Saturday, January 22, 2011

Night out to dance

We went out last night for dinner and to listen to music. The original plan was to go on the boat, but the tides conspired against us. So we decided to do a night on the town.

Actually we went to the Shrimp Shack which is just up the road a few miles from the marina. A few weeks ago we stopped in there and heard the most amazing guitar player. Chris and the owner team up to rip out some great cover songs.

The place has a small dance floor where people actually do some talented two step and shag. Women and men, women and women dancing and having a great time. And some of these couples really know how to move.

The seafood basically is fried Southern. As the owner said from the microphone, "The seafood sucks". Okay, so the food is definitely not the attraction. But the music is.

Chris, who travels down from NC every weekend to play, has had quite the career. He played in Delbert McClinton's band and with Jimmy Buffet and the Coral Reefers. Watching him play, I figured somewhere along the line he blew it because no way does this fellow belong in a shrimp shack playing covers.

Anyway, last night Chris came over to talk to us. We were sitting in front of the stage so he smiled and came over. During the conversation, out of the blue, he said that he had to quit drinking. His doctor told him that his liver enzymes were a mess. He asked "How long? A week, a month...". The doctor said "For good if you want to live."

So C. shared that she quit drinking about four and a half years ago. Chris said that he was 2 1/2 weeks sober. He said that he was still having a feeling of being hung over even though he hadn't had a drink. So he and C. had a conversation about the first few weeks of sobriety. And then it was time for him to get back on stage and play.

There are no coincidences. I believe some how, he and C. were meant to connect. We left around midnight hoping that Chris stays sober. C. said to keep in touch if he wanted.

The insanity of alcoholism can wreck so much of life. This morning a sailing friend called to tell me that she and her partner won't be meeting us at the anchorage. He got roaring drunk last night and woke her up at 4 AM to scream and yell at her. She got her bag together and left the boat which belongs to her. As someone who is still hoping for her partner to change, she didn't realize that she could have asked him to leave her boat. We are so used to focusing on others that we don't stop to consider ourselves and our well being. I tell her to take care of herself. I have hope that both the alcoholic and the person who is in their orbit will quit the dance which is neither graceful or pretty.


  1. Your date night out was great on many counts. Being in a place to relate to someone new to sobriety must have been a positive emotion for C.
    She sounds like someone who will always remember her first few weeks sober. Sounds like you two had a great night.

  2. Before I read the entire post I thought some kind of abuse when you said he was too talented to be at the Shrimp Shack. It is good he felt comfortable talking about it with the two of you. Sounds like awareness and maybe he will make that call.

  3. What a great post! Sounds like the meeting was divine intervention. I had a coffee date last night like that... I just sat there thinking, "This is a God thing. I couldn't have arranged this if I had tried." Thankfully C is willing and open and humble enough to share her life with others. Bless her heart.

  4. I have just returned from the funeral of a dear friend ... he died at the age of 52, after suffering a stroke, liver and kidney failure ... all as a result of his drinking.
    He had 4 years of sobriety when he died but it was too late to undo the damage that alcohol had done. It was so sad to see his Mom having to bury her son. The church was standing room only with his AA and Al-anon friends.

  5. Syd, I'm really in that place of not knowing whether my husband will ever go into recovery. I have been attending Al-Anon for almost 6 months now, and have learned to place the focus on myself. However, I would be lying if were to say it isn't hard. I love the man, but my feelings for him are being chipped away. I did tell him this (finally) as kindly as possible, and he attended a recovery meeting (not AA) last week. Pretty sure he hasn't been back. He got drunk again last night, along with all the behaviors that accompany that state. I can understand why your friend left her own boat--it can still be so unclear even if you're working the program. It really is one day at a time. I'll keep her in my thoughts.


  6. Your post was timely. Thank you.

  7. There are no coincidences in life. When I am more present through working my program I am better able to see...I believe there are message all around me if I am clear enough to see them.
    I get all caught up in the problems
    Glad C could be of service to other alcoholics who are still suffering.

  8. I love how we get to carry the message wherever we go. there is no shortage of active alcoholics, so there is often an opportunity to present a picture of hope to someone who has not yet found a way to crawl out of the pit :)
    Hope the guitar guy and the raving boat guy see sense and get home and dry :)

  9. Is it even possible to ask a rip roaring drunk to leave? My experience is that they want to argue with you and won't leave. I am not certain how they leave (drive?). Could be she did not want the drunk to drive in that condition.

  10. Leaving the boat instead of asking someone else to leave spoke to me loud and clear. It's a metaphor of all the ways I think too much about what other people will thing instead of trusting God in taking care of myself. Your night sounds like fun. And I love shrimp cooked any way, even bad. :)

  11. I agree - encounters such as this are anything but a coincidence. I'm so grateful that I no longer have to live with active alcoholism and screaming abuse.

  12. I hope your sailing friend will leave that jerk.

  13. our illness is everywhere... I beleive we "owe" it to folsk to be sober and ready to help when the need arises. What a wonderful tale, and a great opportunity for C to give back what she was freely given! Awesome!

  14. It never ceases to amaze me how pervasive this disease can be. It touches so many more people around us than we care to recognize. If we were better at opening up and talking to each other about our faults, I somehow think that this disease would have a harder time taking hold, but our society is so very very good at secrets. Fortunately, HP puts us in the right company when it is desperately needed.


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