The day I relapsed, I wrote about it in my journal while I was drinking. I hate the term relapse though. To me, that envisions giving up and drinking a lot more than I did. To me, a relapse lasts days, weeks, months or more. My slip was 1 day and then 1 more day. It was a slip. Here is my journal entries:
22 May 2015
…I walked more but was hungry two hours later. I stopped at a place on the waterfront. Upstairs had a nice view of the bay and a beautiful breeze. The waiter suggested fish or lobster with shrimp. I opted for the fish. And when he suggested “mojito”, I gave in. Today is 1 year and 4 months of no alcohol. I could blame it on seeing bottles and signs of rum everywhere. Or maybe cause I am feeling lonely. I thought “maybe just one drink.” After a few sips, I took a gulp of rum through the straw. It was like kissing an old lover that I never forgot. One that used to abuse me but at that second, I missed his tasty lips. Sparks flew. Our passion was rekindled.
I swore only one. But when I finished it and was still not done lunch, I thought “maybe a beer?” Might as well. I already broke my sobriety. I should have a beer but sip it to last the rest of lunch. Then I will stop. I feel ashamed but also debating if I will tell anyone about this.
So one mojito and half a beer and I feel tipsy. I am glad my high tolerance is gone. I am not sure if I will drink more or not the next few days. I don’t want to get drunk and lose something. And I am worried about what it will do to my brain and body.
“A wise man, recognizing that the world is but an illusion, does not act as if it is real, so he escapes the suffering.”- Buddha
Is a sober world an illusion? Is having a few drinks ending my suffering of struggling to stay sober?
After I left the restaurant, I kept thinking of getting another drink. I wanted to chase the buzz. I figured “why not!” I would start sobriety again tomorrow. I will just drink a little throughout today.
I stopped at a bar to read my guidebook. I ordered 2 beers. Then I walked, took photos, and got a taxi to the waterfront. I watched the sunset. Then I went to another restaurant for dinner and a beer. I sat outside with the evening breeze and continued to watch the sun setting. I noticed the sunset was prettier once the sun was gone. I am trying to think of a metaphor for that but I am feeling drunk. After the light is gone, beauty arises?
I went walking along the waterfront. I had my headphones on and was feeling good. Later I regretted having my headphone on cause I missed a bunch of live music. A lot of guys made comments at me. Some looked like teenagers. It was a nice ego boost for a woman about to turn 40. Then I got lost. I finally hailed a taxi and was a good thing because I was walking in the complete wrong direction. But I now sit in a cigar bar, full of smoke, and one waitress for the whole place. I am gonna order one rum and Coke and then bed.
23 May 2015
Back on sober track. After my rum and Coke last night, I had a daiquiri because that bar was famous for them. Then on my way back to my hotel, I wanted one more drink. There were people stopping people on the street to bring up to a bar. It was very small place with 5 tables and a 2-guy band. It was all old men and 2 female waitresses/bartenders. As I was finishing my beer, some pretty, young girls came in. They all had very short dresses on. They approached the old men. It seemed there was one young woman for each old man. They either danced or the girls sat very close to the men. I think they were prostitutes. The men looked to be in their 50s and big while these girls could have been their daughters. What kind of place was I in!
I was only buzzed at the most yesterday but I did not sleep well. I woke up a bit hungover. I kept hitting snooze for one hour. Already having a night of drinking affecting my vacation. My day of slipping was 6 beers and 3 mixed drinks. Evidence of not being a moderate drinker!
25 May 2015
written while drunk:
Why Do I drink (did drink?!)
I drink to feel loved
I drink to feel wanted
to be accepted
to be popular
I like the fuzz
It feels innocent and
takes me back to childhood
before self hatred.
But it doens’t keep me there.
It creates an illusion.
But magic if fake.
It is not real
Sobriety is real.
Truth is real.
I need real.
26 May 2015
So I drank again last night. Then I met a guy. We bar hopped for places that were still open. Then I took him back to my hotel with me. We had sex. I had a tampon still in. I don’t even remember if it was good or not. We tried to have sex again this morning but I was too tired and hungover. Not sure if we will stay in touch or ever see each other again. I am ashamed and feel guilty. I have not had sex for over a year and was hoping to break that when I found someone I cared for. Instead I threw it away on some guy that gave me a compliment in a bar. I feel sick from the hangover and guilt. I wasted my last day sleeping and popping advil. I am still not sure I will tell anyone. Can I go back and pretend it never happened? I will start going to more meetings when I get home, find a sponsor, and work the steps finally.
I made it 200 days sober! Doubled Belle’s 100 day challenge. Odd to think the first few weeks, I was thinking I would try this sobriety thing for a year. After a year of sobriety, I might go back to moderate drinking. I now realize, after much introspection and listing my drunk mistakes, I can not handle alcohol. I can not control it. It controlled me.
I am so glad to be this far. It is getting easier to tell people I don’t drink. Not sure if people think I am a prude or conservative because of it. Either way, I am glad I have quit. Even when I get depressed, I know that a drink will not help.
