Prozac

I was talking with a friend the other day about her son and ritalin. Her sister has temporary custody of the boy and think he has ADHD. He is 13. I think he is being a teenager. My friend doesn’t want her son on speed and does not know her rights with it. I told her how I think medication should be the last resort. Then I got thinking about my own medication use.

I have been on Prozac for a month now. I picked up a bottle when I was in Mexico. I was against starting anti-depressants for a long time. I always thought exercise and diet were better than something created in a lab. I thought just going sober would be the cure to my hopelessness. But after my rough,  depressive August, I knew I needed something. The bottle had 100 pills and I thought I would just need this to bring me up and then I would stop. I thought I can start eating healthier and exercising my way to joy.

I am not too sure now. I feel happier and more confident.  I am not sure how much to thank my Prozac for that. Do I want to take the chance of stopping when I run out after 3 months? I am not going to fly you Mexico for another bottle. I guess I should start finding a therapist for a prescription. And then she or he can help me figure out when to wean off.

I am pleased I started it. I just do not want to depend on the little green and yellow pills forever.

Mistake 244- I went to a party and met up with a friend I have not seen in a long time. He was in town briefly. I always had a crush on him. I remember I had plans to sleep in the back of my car that night to avoid driving. I was all set to get trashed.

I drank beers and shots of Jameson. I remember bragging that Jameson was the only whiskey I drank because it was smooth. I remember showing my ID for the first shot. Then I lost it. I had to keep returning to the same bartender the rest of the night.

I made out with my friend. I only briefly remember it. I think we were dancing and then started to kiss. I guess it was a good thing he had a ride to his hotel and I was staying in the parking lot because not sure what more would have happened.

I did have a bouncer stop me on the way out to say they found my ID. Still, it was a close call. I lost so many driver licenses while drunk.

That friend is now married with a baby. Whenever he is on town, he is always too busy to meet up with me again.

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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Impermanence

I am in a new city.  New things to see.  It is a new day.  And I feel better than my last post. 

I also slept better.

I was staying in a hostel for two nights.  And while I love the atmosphere in hostels,  maybe I am getting too old for sleeping in dorm rooms.  It was not as if many of the other young travelers were trying to chat with me.  (Even though I could probably give them a lot of travel advice about other parts of the world! ) I booked a hotel for my two nights in this city because the hostels were all up a hill and I have a very heavy bag.  This hotel is right next to the train station.  I went to sleep,  did not set the alarm,  and woke up at 8 am feeling wonderful!

I was listening to music on my iPod as I got ready.  Some Tibetan Buddhist prayers came on.  I downloaded them after my trip to Nepal last year.  I listened to the chant “om mani padme hum.” I really need to make a blog post one day devoted to that prayer. It basically means “jewel in the lotus” and represents that we can overcome anything.  (At least that is what I take from it.) But lotuses are beautiful flowers that can grow out of mud and, literally,  shit. They show that something wonderful can come from the worst. A jewel in the lotus is the shine that develops from that beauty.

So that chant came on and made me smile.  It also made me think of a Buddhist quote I saw on a recovery page on Facebook last night. “Nothing is permanent.” Including my addiction. Including my sadness.

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Mistake 196- I was really close friends with a gay guy. He had an old military friend visiting him. His friend was very hot. My friend told me not to hit on his hot friend. But we went to an afterhours club. My gay friend had to leave but his hot friend insisted on staying. I got too drunk to drive so the hot guy offered to drive my car for me. We ended up having sex in the car in the parking lot before he drove me home.

We stayed in touch and he even came to visit me once. But we kept it a secret. Our gay friend was mad when he found out. He said I betrayed him. I am not sure if he was jealous or why he was so upset. But either reason, a friend should not do that to a friend.

Benefits of Having a Purpose in Life

I read an article on NPR about a study that found people who feel they have a purpose in life live longer.

Of course, purpose means different things to different people. Hill says it could be as simple as making sure one’s family is happy. It could be bigger, like contributing to social change. It could be more self-focused, like doing well on the job. Or it could be about creativity.

…findings suggest that having “a sense of purpose may protect people against stress,” with all of its harmful effects, including greater risk of heart disease. And that may explain why people with a sense of purpose live longer.

I think it is hard for alcoholics to find a purpose during their drinking days. Or actually to find another purpose besides getting more alcohol. This feeling leads to more stress in addition to stress from the other troubles caused by the disease. Legal problems, health issues, relationship woes, and stress is a nasty recipe for a short, unhappy life.

