Planning

I was thinking how much planning I used to have to do when drinking. I would have to figure out transportation,  but sometimes I did not plan that too well. I would take only my ID and a debit card or credit card and leave the rest in my wallet at home to avoid losing my wallet. I even bought a cheap, “party” camera to take out drinking in case I lost it. Sometimes I would remember to copy photos from my SD card to my laptop before leaving in case I lost it. I was usually more upset about losing the SD card than the cameras. I am surprised I did not buy a cheap, “drinking” cell phone.

If I was going to a bar alone, which I did a lot, I would bring a book or something to keep me and my drink occupied. I would request a stool or table with light so I could read. I would not be able to concentrate on the book after a few drinks and would usually end up talking to the bartender or strangers next to me. Years ago, I used to plan my nights based on where people I knew would be. More recent years, I just wanted to drink. I did not care if my friends would be out. I am not sure why I preferred bars to drinking at home. Maybe it made me feel less lonely. I think I drank at home more when I had roommates.

I even planned places I lived based on if there were bars in walking distance. I rented one house that was near a beer store but I did not have a car. I would pull a wagon to the store to buy cases of beer. I kept a cooler upstairs in the computer to keep cold beers handy. When my dad lived with me, he had a mini-fridge moved into the upstairs bedroom. After he passed away, I pushed it to the computer room. Yes! It could hold more beers than the cooler and did not need refills of ice.

I would even plan out hangovers. I would never make plans early in the day. I kept Advil in my bag in case I did not make it home and needed it wherever I woke up. Sometimes I kept a travel toothbrush and pair of underwear in my bag for those mornings. I even bought some incense that was supposed to be for hangovers.

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So much energy went into planning my life around alcohol. I still need to do planning to avoid drinking now, but it feels easier. I have to think of backup plans in case I get tempted. I try to plan to fit at least one AA meeting a week. I have to plan to avoid triggers or plan how I will handle them. But I feel great.  This planning has more positive outcomes.

Mistake 113- I was in Santiago, Chile.  I had plans to meet up in a club with some people from a website. I think it was someone’s birthday or going away party. I brought my “party” camera and left my good camera in my room. I also only brought local cash and my driver license for ID in my pocket. I was drinking Sprite and pisco, the national drink (depending if you ask a Chilean or Peruvian.) I remember some dancing. I got very drunk. 

Next morning, I had no more cash,  no driver’s license,  and my camera was missing.  The guy that organized the party emailed me. They found my ID and camera in the bathroom. They said the camera did not seem to work because it was sitting in a puddle of water when they found it. I gave him an address of a place I would be in Argentina and had him mail it to me. I do not remember if I ever sent him money to cover the postage. The camera was ruined and so was the SD card. But I got my driver’s license back.

Sober Soup

Today I am 100 days sober.

I still feel I am treading the waters here. It does not feel like I am taking the plunge into sobriety yet. It seems like a test run. A competition. A challenge. Did I win yet?

I feel I have gotten this far with a sober soup. It is a mixture of different things. Belle’s 100 Day challenge was the broth. I added to that daily blogging, reading other sober blogs, reading my journals, reading memoirs such as Carolyn Knapp’s Drinking: A Love Story and Kristen Johnston’s Gutsand reading articles about alcoholism. The support from real life friends and the cyber sober community was like spices added to this soup. It made it work. This mixture kept me from drinking alcohol the past 100 days. (AA meetings were the salt and pepper. I only needed a little bit.)

I feel I have this sober genie sitting inside of me. He sometimes is in my chest. Sometimes my stomach. When I think about having a drink, he punches me. He grabs my esophagus and says “Go ahead but I am gonna make you puke it up and regret it!” He holds a knife to my liver and threatens to rip it apart. He runs into my brain with a napkin soaked in chloroform. I know both booze and that will poison my memory. When I choose not to drink, he flicks his chin up and says “Yea! That is what I THOUGHT you’d do.” He is like a bully but one I need.

I am scared this genie won’t stick around. He is gonna eat all this soup and leave.

265 more days of blogging about mistakes, regrets, and other mishaps from my drinking problem. I have daily blogging to keep me accountable.

