Thoughts from Last Attempt at Sobriety

I started a “sober journal” in 2007. This was after my second DUI. I was so serious about it. But I can read doubt in between the lines. It seems I was trying to rush sobriety.  Went to daily AA meetings where I rushed the steps and talked about “God” but did not really believe it. It seems I was practicing to be sober.

My first entry April 7, 2007:

Sometimes I feel like a loser going sober. I feel like I lost the war. I lost the battle with alcohol. At least I am being taken as a prisoner instead of as a corpse.

This will test who my friends are. For awhile I have been depressed by the fact I felt all I have is drinking aquaintances instead of friends. [Name 3 friends] have proven themselves to be real friends.

Then I complained about a “friend” who texted me “I wish you could still party.” I stopped talking to him a few months later for being so unsupportive.  Will I lose friends this round of sobriety?

Then I started a list of mistakes I made from drinking up to that point. If I stayed sober that time, I don’t think I would have been able to create a list of 365 mistakes. That is one thing I would have been okay not accomplishing. But if I relapse this round, how much more will this list increase? Will this list be read at my funeral?

Found a page of my concerns about sobriety back then which I now feel I can answer:

1) will it be hard to make friends now that I don’t drink?
– Nope. Just different type of friends. Ones that like me for me. Not for drunk me.

2) will I find happiness?
– Yep. Even though I still get bouts of sadness and depression, I really feel I am overall happier. And I think more happiness is in my future. Just not suffering hangovers anymore makes me happier!

3) can I find a successful relationship?
– not sure yet since I plan to wait until I am sober for a year, but I am starting to have confidence that I will find someone. For now, I have my friend with benefits. And he has been fun.

4) will my current friends be supportive?
– all the people I knew when I wrote that and I am still in touch with have been wonderful and super supportive.  They have been around long enough to understand why I had to finally quit drinking. Only a few people are acting unsupportive.

5) will I be weak?
– well, I did get weak back then. I stayed sober a little more than 2 months. I did not try going sober again until 7 years later (except for “drinking breaks,” but those were never meant to be permanent.) Back then, I kept thinking I could learn to moderate eventually. Now, I know that is impossible.

Also, now I have a great sober blogging community to keep me strong.

Mistake 144 – I met a girl in Cairns, Australia with whom I became temporarily friends. We were sharing a dorm room. We had things in common. We talked about getting together again when we returned to America. But I got drunk and ruined the friendship.

I started an open water diving course in Cairns. It was a week long with the last 3 days out on a boat. But our last two certification dives were canceled due to cyclones. The boat went back to the docks. Most of the class returned to the boat the next day to continue the course. I declined. I was scared. I would finish my certification elsewhere.

I stayed in Cairns and partied with my new friend. We got along well. We went to see sites together. It was typical of how quick friendships can form when traveling. And the night my diving class came back from the boat, I invited her to come join my class at a bar. We were going to celebrate everyone’s new diving certification. And I confessed to her, I wanted to join because I had a crush on the boat captain.

It started out fun. When the captain started to flirt with her, I got jealous. Then she flirted back. And the answer to my jealousy was “get drunk!” I started badmouthing her to the other divers. How dare that slut go for the guy I liked! I talked my classmates into leaving that bar and sneaking over to another. We didn’t tell her where we were going. We just sort of ditched out and went elsewhere. I thought I was so clever.

But she arrived at the new bar with the Captain. She found me and said “wow you guys left quick? Why didn’t you tell me where you were going?” Oh I thought someone told you.  Then she asked if I was mad. I lied and said no. I kept drinking and doing a lot of shots. She then left with the Captain.  My response was to find first, cute random guy and take him back to the dorm room.

Then next day she told me how she went home with the Captain.  She found lipstick and tampons in his bathroom. She asked and turns out he had a girlfriend out of town. I laughed. That is what she deserved. I was a mean bitch. We stopped hanging out together even though we kept sharing a room. I booked a bus to leave Cairns soon. We did not bother to stay in touch.

