Maid of Drunk Honor

I want to start asking friends for stories about me drunk. Stories I might have forgotten. Things I did when blacked out. But I am not ready to start asking without explaining that I am blogging about my mistakes. I still do not want real friends to know about this. Instead, I have my journals, regrets stuck in my head, and a few reminders every now and then.

A friend emailed me asking who a certain guy was. The guy is a mutual friend of ours on Facebook. I told him the guy was my date last year at a wedding. My friend said “did I meet him? Totally drawing a blank.” I am not sure if they met or if my friend was too drunk to remember because I was wasted.

Mistake #69- I was maid of honor in the wedding. I know nothing about bridal parties nor weddings. I actually think big weddings are a big waste of money. I was asked to be maid of honor because I introduced the bride and groom.

I was more nervous than the bride. I did not feel worthy enough to be in the wedding. The other bridesmaids were from a different world than I knew. They were upper class. I felt like the Beverly Hillbillies. Nothing I did or say was right. I felt I redeemed myself when I bought champagne, juice, fruit and croissants the morning of the wedding to enjoy while we got our hair and makeup done. To curb my nerves, I made my mimosas 3/4 champagne to 1/4 juice.

I was feeling good by wedding time. I was not drunk. Just slightly buzzed. The ceremony was beautiful. Due to the fact I am a very emotional person, I cried the entire service.

After the ceremony, I went to greet friends that knew. I relaxed when I saw them. “Yes, some of my type of people!”
They all complimented me. I grabbed a signature drink during to cocktail hour before running back for wedding photos. “Might as well give me two glasses. Photos might take awhile.”

The wedding party drank champagne in between photos. I chugged my glasses. It would have been almost easier to just drink from the bottle. I was drunk by the time we were introduced at the reception.

I gave a good maid of honor speech. (Before seeing the video, I asked the couple “did I slur much?” They said no and my speech was the best. It was the most personal one. I watched it and was happy I did not fall over. I can see how people do not realize how drunk I was at times. I appear the be functioning perfectly but I know I was very drunk. Not blackout drunk but I am shocked I was walking straight.)

I remember during the other speeches, I gave drunk commentary to my date. During dinner, I kept saying how stressed I was and shared with him bridesmaid gossip. I have no idea who overheard me. The other bridesmaids? Their family?

My date was a guy I met two years before at a Sanatcon event. I invited him because he went to a lot of the same events that the bride, groom, and our friends attend. I told him I knew he would be able to mingle with our friends while I was busy with maid of honor duties. He lived two hours away so I told him he could stay at my hotel rather than drive back after the reception. I emphasize I was not expecting sex, but honestly, I was hoping for it.

The reception was fun. I have a lot of photos of my friends, the married couple and I. My date met some of my friends. I introduced him to the newlyweds. There was a lot of dancing. I was barefoot most of it because I hate heels. I hid when the bouquet was thrown. There was a wonderful show for their departure.

After the couple left, I could not find my date. I went back and looked around the grounds. I texted him. He replied that he decided to drive home. He said he did not drink much so he was sober enough to drive. I was mad. First, he did not say bye. Second, he could have told me this decision in person. And third, there went my plans to seduce him. I asked if I scared him away. He said no but I seemed to be having too much fun. He did not think I would mind.

Maybe next time I see him or run into him at an event, I will ask him about the wedding. I will ask if I said anything stupid. Did I say anything that I thought sounded charming but repelled him instead? Did my intoxicated state irritate him? Was he afraid to share a hotel room with me? And maybe he is just too nice to tell me that?

I have not talked to him since. At least I did not fall in the cake or anything like that. Just ruined a friendship.

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No time

I have been working a lot lately. But that is a good thing.  It keeps me busy. I don’t have to worry about thinking of drinking or being tempted. My brain is being stimulated.  And I am making good money.

The downside is I do not have time for much else.  I am not working out as much as I want.  I am not reading the books in my bag nor enough blogs. I have been able to get movie and TV show time in while I multi-task with cleaning or working, but I would like a relaxing night of a movie with popcorn.

