If this was your last day…

I have seen and touched and danced and sung and climbed and loved and meditated on a lifetime spent living honestly. Should it all end tomorrow, I can positively say there would be no regrets. I feel fortunate to have walked in my shoes. I am truly lucky. I really have lived 1,000 times over.

That was my friend’s Facebook status update two months ago. He was still healthy. He did not know his asthma would cause a cardiac arrest and then die. It makes me feel better to know that he died with a happy life.

He used to always say he doesn’t want “drama” when he dies. He wants people to celebrate. So his family organized a party at a dive resort because his favorite place was the ocean.

If today were to be my last day, I can honestly say I lived a good life. Even though I am writing daily about blackouts and one night stands and other horrible things from my past, I am writing them as lessons to myself. And lessons to anyone else that can benefit or recover from my stories. They are reminders of what I am leaving in my past.

I have a lot of great qualities and have done many wonderful deeds. I have traveled to many countries and seen many wonderful sights. Great Wall of China. Giza Pyramids. Machu Picchu. Taj Mahal. Angkor Wat. Himalayas. I have many wonderful hobbies that do not require alcohol.

I want to keep living. Choosing sobriety actually makes me appreciate my life. I still want therapy to overcome my low self-esteem, but at least I do not want to harm myself anymore. Alcohol was depressing my mind and body in so many ways.

If today were my last day, I would prefer it to be a sober day. But my friends and family can pour red wine on my ashes after I am gone.
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Mistake # 92- I was a camping trip in the middle of Australia. We were a group of 14 people who left Alice Springs to camp in the outback and visit Uluru. It was a great trip. I made friends with a gay British guy and developed a crush on a German guy. After visiting Uluru, nine people from our tour left to the airport close to the rock. It was five of us on the bus back to Alice Springs. I spent time talking with the German guy.

Our group of five plus the tour guide met up that night at a pub. The tour guide put me in charge of getting a table and organizing. So I had to be the first one to arrive. And the first to start drinking.

The British guy kept saying he thought the guide had a crush on me. I didn’t care cause my eyes were set on the German guy. The German guy asked me to dance. I agreed. We were drunk and moving on the dance floor. He kissed me. I was happy. I went to the bar to get another beer.

When I came back to the dance floor, the German guy was not there. I noticed he was at the other end of the bar talking to some girl. I walked up to them and said hello. He introduced her as some girl he just met from Germany or Austria or some country that spoke his language. They said a few things to each other in German. They did not seem to want me there. My British new friend appeared and asked me to dance. He asked me what was going on. I was getting jealous and mad. Who was this girl? I stopped dancing to get more beer. And more beer.

I got trashed. I kept wanting to tell the German off. I kept telling my Brit friend “but he kissed me! I was gone two seconds to get another beer and he meets someone else?” I wanted to get wasted to forget I was hurt. Then instead of forgetting, I replaced my object of affection. I met an American guy. The Brit was encouraging this.

We started making out. I went back to his place. I am not sure if we had sex but we probably did. The only thing I remember about his place is getting scared and crying and telling him not to hurt me. I remember trying to run out the door but he stopped me, held me tight, and calmed me down by repeating “I am not going to hurt you.” Memories of the night fade in and out like flashing warning lights.

The next morning, he asked me why I flipped out. I said I did not know. I am not sure if I have a repressed trauma or a subdued suffering that I only remember in blackouts.

He took me out for breakfast. I felt ashamed for acting crazy the previous night. Then we ran into the German guy and the girl he met. I felt ashamed for the whole night. The American guy mentioned maybe I drink too much. I agreed. I never saw him again. But over the next few weeks, I sent him a few drunk texts until he stopped replying.

Beginning this blog one week sober

I have had this idea for awhile. For the past year, I have started to jot down in a pocket calendar, that was gifted to me by a former boss, the mistakes I made while drunk. The things I lost. The one-night stand. The blackouts. The accidents. The dangerous situations. The fights. I have achieved goals of “30 days no booze!” and then would celebrate that goal by getting trashed. And then more mistakes. I thought if I could come up with 365 mistakes I have made while intoxicated, those mistakes would give me a reason to go sober for a year. And I am hoping if I can make the goal of a year sober, I can attempt a life change of abstinence.

I recently found my personal journals from 1998- 2008. I skimmed them and found many memories from drunk nights, both good and bad. I am not going to lie and say all my drunken times were mistakes. But there were too many close-calls, of my life or other lives, for me to continue drinking. I believe my lack of self-esteem is the core of the problem. My addiction was born by my desire to be accepted. Cleaning up is being born of my desire to live.

 

This blog will be my way to list and share some of those mistakes. I will start with small ones and try to work my way up to the destructive ones. I will also write about my current state and how I am dealing with my sobriety. I will try to do this daily. I will not use the real names of anyone. 

 

As of today, I am 8 days sober. It has not been hard. I have been driving across the United States since my last drink. So there has not been any temptation. I just downloaded the audiobook “Living Sober Sucks” by Mark A Tuschel to listen to for today’s drive. I will be spending time with friends the next few nights. I know the time will be full of my crying about my addiction and their supportive words. They are friends who have been with me for a long time and have seen some of the wreckage cause by my drinking. Going sober seems to be the time of testing who are friends and who are party associates.

As for an example of a mistake from my drinking, I will start off with this past New Year’s Eve. I was partying with some friends in Kuala Lumpur. We were at an apartment complex in the suburbs and the party was on the rooftop lounge. We had a nice view of the Petronas Towers. I broke my Galaxy3 that night by throwing it to a friend to take a photo of me while we were both drunk. He didn’t catch it. I do not remember seeing the fireworks over the famous towers. I do remember helping a stranger while he was puking. I do not remember leaving the party. I woke up the next day on a bed in a strange apartment in another suburban area. There was a fan blowing. My friend’s friend was lying on an air mattress in the room. I did not really know her and did not feel she even liked me. I went into the living room to play Sherlock Holmes and track down my belongings. The owner of the apartment was one of the party’s organizers. She was sweet. She offered to give me a ride into the city later that day. But I wanted to leave sooner. I wanted alone time instead of being hungover with these two women I barely knew. She gave me directions on how to take the bus to catch the Metro to the city. I was happy I had money on me and did not lose my purse. I worried how I was going to travel the next 3 weeks with a broken phone. It felt like a wasted New Years Eve.