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Happy Rebel’s Night

Used 2013-07-31 Rebel without some claws (AlKHall Anonmous sobriety recovery)

Rebel without some claws

When i was 22, i created my own holidays. This is something i want to start doing again.

Little Kings 2

One of the holidays i made up was Rebel’s Night. Every 31st of July, i would take off work and do whatever i wanted. The first one was celebrated with a couple friends as we drove along the interstate in a rainstorm, listening to great songs on the cassette deck, pounding Little Kings and throwing the empties out of the window of our speeding car.

The night ended when the rain had stopped and we drove backroads until he stopped at a small river where i got out of the car, stripped off my clothes and baptized myself a rebel in the dirty water.

Ironically, the last Rebel’s Night was observed when i used the occasion to gather the courage to call a girl i’d met on my travels in Europe. That led to living together and marriage, which spelled the end of Rebel’s Night.

Here in Yeamen, the theme of the Tuesday night meeting is “Adventures in Sobriety”. i’m not a big fan of this subject because it reminds me that i did a a whole case of exciting things back in my drinking days but that my sober life is a little calmer. Too calm. Boring.

Last night, i realized this is a pile of Schlitz.

Except for some Rebel’s Nights, i did not have many adventures when i was drinking. i had drama, but getting in a drunk driving accident, getting my ass kicked, receiving an eviction notice and attempting suicide are not adventures, they are enormous screw ups.

On the other hand, working on a book and actively exploring my city’s day and night life are constant adventures. My real adventure, however, is the spiritual work i embarked on over years ago. i had no idea how much of an adventure exploring myself and trying to change would be, nor did i know of the immense rewards.

And i’m not done, either. Recently i was forced to realize i’m still painfully shy and socially inept and that i really needed alcohol as a crutch in social situations and without it i’m pretty lame, but that’s OK. Or it’s not, but that’s the way it is and i have the tools i need to work on it.  It’s all part of the adventure.

Let me take this opportunity, though, to wish those of you fighting the good fight against a baser nature a happy Rebel’s Night, for we are the true Rebels of this world.

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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. http://about.me/AlKHall

Posted on July 31, 2013, in Alcoholics Anonymous, Alcoholism, Lessons in Recovery, Recovery and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 19 Comments.

  1. You’re shy??? No fucking way!

    • Embarrassingly so! Although it does depend. My job involves meeting clients all day long and non-stop presentations / courses and i have absolutely no qualms about standing up and prancing before a group. But put me in a social situation and and i become a deer in the headlights running for the doe.

      Keep coming back, my friend,

      Al K Hall

  2. Iucundum Platea

    Calculated Risk Night.

  3. I used to have such a thing for Billy Idol.

    Yeah, those adventures in drinking were more like stupid things we did after a little liquid courage. It feels much more courageous and rewarding to go to a party where I don’t know anyone stone sober and have interesting conversations and remember all of it. Or maybe courageous isn’t the right word since that’s how we ought to live. The social stuff without the social lubrication is harder on some of us though, so I feel you there.

    Beautiful post.

    • i see you and Billy Idol, actually. i liked this one and “White Wedding” but then his magic tarnished for me.

      And yes, the social crap is hard for me still. i have my tools and try to remember to use them (“Act as if” is one i need to have tattooed on me somewhere so i don’t forget it). It’s also practice, i think. Saturday one of my work colleagues is having a party in a bar near my place so it’s easy and i can bail whenever i like, but it’ll be good for me to go there and work on social studying.

      Thanks for your support, BBB, it means a lot to me.

      Keep coming back,

      Al K Hall

  4. LOL! Love it! Thanks for bringing back some memory bubbles… I used to have Maggie’s Night, usually consisted of a chick flick, petite steak, cup of crab bisque, and gallons of wine! Just me and gallons of wine. Ha Ha. And I would have to hide my car keys because my rebel night sure got me in LOTS of trouble and I didn’t want to repeat any of it!

    As far as the social stuff, I think, and maybe that’s just me, but, I think the social stuff gets easer the longer I am sober, I mean there is still stuff, I think there is always going to be stuff (I want to meet someone who has no stuff!) But the better and “cleaner” I live my life the better I feel about myself, and the better I am in social situations.

    -Maggie

    • Hi Maggie!

