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.


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.


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.



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.

Get Healthy: take 2

I was silly to try to start a “diet” a week before going to see friends. Especially with a kid in the car. Now I know I can not tell another woman how to raise her kid, but my imaginary offspring would only eat veggie snacks, milk and water.

Thankfully my friend was stern enough not to let me drink soda. I told her how I almost got weak in a store on Friday by myself. I picked up a Vanilla Coke and told myself “at least it isn’t diet” but then put it back and grabbed water. I also grabbed some energy flavor stuff to add to my water that is supposed to repress my appetite. Not wonderful stuff since it is chemicals but maybe helpful to steer me from my diet soda and sugar addiction.

And all weekend, I did not bother to question what I ate. Tacos. Pizza. Hashbrowns. Lots of sugar in my coffee. My friend offered me stevia instead of sugar but I thought it tasted like medicine. I really just need to wean off sugar. Maybe even learn to drink coffee black.


I went to a women’s AA meeting last night. I enjoyed it. Three women spoke about their stories of 20, 24, and 30 years sobriety. That just seems so long. I was inspired but also a bit sad. Will I ever be able to celebrate 20 years? 10? 5 even? Sometimes I get so scared of the thought of drinking but it seems a life of longterm sobriety is as possible as finding Narnia.

I think I will start going to more meetings. I liked that a few women talked to me last night but did not pressure me. I feel I am in pre-AA. I feel I am training. Prepping. I want to stay sober but I am not ready for a home group or sponsor. I want to wait until after I move this August to a more permanent home. I will invest in AA then. I sort of wish there was a website to find a perfect sponsor for me. Like instead of eHarmony. OKSobriety.

Sobriety means a change in lifestyle. Getting healthy is a change in lifestyle. Part of me wants to move to Saudi Arabia. Maybe that is the change I need.

Mistake # 98- Two years ago, I was visiting a foreign city. I got drunk at a bar with friends. Made out with a guy I called Player. I wasted the whole next day sleeping off my hangover. I did not get to see any sites. That night, my friend had a party. Player and I made out again in a corner but I do not remember. At a party the next night, I had sex with Player. Then I found out he had a girlfriend. She was out of town that weekend. I was upset but I did not remember the sex. I just figured it didn’t matter. But I did get drunk and sent him many nasty texts.
When I returned to that city again, I avoided seeing Player again.

The What Ifs

Being back in my old hometown made me think of where my life has gone since I left.  It made me start to contemplate how my life would be different if I stayed. I wondered about the “what ifs”. What if I never got that first DUI? What if I never lost my driver’s license? What I never got divorced? Would I have stayed here if none of that happened?

I tried to ask my friends these questions at dinner last Thursday. “I wonder where my life would be if I still lived here. Think I would be married again?”
Maybe, but that doesn’t mean I would be happy.

“Think I would have become a mom?”
Maybe, but I might have been one of those women who regretted it and blamed my children for missing opportunities.

“Think I would have turned into the world traveler I became?”
Doubtful. Even with raises, I might be making less money if I stayed here than I do currently. I might not have been influenced to travel.

“Think I would have gotten more DUIs?”
Most likely. I might have even lost my job. Or I might have killed myself or someone else with my drinking.

Or maybe I would have slowed down my drinking. When I moved away, I moved to a city with good public transportation, cheap taxis and many bars within walking distance. My partying was accelerated. Back then, I still blamed my DUI on bad planning.

The second DUI five years later was a wake up call. Or at least a whisper. I went sober for 2 months. Then I tried to control my drinking. Soon, I did not see the point in controlling. I did not value my life. I lived to have fun. I wanted to do anything to avoid boredom. I thought being the party girl would bring me happiness.

Today, before flying home, I stopped to visit my old job. They moved to a new building. I only knew three of the seven people there today. They asked about where I am living now and about my travels. I brought up the “what if” questions to them. I was told that they think deep down, I was meant to break out of here. They don’t think I would have found happiness if I stayed. It made me feel good. I felt they validated my nomadic ways.

But it got me thinking I can not look back on what if I never got my DUIs or if none of my drinking mistakes happened. It was a messy, bumpy road that brought me to this sober place I am in now. I can not even think “what if I relapse?” I can just pick up this journey from here and continue. I can learn (finally!) from all my mistakes. I can work to avoid them again. And I can remind myself the best way to do that is not to pick up that first drink.