Even if I lose friends in sobriety, what about the friends I lost from my drinking?

Unworthy

I had a conversation about relationships with a friend and why mine have all failed. Besides due to my drinking. I realized I get into some relationships because I like being liked. I do not actually want to be with the person, but I like that they want me so much.  Sometimes I do start to like, or even love the person. But I get into too many relationships out of loneliness.  And not even always because I am lonely. I just crave the attention. I realized I have hurt some men, and more women, with this behaviour.

Hell, I did not want to get married but did it because I was scared if I lost him, I would never find someone to love me again. I did love him. I just realized 3 weeks before the wedding that we were rushing it (only dated 3 months he proposed and married 5 months later.)

Now, I seem to always rush things. I love the high of feeling wanted. I savor the spark of the new. I know it goes deeper into feeling my family never wanted me growing up.  I felt I had worth finally as an adult if another person showed me affection.  But I also used alcohol to hide my feelings of unworthiness.

No matter how much I tell myself “you are worthy” or “you are beautiful”, I still feel surprised if someone else believes it. This is why I what to find a therapist who specializes in alcoholism. Hopefully next autumn after I move and settle somewhere, I can search.

Mistake 116- I was visiting a gay friend with my boyfriend. I think we all met up at a bar with mutual friends first. Then we went back to the apartment. My boyfriend and I were staying with my friend for a few days while we visited the city.

We sat around the apartment drinking wine. My boyfriend and gay friend were getting along. They were joking about foreign porn and foreign gay porn. I guess I started to get jealous. I do not know why but I started to accuse my boyfriend of actually being gay. (Many years ago, I had a boyfriend cheat on me with a guy and then start a relationship with that guy after we broke up. I think I have always been worried it would happen again.)

These accusations turned to a verbal fight. I was extremely drunk. They said I ran up to the roof and refused to come back inside. I said I would rather sleep up there but my boyfriend was scared to leave me alone up there. I was screaming and being dramatic. I do not remember any of it. My friend was worried the neighbors would call the cops.

Somehow my boyfriend coaxed me back inside and to bed. I woke up with red, puffy eyes and remember fighting but not the roof. I sort of remembered the reason for fighting. My boyfriend asked me why I would think such a thing and I could only think because of my past experience. But also, I was jealous he was giving my gay friend attention. They were getting along as two friends but I wanted the attention.

My boyfriend and I stayed together for another year and half. So many of our fights were about my questioning his love for me. I started those fights to test how much did he really want me. I need to learn to want myself before messing up another relationship.  So far, I am really loving this sober me.

Sober Bracelet

I have started to pack up my room and clean out my closet. (Literally. Not a sober metaphor.) I have to move out of my place by May 31. My plan is to rent rooms on AirBnB for the days I work and travel out of the area on my days off. Not a stable life but I can do it for two months. I am going to store the things that I will not need at my mom’s and just keep clothing, books and my laptop with me.

While cleaning, I found a bracelet a friend made for my birthday last year. I spent my birthday in the city I wanted to move to but couldn’t due to my DUIs preventing me from getting a job. Anytime I see anything about that city, or even the name of the state, I am reminded of why I quit drinking. This bracelet is a beaded bracelet with the name of the city. She made it as a welcoming gift. I will now wear it as my sober bracelet. Seeing the name of the city on my wrist will be a constant reminder of what my drinking problem has done to my life.

Mistake 107- The night before my last birthday, I got in a huge fight with one of my good friends. I do not remember if we went out or just got drunk at their place. I was dating his roommate. I think the fight originated with my accusations that he did not want me and his roommate together. I have known both of them for more than a decade. I thought he was jealous.

