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.

60 Days and Sour

I have been feeling very irritable. I should be celebrating 60 days of sobriety but I am having a hard time getting into a celebratory mood.

I’ve been getting upset too easily. I have been mad at co-workers,  mad at slow drivers, and mad about things friends post on Facebook.

My ex-boyfriend was annoying me. He asked for medical advice and then did not follow it correctly. The next day he was complaining he still did not feel well. I told him to go to the damn doctor then! He is on the other side of the world. Plus, he was bugging me about problems he had with two women interested in him. Oh poor him. I told him to go ask another ex-girlfriend for advice instead.

At least for the first time,  he asked me how my sobriety is going.  That made me happy.

Some might say it seems I am experiencing Post Acute Withdrawal Syndrome (PAWS). The most common symptoms are:
-Mood swings
-Variable energy
-Variable concentration
-Disturbed sleep

If you add “cramps” it sounds like PMS.

Oh yea, I am have suffering wicked cramps. So it could be either one. I still want to bite the head off anyone that asks me any questions.

But I do not want to drink. That would piss me off more if I gave up my sobriety.

My cramps have been bad the last three years. That is due to getting an IUD. When I was with my ex, I thought we would be together forever. We were in a committed relationship so this birth control option made sense. And I did not want to take birth control pills or anything with hormones because I thought the hormones made me moody and caused our fights. Now I realize my drinking and low-self esteem caused most of our fights.

But ever since I got the IUD placed, cramps have been very painful. And the cramps make me think of my IUD and then I think about my failed relationship. And that gets me sad and more irritable.

Sounds like a nice Hallmark card:

My horrible cramps make me think of you. Miss you lots!

So I am 60 days sober. I still have to make an appointment for my facial. I am working lots of overtime so that treat might get pushed to 70 days. I am popping ibuprofen like I used to pop back beers.

Ok, maybe not that much.

*(I wrote this blog on my dinner break that I finally got after 8 hours of work. Some food and Aleve made me much less irritable. YEA 60 days!!!)

Mistake# 60 – I was living with my ex boyfriend in his country for the summer. We actually spent 6 weeks touring a few countries and then 6 weeks in his city. I was the first girl he took home to meet his parents. I took a language class to learn his language. And I was trying to figure if I would want to move there. If we got married, I could get a visa.

I ended up not really liking it there. Mostly it was due to lack of friends. I did not feel his friends welcomed me. And I could not get rid of the nagging feeling it was because of his ex-girlfriend. She never did anything to me or against me. I just thought she was jealous of me and wanted him back. I felt their mutual friends did not accept me. It was as if they viewed me as her replacement. And I was an American.  And I didn’t speak their language. I would never be good enough for them. And they did not think I was good enough for him.

No one ever said such things. It was all in my head. Until one night, I got drunk, and I posted my accusations on an online forum on which his friends were all active.

The next morning, I woke up with some foggy memory of the forum. I checked it. Oh god there were so many comments. A lot of the comments were trying to decipher my drunk writing. They even asked “are you sure English is your first language?” His ex-girlfriend made a friendly comment that she would like to be my friend. I was jealous and embarrassed. Here I was writing mean, nasty things about his city and friends and she was being nice and accepting. What a bitch!

I delete the whole post. Deleted the evidence. But I knew I could never face his friends again.

I went back to the United States soon as planned. I got a job. He came to visit about two months later. I went to visit him about a month later. He came to visit me again. The long distance became too much.

I still fear that city and his friends’ opinion of me.

Temptation Station

I have a good friend visiting a nearby city this week. I spent the day with her yesterday. I kept rehearsing in my head how I would tell her I was now sober. Should I wait until lunch? Should I wait until she mentioned getting drinks? Should I say it right away? ‘Hey, great to see you! You look great! I quit drinking. How’s your husband?” How would she react? I expected her to be supportive because she has substance abuse in her family and lost a fiancée to addiction. But would she make jokes or tease me or want to avoid the topic altogether?


The Temptation of Saint Anthony

I have been worried about going to this city because it seemed swarming with temptation. Bars everywhere. I guess like most American cities. Is that why cities tend to have more AA meetings than the suburbs? A meeting available almost every hour of the day?

I had to wait a half hour for her. And her phone battery was almost dead so I had to be at the meeting point. I couldn’t change plans and wait in a coffee shop. Nor in that Irish bar that seemed to be waving it’s orange, white and green at me as an invitation. I am pretty sure I once drank there. I drank in many bars throughout this city.

As soon as she approached me, she pulled something out of her bag so not to forget to give it to me. It was a purple pashmina scarf. I bought it in India. I left it at her wedding. I wrote about what I remember of her wedding in Mistake #8. Getting this scarf was a nice reminder of stuff I have lost while drunk. Maybe I could wear it like a banner of sobriety?