Mistake # 97 -I met up with a gay friend at a bar. The plan was to have a few drinks and then I was going shopping. But after a few drinks, I decided the shopping could wait. I mentioned to my friend I have not seen a drag show in this city. So he took me to one. Then we went to a few other gay bars that were all within walking distance from each other. He was giving me a tour of sorts. I was drinking a lot of rum and Diet Coke that night.

We ended up at a bar that he frequents and he started to order us some shots. I remember we met a guy. My friend was interested in this guy. So I tried to play wing-woman. When they announced last call, we invited this guy back to my friend’s apartment. I guess I was planning to crash on the couch. I do not remember much about once we got to the apartment except this guy was new to town and we talked a lot about the hassle of moving. But he must have gotten tired or just tired of my friend and I slurring our speech. He left. And I remember my gay friend saying something about even though he is gay, he still has sex with women.

I woke up in his bed. I do not remember the sex. We both sort of pretended nothing happened. Neither of us ever spoke of that night. I have had sex with friends before but he is the only gay friend I have done. He has actually avoided seeing me ever since that night even though we were both traveling in the same cities at the same time. I never thought I would kill a friendship with a gay guy via sex.

Nepali New Year

I love celebrating different new years from different cultures. I feel it gives me a lot of new chances to start over. While Nepal has a lot of different ethnicities and 9 different New Years, Baishakh 1st is the national New Year celebration. April 14, 2014 in the Western calendar coincides with Nepali New Year 2071. When I googled how do the Nepalese celebrate it, I found:

People make new resolutions this day. Students plan their study schedule for the year. People exchange gifts and greeting cards.

Not getting trashed and drunk which is how I usually spend my New Years.

I was lucky enough to celebrate it last year in Bhaktapur, Nepal. The celebration there starts with Bisket Jatra. I watched parades, chariot races and families picnicking. They raise a tall pole and the New Year starts when it is pulled down. I was too drunk by the time it came down. I spent the whole evening drinking.



one of the large chariots for the tug of war


locals on a chariot



I arrived in Nepal with plans to abstain from alcohol in hopes I would lose weight over my three-week stay. I abandon that plan in order to celebrate New Years. I decided to celebrate an Eastern holiday with Western traditions?


I have done a lot of travel, but Nepal was one of my favorite countries. I would love to return and hike to the Everest Base Camp. Just the base camp. I am not a mountaineer. I did a three-day trek along the Annapurna circuit to Poon Hill. It was beautiful!

one of the mountains in the Annapurna range

one of the mountains in the Annapurna range

I got very drunk the night before I went on the hike. I forgot about that until now. I met up with a friend of mine from the United States. He just happened to be traveling Nepal and we were both in Pokhara at the same time. We started drinking at lunch. Then at happy hour. I kept meaning to end the night early but the intoxication of beer kept me going. We got very drunk and he ended up in my bed.

I was embarrassed the next morning when my trekking guide was knocking on my door at 7am.  I think the guide was embarrassed when he noticed a guy in my room. I told him to give me 10 minutes. I still needed to pack! I was running around my guesthouse room, nude, and trying to pack for a three-day trek. My friend laughed as he helped. The 10 minutes was more like half an hour. We got a late start on the hike. We drove to the start of the trail. (The car he hired was mad about the wait.) I was dreading that day because it was all uphill and I was hungover.

I did not drink during the hike up because I was worried about my performance and endurance. But I ordered beers at the tea houses on the way back down to Pokhara. We arrived in a town and rested before getting the bus back to Pokhara. I ordered some snacks and a beer. I was taking photos of the scenes in the street and people. There was a little girl with curly hair that kept looking at me. I thought she was very cute. Then a little boy walked over and started to talk to me. His English was very good.


I think he said he was 11 years old. I remember he said he wanted to be a doctor when he grew up. I told him that was a very good decision. Then he told me I should not be drinking beer. He said “bad people drink beer and smoke cigarettes.” I told him I do not smoke. He said “okay, well, you should not drink beer also. Promise me you will not drink beer no more.” I laughed and told the kid “I am sorry, but I can not make that promise.” He seemed upset.

