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.

If this was your last day…

I have seen and touched and danced and sung and climbed and loved and meditated on a lifetime spent living honestly. Should it all end tomorrow, I can positively say there would be no regrets. I feel fortunate to have walked in my shoes. I am truly lucky. I really have lived 1,000 times over.

That was my friend’s Facebook status update two months ago. He was still healthy. He did not know his asthma would cause a cardiac arrest and then die. It makes me feel better to know that he died with a happy life.

He used to always say he doesn’t want “drama” when he dies. He wants people to celebrate. So his family organized a party at a dive resort because his favorite place was the ocean.

If today were to be my last day, I can honestly say I lived a good life. Even though I am writing daily about blackouts and one night stands and other horrible things from my past, I am writing them as lessons to myself. And lessons to anyone else that can benefit or recover from my stories. They are reminders of what I am leaving in my past.

I have a lot of great qualities and have done many wonderful deeds. I have traveled to many countries and seen many wonderful sights. Great Wall of China. Giza Pyramids. Machu Picchu. Taj Mahal. Angkor Wat. Himalayas. I have many wonderful hobbies that do not require alcohol.

I want to keep living. Choosing sobriety actually makes me appreciate my life. I still want therapy to overcome my low self-esteem, but at least I do not want to harm myself anymore. Alcohol was depressing my mind and body in so many ways.

If today were my last day, I would prefer it to be a sober day. But my friends and family can pour red wine on my ashes after I am gone.
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Mistake # 92- I was a camping trip in the middle of Australia. We were a group of 14 people who left Alice Springs to camp in the outback and visit Uluru. It was a great trip. I made friends with a gay British guy and developed a crush on a German guy. After visiting Uluru, nine people from our tour left to the airport close to the rock. It was five of us on the bus back to Alice Springs. I spent time talking with the German guy.

Our group of five plus the tour guide met up that night at a pub. The tour guide put me in charge of getting a table and organizing. So I had to be the first one to arrive. And the first to start drinking.

The British guy kept saying he thought the guide had a crush on me. I didn’t care cause my eyes were set on the German guy. The German guy asked me to dance. I agreed. We were drunk and moving on the dance floor. He kissed me. I was happy. I went to the bar to get another beer.

When I came back to the dance floor, the German guy was not there. I noticed he was at the other end of the bar talking to some girl. I walked up to them and said hello. He introduced her as some girl he just met from Germany or Austria or some country that spoke his language. They said a few things to each other in German. They did not seem to want me there. My British new friend appeared and asked me to dance. He asked me what was going on. I was getting jealous and mad. Who was this girl? I stopped dancing to get more beer. And more beer.

I got trashed. I kept wanting to tell the German off. I kept telling my Brit friend “but he kissed me! I was gone two seconds to get another beer and he meets someone else?” I wanted to get wasted to forget I was hurt. Then instead of forgetting, I replaced my object of affection. I met an American guy. The Brit was encouraging this.

We started making out. I went back to his place. I am not sure if we had sex but we probably did. The only thing I remember about his place is getting scared and crying and telling him not to hurt me. I remember trying to run out the door but he stopped me, held me tight, and calmed me down by repeating “I am not going to hurt you.” Memories of the night fade in and out like flashing warning lights.

The next morning, he asked me why I flipped out. I said I did not know. I am not sure if I have a repressed trauma or a subdued suffering that I only remember in blackouts.

He took me out for breakfast. I felt ashamed for acting crazy the previous night. Then we ran into the German guy and the girl he met. I felt ashamed for the whole night. The American guy mentioned maybe I drink too much. I agreed. I never saw him again. But over the next few weeks, I sent him a few drunk texts until he stopped replying.

90 Days Sober!

I am 90 days sober! Yea!

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But I am not chasing for a chip this time like I did for 30 days. I might go to a meeting before work to see if I will get one, but I do not want to deal with the disappointment when they tell me they only give chips to home group members or people with sponsors. (But there are no rules for AA? Just a desire to stop drinking? Yea right. Do what they suggest or you are not worthy of a sobriety chip.)

I am going away next weekend to visit some friends.  I will have all Friday to myself while they work. It is the same area where I first tried AA in 2002 and then again in 2007. I will go to meetings there to get a chip.

