Woke up at 4am.
Flew from NY to Florida on Jet Blue, again.
Put down by 2PM a deposit on a stand-alone Mediterranean villa nestled in a private cul de sac, abutting a preserve that can never be developed. The house is only a 15-minute drive from a beautiful, protected barrier island beach.
This is the 7th day of being on the wagon. Counting days never turned into a hyper accelerated version of The Promises before.
If I seem to be smugly gloating or showing off or minimizing the hell of alcoholism, I’m not.
My wife and I have lived a shit life for the last 20 years due to various, unfortunate ظروف (pronounced zuruf, meaning circumstances). Part of that tale of woe was a result of my return to the booze after an extended (as in decades) absence.
Ultimately, drinking to excess for long periods of time out of despair reduces most everyone to a statistical cliché, shorn of whatever it is that makes an individual unique.
AA claims the road to sobriety necessitates devolving away from one’s egoic sense of uniqueness. I completely disagree. I think stopping drinking has to do with precisely the opposite: to me, it’s more about finding, perhaps once again, what it is about us as human beings that’s distinctive and true, and celebrating that in healthy, productive ways.
The AA Way — exemplified by the so-called “12 Steps,” particularly as practiced in places like Florida, where AA is rife with quacks, religious charlatans and sexual predators who prey on the vulnerable — does not lead to permanent success for most drinkers (and I should emphasize here that AA was designed to help drinkers, not drug addicts) who are not inclined or predisposed to become orthodox sheep.
Labeling everyone who shows up in the rooms as nothing more than “pigeons” (a derogatory terms still used by “old timers”) whose only chance is to “surrender” and beg on bended knees for spiritual salvation is beyond reductive: it is, to put it starkly, dangerous bullshit, which amounts to malpractice, were it that the state of treatment for alcoholism in the first quarter of the 21st century could be deemed to be soundly based on evidence-based care.
That said, now it seems to be our turn in the sun.
Praise be to Allah!
Let’s hope the housing market doesn’t crash anytime soon.
And most importantly — this above all else — that tomorrow will turn into Day 8: yom thamania, as you would say in Arabic.