Sobriety (off topic or not)?


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Trad climber
Granite Mountain Wilderness
May 10, 2013 - 10:31am PT
Took my 6 month chip this morning.
Thanks for your experience, strength,and hope.
Keep climbing and don't pick up, no matter what.
Bump for an awesome thread!
-Chris S
Woody the Beaver

Trad climber
Soldier, Idaho
May 28, 2013 - 08:01am PT
Way to go, Hank! Thanks for starting the thread when you did. It's been a good companion.

Ice climber
Pomfert VT
May 28, 2013 - 08:39am PT
Good job Hank!
Mark Hudon

Trad climber
Hood River, OR
May 28, 2013 - 10:01am PT
Good work, Hank, and yes, thanks for starting this thread.
Can't wait to climb with you this summer.

May 28, 2013 - 10:23am PT
Congrats Hank!

Life is not always good but it sure as hell is better right.

Enjoy the good times and be patient with the bad ones...

Trad climber
May 28, 2013 - 10:51am PT
Congratulations, Hank!

Time flies when you're having fun and can remember having it!

Trad climber
New Durham, NH
May 28, 2013 - 11:05am PT
Keep up the good work, Hank! If the Creator is willing, I will hit the three year mark in just over a month, probably somewhere in the desert southwest. I can't even remember the last time I craved a drink, or the inevitable blackout that it always led to.

Trad climber
May 28, 2013 - 11:22am PT
Congratulations to you, Hank!
Jebus H Bomz

Peavine Basecamp
May 28, 2013 - 11:46am PT
Congrats and thanks, Hank. It takes courage and your example has been a good one.

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
May 28, 2013 - 05:06pm PT
Nice work and thanks for the thread!

Big Wall climber
May 28, 2013 - 05:13pm PT
nice job hank!

my favorite was how the "mouthwash" was an all time low!

The NW edge of The Hudson Bay
May 30, 2013 - 01:23am PT
Good job Hank and thanks for this thread.

May 30, 2013 - 01:58am PT
Lucky to have mine for another day.

Social climber
May 30, 2013 - 02:22am PT
From someone who watched my dad drink sea breeze face cleaner (among other things), dragged him away from a burning bed/nightstand (drunken pass out), went with my mom to pick him up from jail after a DUI car crash, various po po appearances at our house, and many other wishfully forgettable moments, please keep it up!

I'm not saying every person who has a problem with alcohol is a freaking absolute danger and menace to everyone around them--my dad, despite the foregoing, was actually non-violent and a pretty good guy--but am just giving a shout out to everyone trying to improve themselves.

Stay strong!


Trad climber
dancin on the tip of god's middle finger
May 31, 2013 - 03:16pm PT
wrapping up a critical work push,
i got 6k in the mail.

now it is friday, heading into a holiday weekend.
i turned in my work a day early,
so i begin my celebration bender at 5:40 am.

i gently ease into it,
out in my woodshed with a fire going,
the relics album from pink floyd on the turntable,
and me sharpening my saws,
dulling my senses.

my children wake up at 6:30 to playful
tickles from daddy,
and we build our morning nicely.
i make them breakfast, pack their lunches,
kiss the wife
(she looks at me with that side-winder stink-eye!)

and i see everyone off to their work / school.

it's 7:30 am, i've a home and a forest to myself,
and a 30 pack of bud.

it is lightly raining so i spark some huge
burn piles, putting a bruise in my fire danger.

i set my can down to stoke a blaze,
and the ants move onto and into my beer.
tons of them.

so i run up and grab the brand new camera and
photo document me drinking a piss-ant covered
piss beer. the two actually accentuated each other.

so this was mistake #1.
i left the camera hanging on a tree,
too near the rowdy phase change.
f*#ked it up beyond function.

then i write up a couple of stoopid threads
on your turf,
then peel out of the abode and head into town.

just prior i make a couple of drunk-purchases
on the internet:
70 meter haul line, at 260,
and a slew of logging gear at 300.

mistake # 2.

i get to town and head into the alley behind main street
so my dog can swim in the creek,
and i can drink beer in the privacy of my own sun.

after a few i walk back out of the alley,
still drinking a beer,
and literally run into an african american
with huge dreads and a kind demeanor.

sadly, he stuck out in our ignorant little hick town.
so i strike up conversation with him,
and he asks me if i care to grab a beer.

i got errands, i tell him, but i lead him to our sole-bar.
before i leave him, i gently warn him that he might receive
some hard looks from the locals, but to just ignore them.

he told me that he's cool, coming from new york on his sales tour.

so i leave him and go buy my wife a dozen blood red roses,
at 100 buck with the tip i gave the cutie behind the counter.

i stole some cash and put it on her card:

"the taste of love is sweet,
when hearts like ours meet."

then i have these and the card delivered to my hard-working wife
(mind you im in no trouble with the wife at this point, because she doesn't yet know of the busted camera, and the 600 dollars worth of climbing gear i purchased)

mistake # 3. more careless spending.

leaving the florist, im floored.
i'll go check on "t" (that was the name the african fella told me.)
i muse.

so i go into the bar, and sure enough "t" is sitting among quiet and uncomfortable stares from the denizens.

so i bar-stool next to him,
and get a beer.
we chat and he ends up selling me 240 dollars worth of
concentrated citrus cleaner (enough to make 340 gallons
of usuable agent!)

