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:

image

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.

Advertisements

International Women’s Day

Happy International Women Day to all the ladies out there!

I know there seems to be a lot writen about women and alcoholism. I have downloaded Drinking Diaries to my iPod and thinking of downloading Her Best Kept Secret next. I listen to them in traffic. I am not sure why it has to be a separate subject. It almost seems that is it more shameful for women than men to have an addiction. Is that because women are meant to be seen as pure and motherly?

I will admit when I see a news story about a death of a woman and they add “and she was a mother of 2”, I get bitter. I think “oh so that makes it worse? If I die it won’t be as bad as a mother dying?” I feel I am less worth. I feel no matter what good I have done compared to that mother, she will be seen as more valuable because she reproduced. Maybe I just feel anrgy about my messed up family.

It some countries, women drinking is definitely look down upon. And I never cared. Usually. I drank plenty in Muslim countries and almost got in trouble a few times for it.

A few years back, I spent one to two weeks traveling the state of Kerala in India. It is a beautiful place known for it’s spices and beaches. This is the first elected communist state in the world. It has the highest rate of literacy in all of India. It also has the highest rate of alcoholism. And I just googled an article that the alcoholism and crime are increasing in Kerala. I remember seeing long lines of men at the government liquor stores before the stores opened. I pulled into one town on a bus at 10am and a line was down the block and around a corner. I saw mostly women working everywhere because the men were usually too drunk. I did not drink while traveling in Kerala because 1) I was tryiing to lose a few pounds before the beaches of Goa and 2) I did not want to be the only female in the liquor store line.

(This was a line at a different store later in the day.)

Image

Mistake # 39- I went to Chicago in March 2008 for International Women’s Day. I was meeting up with a group of international nomadic women. It was a good weekend and I met several interesting women. We all talked about difficulties exploring the world as women alone and gave each other travel tips. There was a dinner the first night to introduce ourselves to each other. The second day there was a lunch and a tour of the city. (Freezing cold tour!) I also took some time to visit the Art Institute because it is my favorite art museum in the United States. And that night we were meeting for dinner at Uno’s followed by a bar crawl. We were going out to party Chi town style!

I started drinking at lunch.  I think I was tasting each kind of Goose Island beer, the local brew, they had on tap. Again, trying to help the local economy. I wasn’t driving so I didn’t care and the booze would help keep me warm. I drank a lot at lunch. The large glasses only, please. I was tipsy on my visit the the art museum. I stopped in bar after for a few drinks before dinner. I was drunk by the time we got to the bar crawl. I have photos of me and some of the women. We looked like we were having a fun time. There was a lot of dancing. I think some men were swinging around a stripper pole? I do not remember which bars or to how many we went. But I know I got kicked out of the last one. I do not know what happened or what I did. But all I really remember, that is not in the photos, is me crying outside of a bar and apologizing and a bounce telling me I am not allowed back inside. I don’t know if one of the women helped me get a taxi or if I managed to do that on my own. But the women I met that weekend never spoke to me again.