Sober Language

I have always been interested in other languages. I went to an elementary school that had one hour Spanish lessons each week for all grades. From Kindergarten to 5th grade. I only went to that school for two years but I remember learning colors, numbers, and short sentences. “Soy morena.” “La casa es grande.” Maybe that is what sparked my interest in linguistics?

I have some books to teach myself other languages. I took four years of high school Spanish and a semester in college, but I am nowhere near fluent. I have many phrase books in different languages. French. German. Mandarin. Portuguese. Swedish. Thai. I had one for Bahasa Indonesian and was very upset when I lent it to someone who lost it.

Now I am trying to learn the language of sobriety.

I read a wonderful blog about surrendering to sobriety. I can not predict that I will never drink again. But I feel I won’t. I feel I relinquished alcohol. I feel I have more reasons not to drink than to drink. I keep reminding myself of drunk mistakes daily. I translate those mistakes into reasons to stay sober.

I feel I am learning new uses for words. I am now associating abstinence with something other than sex. Relapse is not about only about a returning cancer. I am learning to say “no thanks” when offered a drink. Phrases such as “I can not drink anymore” and “I like myself sober” scroll through my head everyday.

The thing is, if I don’t have sobriety, I don’t have anything.

-Matthew Perry

I was fluent in the drunk language. I spoke in excuses. I verbalized expertise in hangover treatments. I once had someone give me a travel bottle of Advil for my purse for mornings I woke up in a stranger’s apartment. I walked the walk and talked the talk of an alcoholic. No phrase book needed.

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Mistake #65- I was living in a city abroad taking a four-week language course. There were 10 students from all over the world and only two of us from English-speaking countries. Myself and an Aussie guy. The teacher was a young, native speaker.

The weekend after our last class, the teacher invited us all to come out for celebration drinks. The party ended up being only me, my boyfriend, and the Aussie. We all met at a bar. Two female friends of  the teacher joined us. I think he was interested in one and trying to hook the other up with the Aussie. The six of us were having fun. My boyfriend wanted to leave. I did not. I never wanted the party to end. So he left and I stayed at the bar.

We all kept drinking and having fun. I was trying to be wing-woman and get the girls to hook up with the teacher and Aussie. But they both eventually left. The Aussie invited the teacher and I back to his flat. More drinking. I remember the three of us sitting in the kitchen, drinking beers, and sharing music we liked. We were on the Aussie’s laptop and searching YouTube with “oh you will love this band!” or song.

Don’t remember much else but waking up in the Aussie’s bed. Nude. I have no idea what happened. I never asked. My dress was laying on a chair like I placed it there. It did not feel like I had sex. Some people have told me before that during blackouts, I would undress and go to bed like I was at home. I never asked the Aussie. I preferred to believe the “at home” theory. If you say the excuse enough, like repeating words in a new language, it starts to become real.

Fear and Understanding

I think a lot of people fear what they do not understand. Social drinkers fear alcoholics. Alcoholics fear alcohol. Addicts fear sobriety. One religion fears the other. Some people seem to fear people of different sexual orientation.

Since going sober seems to be about honesty, I need to admit I lied a few times in my blogs. I played the pronoun game. A few of the guys I dated actually had the pronoun “she”. The relationship I was in when I first attempted AA was with a woman. She was the one I bruised up in one of my blackouts. She was the one that came with me to a few meetings and supported me going sober for our relationship. But we went back to drinking and other issues caused us to split.

So that is my confession of the day. It is who I am. I did not choose it. But I choose sobriety.
sober pride

Mistake #61- I invited a woman I was seeing to a music festival. I liked her but I did not want anything serious. My relationship with my ex boyfriend of almost two years just ended and I wanted to “enjoy” being single.  Actually, I was still in love with my ex-boyfriend so I was not ready for a real relationship with anyone else. To add to the emotional confusion, I was not staying in the area. I was saving up for a long trip in a few months. I did not want anyone tying me down.

I had friends there were going to the festival. We were all camping there. I arrived Thursday night and set up two tents. When my lady-friend showed up Friday, she was upset that there were two tents. “Oh is the second one for when I piss you off?” I said we just might want more room. But yes, that was the exact reason for the second tent. I had a large cooler full of beers plus the festival had beer tents. I predicted us getting drunk and fighting. It is sad that I had to have backup plans for drunk fights.

