Prodigal Drinker

Used 2014-04-27 Good Giraffe - Bad Giraffe (AlKHall sobriety recovery)

There’s a parable in this one book called the Bible about two brothers. One of them is a good son and helps out his dad and is an all around hard worker, but his brother is a real asshole who only parties and and takes off when he’s still young, leaving his dad and his straight brother to do all the work.

Years later, the party brother decides he’s tired and comes back home and his dad is psyched. He’s all, “Hey, son!” and “It’s so great to have you back!” and all “Here’s half of all my stuff!”

So the other brother, the good one, is like, “WTF, dad!? I was here the whole time and working hard and shit, and you give this asshole who didn’t do anything the same share of your stuff that you gave me!? The hell!?”

Well, here’s “the hell”, in my completely uninformed opinion.

In the rooms the other day, there was a young woman, late twenties, who was talking about how she got sober young, before really hitting a hard bottom. She wondered aloud if she’d gotten in too early.

i got into recovery late in life. At 48 years old. After 30 years of drinking alcoholically. Do i wish i’d gotten sober sooner? Hell yes. Do i think about all the years i only half lived? Do i think about what i could’ve made of myself if i’d sobered up earlier? Do i wonder how rich my life would be at this moment if i’d entered recovery as soon as i knew i had a problem? You bet your ass i do.

My point is this. She has regret-free decades in front of her to make her life something beautiful, something amazing. As for me, i came into the program late, but like that brother who walked the wrong path, i have received all the rewards of sobriety. i have a joy in my life i never knew possible and i carry with me a profound gratitude that these years i have left promise to be happy ones.

Maybe the good brother is wrong to be jealous because, while the siblings may have the same share now, the bad brother sacrificed a lot of treasures in the past that the good son had been enjoying for decades.

It’s never too late to receive those rewards. And the earlier you start collecting them, the sooner you can start enjoying them.


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 27, 2014, in Alcoholism, Lessons in Recovery, Recovery and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 16 Comments.

  1. I’m sure glad I didn’t want any longer to get sober. It was getting ugly. Your analogy of the two brothers and unconditionally forgiving father is so apt. Sobriety is like that. A fresh start and limitless rewards. Great post.

    • BBB!

      “A fresh start and limitless rewards” is exactly right. And i know what you mean about coming in at the last minute. i already waited to long and it was only through blind luck that i got another chance. Sobriety is a great place to be and i’m glad to be enjoying it with the likes of you.

      Keep coming back,

      Al K Hall

  2. That’s great stuff. The good brother understandably has a hard time getting this, but the bad brother was not enjoying himself out there.

    I came in late like you. I often wonder how the ones who come in early can stay sober. The truth had to rip both of my eyes from their sockets and forcibly turn them around before I was willing to look at it.

    • Eric!

      i love your description of hitting bottom! How fucking true. At least we’re on the right side of sobriety, and can help others along with less experience than us.

      Keep coming back, brother,

      Al K Hall

  3. A great analogy, Al — and a worthwhile lesson for us Al-Anon’ers, too. Thanks for the reminder! 🙂

    • PS and off-topic — How weird to see giraffes fall down…

    • Thank you, Luddy!

      It’s nice to know that what i write makes sense to Al-Anoners. i have such great respect for y’all and i really feel for you. It’s a hard row to hoe.

      And those giraffe’s crack me up!

      Keep coming back, my friend,

      Al K Hall

  4. When people say, “Oh you’re so young!” that just kind of weirds me out. Like, should I *wait* until I get older to be happy and live a full life? No thanks. Great pic of the giraffes and excellent analogy to the prodigal son story. I will never think of it in the same way again, and that’s a good thing 🙂

    • Thanks, Rebecca!

      Your comment made my day. It’s good to know the post made sense to the young sober generation. i’m envious and so so happy to hear you got sober young. You have a beautiful life ahead of you, my friend!

      Keep coming back,

      Al K Hall

  5. Thanks Al, I needed to here that. I’m 62 years young and 281 days sober and now I love my life. Can’t look back only forward.

    • Sharon!

      How cool is that! 62 years old and 281 days sober (and counting!). The best decision you ever made, my dear, and get ready to live a brand new life. Congrats!

      Keep coming back,

      Al K Hall

  6. Reblogged this on suedough222 and commented:
    Part of the misery in my head today has been the fact that I am 48 years old and I do have a desire to stop drinking after 30 years of drinking alcoholically but at the same time since I have already screwed up most of my life, my thought is why not just keep drinking so I don’t have to feel the pain of the regret and hope for an early exit. Then I went to and then I decided to create my own blog, mainly just trying to distract myself from my misery. Then from this blog was suggested. Then Al K Hall gave me hope in this post “Prodigal Drinker”. Note to self– Read this when you don’t see the point in trying to stop.

  7. This was exactly what I needed today! Thanks for sharing.

    • What a great thing to say. Thank you so much for the reblog and the lovely comment. i’m touched that something i say about my story can reach beyond the screen. i can tell you, without qualification, that the sooner you do it, the better it is and that it is NEVER too late.

      Hang in there, and keep coming back,

      Al K Hall

  8. Reblogged this on Stopping Drinking and commented:
    Great post Al. I came to sobriety aged 36 and like you wished that it could have been 10 years sooner. I’m glad to have found new hopes and dreams though and have no intention of returning to my drinking days.

    • Thanks for the comment and the reblog, brother. Welcome to the right sdie of sobriety and don’t forget to live it up while you’re here!

      Keep coming back, James,

      Al K Hall

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