The arguing was ugly. A lot of cruel words were thrown around and insults were flying. The screaming escalated to my refusal to stay there. I called for a taxi. I went to a hotel I stayed at ten years ago. The price of a room increased. It was $200 a night now when it was $70 a night my previous stay. I then took a taxi back to the apartment. I decided I would sleep in the back of my friend’s truck. But I found my friend sleeping there. My boyfriend was standing outside asking the roommate to coming back inside. He saw me and told me to go up to his room. He didn’t want us fighting out there.

We both returned to the apartment but I hid in the my boyfriend’s bedroom. I kept drunk posting on Facebook about the fighting (not always readable) and stating that this was my “worst birthday EVER!” My boyfriend was trying to play referee. I cried myself to sleep.

So I woke up on my birthday with red, puffy eyes and hungover. I tried to sneak out of the apartment because I had a hair appointment. But I could not find the keys to the truck my boyfriend and and the roommate shared. My friend was past out on the couch. He woke up and threw me the keys which were in his pocket. I felt so horrible during the appointment. I read my Facebook while my head was under the dryer and deleted all my drunk posts. But there were emails of mutual friends wanting explanations. I told everyone I was not sure what happened. I was just too drunk.

My friend did not want to come to my birthday dinner that night. My boyfriend insisted I tell him I wanted him to join. I told him “please join us” but I never said sorry. We just sort of swept the fight under the rug and never discussed it.

On my birthday, the three of us went to dinner with some of my friends. At dinner, I received the bracelet. The three of us went out for drinks after dinner and got drunk again. But we all got along. There are photos of us smiling and laughing together.

One night, I was a drunk, dramatic monster. The next, happy birthday girl.

When Plans Change

I am a bit frustrated right now.

Back in January,  when I quit drinking but wasn’t sure if I wanted to stick with it, I started making plans for a reunion with friends.  One of our friends was due to have a baby in February.  She lives 3 hours from our group of old friends. I asked everyone what would be a good weekend in April to for us all to go visit her and the new baby. No one replied. So I asked if this would be a good weekend. Yea, sure. So I requested off of work, booked a flight, and reserved a car.

A few weeks ago,  I asked if all three were still going down to see our friend and her baby. No, one of the guys couldn’t get off work because he is taking off next weekend to go somewhere else. He did not know that when I planned this? Okay, so instead it would be my two friends and one daughter on the 3 hour road trip.

Then last night,  I got a message that another friend can not get off work. He is also going away with the other friend next weekend. But we can all have dinner tonight when I arrive.

I am pissed. Why did they not rearrange their plans or suggest another weekend if this was not going to work? I always feel I am the one to go out of my way. Our friend has another baby that is almost two years and the group has not bothered to take the 3 hour drive to meet that boy. I feel since I am known to be nomadic, I can always be the one traveling to see them. While they take vacations and trips elsewhere, they never come to visit me.

And right after I got this message, there was a text from my work. They know I am off the next five days but they got super busy and could use my help if my plans change. If I did not spend money on a flight, I might consider it. I would rather go to work and make overtime pay. I am worried I am wasting my time for friends that can not make adjustments for me.

Maybe I am just being selfish again.  Maybe they did not know ahead of time they could not go. Maybe this really is out of their control. But I am disappointed and upset. I told them not sure I can make dinner because I might go see another friend.

And that is true. I am waiting to hear back from my ex-girlfriend.  I asked her a few weeks ago about meeting up for dinner. My group of friends told me before she is not invited to their homes. So I would have to see her in secret.

I took out my frustration last night with my food processor. I made “Greek hummus” with spinach and feta cheese.

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I woke up early today to pack. I did not sleep well from fear of not hearing the alarm clock. I was still mad when I got up but add tired to the mix. So I took out my anger on cucumbers and red bell peppers.  Now I have a salad for my flight.

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Oh and I treated myself for 90 days sober to my “sober jeans” but they are tight. They will be motivation to stay away from the wasted calories of alcohol. And bagels. I think those are more of a challenge lately.

So I guess chopping and processing and cooking could be my new outlet for anger instead of booze. Or at least one of them.

