Sober at the Party

I went to a party last night. It was a costume party. Again, I loved seeing all the creativity and beautiful outfits people made. And I loved the music!  I was reminded that if the DJ is good, I can dance without alcohol or drugs.

I arrived 11:30pm. I thought that was a good time. My friend said she would arrive the same time. I waited. And waited. I walked around a lot and texted a friend. I felt like a loser on my phone at a party. I had a hard time trying to find people I knew because I wasn’t wearing my glasses and everyone was in costumes. A lot of people had masks, wigs, or just looked different. Feeling aline made me want to drink. If I had a few and got tipsy, I wouldn’t mind the waiting and I would have the courage to talk to strangers.

My friend showed up with her friends close to 130am. And she was trashed. It was so annoying. She kept telling me wonderful things about myself and how good I look since I got sober. Her slurring made me even happier to be sober than her compliments. I kept apologizing to people as she pushed through the dance crowd. At least she is a friendly drunk. She hugged a lot of people and told them all how beautiful they are.

I left at 3:30am. We had plans for a dinner cruise with friends today. We were supposed to arrive between 3:30 and 4:30. It is now almost 5pm and she has not even responded to my messages. My guess is she is still sleeping away her hangover. She most likely will miss the boat leaving the dock. I guess I better try to meet some peope.

Women for Sobriety

I was reading an article (can’t remember which one now) about other programs that help people stay sober besides AA. I find a lot of these articles on The Fix website. I follow it on Facebook. I recommend it to everyone who is struggling with an addiction and likes to read.

I came across a website Women For Sobriety.  I submitted to join last week but I am just getting around to exploring the site today. It is interesting. It is a forum for women only to discuss our struggle and support each other. The first thing I came across while reading introductions was 13 affirmations that should be said each day. (I guess I should have read it in an “about” section first but I was skipping ahead. ) I really like these and plan to say them daily. For as long as I remember to. Actually, I might print them out and put them on my bathroom mirror.

1. I have a life-threatening problem that once had me.  I now take charge of my life and my disease. I accept the responsibility.

2. Negative thoughts destroy only myself.  My first conscious sober act must be to remove negativity from my life.

3. Happiness is a habit I will develop.  Happiness is created, not waited for.

4.  Problems bother me only to the degree that I permit them to.

5. I am what I think.  I am a capable, competent, caring, compassionate woman.

6. Life can be ordinary or it can be great.  Greatness is mine by a conscious effort.

7. Love can change the course of my world.  Caring becomes all important.

8. The fundamental object of life is emotional and spiritual growth.  Daily I put my life into a proper order, knowing which are the priorities.

9. The past is gone forever.  No longer will I be victimized by the past, I am a new person.

10. All love given returns.  I will learn to know that others love me.

11. Enthusiasm is my daily exercise.  I treasure all moments of my new life.

12. I am a competent woman and have much to give life.  This is what I am and I shall know it always.

13. I am responsible for myself and for my actions.  I am in charge of my mind, my thoughts, and my life.


Another Sober Halloween… and a date with a person in recovery

I feel I have lots to say and wish I committed more time to blogging. Just like I wish I committed more time to AA meetings, yoga, reading, exercise, etc.

I survived another Halloween sober! Then again, I shouldn’t really say it is another because last year I did not go to any parties. (I also just looked back and realized I wrote about planning to go out for Halloween but I never wrote about the night.)  Last year, I went to help set up and decorate for the party I was going to that night. I brought my costume in a bag. I did not know anyone in this group yet and wanted to help set up as a way to meet people. I originally planned on attending a parade in between set up and the party. I spent all afternoon helping and did meet a few people who I still talk with today. By the end of set up, I was so tired. I went to take a nap in my car. I decided to skip the parade. That nap felt so good. When my alarm went off, I decided to skip the whole party and slept in my car some more. I never got to wear my Gizmo costume.

This year, the party and the parade were on different nights. And I skipped helping with setup. I napped at home before getting ready. I was ready for a late night of dancing! I did drink a Red Bull on my way there and stash another in my car for the drive home.