Tonight, I am excited for the season finale of Walking Dead. I like to think of fighting to survive the zombie apocalypse is like fighting to stay sober in this world that loves booze. All those drunks stumbling around like the undead… wanting to poison me with their alcohol… real life is more nightmarish than the show! And if a zombie infection does become real, wouldn’t I want to have my head clear and ready? And my body fit and healthy? I think that is the number one reason to get sober!
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Then right after, I am going in to work some overtime.

I just hope I can find time to write my daily blogs. Can I do this until January? I feel like writing up a spreadsheet of my mistakes to post daily along with my progress. I just don’t know when I will have time to do that. But I will try.

Mistake # 68- I went to Borneo to go scuba diving. I was spending a few days in Kota Kinabalu. It is the second largest city in Malaysia. I read that there was a famous Sunday market along the main street.

I was traveling alone. I went out Saturday night by myself. I watched the sunset while sampling speciality drinks at bars along the waterfront. One place had two-for-one drinks called Borneo Sunset. I drank a lot of those whole reading my book.

I walked back to my hostel around 11pm. I stopped to pick up a few beers to keep in the dorm fridge. My hostel was a little off the main road near some other backpacker hotels. The roads were dark.

Along the walk, I had a few cars pull over. Each had a guy driving and they held up condoms to the window. One yelled out “I show you good time.” I was drunk but that seemed to sober me up.

In the twenty minute walk, four cars approached me. The last one kept circling the block and followed me. I ran to my hotel. The front door was locked. I banged on it until the front desk woman woke up to let me in. I told her a man was following me. She shrugged her shoulders and went back to her mat.

Maybe if anything happened, I would have been blamed because I was drunk and wearing a tank top with skirt in a Muslim country?

I sat in the common area outside of the dorm rooms. I was too shaken to go to bed. I sat on my tablet chatting with friends in Europe and the US. I told them my scary tale of Borneo stalkers.

I drank my beers as my solution. I drank almost all of the bottles. I opened one but it was still full and next to me when I woke up the next day. I passed out on the couch in the common area. Travelers were all making their way around me and going about their days. I emptied the full beer in the sink and crawled into my bed.

I slept until early afternoon. I missed the Sunday Market. I wasted the day. Yet I still went out drinking again that night. I am lucky I survived so many risks.

All in the Family

I went to my mom’s last night to take her out for her birthday dinner. It was early but I have to work on her birthday. My brother and his girlfriend were going to join us.

She was happy to see me. I sat down at her kitchen table and we had some small talk. She asked “are you still doing the “no drinking” thing?” I said yes. It has been about 65 days. She smiled and said “that is great! How do you feel?” I was shocked. I told her I felt really good. But this was the first time she seemed to be very positive about my sobriety. Not questioning it or doubting it. I told her this is the longest I have ever been sober. The longest I ever went was “62 or 63” days according to my journals. She beamed with… was that pride? She said that is really great and she was so happy for me.

She was hesitant to pick a place for dinner. “Let’s just order pizza or take out.” My brother insisted we take her out. “Okay well where do you guys want to go.” Mom it is your birthday dinner. You pick a place. “But what do you guys want?” Fine, I want Indian. “Ew I don’t like Indian.” Exactly. Pick something you like.

We went to a restaurant pub. It had nice food. My mom and brother ordered Heineken and his girlfriend got some hard ice tea type of drink. I had my soda. Again, I had no desire to drink alcohol. But I did notice that they both had two beers each during dinner. I easily would have had at least four. I would have been eying the waitress every time my bottle got low to request a new one.

This morning, I woke up early and joined my mom in the living room for coffee while she read her newspaper. She shared some of the stories she was reading with me.  Then I talked about my friend’s visit. For the first time, I told my mom the story of me getting drunk at the wedding. I told her how I was “one of those” at the wedding. My mom said “I guess it means you can not handle drinking socially. I guess you can never drink again?” I said no, I can’t handle it. She said she guesses it is good I know that.

