By Boatswain’s Mate 1st Class Sam Ojeda, USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) Deck Department
When I finally decided to face my demons and quit drinking a few months back, I didn’t realize how long and challenging the journey to full recovery would be. The urge to take a drink still rears its ugly head from time to time, I have a lot of bad dreams, and the list of people I have to make amends to for my lousy behavior when intoxicated seems to go on forever.
But more than anything else, I think the hardest part about being sober is always getting out of bed with such clear and vivid memories of whatever transsexual man I accidentally had intercourse with the previous evening.
Because really, it’s not something I’m proud of.
Back in my drinking days, I’d usually be so trashed in any given foreign port toward the end of the evening that when I finally realized the person I was anally penetrating from behind in some dark Pattaya Beach alley was a “he” rather than a “she,” I’d just blame it on the booze and chalk it off as an embarrassing lesson learned which I’d have almost zero ability to recollect the next morning.
Now that I’m sober, however, as soon as I open my eyes in the a.m. I can pretty much instantly recall every sordid detail of whatever sweaty and animalistic male-on-male sexual encounter I unwittingly stumbled into the night before.
Seriously: Sights, sounds, smells — whatever amount of baht or Philippine pesos changed hands the previous evening— those memories are all there, playing in back of my guilt-soaked brain like some sick and sadistic porno, as I just stand around completely sober and feeling more and more like a total idiot for somehow accidentally being duped into banging yet another transsexual.
I mean, it’s absolutely disgusting. No straight guy wants to deal with this stuff.
And not to make it seem like I’m feeling sorry for myself, but don’t you think it would have been really nice if maybe just one of the many books on recovery I’ve read lately could have mentioned that being completely sober while you’re getting naively tricked into pounding out a 19-year-old ladyboy in Phuket — and then stupidly giving him your email and Facebook info— could lead to such feelings of incompetence and shame?
And why didn’t anybody from my AA meetings (including my sponsor, Mike Lukyevitch) ever think to warn me that waking up and having to relive such gross and embarrassing encounters— like the night I mistakenly ended up in a Tijuana bathhouse wearing nothing but a Mexican luchador mask and blowing what I initially had assumed to be a legitimate female prostitute— is just something that all recovering alcoholics have to go through?
Come to think of it, why did all the people at my last meeting stare at me like I’d just run over their puppy when I told that story?
Sorry. I’m probably just spinning my wheels too much about all this. At the end of the day, I know the road to recovery is a long one, and that there will always be bumps and detours. What’s most important is that I never kid myself into thinking I have enough personal control over my disease to have just one or two drinks in hopes of self-medicating against the sick, vile memories of all the transsexuals I unintentionally sodomize on a regular basis.
Doing such a thing would mean that I’m simply in denial about my alcoholism.
And I refuse to be in denial about anything.