Day 8

I have been immersing myself within meetings and I actually like them. I even — wait for it — am enjoying women’s meetings. Who the fuck am I?

A few topics have been brought up in meetings which have made me think “Holy fuck I am right where I am supposed to be” or “Jesus Christ are they reading my fucking mind?” I so badly wish I didn’t have such a potty mouth but I am not fucking perfect.

Anyways, the three topics on the top of my mind are:

1. Service

Now I just recently saw 50 Shades of Grey and so when the topic of being of service was brought up, my mind — which is always in the gutter — immediately went to that movie and being of service in the bedroom… I’ll stop now. Anyways, once I got my mind out of the gutter (briefly) I thought about service or being of service and what that means. Now, two things 1. I am really great at delegating tasks and 2. I am really great at having people be of service to me. Basically I am not great at being of service to others. However, that’s not the point. The point they were trying to make is that in being of service or helping others to maintain and/or achieve sobriety you are inadvertently helping yourself to be your best self. Your best sober self. My fellow alcoholics it’s as simple as ask not what your country (or fellow peers) can do for you, ask what you can do for your country (or fellow peers).

2. Honesty

This one definitely struck a cord. I recently had to get brutally honest with myself. In order to be honest with others you have to first and foremost be honest with yourself. No matter how shitty humbling it is. I was finally ready to be honest with myself and that is the most important thing so far for me in sobriety because it led me to finally admit that I had problem. Something I was seemingly avoiding or denying previously.

3. Fellowship

I think what I was missing so much in my previous stint with recovery was some sense of community. I would go to meetings sure but I didn’t really befriend anyone. I didn’t become part of a sober community and I definitely feel as though I had my guard up. Now I am taking a different stance and starting to do things with other sobers. Surrounding myself not only in the rooms but in my life with people who are so much like me has made me happier. And also not alone. I started to feel so alone and to isolate myself so much and it was hard for me to get my ass off the couch but now that I have I am grateful. I’m not going to like everyone (mainly because I’m still an asshole) but at least I am trying to be a part of something rather than to attempt to do it alone.

till we meet again….

stay sober my friends.

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Day 1

If this post can be summed up in one sentence it is: “Fuck, fuck, fuck but today is a new day.”

I would have been celebrating over 7 months of sobriety but truth be told I lasted 5 months was miserable and started abusing a substance other than alcohol. I was lying to myself that I was still sober and could claim sobriety because I wasn’t drinking. Wrong. So I’m back to square one. Day 1.

I have been talking about my reluctance with AA but it’s no surprise that as I started to get involved in the program I started to get real with myself and that resulted in me getting real with where I was at with sobriety. Or my lack thereof. I started to feel like a fraud especially as I immersed myself more within the program. So I came clean (insert funny pun about coming clean and being clean) to my partner and my sponsor and it was very humbling to say the least.

I always heard about people being dry drunks and I didn’t really know what that I meant. I truly do believe that the five months preceding my relapse I went through lots of highs and lows of being happy or sad and isolated and I came to a point where I was miserable. People in AA would say its because I wasn’t working my program. Truth is I didn’t have a program. I was trying to do it by myself and I failed. It sucks. It sucks mainly because like all other people struggling with addiction I am a control freak and the fact that I couldn’t control and keep a handle on my own sobriety pisses me the fuck off. Deep breath. Breathe.

I was yearning for change and I didn’t want this anymore. Despite still not being entirely sober I sought out AA a few weeks ago and found a sponsor. Instead of going into the meetings and hearing stories and saying “well I’m not that bad” I began to find similarities in shares. I feel like my attitude has changed in regards to sobriety. 7 months ago I was upset and I knew I needed a change I was just fighting it. Be sober? Forever? I’m going to be so boring. But as I look around in the meetings I go to I realize people struggling with addiction are fucking funny and people I would hang out with sober. I truly do believe I have a different mindset going into sobriety than when I did before. Mainly being that I am happy and willing to do what it takes to stay sober.

And so I admit it. Step 1 and done. And admitting this is hard. But I have finally admitted it and I am ready to move forward with sobriety and all the highs and lows that come with it. I’m ready to be honest. I’m ready to be honest with you. But most importantly I am ready to be honest with myself.

stay sober my friends.

215 Days

I have been a little off the grid lately in the blogosphere and its large due in part to the fact that I have been extremely lazy busy. I’ll open my computer to write but the TV or wall just looks so much more appealing to stare at.

