Carbaholic

I noticed I have replaced drinking alcohol with eating a lot of carbs and sugars. While that may be temporarily better for me (at least I am not getting drunk), I know it is still not healthy. I been eating too many donuts and bagels. Snacking on too much candy. And even though I try to eat healthy chips, I still eat them too much.
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So I decided to try the South Beach diet again. I have done it before and the hardest part was always “no booze for the first two weeks.” That part is easy now. *wink wink* Now giving up other sugars will be the difficult option. I do not want to substitute sugars with artificial sugars because, well, they are artificial. I would rather do this as natural as I can.
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I am also planning to do this as a vegetarian. I have flirted on and off with vegetarianism the past two years. Ever since I read the book Fast Food Nation, I have become concerned about America’s food. I do not trust the safety of the meat industry. (But I trusted the FDA enough to control the alcohol I drank?) But sometimes I get weak in my resistance and eat meat. Sometimes it is just too easy.
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And as if giving up sugars and meat was not enough, I am gonna stop soda. No more Diet Coke. I think that has been my strongest addiction. I have read of so many horrible things and risks caused by Diet Coke. It actually increases appetite and chance of diabetes.
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I think for this triple challenge, I do need daily 12-step meetings!

“God grant me the serenity to change my sugar habits, accept I will avoid meat, and the wisdom to know the dangers of Diet Coke.”
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Mistake # 88 – I lost 10 pounds on Weight Watchers. Just in time for my first anniversary with a boyfriend. We celebrated by going to Napa for wine tasting. We joined a limo winery tour.

I was not happy with just “tasting”. I was never good with just sipping my beverages. I would even buy extra tastings or a whole glass of which ever I liked the best. I was trashed by late afternoon. I stole the wine cork screw from the limo because I liked the logo on it. We ate dinner in the hotel but I acted like a drunk idiot. I was loud and obnoxious. We fought.

I was very hungover the next day and slept most of the drive back. Not the romantic weekend for which I hoped.

I remember walking into Weight Watchers and gained 2 pounds with my weigh in. I told her I went away for my anniversary. She said “well I hope it was worth it.”

Back then I said “hells yea!” Now I am not so sure.

Don’t mind me, I am just sober

Sobriety is not always easy. Now when I do something foolish, what is my excuse? I can’t say “oh I was just drunk” or “I am hungover and not thinking yet.” Is this what people mean about stopping the lies?

“Sorry. I am just a sober idiot.”

I hope not to do anything too foolish. At least, not as foolish as my drunk mistakes. So far I have been making small mistakes like missing an exit because I was daydreaming or forgetting to tell someone at work some information. I call them “brain farts.” Then I wonder how many brain cells died from booze?

I had an interesting conversation with a friend that he thinks drinking gives him a libido. I know drunk me was always a hornier me. I do feel my sex drive has decreased since I stopped drinking. But that might be from 1) the St John’s wort I started taking or 2) not meeting anyone that I desire yet. At least when I do meet someone, I will not embarrass myself with drunk debauchery.  I just might act like a tongue-tied teen. “Um… yea…hi…you want to… like… get coffee?” Maybe I will pass him or her a note and have them check yes or no.

My friend told me how I used to hit on him when I got blackout drunk. He and I used to be “friends with benefits” when we first met thirteen years ago. I used to pass out at his place frequently. I am not sure if we ever had sober sex back then? But he is now married, well, separated. I am friends with the wife. I have not been interested in him the past decade. Yet after his separation last year, I tried to kiss him. I tried to pull him on top of me sitting on the couch while his roommate, the guy I was seeing, was downstairs. I do not remember any of it.

The next morning,  he thanked me. He said it was a nice ego boost after his wife left him. He suggested he get a t-shirt “You know you have a drinking problem when you get so drunk you want sex with me.”

So hopefully even if I make dumb mistakes now, I pray none will be as bad as the ones I did drunk.

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Mistake # 85 – That friend, his roommate, and I were invited to an afternoon of wine and Jacuzzi time. Bad combination.

The host was an older man. He warned us he was gonna go in the hot tub all natural. I decided to do the same. My friends declined and wore bathing shorts.

The heat made that wine go to my head very quick. I remember having conversations in the Jacuzzi. Then I am a bit blurry about accepting a massage from the host. He had a massage table in his house in the living room.

My friends said it sounded like I was really enjoying that massage. Lots of moaning. They were both in the room during it. Then I invited the guy I was seeing to come massage me. This lead to me pulling him on the table with me. The host left the room. I did not seem to care that our other friend was in the room. He said he read a book and kept his eyes averted from us.

