One drink for you… 3 drinks for me…

I went out for dinner last night with a friend. I have known DG for 7 years. When I first met her, it was right after I gave up my post-DUI sobriety. It was about two weeks after a pool party where I got trashed. I was still thinking I was able to moderate.The first weekend I met her, I got trashed two nights in a row. I don’t know why I was lying to myself that I did not have a problem.

When I got into the City, I felt very good. I thought “wow I have come a long way in sobriety. I no longer feel temptations to drink here.” The Happy Hour signs on the sidewalks were not trying to trip me anymore. The cheerful people on the patios drinking did tantalize me with their drunk laughter. I felt strong.

When DG arrived, we got a nice table outside. We had a great view for people watching. We chatted and caught up. Service was very slow at this place but we finally got our drink orders placed.

When her Cabernet arrived, I felt a little weak. I could smell her wine as much as I could smell my own breath. It smelled so lovely. It must have been a good bottle. I really wanted a sip. And I found this desire sad. I was just feeling satisfied at not wanting alcohol. One whiff later and I was craving the poison. Maybe I need to start drawing my Sobriety chips on my hands when I go out to remind myself not to reach out for it.

I am not sure what she would have said if I asked for sip. She knows I quit drinking but she did not know the whole story until tonight. And she did not say much about the story yet seemed to understand. Or at least understood I drank way more than normal people. She might not understand why I need to abstain but she does not have an issue if I do not drink.

She was never a big drinker. I would seriously have about 5 glasses per her one when we would party. We have meet up about once or twice a year since I moved away and that usually involves meeting for dinner. I usually would have 2 or 3 cocktails for her one. She took a long time to finish that Cabernet. What a weird and normal drinker she is!

I made one comment that I made too many mistakes when drunk. She started to list some of my mistakes. *sigh* I wonder if I have any friends that DO NOT have drunk stories I do not remember.

Mistake 147- The first time I met DG, it was at a picnic. Nothing bad happen the first day. We were in a public park and alcohol was illegal. No one was drinking until later in the evening. I had a good time and met people. DG and I connected and got along well. I did not get trashed. But the next night, I did.

We went to a late afternoon BBQ. I started drinking then. Then we went to a party to watch the Tonys and kept drinking. Then we went dancing. The last thing I remember is the dance club. Then I woke up in DG’s living room the next morning. She let me come stay at her place because I was too drunk to get home. She said on the walk to her place, I kept yelling I needed sex. She said I was quite funny. “I HAVEN’T HAD SEX IN A LONG TIME! I NEED SEX!!!” She had a guy staying with her, who I apparently almost molested.  She really thought the guy was scared. He was foreign. He had a girlfriend back home. She said I tried to kiss him several times and he pulled away.

I guess I am lucky she has a sense of humor and put up with my crazy, drunk behavior. I am glad she likes me for whatever reason we connected that first day and not for my drunk antics.

Thoughts from Last Attempt at Sobriety

I started a “sober journal” in 2007. This was after my second DUI. I was so serious about it. But I can read doubt in between the lines. It seems I was trying to rush sobriety.  Went to daily AA meetings where I rushed the steps and talked about “God” but did not really believe it. It seems I was practicing to be sober.

My first entry April 7, 2007:

Sometimes I feel like a loser going sober. I feel like I lost the war. I lost the battle with alcohol. At least I am being taken as a prisoner instead of as a corpse.

This will test who my friends are. For awhile I have been depressed by the fact I felt all I have is drinking aquaintances instead of friends. [Name 3 friends] have proven themselves to be real friends.

Then I complained about a “friend” who texted me “I wish you could still party.” I stopped talking to him a few months later for being so unsupportive.  Will I lose friends this round of sobriety?

Then I started a list of mistakes I made from drinking up to that point. If I stayed sober that time, I don’t think I would have been able to create a list of 365 mistakes. That is one thing I would have been okay not accomplishing. But if I relapse this round, how much more will this list increase? Will this list be read at my funeral?

