My Big Bottom Saved My Life

Used 2013-04-16 In Deep Shit (AlKHall Anonymous recovery sobriety)

It’s Getting Deep In Here

My big ass bottom is no longer a shock to any of my regular readers, but what you might not know is that i love it. Why? Because without it i wouldn’t be here.

When i was drinking, i was very cavalier about my drinking problem. True story, i used to take the AA test hoping for a higher score. When i say i was a practicing alcoholic, i honestly was literally practicing to be a better one. i started the Bar None blog as a way to revel in my alcoholism, i elected myself Functional Alcoholic Slurperson, i embraced my disease as the one thing that made me unique.

The Miracle Is Around the Corner wrote a wonderful post about Step 1 in AA and reading it i realized i took that step when i admitted i could no longer be cavalier about my drinking. This is entirely thanks to my big ass bottom. Even if, Higher Power forbid, i take up the drink again, i’ll never be able to do it with the same carefree attitude i had before because of where my big ass bottom dropped me.

To those of you with tiny little bottoms, allow me to tell you how much i admire them and heap all kinds of props on your wee bottom. i have the luxury of never being able to go back to the shit storm my big ass bottom made of my life. But those of you who don’t have that excuse… i respect you enormously because you’re stronger than i ever was and i pray out loud right now that you will stay on track and never know what it feels like to have a big ass bottom.

A quick disclaimer.

While i attempted to pen this post with a certain degree of levity, i do want to acknowledge very clearly that for those in my entourage, there was nothing at all even remotely amusing in all of this. This is especially true for Celeste E Hall and my son who found me the next morning and had to call the EMTs, as well as dear friends who were called in from out of town to be at my bedside in case i died.


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 April 16, 2013, in AA Step Work, Alcoholics Anonymous, Alcoholism, Lessons in Recovery, Recovery and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 22 Comments.

  1. I’m with you on being grateful for my bottom. Hell, I drank one more time after what I thought my last and big bottom. My last drunk was a pitiful, dull, air-leaking-out-the-balloon boring drunk. Pathetic. But it was the last time I would pick up a drink. Detox. treatment, and full on into AA…never looked back. And while it seems that I would wish that the things that happened in my big bottom didn’t happen, it was because of those things that I am here…sober. I needed the immense pain and suffering to get me to the point of surrender. I would still be out there if I didn’t get beat down so much so quickly. Amazing how it all turns out that way.

    Great post…and man, Sir Mix A Lot…rules. Ha ha.


    • Thanks for the comment, Paul. i totally get what you mean about wishing it hadn’t taken so much hardship for me to get cleaned up, but the important thing is that we’re both here and feeling good about it.

      Thanks for stopping by, brother, and keep coming back,

      Al K Hall

  2. Miss Anne Thrope

    As someone who was there while the dust settled, I have to confess I felt a bit shocked when I read the opening of this post. You scared the crap out of us, so the illustration you have up there is somewhat apt. But as I read on, I had to acknowledge the truth of what you’re saying. With how long your drinking had gone on, and the number of scrapes you had gotten into, the ugly-ass drunks leading to ugly-ass consequences, it had to be something gargantuan to get your attention. And this was. So I do get it.

    My problem here: I think that it just still feels raw enough, even two years later, that hearing you being glib and funny about it (both in the link back to the post you made a couple of months later, and also in this latest post) feels like a jab. A jab at me, and all of us stupid enough to care enough about you in spite of your self-destructiveness to be so hurt by what you did. I know you weren’t present in your feelings about it all that much. But there are those of us here who were there, and who have never found one thing about it funny at all because we were more present in our feelings and YOU SCARED US. Badly.

    Not wanting to scold you. I know that glib and funny is what you do. I’m just sayin’. This one is still raw for some of us.

      Miss Anne is, literally, my longest friendship as we have been close since i was 9 years old, 40 years ago. The morning after my suicide attempt, she was called in from out of town to be with me in ICU in case i died. The tone of her comment is not born of contempt, but from someone who loves me and was called on to be with me and to hold my hand if and when i passed. This was an intense period for everyone involved, and it’s understandable that she’s not in a place to laugh about these memories.

      Miss Anne,

      So, too soon?

      i have to apologize about stepping on your feelings with this post. i must admit that, when writing it, i didn’t place myself in the position of those who had been there IRL. As a result, i’ve gone back and added an edited version of the disclaimer i’d originally posted at the end of the suicide post. While i intended to make light of the act, i certainly did not mean to demean the love i received from friends and family…a love that gave me reason to pull myself up and continues to inspire me in my sobriety today.

      i love you, Kitten, keep coming back,

      Al K Hall

      • Miss Anne Thrope

        I was thinking about the fact that the picture I use for my avatar, from when I was five, was of me at an Easter Egg hunt where you were also. My parents’ photo album has pictures of you looking so dapper in an Easter suit of a shirt and shorts, hunting those eggs down and no doubt beating us littler ones to them. One of those forever friendships, and thankfully you’re still around to be my friend.

        I think what happened when I read this, and then clicked back and saw that horrible picture of you passed out under the computer, and it really took me back. Before I flew up, I was the liaison between Celeste and your parents. Her cell phone wouldn’t dial internationally and she was with you in the hospital all day, so she would pop out, and tell me what the doctors had told you about your liver and your chances of survival, and I would have to take my courage in both hands and call your parents back in the states and tell them what I knew. It was one of the most important and horrifying things I have ever been asked to do for someone else, and the memory of it came rushing back to me.

