This came to me after reading WixBitch's post from earlier about how she almost got assaulted in Europe after a night out.
I've been traveling solo for a number of years now, and up until 2019 was completely comfortable going out for a binge drink by myself. I've done it in Australia and Ireland and always felt pretty safe. I felt like I could handle myself solo, drunk, and in a foreign country. So in 2019 when I went out to Arizona for a week's vacation, I thought no different.
So I'm staying in Flagstaff and decided to go bar hopping one night. I was staying in an Airbnb a 10 minute walk from the city center, however I didn't know the area so I decided to get an uber into town. Flagstaff is a college town so I assumed there would be Ubers running all night. So I go to a few bars, have several beers, and didn't really meet anyone. It's a Wednesday so it's relatively quiet. Towards the end of the night I end up at a hotel bar where an attractive man approaches me and starts chatting me up. He's from Phoenix, in town for business, and going home the next day. So in my head I'm already thinking great - I'm going to be back in Phoenix in a few days, I can meet up with him then so I don't have to sleep with him tonight while I'm intoxicated. So we're throwing them back, having a great time flirting, when after about an hour this guy tells me he's married. Not only is he married but his wife is sick. He then starts telling me that I should let him come over tonight, no sex, he just wants to be "held". This guy is nearly begging me to bring him back to my airbnb. Don't you just want to be held? He asks.
I snapped out of it real quick. I was like thank you for telling me, but I'm no longer interested. By this point it's around 1:45 am, the bars are getting ready to close. I looked at my phone for an uber to drive me back to the airbnb and there were none. Not a single car on the road. At this point my phone had a 7% charge left. Even though I was pretty intoxicated, I started to get nervous. I decided to walk back to my airbnb, if my phone stayed on long enough to guide me back I'd be ok. This was a terrible idea and looking back I could have asked the bar tender to call me a cab, but I was too drunk to think of it.
So I tell this guy goodnight, and thank him again for being honest. He comes outside with me as I'm leaving. I'll never forget how deserted the streets were. There were no cars or people around. He's still walking with me as I'm walking towards the crosswalk to cross into the residential part of Flagstaff. I thought he would have been going to his car or something, but he wasn't. I get to the crosswalk on Route 66 (I'll always remember that small detail) to cross the street towards the residential area. I did not expect him to follow me into the crosswalk, but he did. At this point I am completely alert, and can feel his rage behind me. It got more intense with each step I took towards the residential area where there was no one else around. This man was following me. I had no idea where I was, a phone 2 seconds from dying, no way to get back to my airbnb without it, and a strange, now angry man following me.
When out of NOWHERE a lone yellow cab drives by. Remember there were no other cars on the road. I immediately flag it down. She pulls over, I jump in and slam the door on this guy's face. She's like hey does that guy need a ride? I'm like NOPE!!! With the last 2 percent of my phone I show her my airbnb address and she takes me home. I'll never forget her, she was an older woman with long white hair. I woke up the next morning with a very strong sense that the night would have turned out much differently if it weren't for her. It almost felt like a guardian angel sent her to me. I also had this very distinct sense that if I kept doing what I was doing - i.e. going out and drinking large amounts of alcohol alone - I wouldn't always get that lucky. So on that trip I had one last solo shabang in Phoenix, (making sure my phone was fully charged this time) and stopped drinking completely after that.
My life has done nothing but improve ever since. I had a period of depression while my subconscious released all the crap I had been drinking down, but overall my mental health has improved ten fold. I have more clarity than I've ever had, have been able to detach from my social conditioning much easier, and feel more self love than I ever have in my adult life. My mood swings, which used to be very intense, are much easier to ride out. I sailed through the pandemic very easily. I'm not a doctor so I'm not saying sobriety is a cure all for mental illness, but it had a profoundly positive impact on my life. All thanks to that one LVM from Arizona.