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.

Humankind

I have been noticing people being mean lately. It seems a lot of people have a short fuse. Is there a comet above affecting us?

I was in a fast food restaurant waiting for my food. As mine was called, a man pushed ahead to complain to the young man behind the counter that his food has been sitting on that counter waiting for a long time and getting cold. I wanted to say “it is fast food. Not immediate food.” I think they were waiting for the fries to be finished to add to his order but that was not quick enough for him. He was behind me in line. My order was not cold. He just seemed like an angry man. I felt sorry for the boy working there. He had to summon the manager.

Then on my flight, the flight attendant asked everyone to turn off our cell phones and all electronics as we were landing. She said the reason was because we were flying at a lower landing. She had to come remind the guy next to me because he kept his on. (He did not have headphones for an excuse that he did not hear. He was just ignoring her.) He reluctantly did so and loudly said “8 flights in one week and that was the first time I had to do that! For crying out loud!” He had to go 10 minutes without his phone and he was pissed off?

I am thinking too much about my friends P and C. I had to stop by there place on the way to the airport because I left my laptop plug. They handed it to me (after some debate because C thought I was mistaken and it was her brother’s.  Then she found another cord still plugged into her brother’s laptop. Did she think I came back to steal a cord?) But I got it, said bye from the door, and left. They did not bother to get up to walk me to the door nor hug it. It seems they think this alcoholism disease is contagious. Or they already seem they have symptoms. “Get her problems out of here!” It was like I had the plague.

I am not going to try to figure out why. I am still hurt by P’s comments that helping people with addictions is a “lost cause.” I am hurt they both kept trying to encourage me to sip. I feel ignorant that I did not realize there was not much to our friendship besides drinking. But I can try to move on. Toxic humans can be contagious.

Mistake 139- About a year after my first DUI, I had a job start date delayed. It was going to be delayed 3 months! They wanted me to get an alcohol and drug dependency evaluation done first. I already moved to that city and began renting a house. I had to call my old job and beg for a temporary job back. They allowed me to come back but to work as a “fill in”. Basically, I only worked when someone called out or they were very busy. It was not steady but it was some money. I spent those months living on a friend of a friend’s couch. I did not have my driver’s license due to the DUI and this guy lived a mile from my job. I also partied a lot while staying there! He was a party guy so we went out a lot. Or I would beg rides from other friends. Or I would pay $40 to the club and just beg rides home. I was depressed almost the whole time. I wrote a lot of suicidal thoughts in my journal. It was a low point in my life and I self-medicated with alcohol.

AND I STILL GOT ANOTHER DUI 4 YEARS LATER!

I made a fool out of myself drunk a lot while staying on that guy’s couch. He never talked to me again after I left.

Reunion… Success!

I went to my reunion last night that I was nervous about two months ago. It is amazing how I feel different since writing that post. Back in April, I was so worried about my desire to drink. Now, I was more worried I would be late. Or bored that I had nothing in common with my old classmates. Or my skin was too broken out or I looked too fat.

I was not worry I would ruin my sobriety.

I arrived and walked around to try to recognize anyone. I spotted one familiar face talking to a group of people. I went to the bar and ordered an unsweetened ice tea.  I wanted to walk up to the group armed.

I had a good time. No one asked me if I wanted a beer. No one asked me why I wasn’t drinking. We all shared stories of where our lives had gone the past twenty years. We shared stories from back in school. We shared travel stories and destinations we would like to go. I was there for three hours. There were a few moments when I thought I would like to just sip someone’s beer. But the desire was not strong.

As far as my unsupportive friends I am staying with, they continue to make ignorant comments. At lunch today, they made a big deal out of finding a place with good cocktails. Then they tasted each others and offered me a sip. “Oh, so you can’t even sip it?” We went to a farmers market where they wanted to stop at a booth to taste beer cupcakes. I kept walking. We bought some sausages and the guy selling them suggested boiling them in water or beer before grilling. They both said “and we got plenty of beer for that!”

I was trying not to make a big deal out of it. But once in a while, I would share one of my drunk stories. They kept quiet. I felt I wanted to stress reasons why I am not drinking, but I guess they just don’t understand that I can not even handle a little bit.