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Mistake #100- Was visiting my sister in 2002. We invited a guy that I used to date to go out with us. We ended up at a gay bar. I got wasted and left with some girl. I just left my sister there with a guy that she barely knew. There were some nasty messages on my voicemail when I woke up the next day.

Get Healthy: take 2

I was silly to try to start a “diet” a week before going to see friends. Especially with a kid in the car. Now I know I can not tell another woman how to raise her kid, but my imaginary offspring would only eat veggie snacks, milk and water.

Thankfully my friend was stern enough not to let me drink soda. I told her how I almost got weak in a store on Friday by myself. I picked up a Vanilla Coke and told myself “at least it isn’t diet” but then put it back and grabbed water. I also grabbed some energy flavor stuff to add to my water that is supposed to repress my appetite. Not wonderful stuff since it is chemicals but maybe helpful to steer me from my diet soda and sugar addiction.

And all weekend, I did not bother to question what I ate. Tacos. Pizza. Hashbrowns. Lots of sugar in my coffee. My friend offered me stevia instead of sugar but I thought it tasted like medicine. I really just need to wean off sugar. Maybe even learn to drink coffee black.

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I went to a women’s AA meeting last night. I enjoyed it. Three women spoke about their stories of 20, 24, and 30 years sobriety. That just seems so long. I was inspired but also a bit sad. Will I ever be able to celebrate 20 years? 10? 5 even? Sometimes I get so scared of the thought of drinking but it seems a life of longterm sobriety is as possible as finding Narnia.

I think I will start going to more meetings. I liked that a few women talked to me last night but did not pressure me. I feel I am in pre-AA. I feel I am training. Prepping. I want to stay sober but I am not ready for a home group or sponsor. I want to wait until after I move this August to a more permanent home. I will invest in AA then. I sort of wish there was a website to find a perfect sponsor for me. Like eSponsor.com instead of eHarmony. OKSobriety. mAAtch.com

Sobriety means a change in lifestyle. Getting healthy is a change in lifestyle. Part of me wants to move to Saudi Arabia. Maybe that is the change I need.

Mistake # 98- Two years ago, I was visiting a foreign city. I got drunk at a bar with friends. Made out with a guy I called Player. I wasted the whole next day sleeping off my hangover. I did not get to see any sites. That night, my friend had a party. Player and I made out again in a corner but I do not remember. At a party the next night, I had sex with Player. Then I found out he had a girlfriend. She was out of town that weekend. I was upset but I did not remember the sex. I just figured it didn’t matter. But I did get drunk and sent him many nasty texts.
When I returned to that city again, I avoided seeing Player again.

Memory Lane

I arrived by airplane yesterday to start a roadtrip with friends to visit another friend’s new baby.The trip was supposed to be 4 adults and one child. It will now be two adults and child. I was upset yesterday about the two guys canceling. But I guess things could be worse.

I picked up my rental car at the airport and drove around. I drove to different memorable sights. I lived here for 7 years. I spent most of my twenties here. I turned 21 here. My first apartment was here and this was where I lived when married. It is also where I got my two DUIs.

I drove by the municipal courts and the jail. I looked up at the windows and wondered which one was my cell. I had bad flashbacks of coming here for court dates. I drove by the bus stop that I had to wait at when I lost my driver license. I cried a little and told myself I never want to go through that again. I thought of the woman I once met in AA who said she was sober for years and the one night she decided she could drink again, she got her 4th DUI.

Then I found an AA meeting. It was a small, women’s meeting. I was ten minutes late. But I enjoyed it. We read from the book the chapter “To The Wives.” While I was reading, it made me think of my mom and I started to cry so I passed the reading off to the next person. The highlight was they gave out monthly chips at the end. I GOT MY 90 DAY CHIP!

90 days Sober!

90 days Sober!

It felt so good walking out of that meeting with that in my wallet. I was so happy. But I was also scared thinking of a woman I met in the meeting. She was sober for 16 years. Then some tragedy happened to her family in January. She started to drink again. Just when I was getting sober, she was relapsing. She picked up a white chip right before I picked up this green chip. She also looked very familiar. I think we used to work at the same place. I thought “that could be me.” It scared me to think that no matter how confident I feel in this sobriety thing, relapse is always possible. This disease might go dormant but does not die.

