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Are You a HAM Sandwich? (Hardly Adult Myself)

Sandwich Generation: Those Baby Boomers sandwiched between the need to care for their dependent children and the responsibility of caring for their older parents

Today, I am writing for those of us who feel completely overwhelmed by external circumstances whilst trying to battle our inner demons.

Colloquially in Australia, a fool can be referred to as, a Ham Sandwich or a Pork Chop (perhaps from being out of place at a Jewish wedding?). And recently in urban linguistics, some of us Baby Boomers (1946–1964) have found ourselves in the sandwich between child raising and parenting our parents.

By the time I got to my last drink I was 44. At this time I had my youngest child at home still and my Mum showing advanced signs of Dementia.

Being an alcoholic isn’t simple at any time, and we all know that we love a good excuse. We can drink at a wedding, funeral, over a promotion, job loss. It’s nice to have a drink with friends, and by yourself — when you win a prize or do your arse at the races.

We can also be tremendously creative at reasons not to STOP drinking. Too young — too old to teach an old dog new tricks; too sick or — not that bad!

Here’s the rub: It doesn’t matter what our circumstances, it’s time to stop NOW  if you’re an alcoholic. Only we can decide if we are or not, and denial is a real shit!

“Look at us Mum: You’re going nuts and I’m stone cold insane…the blind leading the blind!”.


In the beginning of my recovery Mum and I would laugh. I said, “Look at us Mum: You’re going nuts and I’m stone cold insane…the blind leading the blind!”.

Eventually, Mum was beyond my ability to care for and now she lives in a High Care facility for the ‘criminally lovely people’. My son is at home with me still!

Once we realise that the world still goes round whether we drink or not, and that the only proper course of action is to stop drinking, the various methods of staying sober are there to choose from. I am biased toward the way that worked for me.

I went to a meeting a day for 90 days, got a sponsor and did step work. Then I did it again.

But the miraculous thing is that somewhere in that merry-go-round I found spirituality. Most of my friends are a weird mix of Christians, atheists, spiritualists, tree huggers, Muslims, Jews, and Buddhists. I have one Hindi friend too.

I think they’re all nuts, and so are most of my non-alkie Buddhist sangha friends — all mad as cut snakes!!!

Somehow through prayer and meditation, meetings and loving people we recover. It doesn’t matter if we have responsibilities or no responsibilities. It little very little we have money or lots. If our arse starts on fire, WE JUST DON”T DRINK!

Accomplishing the mental and spiritual transformation is the most difficult part, I find. We have all seen amazing physical recovery stories throughout our lives, but the hardest recovery is to try and think our way out of a mental disease.

I hope your parents are okay. Our children are here to teach us and when I got taught that lesson I was so relieved. He still reminds me from time to time.

love alwaz
mike

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