I have been kind of isolating. Isolating away from people and isolating away from my own sobriety in a sense. Not that I have taken a drink but I just have not been actively involved in any sort of sober community — blog or otherwise. I have, however, been fully involved in watching movies and binge watching Scandal, House of Cards and The Walking Dead. Clearly I always have some sort of addiction. I will not, however, seek help for my binge watching.

But anyways, I also don’t have any sober friends to talk to — other than my animals who are great listeners but really shitty at giving advice — seeing as they don’t talk and all.

While I have attended and gone to AA meetings (and actually found that I really liked them) I stopped for a couple months. I don’t really know why other than the fact that I am again extremely lazy busy.

I have found myself struggling with sobriety as of late whatever the reason may be. Was I getting depressed or down? I don’t know, maybe. Was it because I wasn’t going to meetings? I don’t know.

During a beautiful day (mind you nearly everyday is beautiful here) I found my mouth watering as we passed a beach bar thinking about what I drank last when I was there (before I blacked out after the Del Mar races of course). An ice cold Ketel Soda sounded so damn good. The fuck? There was a time in my life where I only drank Ketel/Soda (I know I’m so cool) but for years beer has been my favorite so why the fuck does a Ketel sound good? Instead of continuing to debate as to why I’m craving one over the other I decided to surround myself with other sober people.

Now, you don’t typically find sober people out at bars and I didn’t feel like asking random people walking down the street if they are sober so the only place I could think to find other sober people is AA.

However, this time around instead of just going for a good laugh, some ‘a ha’ moments and to just be surrounded by like minded individuals my intent shifted to finding a sponsor and actually getting involved with the program and the steps. Maybe this way sobriety would be easier and I could make more friends and have more of a support system. I don’t know.

I have been doing this on my own and I haven’t wanted to drink but its been difficult regardless. It’s so easy to be in my own head and isolate and get irritable or annoyed for no apparent reason. AA to me has been like group therapy. Make a long story short — I met an amazing woman who is now my sponsor (and who works in my same building and goes to the same yoga studio as me). Fate? Fucking weird.

I am still not sold on whether or not AA is for me. I now have a sponsor and am starting to go through the steps but I just don’t know. The verdict is still out. On one hand I can identify a lot with some aspects of the book and alcoholism and alcoholic nature/personality but not all. I don’t know how sold I am on it. I do agree, yes, being surrounded by other alcoholics is nice (unless they are drinking then its probably a bad idea) because you have a common desire to stop drinking. But, honestly after reading some of the book I became even more skeptical about it. It could be because I’m an asshole and like to argue everything and get so heavily involved in the semantics and literal sense of things. It could also be that I am fighting it. (For example the fact that they call it an allergy I had trouble with. But if I say I am allergic to alcohol I wake up in Mexico then I can make the point that yes I have an allergy to it.)

But, regardless of how much of an asshole I am — I can honestly say that I am going into it with an open heart and gonna go through all 12 steps. Once done, I will reassess and see if this is the path I want to take. For now, Step 1 done (I am powerless over alcohol and the affect it has on me) and 11 more to go. Go me go!

stay sober my friends.

What are your thoughts on AA? What has worked for you?

Sober Super Bowl (and also 199 days and counting).

Twas the night before Super Bowl and all through the house not a creature was stirring not even a – just kidding I have three animals and they are all fucking insane and drive me crazy and are always stirring and running around and staring at me. But anyways, (that escalated quickly and I have no idea why I started off like that) … moving on — it was my first Super Bowl without alcohol (not counting the first twelve Super Bowls I ever watched which happen to be within the first 12 years of my life). So let’s just say it was my first Super Bowl that I can remember without alcohol.

And actually Good Lord lo and behold I made it through the entire football season sans alcohol. Awful Chargers football, innumerable beer commercials, living across the street from a liquor store, Chargers football – I mean I must have some really bad karma.

Anyways I did it.

Cue the fat lady because the football season is over, I’m still sober and she can fucking sing.

But back to the Sober Super Bowl. The Super Bowl in which I was sober. My sober Super Bowl. Just saying it different ways makes me proud.

Now if you are like my girlfriend and don’t like sports (mainly anything with balls – she is a lesbian after all) I guess think of the Super Bowl as a celebration in which there are lots of friends and food and drinks… Or, if you are from a different region in which football isn’t important equate it to soccer (in terms of alcohol consumption not importance). Well needless to say it was slightly difficult for me. Throw in the fact that we went over to her friend’s house and watched the game. It was all her friends (who I adore and not just cause they might read this) and me. Now just being in that situation in which I am outnumbered friend wise (and all friends of hers who don’t necessarily really enjoy watching sports but were watching the Super Bowl mainly for the commercials) provoked a little anxiety. It wasn’t them, again I truly do adore them, it’s just that sometimes I have a hard time relaxing and alcohol has always been my relaxant in situations in which I found myself not super comfortable or in my element. And I was a little out of my comfort zone.

