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.

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.

And memories keep resurfacing…

Sometimes, I get worried I will not remember 365 mistakes. Then other days, I feel I will have no problem coming up with one daily. It is amazing how one little thing will trigger a new regret.

“Oh wow, I forgot about that night.”

A month ago, I slacked in daily blogging and coming up with mistakes. I was busy with finishing my online class. I returned to those entries and filled in daily mistakes. During those days of not blogging, I felt a little struggle at times. Thoughts of “drinking in moderation one day” started to seep in my mind.  Once I returned to daily posts again, those thoughts were pushed away. Sober blogging has helped me so much more than any AA meeting could.

Mistake 185- I mentioned my husband’s friend Alaska yesterday and the time I cheated on my husband by kissing another guy while partying with this friend. After I separated from my husband, Alaska invited me over one night. The memories of the evening are foggy. I was drunk when I drove over there. I remember being impressed he drank good beer. We drank lots of it. He started to tell me how he was always interested in me and my husband was dumb to let me go.  I remember we had sex on the rug. And I remember him begging me not to tell my husband. I laughed. Why would I tell my estranged husband I just fucked one of his closest friends? I don’t think I stayed there. We were worried my husband would see my car out front. I was drunk still when I drove back to wherever I was starting at the time. 
I remember mixed emotions afterwards. I felt shame. And triumphant. I felt like it was revenge against my husband. I felt confident that another man still wanted me. I think a small part of me fantasized about a relationship with him.

Though still not sure if I would have done that if I was not drunk.

Deconstructing Celebration Drinks

I posted yesterday how I really wanted to drink to celebrate my class ending. Instead, I got a facial and massage as my treat. While relaxing at the salon, I started to think more about what would have happened if I did go get drunk yesterday.

I would have started with one beer. And it might taste funny by now or might have tasted heavenly. I would drink it slow. Savor it. Be like “finally”. Then I would start to think “this isn’t so bad. Why did I quit!”

After finishing that one, I would ask the bartender for another. (I would have gone to drink at a bar instead of home alone since I was celebrating.) I might even tell the bartender how I quit in January but having just a few to blow off steam. He or she would congratulate me. Agree that sobriety isn’t all that great. And he or she would expect a nice tip as they open another bottle for me.

I would feel a bit tipsy. This good feeling would make me forget all the benefits of sobriety. I would order another beer. I might check to see if I had enough cash for more beer and if I did not, I would pull out the credit card. I might give myself a time limit or a bottle limit but I would soon ignore it to keep that high feeling.

I might not get very drunk. To me, that meant I was able to still walk and not black out. I would probably drink past the legal driving limit but not care. I might have met someone. I might have had fun. And the next day, I might have been proud I was able to celebrate and still remember the night. “See drinking can be fun! Why was I such a baby about the whole thing? It wasn’t THAT bad.”

I would have wasted money and thrown away 5 months of sobriety. I would try to moderate. I might have felt a little guilty at first but drank past that. Basically, one night of “celebrating” would have been opening the gates back to a hell I don’t want to return. Sometimes I hate the dogma of AA and recovery, but I must always remember that all this work and improvement could end with “just one.”

Mistake 163- I spent my 30th birthday in London alone. I was supposed to fly home that day but the flight was overbooked. I volunteered to stay an extra night. The airline gave me a free hotel room. I actually did not mind spending it alone. I knew I could entertain myself. I preferred CHOOSING to being alone than having friends let me down by not celebrating with me. It was the same reason I usually planned my own birthday celebrations because I did not trust my friends to make plans for me.

It was a good day. I spent the afternoon at a museum. I went to some Thai restaurant for dinner. I drank a whole bottle of wine by myself. After dinner, I decided to check out gay bars. I went to several and got a free birthday drink or shot. I sat by myself, drinking beers, and reading my book until the lines started to get blurry. I then decided to go to the nightclub Heaven.

I was drunk by the time I got there so most of it is a blur. But I remember a few things. I got mad because the bouncer would not let me in for free for my birthday. Then I sat down by a wall somewhere outside crying. A guy (or girl?) approached me and asked what was wrong. I told this person how it was my birthday and I refused to pay cover charge. His/her response was something about being homeless so I really have nothing to cry about. This must have motivated me or cheered me up or got me to stop crying because then I paid to get in the club. And once in, I drank lots. I danced but do not remember anything else inside the club. I met some guy. I woke up in his flat.

In the morning, I got the tube back to my hotel. I showered and napped until check out time. Then I rushed to the airport.

I never told anyone about that guy. Usually the story I tell is “I danced and drank until the tube was running again in the morning”. I have always been so ashamed of how that celebration ended. I pray for no more birthdays like that!

Deadlines

I have been stressed out the last few days about deadlines for my class.  A lot of papers and projects due for a class I thought was going to be an easy A. This is a lesson that nothing that is worth anything is easy.

I need to back-blog to the last few days. (Maybe by the time you read this, I already have completed them.) If you noticed, I try to mine my mistakes up with my days off sobriety. It helps me count. Maybe once my class is finished next week, I can write out more lengthy posts.

Mistake 158- I have a friend that is very hot. He has a great body. But I was not attracted to him beyond the physical thing. He is not very smart and we do not have much in common besides parties. Plus, I knew he was a player. Yet when he started to hit on me, I was flattered. Maybe because I had no respect for myself and no self esteem. We were at his place and he bluntly said “I want to have sex with you” or maybe in cruder words. I drank two bottles of wine to get the courage to do it. I had to get drunk on purpose. So we had sex that I barely remember. Another notch in his belt and a regret on mine.