It is sad that I could not make a promise like that. Maybe I can find that kid next time I go back to Nepal.

I got drunk with my friend when I got back to Pokhara. We hung out with some people he met while I was on my trek. He left us early and I spent the rest of the night with these new people. I was supposed to leave the next morning on a 7am bus to Lumbini. I missed it. I was able to find an overnight bus leaving that evening. I did not sleep well on that bus because I spent the night pushing off roving hands from an Indian guy sitting next to me. He kept trying to put his hand between my legs or on my breasts. I had to keep moving them. I regretted not keeping my nail file with me. I would have been safer on the 7am bus.

Realizing it is Nepali New Year today brings back many great memories of my trip there but also drunk stupidity.

May you embrace the start of a new year and whatever resolutions you care to make!


Mistake # 83- While in Bhaktapur, I met up with a local guy from a travel website. He offered to show me around. A local guide is always a plus but truthfully, I did not want to be alone for the festival. I remember being surprised that this guy’s eyes were a very light brown. I asked him if he was mixed with another race. He said a lot of people ask him that but no, he is full Nepali.

We walked around while he told me some history and stories. He also told me about his wife in Europe. They were waiting for his visa so he could join her. They met while she was traveling in Nepal and fell in love. It sounded beautiful and quick. I was a bit skeptical. I enjoyed the company regardless.

He took me to non-tourist bars. Little, tiny, places. Literally hole-in-the walls. I loved it. I drank and drank. I kept toasting to him “HAPPY NEW YEAR!”

I was locked out of my guesthouse by the time I got back. I was mad because even though I knew the guesthouse had a midnight lock time, I specifically asked if they would keep it open later due to the holiday. The owner told me yes. But the security guard fell asleep.

I banged a lot on the door. On the windows. I yelled “WAKE UP!” I threw rocks at upper windows hoping other guests would go down and wake up the guard. I was a drunk, selfish asshole. The local guy I was with kept trying to get me to quiet down.

The guard finally woke up. He let us in. The local guy ended up coming to my room with me. We had crappy, semi-sex. We were both too drunk. The next morning, he helped me find a taxi I needed to get back to Kathmandu. I did not want to look him in his beautiful eyes. I felt so ashamed.

He emailed me a few months ago. He asked if I had plans to return to Nepal. I guess his visa to join his wife never came through.

Just Leave

I have new housemates. I found out when I heard the person moving in. Their voices woke me up. (I work night shift so I sleep all day.) I went to the kitchen to fill my electric tea kettle and I met two people moving in bags. They were helping whoever this new housemate will be. I still have not met the housemate.

I am pissed. My landlord told me the other day she will let me know when the name of whoever moves in. But she did not warn me. She did not tell me she was even showing the house! Whoever this person is better be quiet during the day Saturday so I can sleep. I agreed to work overtime that night.

So I am reacting as I usually do: I am leaving. I had some argumentative text messages back in forth with my landlord telling her how unprofessional and rude this is to the tenants. I even threatened her that it is not legal to bring people into the home without telling the current tenants. She responded that I am only renting a room in her home with priviledges of the common area so she can show people the house whenever she wants. I still feel I have the legal right on my side. But there is no lease. Just a verbal agreement. And I do not feel like fighing. Since I am paid up until the end of May, I will stay until then. My job contract, as of now, ends June 28. So I need to find a place to live for the last month in this area. I think I will like to live closer to the city.

I have been watching  House of Cards a lot lately. I am loving this show. I just started season 2. I realize that “just leave” seems to be my answer to a lot of life problems. I want to tell some of the characters on the show to just move away. Start over. It has worked for me the past 10 years. I move every couple of months to new cities and towns. I work temporary contracts where I can find them. I love the flexiblity of it and the chance to experience so many parts of this country. I travel to other countries inbetween jobs. It also gives me a chance to reinvent myself.

I have friends all over the world. Most of those people know me as “party girl.” That was how we met. I feel they will be the hardest to convince I need to stop drinking. The only image they know of me is with a bottle or glass in my hand. They associate me with travel and intoxication. But my close friends, the ones I knew before I was nomadic or I got to know outside of the bar illusions, are the ones that I feel will be most supportive. If anyone does not support my sobriety, I will just leave that relationship behind.



