Sober Concert

A friend invited me to a concert in a park. It was free. It was a band I did not know. But I wanted to see her again. We haven’t lived in the same area for about 4 years and she was near the city I am visiting before she moves overseas.

I loved the show. And since it was in a public park, no booze. It is the kind of show most of my friends would suggest sneaking in alcohol. I have become good at hiding my drinks. Water bottles have been very useful for that.

The opening acts were dancers. Some hip hop type dancing. It was college age kids who learned the dance moves in a program from when they were teens. It was one of those programs to keep urban kids off the streets. I was impressed. I got a little teary eyed thinking “those kids are doing that sober. They are dancing and having fun. I can learn from them.”

My friend and I sat on the ground inbetween acts and caught up. I mentioned a few things about why I stopped drinking. She didn’t seem to have a problem with it. I can not remember if she ever saw me messed up but I am sure she heard the stories. Either way, she seemed more supportive than the two who I thought of as very close friends. She even said it must be nice to wake up in the morning with a clear head and not have to plan a sober driver.

Then I spotted a friend JF. I jumped up to say hello. He invited me to come join other friends that were sitting on a hill watching the concert. This is a group of party friends. They are all friends with P and C, my friends that were unsupportive all weekend. I was excited to see them but worried how they would react to my sobriety. My friend and I joined them anyway.

First, I don’t think anyone had alcohol. (Like I said, public park where it was not allowed.) Second, my sobriety never came up with them. And third, I learned that I can have fun at a concert without booze. And I CAN DANCE SOBER! The music was sort of Latino mixed with Brazilian and electronic. I was shaking my butt and moving my hips.

I am not sure how things will be at other events with these friends. But I feel JF would be supportive. He offered me drinks at an event last November and I declined because I was on a drinking break. He said “good for you!” Not like P and C who criticized me for taking a drinking break around the holidays. But it cheered me up to think I have some support in that group of friends.

Oh and I forgot… I went to an AA meeting today. It was in the back of a coffee shop. I thought it was great. I shared about my experience with P and C. I cried. A few people came up to me after to give me advice and share words. I was glad none of them told me get a sponsor or anything about working the steps. They didn’t shove the AA dogma down my throat. They told me to come back to this meeting whenever I am in the area. And for some reason, there was something about that meeting that made me think I will start trying to program more. I will wait until I move out here to get a sponsor. This meeting somehow made AA more attractive.
And they gave out chips. I think I really have resentment against the meetings back where I live for not giving chips except for 90 days and anniversaries.

Mistake 138- The day after P and C’s wedding, I spent it with the best man Playboy, two of the groomsmen and the wife of one of those groomsmen. We had lunch. I was the only one drinking beer at lunch. Then we decided to go to a park. We had all of the leftover booze from the wedding in our vehicles. We had a few bottles of wine and Solo cups. We sat in the park in the late afternoon drinking.

I was friends with the one groomsman. The married one did not seem to like me from the moment I met him. His wife was okay but seemed as if she was tolerating me. I got very paranoid about why they did not like me. My answer to the paranoia or maybe in a way to forget it was to drink more wine.

As the sun was going down, the one groomsman, who I was good friends with, had to leave. The married couple and Playboy wanted to go to a nearby casino. I should not have driven but I did. We all had separate cars. I lost them along the way.  I caught up with the three of them in the parking lot of the casino.

I think Playboy and I started to argue about something before even leaving the park. Whatever the argument was about continued in the parking lot. It continued all the way into the casino. It was something about money I owed him for some booze. I told him if we go right to the ATM, I will get him the money. The three of them were walking quickly like they wanted to get away from me. So as soon as we entered, I got stubborn and walked off to a restaurant. I stopped in the gift shop to pick up some gossip magazine (which I normally never read) to read while I ate alone. I ordered more wine with dinner. I sat there at this table alone, trying to read, and crying while I ate.

I went to my car. I knew I was in no condition to drive. I slept. Playboy came by my car and banged on the window. Then he started to yell at me for being dramatic. I told him I was in no condition to drive. But I was so upset at him waking me up, I decided to leave the casino. I drove 2 hours to my friends’ house. I do not think I was legal to drive but I guess that nap in the car sobered me up enough to not be obviously drunk.


