“High Sobriety in Sober Space”

Ol' Smiley Boy

My name is Jim and I’m an alcoholic. I’ve been on, I’ve been off. I was raised in an alcohol chugging family environment.  For my High School Senior Prom my Mom handed me a bottle of Jim Beam on my way out the door and said “Have a good time.” When I first got into the “off” position, off booze that is, I discovered I had a lot of baggage to unpack. It must have been a great trip ‘cause I had plenty of bags!

The unpacking procedure can take a long time. One of the challenging parts during the process for me was approaching the aspect of just plain having fun without alcohol inducement. (Drugs fits here too as I’m sure  it is quite the same). I mean, think about how many stories start out with, “man we were so ef’d-up…and Joey was up on that bridge takin’ a leak all over…” OK, so maybe it’s only my stories that went that way but you know what I mean.

It was actually a friend of mine, Barbara, who expressed to me she wanted the “being ef’d-up” part of the stories left out when telling them in the presence of her 15 year old son. And rightfully so, she didn’t want her son to be thinking grown-ups seem to only have fun when they are buzzed up.

Then there’s the whole lack of social inhibition part. If someone asked me about the best sexual experience I ever had, I would have to say “I don’t remember, I know we did ‘stuff’ but aside from that, I don’t remember a whole lot about it.” What a waste if you think about it. There is nothing like “Sober Sex,” but that is a way whole different story from here (and I do remember the best experiences there, vividly).

So now the question: What is Fun? And what is this Reality shit all about?

“The Last of the Mojitos” is a sobriety blog site. An opportunity to answer the question…”Are you for Real?” Or more succinctly, What is real? … What is real good, what is real fun, what is real hot and a bit of what’s not thrown in.

Frankly, I know nothing about blogging so I am just going to get started and see where it goes. I do, however, know some things about “being sober” and not being sober; and of course the transition(s) from the “not,” to the sober and back again (and back … again). I believe it is a subject worthy of attention.

For those who have always been sober folks, it will be good to have your input here as well where we can all share experiences we know of the “Real World.” And believe me, while being ef’d-up on drugs and/or alcohol is by all means a “real” situation, it leaves you clueless as to what the real world has to offer.

Let’s take the opportunity to inspire, create, invent and delineate. Help me make this site an inspirational place for all walks to share and experience real Life … matters of the Heart, Courage, Bravery, Creativity. Let’s put the “why” in “why not?” (I just wanted to say that…sounds catchy doesn’t it?) Why not just get ef’d-up today?… Here’s why (not). Why not take some of these pills here?… Here’s why (not). And so on.

Consider this too: we are at a place in human history where we will all need some clear thinking on how to proceed. The world is a much smaller place than ever in terms of each of our own effects upon it.

So, let’s get started:

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7 responses to ““High Sobriety in Sober Space”

  1. I was married to an alcoholic/addict for 30 years. I never understood how someone could not just stop when he was, as you put it, so ef’d-up, until I started partying with him. It was easy because the more you drank the more the inhibitions went away. The only difference was that I could say enough and stop and he couldn’t. His personality changed! The more he drank, the more distant he got. We were best friends and all of a sudden he wouldn’t touch me let alone look at me. This was not the man I fell in love with, but yet, I couldn’t let go.
    As the months went by and the situation got worst, the children were starting to notice the change and then I started finding bottles hidden all over the house. The difficult part about this was that my husband was a functioning alcoholic. In public he was perfect but behind closed doors he was a different person. He became more and more reclusive. Until one day, he snapped at my young son with such venom in his voice. That’s when we both decided to go get help. Or should I say, I decided to get some help and dragged him along with threats of a divorce if he didn’t try. I remember sitting in the counselors office crying my heart out and listening to the counselor tell my husband that he had to stop drinking for his sake and the sake of his family. The next words out of my husband cut into me like a rusty dagger, “I will not change for anyone and that’s it”. The counselor turned to me and told me that if he didn’t want to get help then I should. I was outraged and asked him why I should have to stay in a marriage and get help for myself when I wasn’t the one with the problem. “Because you are an enabler and a co-dependent”, he said. I never heard that term before and didn’t understand it. I stormed out of the office and started planning my departure from my marriage. Months went by and I was still there. I loved him and just couldn’t leave. I was feeling worst and worst about myself and started blaming myself for his lack of interest in me. My husband was a very handsome man so maybe I was too fat or not attractive enough or not loving enough. I tried everything in the book from losing a lot of weight to working harder and bringing in more money but nothing changed. That’s when I broke down and called for help. The counselor told me about Alanon. An AA for co-dependents, families of alcoholics. There I learned what it was all about. Alcoholism is a disease and no one could help him except himself. It was not my fault but yet I had a hand in his not needing to stop. I met other people with my same problem and the funny thing about it was that our stories were all very similar. The pain, disconnection from our loved one, the isolation, the confusion. I kept going to the meetings until I started feeling better and stronger. One evening, after he promised me to get help, my husband came home drunk. Something inside me snapped! I rang up his brother and told him to pick up my husband and that I was done. My husband and I were separated for a whole year. It was hard for me and the kids but as painful as it was, it was probably the best thing I did. He had a lot of time to think about things. The loss of his family devastated him. He started drinking less and less and less until one day the fog had lifted. He knew he needed help. That was a good start. He came back a year later…better but not cured. You see…I learned that an addiction can never be cured. Like cancer it goes into remission and you have to stay vigilant about a reoccurring episode.
    My husband got a very bad stroke a couple of years after that. The doctors said that the drinking and drugging took a toll on his body. He survived the stroke at 50 yrs young but now, this handsome man who was an international athlete, three degrees under his belt, a loving family and still a full life ahead of him has a mind of a 5 year old.

