I woke up on Friday full of fear and anxiety! The day of my nieces wedding had arrived, a joyous wonderful chance to meet up with family and friends and the first chance to meet my sons partner of two years. So why the fear and anxiety?
Well for the vast part of my recovery from alcohol addiction I have avoided parties, weddings, even funerals apart from paying my respects at the church service, throw football games into that mix and there you have my ideal recipe for my relapse back into addiction. Wonderful reconnecting reunion days are a minefield full of triggers for me. “Oh the good old days,” as my friends/family reminisce with rose tinted glasses about the “craic” we all had. Little do they know that as they laugh and joke about those days my brain is connecting every word with an excuse to “just have one ” to toast the bride, wet the baby’s head, a tot of respect to a dear deceased friend, just one drink to celebrate a cup final win.
So back to Friday morning! Do I live in fear and cancel, and miss the chance to reconnect with family and friends, or do I take the chance of dicing with “relapse”? The brilliant thing about recovery is that over the past 10 years I have learnt new skills and coping mechanisms which give me the toolbox to cope with such occasions and connecting with people while sober is a vital part of living a fruitful happy life. So while I still have fear and anxiety before functions, I can rationalise those worries now and have a plan in place for when I feel pressured to “toast” the bride etc. So, yes, I got myself suited and booted and allowed myself the chance to engage in living a “normal” life that day, so many of my fears did not materialise and I enjoyed a beautiful wedding celebration and managed to toast the bride with good old H20.