Deconstructing Celebration Drinks

I posted yesterday how I really wanted to drink to celebrate my class ending. Instead, I got a facial and massage as my treat. While relaxing at the salon, I started to think more about what would have happened if I did go get drunk yesterday.

I would have started with one beer. And it might taste funny by now or might have tasted heavenly. I would drink it slow. Savor it. Be like “finally”. Then I would start to think “this isn’t so bad. Why did I quit!”

After finishing that one, I would ask the bartender for another. (I would have gone to drink at a bar instead of home alone since I was celebrating.) I might even tell the bartender how I quit in January but having just a few to blow off steam. He or she would congratulate me. Agree that sobriety isn’t all that great. And he or she would expect a nice tip as they open another bottle for me.

I would feel a bit tipsy. This good feeling would make me forget all the benefits of sobriety. I would order another beer. I might check to see if I had enough cash for more beer and if I did not, I would pull out the credit card. I might give myself a time limit or a bottle limit but I would soon ignore it to keep that high feeling.

I might not get very drunk. To me, that meant I was able to still walk and not black out. I would probably drink past the legal driving limit but not care. I might have met someone. I might have had fun. And the next day, I might have been proud I was able to celebrate and still remember the night. “See drinking can be fun! Why was I such a baby about the whole thing? It wasn’t THAT bad.”

I would have wasted money and thrown away 5 months of sobriety. I would try to moderate. I might have felt a little guilty at first but drank past that. Basically, one night of “celebrating” would have been opening the gates back to a hell I don’t want to return. Sometimes I hate the dogma of AA and recovery, but I must always remember that all this work and improvement could end with “just one.”

Mistake 163- I spent my 30th birthday in London alone. I was supposed to fly home that day but the flight was overbooked. I volunteered to stay an extra night. The airline gave me a free hotel room. I actually did not mind spending it alone. I knew I could entertain myself. I preferred CHOOSING to being alone than having friends let me down by not celebrating with me. It was the same reason I usually planned my own birthday celebrations because I did not trust my friends to make plans for me.

It was a good day. I spent the afternoon at a museum. I went to some Thai restaurant for dinner. I drank a whole bottle of wine by myself. After dinner, I decided to check out gay bars. I went to several and got a free birthday drink or shot. I sat by myself, drinking beers, and reading my book until the lines started to get blurry. I then decided to go to the nightclub Heaven.

I was drunk by the time I got there so most of it is a blur. But I remember a few things. I got mad because the bouncer would not let me in for free for my birthday. Then I sat down by a wall somewhere outside crying. A guy (or girl?) approached me and asked what was wrong. I told this person how it was my birthday and I refused to pay cover charge. His/her response was something about being homeless so I really have nothing to cry about. This must have motivated me or cheered me up or got me to stop crying because then I paid to get in the club. And once in, I drank lots. I danced but do not remember anything else inside the club. I met some guy. I woke up in his flat.

In the morning, I got the tube back to my hotel. I showered and napped until check out time. Then I rushed to the airport.

I never told anyone about that guy. Usually the story I tell is “I danced and drank until the tube was running again in the morning”. I have always been so ashamed of how that celebration ended. I pray for no more birthdays like that!

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