I posted a commentary in July about the fear expressed by someone who relapsed after many years of being able to successfully work the program. Newly returned to our rooms, she expressed a fear of “not being able to stop” … she like the taste of alcohol, the ambience of happy party goers, the options of all the new micro-breweries. How can she successfully confront her genuine fears?
Can’t tell if these ideas will work but it is what I practiced to avoid temptation:
- Don’t go into bars amid all that fun, gaiety, good spirits. Think of the smells, the source for which you probably wish you didn’t know. The boiled eggs in a large jar ageing in that cloudy green water. The noise. The quizzical looks of the habitual patrons as you enter. Find a place more conducive to your Program that has excellent burgers. The food at the bar wasn’t that good, really.
- Avoid liquor stores. Don’t browse to kill time. Have a reason to be there. If you must, “Get in and get out, asap.” Leave if it’s too much. Take your spouse, or your legal-aged kids.
- Avoid wine & cheese receptions. Certainly, don’t succumb to “this is a great wine, try it.” If you must, get in, make your round to shake hands and kiss the air, and get out.
- There’s always a new gimmick -- now its bourbon browsing -- don’t do it.
- Stopping to gas up? You’re there to get gas and buy a lottery ticket. You’re not there to browse in the Beer Cave and its seductive collection of all those micro-breweries with the cute names.
- Don’t linger over those sexy beer and liquor advertisements, or spend time watching YouTube’s collection of hilarious football beer commercials or that Christmas ad for Bud of the sleigh ride merrily jingling through that snowy Vermont terrain to that tune, “I’ll be home for Christmas ...”
- Watch your trips to the “ol fishing hole” and that spot you got that deer. Both are excellent covers for a rip-roaring drunk. Isn’t that the real reason you went and sat in a shaking seat attached to a tree 30 feet off the ground, or sat in a canoe in the rain with a darkening sky, having had no luck fishing, with the temperature’s dropping as fast as the setting of the sun?
- Sherry sauces -- be careful. Yes, the alcohol may be gone but the wonderful appetizing smell is intended to enhance the main course. And, the smell of sherry or the wonderful smells of the liquor sauces may be a prelude to entry on a path you shouldn’t be walking.
- Weddings are classic places to tie one on -- free booze, everyone in hilarious moods, youngsters dancing to a throbbing beat. Remedy? Easy -- arrive late, leave early. Your excuse: “We have a long-standing commitment to attend a neighborhood open house.”
Everyone has their own tricks to “get in and get out.” When in doubt, ask your sponsor or someone what to do in the particular situation. It’s important. Everyone faces this in today’s often intense social calendar.
Next time ......... a short reminder of the consequences of a relapse.........
Jim A./Covington, Kentucky