For those who need extra support today, I woke up to a great quote from a friend. “On this day of your life, I believe that God wants you to know…that morning comes everyday; the sunrise does not fail, nor the sunset. Give it time. That is all that may be required. Do not try to push the river. The cycle of life present themselves, play themselves out, amd make smooth every passage and terrain. Try not to get caught up in your story of the moment. Loo, rather, to the Long Story. Therein will be found your peace. The cycles will redeem this moment, if you let them, and even this shall pass.”~Neal Donald Walsch
In the checkout line at the market this morning, I saw shopping carts filled with food for the grill and drinks to cheer on this day of independence. Holidays can be a stressful time for anyone, but perhaps more so for those in recovery and their loved ones. Last night, a friend told me she doesn’t know who she is anymore without alcohol. Newly sober, he is in a lot of pain and hurting. “If you told me I was going on a trip to the bahamas tomorrow, it would mean nothing to me. I don’t know what I would do with myself with a drink poolside.”
Today, here are some tips to support yourself and your loved one:
-Be choosy about your party plans today and have a back-up plan. Chances are, you will be invited to gatherings where there is alcohol around. Ask yourself what are you comfortable with? Lots of people? More of an intimate crowd? Give yourself a back-up plan if you show up and feel out of place. If you think you may be tempted as the party gets roaring, plan to go early and leave early. Give yourself a buffer. Or if you are simply not ready to put yourself out there, that’s ok too.
-Take care of YOU. What will bring you comfort today? Being with friends, a movie from Redbox? Chinese takeout? A movie? Make a list of things that will soothe your soul.
-Distract yourself. If you are without plans and feeling blue or anxious, allow yourself to be in your “stuff”. Make a list of things you have to do. Sometimes, Home Depot is the best place to go on holidays. Go seek out a meeting, a close sober friend, cook a yummy meal, or if you are tempted, call your sponsor.
-If you are a family member whose loved one is having a hard time today, try to remind yourself to love him/her without wanting to “fix”. Don’t try to think you know what he/she is thinking or feeling. We really don’t know what it is like to walk a mile in another’s shoe. Practice focusing the attention back on you, on what you can do to support yourself, and indirectly, this supports them. Know that there is an entire village of support out there…one day at a time.