Wino’s Heaven

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I made a big box full of my drinking memorabilia.  When I have guests that are drinkers,  I will offer them a gift to take home from this box rather than a drink. That should make it up to them that I do not have booze in my house.

I kept debating keeping the pot holder/wash towel combo that says “wine a little, you’ll feel better.” It is funny. But I am worried one day I will think that wine will make me feel better.

I am unpacking and then packing again. I am off on a trip next week to celebrate my 1 year soberversary!  I am going with an friend, who is more of a friend of a friend, and he is stressing me out with the planning. He wants to spend everyday together and travel “comfortably” while I know I like days alone and I travel cheaply. I do not want to be with him on the 22nd. I want to enjoy some tea and reflect on my past year. I actually might use my soberversary as my excuse for alone time rather than he is annoying me.

I am not gonna make my goal os listing 365 mistakes by my 1 year date. I apologize to those that were waiting for them. But I do plan to come back and add to old entries mistakes related to the topic or add on inbetween. I think I have about 120 to come up with? I won’t be ending my year with stories about my “top 3 mistakes” like I thouht. That just gives me more time to write them out and maybe with more detail. I do not have internet in my new home yet. Once that is up and running, I will work on the mistake stories.

Oh and some good news: I have lost 25 pounds since I quit alcohol! Finally! The big push was to cut out sodas and then sugar. I have stopped adding sugar to my coffee and tea. It took a bit to get used to and made me cut down my coffee intake, but I am now liking the taste of sugar-free java. Getting on the scale everyday helps motivate my taste buds. I have limited my complex carbs and meat. I have been eating a LOT of veggies and fruits. When I return from my trip, I plan to add yoga and spinning. I want to drop 10-15 more before I turn 40. I feel great. Sobriety has been amazing. Much more so than I expected.

Sober Dating

I have gone out on a few dates the past few weeks.  Nothing too exciting. Nothing too serious. I have already made a promise to myself I do not want anything sexual until after I am sober a year.  Also,  I want to date a person for a few weeks or maybe even a few months before having sex. I want to find something meaningful. I want to do things correctly. I want a real relationship and not one based on the lies of alcohol.

I am being picky but think I deserve to be. It might be difficult to find a good, single partner at my age and even harder the older I get. But I am not settling. I would rather be single than with someone I only half-heartedly want. I would like to find someone who likes to travel as much as I do and that is tough to find. Yet I would rather marry my passport than someone who will restrict my adventure abilities.

My first date was nice. The guy was cute and had a great smile. I made him laugh a lot and we talked for hours. He had a few beers while I drank ice tea. He walked me to my car and we had a lovely kiss. I left with butterflies in my belly. I was thrilled! I was able to enjoy a date and be attracted to a guy without alcohol! Sober Dating is possible as long as I like the person. He texted me after I left with his house address and asked me to come over for coffee. I declined the invitation.  I know that coming over for coffee at 10pm is code for wanting to serve me coffee for breakfast instead. I was so glad I was not tipsy because I might have agreed and especially would have went if he offered wine.

I asked him if he wanted to join me for a play in the city the next week. He replied that sounds like a good idea. We made plans for Thursday. This was Monday. On Wednesday two days later, I text him that my job interview went well because we talked about it Monday night. (I will address the job stuff in another post.) He said congratulations. 

Then Sunday, I texted him asking if we were still on for that Thursday. He replied hours later apologizing for late answer but he was busy at work and yes, he would like to see me again Thursday but did not feel like going into the city. He knew 5 days in advance he did not want to go into the city? But I said that was okay, what else did he have in mind.

No response until Thursday at 5pm. He asked me if I wanted to see a movie. I was irritated.  I was supposed to keep my calendar empty just waiting for his reply? I replied honestly that I was up since 5am and would fall asleep during a film. I asked if we could get together another night. He said yes.

The next week, I texted to ask him if he was busy that evening. He said he was going out for a friend’s birthday, but he would call me later to meet up. A late night meet up after he is out drinking for a friend’s party? I told him to text me and we’ll see what to do. He never did. Now it is a few weeks later and I deleted him from my phone.

