Saturday, November 3, 2012

Surviving Las Vegas

I spent four days in Las Vegas last week. I've always disliked it there, even when I was drinking. Without any boundaries to protect me from myself, being in Vegas meant far too much drinking. It meant self-pickling. It meant facing the feeling that I could and would drink endlessly without some kind of boundary to keep me safe from myself. I only went once.

This is the first time I've gone since I got sober. The first night I was there really reminded me of the shame and embarrassment I'd felt the last time. I don't like hotels with mini bars, the signs of excess. I thought about drinking...for about five minutes. Then what I felt was the fear that I would drink. The fear that I wasn't capable of resisting the urge. The fear that I would drink even though I didn't want to. And then I went running and I felt like myself again.

I realized that I am no longer the same person who drank to relieve pressure and escape from difficult feelings. I have grown and changed so much since then. So while I still felt tired and out of sorts because I was there, surrounded by the evidence that this life goes on around me, I didn't have to participate or make excuses for it. Trusting that I'd changed was enough to keep those demons at bay.

6 comments:

  1. YAY !~!V I am so proud of you for realizing that the demons are gone and you are hanging tough with your resolve. Vegas, like Key West FL, is a dangerous place to be if one's not solid in their recovery. You are SOLID GOLD. I detest Vegas and all it stands for, too. I've been twice and have no plans to go back altho I live in No Cal. Give me a redwood forest and a cliff overhanging beach any day.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I completely agree with you - there's nothing edifying about Vegas. Any spot in nature gives me a sense of peace and well-being, so I'm with you.

      Delete
  2. As Lynda says - you obviously are rock solid in your recovery. Great stuff! I've never been to Vegas but I imagine it as a really hedonistic place, so one that's difficult to be sober in. But at the same time how fascinating it would be to watch all that excessive behaviour and focus on the un-real FUN! GAUDY BOOZY FUN! with your 'reality goggles' on. Fascinating I bet. Yay you xxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was lucky that I wasn't with anyone who wanted to GET CRAZY. And my coworkers know I'm an alcoholic, so had my back in their own way.

      I wouldn't say "rock solid" though. Sometimes it all feels so tenuous, like I'm not, and never will be, in a place where I don't have to watch myself. It's definitely not something I could have done a year ago however, so the balance continues to tip in favor of sobriety.

      You're lucky to be so far from this type of fake fun.

      Delete
  3. Vegas is certainly not the same for me as it used to be, that's for sure. With my poker playing, I still go occasionally, but sometimes I just have to get up and leave if someone orders a drink right beside me while I'm playing.

    I remember my first "sober" trip to Vegas. My running partner went with me, and we focused on doing all things healthy. We ran every day, ate well, went to the spa, went to a concert, and bungee jumped off the Stratosphere (well, that may not have been so healthy). It was one of the most fun trips I've ever had.

    I hope you've been doing well. I think of you often!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Proud of you! I love Vegas for their food and shows but haven't been back since I got sober. I think I'm a little hesitant too.

    ReplyDelete

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...