“So our rule is not to avoid a place where there is drinking, if we have a legitimate reason for being there. That includes bars, nightclubs, dances, receptions, weddings, even plain ordinary whoopee parties…” BB pg 101
As the holiday season is in full swing I thought it would be a good reminder to discuss some party tools.
Avoiding alcohol altogether in the beginning of my recovery was a good choice for me. Fortunately I had a huge network of friends in recovery and my family was super supportive of me and chose not to drink around me, for quite a few years actually. I wasn’t working at the time so I had no company parties to avoid etc. That is often not the case for many though and no matter how many 24 hours in a row I accumulate the following tools still apply!
According to my understanding of the passage I originally quoted, I need to check my motives before attending an event where alcohol will be present. Do I have good reason to attend said event? Am I practicing and applying the spiritual tools of the program to the best of my ability? Do I have someone to help me stay accountable at the party or tell my sponsor or another recovery friend? Did I drive myself so I may leave if I’m not comfortable? Have I checked in with my HP and asked for support? Have I been honest with myself about my reason to attend? If I can answer, “Yes” to all of the questions above then I’m probably okay to go!
For me, utilizing these tools prior to heading into a situation that could be slippery is VERY important. The thing with being spiritually fit is most interesting to me. I’ve had experiences where prior to heading out I felt pure motives, spiritually fit, and positive I was in a good place to attend, only to discover on arrival or shortly after those things were no longer true! Paying attention to my feelings, triggers and so on is an essential tool for my safety and sanity during these times. Accepting that I’m an alcoholic and things change is key for me. It’s perfectly fine for me to leave a place I am no longer feeling good about! Also along those lines I’ve given myself permission to accept that changing my mind and not attending all together is a perfectly acceptable option. The party will go on with or without me! I’m just not that important, as much as I’d like to tell myself I am.
So during this season of events and parties I invite you to check your motives and listen to your heart. “After all, our problems were of our own making. Bottles were only a symbol.” BB pg 103