It seems they enjoyed my drunk mistakes. They enjoyed me being the embarassment. They enjoyed me falling over and stories of my one night stands. I remember once I commented about wondering if anyone I slept with would be at an event and he said with a laugh “well who HAVEN’T you slept with”.

Then tonight, I invited a friend over to join us for dinner. She asked if she could bring anything. I told her I quit drinking but P and C might like beer or wine. She said she wouldn’t be drinking alcohol because she had a long drive.  When she got here, my friends didn’t seem to understand why she did not want even one drink. “Not even one?” They drank. They drank lots. I could tell that C was drunk soon. She even decided to bake some dessert that she almost burnt because she forgot about it. I sat there thinking  “I am really enjoying being sober. I am glad I am not acting drunk.” I still enjoyed the night because of the conversations. My friend had a lot of great stories to share about her travels. When P and C were out of the room, I overheard them discussing going out or not. C said “well if they just want to sit and talk, let them.” I felt they thought we were boring for not wanting to go to a bar or club.

When my friend was leaving, I offered to walk her to her car which was parked in another parking lot. C offered to drive us there because she needed to move her car. I offered to move her car. I did not feel she should be driving. I even asked her and got the response of “yea, no problem!” I then realized all the times I was drunk and said I was fine, I was too nervous to admit I wasn’t. There were times I should not have been driving but I was embarrassed I was so drunk. “Yea I am okay” was a denial of how much I drank and my problem.

We had her drive us down to the other lot. She did drive okay. But I am almost sure that she would have received a DUI if she was pulled over. Thankfully it was a quick drive there, drop off my friend, and then back to our lot. I did not want to insist of driving or refusing her ride because I did not want to come off as the sober preacher. I risked my life by getting in the car with her driving to avoid offending her.

Once again, being around drunk people helped reinforce my desire to stay sober. And I might mourn this relationship if it end. But I know I love myself enough to put my sobriety before anyone and anything else.

Mistake 137- I met my friend that came for dinner last night many years in a chat room. I once was a moderator of the chat room. I was supposed to warn people who were acting wrong or misbehaving “in” the room and then block them if they did not behave.

I woke up one morning hungover and signed into the chat room. A cyber friend started to tell me how I was so funny the night before in the chat room. I did not remember what I said. As a moderator, I had access to previous conversations and private IMs. So I went back to check what I said.

I told my friend I was surprised he could comprehend my typing. But it basically was typos in capital letters stating how I needed to get laid, I wanted to be fucked, and I wanted pussy. Over and over. I was so embarrassed. It was an international chatroom. Did I offend anyone? He said I was entertaining.

I demoted myself from being moderator. I told my friend that gave me the position that I was not qualify to tell others how to behave when I could not control myself when drunk.

Sorry if anyone reading this is offended by my curse words. I feel I need to use them at times to fully express my story, situations, and feelings.

Camping Roadtrip

I am camping for the next few nights. Just a regular camping trip. Not a festival this time. My friend had vacation time and needed to get away so I volunteered to do a roadtrip with him. 

His roommate was suggesting places for us to go. He kept telling my friend of campgrounds that had great bars.  “Um, she doesn’t drink.” What is she looking for in a campground?  Seriously? Even in my drinking days, I don’t think I would have picked a campground based on the bars? How about warm showers!  Nearby hikes?

I thought it was cute my friend kept defending my non -drinking to his roommate. Also, sort of a shame that he had to.  “Did she ever drink?”

“Oh yea!” as he nodded his head intensely. “She drank A LOT!”

“Did she ever smoke?” My friend asked me if I did.  I told him only when drunk.  He then remembers me bumming cigarettes from him but never inhaling.  He said he used to always yell at me for that.

I asked does this mean his friend things I am some goody two-shoes. No,  he is just trying to understand me.  Why not ask if I ever did heroin or meth? I am odd for not doing any drugs?  I have a coffee addiction.  Does that make me human?

When picking up food, I told my friend to get beer if he wants.  I joked I will get bottles of root beer. “I thought you have up soda also? ”
“Um,  how about I only give up Coke and Pepsi products?” But no root beer. I got ice tea. If there were other people with us and we had plans to spend lots of time around a campfire,  I would have got those root beer bottles to blend in.

