My friends in New Orleans are celebrating Mardi Gras. I am celebrating another day of sobriety.
I used to love making lists of party destinations. I wanted to experience the greatest festivals around the world. Mardi Gras in New Orleans. Carnival in Rio de Janeiro. St Patrick’s in Dublin. Full Moon parties in Thailand. Oktoberfest in Munich. I have been to some and made drunk mistakes while living it up. I now wonder if I could still attend the ones I missed and enjoy them sober.
Mistake #35- I was on a cross-country trip with a friend and we planned to stay in New Orleans for two nights. We stayed with a family she knew in Metairie, a suburb of the city. We were in luck that this was the beginning of the Mardi Gras season. The first night I went to bed early because I was tired from driving. The next night we were going to the French Quarter to celebrate!
Before we went out, I was had lunch alone and was checking Facebook on my phone. It was Valentine’s Day. I noticed that the guy I recently stopped seeing changed his FB status to “in a relationship.” We only broke up the previous week. And in the two months we dated, we never had that status. I texted him asking if that was why he wanted to stop seeing me. He replied “sort of.” I asked if he was seeing her while dating me and he said “kind of.” I was furious.
I went back to the house we were staying to get my friend and get ready for the night. I needed to get trashed. We were going to hit Bourbon Street and I was gonna forget about him. We dressed up fancy and I put on a Venetian mask that I bought that day. It was beautiful and about $25. We began to hit the bars at happy hour. I think we had dinner in there somewhere. We watched mini parades of people playing music. We went to bars that had balconies to get good views of the people.
I began “earning” beads. My fancy black dress was easy to flip down for quick flashing. I drank a lot of shots and would toast to the ex-boyfriend “FUCK HIM” with each one. He was from Los Angeles so I started to bash all Californian men. “SCREW THEM ALL!” My friend said I was pretty funny but she was worried about me cause I kept falling. And I was getting serious about earning my beads.
I woke up the next day in a hotel bed. My dress was laying on the floor next to the bed. My pile of beads (at least 30) was laying on top of my dress. I found one of my earrings on the nightstand. My Venetian mask was missing. No one was in my room. I sort of remember kissing a guy from a local university in one of the bars. I put on my dress and searched for the missing earring. It was a pretty, yellow amber one I bought in Germany. As I was searching, a guy walked in. I looked at him and tried to piece together if I knew him and what was his name. He must have noticed my confusion cause he laughed and said “A. went out to lunch. He will be back soon.” Oh yes… that was college boy’s name. I thanked him. He said something about my huge collection of beads. I gathered them up into my arms. I wrote my number and email on hotel stationery and said “if you guys find my earring, please send it to me.” I had no plans to really stay in touch with this guy. I just wanted my earring. He took the paper and said sure.
I got a taxi back to Metairie. The family was pushing their baby in a stroller on the way to see a parade. The mom laughed and said “oh the days of the walk of shame!” She actually was the same age as me. My friend filled me in more on the night. Yes, I was kissing the college guy in the bar. She wanted to leave and I refused. So she left me there. I told her about the missing earring and she said “you will never see it again nor hear from him. He used you and that is that.”
I felt ashamed but I defended myself with “I used him! I got over one guy from LA but getting under a different guy in a different L.A.”
Sometimes humor is my best defense.
8 thoughts on “Fat Tuesday”
Another incredibly we’ll written post! I think your approach to blogging about recovery and past drinking ups and downs is very smart, and courageous! Keep going strong! – Hana
Thanks so much for the encouragement. 🙂
I just want to let you know that you are the first blog that I feel the most connected with. Your stories could be my stories when drunk. I am 4 days sober, after having 93 consecutive days sober. I am devastated because once again I drank to blackout and of course the following days for me are full of fear, anxiety, depression, sweating and self loathing. I was also on the 100 Day Challenge with Belle and have started again. I do not feel I will relapse again as I feel I cannot take it again. I literally cannot go through this again. I cannot do this to myself again. Thank you for sharing your journey and know your are helping me and I am sure others as well. I am also impressed with people who have the ability to write in such a way that people actually want to read what you write. I wish I had the talent to put my journey into words to help others.
(I am really hating my phone WP app cause I wrote you a longer reply but it got lost.)
Thanks for your words and I am glad you feel you can connect with my stories. I got teary eyed when I read that. I wrote a blog early that I did not publish yet wondering if my posts are too personal. But if they reach out to people and help others, then that is one reason I write them. I started them to remind myself of why I can not drink. I just can’t. No matter how much I want to. But There are still times I start to doubt if I have a problem. Not all blackouts were super bad. Sometimes one night stands turned into relationships.
The idea of being sober FOREVER just sounds like too much of a commitment for me. I have never been good with commitments of any kind. I don’t know if I will relapse but I pray to my gods that I don’t. Don’t beat yourself for starting over. The important thing is you are trying again. I am very bad with writing Belle my accountability emails that I am still sober. Do you blog? Maybe that will help. I feel more answerable to the few people that follow my blog than to anything else. I feel this is a double life: my blog vs real people. I am still scared to tell the people that should be supporting me the most. I keep thinking “i will tell them after 3 months. They will know I am serious then. Isn’t that when people wait to announce they are pregnant?”
I wish there was a sober website like they do for pregancy. “At 19 weeks, this is how you should feel and look….”
welcome back to sobriety. Get a cake ready for day 7. I am planning nothing fancy but I have been craving a Pepperidge Farm coconut cake. I am holding out for a milestone. I was gonna wait till day 60 but I might have to do it day 50.
I do not fear forever now. I did 5 days ago and thought I could every now and then have a drink then go another 100 days or so and drink again but not so. After 93 days I still drank till Scary Blackout!! I am no longer hiding my sobriety and I might get some flack for it but it has to be better than being ashamed of my public drunkeness. I told my husband I am an alcoholic and he doesn’t agree, he just thinks I can not control it once I start and I said and what do you think that is. It is not how much I drink or what time of the day I drink but WHAT happens when I drink. I am not in denial of the seriousness of my disease. I don’t know if the next blackout will be my last. I have a son and I cannot imagine doing this to him but in my blackouts he is not even on my radar. My name is Kelly.
have you tried AA just to have others to talk with? A lot of my friends who have seen my crazy drunk behavior do not believe I have a problem. “Just don’t get trashed.” That works as well as the 80s “Just Say No” campaign. Was this your first time going sober? I used to always miss feeling “normal” as in being able to drink like normal people and I fooled myself into thinking I could control it. 20 years of blackouts for me should be my evidence.
I can’t even try to say “do this for you son.” I believe you have to do it for yourself. Those blackouts are nasty stuff. I like being able to remember nights now.
Does your husband drink? Maybe ask him to keep all booze out of the home.
I actually wrote in my journal 7 years ago I doubted that even pregnancy would stop me from drinking. 😦
Oh my..I sure do like your writing! Please keep up what you are doing….I identify so much!!!Literally in all of my stages…
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