out

Last night, I went to a bar. I ordered a diet coke and the bartender said “One of those nights?” and I said “Yeah,” with a sigh, even though I didn’t really know what he meant. Even though it had been one of those years.

It’s not a good sign, going to a bar, in month 11, after my last post, after a very rough conversation with my boyfriend, after deciding not to go to a meeting.

I went to a place where I knew I wouldn’t see anyone I know. I drank my diet coke in the back and watched 2 guys play pool for about 5 minutes and I left. I stood outside for a long time, texting myself so I didn’t look too sketchy, or too open to anything. Then I went home. It’s what I would call a dark night. It’s not something I’m looking to repeat.

I’ve been thinking a lot about going out. I went to a meeting at a place I had never been before and a young guy who had two weeks raised his hand. He said he keeps getting two weeks and relapsing. Because all of his friends drink. Because he wants to feel normal. Wants to go out with them.

When I had trouble getting past two weeks, my therapist suggested healthy alternatives to going out. I made lists of them. Go to a meeting. Read. Call a friend and ask them to hang out with me sober. See a movie. I didn’t do any of those things. I lay on my bed and thought about how lonely my life would be.

Tonight, St. Patrick’s day, a man talked about what happened. He said “I knew it was over, but I didn’t know what was next.”  Another said last year St. Patrick’s day took him out. People talk about events that took them out. They mean out of sobriety, out of the present moment, out of the program. It’s somewhere very far away. I thought about when St. Patrick’s day took me out 2 years ago, in Dublin, when I knew it was over but I was nowhere close to done.

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8 Responses to out

  1. bryan says:

    i’m curious as to how ur night ended, having been at a bar.

    • I went in there looking for validation after a rough session in couples therapy and my boyfriend kind of shutting down. I felt rejected and unlovable so I went to an old method of dealing with those things. Not alcohol, but that scene. It’s very clear at this point in my life that I don’t belong there anymore.

      I went to a place where I knew I wouldn’t see anyone I knew. I drank my diet coke (which is something I also quit 11 months ago) in the back and watched 2 guys play pool for about 5 minutes and I left. I stood outside for a long time, texting myself so I didn’t look too sketchy. Then I went home. It’s what I would call a dark night. It’s not something I’m looking to repeat.

  2. Also I think it’s worth noting, though I didn’t find it a place in the post itself, that a lot of recovering alcoholics and addicts don’t have a problem in a bar. Or they don’t after a long time in the program. Or they’ll go if a band they love is playing or if it’s a good friend’s bday. Obviously that night was not a special occasion for me, but I still want to say that I am one of those in recovery who cannot go to bars. It’s not a safe space for me. I’m one of those that did almost all my drinking in bars and at parties and those still do not feel like places I can go safely.

  3. I’ll work that comment into the post for the sake of other people who are wondering that, too.

  4. Heidi says:

    That was also my question. Thanks for the answer. So glad for your sake that you didn’t give up. Do you have a sponsor?

  5. Riversurfer says:

    Thank you so much for sharing your so very honest post! It actually gave me a lump in my stomach… the sensation of balancing on the border to a relapse… it’s not worth it. We have an image of what awaits when we start drinking again, but it’s a false image and the truth is so damn ugly. You are worth all the best, you do not deserve to ruin yourself with alcohol – you’re too much of a beautiful person to do so.

    Stay strong, a big HUG to you!

  6. Thank you. So true what you’re saying. It reminds me of when I first tried to stop drinking and was becoming disillusioned with it. What people talk about when they say “it stopped working.” I’d look at the advertisements – they made it look so glamorous. Like drinking would make me feel sexy and cool and would be the time of my life, when really I was blacking out and going home with people I didn’t know. Really I was waking up depressed and terrified and with a horrible headache. The ads were so far from the truth, but I kept believing them. They were a reflection of how we all think about it.

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