I have always felt I have had purpose. Social change has always made me feel passionate. I am a tree hugger. I donate to help women and children in developing countries. I have volunteered and contributed to society. I felt my work was important.

But I still hated life. I hated myself. I felt I had to force myself to do so much good to make up for being so worthless. I was miserable on the inside even though everyone thought I was the happy party girl. I got to travel. What do I have to be depressed about?

I think the chemical effects of the alcohol plus the shame from my regrets made me depressed. I hid my feelings in the booze and the booze hid my self-worth. It poisoned me from being able to appreciate my purpose. For twenty years, I drank to try to be something or someone that people liked and I thought if everyone liked me, I would eventually like me too.

It took getting sober to finally like myself. Actually, now I love myself.

Mistake 189- I was in Goa, India and drunk alone. I do not remember how the night started or with whom I spent it. But I remember walking to my guesthouse drunk and depressed. I was listening to my iPod. Blue October’s “Into the Ocean” came on. I started crying. I kept walking late at night and crying and crying. I put the song on repeat. It was after midnight and most places were closed. But I kept walking, listening to this song over and over, and wishing I was dead. I thought about going down to the beach and drowning myself. I felt so miserable and lonely. It was not safe to be walking around in India alone at night like that but I do not think I was scared because I actually wanted harm to come to me.

Thankfully I made me way back to the guesthouse. Before passing out, I posted the video to the song on Facebook. I made some comment along with the video telling people not to be jealous or envious of my life and travels because most of the time I wanted to travel to death. Then I went to sleep.

The next morning, there were a lot of emails and comments. People were worried. I deleted the video link. I replied that I was just drunk. Ignore me. I put back on the happy mask and went back to my life of trying to get everyone to like me.

I really hope my suicidal tendencies will be cured with sobriety. So far, death is no longer a purpose for me.

Blue October – Into The Ocean: http://youtu.be/ZES3nJQYJok

Real Me

I was telling a friend how some friends have not been supportive. Some friends seem to avoid me now that I quit drinking. He said maybe they just miss the old me. They had fun partying with me. I was a fun person and that should be seen a good thing. His excuses were pissing me off.

So I am not fun now? Just because I am not falling over drunk, not remembering the night, or waking up with a stranger in my bed, that means I am not fun? I feel that they miss me being the entertainment.  The jackass. The drunk fool. They don’t miss the “real” me. The real me would get suicidal from being so depressed from drunk mishaps. The regret I would feel the next day made me hate who I was and wish for death!  That is what they miss?

But of course, they didn’t know about that side of me. Not many know about my many suicide attempts. Nor all the times I drove drunk. Some know I have 2 DUIs and they share with me their DUI stories or drunk-driving-but-not-caught stories. I put on a great show of being happy most of the time. If I got drunk and depressed, they just ignored it and figured I would be okay once I sobered up.

Yes. I am finally okay. But it is not from sobering after after a night of drinking. It is six months of sobriety after twenty years of drinking.

Now I have to figure how to get people to know the real me. I have to get them to understand how sobriety is the best thing that has happened to me. I want them to see the benefits without shoving it down their throats. The real me is actually pretty awesome.

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Mistake 179- I drove to a club for a costume party.  It was a 45 minute drive. I got super drunk. I was not planning the night out well. I had no backup plan for getting home. Maybe I thought I would sleep in the car before driving (in a sketchy neighborhood.) It was a few months before my second DUI.

I met a guy. I don’t know how or anything about the meeting. But somehow I took him home. He drove my car and his friend followed in his. I woke up with this guy in my bed and his friend on the couch. He even asked how was I planning to get home with as trashed as I was and I told him I did not know.

I had a second date with that guy another time. I got trashed on that date. He asked if I was an alcoholic. I said “no, I just like to have fun.” We never had another date.

Maybe if I did not meet him in that club and have him drive me home, I would have gotten my second DUI sooner. Or might have been dead.

Summer Solstice

Happy Summer Solstice everyone! Or I guess it is over in most of the world by now. I enjoyed it at a backyard party. They had Mexican theme. I met a lot of people and caught up with two old friends. And once again, I stayed sober.

They had a lot of specialty drinks. Bloody Marys made with tequila so they called them Bloody Marias instead. Mimosas with orange juice or lemonade.  Lots and lots of beer. This bin was full and this is what is left:

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If I was drinking, it would be empty. I am spending the night at the house. So I would have used that as an excuse to drink more. But I am not sure what “more” would have been compared to my normal drinking. A 6 pack a night? I brought 3 large jugs of ice tea. I mixed some with lemonade.