There have been a few other dates. One guy seemed like a liar that couldn’t keep a story straight. He also commented abstaining from alcohol is no big deal and he doesn’t understand why people get falling – down drunk. I thought he would not understand my addiction or he would harshly judge all my mistakes. Another guy was very nice but very young. I have a few dates planned next week.

Maybe I should just start going back to AA meetings and inquire about skipping to the 13th step.

Mistake: I was young and still experimenting with women. I met a woman online who was a lot older than me. I think she was 12 or 14 years older. She had a teenage daughter and I was 24. She was married to a man but looking for a female fun partner. I met her out for drinks. I was not attracted to her. I thought she looked like she spent too much time in a tanning bed and bleached her hair too much. But I wanted to test my bisexuals feelings. So I invited her back to my place after getting drunk. I continued to do shots to get drunk enough to kiss her. I don’t remember much of the experience. Blacking out is not the greatest way to test sexual orientation. I regretted it the next morning.  She kept paging me afterwards to meet up again. I either would call her back with excuses or ignore the pages.

Happy Sober Halloween!

Halloween has always been my favorite holiday. I love the creativity and elaborate costumes people create. Maybe I also loved the chance to become someone else. Someone not the everyday me. Sort of like the reason I used to drink.

I am excited for my first sober Halloween. I am going as Gizmo from the Gremlins. I am going to a parade and party where I don’t know anyone. Normally, this would have made me nervous and I would get drunk to loosen up and fit in. But I like that I get to introduce myself as a sober person. These people do not know the drunk, party girl I used to be. For this Halloween, I get to be a new me for new friends.

Previous Halloweens, I would put a lot of work into a costume. Then I would get trashed and not remember how the night ended. Tonight I will get to fully enjoy the holiday. I look forward to seeing the talented creations tonight.

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I will post some mistakes from past Halloweens later. Need to start getting my costume ready!

Mistake 246-
Mistake 247-
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Mistake 249-

Jealousy

Sorry I haven’t posted anything lately. I got back from my trip to Belize and I have been busy. I have been working a lot, reading for my class, and my mom came to visit. But the good thing is that I haven’t had time to really think about drinking. I had a friend text me today to ask how sobriety is going and I told him I don’t even crave alcohol anymore. I took my mom to a show and bought her a beer and really did not feel jealous that I could not have one. I did not desire it at all.

And I haven’t posted because I feel I am struggling to think of more mistakes to write about that I am ready to share or that I have not already posted. Every once in awhile, I will be reminded of a night or event that triggers a mistake I forgotten.

Mistake 241- This night is a bit of a blur. I had a pool party during the day. About 6 guys I know came and two girls. The one girl was visiting from another country. I remember being nervous about the party and whether people were having fun and the food and what they thought of me. I remembering trying so hard to be liked. I was in my 30s but was like a teenager having a party to impress the cool kids.

I remember being super jealous of the foreign girl. She was in the pool in her bikini, flirting and wresting with all the guys. I think there were only 3 guys in the pool. But they kept grabbing her, dunking her, and picking her up. I thought I would be too heavy for them to try to pick up. I didn’t even want to put on my bikini cause I felt super fat around this tiny girl. So I just drank a lot and stayed out of the pool. I had a crush on one of the guys and it seemed he flirted with her the most.

We all had plans to go into the city for dinner with some other friends. It was going to be at least 20 people meeting at the restaurant. I allowed everyone to use my room and bathroom to change. We all made our way to the city. I was drunk by this point. I got more drunk at dinner. After dinner, we were going to a party in another friend’s apartment. Like I said it was a blur, but I think I gave the foreign girl wrong directions. I think I had her and one of the guys get in a taxi and I said we’d meet them there and I got into another taxi with some other guys. I never saw her at the party. I never talked to her again but I just remember having such hatred and jealousy for her cause she was skinny and the guys all were giving her the attention I wanted. It was MY PARTY!

