First Sober Trip to Mexico

9am and I am on a plane waiting to fly to Mexico. I am not nervous: neither nervous about flying nor desire to drink. I feel all my “alcohol education” I have been teaching myself the past 8 months has helped. (I will reach my 8 month milestone while on this trip!)

I mentioned the time only because I got upgraded to business class and everyone around me is ordering orange juice and vodka. A screwdriver at 9am. I would have picked Bloody Mary if I was still drinking. But I am happy with my coffee. (Okay,  not really cause it tastes burnt.)

I have a few days of diving and reading planned. It is rainy season so not expecting too much sun. Excited that I won’t be wasting money and calories on margaritas. I am more worried about my willpower with chips and salsa. Trying to limit my complex carbs for the next month to see if it helps me drop a few pounds.

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Found my section on drink menu

Mistake 227- I spent New Year’s Eve in Cancun once with a boyfriend. We took a bottle of champagne to the beach for midnight after pre-drinking all night. I think we had “two-for-one” deals that night. After finishing off the bottle and feeling very drunk, we had sex on the beach. That would not be a big deal except I swear I caught flashes from a camera. I was too drunk to care. So might be photos out there somewhere of me and my boyfriend doing the nasty on a beach in Mexico.

Mistake 228- Last time I was in Mexico, I spent an afternoon getting drunk on the beach of Tulum alone. I then drank a few drinks after the sun went down. I started to walk back to my hotel. A truck pulled up as I was walking and the stranger offered me a ride. I got in. The man was an American living there. He said he watched me sitting on the beach that day He asked if I wanted to go on an adventure. I asked what did he mean. He said “you know what I mean.” My response was a loud, drunk laugh and I said no thanks. He dropped me off at my hotel and it wasn’t until I told some friends that I really realized the risky situation I put myself in.

Mistake 229- I kept drinking once I got back to my hotel. I overslept the next morning and almost missed my bus to the airport. I was hungover on my flight home.

Mistake 230- My first time to Mexico was when I was 18. I was new to drinking but already experiencing blackouts. (Wrote about a few mistakes already from my younger years.) I went to Tijuana and got very drunk with some friends. We never got passed the first bar because I was doing so many shots of tequila, I could barely walk. My friends had to almost drag me to the bus back to San Diego. I remember kissing one of my friends that night who had a girlfriend. I almost got in trouble for underage drinking when I got back to my school.

Mistake 231- I took another trip to Tijuana a few weeks later. Again, got super drunk but at least we made it to the main street of bars. I was so drunk I either dropped my wallet or was pickpocketed. I had no ID to return across the border. (This was before they required passports.) I started crying. Thankfully I was with a friend who had two ID’s: her drivers license and military ID. Since the photo on the military ID was black and white, she crossed the border with her drivers license and I flashed her military ID while hanging onto a male friend. Thankfully, I did not get busted for impersonating a military person.

Mistake 232- I took a trip further south from Tijuana with a guy I was “dating” (it was only sexual), our friend and his girlfriend. We all got a room to share. We spent the afternoon drinking so much that we all needed to nap before sunset. My guy and I were so drunk that we started to have sex as soon as we got in the bed. We did not seem to notice our friends were in the room. I do not talk to either of the guys anymore but I am still friends with the girl. She said it was the most awkward moment of her life.

Just Breath

I had another meltdown at the post office the other day. I was very frustrated by their strange hours (10am to 4pm.) When I couldn’t go there after work in the morning (because I was not staying up another 3 hours), I woke up early in the afternoon to go. I rushed to get there before they closed at 4pm. I did not eat, no coffee yet, and I was tired. When the guy behind the counter told me I did not have enough proper identification, I started to cry.

He was really sweet with helping me and I did find another form of identification that was good enough. There was a woman working that was there that morning when I first tried to come in but found out they did not open until 10. She was not too nice that morning and must have thought I was a nut case this time. I apologized to the man several times telling him I was just tired and hungry. He said he understood. But I don’t think he actually does unless he suffers depression.