I went to dinner with my friends. I told the two guys they are losers and I am mad at them for not joining the roadtrip. They kept apologizing. I told them they need to find time to go visit our friend and her new baby on their own. They said they would try. I shared with them my green chip. They all high-fived me. My one friend said she needs to get me a gift and she promises it will not be a bottle of wine.

We ordered dessert. I really wanted to order an almond rum cheesecake. I do not think the rum in it would affect me nor mess up my sobriety. But I got worried about ordering it in front of my friends. I wondered if I would have ordered it if I was alone. Then I thought I most likely would not because I would agonize too much about it. I got a coconut 6-layer cake. It reminded me of the coconut cake I had for 50 days but so much better!

I also ordered almond cappuccino. Then I panicked when drinking it because I thought it tasted like Amaretto. I asked my friend “taste this! Is that Amaretto? Is that alcohol?” He looked at me like I was crazy. Then I felt I was acting crazy. I told him nevermind. I looked at the desert menu and saw an Amaretto latte at the bottom with the alcoholic coffees. No, this was almond syrup in here. They would not have done that to me. Man, that would really suck if I lost my sobriety over a screw up on my order!

This morning, I went to another meeting. I was gonna try to get a 60 day chip. I realized one thing I really like about meetings in this area is that they have a lot in buildings dedicated to AA meetings. They are not all in a church basements. Some are in strip malls and others are small houses. I do not have to search and feel lost like I do when searching for the room in the churches back home. Also, they have more times here. They have 10:30pm meetings. They had a 7am, 8am, 9:30, 11am, noon, 1pm and a lot of different evening meetings. I felt more and more I really do not like my area meetings!

This meeting did not give out 60 day chips. I declined to get a second 90 day one. I really enjoyed this discussion. One of the first people to share talked about an accident she caused earlier this week while drunk and she is not sure why they did not test her BAC at the scene. She went to the hospital but got away from receiving a DUI. I shared about my DUIs and how it took me seven years after my last one to seriously attempt sobriety. Unfortunately, she left the room by the time I got to share. But there were many people in that room with less than 30 days who thanked me for my story afterwards and said it helped them. One guy said that he thinks 90 days is a dangerous time. Too much confidence. That made my eyes widen. Yep, that is how I feel right now. I also feel I have tools. But I am gonna keep his words in my head. I am glad I have this blog.

Mistake # 94- A friend was coming through town. She was visiting family but set aside a night to party with me. I was actually closer friends with her husband. He and I were “friends with benefits” many years ago. She did not like me when they first started dating due to my past history with him. But ten years later, she and I were finally friends.

But that night, we both got trashed. I was sore the next day because I wrestled with some girl which I don’t remember. I do not remember making out with that girl’s boyfriend before the wrestling match. And I only slightly remember having sex with my friend. She made me promise not to tell her husband. I kept that promise until 6 months later when I confessed to him during a blackout. He said he was more mad that he had to hear it from me instead of her.

90 Days Sober!

I am 90 days sober! Yea!

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But I am not chasing for a chip this time like I did for 30 days. I might go to a meeting before work to see if I will get one, but I do not want to deal with the disappointment when they tell me they only give chips to home group members or people with sponsors. (But there are no rules for AA? Just a desire to stop drinking? Yea right. Do what they suggest or you are not worthy of a sobriety chip.)

I am going away next weekend to visit some friends.  I will have all Friday to myself while they work. It is the same area where I first tried AA in 2002 and then again in 2007. I will go to meetings there to get a chip.

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I feel good. Physically and mentally. I keep thinking of all the possibilities before me without booze in my life. Now can I survive the next 90 without soda?

Mistake # 90- I was traveling Australia and got very drunk at a bar in Airlie Beach. There was a “lagoon” to swim in because the ocean was too dangerous. The lagoon was more of a very large pool. I met a guy in the bar and we decided to go for a swim.

We thought skinny dipping was a good idea. This guy and I were making out in the pool, in the nude, and it started to rain. We ran out of the lagoon and searched for where we stripped off our clothes. We found them sitting in the same pile we left them. My purse with my camera, wallet and passport was still there. But my shirt and bra were missing.

