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So Weeps the Willow


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Hi!  This is the discussion thread for So Weeps the Willow, a story in three parts.  The first section of the tale is called Sobriety, and it involves  the blog entries of a young man in his mid-thirties who is abusing alcohol.  Jake Ogden is troubled, and we will get to know him through his own words and reactions to the events of the day.  His approach with using a blog as a kind of 'talk therapy' has generated some interesting comments.  Please feel free to add your thoughts and opinions.

 

Cole Matthews.

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  • 1 year later...

I can well see how writing a story about one's thoughts and feelings while going through the stresses of getting sober would be useful to the writer. Each paragraph is like a session with a shrink without the stress of having another person, a stranger, there. At any rate, it might be useful.

Many people do not realize how much of a poison alcohol is to the human system because while it is destroying our body, it feels so good to the brain. That makes it terribly hard to 'dry out'. The negative physical investment one has made during the process of drinking, comes back with interest during the drying out period. 

 am fascinated with the story being written and will follow it closely as it goes on.

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A straight friend I met while I was homeless had been a heroin addict. We bonded because he was waffling about getting tested when the county’s HIV Testing Van stopped at the shelter we were staying at. I told him I’d get tested if he’d get tested too. He agreed and was ecstatic that he tested negative! He was convinced that he’d been infected.

 

Within half-an-hour of meeting him and before the testing van showed up, he’d told me his entire life story. He managed to kick the heroin habit with the help of methadone. He then proceeded to wean himself off Methadone. I found out later that he had been driving drunk and killed someone when he was young. The stress and guilt led to the addiction. It was very difficult and he had many relapses with drinking.

 

He disappeared soon after I met him and was surprised to catch up with him at another shelter. He had gone out and gotten drunk on his monthly Social Security payment. Apparently he’d been taken from a motel to the hospital because he’d been found in a pool of blood. The hospitalizations happened twice when we were staying in the shelters.

 

He’d consumed so much alcohol over time that he’d burned away the surface of his esophagus! His doctors warned him that he needed to stop drinking right away. He was in danger of bleeding out through the damaged tissue and the EMTs would never be able to get there in time to save him.

 

I kept talking to him and encouraged him to quit drinking and smoking. Somehow he managed to do both with the help of Alcoholics Anonymous. I was really worried that he was going to relapse and spend his Social Security money on alcohol again. I begged him to give some of his money to someone for safekeeping so he wouldn’t waste it all as soon as he got it! I told him I’d hold it for him, or if he didn’t trust me, to have someone else he trusted save it for him. He laughed at me and told me he wouldn’t get drunk again.

 

I was shocked and extremely pleased that he was right! He stayed sober and got an apartment and even a car. We talked occasionally, but it wasn’t the same as seeing him every day. He also lost the easy access to weekly AA meetings on site.

 

About a year later, I got a call from him. It seemed like a final goodbye call. He sounded really bad. He was very weepy and apologetic. I really didn’t expect to ever hear from him again. It happened to be a few days before Easter and he had been a very regular church attendee. I urged him to go to church because I knew how important it was to him. He kept telling me he couldn’t go. I was very worried when the call ended.

 

A week later we talked again on the phone and he sounded much, much better. I was hopeful that he’d turned a corner and was rebounding. Unfortunately, he was found dead in his apartment. He was surrounded by blood. I think he just gave up because life got to be too difficult.

 

 

But I learned a lot from my friend. I wish things had worked out differently for him, but I’m glad I knew him. And, no, he wasn’t my type and I wasn’t physically attracted to him (my therapist was worried about that).  ;–)

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4 hours ago, droughtquake said:

A straight friend I met while I was homeless had been a heroin addict. We bonded because he was waffling about getting tested when the county’s HIV Testing Van stopped at the shelter we were staying at. I told him I’d get tested if he’d get tested too. He agreed and was ecstatic that he tested negative! He was convinced that he’d been infected.

 

Within half-an-hour of meeting him and before the testing van showed up, he’d told me his entire life story. He managed to kick the heroin habit with the help of methadone. He then proceeded to wean himself off Methadone. I found out later that he had been driving drunk and killed someone when he was young. The stress and guilt led to the addiction. It was very difficult and he had many relapses with drinking.

 

He disappeared soon after I met him and was surprised to catch up with him at another shelter. He had gone out and gotten drunk on his monthly Social Security payment. Apparently he’d been taken from a motel to the hospital because he’d been found in a pool of blood. The hospitalizations happened twice when we were staying in the shelters.

 

He’d consumed so much alcohol over time that he’d burned away the surface of his esophagus! His doctors warned him that he needed to stop drinking right away. He was in danger of bleeding out through the damaged tissue and the EMTs would never be able to get there in time to save him.

 

I kept talking to him and encouraged him to quit drinking and smoking. Somehow he managed to do both with the help of Alcoholics Anonymous. I was really worried that he was going to relapse and spend his Social Security money on alcohol again. I begged him to give some of his money to someone for safekeeping so he wouldn’t waste it all as soon as he got it! I told him I’d hold it for him, or if he didn’t trust me, to have someone else he trusted save it for him. He laughed at me and told me he wouldn’t get drunk again.

 

I was shocked and extremely pleased that he was right! He stayed sober and got an apartment and even a car. We talked occasionally, but it wasn’t the same as seeing him every day. He also lost the easy access to weekly AA meetings on site.

 

About a year later, I got a call from him. It seemed like a final goodbye call. He sounded really bad. He was very weepy and apologetic. I really didn’t expect to ever hear from him again. It happened to be a few days before Easter and he had been a very regular church attendee. I urged him to go to church because I knew how important it was to him. He kept telling me he couldn’t go. I was very worried when the call ended.

 

A week later we talked again on the phone and he sounded much, much better. I was hopeful that he’d turned a corner and was rebounding. Unfortunately, he was found dead in his apartment. He was surrounded by blood. I think he just gave up because life got to be too difficult.

 

 

But I learned a lot from my friend. I wish things had worked out differently for him, but I’m glad I knew him. And, no, he wasn’t my type and I wasn’t physically attracted to him (my therapist was worried about that).  ;–)

:hug: 

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