45 days: Really Sober

When I first quit drinking, I do not think I was serious about sobriety. I got trashed January 18th and thought about going sober the next morning. Then I got drunk January 21st to “prove” to my friends I had a problem. On the 22nd, I bought a pocket breathalyzer so I could control my drinking. Once my BAC got too high, I would stop.

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I started my roadtrip across the USA that day. I stayed with a friend the first night. I stopped at a gas station to buy him some beer. I knew he loved Landshark.  The gas station had none. I was having inner discussions “will I accept a drink if he offers?” Thankfully, he did not offer me anything but yogurt.

I stayed in hotels the next few nights. The next time I stayed with friends the following Monday, I consciously turned down beer.

45 days sober now. Not the longest I have been sober. But this is my usual time when I start to consider trying to control my drinking.

I have to stop thinking of this as “forever”. Not sure one day at a time is really my thing. I focus and worry about the future too much. I need to think in the present more. Maybe I need to work on meditation.

I am working on short sobriety goals. Today is halfway to 90 days. Three months sober just seems like…wow. That’s like a trimester. It is the beginning of my new life. Maybe I will start showing by then. And I mean showing improvements.

I read and hear about people sleeping better and having glowing skin. I work night shift so I haven’t experienced either. My face actually broke out real bad the last few days. I need more hydration and sleep. Maybe I will treat myself to a facial for 60 days sober.

I bought yellow roses for my 45 days sober. I plan to buy a Pepperidge Farm coconut cake for my 50th day. I have an appointment with a personal trainer that day.  That will even out the calories from the cake.

I marked my calendar for every 10 days of sobriety.

I am giving this BAC track to some friends. I gave them my wine cards (cards to describe types of wine and food pairings) when I tried to go sober in 2007. I hope this is the last drinking paraphernalia I gift them.

Mistake # 38- One morning in October 2001, I woke up hungover. I realized I lost my camera. But I was happy I had my wallet. I had to be at work at 3pm. When I went outside, I realized I lost my car. I searched and searched the parking lot. I couldn’t remember where I parked it and could not find it anywhere. Finally, I called the number posted for the tow company. Turns out, I parked in someone’s assigned spot. My roommate, who owned the condo we lived in, warned me about her neighbors. I was glad she was home to give me a ride to get my car. I had to call in late to work. I paid $150 to get my car back.

dinner party

I went to a birthday dinner last night. I arrived late because I miscalculated how far of a drive it was. I was still one of the first few people to arrive. I thought it was going to be a dinner and some drinks but it turns out she was turning the bar section of the restaurant into her birthday celebration. So most people were arriving later for the drinking portion. The birthday girl was there with five friends when I arrived. A total of thirty were expected.

I was trying to think of excuses  for why I was not drinking. No one asked. My friend called the bartender over to get my order and said he makes good drinks. I told him ravioli and “just some water.” I think it helped that I did not know anyone but the birthday girl. No one else knew  what my drinking habits were like. She was too busy introducing people and drinking. It was her night. She was center of attention. Why would people care if I drank booze or not?

I was irritated that when I ordered two Diet Cokes, it was not free refills. $2.50 for soda! What if I was designated driver? I sort of was DD for myself.

As more people started to arrive and claim they needed to “catch up”, I knew I had to go. Rounds of shots were being ordered. People started to pound drinks. Some yelled “gonna be a WILD night!” My friend was a little disappointed when I told her I had to leave but I gave an honest excuse that I was going to visit my mom. It was  a long drive. We promised to get together soon. I will approach the sober subject then.

Later that night, I saw a video of the party posted online. Bongos came out. The bar was packed with people dancing. Most looked drunk. I was glad I did not stay. I would have been bored sober and pitied myself. I am not ready for dinner parties where the focus is on drinking.

Mistake # 33- I was living near Washington DC. I made plans with a friend to see the “DC Drag Race” or “High Heel Race” near Dupont Circle. This is an annual event where drag queens race down a block or two in high heels. We got a good seat with a view of the race. That means we got there early. I do not remember which bar but it had an upstairs balcony. We started drinking and drinking lots. I do not remember much about the race except my favorite drag queen was dressed like Britney Spears. She was pushing a baby carriage and kept dropping her baby.

I woke up on my friend’s couch the next day. There was a large cup from McDonald’s on the coffee table. I sipped it and it tasted like flat Diet Coke. I went up to his room and asked him where was my camera. He proceeded to fill in details of the night to try to figure out where I left my camera. I also realized my wallet was missing. My driver’s license and credit cards. All gone. He said we stopped at McDonald’s on the way home. Maybe I left everything there. Nope. And not at the bar either. I was taking a short trip to Europe two days later. I had to get traveler’s checks from the bank. I was thankful I did not have my passport out with me that night. More collateral damage due to my war with alcohol.

Training

Today I had a meeting with a trainer at the gym.  He asked me questions to figure out who to pair me up with and gave me some advice to meet my fitness goals. A lot of what he said made me think of my sobriety goals.

-gonna take awhile
-little bit at a time
-even when I am not at the gym (AA meeting), I have to focus on my goals

I was very happy when he asked me if I drink alcohol and I replied “I quit.” He said “good for you!” He asked if I had anyone supporting me in my fitness goals. I said no. I am alone. That is also how I feel with going sober. Maybe I should start a fitness blog also?