Found a page of my concerns about sobriety back then which I now feel I can answer:

1) will it be hard to make friends now that I don’t drink?
– Nope. Just different type of friends. Ones that like me for me. Not for drunk me.

2) will I find happiness?
– Yep. Even though I still get bouts of sadness and depression, I really feel I am overall happier. And I think more happiness is in my future. Just not suffering hangovers anymore makes me happier!

3) can I find a successful relationship?
– not sure yet since I plan to wait until I am sober for a year, but I am starting to have confidence that I will find someone. For now, I have my friend with benefits. And he has been fun.

4) will my current friends be supportive?
– all the people I knew when I wrote that and I am still in touch with have been wonderful and super supportive.  They have been around long enough to understand why I had to finally quit drinking. Only a few people are acting unsupportive.

5) will I be weak?
– well, I did get weak back then. I stayed sober a little more than 2 months. I did not try going sober again until 7 years later (except for “drinking breaks,” but those were never meant to be permanent.) Back then, I kept thinking I could learn to moderate eventually. Now, I know that is impossible.

Also, now I have a great sober blogging community to keep me strong.

Mistake 144 – I met a girl in Cairns, Australia with whom I became temporarily friends. We were sharing a dorm room. We had things in common. We talked about getting together again when we returned to America. But I got drunk and ruined the friendship.

I started an open water diving course in Cairns. It was a week long with the last 3 days out on a boat. But our last two certification dives were canceled due to cyclones. The boat went back to the docks. Most of the class returned to the boat the next day to continue the course. I declined. I was scared. I would finish my certification elsewhere.

I stayed in Cairns and partied with my new friend. We got along well. We went to see sites together. It was typical of how quick friendships can form when traveling. And the night my diving class came back from the boat, I invited her to come join my class at a bar. We were going to celebrate everyone’s new diving certification. And I confessed to her, I wanted to join because I had a crush on the boat captain.

It started out fun. When the captain started to flirt with her, I got jealous. Then she flirted back. And the answer to my jealousy was “get drunk!” I started badmouthing her to the other divers. How dare that slut go for the guy I liked! I talked my classmates into leaving that bar and sneaking over to another. We didn’t tell her where we were going. We just sort of ditched out and went elsewhere. I thought I was so clever.

But she arrived at the new bar with the Captain. She found me and said “wow you guys left quick? Why didn’t you tell me where you were going?” Oh I thought someone told you.  Then she asked if I was mad. I lied and said no. I kept drinking and doing a lot of shots. She then left with the Captain.  My response was to find first, cute random guy and take him back to the dorm room.

Then next day she told me how she went home with the Captain.  She found lipstick and tampons in his bathroom. She asked and turns out he had a girlfriend out of town. I laughed. That is what she deserved. I was a mean bitch. We stopped hanging out together even though we kept sharing a room. I booked a bus to leave Cairns soon. We did not bother to stay in touch.

Even if I lose friends in sobriety, what about the friends I lost from my drinking?

Google myself

I tried to Google my blog. I typed “365reasons” and the first 4 things that popped are were “365 reasons i love you”, “365 reasons i love my boyfriend”, “365 reasons i love her”, and “365 reasons to drink.”

Love, love, love and alcohol. It is what is on everyone wants.

I went and clicked on the 4th option. I found it depressing. The top story was 365 Excuses to Get Drunk. As if people need an excuse? It was depressing that there is a whole magazine and website dedicated to, not just drinking, but “standing up for your right to get falling down drunk since 1996.” I actually might have read the magazine? I think I found a copy of it in a bar and that was where I discovered the term alcoheimers. Man, I was not just an alcoholic. I was a DEDICATED alcoholic. I am surprised I did not get a subscription to the magazine. I guess the closest I ever came to a drunk subscription was a wine club. They sent me cases every few months. The magazine would have been cheaper.