I asked a guy to meet me at the party that I went on a short date with a month ago. He seemed nice and he likes the outdoors. He does not drink but for religious reasons. I am now not sure I want someone like that. I will get to that in a bit.

I went dressed as the Mad Hatter. I must say, I did an excellent job on the costume and makeup. I had teapot earrings and carried a little toy teapot all night. I got a lot of compliments. I think that was my highlight: all the positive attention! That was one of my main reasons for drinking, right? There were a lot of jokes of “what is in the teapot?” and people suggesting I sneak vodka in it. I actually could have because they did not check it at the door. I was really wishing I hid ice tea in it because it was $3 for bottle water and the sink in the bathroom had a very slow drip.

Knowing people there that I met at Burning Man made the night so much better. I felt included. It felt wonderful to walk through a crowd and have people recognize me or see people I knew. It made me almost glad I missed it last year when I did not know anyone in this group of people. I also had a friend there that I recently discovered moved to my area! I met her at Burning Man 2008 and we have gotten to know each other via Facebook. I am thrilled she is living nearby so now I will have a friend in my area. It sounds so pathetic but I really need friends nearby. I want to invite people over for dinner and to see my home. I have been feeling lonely.

I regretted inviting my date. First of all, his breath stank! I offered him gum several times and he turned it down. I wanted to beg him or go to my car for a toothbrush. Then we would lose each other in the crowd and he would get upset. I did not think it was much of a problem because I knew we would eventually find each other in the club. There were 3 small dance rooms. So he  grabbed my arm to avoid losing me and that annoyed me. And I thought it was rude when we walked down the stairs because he held onto my arm and walked next to me, blocking the path of people walking the opposite way on the stairs. I asked how he was getting home and he told me by train, but I knew the last train stopped soon. The next one would not be until 530 am.  For some reason, I felt he was fishing for me to offer him a ride home. He asked me what time WE were leaving. I told him I might stay to help clean up. He said he could stick around for that too.

I started to get too tired around 4am. There was still another hour of the party to go. I told my date that I couldn’t last any longer. He asked me for a ride to the train station. He gave me a sob story about waiting there but I was not biting the bait.

As we walked to my car, we passed a small crowd around a young woman. This woman had a bleeding knee. I stopped to offer help. The crowd was a bouncer holding her up and three strangers. The woman fell on the dance floor (wearing 4 inch heels) and could barely stand. The bouncer was trying to get her a cab. The strangers (2 women and a man) were trying to assist him and decipher her address. I told the crowd I had a car and could drive her home if it wasn’t too out-of-the-way. (Let me clarify that date definitely lived out-of-the-way.)  I felt sorry for this young woman and I don’t always trust taxis, especially around inebriated helpless females. With help of Google maps and several questions, we figured out her address. She thanked me constantly on the way back and slurred answers about herself. She kept saying she thinks someone slipped something in her drink. It was possible, but she reminded me of myself in one of my many blackouts. I made sure she had her walllet and cell phone on her. I even mentioned that I used to be just like her in my drinking days. My date said “oh really?”  I told him yes and that is why I quit.

His “oh really” response is why I am not sure I should try to date people that abstain from alcohol for religious reasons. I get worried they won’t understand the reasons I need to abstain, not just choosing to abstain. I worry they will judge me for my reasons and for my pass. I also worry they won’t be able to sympathize with my struggle.

So now to talk about my date the next night with someone that is in recovery. But it wasn’t the type of recovery I expected. This date was with a woman who has over a decade sober. She already told me she is not willing to date me because I am so new and we will just be friends. I respect that. I could use more sober friends. Yet she told me she never had a problem with alcohol. She never liked the way it made you lose motor control. She had a drug problem. I never asked which drug because it doesn’t matter.

I don’t think of her as different or worse than an alcoholic in recovery. Yet I do think there is a difference in temptation for her and I. I felt she wouldn’t really understand my problem because alcohol is so normal in society. I confessed to her my recent relapse. She started to give me the AA lectures and I should get a sponsor. I mentioned that I thought of writing a letter to make amends with my sister and she told me I should wait until a sponsor advises that. This is when the AA dogma annoys me: what makes a sponsor an expert? I actually had a therapist advise me to write this letter months ago but I have been putting it off. I hate when people talk about sponsors as if they are the antidote to a fucked up life. They are like ushers to sobriety. I do want a sponsor but I am not going to listen to everything this person says unless they have a master in psychology.

