Thanks for the responses

I had many responses via text, email, and private message to my post yesterday. Thanks to all who responded. No matter what the tone of the message, I know you took the time to touch base with me because you care about me.

First of all, thank you to two people who are going to try to help me find work, something which I can walk or trolley to and which will be something I enjoy. Thanks to them also for ensuring that I will be able to get out and see my friends this weekend. Thanks also to the person who made them aware of the situation.

Thanks to two other people who slipped me cash as they shook my hand. The very first thing I did when I got the cash was to go down to the Blind Bear to clear out that bar tab I left open on Tuesday. I found out it had already been paid.

I had a couple of responses saying I need to get in therapy (which is certainly true) and recommended options. Thank you for your help.

Two of you hit the nail on the head. I have gone out to drink socially with my friends for quite some time, but the period when I officially crossed the border into alcoholism was 2015. I had a very bizarre situation develop during that time, one I’ve alluded to numerous times on this blog – gaslighting and the whole “people being shitty” thing. One of my best friends, who means well, tells me “it’s not important.” He’s wrong. It’s very important. It has messed up my psyche for years, and the situation persists to this day unresolved. I can’t just “get over it” and “forget that it happened.” Two of my friends, in different ways, said that in therapy I need to first deal with the mental and emotional trauma of that situation, and then deal with the alcohol dependency issues that arose from it. That’s EXACTLY what I believe. If a therapist tells me differently, though, I will listen.

I had several people who also suffer from depression and anxiety issues told me they could relate to my post, and while they understood how painful it must have been to throw my issues onto a public blog for all to see, it helped them.

I had a longtime friend who moved from Memphis many years ago tell me she does not see someone who lies and uses people in my posts, both here and on Facebook. She sees someone with great kindness who uplifts people. I needed to hear that. That was the response out of all of them that brought tears to my eyes.

By the way, I want to pat myself on the back for something I did last night. A friend met me at Bardog and palmed me a 20 as she said goodbye. With that 20 I could have stayed at Bardog past midnight and had 4 or 5 more beers. I didn’t even seriously consider it. All that was on my mind was getting the 20 over to Blind Bear and squaring up that tab I did not pay Tuesday. I like to go out and drink, but friends are more important. By making that decision I saw in myself what my friend from the previous paragraph sees in me.

I had a couple of friends send me links to AA meetings in the Downtown area, and one even offered to go to a meeting with me. I’m going to have to think about that. I’m not sure I’m down with the twelve-step thing. Although a lot of recovering alcoholics believe “it’s the only way,” I’m not sure I do. Also the steps don’t address the underlying issues that led to my dependency.

I had someone who’s been where I am now, with regards to alcohol, reach out and offer to talk, having gone through the process of getting sober over a decade ago. I may very well take him up on that. He’s offered before but I wasn’t ready. I will probably wait a few days to get in touch because the weekends tend to be his busy time.

I had a few friends contact me to say, “I don’t have any advice but I just want you to know you are loved.” Thanks. I appreciate that.

I had a friend with depression issues herself suggest some medications, both over-the-counter and prescription, that might help. I will think about that. The thing is, I do not have physical depression, meaning the chemical wiring of my brain. So, I don’t know if such meds would be appropriate for me. Again, that’s a question for a therapist.

I had a friend – the same one who means well – fuss at me for going to the Blind Bear right after making yesterday’s post, saying I had no business being in a bar. Well, first of all, I went to the Bear and told Tre, the bartender on duty, that I couldn’t afford to drink at the moment but asked if it would be all right if I just hung out there to be among friends. A couple of beers ended up getting bought for me, but I didn’t go down there with drinking as my intention.

Related to that, another friend emailed to say she too has depression issues most of the time, but when she gets out to the Blind Bear and is around the circle of friends that goes there – including me – she’s actually quite happy. Yes! That’s how it is for me too. Quitting the bars entirely would mean losing my support system.

Perhaps over time I will learn to drink non-alcoholic beverages when I go out to the bars. Thing is, though, I would feel like a bum sitting there drinking a $2 Coke for four hours when the bar stool could be filled by a customer who spent more. Maybe if I tipped according to the time I spent there rather than the amount of my tab it would be all right. And no I’m not going to even consider O’Doul’s. That stuff is garbage.

Anyway, thanks to everyone who replied – even those who lectured me because that is just the way you show you care. I’m sorry I haven’t responded to most of you individually yet. That was by design actually – my friends come from a broad range of backgrounds and have a diverse range of experiences. I wanted to take in what everyone had to say and see what resonates with me.

As of this morning the VALIC money had still not transferred into my account. I called the rep (again) and OF COURSE it went to voice mail. You know how most people cut out of work at 2 or 3 in the afternoon the Friday before Labor Day? I have the feeling he cut out about 9 AM. As soon as the transaction completes I am going to call corporate and complain about him.

So I will have anxiety over the weekend about that situation not being resolved. The good news is, my short-term situation has improved since yesterday. I am no longer stuck with $4 to my name, which I spent yesterday thinking I wouldn’t be able to go out this weekend at all. I now have spending money and a Blind Bear gift card thanks to the generosity of a few people. I will be able to see my friends this weekend. I will be able to get out somewhere tomorrow to watch Memphis beat Ole Miss.

No promises but I’m going to try to hunt down some Downtown news for a post tomorrow. Again, thanks for reading, everyone.