Mistake #93- It was my birthday. All my friends were planning a night at our favorite club. We started pre-partying at my friend V’s apartment. I remember I was wearing a shear, black top with a black bra. I remember because V’s boyfriend kept staring at my chest rather than my face. I immediately did not like him.

My girlfriend was going to meet us at the club. Her friend drove her and she would go home with me. She lived on another side of the river about 40 minutes away.

We had fun from what I remember. I remember she gave me a ring with my birthstone for my birthday gift. It was in a heart shape.

A few of us went back to V’s place for an after party. I do not remember who drove us there that night. Her apartment was spacious. She had a couple couches spread out. There were two side-by-side in the living room facing the television and entertainment center. There was another one in the dining room instead of a table in there. You could see the couches in the living room from the dining room couch.

I passed out on the dining room couch. I woke up with my girlfriend waking me up and curling up next to me: half on the couch and half on the floor. I did not pay much attention. I was still drunk and needed more sleep.

In the morning, my girlfriend asked “who was that guy that was here?” I said V’s boyfriend’s name. She said “I don’t know. Some dark skin guy. He was creepy.” I asked what happened. She wouldn’t say anything. When V came out, she said something about her boyfriend leaving in the middle of the night. She wasn’t sure what happened cause she was drunk. My girlfriend again made a negative remark about him. V asked what happen. My girlfriend hesitated. We both asked “WHAT HAPPENED?” My girlfriend said she woke up and he was on top of her. V asked “did he have sex with you?” Again, my girlfriend hesitated. Then she said she did not know what was going on. But yes, she woke up and this guy was pulling off her pants. She tried to push him off but he was too strong. He started to have sex with her. She finally was able to push him off of her and ran over to where I was passed out.

I thought I sort of remember blurry images from the couch. But I could not be sure. I remember her coming over to me and sort of remember seeing him standing in the living room. I was not positive though. Drunk thoughts and visions are unreliable. Right away V got mad and asked “he raped you?” While I am bisexual, my girlfriend was lesbian. We guessed that he left V’s room, saw me passed out on one couch and my young, naive girlfriend in the living room by herself. V called him and asked him what happened. Of course, he denied it.

I spent that day, the day after my birthday party, taking my girlfriend to emergency rooms for a rape kit. The first ER was super busy. The next was also busy. I forget why we did not wait. But I finally took her to the military hospital on base. Her dad was in the armed forces and she was a dependent. V’s boyfriend was also military. When we told the staff at the military hospital what happened, they sent military police to the guy’s barracks. The police then came to the hospital. They told us the guy claims it was consensual sex. So they can do a STD test and give her the morning after pill,but there was no need for a rape kit because he admitted to sex. Now it would be a “he said-she said” case.

My girlfriend never filed a complaint. She was too scared. She did not want to go through the hassle of a trial. Plus, we were all drunk. I could not be a witness even though I was almost in the same room. She is not sure of the details 100%. And in this area we lived, we were worried that  jury would feel less sorry for a lesbian.

I felt so guilty for so long. I was so intoxicated and unable to help my girlfriend.

I went to V’s house the next day because I left a few things there. She saw me park at the curb and came out to my car. She asked me what did the hospital exam show. I told her that he admitted to the MPs that he had sex with her. She told me he was still denying it to her. Of course he was telling her no! She wanted to know if the exam showed tears or proof of sex. I said no, they did not examine for proof because he said it was consensual.Then I asked “is he in your apartment right now?” She said yes. She said she thinks my girlfriend was lying. I was outraged. I told her if she was going to believe him over my girlfriend, when I have military police that say he admitted to sex, then I could not continue to be her friend.

I might add that her boyfriend was actually in the process of being kicked out of the military. I think he killed someone while drunk? I forget. But he was not an angelic fellow.

V and I did not talk again for three years. When we did, it was because a mutual friend invited us out together with him. Until that point, we both avoided being at the same parties at the same time. When we made up, we were both drunk, looked at each other, and cried “I am sorry!” We never discussed the rape again. Her relationship with that creep did not last long after that night. My girlfriend and I broke up three months later.

