Festival day two-

Once I found my friends, this weekend started to get better. I saw a comedy performance. I went to bars and requested juice only. Maybe ice. Only one bar couldn’t accommodate because their drinks were already mixed.

I enjoyed talking to new people and helping other people carry in their camping gear. I had drunk guys hit on me that were annoying. One guy kept insisting on spinning me on the dance floor and then tried to dip me. He dropped me. He kept apologizing. “Maybe I am drunker than I thought?” Yep… I think you swaying as you stand is not dancing.

I discovered people camping near me from a city I used to live. We are all on a website for travelers. I am nervous about approaching them in case they know some of the same people that I made a drunk fool out of myself in front of in 2008.

(I finally approached them. They were excited to see someone from the “old days” of the website and invited me over for breakfast the next morning. So far, no one that was around there in 2008.)

Mistake 123- I organized a group of people from a nearby city to come for a tour for the weekend. I got some local people to help out. I had places for the out-of-owners to stay for free and people to help show them around.

Then the week before, I found out one of the hosts couldn’t host. She did not tell me. I figured it out because she took herself off the event page. I panicked and rushed to find places for 6 people to stay that were assigned to stay at her place.

Then 2 of the people told me they found a place on their own. Turns out, they were friends with the host that backed out and she said they could stay there after all. It was a big confusion and I was stressing out. I had four people staying with me.

Once Saturday night came, I got drunk and tried to forget the stress. Then one of the women that was staying with the “back-out host” complained that this weekend was not organized enough. I got belligerent.

Has SHE ever tried to organize a weekend like this? And it was HER friend that backed out of hosting at the last minute. I don’t remember what I said but I could imagine the nasty words.

One of the women that was to stay with me changed her mind. She wanted to stay with the back-out host. I felt offended. I dont know how I got home that night but I know I cried myself to sleep. The three guys staying with me seemed okay the next morning after playing drunk babysitters. They sort of agreed with me that the woman shouldn’t have complained. I was still always worried what they said to other people about my drunk, emotional break-down.

Day One of Festival- still sober

I know I will not give up my sobriety this weekend, but I am finding it difficult to meet people without alcohol. I have two friends arriving today so maybe that will make things better. I slept a lot today. It seems the first people do when I meet them is offer me a drink. Everyone has a beer in their hands. Even the people working the medical tent offered me jello shots.

It was a pain setting up my tent. It rained a lot the first day so the whole campground was full of mud. I had to hand- carry everything and it took several trips. Today, my back and arms are sore. Hence, why I slept a lot.

The place dried up today but it is not much fun since I am dry.

Mistake 122- I was at a large festival. My friends were all making plans to go out on the Thursday night to see some of the art projects. I went back to my tent to grab something and they were gone by the time I returned to the meeting point. I was upset. How could they forget me? I went and got drunk instead. I walked off and hit all the camps I passed that were gifting booze. I got trashed on top of my depression. I sat by myself crying. A guy approached me to see if I was okay. I blabber to him about my friends all ditching me. He said something about them (people he did not know) being assholes.  I don’t remember what else he said but he encouraged me to go back to my tent where I passed out for the whole night.

Festivals

I am going to a camping festival this weekend. It is like an art festival rather than a music festival with bands or such. People make interactive creations or performances. They have yoga and workshops to teach things like spinning poi and hula hoops. They give out free food and it is called “gifting”. They also give out a lot of free alcohol.

I have gone to festivals like these the past seven years. They have become a big part of my life. I plan around the festival season. I request chunks of days off work to travel to these festivals. It is a community and my friends that attend them are, for the most part, wonderful people. I feel love and acceptance by being part of the festival family.

But I am now getting worried about going sober. This will be my first sober festival. I did go to one sober once in 2012,  but that was more of a self-test and during a “30 day drinking break”. It was a new festival and I did not know anyone. I did make two friends during that weekend but I was bored for most of it. I slept a lot. I felt out of place without my social lubrication.

I met those two friends that year while volunteering. So I signed up for one volunteer shift for tonight. I might sign up for more after getting there. I do not want to over-commit in cause I want to leave early. I offered to give rides to the festival but now glad I did not find anyone. It leaves my escape route more open.

