And time for one of my long winded posts. In a minute, as soon as the motrin kicks in, I am going to head out of here to hike up Green Mountain and once I get to the flat part on top, I am going to run. It should be great fun.
Let me preface this next topic by saying that this is NOT political. Really. I am talking about MY reaction to something. Yesterday, I was dinking around with my site meter, and looked at a search that someone found me by, and found a whole host of articles, blog entries, and youtube videos about the President drinking again. There was a spate of articles yesterday apparently because he drank a non-alcoholic beer at the G8 summit - there were photos. That gave me a bit of a chill.... but then there were videos of a President Bush slurring his words and sounding extremely inebriated. Those brought back some of the worst feelings I have had in my life. I sat here in disbelief and in fact, I am hoping against hope that the videos were slowed down so that it would appear that his speech was slurred and drunken sounding. (I would also imagine that if all of my waking moments were filmed, I might appear to be insanely drunk at times, or at least just insane - and I can assure you I have not touched a drop of alcohol since July 24, 1984.)
Growing up in an alcoholic home is extremely traumatic - I know I don't have to tell anyone that. My father was a terrible, terrible alcoholic. My mother was also an alcoholic, but a binge drinker, so I wasn't subject to much trauma around her drinking. My father, on the other hand, was a daily drinker, and didn't go to bars. He stayed at home and got drunk every single day of my life until one day in April of 1965 when 2 men came to our home to talk to him. Those two men were members of Alcoholics Anonymous. My father got sober that day and stayed that way for 10 years. Our family life was completely transformed. My father was a wonderful, kind, intelligent, funny, soft-spoken man I loved and admired greatly - when he was sober.
Then came July 17, 1975 - I called my Dad in the middle of the afternoon for some reason and he answered the phone DRUNK! After 10 years of sobriety! He never did talk much about how this happened, but he did tell me after I got sober "resentment really IS the number one offender." His visits to my home became nightmarish events.... recalling so many horrible moments from my childhood. Going out for dinner with him was like russian roullette, you never knew what you were going to end up with. Even after I started drinking, I still found his drinking so upsetting. At least I didn't fall down in the street, pass out in my soup, hit my head on the toilet, etc., etc., etc.....
Since I have been in AA, I think my father has been my greatest teacher. He never did sober up again, and he lived for another 17 horrible painful degrading years. I do not ever want to do what he did. I do not ever want to put my children and grandchildren through that. I do not want to put myself through it either!
So, seeing this President - like him or not, he is the leader of the free world - appearing to be drunk was a nightmare right out of the primordial ooze of my psyche.
And also a reminder of the fact that we are all only sober today. Long term sobriety is good, I like it a lot, but we all know people who have started drinking after long periods of sobriety - it CAN and DOES happen. I have a daily reprieve contingent on the maintenance of my spiritual condition. The big book warns that if we fail to enlarge our spiritual life, we will drink again, and with us, to drink is to die.
Let's all stay sober today, Okay?
"The alcoholic is like a tornado roaring his way through the lives of others. Hearts are broken. Sweet relationships are dead. Affections have been uprooted. Selfish and inconsiderate habits have kept the home in turmoil. We feel a man is unthinking when he says that sobriety is enough. He is like the farmer who came up out of his cyclone cellar to find his home ruined. To his wife, he remarked, 'Don't see anything the matter here, Ma. Ain't it grant the wind stopped blowin?" -- Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 82