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Mistake 242- I got very drunk at that party. It was a crowded apartment. I remember having some beer, either a 6-pack but more than likely a 12-pack, and I held onto it cause I was worried it would be stolen if left in the fridge. I woke up the next day sitting in a recliner chair. I was curled up with my legs hanging over the arm on one side. I was confused as to where I was and then it slowly hit me. I went to the bathroom and realized I was wearing a pair of thongs that were not mine under my skirt. I asked the hostess of the party and she said she gave them to me cause I lost mine. I later found my thongs in my purse. I have no idea how they got there or how I “lost” them. The other hostess of that party never really liked me after that night.

Oktoberfest

Many years ago,  I met a couple from Munich, Germany. We got a long great and they invited me to stay at their place if I ever visit Germany. A year later, I emailed them to see if they could host me for Oktoberfest. They agreed and we made plans for me to stay on their couch for three nights of the two week celebration.

They told me they usually don’t allow anyone except family to stay during Oktoberfest.  They said the last time they had a friend stay, the guy got so drunk that he tried to urinate in one of their houseplants. They felt I would be a more responsible guest.

I spent my first evening hanging out with them. We met up with some other people, including one of my German friends visiting from another city. It was fun and a lot more than what I expected. It was a large carnival with rides and games. And then there were the packed beer “tents” (actual buildings ) with food, music and beer. Most of the tables inside are reserved and some of the reservations started a year ago. We managed to find a table outside one of the tents. We ordered pretzels and large mugs of beer. I have a photo of me smiling big while holding up my first Oktoberfest beer. Later that night, my host had me try different shots of schnapps. I was loving Munich.

The next day I returned without my hosts because they had to work. I met up with my friend and the group from the previous night. We walked around and drank as much beer as we could. We drank beer all day! I had some food. I think schnitzel or something very German. I have the menu that I stole. I met some people who I am still friends with today. My German friend left early and I stayed late. I was dancing on tables and spilling beer.

I drank so much that the rest of the evening is blurry. I know I got on a very high swing ride by myself cause I made a video of it. It was the kind of ride of swings that goes around and lifts you up so your feet fly below you. But this one was like 30 meters high. You were lifted above the festival.

Mistake 239- That night, I have a photo of me standing in front of one of those house of mirrors. But I am not sure what happened. I sort of have memories of being in there. I think with a guy. I do not know what happened or what we did. I sort of remember pushing him away. I am not sure. I know I lost the jacket that I had on in the photo. I remembering I was crying trying to give the taxi driver directions to my hosts’ place.

I woke up the next morning hungover. I tried to piece together the night but decided not to bother. I was too embarrassed. I had plans to meet up with my German friend at Marienplatz. I thought we would go to the festival together. But when I found her at the meeting point, she said she wanted to explore the sights of the city instead. I was upset. I came to Munich specifically for Oktoberfest. I already visited it years before and did the tourist stuff. She said “you only care about getting drunk.” I felt that was an okay goal during Oktoberfest. So she went off to see the city and I rushed to the festival. Some of the people I met the day before were meeting at noon and I wanted to join them.

When I got to the meeting point late, I did not recognize anyone. The group must have wandered off to a tent. I waited to see if any other stragglers would arrive. I started to get depressed. Could I have fun at Oktoberfest alone? I then thought maybe I should go find my friend. Maybe I should join her. I walked outside the festival trying to decide. As I wandered, I received a text message. A British guy from the previous night had my number and asked if I knew where the group went. I replied no but asked if he wanted to meet up with me. He said sure. Yea I had someone to hang out with! My mood lifted.

I saw a shop selling German festival clothing of dirndls and lederhösen. I decided to buy a dress. I wanted to really get in the Oktoberfest spirit. I bought one that was brown and yellow and match my sweater. It was a very cute outfit. I met up with the British guy and we had a great day drinking Bavarian beers.

We found some people from the group by the evening. I was drunk at this point. The British guy had to leave and I joined the group. We got a table inside a tent. I was standing on the tables dancing again. I had drunk German guys talking to me in German and they didn’t care that I did not understand them. I also met an American guy there with his friend. We joked about the drunk Germans must have assumed I was German because of my dirndl.

There was a woman walking around doing breathalyzer testing. She gave out certificates with your BAC level. I got it done and then had everyone I met sign it. I do not remember what my number was but I remember acting proud. I lost the certificate sometime that night.