So while I wouldn’t mind having this woman as a sober friend, I am not sure how far this friendship will go if it is full of her lecturing me.

But I want to add that I just got an email from my friend that just moved to this area. She said she doesn’t know what changed about me but I look great and happy. I told her I quit drinking. That was a nice reminder of how sobriety does shin through.

Drunk Guy Videos Drunk Girl During Sex

I read this story and think “thank god cell phones weren’t around when I was in college.” There were a lot of horrible drunk nights that I had blackout sex and could have been recorded.  Hell just because I am not young nor a college student, if I drink again, this could happen to me.

The Buddha and Bill W. | The Fix

I am sharing this to read later. But Buddhism has helped me with sobriety more than AA. And it has also been helping with ny depression. I quit taking Prozac more than a month ago and doing okay so far. I have read most of the Kevin Griffin  books. I think this is a good perspective for people uncomfortable with the Bible and Christian roots of AA.

Getting ready for 2nd sober Burning Man

I am more nervous this year. Maybe it is because last year, I had 7 months of sobriety before I headed out to Black Rock City. I had more confidence.

This time, I will only be 90 days sober after a slip. I feel weaker. I know I am capable of slipping again. I even had a dream last night that I decided to give up sobriety for a week and drink moderately. When I woke up, scenes of getting mad at bartenders cutting me off came to my mind.

I can’t do it. I can not drink moderately. Alcohol is a poison that makes me crave more. This has nothing to do with secretly drinking out there and/or just trying to fit in. If I drink, I might not stop until I blackout. And then I might do something horrible, dangerous, or die.

I plan to go to an AA meeting in Reno the night before I go out to the playa. Then I will hit as many meetings as I can at Anonymous Village. I even plan to set up a tent at their camp in case I need to get away from my camp. I am picking up tonic water and teas and lots of juices for my week out there.

That dream scared me. Maybe I need to read through my whole blog before I go as a reminder. Maybe bring my Big Book to read out there.

I will check back to share how I survived my 2nd sober Burning Man.

In Denali but not Denial

Hey everyone! Sorry I have been quiet. I guess I felt either not much to say or didn’t have time to organize my thoughts. I was working a lot of overtime all summer. It kept me busy and sober. And helped my bank account.

But I am now on a life-dream trip of Alaska! I have always wanted to visit Denali National Park. I have dreamt of camping up here and seeing a lot of wildlife. And I am so glad I am healthy enough to do it. I actually stepped up my plans and did a backpacking trip into the back country of the park. BY MYSELF! I don’t think it is something I would have had the stamina for if I was still in my active alcoholic days.

That doesn’t mean being sober has been easy yet. I am grateful and kept reminding myself how much better it is to hike than to be hungover. Though there were moments I thought “when I am done I want to reward myself with a beer!” And I kept thinking “I promise just one beer. A nice Alaskan micro brew.” I think the fact that most places I stopped to eat at were breweries fueled those ideas.

Then I would think of my drunk stories.  One in particular kept flashing in my mind of a party where I had sex with to different guys in one night. The fact that the two guys hated each other made it sort of exciting. It is disgusting to think of some the risks I took while intoxicated .

And now I was hiking alone with 40 pounds on my back in grizzly country. This was a much more dangerous risk but more enlightening. More character building. More respectful. I started to think if I had the courage to do this, I could do almost anything. If I could survive, I could survive a lot of situations. I thought of my muscles that were carrying me over those miles; part of a body that I almost destroyed with alcohol. I did a lot of thinking of how lonely I feel back home surrounded by people but I felt perfectly content miles from society by myself.

I did reward myself when I got back to civilization.  I had an Alaskan brewed root beer and a big burger.

I turned 40 while on that hike. I made a new decade resolution.  I plan to spend the next ten years focusing on my body, mind, and spiritual growth. And that is all included with remaining sober.