Sober Bracelet

I have started to pack up my room and clean out my closet. (Literally. Not a sober metaphor.) I have to move out of my place by May 31. My plan is to rent rooms on AirBnB for the days I work and travel out of the area on my days off. Not a stable life but I can do it for two months. I am going to store the things that I will not need at my mom’s and just keep clothing, books and my laptop with me.

While cleaning, I found a bracelet a friend made for my birthday last year. I spent my birthday in the city I wanted to move to but couldn’t due to my DUIs preventing me from getting a job. Anytime I see anything about that city, or even the name of the state, I am reminded of why I quit drinking. This bracelet is a beaded bracelet with the name of the city. She made it as a welcoming gift. I will now wear it as my sober bracelet. Seeing the name of the city on my wrist will be a constant reminder of what my drinking problem has done to my life.

Mistake 107- The night before my last birthday, I got in a huge fight with one of my good friends. I do not remember if we went out or just got drunk at their place. I was dating his roommate. I think the fight originated with my accusations that he did not want me and his roommate together. I have known both of them for more than a decade. I thought he was jealous.

The arguing was ugly. A lot of cruel words were thrown around and insults were flying. The screaming escalated to my refusal to stay there. I called for a taxi. I went to a hotel I stayed at ten years ago. The price of a room increased. It was $200 a night now when it was $70 a night my previous stay. I then took a taxi back to the apartment. I decided I would sleep in the back of my friend’s truck. But I found my friend sleeping there. My boyfriend was standing outside asking the roommate to coming back inside. He saw me and told me to go up to his room. He didn’t want us fighting out there.

We both returned to the apartment but I hid in the my boyfriend’s bedroom. I kept drunk posting on Facebook about the fighting (not always readable) and stating that this was my “worst birthday EVER!” My boyfriend was trying to play referee. I cried myself to sleep.

So I woke up on my birthday with red, puffy eyes and hungover. I tried to sneak out of the apartment because I had a hair appointment. But I could not find the keys to the truck my boyfriend and and the roommate shared. My friend was past out on the couch. He woke up and threw me the keys which were in his pocket. I felt so horrible during the appointment. I read my Facebook while my head was under the dryer and deleted all my drunk posts. But there were emails of mutual friends wanting explanations. I told everyone I was not sure what happened. I was just too drunk.

My friend did not want to come to my birthday dinner that night. My boyfriend insisted I tell him I wanted him to join. I told him “please join us” but I never said sorry. We just sort of swept the fight under the rug and never discussed it.

On my birthday, the three of us went to dinner with some of my friends. At dinner, I received the bracelet. The three of us went out for drinks after dinner and got drunk again. But we all got along. There are photos of us smiling and laughing together.

One night, I was a drunk, dramatic monster. The next, happy birthday girl.

New Mug and Sober Triggers

My mom came to visit yesterday. She brought me this gift: Purple Flower Mug

(In case you can not read the picture, the mug says “The Best Things in Life are the people we love, the places we’ve been  and the memories we’ve made along the way.”)

It is a large mug and she knows I like large mugs. Plus she knows I like purple. But the message was the best part for me. Having memories is so much better than blackouts!  And I have a new mug for all my herbal teas.

The visit was nice. She again asked how the “not drinking thing” is going and how I feel. I sometimes worry I talk too much about my sobriety with her but I like having her as an outlet. I can not discuss it at work and my friends on Facebook still seem uncomfortable with it.

The only thing she said that annoyed me was “It is a shame. That is what people do. Meet out for drinks.” I told her I can still go out and I am even willing to go to places with alcohol. I will just order water with lemon. I have to just keep reminding myself I can not drink just like her boyfriend, who is diabetic, has to avoid certain foods. Or anyone with an allergy has to avoid certain things.

I kept trying to share with her some of my drunk stories to stress to her how much I drank. When we used to share a bottle of wine, she would have a glass and I would drink the rest. She seems to block out the times I spent at her house sleeping all day after being up all night emptying her wine rack. She always thought of my DUIs as unfortunate mistakes. Maybe she is worried if she admits I have a problem, it is somehow her fault?

I am realizing that when I do finally get around to working on the 12 steps, I really need to make amends to her even if she does not recognize it. “Sorry mom for all those times you were worried when I was out drinking. Sorry for making you drive 6 hours away to bail me out of jail. Sorry for you returning to that city for my court date.  Sorry for all I put you through.”

After she left, I went to the grocery store. I was stocking up on veggies and ingredients for salads. I am determined to drop weight in the next month. I have a reunion June 7. I also bought some unsweetened tea and large gallon of water. I am going to put lemon, lime, mint, and cucumbers in the jug of water. Then I am gonna drink at least half of it each day. Keep refilling it. Hope it helps.

I walked past the beer section in the store. I glanced at some summer ale. For a brief second, I thought “I could just stop. I could just give up this sober thing. I could always try again later.” But I kept walking. I thought I worked too hard to stop now. This “sobriety thing” needs to be a forward thing. No backpedaling. No breaks. I do not want to think of the self-loathing that would follow if I drank that beer.

I picked up my last item but the sober-drink battle kept floating in my brain. It was not really a battle. Just a lingering thought. Just images of me sitting in bars. Just one drink in my hand.

Then a man passed me. He was wearing a hat from a university I used to want to attend. A university in a city that I was planning to move to until plans changed in January. That was when I found out I could not get the job I wanted because of my two DUIs. They said it did not matter how long ago the DUIs were. My plans for the job and moving there were canceled. That was when I decided to get sober. And seeing his hat was a reminder of why I quit drinking alcohol. It triggered me back to happy, sober land. I do not want anymore plans changed or futures ruined from my drunk mistakes. I am gonna keep being sober and even if my life does not become perfect, it will be a hell of a lot better than where it was going. I actually want to be alive.

Now I am gonna enjoy some mint tea.

Mistake # 105- I graduated college. My mom came to my graduation with my sister and nephew who was a baby. They stayed at a hotel. I joined them to stay in the room one night. My sister and I waited until my mom and the baby fell asleep. Then we snuck out of the hotel. I wanted to celebrate! Two women in their mid-twenties sneaking out like teenagers.

We went down to some bars that were walking distance. (I had a restricted driver license because this was after my first DUI.) We got drunk. We met some guys. They tried to invite us back to their place. We declined because we knew our mom would be too upset if we were not back by morning. We stumbled in the hotel room after last call at 2am. We tried to be quiet but for some reason, drunk people sound like elephants even when tip toeing. We woke my mom and she just warned us not the wake the baby. We slept in until the afternoon the next day while she took the baby out for breakfast and shopping. My sister and I got drunk again that night. Maybe the birth of my nephew distracted my mom from me and my sister’s alcoholism.