Mistake 240- I woke up the next day in a hotel room. I was nude. I looked over and noticed I was in bed with the American. And his friend was in the next bed. The guy was nice and we exchanged emails. He found me on Facebook a few years ago.

Two embarrassing nights and two blackouts. I kept thinking “at least I did not try to pee in my hosts’ houseplants.”

Sober Birthday

I had a birthday recently. My first sober birthday. I did not blog about it that day in attempt for my identity to remain a secret. Might sound paranoid but I am always worried someone I know will stumble upon this blog.

It was nice. I spent the day in a museum. For dinner, I went to a restaurant with a pharmacy theme. They had a couple of non-alcoholic specialty drinks.
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I had the paracetamol. It was nice. Made it feel like a celebration. I had plans to meet some people afterwards but I was tired. I went to bed early. Also, I was worried that not being able to accept birthday drinks from friends was going to depress me. I chose to celebrate on my own.

Next year, I plan to go on a big trip with friends. It will include camping, hiking, and exploring the wilderness. I used to think I would allow alcohol for my guests. But now I am not so sure. If they can’t spend a few days without alcohol for my birthday, I am not sure I want them there. The last few days with my friend getting tipsy is making me appreciate being around sober people.

Mistake 210- I had a birthday party sometime in my early 20s at my apartment. I had a good amount of people show up. Not sure why, but a friend wanted to go to a bar. So I went with her. Maybe she was dating a bouncer or bartender. But I left my own birthday party to go to a bar with her. This was the days before cell phones so no one knew how to get a hold of me. It took them about 30 minutes to realize I was gone. Not sure if I ever apologized for that.

Another festival and still sober

I went to another festival and did not drink alcohol. One thing that sucked is cans of beer were €2 but fruit smoothies and juice were €3- €4 and coffee and tea were sometimes €3. At least water was free. There were a few bars with liquor but I did not get close enough to see the prices.

This festival was an electronic music festival. I did not enjoy it overall. I like EDM (electronic dance music) but this was all psy-trance. I discovered it is not really my scene. I went because a friend invited me. Then I could not find him. I spent 3 days by myself at a festival of 20,000 people. And most of them were German, French, Spanish, Portuguese and Israeli. It was hard to strike up a conversation, especially sober. I did try to speak to a few people but their English was not great and it was too difficult to have a conversation. I spent most of my time sunbathing and walking around taking photos.

Most of the people there were on drugs rather than drinking. People walked around with signs of the specific drugs for which they were searching. Or they had signs on their tents “We need WEED” or shrooms or stuff I never heard of.  The festival had all ages but mostly people in their 20s. I did not judge them. I must say I’d rather be around people stoned than people drunk. Less violent. Even the people on psychedelic drugs seemed to be in their own world rather than bothering other people.

I think I would have enjoyed it if I went with friends or was able to find my friend. He did not give me good directions how to find him. It made me melancholy and lonely. I sat alone at times with tears in my eyes. It made me over analyze why I am single and where my life is going. Just the other day, I was glad to be traveling alone. But there is a difference between traveling alone and going to a festival alone. I left the festival early.  I am torn between being mad at him and mad at myself for not having better sober social skills.

The lowest point was Friday afternoon.  I was drinking a cup of chai and people watching.  I was approached by a German person. I could not tell the gender. This person asked me if I was attracted to men or women. “Hows do you identify?” I did not know how to respond because I could not tell if this was a come-on line.  Then he said he is a transgender woman. He then asked “oh, were you born a woman?” I loudly exclaimed yes. Then tears started in my eyes. He said “oh no. Zo zorry.  Oh no!” I wanted to yea “fuck off”. Here I was unable to make friends and the only person to approach me thought I was a man dressed as a woman. I was already feeling fat and old but his comment added ugly to the mix.

It did not make me want to drink cause I know that would not solve it. It just made me want to hide in my tent.  That was when I decided I was going to leave early. One more day of sunbathing and then I would get the first bus out of there Sunday. I really felt out of place.

