Something to Hope For

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Texting Snafu

I just received a mass-text message with a video of some kid earning a karate belt or something. I responded back that I think they have the wrong number because I do not know who they are. I made sure to unclick “group message” so that my response only went to the sender.

But it made me remember drunk times that I did not unclick mass messaging. Twice I had 2 different friends text me a mass message with embarrassing results.

I remember one was New Years. I was very drunk and replied back a quick little update of my life. There were a lot of typos in the long reply. I got about 10 messages back from strangers that were upset to received my unwanted stories in the middle of the night.

Another time, a friend mass-text a joke. At the time, I was drunk at a music festival. I was fighting with a boyfriend she knew. So I replied with stories of him and complaints and how messed up my life was. I did not realize my reply went to a lot of her friends, including a few people that knew him.

To this day I hate mass-text messages but at least I can avoid embarassing mass-responses if I stay sober.

Unwanted Sympathy

I find it annoying when a non-alcoholic tries to tell me they know how I feel. “I have done some stupid things while drunk also.” Oh really? Stupid things? Have you woke up in the hospital? Unable to remember how you got there? Woke up behind the wheel with your car in a ditch? In jail? Your few bad decisions are nothing compared to my 20 years of blackouts and depression. Of drinking myself to death because I thought that would bring me happiness. My DUIs will follow me the rest of my life while your one night stands won’t.  (Unless it resulted in a child or STD.)

It is not fair for me to judge a person who is only trying to reach out with consoling words. But it fucking irritates me. It is like a person who had the flu comparing their suffering to someone with cancer. I did not only stop drinking. I am struggling with avoiding it in this alcoholphile society. I am struggling with my defects that caused it to be such a problem. I am struggling while you try to patch it with a bandaid of words.

I feel like hibernating. I want to go sleep in a cave where alcohol does not exist. And where there are no people who will toss wishy-washy words of wisdom my way.

Think It Through

I think without counting days, months and looking forward to a coin, my thoughts of drinking again has been increasing. It was only as I started to write this blog that I realized today is one year and 2 months. No chip for 14 months sobriety?

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But I sit here watching a beautiful sunrise and realize I am, once again, thankful for my sobriety. I am on a short diving trip to a Caribbean island. It has been so nice here. I experienced a few amazing dives. Yet, I want rum so bad. I want to party like the rest of the divers. I want to “belong”.

Everywhere I go on this island, they advertise rum drinks. Rum happy hour. A free rum cocktail with dinner. Or free tshirt if you do 10 shots of something. And then there is the local beer.

After my dives, everyone on the small boat talked about getting drunk next. “TIME TO PARRRRTTTY!” The fact that my dive guide on my second morning was hungover was a bit disturbing. And then he ran out of air early and shortened everyone else’s dive. It seemed everyone that worked here or was staying here for a few weeks or months did nothing else but dive and drink.

There was a huge beach party going on last night. Everyone on the boats were going. It was free for ladies before 11pm. My dive shop was organizing a pre-party at the shop that included one free rum drink.  Then they would go to the party in a large group. I was worried about temptation. 

A lot of the females I met were encouraging me to join. But I really wanted to go because of one cute guy I met while diving. He smiled at me a lot and swam close to me on all the dives. He sat next to me at times, asked about my tattoos, and chatted with me about our previous dives. Does he have a crush on me? Would I be able to attend this party and flirt with him sober? If he offered me a drink, would I be able to turn it down? Or would one rum and Coke be okay and loosen me up enough for flirting? Just one and then I will stop.

Asking myself these questions almost made me cry. I kept reminding myself of stories from my past. I remembered sitting on a sailboat on a dive trip, away from the rest of the group, listening to Ani DiFranco on my iPod, and crying because I was ugly. I think I was upset because of a guy I liked or jealous because another girl was getting more attention. But it was one of those times that overthinking while I was drunk led to depression. Someone heard me crying and checked on me. I lied and said I was fine. I was actually thinking of jumping off the boat. I don’t remember why I did not or how I got to my bunk. I was hungover diving the next morning.

There were other stories that came to mind. There were times I missed a flight, bus or ferry due to a hangover. I had a ferry the next day at 7am. Could I go to this party, get some sleep and still make it to my ferry?

I was tired from four dives that day. I decided I would take a nap at my hotel and worry about my decision when I woke up. I was upset that other people do not have this inner debate about enjoying on alcohol.

Instead, I just kept sleeping. When my alarm went off after a two hour nap, I thought it through. I decided I did not want to risk temptation. I did not want to risk missing my ferry. I wanted a good night’s rest before diving today. And I did not want to risk disappointment in case cute, diver guy was not interested in me.

I need to find a group of sober divers.

Second Sober St Patrick’s Day

I survived my second St Patrick’s Day since I quit drinking. It was easy because I worked. I worked the 16th and the 17th. I wonder if I will request to work for this holiday the rest of my working life? It used to be one of my favorite holidays right up there with my birthday, New Year’s Eve, and Halloween. All big drinking celebrations! Now I just enjoy decorating, dressing up, and eating Irish food.

