True.

    That primal love of our kids comes first. Recovery is often motivated by those little (or not so little) fuckers.

    Keep on keepin on man. We will be here. That big old Meeting in the CyberSphere.

    Take care. Ok?

    XO. Jen

    • Hi Jen,

      Thank you so much for these kind words. i’m keepin on keepin on and trying to do this with as much as grace as i can muster though i feel raw and drained sometimes as well. Comments like this one do help, though!

      Keep coming back,

      Al K Hall

      • Dear Al, It is in my heart this blogLand thing, this community. I have been honored to bear witness to your struggles and triumphs and those of all the others here Fighting the good Fight. I had no clue when I started my blog that Honesty, Faith, Trust and Love could be found here. Mustering Grace, not always easy but it is in the TRYING to Muster that we grow right? My prayers are with you going out to all my Gods and Goddesses and the Higgs Boson too. Raw and Drained: better than numb and drunk. Way better.

        Much love to you as you wander this new path.

        I will keep coming back.

        Peace, Jen

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