New Beginnings

This year is already starting out better than last year. Starting out better than many! I am not really sure if sobriety has much to do with it but I am looking forward to waking up without a hangover.

I have a new apartment! I signed the lease a few weeks ago and moved in tonight. It will still take another week to get all my stuff from storage. But it makes me feel stable.

I have a new job! I have been doing contracts on and off for the past 9 years. A few months ago, a permanent position became available and they offered it to me! The pay is good. I like most of my coworkers. And after a year, I will start to get tuition reimbursement.  I feel secure.

I have a new car! Brand new. Hybrid. All-wheel drive so I won’t have emotional meltdowns when it snows and I get stuck. (Hope not anyway.)  I love him even though it is the first time since the 1990s that I have a car payment. He is pretty and pearl white. He is my baby! And he doesn’t have dings and scratches and missing pieces from drunk driving incidents. With strength,  luck and sobriety, I will never have another drunk driving experience again. I feel hopeful.

I am going to start the New Year off with a new sober experience. I am going to Philadelphia for the Mummers parade. I have never done it before, even the times I lived in that city. I was also too drunk and/or hungover. I have been warned it is full of drunk people, falling over and puking/pissing in the streets. Good reminder of why I need to stay sober. I feel excited.

No new romantic relationships though. But I am okay with that. For years I have heard that I need to love myself before others can love me or I can love anyone else. For the first time in 39 years, I get it! And I do love myself. Finally. I am so proud and happy with how far I have come.

I have a bottle of sparkling lemonade for midnight.

Happy New Year everyone! Stay strong and sober! If you slip up tonight, tomorrow is a new sunrise and new day! Keep trying. It really is much better than a drunk life!

Sober Dating

I have gone out on a few dates the past few weeks.  Nothing too exciting. Nothing too serious. I have already made a promise to myself I do not want anything sexual until after I am sober a year.  Also,  I want to date a person for a few weeks or maybe even a few months before having sex. I want to find something meaningful. I want to do things correctly. I want a real relationship and not one based on the lies of alcohol.

I am being picky but think I deserve to be. It might be difficult to find a good, single partner at my age and even harder the older I get. But I am not settling. I would rather be single than with someone I only half-heartedly want. I would like to find someone who likes to travel as much as I do and that is tough to find. Yet I would rather marry my passport than someone who will restrict my adventure abilities.

My first date was nice. The guy was cute and had a great smile. I made him laugh a lot and we talked for hours. He had a few beers while I drank ice tea. He walked me to my car and we had a lovely kiss. I left with butterflies in my belly. I was thrilled! I was able to enjoy a date and be attracted to a guy without alcohol! Sober Dating is possible as long as I like the person. He texted me after I left with his house address and asked me to come over for coffee. I declined the invitation.  I know that coming over for coffee at 10pm is code for wanting to serve me coffee for breakfast instead. I was so glad I was not tipsy because I might have agreed and especially would have went if he offered wine.

I asked him if he wanted to join me for a play in the city the next week. He replied that sounds like a good idea. We made plans for Thursday. This was Monday. On Wednesday two days later, I text him that my job interview went well because we talked about it Monday night. (I will address the job stuff in another post.) He said congratulations. 

Then Sunday, I texted him asking if we were still on for that Thursday. He replied hours later apologizing for late answer but he was busy at work and yes, he would like to see me again Thursday but did not feel like going into the city. He knew 5 days in advance he did not want to go into the city? But I said that was okay, what else did he have in mind.

No response until Thursday at 5pm. He asked me if I wanted to see a movie. I was irritated.  I was supposed to keep my calendar empty just waiting for his reply? I replied honestly that I was up since 5am and would fall asleep during a film. I asked if we could get together another night. He said yes.

The next week, I texted to ask him if he was busy that evening. He said he was going out for a friend’s birthday, but he would call me later to meet up. A late night meet up after he is out drinking for a friend’s party? I told him to text me and we’ll see what to do. He never did. Now it is a few weeks later and I deleted him from my phone.

There have been a few other dates. One guy seemed like a liar that couldn’t keep a story straight. He also commented abstaining from alcohol is no big deal and he doesn’t understand why people get falling – down drunk. I thought he would not understand my addiction or he would harshly judge all my mistakes. Another guy was very nice but very young. I have a few dates planned next week.

Maybe I should just start going back to AA meetings and inquire about skipping to the 13th step.

Mistake: I was young and still experimenting with women. I met a woman online who was a lot older than me. I think she was 12 or 14 years older. She had a teenage daughter and I was 24. She was married to a man but looking for a female fun partner. I met her out for drinks. I was not attracted to her. I thought she looked like she spent too much time in a tanning bed and bleached her hair too much. But I wanted to test my bisexuals feelings. So I invited her back to my place after getting drunk. I continued to do shots to get drunk enough to kiss her. I don’t remember much of the experience. Blacking out is not the greatest way to test sexual orientation. I regretted it the next morning.  She kept paging me afterwards to meet up again. I either would call her back with excuses or ignore the pages.

Flying kites in India

I went to see the movie PK. I would recommend it you like foreign films and Bollywood. It questioned religions in our world. It made me nostalgic for my travels in India, Nepal and all of Asia. Maybe if I move to a country where women drinking alcohol is frowned upon, I can stay sober easily.

But I know geographic changes are not the solution.

Mistake: I was in Ahmedabad, Gujarat in India. Gujarat is one of India’s dry states and prohibits alcohol. But that law is only for Indians. Visitors can obtain a permit and purchase alcohol in hotel liquor stores. It seemed like a lot of extra work to me. I was there for a kite festival with a friend. We met up with locals and travelers one afternoon at a party on a rooftop. The locals taught us foreigners how to fly paper kites.

