I have 3 characters that I have chummed up with for most of my life. Our relationship came to fruition during our high school years.
One of them disappeared for quite a few years but we eventually met up again.
They all read this blog, so for purposes of anonymity I will use alias’s for them.
Their names are-
I am sure we have always been around each other in some
But we really got to know each other during our sophomore year of high school in 1985.
It was at a bar in Mexico called “The Tequila Derby”.
My older brother took us there as a rite of passage.
About midway through the evening and 6 Coronas later, my 3 friends, started gabbing endlessly to me.
EGO- “Now that we have relaxed, let’s go hit on some chicks we have no shot with….look…there’s that cheerleader who gives you the dreamy eyes….SHE’S DANCING ON THE TABLE!! She is ours for the taking!”
PRIDE-“Finally…we made it. No more feeling left out. We can just sit here and drink a beer just like everyone else and not be judged. Finally.”
He would say with his chest puffed out and sitting tall.
EXPERIENCE- “You know….this is fun and all…..but remember you saying you were NEVER gonna drink alcohol because of your Dad?”
Experience was always the party pooper.
I would look at him with a smirk and reply,
“Can’t we just have a good time without thinking about consequences? I mean look at pride and ego….they are in Utopia! I’m gonna go talk to the cheerleader, you just sit here and enjoy your club soda if you want. The 3 of us are gonna get down and party.”
And so it began.
Experience went home early. And we would not see him for many years.
Ego, pride and I stayed until 4 a.m.
And we were attached at the hip for the next ten years.
Doing whatever we wanted, when we wanted, how we wanted.
Of course, we eventually had to get jobs to support our drinking and partying habits.
PRIDE and EGO came to the rescue again.
EGO-“Dudes…..I have a plan. In order to keep up this awesome lifestyle, we need cash…..we would make great…..BARTENDERS!!”
PRIDE-“Nice, Ego. Not only would that supplement our “no” income status….but with our superb listening skills we will be able to help our customers with their problems…..and maintain our stays as party pros. We ARE good at what we do.”
ME-“Maybe we should go back to school and get some higher education… I really wish Experience was still around….”
EGO & Pride (in unison)-“Bah…he’s a blowhard…no fun…how about….BARTENDER SCHOOL!!”
A few years later, Experience showed back up and hung around a while.
EXPERIENCE-“Glad to see you are all able to hold down a job for a while…and married. Wow! Thought I would see if I was needed for anything….and word on the streets is you are thinking about trying cocaine….”
EGO-“We can handle it. Word has it we could drink more…and longer with it!”
PRIDE- ” Plus….we can’t let everyone else have all the fun. We need to keep up with the crowd.”
Me-“sure a lot of people are using it but does that mean we have to?”
EXPERIENCE-“Didn’t I hear you say once that you would never try cocaine because you heard people died from it?”
EGO-“We said that about booze too…and LOOK AT US NOW!”
ME-“You are right, Ego…just a little couldn’t hurt…….”
EXPERIENCE-“I gotta go…”
The drug years began.
It was fun until it wasn’t.
I never wanted to NEED a substance. Now I needed 2.
That need carried me into
And finally to AA and living quarters at a halfway house.
I had been sober for 3 months…and 45 days of rehab time. I don’t count that time….my choice. When there was a knock on my bedroom door.
ME-“Who is it?”
EXPERIENCE-“Just open the door.”
I did, and I saw my old friend. Only he looked different. He was standing tall and was in great shape.
Me-“Holy Crap! Look at you! Where and how have you been?”
EXPERIENCE- “I’ve been good and I have been gone. It’s good2begone. I have been in the stands of your life for years. It’s time I took over the field. Aren’t you tired of those 2 buffoons, Ego and Pride running stuff for you?…I mean look at them….They treat you like a blip in that video game “Pong”. Back and forth, back and forth. You have been doing the same thing over and over for years and expecting something different each time. You are insane!”
EXPERIENCE-“You aren’t trying. All you are doing is blowing smoke up the bunghole of the world. Ask someone for help to stay sober and I can become your best friend in life….Don’t worry, Ping and Pong over there will always be there for you, just in a different capacity.”
Me-“Well, what do I do?”
EGO & PRIDE tried to chime in. Before they could utter a complete sentence, EXPERIENCE had picked up an old encyclopedia off the desk and ripped it in half. Throwing each a piece of it and said,
“Zip it. We need change here not the riff raff of you two idiots.”
They skunked back into the corner with pouty faces.
He looked back at me and spoke,
“Let’s go the next meeting and find a sponsor and ask him to help us. Then we do as he suggests and nothing else.”
We went to the next meeting.
As we walked into the room Experience nudged me and whispered into my ear,
“There’s your sponsor. All you have to do is ask.”
After the meeting I did ask him to be my sponsor, with tears in my eyes.
He looked me up and down and said,
“I knew you were gonna ask. I tried to leave early but obviously didn’t make it. Yeah, I will be your sponsor. My first suggestion is to shut up in meetings for 30 days. Don’t talk. Just listen. I will tell you when you are ready to speak. Suggestion 2-start praying every morning asking God to keep you sober, and at night thanking him for keeping you sober.”
Me-“But I have so much to say…I know a lot of stuff! And I don’t pray…God hates me.”
Sponsor-“That is just your ego and pride talking and i don’t care if you think God hates you, just do it. You know nothing about staying Or being sober. Just call me every day, until further notice, and listen in meetings…got it? Pretty soon you will realize that your past experience can and will become your bigger asset and not a hindrance as it has been. I look forward to hearing from you tomorrow.”
I went back to my room at the halfway house.
For the first time, in a long time, I felt real change coming.
It’s been a little over 6 years since PRIDE & EGO took a back seat in my life. They still flare up, every now and then, but EXPERIENCE keeps a firm hold on the future.