A miserable bastard

Season’s greetings from a tiny island in the south Pacific, where the landline to our house has been dead for three weeks and mobile internet is patchy.

Christmas and New Year can be a tough time for we alkies. This is the time of the year where drinking copious amounts of alcohol is normalised. Not surprisingly, AA meetings see a lot of new faces in early January as the hangovers subside and the consequences of bad behaviour coalesce into New Years’ resolutions.

We alkies, however, have learned hard lessons about making promises we can’t keep. Stay sober for a whole month? A whole year? No beer in this weather? You’ve got to be fucking kidding me. This is why we focus on just staying sober today. One day is doable.

However, staying sober for one day becomes a tad more difficult when those things that AA recommends (going to meetings, phone a friend/sponsor, work with other alcoholics) are absent. There are no AA meetings here for reasons I haven’t quite fathomed, however there are plenty of alkies begging for coins on the streets. Unfortunately, my knowledge of the local language is insufficient for conversing with these drunks. After all, it is hard enough trying to work out what a pissed Palangi (whitefella) is saying in English, let alone in an unfamiliar language. In short, I find myself on an island and in a house full of booze with no AA meetings, poor access to online meetings/chatrooms, terrible phone reception and sweaty, thirsty weather.

AA believes that alcoholism persists even after a person has put down the bottle. My behaviour in the last week has been evidence of this: I have been, to use the AA term, a ‘dry drunk’.

I’ll give you an example: I hurt my lower back carrying my pack around during a day in transit. Since I arrived I have been eating Nurofen like popcorn, and blaming everyone else for my condition. My highly anticipated days of getting tubed under the tropical sun have been thwarted, but not completely so. Regardless, I’m full of resentments and have become a nasty, miserable bastard.

Fortunately, I had the wherewithal to call my sponsor yesterday, who told me to write this narrative down. This is because the other narrative that has been on high circulation in my head – e.g. ‘if I didn’t have to lug my heavy pack around because of {insert person or situation}, I’d be having a great time now’ – only serves to create and sustain resentments and does not make me accountable.

Its funny, but when I write this stuff down it loses its potency. I can see that I have been behaving like an overgrown toddler. I will try, today, to do better.

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