This will be a quick one, more of “stream of consciousness” writing than I usually do. And I had a whole nother blog post in mind for today about my job at the airport. And I will post that one eventually. But you see, I just found a towel.
The towel was in the dryer and it belonged to Mitch. Mitch “went back out” (AA code for “he drank/used again”) a couple days ago. So I don’t think Mitch will be coming back for his towel, at least no time soon. He left his security keycard to doors at his volunteer job on the counter in the kitchen yesterday too. I grabbed the card and will see it gets to the proper people. Mitch leaving his towel in the dryer brought back a flood of all the guys who have lived in this house during my stay here, most of whom went back out at one point or another. Some even did it while they were living in the house. Mitch did it while he was in the same living room as other tenants. Pretty balls-y, for lack of a better term (actually, there are similar terms, but “balls-y” is perfect for drinking from a Monster bottle full of whiskey while sitting in the same room, drunk as a monkey, with other guys in recovery.
I should have seen it for what it was right then. Honestly, I kind of did. I was so tired from getting 4 hours of sleep then working all day, I just wanted to eat dinner and go to bed because I was going to be getting up again at 4:30 AM the next morning to go to work again. But as soon as I heard Mitch talking one certain way, I should have known right then.
“You guys don’t know nothin’,” he said in his drunken stupor. “I’ve got wisdom, I’ve got a lot more years than you and I know how things work,” he blathered. I’ve heard this same routine before from the aged drunk. I should have jumped right then. But I didn’t. I went to bed. And as I was plunging towards sleep, my thoughts were “Maybe I should have stepped in. I’ve heard drunks talk that way before. Just get up Andy. Just get up and – ZZZZZZZZZZZZ …” Those were my thoughts.
Woke up the next morning and Mitch had woken up another Mitch and they had Breathalized Mitch (He failed miserably) and kicked him out (rules of the house) Mitch had gone to treatment with Old Mitch, so he and another Mitch took him to a hotel and Mitch stayed with him while the other came home. When I woke up the next morning (at 4:30, remember? Try and keep up) Mitch was awake and the Mitch who had administered the breath test was still asleep and needed to get up to be at his job at 6 AM. So I woke him up and made coffee for all three of us. It was a little wake-up AA meeting in the kitchen before the sun came up. And as one of the coffee-drinking Mitch’s observed, I wasn’t much of a catcher, but I filled in as pitcher in this episode. I can live with that.
The concept of alcoholic, or “stinkin’”, thinking, is what leads guys who live in my house to go back out. It’s a swirl of thoughts like “I’ll show these guys I don’t need them” and “This recovery stuff is a bunch of crap” and “Nobody understands me” and “My foot hurts”, all rolled together. Anything to justify the first drink and all that come after. Some guys get kicked out and stay sober. Some guys get loaded, then go to a meeting and stumble around filling coffee cups (it’s happened, a Mitch who lived in my house), which is the desperation of the alcoholic writ large, some guys go back to treatment for the 6th time (seen it happen, another Mitch who lived here). And on and on. That’s the madness of the alcoholic, the mania of addiction. Some guys are semi-schizophrenic create an alter-ego and deal with Him on a regular basis in a way that somehow makes sense to others. Some guys drown themselves in the Program and host Big Book readings and poker games at their homes. And some guys go back out. Over and over again. Boom.
Like I said, a quick post, but significant to me. I’ve seen it all, everything addiction can do to a person. That, dear reader, is why I’m committed to recovery and staying plugged in. For all those reasons. I just don’t want to be “that guy.”