I only know three people going to this festival. My group of festival friends are on a different coast. It is hard to explain how I can still feel lonely when surrounded by thousands of people.

Someone else posted a question on the festival forum stating he does not drink alcohol and asking what activities could he do. A lot of responses were a bit, um, lacking understanding about alcoholism.  “If you need to drink to have fun, you must be boring.” Um, yea, but that comment isn’t going to help. A lot of people seemed to criticize him for asking. “Of course there is things to do without alcohol!” Were they offended that they do drink so much? A lot of the guide does mention events gifting vodka or whiskey or homebrews.

I commented to him that I thought of posting the same question because I wondered the same thing. I wanted to give him some support amongst the negative responses. At least I know I have a sober person to reach out to.

I will try to think of the weekend more positively. For one,  I won’t be wasting it hungover. In the past, I missed workshops and events because I was too drunk or recovering. I used to start every morning with mimosas. I had a favorite  brand of $4 sparkling wine from Trader Joes just for festivals.

I used to drink more beer than eat. Cooking on a camping grill took a lot more energy than popping open a can. Trader Joes Simpler Times and Dale Pale Ale were my festival cans. I would splurge for some Sierra Nevada’s but only share those with a few friends. I used to bring two large coolers and one would be full of beer. The other was for food and for chilling one or two “champagne” bottles and juice. I have one cooler this time and a big box of different tea bags.

Also, being sober will give me the chance to see more art. Maybe learn to spin poi. Maybe improve my hooping skills. I have tried hooping so many times while drunk and made a fool out of myself. Maybe I will actually get to a 7am yoga event this weekend. I remember one festival had 70s style roller skating but I did not partake cause I was too drunk. I heard this place has a large slip-n-slide for adults.

Sigh. I did have a lot of fun drinking at festivals. I played bartender at a few. It was a fun way to meet people. I have had fun conversations waiting in line for gifted booze. I just have to remember the ways alcohol has ruined my life and stop musing over the good times. I must retain the fact that I can not drink like normal people. I can not moderate. I honestly do not see the point in having a beer if it does not lead to getting drunk.

I will try to blog from the festival.  Or at least write my blogs and post when I get wifi. I think I will go to an AA meeting before leaving.

Mistake 121- I was camping with friends at a festival. We arrived on Thursday. The guy I was starting to date would arrive Friday night. I was going to bring up the topic of making our relationship exclusive when he arrived.

But Thursday night, I got drunk with my friends. I remember sitting on camping chairs under the shade structure in the middle of everyone tents. It was late night, almost early morning. A guy from the group (I will call him Burger) was the only one still awake with me. I just met him that day. Somehow, we started to make out. I stopped him and started crying because I really liked the other guy. I apologized and kept crying. Some of our friends in the tents must have heard this.

When the guy arrived the next day, he pulled me aside for a private talk. Before I could mention the relationship talk, he told me he was not looking for one. He wanted the freedom to meet other girls that weekend. I was crushed. It put a damper on the weekend for me.  
Burger and I have actually become good friends now. We have hung out at other festivals but never kissed nor mentioned our night of kissing. I am not sure who knows about it but I have always really regretted it. I might see him again in August. Maybe by then, I will be ready to apologize to him for it.

I am nervous how my group of festival friends will react to my sobriety.

Sleep is like Medicine

4 months sober. 120 days. I did not treat myself this milestone. No cake. No flowers. No time for a facial or pedicure. It feels blah. Not bad. I actually feel good and happy for the most part. Just not as exciting as reaching 30, 60 and 90 days. 6 months sobriety still feels so far. Maybe I need to get to a meeting?

I started to write this blog while at work. I started a blog about my housing situation but then deleted it. I thought I did not want a blog about bitching. But my mood after work changed.

This morning, after working a night shift, I decided to drive 2 hours to REI to buy new shoes. That was not the smartest idea. I was tired and so cranky by the time I got to the store. I started to get depressed and over think on the drive. I started to picture getting in an accident and my mom’s reaction. Then thinking that my mom would be the only person in this world that cared if I died got me crying. I was driving down the highway, bawling, fantasizing about my own death.

