Bored in Los Angeles with a chock-full mini bar

IMG_6875I flew to Los Angeles this morning for a 3-day work “off-site.” I’ve been a little nervous about this with respect to quitting drinking, not because I was really worried about drinking, but because I was anxious about having to answer questions about not drinking.

Today has been a day full of more triggers than I even expected:
  • First time to the airport since I stopped drinking. I had developed quite a habit of drinking when I fly, yes, even if I got to the airport for a 9:30 am flight, like I did today. I walked straight past Vino Volo at 8:30 am, even though it was open. No I don’t have anxiety about flying. It was always just an excuse to drink at 8:30 in the morning. Because why not?
  • First time to L.A. since I got divorced 3.5 years ago. My ex is from here and, well, duh. Trigger. But I have so say, getting off the plane at LAX today and seeing the hills and the palm trees kind of made me sad. HALT – Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired. and Sad. I’d like to call it SHALT! And I SHALT not drink when I’m Sad, Hungry, Angry, Lonely or Tired!
  • A work “off-site” — and indeed, we landed and went straight to “have beers” where we also ended up eating. I ordered iced tea and a salad.
  • My room has a minibar FULL of booze, I mean, more booze than I’ve seen in a mini-bar in YEARS. I actually considered asking them to come get all the booze, but it’s been ok. I studied all of the booze on top of and inside the fridge for about 10 minutes, and then it was over. I wasn’t tempted. Not really. I’m steady that I’m not breaking my 100 days. BUT is has exacerbated my next point which is…
  • I like the people I work with just fine, but I’M BORED. I’m so bored. I realize that at things like this, I would just drink a lot of wine because then I was having my own fun and it didn’t matter that I’m actually kind of an introvert and I’d rather be home with my dog or in my hotel room watching my favorite show most times than be chit-chatting with a bunch of people from work. Gone gone gone are the days (like in my 20s) when my social life WAS work, and I could party with those people for hours and hours. Days. And drink through all of it.

I ended the evening at “cocktails” ordering cranberry and soda. No one seemed to notice or care. When I got to the bottom, I ordered another one and our VP said it sounded good and she switched to cranberry and soda. I slipped out before 8 and came back to my room to catch up on my reading and blogging, and watch my fav show. My boss texted me: “where’d you go?” I was hoping since she was on her third glass of wine she wouldn’t have noticed me missing. I told her I came back to my room for my phone and ended up staying. That’s not so far from the truth…

Day one, down.

IMG_6877I’m not going to drink today, I’M NOT GOING TO DRINK TOMORROW EITHER, but I’m definitely in a stage where I am getting really bored of not drinking. Does that sound dumb? It sure feels dumb saying it. The wine addict who can’t get that euphoric thrill any way but by pouring two bottles of wine down her throat?

Now THAT’s sad.

See, thing is, I’m in that place where I really started the process of stopping drinking for stretches of time (more than a day) about 3 months ago, and it’s no longer novel (thank god) and it’s a lot easier day-to-day (thank god), but I’m still thinking about quitting drinking every day, all day, and I’m still not reaping the huge benefits. Some benefits, yes. Huge benefits, no. The days and evenings and weekends stretch on and I’m bored with my own damn self.

Hell, it’s only Day 7 (again) this time and I’m in a sober lull. I even found myself considering whether I’m over-reacting by quitting drinking. It was only a passing thought and I KNOW that is the wine addict brain having a tantrum, but I thought it. It’s nagging me and needs to go away because I know it’s bullshit.

I’m not worried about drinking today (or tomorrow), but I’m worried about this boredom coming to a head and making me want to inject **fake excitement** into my chest plate like Uma Thurman’s character on Pulp Fiction. A massive syringe of BUZZ straight to the heart.
Of course that would ruin everything and I’d have to start over again. It’s not going to happen. I’ve COMMITTED TO 100  DAYS and I’m sticking to it.

And the stupid thing is that I have plenty to keep me busy and things I could be doing with my time — so many things. So many fun, interesting or even healthy things! And I will do them. But I’m missing that ZING that booze gave me, once upon a time.

You know?

Fucking dopamine junky, I am.

I know this will pass. I sure hope it does anyway.

Hey y’alls, it passes, right?

So many people have said that it gets GOOD. And I’m not talking about the pink cloud stuff (which hasn’t happened yet, but looking forward to it), or the weight loss (also hasn’t happened yet), or the boundless energy (nope) or aMAAAAAAZING skin (no…) or such an incredible new sense of self that I suddenly meet the love of my life and I win the lottery and I save an entire TRAIN full of stray dogs from a horrific death on their way to a korean meat farm, and I owe it all to living alcohol free. 🙂

All that’s coming. I’m sure.

