Sobriety (off topic or not)?


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Trad climber
Jan 19, 2013 - 03:29pm PT
Speaking of using Al-Anon....

Last night I saw I had a phone message from one of my brothers. He'd called at 6pm my time - 8pm his. He was drunk, and began demanding me to call him back. "Call me back. Do you hear me? DO. YOU. HEAR. ME? CALL. ME. BACK. It's nearing the end of civilization, I ain't got much time...."

No, I did not call my brother back last night. I waited until this morning, when at least he had a chance of being sober.

My brother has brain damage. Whether it is directly from alcohol usage or from the head injuries he suffered when he ran a truck into a tree while drunk, I do not know. He has a dent the size of a quarter in his skull, and when it is raining, even the slightest bit, he likes to play a parlor trick where he tilts his head to collect the rain, and then tips it out.

So, I called. And when he didn't say much I said "well, I am calling in response to your demand I do so last night. What's going on?"

He said "I was wondering what your reaction would be. Well, what's your reaction?"

Not sure what to say, my pause was luckily long enough that he must have forgotten he'd asked a question, and began his ramblings of how difficult and painful his life is. I imagine it is painful, being that one of his calfs looks more like hamburger under skin, from when he accidentally shot himself with a sawed-off shotgun(shining deer in upstate Wisconsin, along with my other brother - 200 miles from the nearest hospital.)

Oh yes, talking with Al is always an experience.

Today I learned that my mother's family has it's fortune buried beneath Fort Ticonderoga, for example. And that he stupidly told an IRS person about the money and then not two days had gone by when the US government handed 45 million dollars to each and every state... He did the math, and said "Where do YOU think the government can come up with 2.5 billion dollars?"

I listened, and when the next pause came, I asked him how he felt about the potential new gun laws. I did this because he had said "I'm not as delusional as everyone thinks," and I didn't want to go there. Instead I gave him a topic which I knew he would have an opinion on.(Cold dead hands, gun grab, can make a gun with the materials in the basement)...

And when we hung up 15 minutes later, I let it go. There is really not much I can do for my brother.

He called me back just now, because he had remembered something and wanted to tell me. He apologized for waking me up. I have no idea why he thought he was waking me....

There is no turning back for my brother. He's passed the point of return, even if he never takes another drink so long as he lives. My family is lucky because he seems to find people willing to have him as a room mate - I guess his share of the rent, coming from disability, is attractive to them. But I do wonder when the time will come that my brothers and sisters and I will need to sit down and decide what is to become of him.

Though my life never took the turns that his has, how do I really know that my fate might not have been the same had I kept drinking?

I don't. There but for the grace, go I.

I love you, brother Al, and I am grateful I am not walking in your shoes.

Jan 19, 2013 - 05:30pm PT
The greatest advice I ever got in Alanon was from an old timer. I was complaining about not knowing what to do with an impossible significant other. He said, "Leave her alone." In other words: Let her work her own program. Or not. Anything else is playing God, and that doesn't work for sh#t.

I am learning that. It's a hard, hard truth. But I am going to try not to nag, scare, pester, or rub her nose in it.

Trad climber
Toshi's Station, picking up power converters.
Jan 23, 2013 - 09:51pm PT
I'm really struggling today. I'm acting like a crazy bitch, letting people hurt me when otherwise I wouldn't I'm confused. not to mention lashing out at people that don't need it. wtf. thats all I got right now.


Social climber
flagstaff arizona
Jan 23, 2013 - 10:01pm PT
If you need to yell at someone Michelle, I'm here for you! jk. I know how you feel, wait a bit it'll pass. How about a bubble bath, some chocolate cake, and a good movie?

Jan 23, 2013 - 10:05pm PT
Yeah not letting people get to you can be a struggle. I've been struggling with that myself lately and I've been sober years. Just remember that it will pass and clarity is within your grasp.

Trad climber
Toshi's Station, picking up power converters.
Jan 23, 2013 - 10:12pm PT
thanks bob. I may hit you up on that. I don't want overly vent about crap here though. it doesn't help I was not successful staying sober. I'll just keep on trying.

Trad climber
Jan 23, 2013 - 10:15pm PT
Yup - keep trying. That is the key.

Trad climber
Feb 1, 2013 - 07:02pm PT
Credit: happiegrrrl

Someone posted this on their FB page. Cute and funny, and so glad I don't come up with cute and funny things to deflect the fact that I am/was a lush.
Off White

Tenino, WA
Feb 1, 2013 - 07:57pm PT
I can imagine that sometimes Supertopo is not conducive to staying sober.

Trad climber
Feb 1, 2013 - 08:04pm PT
Or it can show you how wonderful it is to BE sober, knowing full well that there are plenty out there still sick and suffering.

Feb 1, 2013 - 08:10pm PT
Well, no progress with my sweetie and our relationship is deteriorating. She claims to have quite drinking but I dunno, quitting, assuming she has actually done that, is as I have learned only the first layer of a very complicated onion. And still, she defects anger at me over things that frankly, I did not do wrong. I guess the term is "dry drunk"? (again, assuming she is dry) It beats talking about her issues, I suppose.

Alanon helps.