After I bought my shoes, I took a nap in the car. I slept on and off almost 5 hours. But my car is packed for a festival this weekend. So I could not lay my seat down much and I could not sleep comfortable. I was still cranky when I woke up. I went and ate fast food. I ordered a Diet Coke and bitched to myself out loud “at least it isn’t a fucking beer.” I drove an hour towards my mom’s. Again, I got very sleepy. Pulled over in another parking lot and napped for two hours.

Maybe I got in a better position or maybe since it was darker due to rain clouds, but I slept better for those two hours. I woke up feeling such a better mood. I got to my mom’s house (knowing she was away). I unpacked a few things and went to bed.

I think tiredness is one of my worst enemies.

Mistake 120- I had a friend visit and stay with me for the weekend. We started out as cyber friends and he lives an hour away. This was maybe his 3rd or 4th visit and I visited him once. He was a flamboyant gay guy and liked to party.

I have no idea what happened that night but we got in a fight. And it was an ugly fight. He accused me of attacking him. He had scratches to prove it. But I do not remember it. He even tried to call his roommate to come get him but I unplugged the phones. I do not remember if he left during the night or the next morning. I remember I tried to take sleeping pills that night because I got so upset. But they were not enough because I eventually woke up.

He and I never spoke again but he went telling our community of cyber friends that I was crazy.

Boozing and Backpacking

I saw a thread floating around on Facebook about traveling backpackers. I laughed. A lot of that pertains to me. I miss traveling.

But the bits about drinking got me wondering if traveling sober well be difficult for me.  It is easy to tell myself “you will save so much money without drinking” but bars do tend to be a natural habitat for backpackers. I used to pick out places to eat in the backpacker areas based on the drink specials. I avoided hostels that did not allow alcohol consumption. If a hostel sold beers, I sometimes had the highest tab by the end of the night. I spent one Christmas Eve getting drunk at an elephant camp in Thailand with other travelers and the guide was shocked that I drank more beers than anyone. Even the German guys.  Beer really was cheapest beverage in some countries. That was my excuse when I kept getting drunk in Czech Republic.

I need to remind myself of the times I put my life at risk by getting drunk in other countries. The times I got lost or went home with strangers. The times I lost my wallet or passport. The time I almost got arrested in Mexico or ran nude in Muslim countries. I never drove drunk in other countries because I rarely drove in other countries. (Though once I drove from Tijuana to San Diego after a lot of tequila shots for lunch. I was so worried the border patrol guard would smell my breath but he was more concerned I wasn’t smuggling people.)

 

in a bar in Istanbul

in a bar in Istanbul

I have a trip planned in August to Portugal. I am a little nervous. It is my birthday gift to myself. I am already planning to spend the day at art museums and then a nice dinner. As of now, I will be spending it alone. I keep skipping the parts of my guide book that mention clubs and bars. In the past, I would go to bars alone in strange cities. I would sit and observe. And drink. I am hoping I will be able to stay strong and sober while traveling.

Mistake 119- I was staying at a hostel in Melbourne, Australia. I bought a bottle of abstinthe that day. I was so excited because it was still illegal in the United States. I remember I did not know how to drink it properly. I was mixing it with juice and some Gatorade type of drink. I got trashed on it by myself. I met a cute Swedish guy somewhere in the hostel. Either in the kitchen or common area. For some reason, I think it might have been by the soda machine. I don’t remember much except we ended up having sex in his dorm room. We were on the top bunk. He had 3 upset roommates. I told some friends about it the next day and everyone said “that is dorm life!” I spent the rest of my stay wondering if any guys giving me strange looks were his dormmates. Never talked to the guy again.

 

 

 

 

Friends with benefits and booze

A friend started emailing me Sunday morning at 6am. I just happened to wake up early that day. I asked if he was still up from the night before. He replied that he has not made it home yet from the night. I guessed correctly that he was drunk. He wanted to know when I would be in town next. I answered and then asked “don’t you have a girlfriend?” He does.

