I am typing this post on my phone as I can’t wait to get home and to the iPad to write.
I hate Fridays.
In anticipation of my Friday doubts (and they have been swarming), and despite telling my husband that I wouldn’t go, I went to a meeting. My husband thinks that meetings are overdoing it, I think because he doesn’t want my story to be as ‘bad’ as the stories I hear in meetings. And in some ways, the things I heard today were ‘worse’ than what has so far happened to me. But at the core of these stories I could hear my own; although I may not have drunk 24 hours a day, or had my children taken away from me, the central notion is the same: that I have found alcohol to be in control of the centre of my life, and that’s why I’m trying to stop drinking.
The meeting was still scary. I immediately emailed my husband and tried to get out of my sober quest. I suggested we drink tonight and tomorrow, and then ‘go back to sobriety’ during the week. Fortunately, he knows my Friday methods – particularly as I had asked him to ignore them if I tried them – and his reply was NO GO.
I was disappointed, and relieved. But ultimately I know I cannot ask him to decide these things for me. It has to come from me; only I can do this.
So, am I glad I went to the meeting? I’m not sure, but I certainly need to be doing all I can to help myself, and I think meetings may be part of that process.
Now, onwards to Friday evening, and putting into practice some of those ideas you have kindly sent me.
17 thoughts on “Meeting the triggers”
Once, early in my sobriety, I told my sponsor that the stories of “people NOTHING like me” I heard in meetings made me feel like I was just fine, and that moderation was more for my sort than abstinence. She told me I was half right. I was different than they were. I was worse off. They had been sober longer, understood how serious their problem was, and didn’t use others’ experiences as (yet another) excuse to drink. They were also more generous than I was, willing to share honestly the stories of their addict to help me get sober. She had me.
She told me I had to stop looking for differences and start looking for similarities — it was my giant alcoholic ego that kept me from seeing them. I’m glad to hear that you do see some of those similarities. And one final word from my sponsor (har har) — she said that because of luck (financial circumstances, mental and physical health, supportive family, timing) — and not because of any specialness on my part — alcohol had not visited some of those horrors you talk about (losing kids, constant drunkenness) on me. But the seeds were there, and had I kept drinking, my addiction certainly could have brought down all that and worse. That is one of the many reasons I am so grateful for AA.
I’m glad you went to a meeting, and I hope you will go back, speak up, find a meeting that makes you less uncomfortable. Some of that is, of course, fear. I sometimes worry that, for all your painful and earnest efforts, the piece you are missing is seeing how deadly serious this is. The meetings put that in your face, which might be part of why you want to sink back into denial after. Give your husband a hug for me — he saved you today (though he must also still not have the whole picture, because if he knew what the addiction was doing to you, he wouldn’t think anything that helped break it was “overdoing.”) Onto Day wight, right?
I can go days and even WEEKS on the internet looking for answers without finding articles or books half as helpful as this one comment of yours hapless, thank you so much for sharing.
Amazing response, HH. Truly. Made me sit back and look at my own reasons for not attending meetings.
Wow…your response is so dead on…I’m glad I opened this blog today to read it. Annie…if you look for excuses you’ll find them. If you look for the truth you’ll find it too….lots of profound wisdom being shared here. Keep going.
I loved your response so much that I quoted it on my blog today: http://www.mummywasasecretdrinker.blogspot.com
I do hope you don’t mind! Xxx
Annie. Those people are nothing like you because they have recognized they had a problem and taken steps to correct it.
They have overcome. They are sober today.
You can be too. You can have what they do. You just need to realize you are no better or worse than they are. You are just still trapped in active addiction.
You have tried weekday sobriety before. Go back and read you own words. This is not overdoing it. Your husband either doesn’t know the reality of your drinking or you are not really listening to him.
You need support. I’m so glad you went to the meeting. It shows willingness to really try. That’s an awesome first step.
I agree 100%!
I read your response after I wrote mine.
That is the truth. The people at meetings are the lucky ones. They have found freedom.
What happened with me is that I got into that weekend cycle, and time just starts to speed up. I wasted decades doing exactly what you just described. I would call my husband we would meet for “lunch,” meaning that I wanted a freebie weekend to begin right away. I have an agreement with him now, though. If I start back, then it’s off to rehab. But I no longer think I have to apologize for becoming addicted to an addictive substance. But I will be very sorry if I don’t do anything about it.
Annie, you already did the hard thing, you were so brave and went to a meeting. You don’t need to drink now. Drinking would only cement those fears that you are helpless in your mind. Take this day, once again, to prove that you’re not helpless.
You got this. And your husband has your back. Sober Saturday mornings are the best
Annie, I’m so glad you got out of your comfort zone and went to the meeting. Regardless of how the meeting went, the important thing is that you did go.
I know you dread Fridays because it’s a huge trigger day for you.
You can change your mind set by “embracing” it. Plan special things for you and your family to usher in the weekend FFF (family fun Friday???). It can start as soon as your children come home from school. They probably love Fridays! ….No school until Monday. Make an effort to join in their enthusiasm. Key is to plan ahead. If you wait till you’re in the midst of your cravings it’s much more difficult.
You might want to make a special meal for that evening (it doesn’t have to be real complicated… try a new recipe or new ingredient) I usually cook seafood on Fridays. Have a nice cup of herbal tea (I love Pukka organic teas) while you’re cooking. There’s a lot of joy in gathering around the dinner table with your family for a meal without a drink.
The addiction will want to make you believe that there’s joy in drinking but we know it only robs us of it. Don’t believe for one second that this time it’s going to be different when you drink.. that it will end differently.. it won’t be so bad….etc. …it’s a forgone conclusion when we drink…it doesn’t have a nice ending…. many of us can testify to that fact.
Annie, I’m glad you went to the meeting and I’m glad you wrote about it right away. I used to do what you’ve talked about with meetings–go, then feel alienated afterwards. I felt like the people there were not like me, and then I raced for a drink so I could differentiate myself from these people who had all that trouble with the drink! This last time I quit drinking, I went to meetings again for a while, really looking for the similarities among other people’s experience and my own. I just knew I needed to be around people who really got what a problem the drink is, and wanting to run away and drink after that was just a big form of denial because it really is a scary thing. Anyway, I’m rambling a bit, but I just wanted to say I get it, and you’re doing great, and facing the fears and triggers and whatever they’re called is just the thing. Big hug to you! xo
I can’t offer anything in addition to these wise words already written here. I am glad you are going to meetings, I am glad that I click on your blog and I can get in, I am glad you are writing. Hugs, gladness, and virtual cheering from me xxxx
Hoping you’re asleep (or snuggling) and dreaming happy dreams.*
Hi Annie, I am glad you went to a meeting. There is wonderful advice above so there is nothing I can really add. I just want to congratulate you on one week sober! You are doing so well. Keep going. A x