Port-less in Porto

Just last week, I was thinking that sobriety was starting to be easy. Now I realize this is going to be a roller coaster of temptation for a long time, if not for life.  While it is easier to not crave alcohol than in my first few weeks or sobriety,  I still have to actively remind myself “I can not have even ONE drink!”

I am in Porto, Portugal. The home of port wine. Every place I go, I am reminded how great their port is and that I can not drink it. My friend is not helping much. He keeps pointing out places that have good wine or good local beer. “Our beer is really good too. Shame you can’t try any.” I guess he is used to taking people to taste the local drinks. It makes me feel like some handicapped alien. He pointed out the port warehouses along the river that allow free or cheap tastings. Sorry. I am not going there either.


Port Wine Boats Along River

It makes me a bit sad. I am a freak. It seems I can not partake in anything that is traditional Portuguese.  He points out cafes and and places were people sit out late drinking wine or beer. I know there had to be more to this culture but he hasn’t shared with me what else there is. Oh there is fish. Cod fish. That is the only local thing I know besides port.

It is an inner struggle to not want to try port. I actually almost accidentally bought a Bock beer thinking it was a local soda. Right now, I hear them opening wine bottles as he and a friend prepare lunch. It is pathetic that I have canine ears when it comes to opening bottles of wine. He then asked if I am okay with them drinking. I do not want to be the annoying guest that says “it is making me want to stab myself that I can not drink so please don’t”, so of course I lied and said it will be no problem.

I actually look forward to traveling on my own in a few days. I actually prefer traveling alone. I can get up when I want and start the day rather than waiting for my friend to get out of bed. I can go to sleep early. I can skip a meal. I can change plans. I can avoid alcohol more. That is a new benefit I am adding to “reasons to travel solo.”

I have my 3 sober coins in my wallet. I have my sober bracelet on my wrist. I have my sober blogs. I will stay strong. It just sucks.

Then I read this blog from Soberistas:  Booze The Liar. I will have to keep repeating this quote when faced with temptation:

Here’s what booze ACTUALLY provided me with; arrogance, self-centredness, laziness, lack of productivity, very bad hangovers, terrible life choices, low self-esteem, shame and bucket loads of guilt.

Mistake 192- Years ago when I wanted to be more than friends with the guy I am visiting, we got drunk and ended up in a hot tub. I do not remember any of it. He said I tried to initiate sex in the hot tub. Without a condom. He managed to hold me off until we got into a bedroom with a condom. After sex (which I don’t remember), he said I brought up talk of wanting a relationship.  He did not. I started crying. He left. He had to tell me all about this a few days later. He asked me if I have unprotected sex a lot when drunk. I told him I honestly did not know.

I think he wonders if I consider him one of my “drunk mistakes”. I consider the way it happened a mistake. I do not regret having sex with him and I am very fortunate it did not ruin our friendship. Now I have to remember not to take the chance of repeating those mistakes!

4 thoughts on “Port-less in Porto

  1. Ah, I love that quote, so true. It’s so easy to forget what booze actually gave us when we feel like we’re “missing out”. You’re also missing out on all that bullshit.

    And of COURSE you can enjoy Portuguese culture sans alcohol. Alcohol does not equal culture. That is just another lie. There are Portuguese pastries and fresh seafood and caramel custards and egg tarts. Not to mention, the art, music, politics, scenery and just everyday street life. So much life to enjoy – that you can enjoy, appreciate and remember without stupid booze spoiling your precious time there. Try to hunt down some authentic Feijoada instead.


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