She met my friends. They all seemed to like her. I was relieved that I did not have to keep her occupied at all times. She could hang out with my friends. I could do my own thing or go off for beers whenever without having to “check in” with her.

I spent Friday to Sunday drunk. I started out each morning with mimosas and had a diet of mostly beer all weekend. I passed out early on Saturday night in my tent and missed all the bands that night. I actually only remember two bands from the whole weekend. My lady-friend hung out with my friends Saturday night since I was no fun that night.

She helped me pack up the next day before she left. I was drinking Sunday morning to lighten the load of the coolers. I did stop about an hour before leaving. I was still slightly tipsy for my hour and half drive home. I started drinking again once I got home.

I was drunk that night when I got the email from my male friend. He wanted to apologize for Saturday night. Turns out that while I was passed out, my lady-friend and him made out while they were drunk. The problem was he was engaged. He said he felt guilty, so he told his fiancée. And then he decided to confess to her that he and I made out a few months before when I first met them. The night he and I kissed, we were both drunk and at another camping festival. I did not meet his fiancée yet. He offered to walk me to my tent and then grabbed me for a long, deep kiss. We never told anyone nor spoke about that kiss. I met her the next morning and felt bad. But now she knew. I was so worried about the rest of our group of friends finding out. I was worried she was going to hate me now. I told him to apologize to her for me. He told me not to worry. He said she understands that we were both drunk. But he was sorry if he caused problems between me and my girl. I was defensive with “she is not MY GIRL. She is just a friend.”

But I messaged her that night while drunk. I was furious that she risked messing up my circle of friends. I did not care that she kissed someone (or at least I did not think I cared?) But why did she have to kiss the guy that is engaged! I started blaming her for bringing drama into my life. If my friends stop inviting me to camp with them, it was her fault! I should never have invited her! I ended things with her and broke off contact with her.

Who was creating the drama?

After a year, she and I started to talk again. We are now friends again. She is one of the few that knows I quit alcohol. Well, I told her I quit for a year. I still fear what that group of friends will say about my sobriety. Will they be understanding?

 

Long-term Recovery

Today I watched the film The Anonymous People on ManyFaces1Voice.org. I cried  some. It was moving and inspiring.

The thing I really liked was too use the term “long term recovery” instead of saying alcoholic. But how long do I have to be sober to consider it long term? It still feels sort of strange to think this is forever. I gave up on the idea of forever when I got divorced.

It is crazy to think of treating addicts as criminals.  I started reading Orange is the New Black. I love the show but reading the book makes me realize how it is a waste for our society to send someone to jail for a non -violent crime ten years after it happened due to our “zero tolerance” on drugs. I look forward to reading more. And I really look forward to the second season of the show.

I am going out for a friend’s birthday dinner tonight.  I am a little nervous about temptation but feel better after watching the movie.

“The easiest part was kicking it. The hardest part is living it.” – a man in the film

Mistake #32- I went out for drinks with friends.  I was separated from my husband for a few months. I started to date a guy that had a condo near the beach. I was getting upset that he didn’t call me or answer his phone that night. I was a little drunk and decided to drive by his place to see if his car was there. Was he out with another girl? I was jealous yet I was the one who still thought she was gonna fix her marriage eventually.

I got pulled over. I quickly took a sip of mouthwash I kept in my car door.  I read that they can not use results of a breathalyzer if you have mouthwash on your breath due to the alcohol in it. I told the officer I was just on my way to my boyfriend’s house. She asked if I was drinking and I admitted yes but diminished the amount. She asked why my breath smelled like mouthwash. I said I met a cute guy at the bar and I kept some in my bag to freshen up my breath. She had me step out of the car. Her partner said something about real alcoholics drinking mouthwash for the high. I stuck to my breath freshner story. When they asked me to walk on a straight line, I started to cry. I told them I have been having a really hard time being separated from my husband and I was in school and please please PLEASE I can not get a DUI! I walked the line while bawling my eyes out. I did other soriety tests while crying. I must have done okay because they did not arrest me. They gave me a ride home.

