Sobriety (off topic or not)?


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The Hot Kiss on the end of a Wet Fist
Feb 13, 2010 - 12:40pm PT
Now there's a word you don't see in use much...Well Done!"

Whaddaya mean? I have been calling this place Stupor Torpor for years and I want credit for coming up with the name.

Trad climber
Placerville, California
Feb 13, 2010 - 12:43pm PT
i realize and enjoy the dangers.

i wanna sprint toward that threshold, beyond which i'm wayward,
and then reel back and laugh.

cause i've the control, discipline and glee to tiptoe upon that edge and smirk as bits of my soul crumble and fall among the void.

its that peeling of the soul that i thrive around.

im on that edge folks. having guiness upon harps. pluckin the strings of sorrow.

so, cheer.

Boulder climber
Feb 13, 2010 - 12:58pm PT
happigirl, no need to apologize, i expect a lot more flack than i get around here,

these clinics nowadays, they have valium, and seconal, and qualudes, well, maybe not ludes, but they have a whole ton of stuff they can give you so you don't start shaking like my ex girl.

never seen a body shake so much, for so long, really disgusting,

poor ol Preston had to kick the big H while in a jail cell, no fun.

my dad used to get hospitalized on a weekly basis,

back then, believe it or not, el camino hospital stuck a jack daniels IV in his arm, because that was the way they did it back then.

yeah, booze is a social drink, thats why it's legal.

weed makes you shack up by yourself and surf the net, so it is not considered socially exceptable.

that is why we are surrounded by booze, on every street corner, in every grocery store, gas station, everywhere you look, beer!

which is cool if your a drinker,

AA is the only church i trust nowadays, nice people who want to help,

but the coffee does suck,


the most important thing to remember:

It's not your fault!

please believe that,

making ammends is cool, but half the people you abuse know whats going on, so don't sweat the drunken holidays too bad,


Boulder climber
Feb 13, 2010 - 01:38pm PT
you wanna hear a funny one, we were in our drunk class, and the black teacher, who was an ex heron addict, (black folks always pronounce it heron for some strange reason,)
anyway, the teacher asks "what are some of the properties of alcohol?"

and one of the guys says "social lubricant."

and poor ol derek, rest his soul, says "please don't talk about sex in this class..."

i guess you had to be there,

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Feb 13, 2010 - 02:00pm PT
Twisted crank said: "Join the circle, dude."

I can remember, years ago, when I had about two months and I was all skiddish and after a meeting I was running for my car and an old timer came up to me and said, "Don't leave us now." Those words saved me, I swear to God.

So, yeah. Join the circle.

mountain dog

Trad climber
over the hills and far away
Feb 13, 2010 - 02:20pm PT
To hear most of you guys stick up for AA helps give me some hope. I've never been into joining clubs or groups. Always felt like and wanted to stay an outsider. A do it yourselfer.
Now, I don't think I can solo this climb. It's good to know I have some peers out there to relate to.

Social climber
flagstaff arizona
Feb 13, 2010 - 02:21pm PT
a while back this old-timer lady pulled me aside and told me "you don't have to do this alone."

took me a while to take that to heart, but today it serves me well.

Feb 13, 2010 - 02:24pm PT
AA always stood for Attitude Adjustment.
Just for Today!

Trad climber
Placerville, California
Feb 13, 2010 - 02:26pm PT
the undeniable struggle though...

reality, at times, should be averted. as too much off it is stiffling.

how do you sober folk sidestep the poke in the ribs?
Ricardo Cabeza

All Over.
Feb 13, 2010 - 06:06pm PT
Hank, thanks for bringing this up.

I, too, suffer from alcoholism.

I start, I stop. It all goes back and forth.

I don't post while under the influence as a matter of principle, but alcohol has ruined my life.
I feel helpless, beat down, and it kills me.

I was once a happy, fun loving person.

Now, I teach skiing and drink at night.

I feel confused,scared and stuck in a cycle I don't enjoy.

AA doesn't seem like the answer for me, but I'm running out of options, self control went out the window a while back.

Thanks for speaking about this, you're not alone.