We walked to a place for lunch. We were playing catch up. I am not sure what we were talking about, but I just blurted out “so I quit drinking.” She responded “I thought so. Something you posted on Facebook awhile ago made me think that.” I asked if it was what I posted St Patrick’s Day. (I posted this was the first St Patrick’s that I didn’t care that I am working and that made me happy that I didn’t care.) She said no, it was something a few weeks ago. I wonder how many other friends have guessed it. How many other friends know my “secret” but are not asking or offering support?

During lunch, as usual, our conversations were all over the place. One minute we would be talking about my job, then about her marriage, then about my family, then about her job, then about her honeymoon. She asked about my previous plans to move to one city and why that changed. I started to explain to her about the complications moving there and their relation to my drinking problem. Then I took it further back to last fall and added “oh by the way, sorry for my drunk behaviour at your wedding.”

“Oh no worries. Every wedding needs one of those.” Oh my god. I was “one of those.” I was the drunk, crazy chick at the wedding. I was the embarrassment. I was the one that everyone talked about afterwards. I apparently got mad at her friend and he had no idea what he did. I was screaming at him. She asked me what he did that was so awful. I have no memory of it. I told her I spent 20 minutes the next morning searching for my car before I realized I took a taxi from the reception.

The rest of the afternoon continued with our chattering non-stop. We went to a museum. We shopped for books. I would slip in little stories about my struggle. She would tell me about her dad and brother’s struggle. I told her about my blog. She recommended a book Easy Way to Stop Drinking by Allen Carr.

We bought tickets to see a show that night with her friend that was also visiting. Her friend had to work all day. She joined us later for dinner. When we met up with her at the hotel, the first thing she said was “I need a drink!” I was going to introduce myself but then I realized I recognized her. Yes, I met her at the wedding. She might have even sat at my table. I think there is a photo of the three of us at the wedding? But she didn’t say “Oh good to see you” or anything else that was welcoming. Did I say anything horrible to her back in September? I felt shame.

We took a taxi to a street near the theater. We walked up the street looking for a flavor of dinner that would please us all.We passed many Happy Hour signs. My friend is mostly vegan so we agreed on a vegetarian place. As we got the menus, she turned to me “are you okay if we drink?” I really appreciated that question. I told her confidently “no, go ahead. Enjoy!” I enjoyed Diet Coke. And honestly, I did not even crave their pinot grigio and syrah. Maybe the memories, or non-memories, of the wedding helped keep me strong. Or maybe knowing that Saturday will be 60 days sober was my weapon. Or that next week, I will surpass the LONGEST I have ever been sober in 20 years. Or, I really just did not desire it. I know where it leads.

We got to the theater in time for a quick stop at the concession stand. We all wanted a souvenir cups. They are plastic cups with the show’s name on the side. Large size. Not sure if this is a pint or not? Both of the other women ordered cups with wine. It had to hold about 2 or 3 normal size glasses of wine. I got Diet Coke again.

They wanted to get photos of the three of us before the show started. The curtain time lights were flickering. I patiently waited while two tipsy women kept trying to do selfies of the three of us. They both had trouble trying to figure out the flash. They stopped a few people to ask to take our photo but they could not get one with enough light. My phone was turned off to save the battery and I am clueless with Apple products. It was interesting to be the sober one observing the drunk performance. How many sober people looked at me with concern in my drinking days?

During intermission, they both discussed whether they would go out after the show. I debated whether I would join them. And it wasn’t that I was worried about being around people drinking. I was very tired. I wanted to go home and get under my covers.

By the end of the show, they sobered up enough to decided to go back to their hotel. We hugged. Said our goodbyes. I got on my train. I survived the night unwounded. And I felt stronger by facing the battle. I walked into a city that has always tempted me in so many ways to do bad and I left feeling good.


Mistake # 53- When I first met my friend from yesterday, she was on a three-month drinking break. She said she did it as a dare. We met on a camping trip. The trip ended just in time for Cinco De Mayo. Our camping group all planned to shower, change, and meet at a Mexican restaurant. She and I were both staying with a mutual friend and sharing the guest room. She sort of became my babysitter for the night.

I got trashed on margaritas and shots of tequilla that night. I thought I was doing good for most of the night. But I woke up in a daze in the guest room.  The first thing she said to me was “do you know who you were trying to hook up with last night?” I said a name. She said “did you see how short he is?” Yes but he is cute and single. “Wow you have low standards when you are drunk!”  I was lucky she was sober and sharing a room with me or never know who I would have brought back with me.

That started our friendship of talking about our “boy problems” over drinks whenever we met up. She was around for a few more of my mistakes. I never remember her getting trashed but then maybe I was always too drunk to notice. I am happy now to have her support in my sober circle.