The whole ride home she lectured me. She talked about drinking and driving and all the deaths she has seen. I kept thanking her. I cried. I must have seemed such a mess especially with my stories of husband, boyfriend, and meeting a guy in the bar.

I walked into my roommate’s room when I got home and woke her up. I cried and told her I almost just got arrested for a DUI. She hugged me and told me stories about her “almost” DUIs too. I swore I would never drink and drive again. I finally went to my room and cried to sleep.

I got my first DUI a year and half later.

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.

Focusing on the Negative

“Sometimes the past should be abandoned, yes. Life is a journey and you can’t carry everything with you. Only the usable baggage.” ~Ha Jin

(I have no idea where that is from but a friend just posted it and I thought it went well with my blog today.)

A friend recently messaged me I should focus on the positives things about going sober instead of the negative. This lead me to try to explain the pink cloud to him. I have tried to quit drinking in the past and those times I focused on the positive. I felt wonderful. I imagined how great my life will become now that I quit. I thought of all the improvements in my life and the weight I would lose and how my relationships will become perfect.

What happens when all that doesn’t come true?

That overconfidence can be dangerous for recovery.

Alcoholics have notoriously selective memories. No matter how sickening the hangover, how humiliating the drunken behavior, how dangerous the blind-drunk drive home, we seem incapable of recalling consistently or clearly how bad things got when we drank. – “Drinking: A Love Story” Caroline Knapp

I wrote about being on a pink cloud my 9th day of sobriety. After trying to explain it to my friend, I decided to read up more about it myself. I found this website and it’s description of the pink cloud to be interesting: Alcoholrehab.com:

People can feel cheated when the super highs of early recovery are replaced by more modest emotions.

(I actually added that link to my blog because I wanted to save it and I really wish I had the money to go to a rehab program in Thailand. Do they allow scuba diving as part of the program?)

I am writing this blog for my recovery. Some people might read it and see I am worse of a drunk than they are. Some might read it and think my mistakes weren’t that bad. Others might relate to my stories. Some readers might have no problem with alcohol at all and do not understand my blabbings. But I am writing about 365 times that I do not want to forget. Moments that I want to reflect on when I think just one glass of wine will be okay. I have already forgotten a lot of the incidences. Or buried them in my mind. Journals and stories from friends are helping me.

Thanks for reading.

Mistake # 20- NYC costume party: I was finishing a 30 days drinking break. The end to my break was going to coincide with a trip to New York City to visit a friend. People teased me for picking an expensive city to start drinking again. My break was over on Thursday night. No problems. I went out with a friend for a few beers and conversation. She went home at a reasonable hour and I went to another bar. I drank alone until 1am. I drank again on Friday with another friend. Again no problems. Then Saturday, I went to a costume party. I started drinking in the afternoon that day. Beers with a late lunch. Lots of beers. I picked up some beers for “pre-drinking” in the apartment before the party. I was drunk on the subway to the party. I was very trashed at the party. And I continued drinking overpriced rum and cokes.

That night I met a guy that I thought of as a small, internet celebrity. I have his YouTube videos saved on my account. I had a small crush on him. I have no idea what I said or happened, but anytime I have seen that guy since that night, he avoids me. I joked and defended myself by saying that I am not a stalker. Just a drunk.

I woke up the next day at my friend’s apartment laying next to a purple skirt. It was a long, shiny skirt. It had a ripped zipper. I asked him where did it come from? He said he found me at the party passed out on a couch hugging it. He has no idea how I acquired it. The blackouts are baggage I will not miss.

Allergies

Early sobriety has the quality of vigorous exercise, as though each repetition of a painful moment, gone through without a drink, serves to build up emotional muscle. -Caroline Knapp “Drinking: A Love Story”

I read some more of my journals last night. I had to have a tissue box next to me because I kept crying. There are so many stupid things I did. I hurt my mom and others I love so much. But my love for alcohol prevented me from stopping the cycle. I know a lot of people who try to go through life without any regrets. For me, most of my regrets were subdued stupidity. I chucked my regrets off as drunk mishaps. Misfortunes. Mistakes.