We went out to eat out first night because we were too lazy to cook. Only place open late in this small town was a bar.  I had a great burger. It was two-for- one beers. It is amazing how no one cares or bothers me that I don’t drink in a bar.  Not sure if they assume it is cause I am driving or they really just don’t care. He had four. I told him keep drinking so the mosquitoes well be more attracted to him and leave me alone.

We talked a lot during dinner about relationships and drinking.  I need to bring my “drinking journal” with me to jot down my drinking mistakes as they come up in conversations. Sometimes I get worried if I can keep this blog going daily. Then I am reminded of another drunk time and I think “oh yea… I will have 365 mistakes by January.” Just not sure if I can always try to relate them to whatever is the topic from that day.  For example, I can not think of any drunk mistakes related to camping. But the memory might come back to me in a few months.

He started a campfire when we got back to our site.  I was super tired.  I went to bed.  He stayed up about two hours later night fishing.  He smelled like beer when he finally crawled in the tent. That is such an unattractive smell. I used to stink like that?

Mistake 128- I was traveling India and staying with a local family.  I was in Kerala and the family was a man,  his wife,  and their adorable 8 year old daughter. We had a French couple over.  We were all having a good time on their rooftop porch. There was a festival going on.  We enjoyed fireworks and drinks.

The French couple left.  The wife and daughter went to bed.  The Indian father and I stayed up drinking.  I was drinking Old Monk and Coke. It is a very sweet Indian rum. He was drinking whiskey.

I sort of remember him kissing me.  I pushed him off. He kept trying to kiss me more. I don’t remember much more. I blacked out.  I mentioned it to a friend a week later “I think that guy kissed me?” He laughed “if you think it happened,  it probably did.”

Anything more happen? I have no idea.  I woke up the next day on the couch on the rooftop porch covered in mosquito bites. I passed out in a long Indian skirt and short sleeve top. I went to the guest room, grabbed my bag, and left without saying bye.

The father emailed me a few times asking me if I was coming back through town. He kept making comments on my Facebook photos and “liking” everything I posted. I eventually just deleted his friend link. Years later, I still do not know what happened that night except I got eaten by mosquitoes.

5 stages of Inebriation

image

A friend posted old photos of the 5 Stages of Inebriation. I feel I could go through old photos of myself and recreate these photos. So many photos of me drunk! Passed out. Chugging bottles. Double fisting. I once had an album on MySpace just of me drinking. I did it because someone complained my drinking photos were not “lady like.” He deleted me as a friend after I made that album.

I have old VHS videos of my parties. But I don’t think I was drunk on the tapes. I was recording. I don’t think I have drunk videos of myself. I am sure other people might. Maybe I can get them sent to me for my birthday. Or my sober anniversary.

image

Mistake 127- I was at a huge house party. I arrived there drunk. I got a ride with a friend but he left early. I think I was planning on catching a taxi home.

I woke up in the master bedroom. I was laying across a king size bed, from side to side rather than top to bottom, with 3 or 4 other people in the bed. Girls and guys. The guy who owned the house was in another room. I had on my jeans but was topless. I found my shirt. A cute guy found my bra for me.

Everyone that was passed out from the party started drinking again the next morning. I did not because I had to work that night. The cute guy offered to give me a ride home. My friend said “oh what a gentleman!”

He asked me for my number. I don’t know if we made plans to meet again on the drive home or if one of us texted the other first. But we had a date a few days later. We went out a few times. We had sex. Then I finally asked about the party.

He said he and I started making out. There were a bunch of people in the room and everyone was doing their own thing. I climbed on top of him, straddled him, took off my top and bra (with people in th room), kissed him some more, and then passed out.

I couldn’t even remember if he was one of the people in the bed the next morning. I guess I was still drunk when I woke up.

Boozing and Backpacking

I saw a thread floating around on Facebook about traveling backpackers. I laughed. A lot of that pertains to me. I miss traveling.