Mistake # 80- I had one night in Tokyo. I had a friend that lived there that was going to show me what she could in one night. She made plans for us to have sushi and saki with her girlfriend and friend. After plenty of saki, we decided to do karaoke.

It was a fun night until her girlfriend started to get quarrelsome. When my friend and I met, she was on vacation to the US. I was her holiday fling. We stayed in touch but this new girlfriend was jealous. When she began to get mean, my friend decided to take her home. I still wanted to party. But I did not want to spend the night listening to the insults so I agreed to go back to my hotel.

As they were walking me to the subway stop, we ran into their male friend and his boyfriend. Those two were celebrating their anniversary. She introduced me and said it was a shame I had to end my Tokyo night so early. The guys invited me to join their celebration.

I spent the rest of the night in gay bars with the two guys. I kept drinking Asahi and any other Japanese beer I could try. We sang karaoke at a few places. The one guy was Japanese and spoke no English. The other was Australian and was the translator for me and the boyfriend all night.

I woke up on their couch. The Aussie guy woke me up so I could get a taxi back to my hotel. I had to grab my bag and get to the airport. I still felt drunk as he walked me to the taxi stand. He told me the night before, I kept opening the taxi door to take photos of the flowers. It was upsetting the taxi driver. He laughed and warned me not to upset this taxi driver. “Taking photos of flowers? Did I use the flash?” No need. It was daytime by the time we left the bars. I guess Tokyo has no closing time? One of the photos from my camera:


I had enough time to grab my bag, check out, and take the taxi to the train. Wasted $180 on a room in which I spent 10 minutes. The train to the airport served beer. The beer was cheaper than coffee. So I drank beers. I drank at the aiport. I wanted to be drunk for that long flight home. ImageI am still in touch with the Aussie guy. He is always asking for a drunk Skype date. Of course, that would mean one of us was drunk in the daytime. That was usual for me before I decided to go sober. He always tells me my couch is available whenever I come back to Toyko. Would he still be offering it if I tell him I quit drinking?


Not Normal

Sometimes, I hate not being normal. Or more that I wish people stop believing in “normal”.

I hate not believing in TGIF cause I never worked a Monday to Friday job. Weekends are just another day of the week to me. I hate that more things aren’t open 24 hours because that would work well with my night shift job. I hate that my gym closes early on Saturdays and Sundays. I guess no one wants to work out when they can spend their weekend in a bar.

I think I have always tried to be different because it was easier than trying to be normal. So being the rebel who abstains from drinking should come naturally for me.

Yesterday, I was woken up early by voices in the house. I am renting a room and until now, there is only one other housemate. The landlord was going to show the house for prospective renters for the empty room. I was annoyed she did not call or text me a warning. I walked into the kitchen and grumbled “good morning” at 4 pm.

She laughed “oh still sleeping?”

I told her yes because I worked last night and work tonight. I then told her I would appreciate it if she told me when she was bringing people to look at the house. I might be in the shower or sleeping. She told me she will let me know the name of whoever rents. I hope she warns any new tenants that I sleep during the day. I would appreciate the house to stay quiet like it has the past two months. I do not have a normal schedule. I will move elsewhere to accommodate my abnormality.

I watched When a Man Loves a Woman. I can not believe I never saw the whole thing. I remember seeing the beginning with my mom. Maybe I got bored with it? Maybe she changed the channel?

I cried a little. I related a lot to Meg Ryan’s character. Her drunk and fun side. Her drunk and sad side. Fighting with those who loved her. Forgetting promises. Letting people down. Promising to drink less and then getting drunk. I remember waiting until night to take all my beer and wine bottles to the recycling. I would borrow a cart from the doorman to cart boxes of my bottles to the bin. She would wrap hers up in newspaper.

I also thought I am glad I never had kids. I have friends that said having babies made them cut back on drinking and partying. I would not have stopped. My journal entry April 19, 2007- “I think I am so bad that even being pregnant wouldn’t stop me from drinking.” I would have ruined more lives. I have many reasons why I choose not to have children. But gonna add this to the list.

I always felt not normal for not wanting kids. But maybe normal is overrated.

Mistake # 79- I was drunk at home on a Thursday night. I was scanning an online dating website. I started chatting with a Kiwi guy. I invited him over. He lived an hour away but he drove to my place.