So I did that which comes as second nature to me – I ate until I couldn’t have one more bite without needing to be rolled down the stairs and home. One cupcake turned into two. One piece of pizza. Four chocolate chip cookies. Two ginger ale sodas. About 50 chips smothered in five layer dip. (My mouth is watering just reminiscing about the food). I need to get better about not overeating in the absence of alcohol and I keep telling myself and readers that but I still am having some self-control issues. It could be an oral fixation.

But anyways, rather be fat than a drunk so I ate too much but I didn’t drink. The end.

Side note: If I was drinking I would have been quickly sobered up by the horrific thing that was the Nationwide commercial – good marketing in the sense that everyone can’t stop talking about it — but Jesus Christ after being hit in the face with that sob story of a commercial I felt like I needed a drink more than ever. The fucking kid died? Seriously. I don’t even have kids so I can’t imagine but wait he died? Did that just happen? I am never short on words (just ask anyone who knows me) but I couldn’t muster anything other than a gasp. Now you’re going to tell me Santa isn’t real. Wait what? And the Easter Bunny? COME ON! I did not see that one coming and it was awful.

Actually now that I think about it I’m so glad I wasn’t drinking during the Super Bowl because about half of the commercials were depressing. Death, obesity, dads not seeing their kids grow up cause they’re gone all the time – dear lord I need a cupcake now more than ever.

Thank god for Katy Perry’s boobs and the dancing sharks to lighten the mood. Shit, I didn’t need to drink I felt like I dropped acid by simply watching that halftime performance.

stay sober my friends.

grandma and me

Oh! Also my beautiful grandma turned 7o and we celebrated over the weekend. 70 never looked so damn good if you ask me!

160 days (6 months) of awesomeness (and sobriety).

Side note: As you may be aware due to the nature and title of this post in which I start with and celebrate 160 days of sobriety I did in fact survive NYE sans alcohol. Instead of alcohol my NYE consisted of dinner and a movie with the lady followed by an extremely competitive game of scrabble in which we realized one of us (not named Brittany) has been cheating at scrabble her whole life. We managed to stay up till 12 am to watch T. Swift ring in the New Year and then passed the fuck out (from old people tiredness not drunkeness). And lo and behold BAM! The next day we woke up with no hangover. It’s just amazing how that happens.

If you had told me 161 days ago that I wouldn’t consume a drink for the next 160 days I probably would have a. bought you a drink b. cheers’d you with my delicious craft beer and/or shot of fireball c. thought you were drunk or d. gotten drunk. Let’s be honest all of the above would have happened.

But regardless let’s just say I wouldn’t have believed you.

And yet, 161 days ago I was in fact not drunk but rather nursing the first day of what I believe to be the worst hangover of my life. During those 3 days of hangover hell Taco Bell was my best friend. Sleep was also there for me. Needless to say I haven’t touched an alcoholic beverage or Taco Bell since. (Please note: I fully plan on going back to Taco Bell).

But it’s not just the hangover or my actions that night that made me jump on the wagon but rather a recurring set of events that I, when intoxicated, exhibited. It wasn’t every time I drank but more than not I turned into a different person. Different being bad not good. And now I start singing 2 Chains song I’m different yeah I’m different.

That last or final straw (in which I found myself in Mexico and not home until 5:30 am all while my girlfriend was worried and I was wasted) was a sort of wake up call to the amount of damage I cause when I start and can’t stop drinking. It wasn’t the end all be all which caused me to stop drinking but rather the last straw in a series of drunken events which made me realize (my favorite word) “Fuck.”I realize this may not be a realization to you but Fuck is definitely a realization to me. Fuck I am almost 30 and I shouldn’t be drinking till the early morning hours, or driving drunk (you shouldn’t do that ever kids) or hungover at work. To be honest I should have gotten a DUI (or worse) by now but — by the grace of Buddha — I have made it through countless drunken nights unscathed. Regardless, the way in which I drank not only causes problems in my personal and professional life but just over all wasn’t constructive or contributing in anyway to my life’s goals and aspirations or to who I want to be. In actuality it was preventing me from the success (professionally, personally, physically (insert other adverbs that start with p)) in which I desire to have especially as I grow older.