I put on my underwear and shorts. It was pouring rain and drunk me ran around, trying to cover my boobs with my hands, and search the beach for my top. I even went up to the lifeguard to ask for lost and found. He laughed at me. He said it sounds like some kids played a prank.

The guy I was with gave me his shirt to cover up and we went back to his hotel. I kept thinking how stupid and lucky I was that only my shirt and bra were missing. Thank god my purse did not get stolen. I was so reckless. And I was also happy my purse had a plastic-like lining so my stuff did not get wet and ruined.

I also remember giving that guy a fake identity. A fake name and where I was from. I guess I either knew I would never talk to him again or I was so ashamed of my behavior while drunk.

Keep Busy

I went to the gym for my last workout. My two month Groupon membership ends tomorrow.  I tried to go to spinning class but they told me I need a pass. I was supposed to sign up for the class. This is the first time I heard this since coming to this gym. Then I realized because it is a religious holiday, the class is more crowded. I said “nevermind”.

And I could go work out on the machines or weights instead. But being turned away from that class deflated my motivation.

I feel sort of free without a membership now. I do not have to feel guilty if I do not get to the gym for a few days. I do not have to prescribe times to work out. Miss the 8am class? I can go for a bike ride. I do not need a specific time for that. (Just need to get a bike.) If I can not get to the gym before they close? I can go for a late night walk or do arm curls while watching a movie at home.

It reminds me off AA making me feel guilty for missing meetings. Maybe I should try out those online meetings?

I think I will go to a meeting at noon instead today. I need to ask about getting a 90 day chip. If they tell me I can not get one because I do not have a sponsor, I will most likely stop going to meetings in this area. That will make me feel I have more freedom.

I know people will think “oh no! Free time might make you want to drink!” I do not equate free time with boredom. Now if I had nothing to do in my free time, I might desire a drink. But I have a lot of books, movies, and sewing projects to keep me busy. I have so many photos from travels that need editing and posting. I have to look for a new place to live for June and July. I have to study for tests for work. I am considering online courses in May for which to prepare.

So I have a lot of things to keep me busy. I do not need to smell men and women sweating at the gym to exercise.

And once the weather finally warms up, I hope to hit the hiking trails!

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Mistake # 87- I had a few days off at work. I spent them drinking and chatting online. I met some guy on a dating site. I was telling him about some of the costumes I own. I invited him over to see them. This was middle of the day during the week. He came over. I did a little fashion show for him. Then we had sex. He left. He had to get back to work.
He ignored my messages and texts after that. I saw him at a few festivals and events and he avoided me. I can only imagine what he told other people.

I get by with a little help from my friends…

Before I arrived at my friend’s,  I emailed her asking if she wanted to go for a hike this weekend. She responded “maybe we can go to the wineries so you can pick up some bottles to take home.” We did that last time I was here in 2008. I bought about 13 bottles in one day. I told her “I quit drinking but we can go and I will drive. I can pick up a bottle for my mom for mothers day.” 

She repsonded “oh didn’t know that. We will figure something out.”

I was nervous. She and I were great drinking buddies when we met 14 years ago. We lived in the same city for 3 years and most of our relationship was bars and clubs. Yet we managed to develop a real friendship. But was the foundation of that still booze? When I visited her five years ago, we spent one night grilling, talking of old times, and drank a case of beer. Could we catch up drinking tea or coffee?

When I got here, she offered me water. We sat on the couch talking. I avoided the topic of my sobriety. But then she asked about me and a guy. “What happened with that?”

“Oh I got drunk, yelled at him, and it just sort of ended.” Then I explained about that drunk weekend and my relationship with him. I was planning to move to his city. Due to my drinking problems, I can not get the job I was planning to get. After that drunk fight and without a job, I canceled moving there. That lead to me discussing why I went sober.

She listened. She nodded. I told her I was blogging about my drunk mistakes. She remembers some of my stupid, drunken nights. She said she had to carry me home many times.

She also started sharing with me stories of her mom. Her mom has been sober 30-some years. She has been in AA that long. My friend grew up in an AA family. She used to go to retreats and on AA camping trips as a kid. She laughed “I probably know more about it than you do.” It is true. She even did a book report about Bill W because AA books were all she had in her house as a kid.