He was very cute. I thought he looked like Jason Statham. We drank. We had sex. The next morning, he called out sick to work. I had the day off.

I made mimosas when we woke up the next day. We decided to go out for more when they ran out. I was living downtown and walking distance to many bars. We walked to an Irish pub. We were disappointed they did not have a breakfast or brunch menu. I forget what I ordered but I remember he insisted on eggs. I remember he paid extra to have something not on the menu.

He also ordered us shots that he said were from New Zealand. I think they were called “Wolf Pussies”? They were creamy and good. I think butterschnapps and Jaeger was in them? Since they were something he had to specially order, they cost a lot too. And we had 4 or 5 each. Plus a lot of mimosas. The bill for everything came to $150.

We went back to my place. More drinking. More sex. We started to call the day “Downtown Drunk Day.” We joked that we should do this every year.

We “dated” for a few weeks. But our dates involved him coming to my place, getting drunk together, and having lots of sex.

The one day, he couldn’t come over because he was going to a movie with a friend. That friend turned out to be another woman from the dating site I met him on. He said he wanted to try something serious with her. I was too much of a party girl. He wanted someone that wanted to settle down.

I told myself I was too much fun for him. But it seems, I was not normal enough for him.

Saving My Life

I drove home early this morning from my friend’s house. I was listening to my Google Play mix on my phone. Fray’s song “How to Save a Life” came on. I love this song. It always reminds me of Grey’s Anatomy. But for the first time, I started to listen to the lyrics in a different way. I started to think “this sounds like it is about an intervention?”

The first lines:

Step one, you say, “We need to talk.”
He walks, you say, “Sit down. It’s just a talk.”

As I listened, I started to picture someone trying to help a friend get sober. It mentions fear and blame and defense. “Lay down a list of what is wrong…The things you’ve told him all along.” I started crying by the time I got to the lyrics:

He will do one of two things
He will admit to everything
Or he’ll say he’s just not the same
And you’ll begin to wonder why you came

I listened to the song on repeat several times and kept crying as I drove. Why have I never heard the lyrics this way before?

I read up about the meaning of the song once I got home. Isaac Slade, the songwriter, said the song was composed and influenced by his experience while working as a mentor at a camp for troubled teens. He said a lot of people started to write to him what they thought the song meant. The band was open to interpretation of the meaning. I do not think I will ever hear it again without comparing it to saving my own life with sobriety.

Mistake # 76 – I was on spring break and vacation from work. I was not getting along with my roommate. I was depressed. My plan was to drink a case of beer with sleeping pills. I actually stopped at the store to buy a garden hose. The full plan was to drive out in the country side, put the hose in the tailpipe of my car and through my window, drink the beer, and take the pills. I figured the combination would be the best option. But I got so depressed, I did not even want to drive anywhere.

It was a Tuesday night.  Since I did not have to be at work until Monday, I thought no one would notice until then. I pushed a bunch of boxes and heavy things to block my door. I did not want my roommate to barge in and ruin it. I laid in my bed taking pills and drinking. I had a cooler in my room to keep the beer cold. Not sure why I did not want warm beer for suicide. I kept popping a pill or two with each beer. I do not remember if I was watching movies or listening to music during the process. I do remember pouring more pills into my hand when the bottle spilled. All the pills fell  out on my bed and some on the floor. At that point I fell asleep. Or passed out. It was more from the pills than the booze.

But I was woken up sometime late Wednesday with a phone call. I forgot to turn off my phone. It was a friend asking me if I wanted to go to the club. I told her I was not feeling good. She offered to come by with chicken noodle soup and Gatorade. Damn. There goes my plans to search for the spilt pills and try again. I told her she did not have to but she came over anyway. When she knocked on my bedroom door, I dragged myself from bed to move everything blocking the door. She and her girlfriend came in with hot soup and electrolytes. They said I looked like shit. My friend put her hand to my head. “You are burning up!” She got a thermometer from the bathroom. I had a fever of 104. She walked out to the living room to tell my roommate and her boyfriend “Did you know she is burning up in here? They told her to give me Tylenol. “She’ll live.” They showed no concern.