We did not have sex. I said something that made my guy start to laugh. He couldn’t stop laughing and had to get off the table. He was drunk too so doesn’t remember it. I don’t remember being on the table with him so I definitely do not remember what I said.

I thanked my friend the next day for not taking photos or video. Missing an exit on the highway can not compare to crazy things I used to do.

Brew Blues

I booked a flight to go to a reunion in June. Everyone just voted to have it at a brewery. And at one of my favorite breweries.

I am sort of excited to test my willpower but also worried I will fail. I will be four and half months sober by then. It will be nice to be able to handle being around alcohol one day. I just have to keep remembering that I CAN NOT DRINK! Not even one. No matter how tempting a glass of beer might be, some IPA could lead to DUI or STD or DEATH (eventually.)

And I really, really want a huge treat for one year sober. Since it will be next January,  I was starting to think of rewarding myself with a trip to Iceland to see the Northern Lights.

My brain has been having those inner battles again:

“Just one won’t hurt.”… “Who are you kidding? You won’t stop at one.”

“I can drink and not get drunk.”… “Really? You think you believe that? Why drink if that fuzzy buzz wasn’t the goal?”

“I can drink responsibly.”… “Well your arrest record would disagree with that.”

I know a lot of sober bloggers will refer to that bitch voice as Wolfie. I joined the 100 Day Challenge but have not actually read the story or meaning to Wolfie. I hope whoever that voice is, she is not joining me on my trip in June. Can I report her to TSA to keep her off the plane?

I took this photo for SoberLearning’s 120 days but did not get around to posting it. So here is a treat for you:

 

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Mistake # 71- I went to Tijuana, Mexico with a few friends. I was living in San Diego. I was 18 years old. Got drunk on tequila and Sex on the Beach. I met a guy who went to school with my friends. He was cute. We started making out.

The rest I was told next day: the guy and I were getting hot and heavy in the bar. I don’t remember. Cops came in and took us out. They said they were going to arrest us for indecent behaviour. I started crying and begging them not to arrest us. The guy gave the cop his watch. The cop said we were free to go but had to leave Mexico right away. The guy and I left and walked to the border. Our friends found us at the bus stop on the American side waiting for them. I was passed out on the bench. They had to drag me on the bus.

Waking up the next day in my bed with a hangover was better than waking up in Mexican jail.

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.

Straight Edge friend and party friends

I just woke up at 5pm. I am getting on my night shift ritual again. I had to take a melatonin to help get me to sleep. I am not sure if that is why I had such vivid dreams.

Like most dreams, they did not follow a logical sequence. But I remember what was happening in the dream right before my alarm went off. I met up with an old friend of mine. He is super tall. He bought two small beers for himself and then a large IPA for me. He drank half of a small beer and offered that to me as a joke. I laughed and reached for the large IPA. I could almost smell the beer as if it was real. I put it to my lips, was about to taste it, and changed my mind. I put it down. I told him “no, I quit drinking.” He was about to push for me to drink it when two women stepped in between us and started to whisper to him that he shouldn’t encourage me to drink because it was obvious I was an alcoholic. He tried to argue with them that he has known me a long time so knew I was no alcoholic. Then I noticed a serenity prayer sitting on my lap. I told him I had to go. I had to get to a meeting.

This meeting was a pot luck dinner meeting and I told myself I would try to make that one every night!

Odd thing about the person I picked to be in this dream forcing me to drink: he is “Straight Edge.” Meaning he does not drink any alcohol or do drugs out of choice. He is super healthy. We have never drank together and he never encouraged anyone to drink.

I decided against announcing I was 30 days sober on Facebook. I have said things like that in the past and got comments of “but why would you torture yourself?” or other discouraging things. I also realize most of the people on my Facebook friends list are only party friends or, at most, acquaintances. Maybe at 60 or 90 days sobriety I will make a status update viewable to a select few.

Last night, I did make a semi-annoucement on Facebook. I made a post complaining about my housemates. A few people commented about housemate issues. My one friend from Malaysia said I need to find housemates that will buy me beer. I replied “I quit drinking.” He responded that world it coming to an end and Jesus and the messiah are coming back.

These are the kind of jokes I expect from my party friends. If our relationship was bonded by booze, how do I expect them to relate to me now?

Mistake # 24- I first met my Malaysian friend two years ago at a bar via other friends. We got along great. We were drunk on beer. I was fascinated that he was a gay guy living in a Muslim country. I went back to visit him a few times in his city.

A few months later, he and his group of friends had a whole weekend of parties planned. I was in a nearby country and booked my flight to stop in Kuala Lumpur on my way to another country just to party. Friday night we got super drunk. I think I drank a couple of bottles of wine. I woke up at the foot of his bed with nothing but a blanket wrapped around me. Guess I was safe hanging out with a gay guy.

