And the Oscar goes to…

I went to an Oscars party last night. Well, actually, only a gathering with two new friends watching the awards on television. I texted my friend to see what I should bring. She said she was headed to the store to get chips, hummus and wine. I decided I would bring something to contribute and counterbalance the wine. I brought some yerba mate ice teas, a large vegetable platter, and ginger hummus.

The host offered me a glass of wine after I took my coat off. She listed all the choices of reds and whites, and then added she also had beers. I said I will keep to the ice tea. But once my tea was finished, she was a great host and jumped to offer me wine . I declined and asked for water. Sparkling or plain filtered?

No questions until the other friend, who had a few too many glasses of wine, asked “Do you not drink?” I did not bother with jokes that I was drinking plenty, just all alcohol-free. I said no, I quit. They asked if it was a diet or something temporary. I explained that I quit two years ago, with a few slips starting last summer, but I have been completely sober almost 3 months. The host seemed impressed. But the drunk friend asked the questions I might have asked if I was the drunk girl. “Can’t you even have a little bit? Don’t you know how to stop when it gets too much? Are you gonna try again after sometime sober?”  She told me how she can’t drink too much and I thought her current state of inebriation was obvious. I do not know how many glasses she had before I arrived, but she was matching her glasses of wine with my glasses of filtered water. She even began adding sparkling water to her wine to make spritzers and slow down the buzz.

I explained to her my slips last summer proved I could not have a little bit, nor should I try to go back to drinking anytime. I can not moderate. I was fine sitting there with my water but I know if I had one glass of wine, I would want the rest of the bottle. I would use too much mental energy telling myself to sip rather than chug and it was a lot easier to just avoid the taste to my tongue. And when the awards ended and she passed out on the couch, I was very glad I quit drinking. The host and I chatted a little bit more about our lives and I was able to drive home.

When I first quit drinking, I don’t know if sitting there avoiding their offers of wine would have been so easy. But I feel I have learned a lot since January 2014 about myself and what alcohol does to my body. I felt I honestly did not want to drink alcohol last night. No acting. No need for award for me.

Total Abstinence

Yesterday after being upset about a hopeful relationship ending before it even began, I read a great chapter in my book One Breath at a Time by Kevin Griffin.  The chapter is about step seven but he brings up relationships failing in sobriety.  He was given a tape of a psychotherapist Terry Gorsky, whom I googled and found his name is actually spelt Gorski. I then ordered a book by Mr Gorski which should arrive in a few days.

The advice my book gives from Mr Gorski is that “the place to start building a good relationship was the beginning.  Specifically,  he suggested no sex for the initial stages.”

See, I have been happy that I have been able to date sober. And I have been wondering what it would be like to finally have satifying, sober sex. I think I have been focusing on that achievement more than actually wanting a relationship.  I mean, I do want a real relationship. I want to find someone to make me laugh and happy. I want someone that will accentuate me. But I think I have been concentrating more on the physical attraction with these men. I was not establishing the foundation of a long term relationship; I was fixating on wanting someone that turned me on instantly.

The guy who told me “it would not work” between us was very sexy. I am sure I would have had sex with him if we had another date because I told myself I deserved it. I thought a year of sobriety would make finding love easier. I thought if I had sex sober, I would not regret it like I regretted most of my blacked-out encounters . I blamed my alcoholism for all my relationship problems. But rushing into relationships was another fault I had. I did not know how to take things slow. I did not know how to wait. I did not have patience.

Another suggestion Gorsk[i] made was to avoid people who triggered intense sexual longing because such partners wound up setting off an addictive pattern of craving, bingeing, and eventual revulsion. Instead, he suggested that you date people who you liked to spend time with on a friendly basis…

Reading this helped me a lot yesterday! I was telling myself I did not want to follow those dating “rules” that everyone has been suggesting: make a man wait for sex. I thought those rules sounded like games. Why would I make him wait if I wanted sex?

Reading this section made me wonder if that was why all my relationships have failed? (Well, that and the drinking!) I slept with all my boyfriends and girlfriends almost right after meeting them. And when the sexual excitement fizzled, I got bored. I filled that boredom with drinking and cheating. And lying. But lying usually follows the cycle of drinking.

So no sex. No sober sex. No drunk sex. I wonder what Gorski says about self-sex?

I am sure I will blog about what I read in his book when it arrives. And I will keep my blogged updated how this sober, chaste dating thing goes.

I miss happiness

It seems it has been a long time since I felt truly happy. Maybe I can go back through my blogs and figure out a day. But it seems my heart has been so heavy for the past month. I miss being happy. I really thought quitting alcohol was gonna alleviate my depression. I realize more and more that I drank to self-medicate my depression.