  2. Hi Jim,

    Congratulations on the new blog and sobriety. I grew up in an alcoholic household. Fortunately for me, my mom became sober when I was 8. So, I grew up going to Friday night AA Speaker Meetings and holiday potlucks. I had an unusual childhood, but full of lots of love and wisdom from folks who had “hit bottom” and brought themselves back to a vibrant life.

    Sobriety was an amazing journey for my mom. She had 24 years of sobriety before she passed away. I know her sobriety was her proudest accomplishment of her life. I learned so much from her journey, especially that we are all powerful and can change anything we want to in our lives with the help of our higher power.

    Good luck to you and the blogs! Please let me know if you need anything – being willing to accept support is key to sobriety. xoxo Kat

  3. I am very, very proud of you, Jim. And very relieved that you can now reclaim your good health as well ; to finally overcome your family’s alcohol history. Now you can re-begin that process of peeling back of the layers of the onion that had been begun once not so long ago. It is an exciting journey.

    Would you now like the phone number of Bob Espinoza?? AA has become like a guild due to its high member volume and it may be a good connection in many ways for you now both socially and professionally. Support is vitally important.

    It is a new day and a new beginning….

    Love,

    Barbara

  4. Congratulations, Jim! You said, “I am an alcoholic.” That’s the biggest step. I know this both from my own personal struggle with addiction and from witnessing the struggles of both of my alcoholic husbands. It’s almost as if, once you put a name to it, once you accept the label, you can move on to learning how to live with the label and without the substance.

    So, yeah, I married two alcoholics – apparently, that’s a frequent occurrence among alcoholics and their enablers and co-dependents. Alcohol was never my “drug of choice,” I preferred cocaine. Though my cocaine usage didn’t reach what I considered addiction status until late in my first marriage, only because we were financially challenged and I couldn’t afford to buy it often. But later, I stumbled into a source of “discount” priced and often free coke, so the addiction began its insidious infiltration into my life. Just for the record, I wasn’t one of those hundreds-of-dollars-a-day addicts, nor did I lose the cartilage inside my nasal passages to coke, nor was I doing it every day. And at that time, I hadn’t yet labelled myself an addict, but oh, yes I was!

    When my use of cocaine very directly impacted my health (I developed a dangerous type of heart arrythmia), I stopped using the drug and then learned how very much addicted I was based on how hard it was getting through each day without using! I am proud to say that I’ve been clean ever since, so far. But staying clean has been one of the most challenging things I’ve ever been faced with and, if you knew me and my life story, you would know that’s saying alot!

    As far as life without…well, I also thought it wouldn’t be as much fun as life with; after all, I first started using cocaine “recreationally,” and “fun” is inherently implied within that term, right? Within just a few months of quitting coke, I honestly could say that I was having more fun without it than I thought possible. Because I wasn’t dealing with the day-after doldrums, the burn-out, the stuffed-up nose, the intense craving for more and then more and even more. And, although (3 years later) I think about or crave the stuff almost daily, I feel so much better and have so much more fun, and so much more opportunity for fun because I’m not nursing the hangover, I don’t ever want to go back to being an active addict again.

    This whole concept of “reality” is an interesting one and one that I believe merits exploration. And, oh yes, the BAGGAGE!! Ain’t it amazin’ what you accumulate when you’re not paying attention to what your sorry ass is dragging around! For me, this was & continues to be the most difficult aspect of sobriety. Turns out the reality from which I was trying to escape existed right between my own ears, making the whole process futile cuz no matter where you go, there you are! I’m still unpacking those bags, too, and trying to keep myself from re-packing and packing new ones. It’s a neverending story, so might as well sober in for the ride. I think it’s much more interesting that way!

    Thanks for the forum you’ve created and for being so honest with your thoughts and feelings.

    I’m not too familiar with the blogging universe, either, but I think it sort of requires that the person whose blog it is – that would be you! – blogs on a regular basis. Si, I’m looking forward to future tidbits from you!

    Take care!

    • Hi Leslie, thanks for the story, it is a good one. I just put in a new post today! I figure I will attend to it once a week or so, kind of like the tales of Lake Wobegon. Jim

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