Our mutual friends all think my girlfriend made it up. Their evidence is her coming up to V about a year later, very drunk, and saying she was sorry for everything that happened. She felt responsible for V and me no longer talking. That is why they said she is not invited to their homes. That is why I have to be secretive about wanting to see her. That is why I would rather go see her than my friends that are messing up my reunion plans.

I would like to try to discuss with her that night again. See what we can decipher of the night more than a decade later. And apologize to her for being too drunk that night to be there for her and all the other problems my drinking caused in our relationship.

Carbaholic

I noticed I have replaced drinking alcohol with eating a lot of carbs and sugars. While that may be temporarily better for me (at least I am not getting drunk), I know it is still not healthy. I been eating too many donuts and bagels. Snacking on too much candy. And even though I try to eat healthy chips, I still eat them too much.
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So I decided to try the South Beach diet again. I have done it before and the hardest part was always “no booze for the first two weeks.” That part is easy now. *wink wink* Now giving up other sugars will be the difficult option. I do not want to substitute sugars with artificial sugars because, well, they are artificial. I would rather do this as natural as I can.
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I am also planning to do this as a vegetarian. I have flirted on and off with vegetarianism the past two years. Ever since I read the book Fast Food Nation, I have become concerned about America’s food. I do not trust the safety of the meat industry. (But I trusted the FDA enough to control the alcohol I drank?) But sometimes I get weak in my resistance and eat meat. Sometimes it is just too easy.
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And as if giving up sugars and meat was not enough, I am gonna stop soda. No more Diet Coke. I think that has been my strongest addiction. I have read of so many horrible things and risks caused by Diet Coke. It actually increases appetite and chance of diabetes.
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I think for this triple challenge, I do need daily 12-step meetings!

“God grant me the serenity to change my sugar habits, accept I will avoid meat, and the wisdom to know the dangers of Diet Coke.”
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Mistake # 88 – I lost 10 pounds on Weight Watchers. Just in time for my first anniversary with a boyfriend. We celebrated by going to Napa for wine tasting. We joined a limo winery tour.

I was not happy with just “tasting”. I was never good with just sipping my beverages. I would even buy extra tastings or a whole glass of which ever I liked the best. I was trashed by late afternoon. I stole the wine cork screw from the limo because I liked the logo on it. We ate dinner in the hotel but I acted like a drunk idiot. I was loud and obnoxious. We fought.

I was very hungover the next day and slept most of the drive back. Not the romantic weekend for which I hoped.

I remember walking into Weight Watchers and gained 2 pounds with my weigh in. I told her I went away for my anniversary. She said “well I hope it was worth it.”

Back then I said “hells yea!” Now I am not so sure.

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.
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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?

 

Childless

I went to an AA meeting the other day where most people talked about issues with their kids and how it affects their sobriety.  It made me so glad I chose not to procreate.

But that does not mean my sobriety is not affected by children and family. I have a niece and nephew who mean the world to me. They are my younger sister’s kids. I was a big part of their life when they were younger. Then she and I have not gotten along since 2011. I am not sure what her diagnosis is but I know she is suffering from mental problems in addition to substance abuse. I suspect the mental issues are secondary. She did not want me in the lives of her children anymore.

My mom has helped raise them a lot. I don’t think my sister would have managed without her assistance. My mom secretly kept me in touch. She would have them send me cards and talk to me on the phone when they visited.

My sister began to show increased erratic behavior last summer. She gave her two children to their paternal grandparents “for a little bit” and then spent two months fighting for them back. (Their father has been out of the picture most of their lives.) The children were returned to her. I heard she seemed normal for a month and then began “acting up”. My nephew is a preteen and the poor kid told me his mom is “sick”. He is old enough to know.