Let’s now change topics because of my ADD. Ready? Go!

It’s crazy to me that since December 2013 (some of you may not know) I have quit smoking, quit eating meat (except fish) and then quit drinking (and most recently quit eating processed sugar (and artificial sweeteners) as part of a two week hiatus from it because my girlfriend told me to do it with her and I — being the amazing girlfriend that I am — agreed to do it. Please note: I started regretting it on Day 1 as I quickly realized I couldn’t have candy, donuts, cake and basically anything delicious. Oh and I couldn’t have my crack and crutch (Diet Sodas). I’ve been one cranky bitch.

If I give up anything else I may be considered Mother Teresa or Gandhi Jr. Or, more likely, may suffer some sort of mental and/or physical breakdown. Good thing I am only doing this sugar thing for two weeks because Buddha knows I love me some sweets.

Here’s to many more days of sobriety. One day at a motherfucking time.

stay sober my friends.

Hiking up Cowles Mountain with the brother and the buddy

hiking up Cowles Mountain with the brother and the buddy.

six months sober.

yup.

143 days…

Well … I survived my first work holiday party completely sober. It only took 6 Shirley Temples and 25 awkward conversations with co-workers. But lo and behold I survived the party and the next morning I wasn’t hung over. I repeat I wasn’t hung over after a work holiday party. I still can’t believe it myself.

As mentioned in my last post I have really been struggling with my own sobriety. As I was scouring the interwebs to read about others experiences with their first six months of sobriety I saw that an ex boyfriend of mine was online. (Yes you read that right I said boyfriend. I did used to date men but much like quitting alcohol I quit them too). Anyways, I reached out to him to chat about being sober as, when when we were dating years ago, he was in his first year of sobriety. He now has seven years of sobriety. Holy fuck.

Knowing what I know now in my own sobriety I feel so bad for him. I was 23 living in a new city and and was throwing back makers mark/diet cokes like they were going out of style. (Note: They did go out of style — since living in Santa Barbara I haven’t been able to touch brown liquor and I cringe just thinking about it). He was newly sober and going to meetings and in love with someone who was thrilled at the idea of having a designated designated driver and who didn’t give much thought to sobriety. I especially didn’t give any thought to his personal recovery and sobriety and how hard it must have been for him to go out to so many bars and be involved in so many things that revolved around drinking. Mainly because I was too busy drinking. Duh.

Anyways, I asked him how he maintained his sobriety (and continues to), if it is hard for him and if he ever early on in his sobriety felt down or the blues. (And probably 25 other questions as, if you know me, I always do.) Well they say misery loves company (like an alcoholic loves a drink) and so for me it was good to hear that he, too, had his bouts of being down and his troubles in maintaining sobriety in a society in which alcohol is so prevalent. How does he maintain sobriety? One day at a time. And meetings. He told me, especially in the beginning, lots of fucking meetings. (Lord only knows how he stayed sober when he was dating me as thinking about dating myself makes even me want to drink. A lot.)

To be honest I haven’t been going to meetings. I got my 60 day chip and haven’t been back since then.

Well, it has been 143 days (83 since I had gone to a meeting) and with Thanksgiving here and gone and the holidays quickly approaching (P.S. at first run through I put “fastly approaching” and then realized that “fastly” is not really a word and then I wondered how I ever graduated from college with a degree in English nonetheless) but anyways, I find myself in a bout of holiday blues. Or at least that’s what I am hoping it is.

Truth be told since I have gotten sober I have found myself down. This shit ain’t no walk in the mother fucking park for me. (I don’t even like to walk in the park.) Is it because before I would have a beer or two to take the load off and forget my problems? Perhaps.

I’ll break it down.

Month 1 1/2: down and didn’t want to seemingly leave the house. Maybe I was just embarrassed or not comfortable not drinking. Poor poor me pour me another drink. Thank god for delivery and Netflix.

Month 2 (end of) and Month 3 (all): I felt fucking great! I was like: I got this. This shit is easy.

I’m the King of the World!! Woo Hoo! However, shortly thereafter that high, much like Jack, my happy Titanic-sized-sober ship sank and that selfish bitch Rose pushed me off the plank of wood (that could very well have held both of us on it) and I again saw myself slowly plummeting into the depths of the dark cold abyss of the unforgiving sea … or rather a little bout of the blues. Did I mention in addition to having ADD I am kind of dramatic?