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I feel good. Physically and mentally. I keep thinking of all the possibilities before me without booze in my life. Now can I survive the next 90 without soda?

Mistake # 90- I was traveling Australia and got very drunk at a bar in Airlie Beach. There was a “lagoon” to swim in because the ocean was too dangerous. The lagoon was more of a very large pool. I met a guy in the bar and we decided to go for a swim.

We thought skinny dipping was a good idea. This guy and I were making out in the pool, in the nude, and it started to rain. We ran out of the lagoon and searched for where we stripped off our clothes. We found them sitting in the same pile we left them. My purse with my camera, wallet and passport was still there. But my shirt and bra were missing.

I put on my underwear and shorts. It was pouring rain and drunk me ran around, trying to cover my boobs with my hands, and search the beach for my top. I even went up to the lifeguard to ask for lost and found. He laughed at me. He said it sounds like some kids played a prank.

The guy I was with gave me his shirt to cover up and we went back to his hotel. I kept thinking how stupid and lucky I was that only my shirt and bra were missing. Thank god my purse did not get stolen. I was so reckless. And I was also happy my purse had a plastic-like lining so my stuff did not get wet and ruined.

I also remember giving that guy a fake identity. A fake name and where I was from. I guess I either knew I would never talk to him again or I was so ashamed of my behavior while drunk.

Be Happy

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I am lucky that I have a job that makes me happy. Even if it is making me busy, I enjoy it. And the more sober days I achieve,  the more blessed I feel.

This morning, this made me happy:

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I am going to blog a little each day but will have to go back to add in my drunk mistakes when I get time. I am not gonna stress out about not adding one daily. They exist. I just need a chance to express them via the keyboard.

Mistake # 78 – I got upgraded to first class on a flight. I started drinking as soon as I got my seat. “White wine please.” I was finished and asking for a second glass before take-off.

I am not sure how many I had during the flight. I know I switched between wine and Bacardi and Cokes. I wanted to get as many free drinks as I could. I needed to make this free upgrade worth it.

I could not remember where I reserved my rental car through. I could not find the email. I went to one company but they did not have my name. I tried to call my frequent flyer company to see if they knew where my reservation was made. They said they could not help me. I began yelling at the phone. Telling the person on the other end they were “useless”. I kept repeating that word.

I finally found the correct company. I somehow pretended to be sober. They rented me the car.

I went to a friend’s house. We walked to a bar around the corner. We got drunk. Back at his place, he invited me to stay in his bed instead of on the couch. I remember asking “don’t you have a girlfriend?” He replied yes. I am not sure why I asked because I was drunk enough not to care.

One Day At a Time

wpid-20140325_042534.jpgSomeone from work texted me asking me to work extra tonight. I replied “I will if someone brings me cake”. I am taking this awards thing seriously. I want awards for staying sober. I want awards for working extra. I want awards for going to the gym! Maybe I need to start finding awards with no calories.

I saved her number in my contacts. As I was doing so, I smiled. I used to have to put “COWORKER” in front of names of people I worked with as a caution to not text or call that person drunk. It felt liberating to think I will never have to worry about drunk dialing again. At least won’t have those worries as long as I stay away from that first drink.

These little moments make me very thankful I am sober. I am enjoying things I am learning from other sober bloggers. I am learning about myself from my reactions to blogs and my own comments. Remembering my drunken mistakes is therapeutic for me. I never want to go back to that life. My brain seems to be equating booze with cigarettes. Ew. That stuff if nasty. (No offense to smokers.)

When reading Kristen Johnston’s Guts, she said the phrase to take sobriety “one day at a time” reminded her of the show with that name starring Bonnie Franklin, Mackenzie Phillips, Valerie Bertinelli and Pat Harrington. I busted out laughing as I read it. That is exactly what I think of when I hear it. Then I think of when I lived with a friend and I was always fixing things that broke in her house, our mutual friend nicknamed me “Schneider.” The friend who owned the house was too young to get the reference. But having these small, happy moments of sobriety make me appreciate the saying more. I even found a magnet with the saying that I hang near my desk. Today is going to be a another good, sober day!

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