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Sober in The Bahamas? Really?

Sober in The Bahamas? Really?

Staniel blue

 

I have a confession to make: I am a little afraid to go back to The Bahamas. It’s the land of “wine for breakfast” and “every day’s a holiday,” after all. I was looking through some old photographs this weekend, and I was back in Blue Heaven – I could smell the rust and salt. Having to leave Staniel Cay is the one regret I have trouble putting to rights in my (oh so) sober head. Dee says I would have died if I’d stayed and she’s probably right, but what a way to go: sky and sea so blue, it’s like being inside a prism…

 

About a year after I left The Bahamas and when I started posting blogs to Facebook, a woman named Marty wrote to me from Staniel. It was one of those Facebook private messages and she said she had been worried about me the whole time I was living in the islands. She could see, even on the “Island of the Lotus Eaters“, that I was in trouble with alcohol. I give her credit for not approaching me like the Jehovah’s Witness missionaries who ventured onto my deck, heaven-bent on saving me from myself. I would not have listened. I would have said something mean.

 

I found out Marty had been sober, and a big proponent of AA for more than 30 years. Imagine the strength of that – living someplace where it is common to see people of all walks, on the public dock at 7 AM with beers in hand. Where the main source of entertainment is drinking and smoking pot (and boating and vacationing and snorkeling and island hopping and golf-carting: all under the influence). Where there are no 12 Step meetings.

 

Marty’s invited me to come see her. I think I might. Next year: maybe I’ll be ready next year…

 

She wrote this, and it’s great:

serenity deck

The Bahamas and Alcoholism – 36 Years Sober in Paradise

 

Today I’m not drinking because I’m going back to The Bahamas (some day) and I want to look really good (and not drive my golf cart onto the decorative rock in front of the yacht club…)

 

How come you’re not drinking?

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Comments (8)

  1. Avatar
    Tim S
    May 18, 2016

    >Where there are no 12-step meetings

    http://www.12stepbahamas.com/

    • Marilyn
      Marilyn
      May 19, 2016

      I refer you to Richard’s comment – still laughing… And there are probably AA meeting s in Nassau or other big cities, but where Marty lives… more like Richard’s story. Thanks for the link.
      XXXOOO
      M

  2. Avatar
    Richard
    May 18, 2016

    M. I attended what was supposed to be a twelve step meeting in the Abacos. On the way there
    I encountered a “weaving” drunk. He soon fell down. After checking on him, I asked some bystanders his name…..I think it was Charles.
    I went to the meeting, where there was one other person. I asked if this was a typical meeting, she said no, normally Charles was there.
    I said sorry, Charles is relaxing on the sidewalk.
    Oh ,the islands……. R

    • Marilyn
      Marilyn
      May 19, 2016

      Now this is funny. And EXACTLY the kind of story I’m talking about. Love it.
      XXXOOO
      M

  3. Avatar
    Craig
    May 18, 2016

    Great post! I have had similar anxieties going back to my party places – the cottage, the golf course on the coast in South Carolina, Vail…. The list is long. When I’ve returned sober I’ve found a fresh new appreciation for my happy places, and in fact find I am enjoying them more than I could have imagined. The ski trip this winter was probably my 15th with my kids, and they were in passionate agreement that it was by far the best one yet. And I know it’s because I was sober and present. Thank you for this blog and the opportunity for me to share in return!

    • Marilyn
      Marilyn
      May 19, 2016

      I am finding new meaning in everything I do now, and being “present” for holidays, milestones, mornings and even a game of pool can be a great reinforcement to sobriety. I have this ONE remaining challenge. Not ready to face it. Nope. Not yet. Glad you like the blog and welcome the comments!
      XXXOOO
      M

  4. Avatar
    Tim S
    May 19, 2016

    You’re welcome. I couldn’t point the Bahamas out on a map and did not know that it’s large enough to have big cities and not-big-cities.

    Richard’s comment is well-taken (and funny) but can you imagine how grateful the woman at the meeting was to have another sober alcoholic to talk to while she waited week after week for Charles to get it?

    • Marilyn
      Marilyn
      May 19, 2016

      Yup. And that’s what I mean about resolve. Turning up for a meeting even though you might be the only one there.
      XXXOOO
      M

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