i give him my credit card, he makes a call,
and we run out into the alley to meet his connection.
sure enough, it's legit and im carring like 40 pounds
of scented product.

mistake #4.

so i meet the family in strawberry,
the wife is elated with my gesture on the flowers.
slowly my story unfolds, and she is irate, understandably.

she's had it.
after a heated verbal exchange and
some tears down her cheek,
i realize (again) that i cant drink, anymore.

so we put away the bad habit, and move
timidly forward, quaking in our wedding rings.

that was a week ago.
now that im sober again,
im tearing down the to-do list with reckless devotion.

the pressure of my own creation is building in my heart,
im not sleeping again;
all the clients are praising me,
the pay is sweet,

and i find myself needing a downer of sorts.
to unrev, you know.
i hate accomplishing so much, so frequently.
it is exhausting.
i got to go have a beer, and f*#king chill.

so im honest with you and me,
i can't drink,
and i can't not drink.

your first-world fool.

Big Wall climber
Terrapin Station
May 31, 2013 - 03:49pm PT
Amen weeg. Yer a stubborn fuk. Welcome to the club.

The NW edge of The Hudson Bay
May 31, 2013 - 07:57pm PT
Some have the ability to moderate their consumption be it beer, hootch, thin hand cracks, run out face, jam sessions, careers or relationships.
For others, moderation is impossible and it's all or nothing, hair straight back, zero to one hundred right now with little or no concern for the consequences.
How either group arrive at such predispositions can be either obvious, a mystery or both.
Just past the half century mark, the evidence seems to indicate that like many of my friends and heroes (some provide inspiration here), I'm part of the second group.
Not sure what the answer is but moderation doesn't seem to be an option so far.
It's been almost 32 months (this time; and yes, I'm counting) and it seemed like an easy choice with little in the way of white knuckling, so far.
(Maybe the habits just finally seemed too costly and unsustainable).

Never's a long time and I'm not making any promises so I tell my friends it's a beer and hootch sabbatical, one day at a time.
I check in on this thread now and then because it's like a 24/7 cyber meeting without the cigarette smoke, bad coffee, narrow catechisms and hackneyed monologues.
I don't have to say anything and I can leave when I want.

Thanks to Hank and everyone else with the courage to be honest, it helps.


May 31, 2013 - 08:51pm PT
Well said, Perry.
I, too, check in here regularly, mostly when I'm getting too smug and complacent in life and need to remember that many folks are on run-out ground on a daily basis for one reason or another and that it couldn't hurt to send some good vibes their way.

Props to all kicking back at the darkness.

Trad climber
Jun 1, 2013 - 01:20pm PT
Sorry for your predicament, Norwegian. I've seen the same in dozens others. I wish you what you wouldn't wish for your worst enemy - sobriety.

Because without it, you are pretty clearly going to lose your wife(you have had 2 strikes documented here on ST in the last few weeks). Because without it you are a drunk driver on the road. Because without it your liver is being slowly poisoned to death, as is you mind.

If nothing else matters to you, might it bother you to lose that romantic way with words you enjoy? If nothing else, isn't your creative self worth the sacrifice of alcohol?

Jun 1, 2013 - 01:56pm PT
I also am alcoholic and drug addicted. Sober now about 5 maybe 6 years? Did one other 7 year sober stint and a few 1-3 years stints. Fifteen was my first AA meeting. Although i do not do AA my childhood neighbor getting me to a meeting that early in life was instrumental in me being sober today. She planted a seed that it took years for me to germinate.

Maybe you should consider the pain inflicted upon those whom you love those whom have no choice "your children" maybe if you can stop for a short enough time for them you will find a way or reason to stop long term for yourself. You are hurting them and hurting them bad. Some of those wounds will never ever heal.

I have gone back and forth with addiction my whole life. I also come from a family of addicts. Once you get beyond some months and years it does get much much more easy. The desire does subside a bit and life is more manageable if for no other reason than you are not making it harder than it has to be. Life is still hard, very hard do not get me wrong. However it is not that kind of hard. That kind of hard is brutal!!

Life is by far 120% easier sober than not sober. I understand when you have been addicted since early childhood it is hard to imagine/comprehend that you have the capacity to cope any other way. I am not sure how long you have had this struggle but just a few years is enough to bring a man to his knees imop. If this is a life long thing it can seem impossible.

You can be sober you just have to find a way to want to be sober bad enough. I know for me it means walking away from everything i know so i can have some time to focus on me and only me when i relapse. When you are addicted you are a very very broken soul broken beyond even your own understanding. Sometimes you just can not see the forest through the trees. The only way out is hard hard work and 120% commitment to the cause. It can be done!!!

It could even mean leaving your family as the stress of home being a father and husband maybe be triggers and too much for you in the initial stages of getting sober. A hard reality i know but i would go as far as saying that your family is better off with out for a time while you get your sh#t together than they are suffering a lifetime of you addicted.

I wish you the best as i do all those suffering from addiction. behind every person is a story and in most cases behind every addict is a long chain of addicts. It is sad but up to you and only you to break that cycle.

Best wishes. If you have not try kicking heroine booze and speed and benzos all the same time that hurts! Booze hurts but it is can be done. Get help if you need it..

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