I don’t think anyone got trashed. Is this what parties normally looked like but I never noticed because I was usually too drunk? There was only one girl that seemed tipsy and she is also spending the night. Maybe everyone did not drink much because they were driving and were being responsible. That was a foreign custom to me.

I met people without liquid lubrication. I joked around with people. I enjoyed conversations. While there were a few moments of uncomfortable silence, it seemed to be a mutual feeling. It was much better than making an intoxicated fool of myself.

There was no real moment where I desired alcohol. My only problem was being conscious if I started to mention my sobriety too much.  I didn’t want to be a buzzkill. If I started to bitch about how drinking was such a problem for me,  I would try to change the subject. This was a party.  Not rehab. Not AA. My two friends don’t mind talking with me about it but this was not the environment for that. 

My first summer party sober. Yea!

Mistake 152- My last trip to Goa, I sat on the beach all day drinking alone. I got drunk. In the late afternoon, I started to walk back to my guesthouse. I got lost.  I tried to ask for directions. People in India tend to give answers even if they do not know the correct explanation. I heard they think it is rude to not know so they make up responses. So this guy gave me the wrong directions.

It was hot. Over 90 F degrees. I was drunk and lost. I was getting irritated.  I texted a local friend to ask for help. He responded that he did not know what I expected him to do. He did not know where I was. I tried to describe where I was and wanted him to come pick me up. It was not as if I sent him my GPS coordinates. He told me I was being ridiculous.

I started to text him very rude responses. Called him “useless”. I then started to accuse him of trying to use me.  I was very mean in every text. He finally told me to grow up.  Then the messages turned depressing. I started to say he doesn’t know what it is like to fantasize about dying. He called me a drama queen. I told him no,  I was a “suicidal alcoholic”. I told him I never wanted to talk to him again.

I don’t remember all the texts messages but I know that they went along those lines. As I was walking and texting on a road in India, I was crying.  A taxi motorbike stopped and I got a ride back to my guesthouse.  (Thankfully it wasn’t some stranger on a bike taking advantage of drunk foreigner.) I deleted all my friend’s messages that night. He last text me the next day saying he hopes I get some help. I responded “fuck off.” I deleted all emails and contact I had with him. 

I don’t know why I reacted like that.  Was I crying for help?  This was a little over a year ago.  Was I realizing my drinking was destroying me? Was I just being a drunk drama queen? Was I scared of being lost in Goa and lost in life?

Summer solstice is a time of rebirth. I feel I am leaving so much confusion and destitution behind in my past. I am being reborn into a sober me.

150 days= 5 months sober

It does seem easier. But there are still times I wish I could drink. I wish I was capable of moderating.I wish I was “normal”.

Then again, I do feel happier. When I think of how long I battled depression, it almost feels the alcohol was the main source of it. It was keeping me numb and I suffered so many regrets due to my drinking. I have not found all the answers to life with my short 5 months of sobriety, but I am finding self-love.

Two years ago, I traveled a lot around Asia. I rememeber I told a friend I wanted to get a tattoo that said “love” or “love myself” or something similar. I wanted to get it in Sanskrit or Thai or another languages from a country I enjoyed. My friend asked me why I wanted a tattoo like that. I replied “as a reminder to love myself. ” She told me I shouldn’t need a tattoo for that.

She was right. I never got the tattoo because I couldn’t figure out a correct translation. It did get an “om”, which is a Hindu symbol, but I got it as a reminder to balance out my life. I did not realize how alcohol was keeping my life so lopsided. It made so much else heavy with guilt and pain. I wasted so much time recovering. I kept putting off returning to school. I spent so much money on my habit. Now I am learning to balance work, school, finances, travel, and personal life all while staying sober. I am honestly feeling such an improvement in all areas of my life.

5 months does not seem all the exciting but it does seem surreal. I never imagine I would not drink alcohol for this long. Again, no huge treats planned. I got a lot of work to do for my class. It feels great knowing I have a sober brain to do all of it.
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Mistake 150- It does not seem like a huge mistake, but it was something I regretted and time I will never get back.

My friend and I were traveling in Goa. We were staying with a friend. He and I stayed up late making sangria from two bottles of very cheap Indian wine. We both had the worst headaches when we tried to get up the next day. Our friend who lived there kept putting pitchers of water in between our beds all day. We slept all day. We would wake up just to take ibuprofen, drink water, and maybe go to the bathroom. We wasted a whole day that could have been spent at the gorgeous beaches or visiting a fort of a tourist site. We were too hungover.
I still partied a lot the rest of our stay. My friend did not. I think that was when our travel friendship started to break down and ended a few weeks later.