I was eating some chocolates and read the allergy warning label on the side of the box.  “This product manufactured on equipment also used in the production of products containing Peanuts and Tree Nuts.” I was glad I do not have nut allergies. The candies were clusters of chocolate and coconut. I thought of the people who are allergic to coconut and felt sorry them. I could not imagine being allergic to strawberries or bananas because I love those also. There have been incidences when I was traveling in  a foreign country and ate whatever mysterious food was offered to me. It made me grateful that I did not have any allergies or dietary restrictions.

Maybe I should start considering alcohol as my allergy. Blackouts are my reaction instead of rash or anaphylactic shock.

Mistake # 18- It was autumn 2003. I went out with some friends on a Friday or Saturday to a late night gay club. It was the kind of place that stays open until 3 or 4am. We usually got there a little before 11pm to pay reduced cover charge. I drank a lot. Most likely I drank rum and cokes. My friends said they lost me at some point on the dance floor.

I woke up in the emergency room. I was freezing laying there on a stretcher. I had a hospital sheet on top of me  to try to keep me warm. I was wearing a skimpy tank top and short skirt. It was the kind of top that one does not wear a bra. I had on pantyhose but they were all ripped. The male nurse asked me if I knew where I was. I recognized the logo on his badge. He told me I passed out in the club and was unresponsive. I was alone. The club called 911. My purse was missing so I had no identity on me. They did a drug screen and it was negative. I am not sure if they ever told me if they did a BAC level (I would assume they did) but if they told me the results, I have forgotten it.

He asked me if I knew how to get home. I told him I could get the subway but I did not have any money. He gave me a subway token and let me take the sheet to keep warm. I must have looked like a top prize sitting on that subway seat with smudge mascara, tossed hair, and a white sheet draped around me at 8am. I lost a thin jacket at the club in addition to my purse with cell phone, wallet and house keys.

I had to go to my sister’s house to get my spare set of keys. Then I had to have my locks changed to be safe. My dad was at her house watching TV. He said nothing about my messy appearance. I assume he did not want details.

When my dad had cancer, he went to that same hospital for his treatments. He lived with me his last few months of life. After he died, I found a sheet with the hospital logo. I was not sure if my dad brought it home after one of his admissions or if it was from my ER visit. I kept it and just told myself it was from him. I refused to be reminded of my embarrassing trip to that hospital.

One more week until my first milestone!

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.

-Johnny Depp

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.

Dignity

Even though I feel I am hidden from most temptations to drink while at my mom’s house, I do not feel this is a supportive environment. She is supportive of me not drinking, but I think she still believes it only a bad habit. She used to say that my dad could have stopped drinking if he loved his family enough. I told her about my recent argument with my friend about alcoholism being a disease. She asked if I actually believe it is a disease. I use delirium tremens as evidence that it is a medical problem.

Her boyfriend makes me feel uncomfortable. I am in my late 30s but I feel like a teenager here. He scolds me for leaving a glass on the table or my box of spices on the counter. Before my mom arrived Saturday, he told me to clean up my mess. I had a few bottles of sauces next to the stove to make her dinner that night. He criticized me for drinking too much coffee the other day and then makes fun of me for eating organic “crap.” I know he looks down on me for my drinking problem. It is my defect. He does not like me on “his” computer but does not want WiFi in the house. I was typing my blog yesterday and he stood behind me. I had to close the page.

There is a news story now about a drunk woman that tried to make sexual advances on a plane. The plane had to make an emergency landing in Minneapolis. I have a few friends joking that it sounds like me on the video. I know they are only teasing and not trying to be mean, but I am hurt. I guess they view me as the fun, party girl that always drinks too much and sometimes out of control. Sometimes when I admit I had DUIs, people start to share their close-calls and admit how often they drove home drunk but did not get caught. Then they want to toast with a alcoholic beverage to “not getting caught.”

I went to see the movie “The Monuments Men” today. Three thoughts floated through my head most of the movie. 1) I should not have drank all that tea because I had to pee. 2) I wish I brought Advil because my knee was aching from an injury I sustained while drunk last October. And 3), every time they drink in the movie, I wanted booze. They had champagne and wine and toasted with some mystery beverage in cups that I imagined was a good lager. They mentioned whiskey and cognac throughout the movie. I mourned that I will never be able to taste any of that again.