My car issue is almost hurting my brain. My car can not be fixed until next week due to delayed approval from insurance and then difficulty getting parts shipped out to nowhere. (If you are gonna hit a deer, try to do it near a big city or someplace less remote than the wastelands of Nevada.) I am figuring things out but I just resent this extra work and thinking.

I went to an AA meeting today. It helped me as far as reminding me “we” are everywhere. I can handle my problem without alcohol.

I am tired of being depressed. I am tired of trying to be strong. I am tired of trying to be brave. I am gonna see about going on medication when I get home.

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School vs Sobriety

Now I understand! All those times my friends went back to school and did not have much time for a social life, I understand! When they said “I have to study” or “I have a paper to write”, I know why they weren’t complete in an hour or so. This stuff takes concentration and time! It is a struggle. Especially trying to do everything else in life and school work.

It reminds me of my sobriety. Takes time and not always easy.

I am happy I have started this journey back to school much like I am happy I have started the journey to sobriety.  But I also see how people might not comprehend what an effort this is. I have to be disciplined in both my studies and sobriety. I have to just say no to a beer or a movie. I need to move away from people trying to converse while I am trying to read much like I need to move away from someone who keeps offering me booze.

Both will have good outcomes.
Damn it… I now want a sobriety report card. I have gotten A’s for 4 months. I want the 6 month sobriety honor roll!

Mistake 141- Yesterday I mentioned I promised the guy I was staying with I would not have drunk sex in his house anymore. Well another night, I thought I was alone. I thought the guy that lived there was at work. I invited a male friend over late while I was drunk. We had sex on the couch. After he left, I heard the toilet flush upstairs. The guy was not at work. He was sleeping but woke up to hearing sex noises downstairs.

We never mentioned it. I broke my promise. I moved out of there soon because I was able to move back home and start my job. I somehow convinced the alcohol counselor that I did not have a drinking problem so she gave me the green light to work. I never talked to the guy that owned that house again.

New Mug and Sober Triggers

My mom came to visit yesterday. She brought me this gift: Purple Flower Mug

(In case you can not read the picture, the mug says “The Best Things in Life are the people we love, the places we’ve been  and the memories we’ve made along the way.”)

It is a large mug and she knows I like large mugs. Plus she knows I like purple. But the message was the best part for me. Having memories is so much better than blackouts!  And I have a new mug for all my herbal teas.

The visit was nice. She again asked how the “not drinking thing” is going and how I feel. I sometimes worry I talk too much about my sobriety with her but I like having her as an outlet. I can not discuss it at work and my friends on Facebook still seem uncomfortable with it.

The only thing she said that annoyed me was “It is a shame. That is what people do. Meet out for drinks.” I told her I can still go out and I am even willing to go to places with alcohol. I will just order water with lemon. I have to just keep reminding myself I can not drink just like her boyfriend, who is diabetic, has to avoid certain foods. Or anyone with an allergy has to avoid certain things.

I kept trying to share with her some of my drunk stories to stress to her how much I drank. When we used to share a bottle of wine, she would have a glass and I would drink the rest. She seems to block out the times I spent at her house sleeping all day after being up all night emptying her wine rack. She always thought of my DUIs as unfortunate mistakes. Maybe she is worried if she admits I have a problem, it is somehow her fault?

I am realizing that when I do finally get around to working on the 12 steps, I really need to make amends to her even if she does not recognize it. “Sorry mom for all those times you were worried when I was out drinking. Sorry for making you drive 6 hours away to bail me out of jail. Sorry for you returning to that city for my court date.  Sorry for all I put you through.”

After she left, I went to the grocery store. I was stocking up on veggies and ingredients for salads. I am determined to drop weight in the next month. I have a reunion June 7. I also bought some unsweetened tea and large gallon of water. I am going to put lemon, lime, mint, and cucumbers in the jug of water. Then I am gonna drink at least half of it each day. Keep refilling it. Hope it helps.

I walked past the beer section in the store. I glanced at some summer ale. For a brief second, I thought “I could just stop. I could just give up this sober thing. I could always try again later.” But I kept walking. I thought I worked too hard to stop now. This “sobriety thing” needs to be a forward thing. No backpedaling. No breaks. I do not want to think of the self-loathing that would follow if I drank that beer.

I picked up my last item but the sober-drink battle kept floating in my brain. It was not really a battle. Just a lingering thought. Just images of me sitting in bars. Just one drink in my hand.