Jim Brennan

Trad climber
Vancouver Canada
Feb 13, 2010 - 07:39pm PT
Ricardo Cabeza.........

Hey Brandon,

I have no solutions but if you feel caught in a cycle, try to change the routine. This may allow some room for objectivity.

You don't have to "be" what's going on. You can change how you identify your self without feeling shame or failure. Email me if you'd like, I have big ears.


Big Wall climber
A Token of My Extreme
Feb 13, 2010 - 07:41pm PT
AA doesn't seem like the answer for me, but I'm running out of options, self control went out the window a while back.

There are LOTS of people who struggle with AA. More of them than the ones who take to it right off.
As they say, take what you need and leave the rest. It may not be a perfect system, but it has improved millions of lives in the last 60+ years. Not a doubt in my mind.

Trad climber
New York, NY
Feb 13, 2010 - 07:56pm PT
Brandon - AA can be a tough nut for some people, and for some it just doesn't do it. Some have talked about another program called Rational Recovery; I admit I know nothing about that one though.

Some have done a stint in rehab, and through their own efforts afterward, stayed clean.

Some have had their doctors prescribe...I forget the name of that drug. It makes you feel like CA-RAP if you have a drink. I have never used it but know someone who did.... He says "yep, you feel like sh#t." Unfortunately for him, not shitty enough. He drank while on it. Antibuse! That's the drug.

how do you sober folk sidestep the poke in the ribs?"

Do you mean, avoid feeling the pain, embarrassment, discomfort, humiliation and all those other icky things that happen in daily living?

If yes.... I sidestep them through other processes that aren't good for me - oversleeping and eating sugary foods, mostly. Or I lash out in anger. That isn't good either for me, since I feel crappy afterward.

Some people sidestep with other things. Just cause one doesn't drink doesn't mean they don't still do some pretty sketchy stuff. I've known sober people who were still stealing, sex addicts, raging angry mofo's....

But - the better way is to step back front and center, instead of side-stepping. Feel the pain, humiliation, anger, upset, whatever. Adter all, for me that goes along with getting all the life stuff I have gotten from being sober.

Actually....I am a few days away from getting to experience something potentially really big for me. Well, a step in that direction, anyway. Something that, if I wondered what was one of the things I thought I would never get in life, this would be the one at the top of that list. The fears that this is going to be a poke in the side so painful I want to shrivel up and die are great. I am actually sort of scared.

But I am using those tools I learned through AA, and each time I catch myself going "down a bad line" in my mind, I stop, and go over the facts that I do know. And I tell myself to trust. And be present for this.

I may get an awful poke in the side. But I also may get something else; something much nicer. Without risking the pain, that wouldn't be possible.

Ice climber
honolulu, hawaii
Feb 13, 2010 - 10:57pm PT
Hankster - You've got a couple years on me, and I can see we are different in many ways, but I'm right there with ya on the drink.

Alcohol has been a HUGE player in my life. I've never been a down-and-out gutter drunk. Quite the opposite. I've accomplished a lot and made a name for myself in my career and hobbies. Which really amazes me because I am fully alcohol's bitch. I've hit rock bottom twice and done 3 years sober once and 2 years sober the other. Right now I'm fighting (or not) for my life again.

The hardest part for me is that my entire limited social life revolves around getting shitty. All my friends are fellow barfly lushes. It's what we do. It's fun a lot of the time! I'm a big part of an amazing music scene. But the youthfullness I always relied on to get me to the hill the next morning is fading.

The funny thing is that during those five years of sobriety, I did 3 times as much awesome sh#t than during my drunk life.

I'm gonna quit again soon. I have to. I'm looking forward to the awesome hallucinations on night 2-5 and also dropping right back to my fighting weight in 3 weeks.

Congrats on a month. That's a hell of a long ways, as you know.

Put the energy you're killing into something rad.

Neil said we're all like setting suns. Setting suns are awesome. Just shortlived. It's all been written about and studied forever. But here we are, eh? Pretty real.

I'll end this with the Slobberbone on my mind today. I hiked 3 times at the pass. Good day. Still gotta quit again soon. Time for more manic sober antics.