She asked for my blog’s web address. I hesitated. She said “oh, I guess it is easier to be open and honest if your real friends don’t read it?” I was happy and shocked by her understanding. I told her maybe after a year, I will share it with a few, supportive friends. She agreed that would be best.

We went to a casino to see a comedy show. I was worried if I could have fun there without drinking. Instead, they gave me complimentary free sodas and I won $25 on slots! I laughed that before sobriety, I would have calculated how many drinks I could get with my winnings. Now I am thinking how much gas that will buy.

The next day, we had lunch and went antiquing. We had a blast. She has a fear of clowns and old dolls. We found one with a creepy sign. We laughed the rest of the day about it.
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We walked along the river and around the town. Our conversations were sprinkled with talk of my drinking problem. My friend, who used to drink Budweiser like water, said she might have two beers after work now. She can not remember last time she got drunk. She said she went from 21 to 80. She is “boring” and more into gardening than parties.

I tried to encourage her to order a beer with dinner. It was her birthday a few days ago. “Go ahead! Celebrate!” She said she never drinks before 7pm. She also never drinks around her mom. She said even if her mom can handle being around alcohol after 30 years, she thinks it would be disrespectful. My friend did not drink any alcohol around me all weekend.

She said she would be most worried about me being around some of my friends. Would I be strong enough to stay sober around “club friends”? I told her as long as I have enough good, supportive friends like her, I can do this.
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Mistake # 75 – I was at my friend’s house after a night of the bars. I was downstairs with her friend we called Crazy Hair. My friend went to bed upstairs. Crazy Hair and I kept drinking. Somehow, we ended up having sex in the kitchen. I remember bits of it. My friend upstairs heard all of it.

I woke up on the couch and Crazy Hair was sleeping on a chair. We did the awkward “morning” greetings. She left.
My friend came down to make me coffee and try to ask questions. I was embarrassed and did not really have answers. My friend told me Crazy Hair had a girlfriend away at college. That made me feel more guilty.

I continued to see Crazy Hair around at bars and clubs. She would flirt with me when the girlfriend was not in town. I never told anyone else about the kitchen sex. I began to develop a crush on Crazy Hair. So I finally told one friend. That friend got drunk and asked Crazy Hair about the kitchen. Crazy Hair denied it.

I was hurt. I told the friend “it happened! You can even ask so-and-so cause she heard it all!”

It took me years to realize Crazy Hair was an alcoholic. She started stealing booze from people’s houses. She had 3 DUIs within a few years. She was 27 and needed help. She most likely denied the kitchen sex because she did not remember it.

When she got worse, we all cut her out of our lives. Her family kicked her out. I last heard she moved to NYC to be a bartender. That was more than 10 years ago. I hope she got sober. If not, I doubt she is still alive.

Quick and Easy

I worked with a woman last night that annoyed me. I should have realized it upon our first encounter but I like to try to give people the benefit of the doubt.

Throughout the shift, I was talking with another coworker about my travels and scuba diving stories. This other woman, who admitted she is scared of public transportation, kept telling me I am crazy and insane. “Oh my GOD if I saw a shark, I would just DIE! Not even shit myself. I would just DIE!” I told her I doubt she would see the shark because I doubt she could even get past the basic skills for scuba diving with that attitude. But when I mentioned any other places I visited, she said “oh I would NEVER do that! Why on earth would you go there?” I know not everyone understands why I love travel so much and the way I travel, but I felt insulted by her reactions. As if since she would not do the same, there was something wrong with someone else wanting to do it.

She was also loud. And she got mad when she thought my clients were listening in on her stories. I think people 3 floors down could listen to her stories.

I know. I should not judge nor allow her to bother me. I just really hope I do not have to work with her again over the next 3 months when I finish this contract. But next time, I plan to ask her to lower her voice.

Our first encounter was in the break room at the coffee machines. We have a Keurig machine and regular coffee pot in there. She entered and complained that no one made a pot of coffee. She was about to return to the main room to ask someone (rather than ask me) when I offered to make her a pot. “Oh you know how?” I guess she did not expect the new girl to know. So I made a pot and I showed her how. She said she doubts she will remember that next time she is here. (She only works here a few times a month.)  I felt she was lazy.