Instead, my friend and her girlfriend got me dressed and took me to the emergency room. They dropped me off and went to the club. I was dehydrated and developed bronchitis. I guess that was from the sleeping pills slowing down my respiratory system. They gave me some IV fluids and antibiotics. I called another friend to pick me up. I did not want to deal with my roommate. That friend let me recover at her house. I returned home on Sunday night to find a note on my door telling me I had a week to move out.

How to Save a Life Lyrics:

“How To Save A Life”

Step one, you say, “We need to talk.”
He walks, you say, “Sit down. It’s just a talk.”
He smiles politely back at you
You stare politely right on through
Some sort of window to your right
As he goes left and you stay right
Between the lines of fear and blame
You begin to wonder why you cameWhere did I go wrong? I lost a friend
Somewhere along in the bitterness
And I would have stayed up with you all night
Had I known how to save a lifeLet him know that you know best
‘Cause after all you do know best
Try to slip past his defence
Without granting innocence
Lay down a list of what is wrong
The things you’ve told him all along
Pray to God, he hears you
And I pray to God, he hears you

And where did I go wrong? I lost a friend
Somewhere along in the bitterness
And I would have stayed up with you all night
Had I known how to save a life

As he begins to raise his voice
You lower yours and grant him one last choice
Drive until you lose the road
Or break with the ones you’ve followed
He will do one of two things
He will admit to everything
Or he’ll say he’s just not the same
And you’ll begin to wonder why you came

Where did I go wrong? I lost a friend
Somewhere along in the bitterness
And I would have stayed up with you all night
Had I known how to save a life

Where did I go wrong? I lost a friend
Somewhere along in the bitterness
And I would have stayed up with you all night
Had I known how to save a life

How to save a life

How to save a life

Where did I go wrong? I lost a friend
Somewhere along in the bitterness
And I would have stayed up with you all night
Had I known how to save a life

Where did I go wrong? I lost a friend
Somewhere along in the bitterness
And I would have stayed up with you all night
Had I known how to save a life
How to save a life

How to save a life


I get by with a little help from my friends…

Before I arrived at my friend’s,  I emailed her asking if she wanted to go for a hike this weekend. She responded “maybe we can go to the wineries so you can pick up some bottles to take home.” We did that last time I was here in 2008. I bought about 13 bottles in one day. I told her “I quit drinking but we can go and I will drive. I can pick up a bottle for my mom for mothers day.” 

She repsonded “oh didn’t know that. We will figure something out.”

I was nervous. She and I were great drinking buddies when we met 14 years ago. We lived in the same city for 3 years and most of our relationship was bars and clubs. Yet we managed to develop a real friendship. But was the foundation of that still booze? When I visited her five years ago, we spent one night grilling, talking of old times, and drank a case of beer. Could we catch up drinking tea or coffee?

When I got here, she offered me water. We sat on the couch talking. I avoided the topic of my sobriety. But then she asked about me and a guy. “What happened with that?”

“Oh I got drunk, yelled at him, and it just sort of ended.” Then I explained about that drunk weekend and my relationship with him. I was planning to move to his city. Due to my drinking problems, I can not get the job I was planning to get. After that drunk fight and without a job, I canceled moving there. That lead to me discussing why I went sober.

She listened. She nodded. I told her I was blogging about my drunk mistakes. She remembers some of my stupid, drunken nights. She said she had to carry me home many times.

She also started sharing with me stories of her mom. Her mom has been sober 30-some years. She has been in AA that long. My friend grew up in an AA family. She used to go to retreats and on AA camping trips as a kid. She laughed “I probably know more about it than you do.” It is true. She even did a book report about Bill W because AA books were all she had in her house as a kid.

She asked for my blog’s web address. I hesitated. She said “oh, I guess it is easier to be open and honest if your real friends don’t read it?” I was happy and shocked by her understanding. I told her maybe after a year, I will share it with a few, supportive friends. She agreed that would be best.

We went to a casino to see a comedy show. I was worried if I could have fun there without drinking. Instead, they gave me complimentary free sodas and I won $25 on slots! I laughed that before sobriety, I would have calculated how many drinks I could get with my winnings. Now I am thinking how much gas that will buy.

The next day, we had lunch and went antiquing. We had a blast. She has a fear of clowns and old dolls. We found one with a creepy sign. We laughed the rest of the day about it.