I was reading back through my journal from 2001 to 2002. A lot of it is about the relationship I was in and problems with school. But so many times I wrote “I need to quit drinking.” A few times I wrote “I need to control my drinking.” A few times I wrote in there intoxicated “I love being drunk!” When I wrote drunk, my handwriting doubled in size. My letters took up two lines rather than one. Drinking made so many things chaotic besides penmanship.

I already made a post estimating how much money I will save by going sober. I wonder how much time I would have saved if I quit 12 years ago? All those days I spent sleeping away hangovers. All those sights and trips I missed out on. All those nights in bars when I could have been studying or learning something or improving myself.



I went to a meeting today. It was the noon one I like. A woman from Monday’s meeting recognized me and waved. It felt nice to recognize familiar faces. Maybe I will start doing this more often. I even spoke and admited I did not do 90 meetings in 90 days but I might start coming more often. My confidence of this being “easy” is scaring me. I am not gonna jump into the steps or this AA thing, but maybe more meetings and talk to more people will help keep me strong. Maybe I will get a sponsor, or as someone called it today, “special friend”.

Mistake #99- My friend took me to a concert. The concert venue was about a 30 minute drive. It was to see a local lesbian band. I got drunk. I was dancing with a girl that my friend had a crush on. I do not know what happened but my friend must have got mad. So I left the concert. I was sitting outside crying and trying to figure if I could pay for a taxi home. Then I met some strange woman who gave me a ride.

So I got in a car with a stranger while completely drunk and left my friend. Like I said, I do not know what happened (did I kiss the girl my friend liked?) but my friend did not talk to me for a while after that night.

Thankfully 11 years later, she is one of my good friends that is supporting my sobriety.

Wither or Thrive

I have recently started watching House of Cards on Netflix. Didn’t care for first episode but then it started to get good. I am on Season 1, episode 5. I don’t want to spoil it for anyone interested and not there (but I was spoiled when I tried finding a scene on YouTube and found out what happens to a character.) But the episode ends with Kevin Spacey’s character telling another to do one month sober. He then asks (to the camera cause he speaks to the audience a lot) “He has a choice. Will he wither, or will he thrive? Only time will tell.”

I want to thrive.

There was a scene of a party and everyone was drinking. Having fun. I was sort of jealous. Part of me wishes I could still do that. But the reasonable part of me knows I would be knocking over tables or yelling loudly or falling into bushes at that party. It was an open bar which would open me to many mistakes.

Drinking makes me wither. I do not want that life again.

Mistake #64- I had a date with a guy I met at a club. He canceled two dates and was about to canceled a third time. I told him not to bother calling me again if he canceled again.

He told me he had to take his sister’s friend to some concert. He never heard of the band. But there were four tickets. He could find a friend to take this girl and he could bring me if I was interested. Did I know a band called Nine Inch Nails?

I was ecstatic! NIN was my favorite band as a teen and throughout college. That would be an awesome first date.

This guy was a great guy. He was nice, very cute, and smart. He was literally a rocket scientist. He worked for NASA. I was not sure which I was more excited for: date with him or seeing Trent Reznor on stage.

The concert was wonderful. We had good seats. I kept making beer runs. He wasn’t drinking since he was driving. I bought two beers each trip to the beer stand for myself. I was having a blast. Here was one of my favorite bands! But I did not mind missing little parts of the act to keep my buzz going.

I insisted on stopping at a bar on the way home. I wanted to introduce him to a place I really liked “just for one drink.” Then I would order another. I brought up the topic of relationships. Was he looking for one? He was honest and said he was not looking for anything serious. This made me mad. I started getting loud and bitching “oh so you thought you’d just take me to a concert, fuck me, then bye?” I starting yelling he was not gonna use me! I would not allow it. He kept trying to calm me down and talk me into going home. “NO! Why? So you can fuck me and forget me?”

I was very drunk but I remember this part very clear: He leaned over and whispered “are you an alcoholic?”

“NO! I just like to have fun! But that doesn’t mean I am gonna let you fuck me.”

I started crying. He tried to talk me into letting him give me a ride home. I refused. I told him I could walk. He got up and left.

What could have been a good relationship withered before it could thrive because of my drinking problem.

I sat there crying. I drank some more and bitched about men until the bartender cut me off. That made me cry more. The guy that was sitting next to me started to console me. I ended up going home with him. Didn’t remember his name the next morning but we had ended up dating. That relationship was ended two months later due to my drinking.