I thought to myself this weekend:
“A cold beer would be so good right now.”
I even thought about whiskey. I thought about how the throat numbing and chest warming brown liquid would feel as it traveled to my stomach. I craved it.
Lately, I have been watching a show, Rescue Me, about a fire station in New York City post 9/11. The main character, Tommy, played by comedian Dennis Leary is struggling with PTSD, survivors’ guilt and a fierce case of alcoholism. He often sees, and speaks to friends who passed away on 9/11 and others who died during fires his station was sent to extinguish. Essentially, he talks to ghosts from his past.
I relate to Tommy on several levels. He is a father who couldn’t maintain a healthy relationship with the mother of his children. He’s a macho guy—doesn’t want to talk about his feelings, and seldom admits when he is wrong. Tommy also tries to find momentary comfort through intimate encounters with women he meets at the bar, or old flames from the past.
Intimate encounters that just stoke the flames of loneliness as no continuity is found when seeking comfort from strange.
Tommy picks up the bottle, then puts it down for a while…only to pick it up again when life tragedy strikes. He runs to booze in times of despair—to forget.
He has rescued countless men, women and children from burning buildings—but as the title of the show indicates, Tommy needs to think: “who is going to Rescue Me?”
I relate to Tommy because I too think about drinking when life issues surface that I don’t feel I’m emotionally equipped to handle. Or situations that I just want to go away. I know that drinking won’t solve the problem in the long term, but alcoholics tend to look for short term solutions. Thankfully, I haven’t picked the bottle up since I quit 500 and some days ago—but I was damn close to jumping off the wagon last weekend. I scared myself.
I relate to Tommy because I’ve been trying to find comfort in frequent, short lived intimate encounters with women. I would need three hands to count the women I have been with the last six months—and one of them even told me, after I stopped responding to her 60 messages a day, “how would you feel if your daughter met a guy like you?”
My response, sadly enough: “I would tell her to ditch the prick. Forget about him.”
Like quitting alcohol—I tell myself to stop jumping into these short, emotional roller coaster rides with women. Each time I say that, another attractive woman comes by and I think of how nice it would feel to not wake up alone. Damn, as I’m writing this, I realize how selfish that sounds.
I’m back to the point where I feel like life is best the 50 percent of the time Lila is with me. I think of drinking less—and random women aren’t in and out of the apartment. It’s just her and I…father and daughter.
I blog a lot when I’m feeling good about things, but today the gloomy side of recovery is unavoidable—it’s another day that I need to take a long look in the mirror.