I cut back on my 5HTP. I was taking it twice a day but I switched to once a day because I thought it made me sleepy. But I am gonna try the twice a day dose again.

At work last night, I started thinking about something and then got worrying and almost had tears again. I told myself to concentrate on my breaths. Breath in. Breath out. I counted to 60. I felt better. I really need to find time to start meditation. Thinking is my worst enemy at times.

I have been thinking a lot about my future and school. I am trying to figure out where I want to go for my program. I was set on going to one university but that school is making things difficult and I am not sure I want to go through the trouble of establishing residency and then not getting accepted. So I have been considering other schools. But I have an aquaintance that keeps trying to encourage me to go to the school that is giving me the hard time. He claimed I am not being “proactive” enough. That pissed me off because he does not know me well and does not know how much I have been working to go back to school. I keep trying to think what kind of ulterior motive he has. All I can guess is that he wants me to live near him. We met on a dating site and had sex a few times. Other than that, I do not know him. I hate how this is frustrating me. I want to write him “well I am sober now so we will never have sex again so I do not know why you care about where I go to school!” Of course, I will refrain from saying anything so mean to him. But I am on the verge of just deleting his friend link.

Mistake 222- When I first met this guy, we had a nice lunch date. He was nice but I did not really find him attractive. The second time, I was already drunk when I showed up and he kept buying me more wine. I remember it was a dark, strong red wine. Zinfandel maybe? But I took him home with me and we had sex.

Mistake 223- I moved away but was coming through town. He offered to get me a hotel room since I did not have a place to stay that night. Of course he would be staying in the room also. He showed up with snacks and 2 bottles of large wine. I remember thinking I would need to drink at least one of the bottles before we had sex. Now looking back, it almost feels like prostitution.

Mistake 224- Next time I saw him, we met at the beach before I had a flight. I remember he picked a place to eat but my only concern was a place that served alcohol. This place did not. I was irritated. But we had a quick dinner. We caught up on small talk and lives. I said something about wanting to get to the airport early and left. Instead, I went and drank a bottle of wine I had in the trunk of my rental car. I did not want to have to pack it. I sat on the beach, alone, and finished off that bottle before driving to the airport.

200 days!

I made it 200 days sober! Doubled Belle’s 100 day challenge. Odd to think the first few weeks, I was thinking I would try this sobriety thing for a year. After a year of sobriety, I might go back to moderate drinking. I now realize, after much introspection and listing my drunk mistakes, I can not handle alcohol. I can not control it. It controlled me.

I am so glad to be this far. It is getting easier to tell people I don’t drink. Not sure if people think I am a prude or conservative because of it. Either way, I am glad I have quit. Even when I get depressed, I know that a drink will not help.

Think I will treat myself to a manicure and see what other pampering treats I can find in Lisboa.

Mistake 200- I met a guy in a bar many years ago. He was a bouncer there but was not working that night. He was leaving as I walked in. I smiled at him, he turned around and said “on second thought, maybe I will stay.” We started chatting. Drinking. (I was already predrinking before going out that night so was tipsy by the time I arrived.) Since he worked there, I got a lot of free drinks. And shots. I do not remember who I went to the bar with but I must have ditched my friend or friends and left with Bouncer.

I remember I said to him I did not want a one night stand. I wanted at least four nights. I do not know why I said that. We had sex on the beach and then went back to his house. I remember he lived in a cool, surfer shack-like place with a roommate.

I frequented that bar so I saw him a few more times and got my four nights with him. I was also drunk each time. I got a lot of free drinks from the bartenders. I was not his girlfriend but it sort of became known I was hooking up with him. It made me feel special even though I was just his drunk booty call.