        Thanks for the disclaimer, and the apology, Al. Yes, too soon. Though I’m not certain that another decade would be enough. It might just always be too soon on that one.

        I love you, too, Al, and in spite of years of you scaring me and then the biggest scare of all two years ago, I do just keep coming back because I love you.

        Miss Anne Thrope

        • Wow, i had no idea about the calling my parents thing. Holy shit, i honestly can’t imagine…

          There’s a whole lot that went on those couple of days that i was kept out of the loop on and am still not up to date on. i didn’t even know i was between life and death in ICU until i was in the clear and in the “normal” hospital room. Sorry i had to put you through that, Kitten. It won’t happen again.

          And i’m sure that when our grandkids are playing together, we’ll have a nice laugh about what a whack guy i was back in the day. 😉

          Keep coming back, dear one,

          AL K Hall

  3. Our bottoms are what save us. Remembering mine is bittersweet because I am not like that now and so I don’t want to forget, but it still hurts to remember.

    I would not like to see the rest of that coloring book!

    • Hi BBB!

      “Bittersweet” is a good word for it. You’re so right that it’s important we not forget how low we can go, but that doesn’t make our lows any less so.

      As for that coloring book, i can’t imagine it getting any worse.

      Keep coming back,

      AL K Hall

  4. Al, it looks like you have some great support here. I’m scared now too (after reading Miss Ann Thorpes’ recollections of the early days). Keep strong; and do what you need to do.

    I like the video I like big butts. I’m simply weird that way. Always funny even if it scares your close friends. XO MEL

    • HI Mel!

      No need to worry. My past was such a disaster that i’m happy to be getting further and further away from it, one day at a time!

      Keep coming back, my friend,

      Al K Hall

  5. Al, thank you kindly for the shout-out, and might I add that I am glad my name did not appear right above or below the video for Sir Mix-A-Lot! Great post, though, and what an amazing revelation it is, you can NEVER GO BACK! You can say with certainty you will not go back to that carefree attitude again. What a gift that is, and I am glad you shared it. I also want to add, for the sake of contrast, that I appreciate your raw honesty mixed with humor, it is a perfect blend for making your point (in my humble opinion, anyway). Thanks for sharing!

    • Miracle!

      So glad you stopped by and thanks for the inspiring post! You can’t step in the same river twice, right? And you’re so right that it is a gift!

      As for my humor, well, thanks for recognizing my attempts at it!

      Keep coming back,

      Al K Hall

  6. runningonsober

    “I like big butts and I cannot lie!”

    Sorry, couldn’t resist… This song “cracks” me up, especially since it was the ONE song that came on at the end of a training run when I said, “Give me a sign, Mom.”

    Funny thing about bottoms–they keep getting bigger unless you stop feeding them. I thought I’d reached my bottom a couple of times, but nope, it took a couple more bumps and bruises to finally get through my thick skull. But thankfully I figured it out, and thanks to running, my bottom is in much better shape today more than ever.

    Keep being you Al….

    • ROS!

      i loved what you did with the analogy! i know all about bruised bottoms, and i’m sure running has helped yours a lot. Fortunately, writing is making mine softer!

      Make you a deal: i’ll keep being me until i find someone better. Reminds me of that line from the Counting Crows song “Perfect Blue Buildings”, “I wanna get me a little oblivion, baby, And try to keep myself away from myself and me.”

      Keep coming back,

      Al K Hall

      • runningonsober

        Al, no shit, I am walking on the treadmill right now and Rainking just finished playing on shuffle.

        August and Everything After is tied for my favorite all time album, every song is perfect. (Tracy Chapman’s self titled is my other favorite.)

        Love how Adam always mixes up his lyrics when performing live.

        Deal. 😉

        • There is an alternate/jazz version of “Anna Begins” that i have on cassette and can’t find anywhere else that is just simply killer. i agree with you about “August…”, i chained listened to that for months!

          • Miss Anne Thrope

            You can find a video of that *gorgeous* jazz version of that song on YouTube. I had it up on a blog years ago. So pretty!

  7. I have no bad feelings for Ms. Thorpe or anyone. It’s simply scary for me to hear how close people come to being “gone”. I’m sorry if i offended ANYONE. I really don’t know anyone here! I have no malice at all! Just be well, OK??

    • Hi Mel!

      You’re so sweet, but my “explanation” was not targeting anyone! i just wanted to be sure my readers knew where Miss Anne was coming from. Keep being yourself, dear friend, and keep coming back!

      Al K Hall

  8. My big bottom came when I drunkenly staggered into my local liquor store for the 7th/8th/9th day in a row (who knows, i was plastered. the number’s likely higher) to buy a giant bottle of vodka. The owner refused to sell it to me. A very nice 40-ish Indian lady. She looked me dead in my eyes and said “I’ve been here for 10 years and I’ve never been more concerned for the wellbeing of a customer until now. Please get help, sir.” Talk about humbling.

    • As bottom’s come and go, that sounds like a couple i had and should’ve known well enough to draw the line there. My problem was, i kept telling myself i’d hit bottom and that i might as well keep drinking because it couldn’t get any worse. And you know what? It always did.

      Keep coming back, brothern

      Al K Hall

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