Snot-Nosed Alcoholic

“Forget mistakes. Forget failures. Forget everything except what you’re going to do now and do it.”–William Durant

My AA sponsor leads the Monday night meetings and he decided the format of last night’s meeting would be that we’d go around the room in order sharing (as opposed to random sharing). That meant I was the seventh or so person to share, so I had about twenty minutes to think about what I was going to say. I knew I was going to get emotional, so I braced myself as best I could. I began sharing about what had happened at work that morning: I had a meeting with my boss in which we discussed some things that had been going on, and to make a long story short, my upcoming vacation home is going to be considered a “mental health trip” and I’ll therefore be eligible to use my sick time instead of my vacation time for the trip. I cried in her office because I was so touched by the goodwill gesture. This was before she told me her father had been an alcoholic who committed suicide, and that I needed to take care of myself first and foremost. Telling that part of the story in the AA meeting just sent me over the edge and I ran out of the room in tears. I spent 10 minutes in the hospital parking lot bawling, snot pouring out my nose and flying off my face into the desert wind–a pretty picture, right? But wait, it gets better! Since I was wearing some of my favourite Original Penguin board shorts with no pockets in them, my cell phone/wallet/keys were all back in the AA meeting room, so I had no way of getting into my truck to get some Kleenex to wipe my nose, much less the snot off my hands. I was finally able to get my spare key container from under my truck, but my hands were so snotty that I couldn’t get the blasted thing open to get my key out! After much cursing and even more blurry-eyed crying, I took some deep breaths, composed myself, and began walking back inside the building. I splashed some water on my face in the bathroom and returned to the meeting room. It was definitely a God thing that all my belongings were still in the meeting room; there’s no doubt that I would’ve just driven off otherwise.

Yeah, pretty much, Salem...

Yeah, pretty much, Salem…

I’ve said this every. single. time I’ve sobered up, but it’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life. And I’ve written a thesis on a 700-page book while doing an internship and working full-time, run three cross-country seasons in high school with a debilitating groin injury, dealt with depression, and battled many other personal issues that I won’t go into here. Addiction absolutely takes the cake, hands down. And I’ve talked about that before, so I won’t beat a dead horse. There are other blogs which are actually addiction-centric by definition, and I realize I’ve only set up a tent pole for that here temporarily at; I’m by no means an authority on addictions. It just happens to be weighing super-heavy on my heart right now. Anyone who wanted to trace the chronology of my soberings up–notice the plural form–over the last three years could easily type in “sober” on the search field in the right hand column of the blog and see how many times I’ve been down this road before. I could choose to say it’s sad how many times I’ve failed, but see the quote at the top of this blog entry to address that concern.

My primary focus right now–besides staying sober, of course–is to try to break some of my negative thought patterns and focus on more positive things. I’m very cynical, so this is downright hard for me to do. Essentially the undoing and unlearning the years upon years of negative thoughts and behaviours. It’ll take time, but it’s one step at a time and one foot forward at a time, and it’ll eventually happen, or so I hope and pray. All in God’s due time…

Hope everyone’s having a smashing week. I’ll have a full report on my trip back to Georgia late next week when I return. I’ll end this week’s blog with a quote that would’ve been perfect for last week’s blog–I found it on Tumblr the day after I posted *last week’s blog*, naturally! Enjoy it and thanks, as always, for reading.–brt

“The word ‘normal’ applied to any human creature is utterly meaningless.”—Terence Rattigan, ‘Separate Tables,’ 1954

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  1. You certainly put your heart and soul into your blog posts. I admire your candor and sympathize with your struggles. It’s good that you recognize a need to focus on the good things you can and will do, even though it’s hard when you have a skeptical nature.

    Best wishes for your trip to GA!


    Sent from my iPhone

    • Thanks so much, Peter. I’m still glad I didn’t fly home last month, or else I wouldn’t have gotten to meet nice people like you and Lauren. And then there’s always that story about jumping out of the car (haha). Enjoy your weekend and I can’t wait to be in Palm Springs again and look you and Niki up for a tour!

      Brian T.


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