Mistake 201- One night I went by Bouncer’s place but he was not home. It was another night I should not have been driving cause I was drunk. His roommate invited me in for some beers. I joined him. And then I have no idea how I ended up in bed with the roommate. I did not find him attractive. He was too short for me. Of course, Bouncer found out. I started avoiding that bar for awhile. By the time I went back, he was fired.

Un-dailying This

I know that is not a word.  But I have been writing this blog daily for six months.  It gets hard to try to remember a mistake every day even if it helps motivate me to stay sober. I will blog as I can and as I feel I need to. I will still try to reach 365 mistakes. But I am not going to stress. I have already written many reasons to go,  be, and stay sober. I will write at least weekly. Or try. Thanks for reading.

Mistake 197- I was visiting a cousin I did not see in about 20 years. We used to see each other as kids until his parents got divorced. As adults, we reconnected on Facebook. I went with a boyfriend to visit him because I always wanted to see the city he lived in. He let us stay in his spare room.

He took us to a party. It was full of gay men. I remember my boyfriend commenting he has never seen so many gay guys in one place. I was annoyed by that comment. I think he and I were already having problems due to questions of where our relationship was heading. So I got drunk to ignore him. I remember talking to a lot of people at this party and declaring I was the cousin of My Cousin. He was almost like a celebrity here. Everyone knew him. I might have been rude to my boyfriend. I think we got in a fight. The party was a blur but the hangover was painful the next day.

My cousin has never really talked to me since then. Neither does his sister. I always wonder if I embarrassed him somehow. Did I say anything stupid? Do anything idiotic? Was I dramatic? Fight with my boyfriend at the party?

Next time I am in that city,  I plan to meet him for dinner and ask. I am not gonna ask to stay at his place again from fear he will have an excuse to decline from fear of me.

Staying here a bit longer

My job offered to extend my contract for however long I am willing to stay. I wrote out a pro and cons list and shared it with my friends on Facebook. The one pro I did not list to share with my friends seems like one of the biggest: I got sober here and feel safe staying sober here.

I was looking forward to moving and starting over in a new place. New job. New apartment. But I would be with old party friends. And new coworkers. New environment. New stresses and worries. New AA groups.

Okay I wouldn’t mind the new AA groups since I haven’t really liked the ones in my area too much and I hate that they rarely give out chips.

But I am slightly worried what moving will do to my sobriety. At least here I am near my mom, who has gone from not understanding alcoholism to being my biggest sober supporter. She still doesn’t understand it but she knows I can not drink any alcohol. And she is thrilled every time I tell her how long I have been sober. Also, I want to spend more time with my mom. She needs my support with family issues as much as I have needed her support.

I am negotiating the contract and pay. I am excited. I might even keep staying until after Christmas. And after my 1st year of sobriety. Maybe then I can handle moving a bit better. I will be taking off 5 unpaid weeks for previous plans. The manager already told me that is fine. I like my coworkers. I like my job. This should be a good opportunity for me in so many ways.

Mistake 174- I wrote the last two days about parties I went to called Drunk Disney. Well I have a friend that I used to go to Disneyland with and we usually ended up calling the days “Drunk Disney.” We were upset the first time we went to discover no alcohol was served in Disneyland. But we learned they served it across in the other park California Adventures. And also in Downtown Disney. We would get drunk for lunch. Once, we filled a 24 ounce water bottle with white wine. It looked like electrolytes added to water. We have photos of us taking turns chugging the wine while wearing those big Mickey Mouse gloves.

Once, we got drunk and then went to some bar in Downtown Disney after the park closed. Or at least I was drunk. The bar was in the middle if the walkway. She wasn’t drinking anymore since she was driving us home. I ordered a large glass of red wine. Then I thought of going to visit the guy I was dating after she dropped me off. I texted him asking if I could come over.

His response was he “thinks we are moving too fast.” This was 2 days after he gave me spare keys to his apartment. I was hurt, confused, and mad. And my response was to drink to forget my feelings. I started ordering shots. My friend said she didn’t think that was a good idea. I lied “only one or two.” I ordered more when she went to the bathroom.

