I’m meeting a sister for lunch this Saturday. I haven’t seen or spoken with this sister in years. I missed her wedding because I was trying to get sober/clean. I’m afraid she might be angry at me for that. I’m afraid she might be resentful for other things in the past.
And I’m afraid that I might be touching this part of my family too soon. That I might be uncovering old wounds before they’re ready to be revealed.
I’m scared I might drink.
It would do me a lot of good to take my own advice. I can cope ahead, and I can act in a way that avoids emotional entanglements.
- Meeting makers make it – The first thing I’m going to do Saturday morning is get myself to a meeting. I’ll need the encouragement that I find there to help shore up my nerves. What I used to find in bottles and pills I now find in the camaraderie and mutual understanding of the AA group.
I can’t just go to the meeting, though. I’ll have to share what is called a “Burning Desire.” I’ll have to share that I’m actively thinking about drinking so that the group knows I need support.
Of course, I could just sit in the back of the room and listen to other people talk and share, but I’ve spent a lot of time doing that – and then I’ve gone out and gotten drunk. If I want to stay sober, I need to speak up about what I’m struggling with. I need to ask for help.
- Call my sponsor – this is something I haven’t been doing lately and definitely need to be doing more of. Calling my sponsor keeps me honest about what’s going on in my life, both good and bad. I haven’t been calling her every day like I used to. I’ve got plenty of excuses and reasons why I haven’t, but they don’t matter. The fact is, I need to call her and tell her what’s going on so that she can help me.
- Use the God Box – In other words, pray about it and leave it in the hands of my Higher Power. There is something powerful about writing down my worries on a slip of paper and then putting them away in the God Box. It transfers my mental gymnastics into a physical act, helping me stop the anxiety wheel that seems to run constantly in my head.
- Exercise – I have so much nervous energy and emotion, I must find a healthy way to express it! I’ll have time between the early morning meeting and lunch to find a park for a walk/jog. Getting rid of some of that nervous energy will help me feel more settled and at ease.
Avoiding the Emotional Rat’s Nest
I am already thinking about what my sister and I will talk about. I’m mapping out the conversation in my head, obsessing about how she will respond to things I say. And I’m already assuming the worst.
But I really shouldn’t.
I should keep a positive mindset. This is a chance for me to reconnect with a sister I haven’t seen in years. This is a chance for me to meet my new nephew! At the very least, this is a chance for me to eat Mexican food (one of my favorites)!
I don’t need to entangle myself in all the emotional upheavals of the past. This is just an opportunity to have lunch with my sister – there’s no need for it to be anything more.
I can stay sober through this event – if I use my tools – if I stay humble. I must always remember that I am an alcoholic/addict. I cannot simply walk into these situations without preparing myself. I must do the work first, and then I will see success.