I have Twitter that I use sporadically. Maybe it's time to jump into the whole Facebook thing. But then I think about the ugliness that seems to be prevalent there. We don't have it ugly in our blog world--at least from the point that we aren't ugly to each other. This is a supportive community and certainly has given me a lot over the years. I am most appreciative of that.
My stepping into more of an activist role in the community has absorbed a lot of time. My standing passively by when there is so much injustice happening is not something I can do. I view this as practicing the principles of Al-Anon in all my affairs, having courage to change the things I can and speaking my truth without fear. I don't let the problems I see take over my life though. It is important for me to maintain balance.
Regarding balance, we have been invited to quite a few parties this year. It is quite a change that I used to be nervous about going to parties where alcohol was present. Now C. and I can go without feeling uncomfortable. Being able to enjoy social settings has made the holidays much more enjoyable than what would happen in times past when I was gripped with anxiety about my wife's drinking.
So many though are struggling with the whole holiday scene. Here are a few things that we talked about at a meeting this week that will help during the holidays:
- Remember the three C's: that you did not cause the alcoholism. You can't control it. You can't cure it.
- Detaching myself from the situation. I have an escape plan, a Plan B, in which I remove myself from uncomfortable situations. I may just leave the room and walk away or if a relapse would occur, then I know to call her sponsor.
- Doing service work and volunteering to help others. It is an excellent way to get out of your own anxiety and have a good feeling. There are also meetings and often special events around the holidays. Even if you are traveling, there are local meetings that are being held. Look them up and go to a meeting.
- Going back to basics when things get stressful continues to soothe me. I remember that I am powerless over other people, places and things. I am powerless over alcohol. I say the Serenity Prayer over and over to quiet my mind. I remember that I may have to break things down to small time intervals by just getting through the next 10 minutes of a bad situation.
- Not participating in blaming and recriminations helps. I don't participate in the blame game. Again, the escape plan is useful. If things get out of hand, walk out of the room and calm yourself down so you can go back and enjoy your family.
- Plan in advance for activities. Be aware and honest with what the circumstances may be. If you know it will end badly, stay away, leave or plan for different transportation.
- Be careful and aware. Staying safe is important. Look out for yourself and seek out friends who are supportive. Refusing to get into a car driven by someone who is alcoholically impaired may save your life.
If you have other ideas on what works for you during the holidays, please post them. I appreciate your thoughts because it is difficult to get through a time of year when expectations run so high. Keeping my expectations low has helped a lot in not building resentment.
Thank you for being here. If any of you would like to share your experience, strength and hope by writing a post, just email me (firstname.lastname@example.org). Wishing you the best.