I am not sure if he was drunk flirting or just being friendly. I am not sure if he saw I was online and not many of his other friends were up at 6am. But we used to be “friends with benefits” when I lived in his area. After I moved away, I used to get messages from him “I miss you.” The last message before this Sunday, I told him to stop drunk emailing me because “it will never happen again.” I was probably drunk when I messaged him with that and meant I will never sleep with him again. He and I both knew that I most likely would if I was drunk enough.

Mistake 118- When I first met him, I did not like him. I thought he was weird and annoying. We met through other friends at a festival. I thought he was immature and I avoided him.

After I lived there for a few months and I saw him at a lot more parties, we started to get along. Not close but he was part of the group I partied with.

He began to date a girl that was quiet. Later, I found out she did not believe in gay marriage rights. His best friend was a lesbian. I asked him how could he date someone that did not believe his best friend deserved the same rights as them. He said she was really religious and nothing he could do about it. I started to refer to her as the Homophobe.

One morning, I woke up in his bed. I was horrified. I even said “No! Please tell me this did not happen!” But it did. He admitted he should not have been driving because he was so drunk. But he offered me a ride from whatever party we were at and we ended up having sex. He cheated on the Homophobe. I felt guilty but also like I beat her in some invisible contest. But I told him it would never happen again.

The Homophobe soon dumped him. She claimed he partied too much. He and I began hanging out at bars more. And we began having sex more often. He stayed over my place a few times and was always late for work when he did. A few of our friends suspected it but no one said anything.

Once, I brought up the topic of us starting a relationship. He said “with me? I don’t think we could have a relationship.” I asked why not. Am I too old? He said “honestly? Yes.” I am 9 years older than him. And he said he was still in love with Homophobe.

I moved away a few months later. He now has a different girlfriend. One I never met. I just do not know why he is drunk messaging me.

Another guy that thought I was good enough as drinking buddy and sex friend, but not good enough for something serious.

Less Sugar

I had a strange dream last night.  I was on a cruise-type of ship but it was also sort if like a military ship-meets- college dorm. And I think we were cruising the Bosphorus in Turkey. But I remember I walked into one room on this ship and it was full of alcohol and beautiful glasses.  It was an artistic looking bar and could create any drink I want. I looked at it and said “that is pretty but I can’t drink.  Oh well.”

It feels like my first “sober” dream. I did not drink, not try to drink, nor feel the guilt of sneaking a drink.  I have had drinking dreams before where I start to get so upset for drinking and then wake up so relieved it did not really happen. I had no desire to drink in this dream.

It has been a month since I gave up soda.  Almost four months since I gave up alcohol. I am drinking a lot of unsweetened ice tea and coffee. I have decreased the amount of sugar I put in my coffee and completely stopped artificial sweeteners.  I still crave bagels and other carbs but trying to eat fruit more. It is time for fresh fruit!

I packed up my stuff in the room I was renting.  Most of it is now stored at my mom’s house.  Things I need, such as work clothes,  gym clothes,  and daily clothes plus laptop and books will be kept with me in my car.  For the next two months,  I will either be traveling or renting rooms for a few days to few weeks.

Plus I start my online classes next week. AA meetings will not be a priority. I know I need to be vigilant to stay sober.  I feel safe with my sober bloggers. 

Mistake 117- I had a friend’s roommate that kept showing me attention. He flirted with me at parties. I liked him. I thought he was funny. But I did not want to make a move. I was worried my friend wouldn’t approve.

One night, I was drunk at a party and he offered me a ride home. I was very trashed and do not remember any of the night. I woke up still drunk the next morning with him in my bed. We had sex that night. So much for not making a move.

After he left, I found a painting in my living room. I texted him to ask what it was. He said “don’t you remember stopping at Walgreens and some guy asked for change and gave us that?” Nope, no recollection. “Yea you gave the guy $5 for it.” I was astounded that I would do that. This painting was probably stolen. He told me to hang it up to remember “our night”. But how could I remember the night with or without a painting?

After that night, he started to avoid me. Then soon he got a girlfriend. I was hurt. But I guess he didn’t want a relationship with someone that got so drunk she doesn’t even remember sex with him.

I gave the painting to Goodwill.