We talked about some of my drunk mistakes. I left out the ones about sex. We talked about all my lost phones and wallets and cameras. We talked about the people we know that are battling depression but still continue  to drink. I told her I feel happier now that I quit drinking. I did not go into details about my own struggle with depression. But I did say that I got depressed and cried when drunk a lot.

We talked about the different types of drunks. The party people. The depressed ones. The mean ones. She began to talk about my dad being a nasty drunk. Then she talked about her own father being a nasty drunk. This was the first time I ever heard about that. I never met her father because he died before I was born but all I’ve ever heard was praises about him being a great man. How he was better than my father. And now, for the first time in my 38 years, I hear he was a drunk but then he just quit. He just stopped drinking. And then he died of a stroke in his 50s. Is that why she used to always criticize my dad for not being able to quit? With all his DUIs, she thought he could just quit if he was strong enough. If he loved his family enough. If he was as good as her father.

I wonder what other secrets my sobriety will bring out?

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Mistake #67- Not gonna go into much detail now but there were many mistakes as a result of my DUIs. But one huge regret I have was I missed my mom’s 60th birthday because I was sitting in jail for a week after my second DUI.

My Sobriety, My Health

I really wish people would not discourage others from exercise. “Oh you don’t need to lose weight” might be an attempt at a compliment, but usually comes off sounding condescending. Or is that my alcoholic brain thinking that?

I mentioned going to the gym the other day and my coworker told me I don’t need the gym. Who doesn’t need some physical activity in their lives? She told me I am not overweight. I asked her does that mean she had a consult with my doctor? According to my last physical, I am overweight and my cholesterol was slightly high. (Does beer affect cholesterol levels?)  She said “well if you are fat, then I am huge.” I said nothing.

It seems people are uncomfortable if others try to be healthy if they do not have healthy habits. And they belittle those that believe in physical exertion. They make fun of people for eating salads and call it “rabbit food”. They criticize organic foods. They say junk food just tastes too good to eat healthy. It is comparable to people being uncomfortable with other’s sobriety if they question their own drinking. Being drunk just feels too good.

My homemade salad

My homemade salad

I was uncomfortable around sober people. I used to feel as if a friend fell in battle when they quit drinking. They were no longer along side of me in the drinking war. I left them on the couch in the trenches as I trudged to the bar without them. I never considered they were rescued and sent away from combat.

I am now fighting for sobriety and health. Once again, thoughts have been creeping in some hidden part of my brain saying “maybe you can enjoy drinks again one day… ” It is like: I know I do not want to drink now, but I wish those thoughts of “maybe one day” would disappear. I also know I should not worry about the possibilities in the future. Except the possibility of being able to do push ups again. Right now that is my goal. I want to be able to do 10 push ups by the 90 days sober.

I need to ignore the naysayers and those that are cynical about exercise and sobriety.

YouStaySober

Mistake – #66-  I used to always excuse this one with “I was young and dumb.” But the alcoholism was already seeping into my inexperienced bones.

I was in a school full of Navy and Marines. I was sort of dating a Marine. I say “sort of” because he did not want anyone else knowing about it. And we did not go on dates. Ok, I was having casual sex with a Marine who wanted it kept hushed. I was naive enough to think it a meaningful relationship.

He had a party at a family member’s house where he was house-sitting. He invited most of the Navy and Marines that went to our school. I remember it was near Easter cause someone brought bunny shaped marshmallows and we toasted them over the grill. I got very drunk. The Marine I was “sort of” dating was ignoring me. A few of the people suspected he and I had a thing going. Someone told me they would pay me a dollar to push the Marine in the pool. So I did. It made the whole party laugh. But then I felt like shit and kept apologizing. Oh this really made the Marine mad and embarrassed. He ignored me more and began to talk to other girls.

A group of guys arrived from our school late. They were on their way to some clubs or somewhere else. Just a quick stop. They brought Taco Bell. One of the guys was sitting on the couch and I crawled up next to him. “Can I have a taco?” He hands one to me. “Want to join me in the bedroom?” He put down the tacos and followed me.