A bit further down, I found a link to an app on a Smartphone for drinking: 365 Reasons to Drink. I wonder if I can get someone to create an app after I complete my year of daily blogs. But my app would be a personal one with my mistakes. Everyday it will beep with my sobriety count and instead of some daily reflection, it will say “remember the time you passed out on the street in Brooklyn” or another drunk mistake.

Crazy that when I went back and added “not” to the front of the word “drink” in the Google search, my blog came up. I guess that is a good thing!

I am not beating myself up over my past and my drunk mistakes. I am realizing how far I have come. I watched Rum Diary tonight. And even though Johnny Depp’s character is an alcoholic and there is a lot of my old favorite liquor in the movie, I did not desire any rum. Instead I thought about booking a flight to Puerto Rico where the movie takes place. I even started to look up volunteer opportunities there. (Let me know of any volunteer jobs or companies you would recommend.)

A friend that I had dinner with a couple weeks ago emailed me and said he plans to quit drinking. He has a sobriety date set up for his birthday in a few weeks from now. He said he plans to pick up as much overtime at work to avoid the temptation. He said that helped when he quit smoking. He wants more tips from me. I need to plan a night next week to have dinner with him again.

(I have been very bad with reading other sober blogs lately. I am not being selfish. It has been time consuming to write my daily blog on top of work, school work, and my travels. But I was just reading through some and found this post about Sober and Awkward. Her rock bottom was a car wreck. She hit another car head on. She just got sentenced to 6 months in jail. I cried. I cried for her and for thinking “that could have been me!” I now feel selfish.)

Mistake 142- Many years ago, when I was still new to drinking but already blacking out and making mistakes, I went to a party at my friend’s house. Her housemates were away for the weekend. I remember she regretted the party because of lot of stuff got ruined. Drunk guys threw furniture into the pool and over into a canyon. People were having sex in her roommates bed that was off limits.

I had sex in the bathroom. I barely remember someone trying to open the door on us. I remember she was so mad at me. Our friends were mad at me also. I can’t remember now, but I think either the guy had a girlfriend or one of my friends liked him.

I helped her clean up the next day. I kept apologizing. 20 years later, she laughs it off as “we were dumb and in college!” When college kids do crazy things like that, it is seen as normal.

Fat Tuesday

My friends in New Orleans are celebrating Mardi Gras. I am celebrating another day of sobriety.

I used to love making lists of party destinations. I wanted to experience the greatest festivals around the world. Mardi Gras in New Orleans. Carnival in Rio de Janeiro. St Patrick’s in Dublin. Full Moon parties in Thailand. Oktoberfest in Munich. I have been to some and made drunk mistakes while living it up. I now wonder if I could still attend the ones I missed and enjoy them sober.

Mistake #35- I was on a cross-country trip with a friend and we planned to stay in New Orleans for two nights. We stayed with a family she knew in Metairie, a suburb of the city. We were in luck that this was the beginning of the Mardi Gras season. The first night I went to bed early because I was tired from driving. The next night we were going to the French Quarter to celebrate!

Before we went out, I was had lunch alone and was checking Facebook on my phone. It was Valentine’s Day. I noticed that the guy I recently stopped seeing changed his FB status to “in a relationship.” We only broke up the previous week. And in the two months we dated, we never had that status. I texted him asking if that was why he wanted to stop seeing me. He replied “sort of.” I asked if he was seeing her while dating me and he said “kind of.” I was furious.

I went back to the house we were staying to get my friend and get ready for the night. I needed to get trashed. We were going to hit Bourbon Street and I was gonna forget about him. We dressed up fancy and I put on a Venetian mask that I bought that day. It was beautiful and about $25. We began to hit the bars at happy hour. I think we had dinner in there somewhere. We watched mini parades of people playing music. We went to bars that had balconies to get good views of the people.

I began “earning” beads. My fancy black dress was easy to flip down for quick flashing. I drank a lot of shots and would toast to the ex-boyfriend “FUCK HIM” with each one. He was from Los Angeles so I started to bash all Californian men. “SCREW THEM ALL!” My friend said I was pretty funny but she was worried about me cause I kept falling. And I was getting serious about earning my beads.