Trad climber
Feb 4, 2013 - 08:08pm PT

Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change
The courage to change the things I can
And the wisdom to know the difference

I don't need a drink. I don't even WANT a drink. I am SO grateful beyond GRATEFUL that my mind is no longer clouded by the smoke and mirrors of drugs and booze. That I can see clearly now, the rain is gone.....

When I am feeling sick and tired of the baloney that is in my life at a moment in time, I sigh and, remembering that old bath oil commercial, say "Calgon - take me away!"

But just for today, it's a little different....

Al-Anon...take me away!

Feb 18, 2013 - 01:21am PT
Feeling a bit mopey.

I silently said the serenity prayer before a counseling session with her on Friday.

She said sorry to me then ended it.

The prayer helped me.

I think of the things we could have had together. I thought we could have had it all.

In truth, it could never have been. The disease made sure it could never be.

I need to accept that, let go, and move on.

Alcoholism can be cruel.

McHale's Navy

Trad climber
Panorama City, California & living in Seattle
Feb 18, 2013 - 01:30am PT
I thought about having a beer earlier and then forgot about it. I enjoyed the thought though.

Trad climber
South Slope of Mt. Tabor, Portland, Oregon, USA
Feb 18, 2013 - 01:54am PT
Still in the life. Living is so good. I was with my dad today. He has 9 more years than I sober. We are better for having quit before it took us out. Today was a gift to be there for him when he needed me. He is almost 80 and moving once again. New house for him and so I wanted to be there to make sure the transition went smooth.

Living sober is more a habit now. Thankful for every day. Even to feel pain is OK. It all passes. Even the good stuff. I am able to live in the ebb and flow of life.

For anyone struggling... Hang in there... It gets different... then it gets better ... Then we are able to put life into perspective ... It's all a gift ... share the good and the bad and forget about the labels. What I used to think was bad and what I thought was good has morphed over the years. I am in a good space now.... that could change. Just grateful RIGHT NOW!

Trad climber
Feb 18, 2013 - 10:11am PT
Dirtbag - I am so very sorry to read of your pain. F*#king alcohol.... While for sure it doesn't ruin the lives of everyone who touches it, the ruin it causes in enough lives is more than devastating.

I have "thought" about having a drink a few times in the past week. Not serious really, but there had been several events which were triggering emotional points.

I don't think about having one(that would be ONE bottle of wine, ONE HALF dozen beers or harder drinks on the ONE day which would be but the first in many, of course), but it always sends a chill when it does happen. It is such a fine spider web line which divides my life between sober and over....because I do know that if I pick up, the game is over. When I accepted sobriety I made a deal, and it was a 'til death do us part' commitment.

But looking at those things which caused me so much pain today is so miniscule. I wish I could mean that in an "oh, yeah, I realized they were meaningless" way, but that is not the case. Those things were very real and damaging to my emotional well-being. It's just that in comparison to what is going on now, they were just sort of the early sprinklings on a"when it rains, it pours" segment of my life.

I am very frightened right now, because the deal I had with my apartment in NYC is going to end, and my intentions are to turn the place back over to the landlord. The sublettor who has been there for 2.5 years has given notice, and I just don't have the stomach to go again with a new person, because it is not a legal sublet.

Sure - if I didn't care about the lives of others, I could easily rent to somebody....

I am glad I care about the lives of others, even those of whom are just shadows in the imagination. Those shadows DO represent real people. Sobriety has given me that ability to make the connection between my actions and those of people whom I would meet in the future.

God, grant me the serenity....

Today I am going climbing and will try to keep my mind off this problem. It won't hurt to "do nothing" about this problem today.


Trad climber
Santa Cruz
Feb 18, 2013 - 12:39pm PT
Man you guys are tough! I am IMPRESSED!
All those "couldas, wouldas, and shouldas" can be awful downers.

Stay strong,


Trad climber
Feb 22, 2013 - 11:54pm PT
Having a very tough time with the worst fears for my future I have ever encountered going on.

I don't WANT a drink, but I do really wish there was some way to avoid dealing with my life right now.

The other day I was at the Valerjo in JT and happened to see the wine bottles. First, it was a little six-pack of single drink ones and I thought "Isn't that cute. I wonder who buys that sort of thing."

Then I noticed the bigger bottles and was looking at the labels. I remembered that, because I was clueless about wine, I used to choose a bottle based on the label(hey, I never got a bad bottle!). THis was all as I waited for someone, and I really felt like I was just passing the time, looking at scenery as I might do in any circumstance while I waited.

Then, I heard a little voice inside say "Buy one." It was almost more like a command.

Luckily, I do seem to have gotten some kind of stubborn version of sobriety that knows the truth. That to "buy one" really means, one today, and then tomorrow, and then again, and again and again. But I cannot guarantee that stubborness is something I can count on.

I know drunkeness will not help. Even as I think things can't really get worse than they are right now(though of course they could), to slip back into drinking might enable me to avoid taking responsibility for events I must manage in the next few weeks, but at what cost?

I am so scared, and so tired.

Trad climber
the tip of god's middle finger
Feb 23, 2013 - 12:03am PT
ahh happy,
lay down and let it run you over.
then get up and shake it off,
and go for a hike.

Social climber
Feb 23, 2013 - 12:16am PT
what weeg said.

when you return from the beleaguered distance
pray the van starts
look off toward the gem of tomorrow
and breath deep of that strong woman stuff

get on with it
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