As he went on about long term goals, I did not tell him I most likely will be moving from the area in May. It makes me feel deceitful. I hope I can continue my goals to work out wherever I do move just like I hope I keep going to AA there.

I feel the next few months of my life will be work, sleep, blog, read, AA meetings,  and the gym.  Oh, and Walking Dead every Sunday night. I have a few plans for friends to visit and to visit friends while I am living in this area.  I will wait until just prior to the visitation to tell them I quit drinking. Lucky for me, most of the plans are with friends with whom I have a real relationship. Meaning, there is more to the friendship than partying. I know what they do for a living! I have or will meet their children!

I am in training to get fit and sober!

Mistake # 26- Five years ago, I took off 5 weeks inbetween jobs to travel Europe. I had my flights booked. I had a Eurorail pass for the train. First stop was a few nights in London to visit a friend. It was her 30th birthday party. We drank a lot of wine and mojitos, her favorite drink. The ones I made were crap but very strong. I passed out in her spare room. Good thing I was staying with her for my visit.

I did not see any sites of London the next day because I was hungover.

The next night, I went out with one of her friends. The birthday girl stayed home because she needed a night off from drinking. Wuss. We went to a pub to meet up with a large group of travelers. Pints were about £2 each which is very cheap for London. I drank a lot until the place closed at 11pm. One of the guys was a member at an after hours club. He was able to get us all in. I do not remember much once there. I was glad I had her friend with me to get me back to where I was staying. I can not imagine trying to navigate London’s bus system drunk.

I woke up the next day to get ready for a flight to Amsterdam. Then I realized my travel purse was missing. My travel purse with my money, credit cards, and passport. I felt like an idiot. I felt lost. I was scared. I missed my flight but was glad it was with a discount airline. I maybe lost only $40.  I used my friend’s computer to try to look up getting a new passport from the US Embassy. It was Sunday so I would have to wait until the next day and it would still take a few days.  Did I just ruin my whole trip?

I called and left a message with the club. I felt it was useless. I did not know when they would open. I sat around my friend’s house crying and regretting the night. I should have stayed in with her. She tried to cheer me up. She offered me some of her good wine. Finally around 5pm, she received a phone call from the club. They had my purse! Everything was in it.

I booked a new flight for early the next day. I only missed out on 1 day of the trip! I was still able to see the few things I wanted to see in Amsterdam and visit friends in other Dutch cities. I did not lose my passport again the rest of the trip.

But I did make more drunk mistakes.

Journals and photos

I have been enjoying reading some of my old journals. There is information I wrote down that I forgot. Memories are being relived. Feelings are being remembered. Promises made were broken. It is entertaining.

I have been sober two weeks. It has not been hard so far. I really do not think it will be hard until I am in a social setting with temptation to drink. I was reading up about events in my area. Most of them are happy hour or wine tasting events. I will really miss wine. Especially a good petite sirah.

I have done a lot of winery tours. I have been to wineries in Napa, Hunter Valley in Australia, Niagara Falls in Canada, Finger Lake region in New York and one in Chile that included pisco distillery. I am not a wine snob that could pick out the fruits or descibe the woodsyness of a wine. But I like my wine to taste good. It is sad that I could easily drink a $50 bottle by myself in one night. And then still want more. I would usually start my night with the good or expensive bottles so that I would not know the difference if it was “2 buck Chuck” by the time I was drunk.

Mistake #8: I was at a friend’s wedding. Most people get drunk at wedding receptions. I was tipsy when I got to the wedding.

It was a late afternoon wedding. I started the day with brunch that had unlimited pitchers of mimosas for 2 hours. I made sure I got my money’s worth. I walked on the beach a little after brunch to sober up. But it was not gonna be enough. I drove to my hotel to change and get ready for the wedding. I was singing and dancing as I got ready. I really should not have been driving.

I was a little late to the ceremony. I had to wait outside because the bride was about to walk down the aisle. So I missed my friend’s entrance. The wedding was beautiful. It was a great ceremony where I cried tears of joy. The reception was also beautiful. The specialty drinks were red or white sangria. I drank a lot of both. I was drunk by dinner. I was trashed by the first dance. I do not remember the end of the party. I do know I got a taxi back to my hotel.

The next morning, my camera was missing. I tried to call the reception hall but I got a voicemail. I tried to call the taxi company (and was glad the number was in my phone or else I would not have known which company.) It was Sunday so no one would be in the office until Monday according to the recording. I took a taxi back to the reception hall to get my car. I looked around and asked people that were setting up for a church service if they found a camera. No luck.

I went home feeling depressed. I lost a lot of good photos on that camera. I had photos from trips and travels I took the previous months. It had a 32gb SD card. Plus it was a fairly good camera. I love my photos. Like journals, they are a great way to remember the past. They capture a moment in time. And all those moments could have been lost by my drinking.

I took a nap when I got home and swore to myself that if I find that camera, I would not drink for 30 days. When I woke up, there was an email from the bride that her maid of honor had my camera.

I did not keep my 30 day promise.