Then she started getting sweet text messages from the guy she was dating. That mad me jealous. I was basically no longer wanted by a guy and she is sharing with me that she was still wanted. I started making rude, bitchy comments. I bashed the guy she was dating. She told the bartender to cut me off. We had to leave. She had work early the next day. I was not nice to whole ride home.

Poor pity me.

We still did our Drunken Disney days and remained friends. She is one of my sober supporters now.

Sober Soup

Today I am 100 days sober.

I still feel I am treading the waters here. It does not feel like I am taking the plunge into sobriety yet. It seems like a test run. A competition. A challenge. Did I win yet?

I feel I have gotten this far with a sober soup. It is a mixture of different things. Belle’s 100 Day challenge was the broth. I added to that daily blogging, reading other sober blogs, reading my journals, reading memoirs such as Carolyn Knapp’s Drinking: A Love Story and Kristen Johnston’s Gutsand reading articles about alcoholism. The support from real life friends and the cyber sober community was like spices added to this soup. It made it work. This mixture kept me from drinking alcohol the past 100 days. (AA meetings were the salt and pepper. I only needed a little bit.)

I feel I have this sober genie sitting inside of me. He sometimes is in my chest. Sometimes my stomach. When I think about having a drink, he punches me. He grabs my esophagus and says “Go ahead but I am gonna make you puke it up and regret it!” He holds a knife to my liver and threatens to rip it apart. He runs into my brain with a napkin soaked in chloroform. I know both booze and that will poison my memory. When I choose not to drink, he flicks his chin up and says “Yea! That is what I THOUGHT you’d do.” He is like a bully but one I need.

I am scared this genie won’t stick around. He is gonna eat all this soup and leave.

265 more days of blogging about mistakes, regrets, and other mishaps from my drinking problem. I have daily blogging to keep me accountable.

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Mistake #100- Was visiting my sister in 2002. We invited a guy that I used to date to go out with us. We ended up at a gay bar. I got wasted and left with some girl. I just left my sister there with a guy that she barely knew. There were some nasty messages on my voicemail when I woke up the next day.

Improvements

I was reading back through my journal from 2001 to 2002. A lot of it is about the relationship I was in and problems with school. But so many times I wrote “I need to quit drinking.” A few times I wrote “I need to control my drinking.” A few times I wrote in there intoxicated “I love being drunk!” When I wrote drunk, my handwriting doubled in size. My letters took up two lines rather than one. Drinking made so many things chaotic besides penmanship.

I already made a post estimating how much money I will save by going sober. I wonder how much time I would have saved if I quit 12 years ago? All those days I spent sleeping away hangovers. All those sights and trips I missed out on. All those nights in bars when I could have been studying or learning something or improving myself.

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I went to a meeting today. It was the noon one I like. A woman from Monday’s meeting recognized me and waved. It felt nice to recognize familiar faces. Maybe I will start doing this more often. I even spoke and admited I did not do 90 meetings in 90 days but I might start coming more often. My confidence of this being “easy” is scaring me. I am not gonna jump into the steps or this AA thing, but maybe more meetings and talk to more people will help keep me strong. Maybe I will get a sponsor, or as someone called it today, “special friend”.

Mistake #99- My friend took me to a concert. The concert venue was about a 30 minute drive. It was to see a local lesbian band. I got drunk. I was dancing with a girl that my friend had a crush on. I do not know what happened but my friend must have got mad. So I left the concert. I was sitting outside crying and trying to figure if I could pay for a taxi home. Then I met some strange woman who gave me a ride.

So I got in a car with a stranger while completely drunk and left my friend. Like I said, I do not know what happened (did I kiss the girl my friend liked?) but my friend did not talk to me for a while after that night.

Thankfully 11 years later, she is one of my good friends that is supporting my sobriety.