Month 4: I have had my share of ups and downs. I have put myself in situations in which lots of people say to avoid in early sobriety. Now everyone’s sobriety is different and some can do the same things they did while drinking while others cannot. For me personally, I have put myself in situations, especially as of late, in which alcohol would have been consumed. Now I’m not even counting family holidays like Thanksgiving, those dreaded work dinners or even my own birthday as situations they say to avoid, I’m talking Halloween parties, friends birthdays, a charity event at a wine bar, going out to bars with friends. Those are situations that I willingly put myself in knowing that it was going to be a struggle to not drink. I’ve come out the other end sober and not hung over. (So why do I still eat too much Mexican food and unhealthy food like I’m drunk and/or hungover?) That’ll be my next vice to give up.

These past two weeks I have, again, felt myself getting a little down. (It doesn’t help that I have had some major life changes occur, I’ll touch more on that in the right time and date.) So with that said, I think I am going to take the advice given to me and surround myself with people who are in the same struggle. With people who understand. I am going to go back to meetings and try to immerse myself within AA starting tonight. Maybe I’ll even start to meditate. I don’t know. I don’t know if we’ll have enough time.

stay sober my friends.

136 days…and this shit ain’t easy…

Warning: I am not funny in this post and I only say ‘fuck’ like once or twice. You have been warned.

136 days.

One day at a time.

Honestly, I have contemplated and have been contemplating whether or not I will drink in the future. I feel like I would be letting a lot of people down if I did drink and people would judge me but ultimately this is my journey and my life and I can’t live it according to anyone or other people’s perceptions.

I know that alcohol hasn’t brought me and doesn’t with it bring happiness. It’s brought more headaches (literally) than it has laughs. I know that there is so much more to life beyond alcohol. My personal journey in sobriety is a testament to that. I have not been hungover once (except maybe food hangovers) and have actually enjoyed the days, nights and activities in which alcohol was so prominent before.

Most of the time, for me, drinking is some sort of escape to forget about life’s pressures, anxieties, fears, uncertainties etc. It’s a way to let loose. But why can’t I have fun, forget and let loose without it? I am learning I can. Even knowing that for the most part drinking is some sort of escape doesn’t make it less hard to not partake in drinking whether it’s in celebration or sorrow. At times I find myself so badly wishing I was able to have a beer or two with friends, have a drink at party, and have champagne to toast. I find myself so badly wanting to find some sort of moderation that others seem to have – but I just know that I am not there yet.

It doesn’t make it any easier that alcohol is everywhere. Everywhere. And the association with it is everywhere as well. If I think of it as forever it becomes a little overwhelming so I literally have to take it one day at a time and those days have added up to 136. I know I want to be sober now, today, and I know I won’t drink, today. I have been thrown some pretty tough situations in my first (almost) 5 months of sobriety (work dinners, parties, holidays, weddings…). But the more I think about it the more I realize this is just fucking life. Holidays, weddings, parties, work, birthdays, and celebrations – they will always occur. There will always be an excuse to drink or an association with alcohol for me in those situations. I guess what I’m trying to say is that whether or not I decide to drink, those situations will continue to occur. Those situations are just an excuse (for me) to drink.

I find myself having ADD even more so than before. At parties or whatever I can’t sit still. Maybe it’s because I don’t have a drink in my hand. Or I’m not comfortable not having a drink in my hand? I suffer from anxiety and bouts of depression and I’m hoping to peel some of the layers that alcohol has seemingly been a band aid for to determine the underlying cause and hopefully fix it. It’s hard when your go to (alcohol) is no longer there and you are stuck in a room with just yourself and your doubts and fears and worries and there is no escape (alcohol) or means to cope or a buffer. You are forced to think. To be present. To deal. It’s scary and it’s hard. We weren’t given a guide to life and this shit ain’t easy. I’m hoping to find a way of coping and dealing with my own anxieties and fears and doubts that doesn’t involve the consumption of alcohol. So far, I have been able to do so.

I know that I am not alone in this struggle and I truly commend those that have been sober, are trying to get sober, and are sober. It’s not easy to eliminate the one thing that many, if not most people, go to for everything. Think of a time when alcohol was not present to celebrate an achievement. To celebrate a holiday. To celebrate a birthday. To celebrate a union. Think of a time when alcohol was not present to help congratulate someone. To reward yourself or someone for a job well done. To help ease your mind after a hard day of work. To comfort someone in a time of loss or sadness.

It’s not easy to maintain sobriety in a society that seemingly relies on alcohol for every emotion.

I would like to welcome anyone (alcoholic or not) to have a sober December.

Rant over.

stay sober my friends.