Ed whispered in my ear, “Don’t give up the bar stool. I’ll be right back.” Then he picked up his icy cold draft beer and headed over to see his friend. I noticed that Ed left the cigarettes on the bar, so I was confident that he would be back shortly. I hated sitting on the hard bar stool. My back was hurting and the stench of garlic from the weird little man sitting next to me was killing me. While I sipped my gin and tonic, and smoked my Virginia Slim menthol, I kept hoping that someone I knew would come by, so I wouldn’t have to talk to the strange little man. When he smiled at me, I could see a great big gap between his nicotine-stained yellow front teeth. Each time he opened his mouth to tell me about his boat, I got sprayed with nasty bar snack crumbs. Finally, I picked up my drink and turned my back to him. When I went to take a sip, I noticed crumbs in my drink. I couldn’t bring myself to drink it. As I put it on the bar, I ordered another one. While I was waiting for a fresh new drink, I looked over to see what was keeping Ed so long. Two tough-looking redheads—that’s what was keeping him. Because I had never seen these women before, I thought they might be new clients. Clients were always bothering Ed, looking for free advice when he was out for a relaxing drink. So I gave him the benefit of the doubt. I turned around to find my new drink in front of me. As the grumpy bartender shrugged his shoulders, I thought I detected a smirk on his face. With a little sarcasm in his voice he said, “The gentleman bought you this drink.” When I smiled and thanked the little man, he grinned from ear to ear. His eyes lit up. Something stirred inside me. As I attempted to light up my cigarette, I noticed my hands were shaking. Leaning over, the little man flipped open his Zippo lighter and lit my cigarette for me. As he did, he touched my hand ever so softly. His gentle touch sent a shudder through me. Suddenly, the strange little man paid his bar tab and said goodbye, leaving an empty bar stool available and a feeling of emptiness deep down inside of me. After I took a drag of my cigarette and a big sip of my drink, the gin burned through me with a sudden warmth, I felt better. Glancing over my shoulder to check on Ed, I witnessed a red-headed woman kissing him. Faster than the flip of the Zippo lighter, I flipped right out of my barstool. It felt like I had been propelled across the crowded room. Within seconds, I pulled the woman away from Ed, and somehow, she fell to the ground. Next thing I knew, I was on the ground, too. Wrapping the woman’s long dark auburn hair around my fist, I started banging her head up and down on the dirty floor. Instantly, two bartenders leapt across the bar and pulled me off the frantic woman. Escorting me out of the bar, the bartender told me I had to leave the premises. Outside the bar, I sat on a wooden bench. I was in shock. I couldn’t understand how after only a few drinks, I had brutally attacked an unsuspecting woman in a frenzied rage. I felt ashamed. When I got home, I sat and drank, and I thought. The more I drank, the more I drowned out the shame of going berserk in front of all those people at the bar. After a little while, the feelings of true remorse subsided. Developing deep down inside of me was an intense emotion—revenge. Screaming for vengeance, the alcohol voice inside my head convinced me that I was the victim. Then, a new vindictive spirit emerged...
On that fateful day so long ago, I embraced silence. It was a gift from God. In His infinite wisdom and perfect timing, He gave me the silence I needed to learn His lessons. It was in the silence that I became aware that the incessant alcoholic voice in my head had stopped. It was in that silence that I knew my addiction had died…
...Although I was in my final stage of life, I was completely overwhelmed by a feeling of gratitude. As the feeling swelled and swelled inside of me, I felt an aliveness that I had never known before. Bursting with joy for being alive, I felt like I was flying high on life. In that awareness, I found myself. God used that moment to give me a glimpse of who He had intended me to be. From that day on I started to practice gratitude. When I started to meditate, I was so surprised to feel that same feeling inside of me, that aliveness, the bursting with joy. The more I meditated, the better the sensation became. It didn’t happen overnight, but with time it came. You can have that same feeling, too. Once you make meditation part of your life, you will be able to get there, too.
In this raw, candid memoir, Deborah O’Brien describes her life growing up and the steady progression of alcoholism that led her on a path of self-destruction. After twenty-four years of silence, O’Brien reveals the lessons she learned about life while she was dying of an acute overdose of pills and alcohol.
Bliss is an inspiring, uplifting story about the strength of the human spirit and the power of redemption. O’Brien shares her message of hope. She believes that spiritual awakening is accessible to everyone.
Learn a simple yet profound method of meditation to improve your life and your connection to the Divine.
Learn how to cope effectively with pain and stress instead of trying to escape from it.
Improve your self-image and relationships with others.
Learn to be free, to be you, and find the bliss that is waiting inside of you…
About the Author
Deborah O’Brien is a self-image consultant, interior designer and guides others in meditation on Cape Cod. She also teaches Faith Formation at her local church.
Deborah and her husband, Ed, reside in Falmouth, Massachusetts. They are blessed with sixteen grandchildren.