Get Gone Again - Slobberbone

I'm so sick of writing songs about screwin up
No matter how much I fall down, it seems it's never enough
No matter how much good luck throws itself my way
I find some way to ruin it and out again the next day

Road rash and run down
Wrinkled from the rain
The song in my heart makes just one sound
And I sing along just the same
I wonder how long I'll hang around before I go insane
Before I break down
And get gone again

Put myself on trial again for crimes I could not see
My naked aggression was picked up on a charge of indecentcy
And I remember how I felt when first it exposed itself to me
And I pray for forgiveness and a sympathetic jury

Road rash and run down
Wrinkled from the rain
the song in my heart makes just one sound
And I sing along just the same
I wonder how long I'll hang around before I go insane
Before I break down
And get gone again

And it makes no difference what you thought you came here for
Any plans that you might've had
Are swept right out the door
And it makes no difference how hard you think you've tried
When you'll find out in the end its just...
It's just a lie

There's been girls that loved me, I cheated on them
With a woman named whiskey and gin, her best friend
But their affections flow like liquid to a thousand other men
Who will trade lovin for liquor, salvation for sin

Road rash and run down
Wrinkled from the rain
The song in my heart makes just one sound
And I sing along just the same
I wonder how long I'll hang around before I go insane
Before I break down,
And get gone again
And get gone again......

Feb 13, 2010 - 11:57pm PT
This thread is likely the most significant thread on ST in years.

In no way denigrating all the brilliant posts by Jello, Ed H. (Frank S. thread a true gem), Doug R., Guido, Karl and more.

Watching all the drunk posting (mine included) that has gone on here for years, reading of those that lost the battles with the bottle, the depression and all manner of other hurdles, I vote this thread stay on the front page non-stop.

So many people here have lived on adrenaline for so long as climbers or skiers or base jumpers, living without that euphoric jolt can be damn hard.

Hank, I wish you all the best. Thanks for asking for help. You have all that i can give.

The same to all the rest soldiering on, whether you know you are soldiering or not.

Cinclus mexicanus - That bird that swims

Ice climber
honolulu, hawaii
Feb 14, 2010 - 12:13am PT
And to top it off (sorry), the other 90% of the world wishes they had our problems, right?!? WTF.

Anyways, keep up the good work, man. I'll be joining you soon.

Social climber
flagstaff arizona
Feb 14, 2010 - 12:22am PT
Second Chances

I can’t let it go, the picture I keep of myself
in ruin, living alone, some wretched town
where friendship is based on just being around.
And I drink there a lot, stare at the walls until
the buzzing of flies becomes the silence I drown in.
Outside, children bad-mouth my life with songs
their parents told them to sing. One showers
my roof with stones knowing I’m afraid
to step out and tell him to stop. Another yells,
“You can’t get a woman, old man. You don’t get a thing.”

My wife, a beautiful woman, is fixing lunch.
She doesn’t know I dream these things. She thinks
I’m fine. People respect me. Oh, she knows, all right,
I’ve seen grim times. But these days my poems
appear everywhere. Fan mail comes. I fly east
on a profitable reading tour. Once in a while
a young girl offers herself. My wife knows that, too.
And she knows my happiness with her is far more
than I ever expected. Three years ago, I wouldn’t
have given a dime for my chances at life.

What she doesn’t know is now and then
a vagabond knocks on the door. I go answer
and he says, “Come back, baby. You’ll find
a million poems deep in your destitute soul.”
And I say, “Go away. Don’t ever come back.”
But I watch him walk, always downhill toward
the school yard where children are playing “ghost,”
a game where, according to the rules, you take
another child’s name in your mind but pretend
you’re still you while others guess your new name.


Ice climber
honolulu, hawaii
Feb 14, 2010 - 12:54am PT
BVB - you will be one of my mental inspirations this time around. Thanks.

Social climber
The Chihuahua Desert
Feb 14, 2010 - 12:59am PT
bvb, great stuff. your pen?

Social climber
flagstaff arizona
Feb 14, 2010 - 02:00am PT
i wish. that's richard hugo.
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