I have been agonizing over my upcoming road trip to VA to see my mother and brother, both big drinkers, whom I used to drink big with.
I just did not want to share my sobriety, and AA story with them. I feel like it is a small garden and I need to tend to it, and sharing it right now might keep it from growing.
That being said, the other solutions I had come up with just would not work.
Staying in a hotel would be ridiculous. I have never done that before, and to avoid the drinking, I would have to go back to my room at 5 pm. They would realize that something was amiss.
Telling them I am on antibiotics was also a big bust. No one would buy it because it had never stopped me from drinking before.
Bypassing the whole situation and driving right from TN to NY wouldn’t fly either. I haven’t seen my mother in about a year. I do not have a burning desire to see my mother, but I do have a sense of obligation. So that would not work either.
My brother’s wife does not drink much, so I thought that telling her would be my best avenue. Then I found out she lost her job, and is devastated. She and I are not particularly close. I find her to be a bit of a tight ass bitch, but that is just my opinion. So, I hesitated to add to her burden.
I found out about her losing her job last week, from my mother who couldn’t keep a secret even if threatened with death. (Hence my not sharing my sobriety with her.) I knew that my SIL (sister-in-law) would figure that my mother, the blabbermouth, had spilled the beans when we had our Mother’s Day chat. So, I texted my SIL on Monday to offer my sympathies, and asked if I could call her to talk to her about something personal.
Of course, in my mind, I made this telephone conversation into a WAY bigger deal than it turned out to be. I had been worrying and stewing about this since the hubs and I discussed going North.
I called, we talked about her situation first. Then I got into mine, and guess what?? She was absolutely wonderful, caring, and extremely understanding. (Other than one or two typical snarky remarks, which I let go.) I asked her to approach my brother, the booze pusher, and let him know that I will not be drinking. I suggested that she share what she wanted, but I did not want to compromise my sobriety, nor did I want to feel uncomfortable, and have to leave early. She asked me to call my brother myself. Telling me that she believed he would feel better hearing it from me.
That, of course, was what I was trying to avoid. I didn’t want him to think that I am going to try to change his behavior, nor that I am “lording” anything over any one. I am just doing what is right for me, my marriage and my family.
I called, and started a very brief version, and could immediately tell he was distracted. We were then interrupted by a fire alarm going off in his building. We hung up. I felt less than satisfied, and was slightly upset.
I then told myself, the world does not revolve around me. Whatever he has going on is more important to him and his life than what I am telling him. I did the best I could, let it go. So I did.
He called me an hour later to let me know that he was headed to my mother’s, who we just moved to VA to be near him less than a year ago, to tell her that due to his retirement and my SIL losing her job, they were moving back to St Louis. Big stuff, huge stuff, bigger than me telling him I am an alcoholic, which he probably knows already anyway.
He called me a few hours later to report how it went with my mother, and we still did not address my news, the elephant in the room. Again, it wasn’t about me, he has a LOT on his plate right now. I let it go.
This morning I awoke to a text from him, it said, I AM PROUD OF YOU.
I guess my SIL filled him in.
I did the typical alcoholic thing, I made a mountain out of a molehill.
But how would I know that? Each new sober experience is like a notch in my new sober belt.