Think I will treat myself to a manicure and see what other pampering treats I can find in Lisboa.
Mistake 200- I met a guy in a bar many years ago. He was a bouncer there but was not working that night. He was leaving as I walked in. I smiled at him, he turned around and said “on second thought, maybe I will stay.” We started chatting. Drinking. (I was already predrinking before going out that night so was tipsy by the time I arrived.) Since he worked there, I got a lot of free drinks. And shots. I do not remember who I went to the bar with but I must have ditched my friend or friends and left with Bouncer.
I remember I said to him I did not want a one night stand. I wanted at least four nights. I do not know why I said that. We had sex on the beach and then went back to his house. I remember he lived in a cool, surfer shack-like place with a roommate.
I frequented that bar so I saw him a few more times and got my four nights with him. I was also drunk each time. I got a lot of free drinks from the bartenders. I was not his girlfriend but it sort of became known I was hooking up with him. It made me feel special even though I was just his drunk booty call.
Mistake 201- One night I went by Bouncer’s place but he was not home. It was another night I should not have been driving cause I was drunk. His roommate invited me in for some beers. I joined him. And then I have no idea how I ended up in bed with the roommate. I did not find him attractive. He was too short for me. Of course, Bouncer found out. I started avoiding that bar for awhile. By the time I went back, he was fired.
Once again I feel I talk too much with my friends about my sobriety and drinking problem. I get worried I will annoy them. I feel like that person at work always wanting to talk about their kids or grandkids or cat and you really do not care. It is like they have nothing else in the world to discuss except that one topic. But I feel I need to discuss this topic to keep sober.
So many of my regular stories about life or travels start out “so I was drunk and…” Lately, I tell the stories to emphasize how bad of a drunk I was. Last night, my friend and I were swapping stories of mutual friends. He asked me why I did not like specific people. I realized, usually, the only reason I did not like these people was because I felt that person did not like me once while drunk. They did not have to say or do anything that would make me feel they disliked me. I just got a feeling and therefore I would come up with reasons to not like them in return. I figured if they did not like me, there had to be something wrong with them. He told me that was messed up and psychotic. I told him it was my alcoholic mind.
My "mixed" drink in Porto: Snappy (like 7-up) and Red Bull cause I had jet lag
We also talked about sex stories. We talked about bad sex, drunk sex, and sober sex. I then tried to remember the last good sex I had sober. It was difficult trying to think back that far. And that difficulty made me sad. My drinking life made me pathetic. I really hope to never go back. Hence why I have to keep reminding myself of the stories.
Mistake 193- I asked my friend if I did anything stupid while drunk when I first met him. I remember waking up the next morning on the couch I was supposed to stay, alone, with clothes on, so it had to be a somewhat behaved night. He does not recall anything happening that I should be embarrass me. But fast forward to a drunk email exchange. He said I asked him if he slept with a girl I did not like but the way I asked was not nice. He said he denied it because he was scared of my reaction if he admitted to it. He now asked me why I did not like her. I said I could not remember but my guess is I was jealous. And while I might have normally hid my jealousy, the drunk brought it out. I apologize to him now.
I will still get jealous in sobriety. I just hope to control it better now.
Sometimes, I get worried I will not remember 365 mistakes. Then other days, I feel I will have no problem coming up with one daily. It is amazing how one little thing will trigger a new regret.
“Oh wow, I forgot about that night.”
A month ago, I slacked in daily blogging and coming up with mistakes. I was busy with finishing my online class. I returned to those entries and filled in daily mistakes. During those days of not blogging, I felt a little struggle at times. Thoughts of “drinking in moderation one day” started to seep in my mind. Once I returned to daily posts again, those thoughts were pushed away. Sober blogging has helped me so much more than any AA meeting could.
Mistake 185- I mentioned my husband’s friend Alaska yesterday and the time I cheated on my husband by kissing another guy while partying with this friend. After I separated from my husband, Alaska invited me over one night. The memories of the evening are foggy. I was drunk when I drove over there. I remember being impressed he drank good beer. We drank lots of it. He started to tell me how he was always interested in me and my husband was dumb to let me go. I remember we had sex on the rug. And I remember him begging me not to tell my husband. I laughed. Why would I tell my estranged husband I just fucked one of his closest friends? I don’t think I stayed there. We were worried my husband would see my car out front. I was drunk still when I drove back to wherever I was starting at the time.
I remember mixed emotions afterwards. I felt shame. And triumphant. I felt like it was revenge against my husband. I felt confident that another man still wanted me. I think a small part of me fantasized about a relationship with him.
Though still not sure if I would have done that if I was not drunk.
I went to dinner with a friend who quit drinking a few weeks ago. He warned me he thought it would be weird to go out without a drink. He has avoided being sociable. We ordered ice tea with dinner. I did not notice if he was aching for a beer and he never said anything.
