This past weekend my husband and I made the grueling trip from Oklahoma to Ohio for my little sister Jessica’s wedding. The trip takes about 15 hours or so but it feels like the longest drive known to man! I’m not the best traveler because I suddenly become five when you put me in a car. I feel trapped, bored, confined, etc…so I’m sure you can imagine the level of annoyance my husband had with me, but he endured! I’m always extremely honest in my writing so I’m going to admit that the past couple of weeks have not been the easiest so I was rather nervous about being around my family. Although I know I have the support of my siblings all but two of them are triggers for me. Meaning I associate them with alcohol. I don’t mean for that to come across as offensive at all because being that I’m the oldest who do you think started the drinking trend? Me. I’m having to relearn how I see people. I’m not sure if that even makes sense but I want to see my siblings as my best friends not as my former drinking buddies. So anyway, I knew this trip was going to be a challenge for me but I knew with God’s help I could handle it. Unfortunately what I did not know was that I’ve entered the second phase of my recovery which is called Post-Acute Withdrawal meaning that there are now fewer physical symptoms and more emotional and psychological withdrawal symptoms. Basically “cry fest” would be the theme off my trip!
The morning of the wedding I was a nervous wreck. I’ve been in so many weddings that I’ve lost count but in the past I’ve gotten to take a drink or two before making my entrance to calm my nerves. I decided I was going to play it as cool as possible. I would pretend that I was ok because this was my sister’s big day after all and we all wanted her wedding to be perfect!
She was a gorgeous bride and it was obvious that her groom felt like the luckiest man in the world! Which he should because my sister is amazing! The reception was just as fabulous! Everyone in the bridal party danced into the reception to Michael Jackson’s song Thriller (yes I danced in front of people sober). My baby sister Cortney had the dance down and it was hilarious! So far so good! I kept telling myself that I could do this. Everyone toasted with champagne (water for me) to the bride and groom and then the party got started! Their was a dj and dancing and multiple silly photos!
I didn’t want sobriety to stop me from being my normal fun self with my siblings but as the night went on the harder it became to avoid the temptations around me. I could see, hear, and smell my old life calling me. I became extremely uncomfortable with my surroundings and began doubting my will power. The flood gates opened and I was completely embarrassed of my lack of self control. Normal people don’t cry because they have to stay sober at a party but I did. I’m constantly thinking of myself as being very strong but being put in a tempting situation completely crumbled me. This is how I know that I have no will power over this struggle. My strength comes from Christ alone. I know he’s delivering me and with time things will get easier but in the meantime he has sent these two amazing people to me. They are always picking me up when I fall and there are no words to describe how much they mean to me.
I want to end my post by sharing a letter that my sister gave me the morning of her wedding day….
Out of my 23 years of life I can honestly say I think I know you so much more now then I ever did. Growing up, I looked up to you so much and always loved when you would come over and visit. You shared such a big story about your life with me and I look up to you so much more because you are such a fighter and so strong to be doing “sobriety” life. Life is hard and you are showing such a great role model to all of us on how you can get through anything. Because of you I quit smoking and because of you I will continue to live my life with better choices. Thank you sis for being here today with me. I love you a million!
I love you Jess! I love all of my siblings more than anything and wish nothing but the best for all of you!