I mentioned that I do not like Keurig pods. She asked if the reason is due to the cost of them. I said “the cost. The waste. Many reasons.” She proceeded to tell me how they are great for single people like herself who only want a cup of coffee rather than making a whole pot. They are convenient. I did not go into a lecture of the waste of plastic nor the risks of the plastic seeping into the cup of coffee and causing cancer. Nor that using the pods is equal to spending $50 per pound of coffee. Again I thought she was lazy. How hard is it to make 1 or 2 cups in a pot of coffee? I just smiled, poured myself a cup, and thought of how society usually prefers quick and easy in so many areas of life.

And it got me thinking of my sobriety. How I want to just have more sober time. How I want to just get over this alcoholic thing. How I want to stop thinking of my problem finally. I want the convenience of not having an addiction. I want a quick and easy solution to this alcoholism.

*pause… went to an AA meeting…*

The first half hour of this meeting, I was bored. The meeting started with a guy saying he did the steps, he is having a rough time now, but he does not want to go through the steps again. The first few speakers talked about “work the steps” and the typical sayings I hear that suggest “do what we say or you will fail.” But then a guy started to speak about taking time to do the steps. And another guy said he has been sober 16 years and has not done all the steps yet. One guy said how back in the 1970s, people he met in AA were hardasses that shoved the steps down your throats. Now he thinks society is too much looking for a quick and easy fix so he suggests taking it slow. Just stay sober today. Another guy said he suggests the first step for the first year and then worry about the rest. He did not even have a sponsor for a year. I was so happy and amazed how the topic seemed to switch to WHAT MY BLOG was about today!

I left feeling good. Better than most of the meetings leave me feeling. I do not feel guilty for not going to daily meetings nor rushing to get a sponsor. There was one woman at the meeting and she gave me her number. She asked me if I had a sponsor and I said “not yet.” She replied “still feeling your way around and getting to know people?” I smiled and said “exactly.” She was the first woman who I felt did not pressure me. I told her how difficult it was to get to meetings because of my work schedule. She said she understood. She told me to give her a call if I ever wanted to go to a meeting together. Wow. Usually the women give me their number and say call if I need to talk and I always think “I have friends to call if I need to talk.” This woman was offering what I started going to meetings for: socializing support.

While I still need to work at staying sober, I need to stop rushing it. Sobriety is not fast food.

That crap is bad for you anyway.

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Mistake # 72- I have a history of rushing relationships. I always said it was because I move around so much. I do not have the time to “take things slow” because I am never in one place long enough. But maybe my alcoholism rushed the relationships? Maybe I have always tried to do everything quick and easy?

This was from my journal July 2006 after dating a guy for 3 weeks. I will refer to him as Tall Boyfriend.

 

Last night I went to [Tall Boyfriend]’s friends BBQ. It was fun. We drank and hung out talking. I got along with everyone. Then [Tall Boyfriend] was feeling antsy to go to bars. I don’t understand the need to go out and pay for alcohol when we had tons of it there? I was comfortable and would have rather just stayed at the house. But instead of large group of us went to some bars. First place was a bit pricey. We all had one drink and then left to another of [Tall Boyfriend]’s hangouts. It was fun. At least I thought so. I took LOADS of photos of me and his friends. But… turns out I flashed the bar at one point. It apparently pissed off his friend. I didn’t realise this until he told me this morning. I asked him why she was pissed. He waited a bit before answering and said “oh I think just because she wasn’t center of attention.” But he seemed to be acting different today. Last night, he didn’t put his arms around me nor his legs over mine while sleeping like he usually does. I asked him this morning if he slept well, and he said “yes, and I know you definitely slept well!” He said I was trashed last night. Yes, I was, but I’ve been worse. The night he met me I was worse! So today we sat in his place while he played online and I did the dishes. I left my car at his friend’s place. My glasses were in my car. I took out my contacts during the night to avoid sleeping with them. So I was blind hanging out at his place. I just felt he was distant. Then when I asked him what time we are going to the marina to watch the fireworks, he tells me after 8 because he has a BBQ to go to that was RSVP only and he was invited before he met me so I can’t go with him. Sounds reasonable. But why didn’t he tell me about this BBQ when I asked him the other day if we were gonna spend the 4th together? To me it sounds like it was someone who was out with us last night and doesn’t want me there. So I feel I have already screwed up by making some of his friends not like me.


