Planning

I was thinking how much planning I used to have to do when drinking. I would have to figure out transportation,  but sometimes I did not plan that too well. I would take only my ID and a debit card or credit card and leave the rest in my wallet at home to avoid losing my wallet. I even bought a cheap, “party” camera to take out drinking in case I lost it. Sometimes I would remember to copy photos from my SD card to my laptop before leaving in case I lost it. I was usually more upset about losing the SD card than the cameras. I am surprised I did not buy a cheap, “drinking” cell phone.

If I was going to a bar alone, which I did a lot, I would bring a book or something to keep me and my drink occupied. I would request a stool or table with light so I could read. I would not be able to concentrate on the book after a few drinks and would usually end up talking to the bartender or strangers next to me. Years ago, I used to plan my nights based on where people I knew would be. More recent years, I just wanted to drink. I did not care if my friends would be out. I am not sure why I preferred bars to drinking at home. Maybe it made me feel less lonely. I think I drank at home more when I had roommates.

I even planned places I lived based on if there were bars in walking distance. I rented one house that was near a beer store but I did not have a car. I would pull a wagon to the store to buy cases of beer. I kept a cooler upstairs in the computer to keep cold beers handy. When my dad lived with me, he had a mini-fridge moved into the upstairs bedroom. After he passed away, I pushed it to the computer room. Yes! It could hold more beers than the cooler and did not need refills of ice.

I would even plan out hangovers. I would never make plans early in the day. I kept Advil in my bag in case I did not make it home and needed it wherever I woke up. Sometimes I kept a travel toothbrush and pair of underwear in my bag for those mornings. I even bought some incense that was supposed to be for hangovers.

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So much energy went into planning my life around alcohol. I still need to do planning to avoid drinking now, but it feels easier. I have to think of backup plans in case I get tempted. I try to plan to fit at least one AA meeting a week. I have to plan to avoid triggers or plan how I will handle them. But I feel great.  This planning has more positive outcomes.

Mistake 113- I was in Santiago, Chile.  I had plans to meet up in a club with some people from a website. I think it was someone’s birthday or going away party. I brought my “party” camera and left my good camera in my room. I also only brought local cash and my driver license for ID in my pocket. I was drinking Sprite and pisco, the national drink (depending if you ask a Chilean or Peruvian.) I remember some dancing. I got very drunk. 

Next morning, I had no more cash,  no driver’s license,  and my camera was missing.  The guy that organized the party emailed me. They found my ID and camera in the bathroom. They said the camera did not seem to work because it was sitting in a puddle of water when they found it. I gave him an address of a place I would be in Argentina and had him mail it to me. I do not remember if I ever sent him money to cover the postage. The camera was ruined and so was the SD card. But I got my driver’s license back.

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