Monday, December 05, 2011
The High Expectation Season is Upon Us.
I'll get back to my work-a-day world today. I am grateful for it.
This is a difficult time of the year for a lot of us. The expectation is that it is "the most wonderful time of the year," but that expectation carries a lot of baggage. We have memories of things past - maybe our now deceased parents, maybe our ex-spouse and happier times around the Christmas tree. Maybe just the memory of happy children who are now unhappy adults. Maybe we don't have the money to buy all the gifts we feel committed to purchase. Maybe we would like to go to a party if no one asked us any questions... sometimes our lives are so complicated it is terrible to watch a friendly face go all "how can I get away from this person- stat!" once we start talking about just simple facts of our lives.
I am grateful to be as old as I am and to have had quite a few sober holidays behind me. I will be fine. But it is sad to watch others struggle. I know how painful it can be. For me, these days have meaning, but they are all about something that happened 2011 years ago, and that is never an unhappy thing to meditate upon.
So, let me just say, just in case you need someone to: You have permission to take care of yourself. You may not be able to go to that party - it is OK - they probably won't even notice you're missing. You may need to drive to an event alone - so that you can leave without needing to explain or cajole someone else into leaving with you. You may need to hold that cell phone like a lifeline - and use it in the bathroom and other unlikely places - to stay in touch with your sponsor and other AA people. If you have a smart phone, you can get a big book app - mine is called "twelve steps, the companion," and then you are always carrying a big book with you.
For me, one of the most important things to realize is that I am not the center of the universe. The season will go right on with or without me. The world will not screech to a halt if I am drinking coffee while others are drinking cocktails - likely no one will even notice. And even if they do, it won't be as noticeable as my drunken debacles were. I may think I am central to an event, but I have found that new people step in to be "central" once I step aside. And I may need to step aside. Kids don't care if you purchase them something cheap - they may like it better than the really great present you were going to spend too much money on. And any adult who expects you to spend a lot on them is probably not worth the expense.
Back to basics: Don't drink, go to meetings, read the big book, call your sponsor.
And your higher power is just waiting to hear from you and would love to help you in ways you couldn't begin to anticipate. Just waiting! For YOU!