We went to his car to take me to mine, but his starter wasn’t turning over. So he got me a cab. He gave me a $20. I told him I felt like a cheap prostitute. I got the cab to my car. Got my glasses. And came home.

Work called and left a voice mail asking me to come work extra tonight. I texted [Tall Boyfriend] to tell him I might go in to give him time away from me before I annoy him too much. His reply was “That’s up to you. I know it sux this bbq was rsvp. what time would you go in.”


I replied back with just “11pm” That was 30 min ago and still no reply from him.

So he went from telling me the other day he was falling for me to pushing me away because… I’m not sure why. Because I flashed the bar and pissed off one of his friends?

I did not see my constant getting trashed nor rushing things as a problem back then. Flashing bars was normal?

Big Heart

I went to my first AA meeting since I got my 30 day chip. It was a 7am meeting and I went after I stayed up all night finishing Kristen Johnston’s Guts, watching a movie, doing laundry, and reading blogs. I felt great when I got to the meeting. The mood went down by the end.

I hate going there and leaving feeling guilty for the times I don’t go. I heard: “When I first got sober the only way I made it was to go to daily meetings.” “Work  the steps or this program won’t work.” “If you miss a meeting, you will want to drink.” “You need a sponsor to stay sober.”

Again, I got a list of names and phone numbers of the women in the meeting. Again, I thought “I am not gonna call any of them.” I would rather get to know someone before I would want to think of calling them. I understand the point behind giving out the numbers and I appreciate it. But I honestly would rather call my close friend in Virginia if I feel the need to drink. She knows I have gone sober. She told me to call anytime. Day or night. I guess that makes me lucky to know I have someone to call.

I could not follow most of the people that spoke. It seemed like tangents. All I really understood was that I better go to a meeting or else. The only way is the AA way. I will relapse if I don’t follow their rules. I swear it makes me want to stay sober and NOT go to meetings just to prove that I can. Take THAT! I will show them.

Ok that is stubborn me thinking. I am also tired and about to go to bed.

The one thing I got out of this meeting was thinking about my health. There was one guy sitting across the room that was yellow. He looked jaundice. I kept looking up at his pale, golden skin and thought “liver damage.” And that got me thinking of my heart.

I used to get tested for tuberculosis every year for my job. A TB test is a little shot under the skin in the arm and then have it read a few days later. I had them done for years. Then in 2010, my test reading was positive. This means I was exposed to tuberculosis somewhere. My guess is on a chicken bus in Bolivia. Or anywhere else in South America. My tests will always read positive so instead I need to get chest xrays every so often.

The report from my first xray said no lung problems.YEA! But it then said the words “cardiomegaly.” Enlarged heart.The doctor did not seem concerned. I was. I did what most hypochondrics do and I googled the causes. On webMD I found:

  • Viral infection of the heart
  • Abnormal heart valve
  • Pregnancy, with enlarged heart developing around the time of delivery (peripartum cardiomyopathy)
  • Kidney disease requiring dialysis
  • Alcohol or cocaine abuse
  • HIV infection
  • Genetic and inherited conditions

I had no viral symptoms, no valve problems, no pregnancy, no kidney issues, no HIV, and no genetic or inherited condition. (Oh except I inherited alcoholism from my dad.)  Alcohol abuse must be the cause! Oh my god my heart is going to explode because I was a lush! I overworked one of the most important organs in my body with booze. I was going to have a heart attack at the age of 35. My then-boyfriend tried to reassure me I was going to be okay. It just meant I have a big heart because I was such a caring person. I remember screaming at him “You have no medical background so shut up!”

It did not stop me from drinking.

Next few xrays, no mention of cardiomegaly again. One did mention scoliosis. Maybe from passing out on barstools.