But the bits about drinking got me wondering if traveling sober well be difficult for me.  It is easy to tell myself “you will save so much money without drinking” but bars do tend to be a natural habitat for backpackers. I used to pick out places to eat in the backpacker areas based on the drink specials. I avoided hostels that did not allow alcohol consumption. If a hostel sold beers, I sometimes had the highest tab by the end of the night. I spent one Christmas Eve getting drunk at an elephant camp in Thailand with other travelers and the guide was shocked that I drank more beers than anyone. Even the German guys.  Beer really was cheapest beverage in some countries. That was my excuse when I kept getting drunk in Czech Republic.

I need to remind myself of the times I put my life at risk by getting drunk in other countries. The times I got lost or went home with strangers. The times I lost my wallet or passport. The time I almost got arrested in Mexico or ran nude in Muslim countries. I never drove drunk in other countries because I rarely drove in other countries. (Though once I drove from Tijuana to San Diego after a lot of tequila shots for lunch. I was so worried the border patrol guard would smell my breath but he was more concerned I wasn’t smuggling people.)

 

in a bar in Istanbul

in a bar in Istanbul

I have a trip planned in August to Portugal. I am a little nervous. It is my birthday gift to myself. I am already planning to spend the day at art museums and then a nice dinner. As of now, I will be spending it alone. I keep skipping the parts of my guide book that mention clubs and bars. In the past, I would go to bars alone in strange cities. I would sit and observe. And drink. I am hoping I will be able to stay strong and sober while traveling.

Mistake 119- I was staying at a hostel in Melbourne, Australia. I bought a bottle of abstinthe that day. I was so excited because it was still illegal in the United States. I remember I did not know how to drink it properly. I was mixing it with juice and some Gatorade type of drink. I got trashed on it by myself. I met a cute Swedish guy somewhere in the hostel. Either in the kitchen or common area. For some reason, I think it might have been by the soda machine. I don’t remember much except we ended up having sex in his dorm room. We were on the top bunk. He had 3 upset roommates. I told some friends about it the next day and everyone said “that is dorm life!” I spent the rest of my stay wondering if any guys giving me strange looks were his dormmates. Never talked to the guy again.

 

 

 

 

Old Alcoholic Movie

I watched the movie The Lost Weekend from 1945. It is about an alcoholic writer that gets left alone for the weekend and goes on a drinking binge. I don’t want to give it away,  but he ends up in a sanitarium for alcoholics. That is where people went for treatment before rehab. Scenes showed how horrible this disease can get.  I also thought “this is how people picture alcoholics.  Crazy people that would do ANYTHING for a drink.” The people that get the shakes and sweats without alcohol. The people that go through detox. The people that suffer delirium tremendous. I also noticed there were no women in the alcoholic ward in the movie.

I walked past the beer aisle in the store again and glanced at the choices. Why do they put it on the way to the milk section? But I did not really crave any of the beer. I just thought it was like window shopping for things I can not afford. Or things I admire but do not want to waste my money on. It is like when you realize you no longer love an ex-boyfriend but still like him as a person.

Mistake 114- I was living either in Philly or New Jersey. I went to Manhattan to party with friends. Somehow, I ended up in Brooklyn. I do not remember if the party moved there or if I spent the night with a guy. But wherever I stayed, I left early the next morning. I was still drunk. I was a bit lost. I could not figure out how to find the subway and I did not know the NYC bus routes. Once I got to Manhattan,  I could find the bus home.
I asked someone and they gave me directions to the nearest Metro stop but it was a far walk.

I was tired. It was summer and a warm, Sunday morning. I laid down on the sidewalk. I found a spot that seemed quiet and clean from broken glass. It was against a building. I just wanted a nap. Just a short nap and then I would walk to the subway. I had a thin jacket and bag that I put under my head.

I remember it was a Sunday because a woman and young girl woke me up. They were dressed for church. They asked me if I was okay. I told them “yes, just tired.” They might have been checking to see if I was alive. They asked if I needed help. They could give me money if I needed some. I must have looked homeless. I told them no, I just needed to find the subway. They pointed the direction and offered to call a taxi and pay for it. I declined. I got up and started the walk. 

I was so embarrassed.  Once I found the subway, I napped a bit and missed a few stops. I eventually got home and spent a long time recovering.