… and I am Somebody male. in my thirties. recovering alcoholic. live in minneapolis. work in progress. gay. serenity please.

Sunday night at the Saloon

07.04.2005 · Posted in Autobiographical

Jim and I decided to head down to the Saloon last night. There were going to be a bunch of sober people out and nobody had to work today.

Saw a hot guy playing pool. He took his shirt off halfway through the night, and everybody suddenly became HUGE pool fans – myself included. Not sure why one takes their shirt off playing pool – it’s not like you should be breaking a sweat. At the end of the night we concluded he must be straight and just liked all the attention. Okay, so I didn’t even make eye-contact, and the straight theory is my story and I’m sticking to it.

Not like I really want to pick up a guy in a bar anyway. Though I was tempted. I used to go to the Saloon several times a week. Oftentimes it involved bringing somebody home for the night. It’s a lot different sober. You see the folks who are behaving like you used to. You see the normies who don’t have a problem. And then you see the folks that you knew from the rooms that are back at the bar.

It’s really sad. I counted five people last night I knew from AA who were out drinking. I guess it’s really an eye-opener for me as to how difficult a struggle this whole sobriety thing really can be for some people. I didn’t really have an urge to drink last night, but it was discomforting to see these people drinking.

One friend had 8 or 9 years sober and then decided he was never an alcoholic to begin with. Another friend had 3 and half years sober and decided yesterday he was going to do a shot, have a few bears, and then hop right back on the bandwagon.

It makes me sad. In my meeting last night we read a story in which the author talks about the two aspects of alcoholism – The allergy of the body, and the obsession of the mind. The latter is clearly the more dangerous of the two. An allergy you can do something about – avoid whatever you’re allergic to. The obsession of the mind is what leads us down dangerous paths, makes bad decisions, and does unhealthy things.

The obsession will eventually lead to a complete change in a person if they continue drinking. They will no longer be themselves. Their whole being will become an addict and revolve around that addiction. Everything else is secondary. Eventually they will lose everything, and it’s in the process of losing everything that you feel bad for them. Having to watch it over time, just waiting for the person to hit their bottom, is not pleasant. They will blame everything but themselves as to why they lose this or that. They’re living in a delusion of an okay life, until it hits them one day that they are spent. They find themselves empty, with nobody and nothing, to reach out for.

Have a happy 4th of July and be grateful of the gifts you’ve been given.

11 Responses to “Sunday night at the Saloon”

  1. wow…that was really moving. I wonder if there are some that can actually drink moderately..i.e. people that would be classified as alcoholics that don’t have to abstain completely. In the past few months, I’ve cut down to less than 2 drinks a night and drink, at most, a couple of times a week. This coming from someone who was regularly drinking 5 times a week and having too much on 2 or three of those nights.

    Then again, maybe i wasn’t an alcoholic to begin with and my fear of becoming one caused me to cut down before things got out of hand?

    I’m just blabbing and need to get back to work

  2. It’s all soooo true. May I never forget that.

  3. May we NEVER forget that.

  4. What on earth is a “normie”?

  5. Hey, Marty – a “normie” is an AA term for somebody who is NOT an alcoholic. I think it grew out of, “he/she can drinnk like a normal person.”

  6. Aaaah… I figured as much, but wanted to clarify. So… I guess my next question is how do you distinguish between who is a normie and who is an alcoholic?

  7. Hey, Marty – only an individual can decide whether or not to call themself an alcoholic. I suppose a normie is anyone who’s life is NOT affected by their drinking, or, chooses to label themself as a “normie.”

  8. Hey, Tom – whether or not somebody is an alcoholic is a personal decision one has to make for themself. In my experience, it is usually a black and white issue, though it may not present itself as one from the get-go. To explain, a drinking problem may not be seen as a “problem” right away – it usually spirals into one. I suppose the difference between an alcoholic and a non-alcoholic is that the alcoholic’s drinking problem will continue on a downward spiral – continuing to appear, cause havoc in one’s life, and ultimately, lead to much loss for the individual.

    I truly hope you’re not sufferring. If you think you may have a problem, I’d advise you to get in touch with a doctor, your insurance provider, or a free clinic to see who you can go to for an evaluation. They can be enlightening.

    Good luck to you.

  9. good post, dan. you’re such a good catch. why do you live so far away??? 😉 hell, why do i live in the deepest red of the red states?????

  10. Silly question…where did the term “on/off the bandwagon” originate? I vaguely recall a Seinfeld episode in which Jerry and George shared their theories on it, but I’ve never really been sure about it myself…

    Anyway, you’re a superstar. It takes immense guts and willpower to overcome any addiction, and your progress is inspiring.

  11. Hey, Colin – thanks a lot. I’m not really sure where the bandwagon anaology originated, so I googled and came up with the following:

    Circus man and entertainment magnate P.T. Barnum used to parade high wagons through the streets of towns where his show was performing. Barnum filled the wagons, which were used by local bands, with his circus performers. He encouraged onlookers along the parade route to jump on board the wagon and ride with the performers.

    Not sure where the connection with sobriety came in … that’s all I was able to find with a 10 second search 😉 If anyone knows anything – let us know – now I’m curious.