We walked along the river and around the town. Our conversations were sprinkled with talk of my drinking problem. My friend, who used to drink Budweiser like water, said she might have two beers after work now. She can not remember last time she got drunk. She said she went from 21 to 80. She is “boring” and more into gardening than parties.

I tried to encourage her to order a beer with dinner. It was her birthday a few days ago. “Go ahead! Celebrate!” She said she never drinks before 7pm. She also never drinks around her mom. She said even if her mom can handle being around alcohol after 30 years, she thinks it would be disrespectful. My friend did not drink any alcohol around me all weekend.

She said she would be most worried about me being around some of my friends. Would I be strong enough to stay sober around “club friends”? I told her as long as I have enough good, supportive friends like her, I can do this.

Mistake # 75 – I was at my friend’s house after a night of the bars. I was downstairs with her friend we called Crazy Hair. My friend went to bed upstairs. Crazy Hair and I kept drinking. Somehow, we ended up having sex in the kitchen. I remember bits of it. My friend upstairs heard all of it.

I woke up on the couch and Crazy Hair was sleeping on a chair. We did the awkward “morning” greetings. She left.
My friend came down to make me coffee and try to ask questions. I was embarrassed and did not really have answers. My friend told me Crazy Hair had a girlfriend away at college. That made me feel more guilty.

I continued to see Crazy Hair around at bars and clubs. She would flirt with me when the girlfriend was not in town. I never told anyone else about the kitchen sex. I began to develop a crush on Crazy Hair. So I finally told one friend. That friend got drunk and asked Crazy Hair about the kitchen. Crazy Hair denied it.

I was hurt. I told the friend “it happened! You can even ask so-and-so cause she heard it all!”

It took me years to realize Crazy Hair was an alcoholic. She started stealing booze from people’s houses. She had 3 DUIs within a few years. She was 27 and needed help. She most likely denied the kitchen sex because she did not remember it.

When she got worse, we all cut her out of our lives. Her family kicked her out. I last heard she moved to NYC to be a bartender. That was more than 10 years ago. I hope she got sober. If not, I doubt she is still alive.

Quick and Easy

I worked with a woman last night that annoyed me. I should have realized it upon our first encounter but I like to try to give people the benefit of the doubt.

Throughout the shift, I was talking with another coworker about my travels and scuba diving stories. This other woman, who admitted she is scared of public transportation, kept telling me I am crazy and insane. “Oh my GOD if I saw a shark, I would just DIE! Not even shit myself. I would just DIE!” I told her I doubt she would see the shark because I doubt she could even get past the basic skills for scuba diving with that attitude. But when I mentioned any other places I visited, she said “oh I would NEVER do that! Why on earth would you go there?” I know not everyone understands why I love travel so much and the way I travel, but I felt insulted by her reactions. As if since she would not do the same, there was something wrong with someone else wanting to do it.

She was also loud. And she got mad when she thought my clients were listening in on her stories. I think people 3 floors down could listen to her stories.

I know. I should not judge nor allow her to bother me. I just really hope I do not have to work with her again over the next 3 months when I finish this contract. But next time, I plan to ask her to lower her voice.

Our first encounter was in the break room at the coffee machines. We have a Keurig machine and regular coffee pot in there. She entered and complained that no one made a pot of coffee. She was about to return to the main room to ask someone (rather than ask me) when I offered to make her a pot. “Oh you know how?” I guess she did not expect the new girl to know. So I made a pot and I showed her how. She said she doubts she will remember that next time she is here. (She only works here a few times a month.)  I felt she was lazy.

I mentioned that I do not like Keurig pods. She asked if the reason is due to the cost of them. I said “the cost. The waste. Many reasons.” She proceeded to tell me how they are great for single people like herself who only want a cup of coffee rather than making a whole pot. They are convenient. I did not go into a lecture of the waste of plastic nor the risks of the plastic seeping into the cup of coffee and causing cancer. Nor that using the pods is equal to spending $50 per pound of coffee. Again I thought she was lazy. How hard is it to make 1 or 2 cups in a pot of coffee? I just smiled, poured myself a cup, and thought of how society usually prefers quick and easy in so many areas of life.

And it got me thinking of my sobriety. How I want to just have more sober time. How I want to just get over this alcoholic thing. How I want to stop thinking of my problem finally. I want the convenience of not having an addiction. I want a quick and easy solution to this alcoholism.