      We sure could’ve raised some eyebrows if Maggie’s Night ever met Rebel’s Night!

      i’ve been sober for 2 years and 7 months, but never really tested my social skills. i think i’d just assumed they’d gotten better because i feel so much better in my daily life. But a couple weekends ago i went to an AA picnic and i felt exactly the same as i did when i was younger and drunker. How ironic that an AA party would be a trigger!

      Now i’ve identified the problem and it’s still difficult for me not to beat myself up over my insecurities. i think i need to put myself out there more often and know that each time will be a little easier than the last!

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

      Al K Hall

  5. Wow! I never thought about creating a real live holiday! I called mine rationalizations.

    You way sounds more creative.

    Sherry

    • Hi Sherry!

      Oh i had a knack for glorifying my rationalizations all right. i was such a grandiose and pretentious little alkie. Fortunately, starting from that point just means i get to grow a lot!

      Keep coming back,

      Al K Hall

  6. I like to think of ‘warm’ socializing and ‘cold’ socializing. Warm socializing is when you pull in the people that you already feel a warmth and human connection to .. to have fun – make pizzas, dance, whatever. Warm socializing is what life is all about. Invite someone you know and like and feel comfortable and trusted with over and make pizzas while listening to cheesy music. Or go to a party or bar or restaurant or sports game or whatever with that warm trusted friend and hang with them all night on the dance floor/in the stands/on the sidelines/etc. That’s what I did last weekend, both of those things. Warm socializing. Cold socializing is when you have to walk into a room where you don’t know people, they don’t know you and you have to make ‘small talk’ .. it’s not easy or comfortable. It’s not fun. Shyness can get in the way. Shyness doesn’t apply when you have people beside you who know you and you trust and feel comfortable with. Identify who those people are in your life Mr Hall and then organise social events with them. You are not a social loser.. you just have to pull in the lovely people. I bet you have them around you (AA dudes?) but just haven’t made the leap to socialise & have fun with them yet. By the way if dancing and pizzas isn’t your thing you can go to a lecture/book reading/opera/cycle track/insert interest here…

    • Thanks so much, Mrs D!

      i see what you mean about the warm and cold socializing, and you hit the nail on the head with the as yet unmade leap into the social zone with the AAers. i’ll make more of an effort to do that, and your comment has inspired me to meet up with coworkers to morrow (who i socialized with in the past). They’re going to be at an outdoorsy bar down the street from my apartment so i’ll be able to hang out with them for an hour and drink a Coke and there shouldn’t be too much pressure as i’ll be able to leave whenever i want!

      i think the thing that stings the most in all of this is that i suffered from this in the past, but had assumed my sobriety had fixed the issue as i try to live a life void of fear. It was a humbling kick in the teeth to realize i still have a long ways to go in some areas.

      Thanks for the help and keep coming back,

      Al K Hall

  7. I’m with ya on this one, Al. I am the same as you there – the shyness, etc. At work I am a dynamo in ways – but that’s because I am in a position of authority and I also know what the hell I am doing (the only place that is, by the way!), but yeah, put me in a room with others (and not even necessarily strangers) and I clam up. Takes a lot to pry open this clam. But I try a little bit more and I accept more and I tolerate more. I don’t run away if someone comes up to me and talk like I used to. But it’s hard work. But it can be rewarding at times…even if “rewarding” means getting out alive…lol.

    Great stuff as usual, Al.

    Paul

    • Hi Paul,

      What a great comment on so many levels. i never had the impression you were shy, so it’s reassuring to know that one of my peers and someone i look up to has the same…trait that i do!

      Thanks for taking to time to vidsit, man.

      Keep coming back, brother!

      Al K Hall

  8. Early Billy Idol… nice!
    Had to laugh at your holiday ending about the same time you got married, LOL.
    Now you’re a rebel With a cause,
    Christy

  9. As one who has experienced a few Rebel nights sober, I assure you I am much happier at the thought of you facing a more boring end of July, as I am surer you will survive I will look forward to celebrating a Calculated Risk Night with you someday, with much more pleasure than I ever looked forward to Rebels Night.

    Your blog continues to give me insight into myself, thank you. This time you have me thinking about my own, thinly veiled acts of self destruction, I am happy your sobriety is helping me to continue learning about myself.

  10. Last night we had “Vacation from the Vacation Night,” where we got out our favorite snacks, sat in our favorite chairs, and continued watching an older TV series we have introduced to our children.

    Best. Night. Ever.

    Especially after endless days surrounded by swarms of extended family!

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