This past week has been a whirlwind of activity, thoughts, and a bit of confusion. I left for my annual sales conference in Miami on Wednesday of last week. I consciously chose not to get up for my morning meeting because I knew that I had a long day ahead of me filled with airplanes, Uber rides, meetings, cocktail hour, and a dinner.
Wait, what? Cocktail hour? Sober people go to cocktail hours?
Yes, sometimes we do when we have a good reason to be there, and a work event is generally a good reason. That doesn’t mean that we drink, it just means we show up. Sometimes you have to suit up and show up. So I went to cocktail hours on Wednesday and Thursday of last week, and had non-alcoholic drinks. My non-alcoholic drinks of choice were, club soda and lime, Red Bull, Ginger Ale, and Espresso.
The meetings were generally good. I found that I was much more able to focus on the content being presented because I was actually present. I wasn’t hungover. I wasn’t sick. I wasn’t tired. I actually had a pretty good time and tweeted about it:
I didn’t make it to meetings while I was in Miami. I thought about it, and even looked for a meeting to attend, but the schedule of meetings and my schedule of events for work just didn’t mesh. So instead, I checked in on Reddit StopDrinking and on twitter though out the days. And, of course, I called my sponsor while on the trip.
When I got back to Maryland on Friday night, my son was incredibly happy to see me and I knew that I couldn’t go to the 5:30 meeting that I sometimes go to on Fridays. Truthfully, I was kind of beat anyway. So I didn’t go.
It occurred to me that night that I hadn’t really thought too much about being the sober guy during the week. That I hadn’t spent the days obsessing about NOT drinking. And a thought occurred to me:
And I truly wonder about that, have I been over-focusing on Sobriety? I wrote about it briefly the other day when I mused that I felt like I’d given up an obsession with drinking for an obsession with thinking about not drinking.
These tweets resulted in some comments from other twitter users. Some people expressed that they’d cut back on their meeting attendance for the same reasons, others suggested that I should remain vigilant and that I should feed the right wolf inside me.
Saturday came and went. We didn’t do a whole lot as a family, but it was just the kind of day that I needed after a trip. Again, I did not make it to a meeting.
Now, I’ve got to get honest. When I packed for my trip to Miami, I put my medicines in little a little travel pack as I usually do. But I didn’t put that travel pack in my toiletry bag. So, I missed two days of my usual medications which include some for heartburn, hypertension, and depression. In addition to my prescribed medications, I take B-complex, B12, D, and C vitamin supplements and fish oil daily and I didn’t have those either. I didn’t stress about it because it was only two days and these are maintenance medications. Missing two days shouldn’t be a big deal.
Sunday morning, I got up and went to my 6:00 AM meeting and had breakfast with my sponsor. I thought that things were going well. I thought I’d made it through 4 days with no meetings and missed medications unscathed. But I was wrong.
While we were at church, my son was being uncooperative and downright disrespectful and I nearly lost it with him. From that point onward, I was in a horrible mood and I just couldn’t shake it. My wife suggested that I call someone in the program, but I flatly refused. And I got pissed about it. Instead, I went to bed early and got up for my morning meeting on Monday.
I had the day off and so did my wife and son, so we had a bit of an adventure that included Korean BBQ and a second viewing of The Force Awakens. We had a great day.
I’m left wondering now, whether the lack of meetings or the lack of medicine set me off. Or if it was a combination of both.
I do genuinely feel that there is probably something not quite healthy about going to a meeting every single day — I know it works for a lot of people, but I’m not sure it will continue to work for me long term. So, I’ll keep searching for the balance.