Because, truly, I’ve been working really hard at building in tons of supports and trying to take great care of myself and giving myself treats and getting good sleep and so on.

It’s just times like this, normal, boring, every day BLAH NORMAL LIFE DAYS, when you know, I miss that zing. That thrill. That wave of haaaaaaaaahhhhh sigh…that used to wash over with the first glass of wine.

I know the truth. Don’t worry. And even though now I see it for the destructive poison it was for me, I still miss that thrill. I see more and more clearly that I need to replace that thrill. 

Which brings me back to Augusten Burroughs’ words about finding something as good to replace it. Not addiction with addiction, but tapping into something deep and meaningful to fill the void.

AAAAAAnd, I hear that somewhere around 60 days for lots of people, the daily/hourly/constant thinking about it quiets. That will help.

Mercy. Only Day 7 on my way to Day 60. Bloody hell that feels like a long time right now.

Who knew such a HUGE part of my JOY(??) — fake joy, yes, but joy — every day came solely from red wine?

Yikes. That’s messed up.

I guess it’s good I’m finally seeing it for what it is. I guess this is my clarion call to make some changes in my life, even beyond giving up the drink. Yep.

Wow – it just came to me. This is today’s lesson. Indeed.

So by they way, this L.A. hotel (The Standard) is not without its amusements. It’s suitably hip, complete with waterbed pods in the rooftop bar area and plush purple couches in the lobby. One of the things that was hidden from view in the mini bar photo above was this package. Pretty hilarious, actually.
Safety first! 🙂
I’m not sure what’s going on in that third icon…

And with that, goodnight!

Rachel. Day 7 (for the 27th time, it feels like). I’ll get to 100 yet!

8 thoughts on “Bored in Los Angeles with a chock-full mini bar

  1. I feel like it takes a while to figure out what to do with yourself after you stop filling hours and hours with mindless booze swilling. (Oh I’m sorry, did that not sound romantic?? MINDLESS BOOZE SWILLING:)) Anyhoo, maybe what you call bored I call being a loose end, not quite sure what I should be doing, feeling weird about starting to do anything, feeling like my arm should be going up to my face every 2 minutes. And btw JEEZUS, that is a serious minibar. That’s probably $800 hotel-dollars worth of booze:)
    I does get easier, you’re in the super-hard part right now. The first two weeks are THE WORST, from my unscientific observation of dozens of blogs I’d say that’s when most people cave and drink– so if you can get three weeks down you’ll probably make it to your goal.
    Some people get all those awesome perks right away and some don’t. I lost weight because I starved myself smoking cigs (trying not to drink) for three months, also I workout regularly. And I still had to beat it off me. My skin is okay, it’s not glowing (it’s not gray anymore, so that’s nice). The main thing is the puffiness and bloat, that goes away pretty quick. But if for no other reason than to SAVE THOSE DOGS, you should stay sober. Also get yourself a coloring book.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Anne. I have your words in my head all the time! 🙂 I’m holding out — and I’m going to make more effort making new fun and looking for the good in all situations! (My favorite show was pre-empted last night and I couldn’t even escape with TV. Actually, that’s probably a good thing too. 😉 )


  2. Maybe substituting one “escape” for another isn’t the answer. And being “bored” with sobriety isn’t uncommon when alcohol has been that “mini vacation” from real life – in fact, I think it’s probably the norm. But, that may not mean finding another form of external excitement, at least not right away. And yeah, air travel and work trips are tough when they used to be excuses for drinking. Triggers are everywhere, so just keep focused that the benefits of not drinking are greater than than the temporary “excitement” of boozing.

    Liked by 2 people

      • I think it’s perfectly reasonable. Do you remember as a kid when you were coloring and the entire outside world just disappeared and all you focused on was coloring? That’s how all of life should be – spent in the coloring zone!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Good lord, I was a wreck at day seven. I’d burst into tears for no discernible reason, look at people and want desperately to form the thoughts in my mind into sentences, but usually weird phrases that nowhere resembled my thoughts came out. More than anything, I wanted to feel normal (or what I thought was normal, but was really a chemically-engineered sense of security which also chipped away at my morals and ability to make sane decisions.

    At the risk of sounding like a skipping record, it does get easier. At eleven months, I still think about drinking, but thoughts can’t hurt me. As a counselor told me once, “Thoughts can’t hurt you, feelings can’t hurt you, but drinking can and will kill you.”

    Hang in there. You continue to kick ass and inspire others.

    Liked by 1 person

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