Mistake 202-I was spending New Year’s in Dallas with a boyfriend. We were barhopping gay bars. I remember our taxi driver even tried to warn us to avoid those kind of bars. “Are you sure you want to go there?” All I could think was “bigot.”
After many drinks, I remember making out with a blond Asian girl. Later, my boyfriend informed me that the girl was actually a boy. I pretended that I knew but I had no clue. He laughed because he said “she” did not even do a good dressing up job. He was drunk and knew it was a guy. He said I must have had super beer-goggles on.

Mistake 203- I was in a hot tub with a guy I liked and a transgender friend. I was extremely drunk. A few days later, the transgender friend said I was playing footsies with her in the tub. I was shocked. She took it as a hint that I was interested in her. I had to apologize for the mixed signals but I was definitely not interested in her. She began to pester me after that and I eventually had to end the friendship. I was too embarrassed and scared of another drunk encounter with her.

Um Galão

One of the first words I learned upon arriving in Portugal after “olá” (hello) and “obrigada” (thank you) was “um galão”, which is espresso with hot milk in a tall glass.  I knew if I said “coffee” or “cafe”, I would get a shot of espresso. My pronunciation worked my first few days.  But when I tried yesterday, the waiter told me I am better off sticking to English.

I am traveling solo the next few days. It makes sobriety easier. I know “lonely” is one part of the acronym HALT that we should avoid when trying to stay sober. But I hate the temptation to join my friends when I am with them drinking. It is not even peer pressure I am trying to avoid. It is the desire to fit in and be able to drink like them. Being alone in a foreign country allows me to pretend I was never a fan of alcohol. Saying “um galão por favor” as easy as if ordering coffee in a bar was always my thing.

Mistake 199- I was in Istanbul for a short visit a few years ago. On my flight there, I watched the movie Smashed. It is about a married couple who drink a lot. The wife decides to get sober after some very embarrassing and dangerous incidents. It made me think about my drinking and consider staying sober just for my few days of Istanbul.  But once there, I used the excuse of needing to try the local beer. So I drank some with every lunch and dinner. Not much. Just one or two a meal.

The last night, I met up with a friend.  He suggested coffee. Well we met at a coffee place that served beer. So I drank beer and he drank coffee. We both had flights the next day. After one cup of coffee, he decided to go back to his hotel to sleep.

I did not want to sleep yet. And I wanted to see what Turkey’s night life was like! So I stopped in a few bars and clubs on the way back. I sat in each place alone. Drinking a beer or two. I might have even had a few mixed drinks. It was pathetic. I finally went back to my hotel feeling a little drunk but not trashed. It was just wasted money and time. I had a hard time waking up the next day and my taxi almost left me.

Traveling sober is so much better!

Blabbing about Sobriety

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.

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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.

Travel: not what it used to be

I used to fly to Europe at least once a month many years ago. I would work a night shift, stay up afterwards, then fly to London. It would be morning by the time I arrived in London and my new day would start. From there, I would take a train or inexpensive flight elsewhere.  I almost always slept well on those flights.

This time, I barely slept. Is it due to the seats not reclining as much as before? Or because I do not fly with wine anymore? No more pre-flight Bloody Marys. Now I order water or orange juice with my meal. Or it could be because I am used to the window seat and this flight I had aisle seat. I envied the girl with the bulkhead to lean against.  I even got a little pissed that she was not taking advantage of it and she watched movies most of the flight. 

Yet arriving tired is better than arriving hungover! I am excited to start my day and a new country.

Mistake 191- My first time in London, I went to meet up with a group of friends I met online.  We had a good amount of people that showed up at this pub. I was excited that such a large group of Brits came out to meet me. Three of the guys that were there were three of the guys I spent a lot of time flirting with online. By the end of the night, I made out with all three plus another guy I did not know. One guy never spoke to me again and told some of the others in our cyber community I was a “slag”. Another guy is known for being a player so no one was surprised.  The guy I did not know was married. And I went home with the fourth. Actually, we did not go home but went to his car. Then after sex, we slept in his car in front of his mate’s house.  The positive thing out of that was when we went into his mate’s house for breakfast, I met his mate’s housemate who I began dating. But for the 10 months we dated, I could never understand what he saw in a slag like me.