Tag Archives: Promises in Paradise

What to do on a sober Halloween? Try Al-Anon and a TON of sugar!

27 Oct

5:34 pm

NOT. Today, I totally crashed after my very first Al-Anon meeting. I really have got to do something about the amount of Diet Coke I’m drinking these days. I probably down at least a liter (4 cups, for those of you on THIS side of the pond) a day, if not more. Boo. I mean, it’s a different kind of craving, but I can describe it in one word: irritating. It’s distracting and absolutely irritating to feel the almost uncontrollable, and purely physical, sensation of *needing* sugar (or fake sugar, or whatever). Surmounting that soon. I don’t have enough energy to both consume sugar and then root around for extra-large-sized candy bars, too.

Anyhoo, I had a lovely morning at least. Woke up to another amazing day on the ocean — sapphire blue waters, a sheet of blue sky punctuated by big clumps of white clouds, a gusting wind cooling down the approaching mid-morning heat. Around 10, I went to a large Al-Anon meeting sponsored by Promises in Paradise, that sober conference which, btw, is also putting on an ICE CREAM SOCIAL tonight. I am literally starting to tremble just thinking about how much of my body weight I could eat in ice cream…

So, Al-Anon. It was kind of like an AA meeting in that most of the roster of speakers were also alcoholics and/or addicts. I got the gist of it, which is that these Al-Anon meetings help family members (and friends?) figure out what to do, how to cope, and importantly, how to just let go in the face of someone they’re related to or care about drinking and drugging.

(I can relate, I think. When it comes to my brother and his girlfriend, I’ve “given up” on fixing their co-dependent relationship. And, I can say, I really don’t care that much. It’s not my problem, for real.)

It made me see the toll that my drinking and blackouts and belligerence must have had and is still having on my family and friends. Like, it never occurred to me that anyone COULD be that affected. Why? Because they just didn’t care enough. At least that’s what I thought. It’s MY problem, so why should I have to worry about myself AND other people?, was what I’d always tell myself. Well, this meeting helped me to see — for some reason for the very first time in a way that sunk in — that other people need help recovering, if not actually coping, from the fallout of a drunk’s behavior while drunk. (Actually, I have been thinking about it ever since my boyfriend mentioned possibly wanting to go to one — What’s wrong with YOU? Why would YOU need help? Oh, right, because I’ve harassed you in a raging blackout about a million times.)

Sooooo, who’s dressing up for Halloween?

Oh, God. Last Halloween? Let me erase any ideas of drinking being entertained, my friends. Last Halloween, I decided to fly down to LA to visit an old college friend. Needless to say, I drank the night before flying down. AND, didn’t stop until I passed out (for probably a few hours, maybe not at all, I can’t remember). AND, woke up and continued drinking en route to the airport, AT the airport (beer in the morning, so tasty, right?), during the flight, and then AFTER landing at LAX. This was all before 2 pm. I was sitting next to some guy who was, for some reason (did he not see how drunky drunk I was?) flirting with me and encouraging me to drink more, and then I, flirting back in a drunken stupor, thought it a brilliant idea to ask him to have “one last drink” with me at a bar in LAX near our gate.

Fast forward two hours later, and I come to from my blackout. Apparently, I was wandering around LAX, lost, and my friend was trying to find me, texting me and calling me, to no avail. Somehow we linked up, and I barely remember exiting the airport, sitting in my wet (yes, I pissed my pants) jeans in the passenger seat of his car, and getting back to his place in West Hollywood so that he could leave me to “sleep it off,” which I did. What’s worse than all this happening between the hours of 2 and 5 pm in the afternoon? Pissing my pants in public. A new low. More shameful than shitting my pants (yes, that happened once), seeing how everyone could see my wet jeans, and if they couldn’t, I’m sure they could smell them. TMI, but hey, it’s kind of at least a little bit funny, right?

Oh, yes. Rock on, sobriety and bladder control.

We had a fairly decent weekend, dressed up and went out, all that. I was drinking by the next evening, much to my friend’s chagrin. It took almost a full year for this friend to forget — I knew he forgave me almost immediately, but his irritation, disappointment, and frustration would not allow him to forget. Thank God(dess) for these friends, who are few and far between; I have others who have not been so gracious and empathetic.

Anyway, think before you drink (or, dry drink, I guess!). Happy SOBER Halloween! 🙂

Am I really an alcoholic?

27 Oct

2:21 am

Y’know, a “real” alcoholic?

(I’m writing about this because I’ve been spending WAY much time thinking about drinking, and am wondering, Is it worth all this sobering thought?)