I woke up the next day in a hotel bed. My dress was laying on the floor next to the bed. My pile of beads (at least 30) was laying on top of my dress. I found one of my earrings on the nightstand. My Venetian mask was missing. No one was in my room. I sort of remember kissing a guy from a local university in one of the bars. I put on my dress and searched for the missing earring. It was a pretty, yellow amber one I bought in Germany. As I was searching, a guy walked in. I looked at him and tried to piece together if I knew him and what was his name. He must have noticed my confusion cause he laughed and said “A. went out to lunch. He will be back soon.” Oh yes… that was college boy’s name. I thanked him. He said something about my huge collection of beads. I gathered them up into my arms. I wrote my number and email on hotel stationery and said “if you guys find my earring, please send it to me.” I had no plans to really stay in touch with this guy. I just wanted my earring. He took the paper and said sure.

I got a taxi back to Metairie. The family was pushing their baby in a stroller on the way to see a parade. The mom laughed and said “oh the days of the walk of shame!” She actually was the same age as me. My friend filled me in more on the night. Yes, I was kissing the college guy in the bar. She wanted to leave and I refused. So she left me there. I told her about the missing earring and she said “you will never see it again nor hear from him. He used you and that is that.”

I felt ashamed but I defended myself with “I used him! I got over one guy from LA but getting under a different guy in a different L.A.”

Sometimes humor is my best defense.

Training

Today I had a meeting with a trainer at the gym.  He asked me questions to figure out who to pair me up with and gave me some advice to meet my fitness goals. A lot of what he said made me think of my sobriety goals.

-gonna take awhile
-little bit at a time
-even when I am not at the gym (AA meeting), I have to focus on my goals

I was very happy when he asked me if I drink alcohol and I replied “I quit.” He said “good for you!” He asked if I had anyone supporting me in my fitness goals. I said no. I am alone. That is also how I feel with going sober. Maybe I should start a fitness blog also?

As he went on about long term goals, I did not tell him I most likely will be moving from the area in May. It makes me feel deceitful. I hope I can continue my goals to work out wherever I do move just like I hope I keep going to AA there.

I feel the next few months of my life will be work, sleep, blog, read, AA meetings,  and the gym.  Oh, and Walking Dead every Sunday night. I have a few plans for friends to visit and to visit friends while I am living in this area.  I will wait until just prior to the visitation to tell them I quit drinking. Lucky for me, most of the plans are with friends with whom I have a real relationship. Meaning, there is more to the friendship than partying. I know what they do for a living! I have or will meet their children!

I am in training to get fit and sober!

Mistake # 26- Five years ago, I took off 5 weeks inbetween jobs to travel Europe. I had my flights booked. I had a Eurorail pass for the train. First stop was a few nights in London to visit a friend. It was her 30th birthday party. We drank a lot of wine and mojitos, her favorite drink. The ones I made were crap but very strong. I passed out in her spare room. Good thing I was staying with her for my visit.

I did not see any sites of London the next day because I was hungover.

The next night, I went out with one of her friends. The birthday girl stayed home because she needed a night off from drinking. Wuss. We went to a pub to meet up with a large group of travelers. Pints were about £2 each which is very cheap for London. I drank a lot until the place closed at 11pm. One of the guys was a member at an after hours club. He was able to get us all in. I do not remember much once there. I was glad I had her friend with me to get me back to where I was staying. I can not imagine trying to navigate London’s bus system drunk.

I woke up the next day to get ready for a flight to Amsterdam. Then I realized my travel purse was missing. My travel purse with my money, credit cards, and passport. I felt like an idiot. I felt lost. I was scared. I missed my flight but was glad it was with a discount airline. I maybe lost only $40.  I used my friend’s computer to try to look up getting a new passport from the US Embassy. It was Sunday so I would have to wait until the next day and it would still take a few days.  Did I just ruin my whole trip?