I posted on Facebook a photo of me dressed up for St Patrick’s Day. I was wearing a shirt with shamrocks, shamrock earrings, and a green hairband with pots of gold. A lot of people commented cute things. Then one friend made a comment that she was glad she was not working because she lives right around the corner from a lot of good bars. I got irritated by her comment. She was one of the first friends I told about my sobriety. But she is also a person that loves wine and posts a lot of memes about how wine is wonderful. I can handle her posting about her drinking but found it insensitive to make a comment directed to me about how she is excited to celebrate St Patrick’s Day in bars.

At first, I made a commented “thanks for reminding me that I can’t drink.” Then I went back and deleted my comment and hers. Then I emailed her telling her how I thought the comment was insensitive. I logged off for more than a day. When I logged back on, there was a reply from her. She said she is glad she is not working because St Patrick’s brings in so many drunks. (She works in an emergency room.) But if that was really what she meant, why did she mention all the bars around the corner? I think she is backpedaling and trying to change the meaning, but then again I will never knew her actual meaning. Yet she also told me she is proud I am “laying off” of alcohol. I had to reply back that I am not “laying off” of it, but rather struggling with being an alcoholic in recovery.

Maybe I am just still too sensitive. Maybe I am still too self-centered. Maybe I need to work those steps.

But most definitely, I am an alcoholic. I just need to keep reminding myself that I am sober today.

Mistake: I went with some friends to Savannah, Georgia for St Patrick’s day. We had 6 people crammed into a 2 bed hotel room for 2 nights. There was no vacancy in the whole city. I started drinking as soon as we checked into the room. We met up with another friend of mine at a gay bar. I do not remember much about this place. My group of friends were a mix of females and 2 straight guys.

One of the girls met a guy who said he was gay and in the Army. He pulled her to the side and started to tell her how he is scared to come out to his family and worried what will happen if the Army finds out. The rest of our group had our doubts. If we were not in a gay bar, we would swear this Army guy was hitting on her. He kept putting his hand on the small of her back as they talked and whispered in her ear. When he went to the bathroom, she told us his sob story. One of our friends said it seemed the Army guy was making up this story to get close to our friend. I have actually known straight men that have gone to gay bars and pretended to be gay to meet girls. The more this is what we believed was happening with the Army guy, the more I got mad. But I kept my thoughts to myself and in the bottom of my bottle. I just kept drinking.

We were all drunk hours later. Army guy joined us for bar hopping to other bars. He continued to be very flirtatious and touchy with our friend but still insisted he was gay. I silently fumed. Yet after last call and he followed us to the hotel, I got very pissed off. I was drunk and tired of keeping quiet. I accused him of being straight. And now to add to the accusations, I accused him of trying to lie his way into our hotel room. He kept quiet. I got mean and stated the fact that he was not defending himself is proof he is lying. I told him I was only saying what the rest of the group was thinking. No one said anything. The girl that he was flirting with looked embarrassed and shocked. I do not know why I felt I was the leader of the pack and had to say something. I have no idea what his real story was but when I was drunk, I would fixate on problems or things I thought were problems. He turned and walked away. I went to the room and went to sleep.

The next morning, everyone got up to go to breakfast. I slept. They all went to see the green water in the fountains. I slept. I spent the afternoon sleeping off my hangover. I work up to order pizza. I wasted my whole day. I still want to return to Savannah someday to see things besides the bars.

Nutrition

I have been taking a nutrition class the past few weeks. I have been enjoying it and learning a lot. It really makes me think before I eat something now. I have started counting calories to try to drop a few pounds before the summer.

It has been irritating some coworkers who are criticizing my healthy habits I have developed. One coworker asked me how I have lost weight this past year. I told her “first I cut out alcohol, then soda, then added sugars.” Her response: “I could never cut out alcohol! I don’t care if that makes me sound like an alcoholic!”

I thought “yea. It does.”

There is a lot of mention in almost every chapter about alcohol. Each time I learn something negative about it, it reaffirms my sobriety. It might say alcohol is okay in moderation but that means 1 drink a day for women. One drink! I don’t know anyone who has one drink! Everyone I know who says “oh but wine is good for you” usually don’t realize that means a glass and not the whole bottle.

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When discussing energy and calories in nutrition, it says:

When consumed in excess of energy needs, alcohol, too, can be converted to body fat and stored. When alcohol contributes a substantial portion of the energy in a person’s diet, the harm it does far exceeds the problems of excess body fat.

Alcohol interferes with the growth, maintenance, and repair of the body. It yields 7 kilocalories of energy per gram in comparison to 4 kilocalories per gram for carbohydrates and protein. And to think all of the times I would avoid bread because of the carbs but drank beer like it was nothing! No wonder I got a beer belly. (And beer ass and thighs.) I had all my excuses such as “I don’t go out dancing as much anymore” and “my work schedule made me gain weight” or “I walked less when I lived in such-and-such place”. But the real reason I gained so much weight was because much of my diet was beer and alcohol. And the more I got tolerant of light beer, the more I had to drink stronger beer to get buzzed. And the stronger beers had more calories. Plus, I did not eat the healthiest when drunk. Pizza at 2am! Greasy burgers were great hangover food.

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Anyway, I do not want to sound like a health nut. Looking at the nutritional side of drinking really helps me put my problem in perspective.  And not just the wasted calories, but all the diseases alcohol puts a person at risk for like cardiac disease, malnutrition,  and cancer. Most of my coworkers now know that I quit drinking alcohol, but I think (hope) they believe I quit due to diet changes. I am just still worried about the judgements of others if they know the real reason.

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