Nothing like coming across a journal I used to write in to put life in perspective.
The date indicates it was written almost 9 years ago.
The time indicates that it was after the bars had closed.
Nothing like writing in a journal when you’re drunk.
Here is what the scribbles in the photo say-
10-14-04. 3:17 am
K- so here’s the deal. My mental state is trapped in a hall of mirrors, I have no job, I live with my Mom at age 35 and I’m a drunk. On the plus side I have Amanda in my life- the issue is not that I’m not doing anything productive it’s that I don’t want to fall into the emotional trap that I always do. Everything about her (& us) is different.
Before I honestly decipher that brilliant piece of literature, I must say, that even 9 years later I remember writing it and it was all true, at THAT time in my life.
Let the deciphering begin…..
My mental state was not trapped…it was clogged with alcohol, cocaine and enough bong resin to re animate Bob Marley.
The only real truth, written without attempts at grandeur and mystery, was sentence #2-
I had no job, lived with Mom and was 35, I was a drunk.
The rest was crap…..but I thought it was gold at the time.
The plus, to which I referred to, was naturally a female. They always make life better when it’s crappy.
I was 35…she was 18.
That should adequately explain the “emotional trap”….
Here is what was different-
A little over a year after writing this gem, I was arrested for drug possession and theft.
The rest of that story is archived somewhere in the blog…
I have now been sober for almost 7 years.
The past does not just go away…. It sticks around to prove a point.
When I wrote in that journal, I did not fully believe I was a drunk…..until I was drunk.
When I went out to start my drinking and I was well on my way to getting drunk….I wasn’t a drunk.
I was having a good time…..as often as possible.
Once I was out of whatever chemical was available for the night, reality set in.
I was a drunk.
But that feeling always past once I got a little sleep and was able to go out again.
I was just too hard on myself…..
I was unwilling to stop.
I was willing to die to maintain my addiction(s).
Luckily, for me, my willingness to not stop led to my arrest.
Which eventually led to a willingness to change.
Which gave me the ability to write about this almost 9 years after it was originally written and objectively look at my past and know that without a shadow of a doubt that for me-
A life spent IN bars
Led to time BEHIND bars
In order for me to RAISE the bar
I had to learn to PASS the bar.
Life is full of second chances. Sometimes that chance involves changing….
Life is worth the efforts of REAL change
12 thoughts on “The Bar Tender”
Wisdom….from being there.
And for doing what’s necessary to not return “there”….
Yes, that too.
My “drug” may have been different, but the story is the same (except living with mom).
Thanks for sharing……sobriety is is a beautiful thing.
Yes sir it is. Better than I could have ever imagined.
Very moving, brother. Thanks for sharing this with us. Stay well.
I think it is simply amazing that you have documentation of your time in active addiction, tangible proof of a life to which you do not want to return. What a gift, and I feel like I’ve been given one, since you shared it!
I never intended to keep it. I left it behind, among with all my other belonging during a geographical change. My Mother sent it to me along with other knick knacks that my brother salvaged after I left about 8 years ago. The past came back to teach….not to haunt this time.
I shake my head at some of the crazy shit I would write when blitzed. I thought it so profound at the time, now I just find it sad. But the past is a great teacher… Thanks for this!
Thanks for reading it! I must have thought it was pretty profound as well at the time. Now I read it and I say-