Doctor DUI

I was watching the news this morning and there was a story of a doctor that got a DUI. I did not catch the whole story but I think he crashed and injured another person. Again, I am so glad I never hit another car or person with my DUIs.

I tried to Google the story to find out more information but I could not find it. Instead I came up with many other stories of doctors that got DUIs. I found this story about a doctor that got 3 DUIs before she finally admitted to being an alcoholic. The 3rd was just four days after her conviction for the 2nd.

Alcoholism is everywhere. Anyone could be a victim to this disease. It is still such a dirty word. Alcoholic.  So shameful. Only the weak have problems with alcohol. I wish it was not viewed this way.

Even though I feel I have more ups than downs now, I had this ache today when I thought “this is a forever thing. FOR-EV-ER!” I am not gonna be cured. I am not gonna graduate. I have to fight this disease every damn day. No matter how much easier it gets, it will never go away. Like an invisible birthmark. You know it is there always even if know one else sees it.

Maybe once I get done my 365 mistakes, I will have to daily find another DUI story to remind me to stay sober. Unfortunately,  there will be one every morning.

Mistake 145- I do not remember much about this night. I know I was 18. I met a guy in a bar. We started making out in the bar. Then we left. We walked to a baseball field. I think we had sex in the dugout. I think some of his friends followed us and took photos. I never saw nor talked to the guy again but a girl I was friends with heard about it. She was so mad and ashamed that she stopped talking to me. I remember she told me I need a babysitter. I just ignored the whole thing and prayed (still pray) that those photos never resurface.

Thoughts from Last Attempt at Sobriety

I started a “sober journal” in 2007. This was after my second DUI. I was so serious about it. But I can read doubt in between the lines. It seems I was trying to rush sobriety.  Went to daily AA meetings where I rushed the steps and talked about “God” but did not really believe it. It seems I was practicing to be sober.

My first entry April 7, 2007:

Sometimes I feel like a loser going sober. I feel like I lost the war. I lost the battle with alcohol. At least I am being taken as a prisoner instead of as a corpse.

This will test who my friends are. For awhile I have been depressed by the fact I felt all I have is drinking aquaintances instead of friends. [Name 3 friends] have proven themselves to be real friends.

Then I complained about a “friend” who texted me “I wish you could still party.” I stopped talking to him a few months later for being so unsupportive.  Will I lose friends this round of sobriety?

Then I started a list of mistakes I made from drinking up to that point. If I stayed sober that time, I don’t think I would have been able to create a list of 365 mistakes. That is one thing I would have been okay not accomplishing. But if I relapse this round, how much more will this list increase? Will this list be read at my funeral?

Found a page of my concerns about sobriety back then which I now feel I can answer:

1) will it be hard to make friends now that I don’t drink?
– Nope. Just different type of friends. Ones that like me for me. Not for drunk me.

2) will I find happiness?
– Yep. Even though I still get bouts of sadness and depression, I really feel I am overall happier. And I think more happiness is in my future. Just not suffering hangovers anymore makes me happier!

3) can I find a successful relationship?
– not sure yet since I plan to wait until I am sober for a year, but I am starting to have confidence that I will find someone. For now, I have my friend with benefits. And he has been fun.

4) will my current friends be supportive?
– all the people I knew when I wrote that and I am still in touch with have been wonderful and super supportive.  They have been around long enough to understand why I had to finally quit drinking. Only a few people are acting unsupportive.

5) will I be weak?
– well, I did get weak back then. I stayed sober a little more than 2 months. I did not try going sober again until 7 years later (except for “drinking breaks,” but those were never meant to be permanent.) Back then, I kept thinking I could learn to moderate eventually. Now, I know that is impossible.

Also, now I have a great sober blogging community to keep me strong.

Mistake 144 – I met a girl in Cairns, Australia with whom I became temporarily friends. We were sharing a dorm room. We had things in common. We talked about getting together again when we returned to America. But I got drunk and ruined the friendship.

I started an open water diving course in Cairns. It was a week long with the last 3 days out on a boat. But our last two certification dives were canceled due to cyclones. The boat went back to the docks. Most of the class returned to the boat the next day to continue the course. I declined. I was scared. I would finish my certification elsewhere.

I stayed in Cairns and partied with my new friend. We got along well. We went to see sites together. It was typical of how quick friendships can form when traveling. And the night my diving class came back from the boat, I invited her to come join my class at a bar. We were going to celebrate everyone’s new diving certification. And I confessed to her, I wanted to join because I had a crush on the boat captain.

It started out fun. When the captain started to flirt with her, I got jealous. Then she flirted back. And the answer to my jealousy was “get drunk!” I started badmouthing her to the other divers. How dare that slut go for the guy I liked! I talked my classmates into leaving that bar and sneaking over to another. We didn’t tell her where we were going. We just sort of ditched out and went elsewhere. I thought I was so clever.

But she arrived at the new bar with the Captain. She found me and said “wow you guys left quick? Why didn’t you tell me where you were going?” Oh I thought someone told you.  Then she asked if I was mad. I lied and said no. I kept drinking and doing a lot of shots. She then left with the Captain.  My response was to find first, cute random guy and take him back to the dorm room.

Then next day she told me how she went home with the Captain.  She found lipstick and tampons in his bathroom. She asked and turns out he had a girlfriend out of town. I laughed. That is what she deserved. I was a mean bitch. We stopped hanging out together even though we kept sharing a room. I booked a bus to leave Cairns soon. We did not bother to stay in touch.

Even if I lose friends in sobriety, what about the friends I lost from my drinking?