But there was one character in the movie, Donald Jeffries, who was the drunk of the group. There were a few lines joking about it. He was sober. How long? Since this morning. But then he redeemed his drunken reputation by helping save great masterpieces. There was a letter in the movie that said something about going on the mission to save art helped restored his dignity.

That word stuck in my head. That is one more thing I lost. Dignity. My friends laugh at my mishaps. My mom’s boyfriend doesn’t seem to trust or like me in their house. If I go back to drinking, my mom will just see me as weak. I imagine my exes describing me as a crazy drunk. Dictionary.com defines dignity as “bearing, conduct, or speech indicative of self-respect…” I do not have self-respect. I struggle for self-love at times. I loved alcohol more than I love myself.

I know that this path to sobriety will not be easy and will come with it’s own problems. But maybe I can find dignity again.

Mistake # 14- Halloween parade: It is my favorite holiday of the year. I made an awesome costume that year. I spent a week creating a bird costume. Then at the beginning of the parade, I poured a bottle of “oil” all over me. The “oil” was pancake syrup with black food coloring. I was an oil spill victim. It was amazing but I was very drunk. I carried a water bottle full of rum and Diet Coke. I had a 2 liter bottle and a small bottle of rum in my bag for refills. My friends were wearing costumes with white bottoms so they ordered me to march in the parade far from them so the “oil” would not drip on them. I was stopped at one point by a news crew for an interview that never aired. I don’t remember being stopped but my friends said it happened. I must have been too trashed to be shown on TV. I do not remember the end of the night. Maybe my friend I was staying with came to meet me? Maybe I took a taxi to his place? I am lucky I was not driving that night. My favorite holiday but I was blacked out for most of it. In fact, I think the only Halloweens I fully remember are ones when I work.

Been a Long Time Coming….

March 24, 2002 Journal entry:

When I think about all the problems alcohol has caused in my life, I seriously wonder why do I continue to drink. It has brought me some good memories, but many blackouts. It has brought me some friends, but ruined many relationships. It has made me feel good, but it is bad for my body. It has caused me to bruise my body and ego at times. It has caused one night stands or the desire to be with someone caused me to drink. I put myself at risk. I have put others at risk. I ruined my driving record and insurance. I’ve hurt others by the things I’ve said while drunk. I’ve wasted many hours being unproductive because of being drunk or recuperating from being drunk. I have missed work or been late to work. I’ve missed class and been late to class. I’ve spend money I couldn’t afford to spend to get drunk. Then I spent more money to get out a towed car, buy new tires I blew out while drunk, and to cover up other mistakes. Alcohol has brought so much misery to my life. I might have drank to have fun, but how much fun it is if I can’t remember most of the night or what I might have done drunk? I think it exacerbates my depression. It’s addicting. It is destroying my life.

And I continued drinking for another twelve years with a few drinking breaks to “prove” I could control it. It is not as if I woke up January 22, 2014 and said “Wow I never knew I had a drinking problem before. Maybe I should quit.” I mentioned in my first blog that I have been considering for the past year of collecting 365 regretful, drunk episodes. Sometimes I wonder if I can write 730 mistakes. Then throw in an extra for leap year.

Mistake #13- The mention of my tires in that journal entry has me confused but I think it happened years before I wrote that. It think I was referring to a time when I was married. Maybe in 1999? I went out clubbing with friends. My husband was either at work or home playing video games. He found me passed out on the couch the next morning. He woke me up and asked me what happened to the car. I didn’t know what he was talking about. He took me outside and the trunk was open. The lock was broken. The bike rack was missing. There were two flat tires. We concluded that I left the parking lot through one of the exits that had the chain hanging across it and the spikes up on the ground to pop tires. I must have drove under the chain! There were scratches along the top of the car. The chain must have pulled the bike rack off and broke the trunk in the process. Not sure how I did not get four flat tires. I was glad my husband was mechanically inclined to fix the trunk and get us new tires for a good price.