I tried to give him advice without sounding pushy. I asked if he wanted me to go with him to an AA meeting. He said he doesn’t want to do the AA thing. I wasn’t really sure what to tell him. I am not really active in AA. I felt suggesting it was sort of a cop-out to actually helping him. Then again, I think everyone should at least try it. Go to a meeting. For me, there is always at least one thing I hear in that whole hour that helps me. Maybe I just don’t want to feel the responsibility of being the only person with whom he can share his sobriety feelings.
My sister has been battling a lot emotional problems the last few years. We stopped speaking three years ago because she had some mental breakdowns. She started leaving me nasty voicemails and texting me a lot of mean things while she was drunk. A lot has happened since then. But that is her story.
She is now trying to get help and go sober. Yet because of all the problems she has caused and the horrible things she has done, no one in our family is talking to her. Her kids do not even want to talk to her.
She has started to message me recently. This has caused some strife in my family in a sort of “with her/against us” mentality. But I know how important it is to have support when trying to get sober. I have sent her a few links to try to help. She is getting professional help. I plan to check in and try to support her from afar. I am also worried about getting too involved in her problems and it hindering my recovery.
Mistake 178- When she started her nasty messages to me, they started with accusations of an incident from the early 1990s.
I was drunk and ran into her old, high school boyfriend. We were in a military bar in another country. It was his birthday. A bunch of us were drinking pitchers of beer. With straws. We had long straws stuck in the large pitchers! Everyone was drinking and getting drunk like young military people tend to do. And somewhere in the night, he and I started to kiss. We left the bar and went somewhere else. We started to kiss heavily. He dropped to his knees and started some oral pleasantries. Then when he tried to go to the next step, I stopped him. I said I couldn’t do this. He dated my sister. This was wrong. He seemed disappointed but was fine. We returned to the bar and acted like nothing happened.
I wrote about it in my journal. My sister later read my whole journal. Since in the journal it said he and I “hooked up”, she thought it meant intercourse. When she confronted me, I told her it meant just making out. I am not sure if I ever told her about the oral. But to this day, she swears I fucked him. I am not sure if “only oral” is any less worse. What is actually worse is that I stopped from going further because of his past relationship with my sister but the fact that I was married at the time was not a reason to stop.
I went to a happy hour last night. Not the best place for a person in recovery, right? But I had fun. I went there to meet other people that go to the festivals I enjoy. I planned to try to ask around if anyone knew of any sober festival goers, but I got wrapped up in conversations about projects and volunteering. I really enjoyed myself. I had a group of people whom with I shared a different experiences outside of parties.
This particular place had a water cooler next to the bar. I could help myself to as much water as I wanted rather than having to ask the bartender and wait. They had a trivia night going on in the main room and I started remembering how much I loved bar trivia night. Would I now kick ass at bar trivia against drunk people?
I spent most of my time there talking with one woman. I got there 2 hours after the happy hour started and she was obviously drunk. I now find it hard to have conversations with drunk people but it also reminds me of what I used to be like. I spoke with a few other people. I was proud that I was meeting people without liquor lubrication.
I am not going to make happy hour a common evening. This one had a specific theme. I don’t think I could have handle it three to six months ago without caving in and getting a beer. But it was a “happy hour” because I definitely left there happy.
Mistake 177- I went to a “white party”. It was not a race thing. It meant everyone had to wear white. I had a flowing white skirt, white tank top, and white blouse. I was drinking before the party and drinking lots at the party. I went out to dinner with friends after the white party. They said I kept swaying my head. They thought I was going to pass out in my food.
A guy who knew my friends offered to give me a ride home. But I was too drunk to give him directions. I just moved there and could not remember the address. My driver’s license did not have my new address because I was living there temporarily. So he drove me to his place with plans to drive me to my car in the morning. But once at his place, I started to make the moves on him. I ended up in his bed. I do not remember the night and had to ask him his name the next day.
We started dating. A month later, we turned it into an exclusive relationship. Then it ended a month later. I think I was always self-conscious of the way we met. But he had his own emotional issues.
I have been stressed out the last few days about deadlines for my class. A lot of papers and projects due for a class I thought was going to be an easy A. This is a lesson that nothing that is worth anything is easy.
I need to back-blog to the last few days. (Maybe by the time you read this, I already have completed them.) If you noticed, I try to mine my mistakes up with my days off sobriety. It helps me count. Maybe once my class is finished next week, I can write out more lengthy posts.
Mistake 158- I have a friend that is very hot. He has a great body. But I was not attracted to him beyond the physical thing. He is not very smart and we do not have much in common besides parties. Plus, I knew he was a player. Yet when he started to hit on me, I was flattered. Maybe because I had no respect for myself and no self esteem. We were at his place and he bluntly said “I want to have sex with you” or maybe in cruder words. I drank two bottles of wine to get the courage to do it. I had to get drunk on purpose. So we had sex that I barely remember. Another notch in his belt and a regret on mine.