I remember it was a little girl’s bedroom in which we stumbled. We were passionately kissing and pushed some Barbie dolls off a bed. We were giggling as we undressed each other. And we were having good, drunk sex when people started to knock on the door. His friends were trying to find him and head off to their next party. We thought they would give up and go away. Instead, they broke down the door.

He jumped up to try to keep his friends out while trying to hide his nudity with whatever piece of clothing he grabbed. I hid under the covers. It was 4 or 5 guys and they pushed passed him to grab the blanket to identify me. Then they all laughed and told him to get dress. They were ready to leave. Once the broken door was closed (but it was now cracked), he came over and try to calm the crying me. I told him to go. So he did.

My friends came in and consoled me. I asked if the Marine knew. Yes, the whole party knew. I asked if he was mad. No, he was playing video games. He didn’t seem to care.

The Marine ended up getting in a lot of trouble from his family. The house was a mess. Beer bottles were in the pool. And they wanted to know how did the bedroom door get broken. Also, they found a used condom on that little girl’s bed.

Sober Language

I have always been interested in other languages. I went to an elementary school that had one hour Spanish lessons each week for all grades. From Kindergarten to 5th grade. I only went to that school for two years but I remember learning colors, numbers, and short sentences. “Soy morena.” “La casa es grande.” Maybe that is what sparked my interest in linguistics?

I have some books to teach myself other languages. I took four years of high school Spanish and a semester in college, but I am nowhere near fluent. I have many phrase books in different languages. French. German. Mandarin. Portuguese. Swedish. Thai. I had one for Bahasa Indonesian and was very upset when I lent it to someone who lost it.

Now I am trying to learn the language of sobriety.

I read a wonderful blog about surrendering to sobriety. I can not predict that I will never drink again. But I feel I won’t. I feel I relinquished alcohol. I feel I have more reasons not to drink than to drink. I keep reminding myself of drunk mistakes daily. I translate those mistakes into reasons to stay sober.

I feel I am learning new uses for words. I am now associating abstinence with something other than sex. Relapse is not about only about a returning cancer. I am learning to say “no thanks” when offered a drink. Phrases such as “I can not drink anymore” and “I like myself sober” scroll through my head everyday.

The thing is, if I don’t have sobriety, I don’t have anything.

-Matthew Perry

I was fluent in the drunk language. I spoke in excuses. I verbalized expertise in hangover treatments. I once had someone give me a travel bottle of Advil for my purse for mornings I woke up in a stranger’s apartment. I walked the walk and talked the talk of an alcoholic. No phrase book needed.

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Mistake #65- I was living in a city abroad taking a four-week language course. There were 10 students from all over the world and only two of us from English-speaking countries. Myself and an Aussie guy. The teacher was a young, native speaker.

The weekend after our last class, the teacher invited us all to come out for celebration drinks. The party ended up being only me, my boyfriend, and the Aussie. We all met at a bar. Two female friends of  the teacher joined us. I think he was interested in one and trying to hook the other up with the Aussie. The six of us were having fun. My boyfriend wanted to leave. I did not. I never wanted the party to end. So he left and I stayed at the bar.

We all kept drinking and having fun. I was trying to be wing-woman and get the girls to hook up with the teacher and Aussie. But they both eventually left. The Aussie invited the teacher and I back to his flat. More drinking. I remember the three of us sitting in the kitchen, drinking beers, and sharing music we liked. We were on the Aussie’s laptop and searching YouTube with “oh you will love this band!” or song.

Don’t remember much else but waking up in the Aussie’s bed. Nude. I have no idea what happened. I never asked. My dress was laying on a chair like I placed it there. It did not feel like I had sex. Some people have told me before that during blackouts, I would undress and go to bed like I was at home. I never asked the Aussie. I preferred to believe the “at home” theory. If you say the excuse enough, like repeating words in a new language, it starts to become real.

