Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Knocking Me Wonky

I'm traveling for work this week...all week.  I'm in one of my favorite cities on the planet - San Francisco.  I just love it here.  I miss my family like crazy but Northern Cali always helps.  I'm also getting my first introduction to our west coast business partners which is making this trip a little more stressful than my business trips usually are.  And I'm having a hard time with alcohol cravings.


Business trips always have a lot of drinking associated with them.  New people in town means dinners out,  happy hours, late night partying.  It's an excuse to cut loose not only for those traveling but also for those in the office...mainly because the company is usually picking up the tab.  This is not new to me.  In fact, it's old hat.

But hey, I've had a number of business trips since getting sober!  In the beginning I had a hard time.  I can remember being in an airport on the phone with the hubs, in tears, because I was exhausted and I wanted to step into the airport bar and have a drink - or five.  But I haven't felt that way in a long time.

That's not to say I haven't had pangs.  Long term readers of this blog know that I'm often found panging on trips like this (or a warm day, or a cold winter's night...whatever), but pangs are not cravings.  Pangs are blips on the radar, cravings are a nose dive that sends the air traffic controllers in my head into full on defensive mode. 

It's really uncomfortable to be sitting next to a woman who has a glass of Savingnon Blanc that smells crisp and citrusy on a warm San Francisco night.  Especially when your mouth is watering and you can't keep track of the conversation AND you're getting all pissed off because you can't have a glass of wine AND you find yourself awfully close to ordering one...or asking for a sip.  Too close for comfort actually.  Way too close.

Aw fuck.

Of course I didn't order any wine, nor did I take a sip, but it did unnerve me a bit.  In fact it continues to unnerve me.  Not that I thought that I was over such mundane things as cravings because I know I'm not; but because the craving and the potential tumble off the wagon was so strong and felt so close.  Double fuck.

So naturally, being the analytical human that I am, I began to analyze the reasons why this is happening to me...because, damn it all to hell, this feels like shit and I want it to stop and not happen anymore.

Yeah...good luck with that.

Anyway, I figured out it's because I'm with new people who I don't know.  As a formerly closeted introvert, this is very stressful and puts my world in the "I'd rather have root canal" category of life. 

Secondly, this is a very long trip.  Probably the longest I've been on in quite a while.  This means I'm not sleeping or eating properly and my heart hurts because I miss my family so much.  Again, knocking my world a little wonky.

Finally, there are some decisions I am going to have to make about my career soon that will more fully utilize my skills but that likely will leave some people unhappy.  Sigh...after all my recovery efforts, I'm still a people pleaser to some extent so doing anything that will make someone unhappy leaves me unhappy.

All of the above serves to make me restless, irritable and discontent.  Not exactly the best place for a recovering alcoholic to be.  Even one with three and a half years under her belt.

Don't you love how, everytime you get a little cocky about something, God comes along and reminds you who's boss? neither.

Just kidding.




  1. Travel, especially air travel, and airports. Pang! Pang! Pang! That was me yesterday. I don't like to fly. I don't like looking like an idiot standing in all those lines, thinking any moment something could go wrong. Beer and Bloody Mary's made it more tolerable, it really did. Too bad. It made the rest of my life intolerable. I'm not going to lie and say I didn't think, "No one would ever know, because I did."

    But I didn't.

  2. As you know, addiction is very powerful and justifies it's existence by giving one excuses for have seen them all and pushed them aside as unacceptable anymore as a part of your life and family...If ya need me call can be more powerful against those cravings than addiction can be in favor...I love you, baby...

  3. Sounds like a hard time indeed lovely. Away from our comforts and routines and loved ones ... it is challenging. I know. You know. We all know. Feel the pang, understand a bit glum about, slope off to bed a bit grumpy.. drag your heels for a few hours.... it's our cross to bear. But we can do that. We can face that glum-ness and just be with it and know how we can fix it - later when we have the time and space to focus on and feed the good, decent, brave, sensitive and gentle parts of ourselves. This is sober life. It's hard sometimes. But we wouldn't want it any other way. Yuk no. Love ya xxxx

  4. Ha! San fave city in the States...and the world. I have been there six times, and all but the last I was drunk there often. I worked there for 3 weeks at one point, and drank every single day. I knew practically every liquor joint within 5 miles of my hotel room. I knew the places that served late, and I knew the places that opened for business early. That was my *drinking* city. I love that city. So on my last trip, with my wife, I saw a new SF. I saw it through sober eyes, and while it brought back memories, I knew I was making new ones. And it was great.

    So i understand the pangs, the haunting old wants...but they are only pangs. They don't mean anything. And it took me time to get past those, in a general sense. And I think what you said about your reasons for feeling nailed it.

    Loved this post...have a wonderful rest of your trip.

    wonderful post.


  5. Alex said being on the road was hard for him in the beginning. It took him five years to stop having "drunk dreams".

    Addiction is powerful.

  6. I found business trips hard for a long time and they do still put you off balance, you're out of your comfort zone anyway which is unsettling etc.

    One early on in sobriety I was convinced I'd crumble before I even got on the plane!!! I called my sponsor on the way to the airport, before check-in, after check-in, after security etc. Laughable really but I made it without a hitch.

    Of course AA itself was founded on the basis of a business trip - you can read about it in Chapter 11 A Vision For You in the AA big book. Bill W, who had got sober up to then through the religious group The Oxford Group was in Akron Ohio, a long way from his home in NYC. The business went sour and he was in a hotel and the bar was calling - he phoned a church and he was given Dr Bob's name as an alcoholic who needed help. He went to see him and talked about getting and staying sober and AA was born there in Akron in 1935. Bill returned to NYC and started a group up there and the rest is history for those of us who've followed their path.

  7. OMG! I have the same issues with not being able to even follow a conversation. The urge just became this screaming almost incoherent "noise" in my head that blocked out everything else. I really felt like I was loosing my mind right there in the middle of dinner. The difference - I did order the wine after almost nine months of sobriety. What did it change - nothing! I felt more included, and it shut up that "screaming" in my head, but did it really change the experience? i don't think so...


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