The next morning, I found one of my wine bottles full with a cork missing. I did not want the wine to go bad so I started to drink it. For breakfast. Eh… I was on vacation! This was okay. (But also common for me. I am used to working nights so that made it okay.) We went to lunch with a group of his friends. I drank two large beers. Then we went to Saturday’s party. It was a little outside of the city in a jungle with hot tubs. There I switched to Barcardi and Diet Coke. I carried my own large bottles of both. I ended up in the pool with a guy. I ended up topless. In a Muslim country! Yes it is more liberal than some middle eastern countries but I am pretty sure I could have ended up in jail for that. To this day, his friends remember me as the crazy American girl who showed her boobs.

Reinventing self

I started my new job today. Well, I restarted it after my first day was delayed due to mixed up paperwork. The day went well and I got along well with all my new coworkers. I realized, I could be a whole new person here. I could be someone to them that NEVER drank. I could create an image of a “good girl.”

Years ago, I learned my lesson of not mixing my social and work lives. I tried to avoid being a victim of workplace gossip. I used to say it was because I was not judgemental like the uptight staff. Actually, I was worried about them judging me and my drinking.

Before learning to separate business and pleasure, I used to go to happy hour after a shift with coworkers. At 8am. We worked nights. We knew of the two breakfast places that had happy hour from 7am to 9am. Bloody marys, screwdrivers, and other breakfast juices with booze. Two for the price of one. It was a great deal and great way to blow of steam after a stressful night of work.

I will have to developed other ways to bond.

Mistake # 21: A couple years ago, I went out with two young women from work. We were all new to the area and job. We all met up at my place. We took a taxi to some local bars. A guy I slightly knew texted me. Even though I was not interested in him, I invited him to join us. The night turned into the four of us drinking and talking and having fun. I think.

I woke up the next day in my bed wearing only my shirt and underwear. I was hungover and not remembering most of the night. The two women from work slept in my living room. When I asked what happened, they did not believe I could not recall what I did.  They said I was making out with the guy that joined us. Then he tried to come home with us but they refused to let him. They kept saying “I can’t believe you don’t remember any of this?” Blackouts were a foreign concept to them. When I got to my apartment, I stripped off my jeans as soon as I got in the door without closing it. Then I stumbled to my bedroom and passed out. They had to lock up my place.

I am not sure if they told anyone at work about my behaviour. They barely talked to me anymore. All three of us were temporary employees and went our separate ways after a few months. Being a temporary employee made reinventing myself easy.

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I started a blog earlier today. Then I saved the draft while I read my journal to find a mistake to post for today. I was reading my journal from the summer of 2012. I decided to change my blog to be appropriate for the holiday.

As usual, there are a lot of entries stating I needed to quit drinking. It seems as the years went on, I said this more often. I kept noting things about my life I wanted to change.  I listed things I wanted to improve. But that summer I expressed fear.

I was single and was having too many drunken, one night stands. Sometimes I would wake up and not know if I had sex. It was always an awkward conversation or text message. And my bigger question was “did we use a condom?”

Then I had sex with a good friend that summer. I am not listing that as a mistake because I had a crush on him for years. But I do wish I remember it. He said I started to seduce him in a hot tub. I blamed the heat on increasing my intoxication. He voiced concern about my drinking.  He told me it was dangerous to get that drunk.  Do I always use condoms? I honestly told him I was not sure.

I got an AIDS test shortly after that.  It was negative. I have the results in my journal.

I had a few drinking breaks after that. But once the heavy drinking started again, I started having unknown sex again.

I was tested again a year later for everything. Thankfully, I was negative for all. I’ve been careful since then mostly because I have not been in any situations to put me at risk.

I am lucky. I read up a lot about STD rates in the United States. I have friends that tell me “no big deal” because they were unlucky to have caught something.

Mistake # 17- I had a date with a guy I met online. He was okay. He drove me home after dinner and drinks. Somehow I invited him in to watch a movie. We drank a lot of beers. He said he could not drive home.  I told him he could stay on the couch. I kept drinking. And drinking. I had a nice stocked liquor cabinet for when I ran out of beers.
I went to pass out in my bed. Not sure how he ended up in my bed. I do remember insisting he use a condom. And then sometime during sex, he pulled it off. I was too drunk to stop him. I cried. He finished and I cried myself to sleep.

The next morning, he apologized before he left. He promised he had no diseases. He claimed he would get AIDS tested to prove it to me. I texted him weekly asking for the results. He never responded. Two months later I texted him a lie and said I had herpes and I got it from him. He finally replied that I must have got it from someone else. Then he kept trying to call. I wouldn’t answer. Hope I put some fear into him.