I called and left a message with the club. I felt it was useless. I did not know when they would open. I sat around my friend’s house crying and regretting the night. I should have stayed in with her. She tried to cheer me up. She offered me some of her good wine. Finally around 5pm, she received a phone call from the club. They had my purse! Everything was in it.

I booked a new flight for early the next day. I only missed out on 1 day of the trip! I was still able to see the few things I wanted to see in Amsterdam and visit friends in other Dutch cities. I did not lose my passport again the rest of the trip.

But I did make more drunk mistakes.

Healthy

I have told a few people I quit drinking to try to be healthier. Maybe I should actually follow that advice. I signed up for a two-month gym membership today. And I bought 10 yoga classes. Thank you Groupon!

It is hard to quit a lot of things at once. I am finding it harder to stop drinking soda than alcohol. I am addicted to Diet Coke but I know the chemicals in it are bad for me. I keep telling myself at least I can still operate a car after a 6 pack. It annoys me that I have so many friends that codemn me for drinking soda but they would never encourage me to quit booze.

When I quit drinking for two months last fall, I was upset I did not lose weight. I really thought cutting out the calories of beer and wine would make me drop pounds. Hopefully adding exercise and proper eating to the sober thing will get me a size smaller before I finish the 100 Days Challenge.

Mistake #22- Ten year ago, I went to a gay club with some gay guys I knew. I used to be a regular there with another group of friends that all moved away or moved on. I got very drunk and passed out. The bouncers woke me up to kick me out. I ended up leaving with a very hot guy. This guy was very built and muscular. I think my gay friends were trying to hit on him but since he was straight, they encouraged me to get with the guy. My friends did not want to leave when I was kicked out but he offered to give me a ride. He took me to an after party. More drinking.

I went back to his place afterwards. I remember it being disgusting and messy.  We did not have sex that night. I didn’t know why cause I was too drunk. But the next morning, we attempted sex and he was having issues. I took a shower. When I came out, he asked me for a favor. He started to pull down his pants and I was about to protest what I thought he was going to ask. Then he handed me a syringe and asked me to give him a shot in his ass. I was relieved but then was shocked. “Steroids???” He smiled. No wonder he had performance problems.

I ignored his calls and never saw him again.

Reinventing self

I started my new job today. Well, I restarted it after my first day was delayed due to mixed up paperwork. The day went well and I got along well with all my new coworkers. I realized, I could be a whole new person here. I could be someone to them that NEVER drank. I could create an image of a “good girl.”

Years ago, I learned my lesson of not mixing my social and work lives. I tried to avoid being a victim of workplace gossip. I used to say it was because I was not judgemental like the uptight staff. Actually, I was worried about them judging me and my drinking.

Before learning to separate business and pleasure, I used to go to happy hour after a shift with coworkers. At 8am. We worked nights. We knew of the two breakfast places that had happy hour from 7am to 9am. Bloody marys, screwdrivers, and other breakfast juices with booze. Two for the price of one. It was a great deal and great way to blow of steam after a stressful night of work.

I will have to developed other ways to bond.

Mistake # 21: A couple years ago, I went out with two young women from work. We were all new to the area and job. We all met up at my place. We took a taxi to some local bars. A guy I slightly knew texted me. Even though I was not interested in him, I invited him to join us. The night turned into the four of us drinking and talking and having fun. I think.

I woke up the next day in my bed wearing only my shirt and underwear. I was hungover and not remembering most of the night. The two women from work slept in my living room. When I asked what happened, they did not believe I could not recall what I did.  They said I was making out with the guy that joined us. Then he tried to come home with us but they refused to let him. They kept saying “I can’t believe you don’t remember any of this?” Blackouts were a foreign concept to them. When I got to my apartment, I stripped off my jeans as soon as I got in the door without closing it. Then I stumbled to my bedroom and passed out. They had to lock up my place.

I am not sure if they told anyone at work about my behaviour. They barely talked to me anymore. All three of us were temporary employees and went our separate ways after a few months. Being a temporary employee made reinventing myself easy.