*pause… went to an AA meeting…*

The first half hour of this meeting, I was bored. The meeting started with a guy saying he did the steps, he is having a rough time now, but he does not want to go through the steps again. The first few speakers talked about “work the steps” and the typical sayings I hear that suggest “do what we say or you will fail.” But then a guy started to speak about taking time to do the steps. And another guy said he has been sober 16 years and has not done all the steps yet. One guy said how back in the 1970s, people he met in AA were hardasses that shoved the steps down your throats. Now he thinks society is too much looking for a quick and easy fix so he suggests taking it slow. Just stay sober today. Another guy said he suggests the first step for the first year and then worry about the rest. He did not even have a sponsor for a year. I was so happy and amazed how the topic seemed to switch to WHAT MY BLOG was about today!

I left feeling good. Better than most of the meetings leave me feeling. I do not feel guilty for not going to daily meetings nor rushing to get a sponsor. There was one woman at the meeting and she gave me her number. She asked me if I had a sponsor and I said “not yet.” She replied “still feeling your way around and getting to know people?” I smiled and said “exactly.” She was the first woman who I felt did not pressure me. I told her how difficult it was to get to meetings because of my work schedule. She said she understood. She told me to give her a call if I ever wanted to go to a meeting together. Wow. Usually the women give me their number and say call if I need to talk and I always think “I have friends to call if I need to talk.” This woman was offering what I started going to meetings for: socializing support.

While I still need to work at staying sober, I need to stop rushing it. Sobriety is not fast food.

That crap is bad for you anyway.


Mistake # 72- I have a history of rushing relationships. I always said it was because I move around so much. I do not have the time to “take things slow” because I am never in one place long enough. But maybe my alcoholism rushed the relationships? Maybe I have always tried to do everything quick and easy?

This was from my journal July 2006 after dating a guy for 3 weeks. I will refer to him as Tall Boyfriend.


Last night I went to [Tall Boyfriend]’s friends BBQ. It was fun. We drank and hung out talking. I got along with everyone. Then [Tall Boyfriend] was feeling antsy to go to bars. I don’t understand the need to go out and pay for alcohol when we had tons of it there? I was comfortable and would have rather just stayed at the house. But instead of large group of us went to some bars. First place was a bit pricey. We all had one drink and then left to another of [Tall Boyfriend]’s hangouts. It was fun. At least I thought so. I took LOADS of photos of me and his friends. But… turns out I flashed the bar at one point. It apparently pissed off his friend. I didn’t realise this until he told me this morning. I asked him why she was pissed. He waited a bit before answering and said “oh I think just because she wasn’t center of attention.” But he seemed to be acting different today. Last night, he didn’t put his arms around me nor his legs over mine while sleeping like he usually does. I asked him this morning if he slept well, and he said “yes, and I know you definitely slept well!” He said I was trashed last night. Yes, I was, but I’ve been worse. The night he met me I was worse! So today we sat in his place while he played online and I did the dishes. I left my car at his friend’s place. My glasses were in my car. I took out my contacts during the night to avoid sleeping with them. So I was blind hanging out at his place. I just felt he was distant. Then when I asked him what time we are going to the marina to watch the fireworks, he tells me after 8 because he has a BBQ to go to that was RSVP only and he was invited before he met me so I can’t go with him. Sounds reasonable. But why didn’t he tell me about this BBQ when I asked him the other day if we were gonna spend the 4th together? To me it sounds like it was someone who was out with us last night and doesn’t want me there. So I feel I have already screwed up by making some of his friends not like me.

We went to his car to take me to mine, but his starter wasn’t turning over. So he got me a cab. He gave me a $20. I told him I felt like a cheap prostitute. I got the cab to my car. Got my glasses. And came home.

Work called and left a voice mail asking me to come work extra tonight. I texted [Tall Boyfriend] to tell him I might go in to give him time away from me before I annoy him too much. His reply was “That’s up to you. I know it sux this bbq was rsvp. what time would you go in.”

I replied back with just “11pm” That was 30 min ago and still no reply from him.

So he went from telling me the other day he was falling for me to pushing me away because… I’m not sure why. Because I flashed the bar and pissed off one of his friends?

I did not see my constant getting trashed nor rushing things as a problem back then. Flashing bars was normal?