I just happen to have a bottle of Mekhong whiskey in my bag that I brought from Thailand. I bought it to gift to someone in Delhi but I never got to see the guy. I decided to gift it to myself and this party. I told only a few travelers about it. We mixed it with cola, Sprite and orange soda. The guy that was organizing the party approached me and asked if I had alcohol in my cup. I lied and said no, it was just orange soda. I was drinking from a clear cup and the orange soda was more brown! He could tell I was lying and said the owner of the building does not want alcohol there. I again lied and said there was some earlier but it was all gone. I apologized for not knowing it was forbidden.

Since I had to pretend there was no more whiskey, I could not share it. So I drank the rest. I also had to empty the bottle to get rid of it. I was drunk by sunset. I remember getting mad at my friend but do not remember why. He was probably not giving me enough attention. I left the party without saying anything to him. I took a taxi back to where we were staying. I cried in the taxi ride. Back at our guesthouse, the family invited me to join them for flying kites. I did but I remember feeling sad and tired. And I remember thinking I was so bored with them because they did not have alcohol. I went to bed early. Then I was mad it took my friend awhile to realize I left the party.

Alcohol made me so selfish and self-centered. Such a waste of time.

I have become friends with the guy who questioned my brown orange soda. He invites me back now. I want to return to visit his country, his state, and the country without wasting time with alcohol.

Still sober 11 months on…

I reached 11 months sober right before Christmas.  I keep meaning to write more. I have so many more mistakes to write about and add and edit old entries.  I want to write about Christmas (easy to stay sober when I worked it all), some dates I have been on, and plans I have. I have good news and life is going well. But right now I am going to bed.  Maybe I will have time later.  I just wanted to check in so anyone reading or following knows I did not fall off the sobriety train. I am still here… Choo chooing  along!

Sober SantaCon

There is an event that happens this time of year in cities all over the world. It originally started in San Francisco by the Cacophony Society in 1994. Now it takes place in over 300 cities in more than 40 countries. Sometimes it is called Santarchy.  But it is more commonly known as SantaCon.

I have attended this party a few times in different cities. It was always a lot of fun. But it was also a lot of drinking.  The organizers find bars around the city that will serve the Santas. Sometimes Santas get discount drinks. Sometimes they have special places reserved for only Santas.

Some Santas find ways to conceal containers or alcohol so they can drink on the street rather than fight their way into a crowded bar. That is what I used to do. I used to carry a 2 liter bottle of Diet Coke and plastic bottles of rum in a large red bag and mix it in a cup or water bottle.  Or I would pre-mix my rum and Diet Coke in a large bottle. I saved money and time waiting for drinks. I always got trashed.

But not this year. This year I atteneded and stayed completely sober. You might wonder why someone who doesn’t drink would want to attend an event that has become known for drunk Santas and debauchery.  I like going to see the creativity and togetherness. Not everyone dresses as Santa. I have seen reindeer, grinches, snowmen, elves, and people wrapped as gifts. Anything that is holiday-like. I once saw a Jewish Santa with a red Yamaha and orthodox curls. It is fun when you have a group of friends to stroll the streets with dressed in costume.

This year was not so fun because I arrived late and could not find my friends. So even if I got drunk I would have gotten bored and depressed on my own. I did dress up and walk around to a few bars to observe the festivites. I took photos of the city dressed up in Christmas cheer. I ordered a hot cider and stressed no alcohol, which surprised the server some.

I will plan out next year more. I did have a friend that was supposed to go with me and he has been a great supporter of my sobriety. But he hurt his ankle the other night and walking around bar hopping was not something he could or wanted to do anymore.

Watching drunk people being asses also helped my decision to not drink.

Mistake: I think I wrote about a few of the Santacons I have been to and the dumb mistakes I made after even if I did not name the event in the mistake. But I know I did not write about my last SantaCon before I got sober. I got super drunk. I do not remember the last venue. But I woke up in my bed with two guys. I did not know them. The one left early. The other took me out for breakfast. I remember really wanting a mimosa for breakfast but the place did not serve alcohol until the afternoon. I was very hungover.

The guy commented how drunk I was the previous night. I asked why did my leg hurt. He said I fell going up some concrete stairs. I looked up my jean leg and noticed the huge scrape and bruise. I had scraps on my hands. He said he thought I would need medical attention but I surprisingly stood up laughing. Good thing I did not sprain a wrist or anything else. I asked who the other guy was. He said he was a regular at the bar. I wanted to ask but was too embarassed, but he read my mind. “You don’t remember having sex, do you?”


He was gonna tell me exactly what happened but I told him I didn’t want to know.

He added me on Facebook and got my number. But I ignored his texts and calls. I eventually deleted him off Facebook.  I did not want to be reminded of what I could not remember.

Stronger but not invincible

Tonight I went out to dinner alone. It was a nice Indian restaurant.  I ordered my food and continued reading my book Get Sober Stay Sober by Cynthia Perkins. The restaurant was pretty empty on this cold night. There were only two other tables occupied with a couple each. The table closest to me interrupted my reading. They wanted to know if I wanted to finish off their bottle of wine. It looked like a full glass-worth. For free. I told them no thank you. They assured me it was good. I told them I don’t drink alcohol. The man said “neither do I” and they both laughed.

It was very easy for me to turn down that bottle. I felt so proud. I thought of how much stronger I have gotten with saying no to alcohol over the past 10 months.

But I would be lying if I said I didn’t mourn my move. I think I will always wish I could drink. Just like a prisoner sentenced to life in jail wishes for freedom.

At least I have my freedom. And my life.