It was strange. In the dream, I met up with an internet friend. Someone I only know online. And she had a beautiful cake that was made to look like a doll. And I ate a huge portion of the “hair” of this cake. It upset her. And I kept trying to make amends and figure where I went wrong. I kept thinking “but I am sober! How am I still screwing up?”
Then somehow later, or another time plane, I received coupons for an Irish bar. This friend either gave me the coupons or she was there and excited to use them with me. The storyline was blurry. But I kept thinking “maybe I can restart the sober clock after using these coupons? I shouldn’t waste free drinks” Then I would get mad at myself for feeling that weak. I kept wondering “am I really don’t this again? Complete sobriety?”
I’ve been depressed last few days and a messed up sleep schedule. Both can be due to the fact I work night shift. But I am wondering if it due to the fact booze have been out of my system a full week? Since I haven’t been keeping track of sober days vs drinking days for years now, I don’t know when was the last time I went a full week without alcohol? Definitely not in Saudi. I guess my 10 days COVID quarantine when I returned to the US? I slept a lot that week and blamed it on jetlag.
if I could only always remember how much it sucks to go through this process of cleaning out my system. Can I have a good sleep/awake rotation while working night shift?
I have been fully vaccinated from COVID for over a month. And since the CDC said fully vaccinated people can travel at no risk to themselves now, I decided to take a short roadtrip to the mountains.
Once again, work has made keeping away from alcohol easy the past few days. And when I arrived at my hotel, I was very tired. But as I now have coffee in the lobby and see the beer bottles lined up behind the bar, my first thought it “would be nice to have one tonight.”
But maybe if I return to blogging almost daily, (I am not gonna commit to daily), I can be accountable to something to remain sober.
I need to reread my drunk mistakes that I started blogging about 7 years ago so I know what one’s I wrote about already. But for now, I will post a more recent one.
I was living in Saudi Arabia. I thought it would be easy to keep sober in a country where alcohol was illegal, but no. Almost every expat has easy access to alcohol.
I went away for a night to visit another city a few hours away. A guy I met on Tinder, another expat, offered to allow me to stay in his guestroom. It was not smart but I was depressed and lonely. Those two combined leads to desperation.
When I arrived, he gave me a tour of the city in his car. He seemed like a nice guy. He was living in Saudi for several years. We did not talk about our lives back home. Only talked about our experiences in the Kingdom.
That evening at his place, he made us pork ribs. Yes, another thing illegal in that country. Enjoying the forbidden was a special high. With dinner, he served us gin and tonics with Tanqueray that he smuggled in. He made me drinks very strong.
After dinner, we kept alternating sharing music we liked via YouTube videos on his television. At some point after many drinks, we began kissing.
Let me back up though to the times his phone rang. He would answer it and leave the room. He would go to the kitchen or down the hall to chat. This happened twice. He spoke in his language but I understood when he said “I love you” before hanging up.
During out makeout session, as the clothes were starting to come off, he confessed. He said he was married. A smarter woman, or a sober woman, would have stopped there. But alcohol was clouding my mind. I just yelled at him for telling me. Then we had sex. I don’t remember much of it except it wasn’t good. Then I passed out asleep.
Then next day, I had a wicked hangover. He tried to wake me up for morning sex and I just growled “I need water.” He got me water, and then kept trying to kiss my shoulder. I kept pushing him away. The regret was worse than the hangover. I kept scolding myself “he told you he was married and YOU STILL had sex with him! You are a horrible person!”
I kept pushing him away. “I need sleep!” He finally got out of the bed and let me sleep in. When I did wake up hours later, I noticed all the crosses and religious icons in the room. I then remember a bit of the conversation of him being a devout Catholic. This was making me mad cause not only did I have sex with a married man, I had sex with a hypocrite!
I emerged from the guestroom and entered the living room. I said I needed to have lunch. The previous day he did mention a restaurant in town I wanted to try. He began saying lunch could wait and started to try to kiss me. I kept pushing him away. I was so disgusted with myself and him.
I began texting my friend back in the USA. She told me to just leave. But his home was on a military base. Uber was not allowed on the base. So I couod leave until he drove me somewhere. I wanted to return to a tourist site where I could request a taxi or Uber home.
He began to say “I want to do what we did last night.” He wouldn’t say sex. Just kept saying those words like it was something pre-pubescent game where you couldn’t say that 3-letter word. I kept pushing him away and moving couches or room.
I finally said “what would your wife say about it?” This upset him.
“Why would you say that? Don’t say that.”
Phone rang. Maybe she sensed it.