Last fall, she gave them to my older sister and her husband. She signed away her parental rights and sent them a 1000 miles away. She was mad at my mom so did this rather than give her custody. I was worried because I have not gotten along with my older sister for two decades. I could never pin-point the reason. Maybe she has mental issues too. But I guessed I would never see the kids again.

Since they were born, I have sent them postcards, gifts and foreign currency from all the places I have been. I have taught them few words here and there in other languages. I’ve taken them on trips to cities that are driving distance to their home. Now the poor kids were uprooted and taken away from the only life they knew. Besides my mom, my brother has been closest to them. He was my nephew’s best friend.

At first, my older sister contacted me and said she wanted me included in their life. Over the months, new and stricter rules keep being placed that makes it harder to speak with the kids. We are only allowed to call for a few minutes on weekends but my sister and her husband monitor the calls. I do not know if they get the cards I send. Then they told my brother and I we can not visit the kids. It has been tearing us apart.

Then last night, her husband told my mom that my brother and I are no longer allowed to speak to the kids. I emailed my sister asking what did I do to be denied contact. She responded with a myriad of reasons and excuses that did not make sense. When I tried to refute each one, she replied with mean messages and told me “this is not about you!” Then, to add nastiness to her emails, she said the kids do not even ask about me. She said my close relationship to them is made up in my mind.

There are so many feelings going through my head and body. I am hurt and angry. Saddened. Worried. I worry so much about those kids. My nephew is very sensitive and emotional. Before I went away when his mom first started with her problems, he apologized to me for his mom being mean. He cried and told me not to leave. I think my niece is still too young to know what is happening. The times I have talked to him, he talks to me about art and books and the latest Walking Dead. I wonder what they are going to say to him when he doesn’t hear from me nor my brother.

I am trying to restrain outrage and hatred. I have been reading Buddhist quotes to try to find a peace of mind. I am going to start a journal of letters to them but not send it. Hopefully my mom will be allowed to see them this summer (unless she gets cut off too) and she can show them the journal. I hope keeping these letter will show them I never stopped loving and thinking of them. Hopefully my younger sister will seek help and regain custody.

I know I mention that my sisters have mental issues but fail to mention mine. I know I am an alcoholic. I suffer depression. I plan to explore whether my depression triggered the alcoholism or the other way around. Maybe if I can treat my depression, I can fight the drinking problem. I am not perfect. But the kids should not have to suffer.

I am not letting it affect my sobriety. I did tell my mom I wished I could just drink a bottle of wine and call my older sister to give her an earful. I know that was not rational thinking.

I pray for my little K and D.

By your own folly you will be brought as low as your worst enemy wishes. – Buddha

Mistake# 34- I was visiting a friend in Florida. She had her two little girls with her. One was 4 and the other 7. I spent a week with them traveling from Tampa to Pensacola to St Augustine. I was asked to join them to watch the girls while my friend took care of some things. She was going through a divorce.

The week was  a good reminder of why I do not want kids. I even went to the airport early to try to get an earlier flight home. I was drained from spending time with her kids. I was tired of their yelling and screaming. I was irritated by their crying over a stuffed animal or cartoons. I was so fed up with their fighting that I went out alone my last night.

The last night was a visit to St Augustine. It is the oldest city in America. We spent the day sight-seeing. I remember two girls arguing relentlessly and not listening to their mom. That night, I decided to go out alone. I wanted my own time. I went to some place for dinner and margaritas. A guy from the bar started smiling at me and then asked to join me. We talked and had many margaritas. Many! He invited me to a small party down the street.

I got drunk and went back to this party full of strangers. I do not remember much except a beautiful kitchen, more margaritas, and he and I having sex in a bedroom. Then I stumbled back, along cobblestone streets, to find the hotel. I do remember being scared I was gonna break my ankle on the antique road.

The oldest daughter was waiting up for me. She said she was worried when I did not come back by the time her mom went to bed. I told her I got lost.

Shamed by a 7 year old.