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Mistake # 45- I was at a club with my two good friends. The female (the one I mentioned above that said I can call whenever), was drunk and passing out in the club. Our male friend was our ride. He was always our ride because he did not drink. He was lucky to be born with a liver condition so he avoided alcohol. (Please read the sarcasm when I say he was lucky.) He told me it was time to go home.

I did not want to leave. I wanted to stay and party. Can’t he just put her in the truck and let her sleep? He did take her outside of the club and sat her on the curb next to his truck. He then came back in and demanded I leave. I was stubborn and refused. So he picked me up, threw me over his shoulders, and carried my drunk ass outside of the club and to his truck. He put me down while he fumbled with our other friend to get her in the truck. I RAN back inside the club. He later said I looked like Phoebe from the TV show Friends when she would run crazy-like to scare away muggers. He got our other friend in the truck and came back looking for me. He said he found me squatting behind a guy trying to hide. I told the guy “Don’t let him take me.” My friend said “fuck you then! Find your own ride home.” He left.

I partied. I danced. I drank. I managed to find a ride home. Once I got home, I must have felt guilty. So I drove to my friend’s apartment. I don’t really remember doing that. He said he opened the door and I stood there crying. “I am so sorry” I bawled. He had me come inside while I cried and cried about being such a shitty friend. Then I cried myself to sleep on his couch. He was so mad at me that night but forgave me the next day.

We aren’t talking anymore. I sort of blamed him for my second DUI. Maybe I will reach out to him to make amends one day. Just not ready yet.

The Disease of More

I hear that phrase all the time. I feel I should have a medical record with that diagnosis.

I definitely suffer from the disease of more. More booze was destroying my life.

But what about the other things I always crave? More likes on Facebooks. More comments on my photos. More shares of my jokes. More Happy Birthday day posts. (I actually count them.) More compliments. More gifts. More followers. More views. 

I have started a coffee addiction. I keep wanting to kick my Diet Coke addiction but I think I will wait until 90 days sober for that attempt.

Internet is addicting. Smartphones are addicting. I deleted my Facebook app to attempt to cut down. I deleted my Foursquare app; the app for more stalkers. More Groupons. (Great to buy sobriety milestone treats.)

Sometimes I feel the AA meetings are like an addiction. Replace the bar with a room full of dry drunks. Instead of venting your frustrations to a bartender, you vent it to a room of addicts. Sometimes it seems some people are there to help others because they want to stroke their own ego. Sometimes people use AA as a crutch like they used to use liquor. The validation they used to get when drinking is being fulfilled by sharing in discussions. They are obsessed with steps. Jonesing for a daily meeting.

I need to develop an addiction to exercise. More weights. More reps. More miles. More resistance. More burn.

Less junk food. Less depression. Less temptations.

Mistake # 40 – My husband and I started to have parties every weekend. His friends from work would come over. They were Navy guys that lived in the barracks so they loved having an apartment they could chill in. I started to become friends with his friends and their girlfriends. I started to get invited to other parties when my husband was on deployement. At one of these parties, I met a guy, BP. I thought he looked like Vince Vaughn. One night when my husband was on a short deployment, BP started to play footsie with me. I enjoyed the flirting. I liked having more attention.

One drunk night, I let him kiss me. And over time, an affair started. I can not blame the affair on booze. It was my disease of more. I wanted more than what I was finding in my marriage. The affair lasted on and off for two years. It ended because he moved away. But that did not stop me from going to visit him.

We met up in Memphis. I went there with thoughts of trying to figure out what did I want: my marriage or to run off with BP. We got very trashed one night on Beale Street. The next morning, I was puking. Later that day, BP asked me if I took my birth control pill right before my vomiting episode. He asked if I might have thrown up my pill. I was not sure and also did not know what to do. I was naive. 

I went back home to my husband. My visit with BP was not as glorious as I hoped. I decided I would work on my marriage. Then my peroid was late. I kept trying to call BP. His roommate kept telling me he wasn’t home. I was confused. I was regretting that drunk night on Beale Street. What would I do if I was pregnant? How could I be sure of who was the father? I told my husband I went to visit my mom when I went to Memphis and returned his calls that I let go to voicemail. Could I continue with a pregnancy and let my husband believe it was his? 

My period came 10 days late. So I guess this is actually more of an almost-mistake.