I went to grab my bag. I also put on my abaya. (Abayas are the robes women wear over their clothes in public. Abayas are not mandatory in Saudi anymore, but many places it felt uncomfortable to not wear one so I had to always carry one.) When I returned to the living room wearing the abaya and my overnight bag in my hand, he got the point.
We left and went to the restaurant. I needed a greasy burger and fries. Since public displays of affection are taboo in Saudi, I did not have to worry about him attempting to kiss me.
After lunch, he dropped me at the taxi stand. He helped me negotiate a price with a taxi driver. Then I was gone. No hug. Just waved and I hopped in the car.
He kept texting me afterwards. He said he wanted to see me again. I finally blocked him.
Before moving to Saudi, I was worried about getting involved with a married man. I heard too often about the men that go there to work and conduct affairs. It happened to a friend of mine and ruined her marriage.
I was lonely, so I wondered if I did not drink gin that night, would I still have had sex with him? Probably not, cause he was about 4 inches shorter than me. I didn’t know beer goggles also added height.
I know this sober thing is to be taken one day at at time. But I am excited for my 30th day of sobriety next week! It really should not be too amazing. I have done it before. I have also cheated in the past on my 30 day drinking breaks.
In 2011, I met with a friend that was sober for seven months. He did it on his own after spending a night in jail. We talked about my problem. We both just came from a festival where I woke up one night in the medical tent. I had an IV in my hand to rehydrate me. The story of how I got there is confusing. I either fell off a moving vehicle or I was found passed out drunk. I had bruises on my legs. My friend suggested I try to stop drinking for 30 days. He said just do 30 days and then decide if I wanted to continue. I made the promise to myself and him.
After 28 days of being sober, I was invited to join some people for happy hour. I was in a foreign country. I like meeting new people. I did not want to be left out. And as I sat down, I decided that 28 days was a lunar month and that was a good enough dry month. I ordered a few cocktails. I ordered a lot of cocktails. The three people I met drank a lot less than I did. I think they actually left me at the table and I drank until closing time. I almost missed my bus the next day.
I did a 30 day drinking break last year that ended with me getting trashed at a club and blacking out.
I tried a 30 day drinking break last fall that was interrupted by a music festival. I modified that break by saying “well I didn’t say 30 days IN A ROW.” I got drunk at the end of the festival and made a fool out of myself to a man I loved. We ended the romantic relationship.
Last October, I received some possible negative news in relation to my career. It was an indirect result from drinking mistakes in the past. I did not make a 30 day drinking break then. Instead, I just said “not gonna drink for awhile.” Then I decided “not gonna drink until New Years Eve.” I couldn’t imagine not getting drunk for New Years. I hated 2013 and was looking forward to celebrating a new year. But I thought not drinking for 2 months would be a sign to me that I could control it. I thought it would earn me good karma points.
I did not make it. I drank December 29. Since my last drink before that was October 28, I modified that promise with “well I have been sober two months. That is good enough.” I was in Thailand. I did not want to leave the country without having a Mai Thai.
I drank a lot the next three weeks. Made more mistakes. Put myself in danger. And then I got word that the possible negative news for my career was more real. I felt that was my “rock bottom.” I could not imagine my career ending. It is the most positive thing I have.
I decided to quit. After one more night of getting drunk. I had a bottle of my favorite rum to empty before I go sober. I made one more mistake that night. And three days later, I had my last drink.
30 days will be the first milestone in this new life. I woke up today thinking about it and got worried. I know I can stay sober until February 20th. It is the days after it that scare me. Staying sober until 60 days. Then 90s days. Then complete the 100 Day Challenge. I am still scared to tell a lot of people.
And I woke up mad. I hate not being able to drink like most people. I drank to try to fit in. Will I fit in anywhere now besides an AA meeting?
Then I read a quote I wrote in my journal in April 2012. It was from a biography about Johnny Depp.
I’m not sure I’m capable of leaving behind a personal message. But if I did, I hope it would be that it’s okay to be different from the crowd. In fact, it’s really good to be different from the crowd, and that we really should question ourselves before we pass judgement on someone who is different to us.
So I am different. And this 30 days of sobriety will be different from my drinking breaks in the past. I really need to take this one day at a time. One mistake at a time.
Mistake # 16- The mystery of waking up in the medical tent at that festival with an IV in my arm. To this day, friends from that festival tease me about falling off vehicles.
There are thousands of people over at Soberistas.com supporting one another in achieving a happy and healthy alcohol-free life. You can find out more about joining our online community at soberistas.com