First Temptation: Reading with wine

There are so many blogs about recovery!

I started to read some last night. And one blog would mention another and I would open that page. I kept wondering “should I start reading this blog from the beginning.” Then I would realize some of those blogs are more than two years old. It would take a long time to read each post. But it is comforting. It is motivational to think those bloggers have been sober that long and still blogging. I feel I got hoisted back on my pink cloud.

Earlier in the evening, I was reading “Drinking: A Love Story” by Caroline Knapp. I was at my mom’s house alone. She works far away and near my brother so she stays there when she has to work the next day. Her boyfriend went out for the night. I looked forward to a quiet night of reading the book. But then I realized something was missing: a glass of wine.

In my old apartment, I would spend many evenings reading and drinking. I have not owned a television since 2005. I love reading books. I also spend, or waste, a lot of time online. I watch movies on Netflix or videos on Youtube. I read articles and connect with friends from around the world on Facebook. But once in awhile I would turn off my computer to catch up on reading. I curled up on my couch with a blanket or in my bed. Or I would relax in the tub with a book, bubbles and aromatherapy candles. But I always had a glass of wine with me. I even bought a book tray that goes across the tub with a special slot for a wine glass.

I put down the Ms Knapp’s book and went to the computer. I filled up a large glass with water. I made a mental note to pick up some lemons and limes to flavor my water.  I started to read and click “follow” on blogs that I found interesting. I commented on and liked a few. It started to feel like a cyber support group. (Thank you soberlearning and rfscout for giving me encouraging words not to pick up that glass of wine.)

I enjoy reading how other people overcame struggles. It is an embarrassing malady to have. Too many friends have discouraged my decisions to go sober in the past. It is as if I told them I have an incontinence problem. They don’t understand. They don’t want to be around me with that problem. “Just control it.”

I thought of going to an AA meeting last night. I decided I was too lazy to go. Maybe I will go to some when I get back to where I am currently living.

I spent the time this afternoon reading a journal form 2003-2005. There were a lot of entries where I ended it “I need to quit drinking!” Sometimes I admitted I had a problem but I did not want to do anything about it. I was too scared of what going sober would do to my awesome social life. That was 10 years ago. If I went sober, it would have prevented a DUI.

Today I kept wondering if I could control my drinking. Maybe if I only drank wine in restaurants. Or no more than a bottle a night at home. No more strong IPAs. For now, I want to commit to 365 days without alcohol.

Mistake #11- This is one I would have forgotten if I wasn’t checking out photos on my mom’s computer: My nephew’s kindergarten graduation.

I went out the night before with a friend. I do not remember the night at all. I do not know where we went or what we drank. But I woke up in his bed. And I woke up with my mom calling my phone and asking if I was ready for the graduation. They would pick me up on the way to the school.

I stuttered that no, I was not ready. I might have even mentioned being at a friend’s house. I would meet them at the school. Just text me the address. I grabbed my clothes and rushed to my house. I took a 2 minute shower to try to wash off the stench of booze. I put on a cute skirt and top and drove to the school. My mom saved me a seat. My sister and niece were in front of us. I honestly remember that instead of being hungover, I will still drunk. There is a photo of me between my 6 year old nephew and 3 year old niece and she is pushing herself away from me. I guess she was too young to be an enabler.

Journals and photos

I have been enjoying reading some of my old journals. There is information I wrote down that I forgot. Memories are being relived. Feelings are being remembered. Promises made were broken. It is entertaining.

I have been sober two weeks. It has not been hard so far. I really do not think it will be hard until I am in a social setting with temptation to drink. I was reading up about events in my area. Most of them are happy hour or wine tasting events. I will really miss wine. Especially a good petite sirah.

I have done a lot of winery tours. I have been to wineries in Napa, Hunter Valley in Australia, Niagara Falls in Canada, Finger Lake region in New York and one in Chile that included pisco distillery. I am not a wine snob that could pick out the fruits or descibe the woodsyness of a wine. But I like my wine to taste good. It is sad that I could easily drink a $50 bottle by myself in one night. And then still want more. I would usually start my night with the good or expensive bottles so that I would not know the difference if it was “2 buck Chuck” by the time I was drunk.

Mistake #8: I was at a friend’s wedding. Most people get drunk at wedding receptions. I was tipsy when I got to the wedding.

It was a late afternoon wedding. I started the day with brunch that had unlimited pitchers of mimosas for 2 hours. I made sure I got my money’s worth. I walked on the beach a little after brunch to sober up. But it was not gonna be enough. I drove to my hotel to change and get ready for the wedding. I was singing and dancing as I got ready. I really should not have been driving.

I was a little late to the ceremony. I had to wait outside because the bride was about to walk down the aisle. So I missed my friend’s entrance. The wedding was beautiful. It was a great ceremony where I cried tears of joy. The reception was also beautiful. The specialty drinks were red or white sangria. I drank a lot of both. I was drunk by dinner. I was trashed by the first dance. I do not remember the end of the party. I do know I got a taxi back to my hotel.

The next morning, my camera was missing. I tried to call the reception hall but I got a voicemail. I tried to call the taxi company (and was glad the number was in my phone or else I would not have known which company.) It was Sunday so no one would be in the office until Monday according to the recording. I took a taxi back to the reception hall to get my car. I looked around and asked people that were setting up for a church service if they found a camera. No luck.

I went home feeling depressed. I lost a lot of good photos on that camera. I had photos from trips and travels I took the previous months. It had a 32gb SD card. Plus it was a fairly good camera. I love my photos. Like journals, they are a great way to remember the past. They capture a moment in time. And all those moments could have been lost by my drinking.

I took a nap when I got home and swore to myself that if I find that camera, I would not drink for 30 days. When I woke up, there was an email from the bride that her maid of honor had my camera.

I did not keep my 30 day promise.