At tonight’s speaker meeting — the big-deal talk at the Promises in Paradise conference today — I suddenly wondered, Wait…maybe I’m not really a drunk? I mean, maybe, for real, I’m not an alcoholic? Maybe my problem is/was binge drinking, and is 100 percent situational? For instance, when I spent two months volunteering in [beautiful island] in 2010, I had practically zero desire to drink. I could have two beers at the end of the day and be done with it (not all the time, and I did crave wine toward the end). I was extremely content with my life and lifestyle there, and felt that I had a significant sense of purpose. Could it be as simple as, I drink when I feel like I’m doing jack with my life and I don’t drink when I fill my need to have a sense of purpose, be creative, and grow/move forward? Quite possibly, yes.

As I listened to Janine from Astoria talk for an hour about what a mess she had made of her life before “finding God” and getting sober (yeah, unfortunately, there was a lot of God talk tonight, including saying the “Our Father,” which I simply refused to do — didn’t sign up for Mass, folks), I had to say to myself, DDG, maybe you need to scoot home, learn to drink responsibly, and stop trying to play with the big boys.

I often wonder, do we catastrophize our problem drinking because we’re a neurotic society as a whole? I was talking to a could-be sponsor tonight, and told her that I didn’t drink until I was a junior in college (I studied abroad that year in Paris; wine definitely helped me speak better/at all in French). She was shocked. I then got the feeling I’ve been getting and have had before elsewhere, but typically not in [cold west coast city] or [cold east coast city]: Oh, you’re one of them. Meaning, I’m smart, I’m stable, I haven’t had many non-first world problems in my life. Sure, whatever, a drunk. Come and see how the other half lives, girlie, and then we’ll talk alcoholism.

And, maybe they’re right. Where does “proper” binge drinking end (even if it only takes a few glasses of wine for you to blackout) and alcoholism begin? And, if we’ve become a society that pathologizes even the most basic of human experience and emotion (since when are mood swings considered bipolar disease, and depression and anxiety things to eradicate as early as possible as young as possible?), who gets to finally claim that label? I mean, who among us wouldn’t want more than one chip?

Anyone up for a sober conference? Promises in Paradise is where it’s at!

25 Oct

2:29 am

There’s a conference on [beautiful island where I now live] this weekend called “Promises in Paradise,” which is basically a weekend-long AA meeting. Not sure if I can swallow it just yet; I mean, I still sort of cry inside every time I think, island + wine + DDG = null set.

Ah, well. Maybe, like my boyfriend says, I should fill up my wine glass with chilled rooibos tea — my current obsession — instead of wine?

Today was OK; nothing Earth-shattering. Which, in a way, bums me out. (I think I just have to get used to having settled in, and not, like, continuously moving around and looking forward to being somewhere else — or do I? I’m already looking forward to trips to PR, D, and H!) I had an interview with a possible fourth client, and that went well. I must say, this freelance thing takes a lot of patience, as there isn’t as much measurable output as one might need to feel productive. AND, it just takes a lot of time linking up with people and arranging work. I feel somewhat blah about this next project, but I’m sure I’ll rally.

No meeting for me today — figured I’d be able to OD on meetings this weekend if I end up hitting that conference. (And, why not? It’s right around the corner and how cool will I be when I get to tell people that I actually LIVE in said paradise?). I ended up spending the evening cleaning and unpacking! It feels GREAT to have my closet a little bit more organized, to have the bags off the floor and the sheets and towels and underwear in their right place. Yet…

Always a yet. Why can’t I just be happy with what is? Settling in makes me feel unsettled, that’s just a given. I am a restless mofo, and I know this about myself. It’s one of the reasons I drank. Speaking of which, at last night’s meeting, one woman shared that her biggest obstacle to acceptance was that she didn’t like the 21st century! LOL I could relate; I mean, we all have our “head” issues, our perceptions of reality that make us feel crazy/weird being human. Mine is information overload and an inability to “see through” the physical reality around me. More often than not, I would drink out of anxiety and frustration surrounding these glitches.

Anyway, yup, always in my head! Oh, well, that’s what this blog is for. Anyway…I miss my stuff in [cold east coast city]. I miss…my life. In [cold east coast city]? I’m not sure. I feel…like I’m floating. Maybe it’s time for a “real” job; it’s cool to have reached my goal of earning a living as a freelance writer, but I know — have known for a while — that it’s not something that I find all that rewarding anymore, writing/editing, and there are other things I know I’d like to spend my time doing.

All in due time. One day at a time. I have trouble with this, so I’m just going to calmly shut my laptop and Turn It Off.

Oh, and: 14 days, kids! And, really, very little desire to drink; very large desire to keep working, moving forward, and keeping the “wine gut” to a bare minimum (I think I can safely transition to using the more aptly named “blueberry muffin gut” now).

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