Wither or Thrive

I have recently started watching House of Cards on Netflix. Didn’t care for first episode but then it started to get good. I am on Season 1, episode 5. I don’t want to spoil it for anyone interested and not there (but I was spoiled when I tried finding a scene on YouTube and found out what happens to a character.) But the episode ends with Kevin Spacey’s character telling another to do one month sober. He then asks (to the camera cause he speaks to the audience a lot) “He has a choice. Will he wither, or will he thrive? Only time will tell.”

I want to thrive.

There was a scene of a party and everyone was drinking. Having fun. I was sort of jealous. Part of me wishes I could still do that. But the reasonable part of me knows I would be knocking over tables or yelling loudly or falling into bushes at that party. It was an open bar which would open me to many mistakes.

Drinking makes me wither. I do not want that life again.

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Mistake #64- I had a date with a guy I met at a club. He canceled two dates and was about to canceled a third time. I told him not to bother calling me again if he canceled again.

He told me he had to take his sister’s friend to some concert. He never heard of the band. But there were four tickets. He could find a friend to take this girl and he could bring me if I was interested. Did I know a band called Nine Inch Nails?

I was ecstatic! NIN was my favorite band as a teen and throughout college. That would be an awesome first date.

This guy was a great guy. He was nice, very cute, and smart. He was literally a rocket scientist. He worked for NASA. I was not sure which I was more excited for: date with him or seeing Trent Reznor on stage.

The concert was wonderful. We had good seats. I kept making beer runs. He wasn’t drinking since he was driving. I bought two beers each trip to the beer stand for myself. I was having a blast. Here was one of my favorite bands! But I did not mind missing little parts of the act to keep my buzz going.

I insisted on stopping at a bar on the way home. I wanted to introduce him to a place I really liked “just for one drink.” Then I would order another. I brought up the topic of relationships. Was he looking for one? He was honest and said he was not looking for anything serious. This made me mad. I started getting loud and bitching “oh so you thought you’d just take me to a concert, fuck me, then bye?” I starting yelling he was not gonna use me! I would not allow it. He kept trying to calm me down and talk me into going home. “NO! Why? So you can fuck me and forget me?”

I was very drunk but I remember this part very clear: He leaned over and whispered “are you an alcoholic?”

“NO! I just like to have fun! But that doesn’t mean I am gonna let you fuck me.”

I started crying. He tried to talk me into letting him give me a ride home. I refused. I told him I could walk. He got up and left.

What could have been a good relationship withered before it could thrive because of my drinking problem.

I sat there crying. I drank some more and bitched about men until the bartender cut me off. That made me cry more. The guy that was sitting next to me started to console me. I ended up going home with him. Didn’t remember his name the next morning but we had ended up dating. That relationship was ended two months later due to my drinking.

One Day At a Time

wpid-20140325_042534.jpgSomeone from work texted me asking me to work extra tonight. I replied “I will if someone brings me cake”. I am taking this awards thing seriously. I want awards for staying sober. I want awards for working extra. I want awards for going to the gym! Maybe I need to start finding awards with no calories.

I saved her number in my contacts. As I was doing so, I smiled. I used to have to put “COWORKER” in front of names of people I worked with as a caution to not text or call that person drunk. It felt liberating to think I will never have to worry about drunk dialing again. At least won’t have those worries as long as I stay away from that first drink.

These little moments make me very thankful I am sober. I am enjoying things I am learning from other sober bloggers. I am learning about myself from my reactions to blogs and my own comments. Remembering my drunken mistakes is therapeutic for me. I never want to go back to that life. My brain seems to be equating booze with cigarettes. Ew. That stuff if nasty. (No offense to smokers.)

When reading Kristen Johnston’s Guts, she said the phrase to take sobriety “one day at a time” reminded her of the show with that name starring Bonnie Franklin, Mackenzie Phillips, Valerie Bertinelli and Pat Harrington. I busted out laughing as I read it. That is exactly what I think of when I hear it. Then I think of when I lived with a friend and I was always fixing things that broke in her house, our mutual friend nicknamed me “Schneider.” The friend who owned the house was too young to get the reference. But having these small, happy moments of sobriety make me appreciate the saying more. I even found a magnet with the saying that I hang near my desk. Today is going to be a another good, sober day!

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