Then a man passed me. He was wearing a hat from a university I used to want to attend. A university in a city that I was planning to move to until plans changed in January. That was when I found out I could not get the job I wanted because of my two DUIs. They said it did not matter how long ago the DUIs were. My plans for the job and moving there were canceled. That was when I decided to get sober. And seeing his hat was a reminder of why I quit drinking alcohol. It triggered me back to happy, sober land. I do not want anymore plans changed or futures ruined from my drunk mistakes. I am gonna keep being sober and even if my life does not become perfect, it will be a hell of a lot better than where it was going. I actually want to be alive.

Now I am gonna enjoy some mint tea.

Mistake # 105- I graduated college. My mom came to my graduation with my sister and nephew who was a baby. They stayed at a hotel. I joined them to stay in the room one night. My sister and I waited until my mom and the baby fell asleep. Then we snuck out of the hotel. I wanted to celebrate! Two women in their mid-twenties sneaking out like teenagers.

We went down to some bars that were walking distance. (I had a restricted driver license because this was after my first DUI.) We got drunk. We met some guys. They tried to invite us back to their place. We declined because we knew our mom would be too upset if we were not back by morning. We stumbled in the hotel room after last call at 2am. We tried to be quiet but for some reason, drunk people sound like elephants even when tip toeing. We woke my mom and she just warned us not the wake the baby. We slept in until the afternoon the next day while she took the baby out for breakfast and shopping. My sister and I got drunk again that night. Maybe the birth of my nephew distracted my mom from me and my sister’s alcoholism.

Sober + Single = SUCKS

I know it is suggested to not start any new relationship the first year of sobriety. But I hate feeling so lonely. So I have been trying to go on dates. I figure I am not looking for a real relationship or anything serious now so it will not affect my sobriety. I am only living here for another three months. I want to find someone temporarily. Like a rental partner.

But I am not sure what is worse: sober and lonely or sober and rejected.

I have been messaging with some guys. My dating profile says I do not drink but most guys still ask me out for drinks. I figure I will accept the invitation and then drink tonic with lemon. But so far the dates have not happened. They change the plans or ask me to go out of my way to meet them. They all decline to meet for dinner.

I had one date but it was disappointing. We met for coffee but I will not see him again. He kept trying to finish my sentences and barely made eye contact. I couldn’t help but wonder if he was turned off by my looks so much that he kept looking around the restaurant or out the window. He might have been shy or uncomfortable, but it made me feel undesirable.

I have a profile on another dating site. This site matches people and then has stages of questions before exchanging emails. A few guys have begun the question process. But most break off the match after a few stages. Some break it off right after I send them questions. Was it something I said?

It has been deflating my ego. I usually think I am a good looking woman but starting to worry maybe I am looking old. Maybe men my age only want younger women. Maybe men think a woman who doesn’t drink is boring. Maybe only drunk men would be interested in me.

I felt lonely for my 100th day of sobriety. No one to celebrate it with in real life. No hugs. And it means it has been more than 100 days since I’ve had sex. The last few times I had sex, I was drunk and do not remember it. But abstaining from alcohol and sex is very boring. If they are going to go hand in hand forever, I’d rather be drunk.

I decided to get rid of one source of rejection. I deleted the one dating profile. Now I do not need to worry about flakey guys blowing me off. I actually rather enjoy a good book at dinner than suffer through a bad date. The other dating site is a paid account. So I am stuck with it for a few months. But I deleted the app on my phone so I will not be tempted to check so often and be let down as much.

I need to focus on bettering myself and not meeting new people. Reading. Writing. Exercising. Once I am more stable in my sobriety and understand who I am, I can discover another person.

But I am still lonely. I might search for old playmates to keep me company.

Mistake # 102 – I had a date with a guy I met online. He was a child psychologist. He was very good looking. Very nice. He was also a published photographer. A very successful guy that asked me out.

I showed up at the restaurant drunk. I actually drove there. The date seemed to go well. He invited me back to his place. It wasn’t too far but I followed him in my car. I remember concentrating real hard to try to drive straight. Parallel parking was very difficult.

We drank very nice wine. We drank lots of the wine. He showed me his books of photographs. I remember staring at a nice framed photo on his wall when he kissed me.

Then I do not remember much. I woke up the next day on his couch with my dress laying next to me. He came out from his bedroom to ask how I was feeling. I told him I had a headache. He offered me some ibuprofen and water. I thanked him. I left. I never asked what happened. I assume we had sex but I might have passed out before anything happened.

He texted me about an hour after I left to make sure I got home okay. I apologized for being so drunk that night. He made a comment that I seemed very wasted. I admitted I drank some before dinner and hoped I could make it up to him another time. He said he did not think that would be a good idea.

Maybe drunk dating is worse than sober dating for me.

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.