Going home. Sober.
Today has been an epic hamster wheel of preparation.
Laundry, tying up loose ends in the apartment, cleaning, making keys for the house sitter, packing.
Oh, and stressing the fuck out. Did I mention that?
I’ve been worried about this day, week, holiday for the past month. Anticipating the worst, but, truly hoping for the best. Trying to avoid my own expectations which are almost always off the mark. My counselors at rehab said to analyze my worries. Take a worry, and provide evidence, cold hard evidence, for why it is legitimate. And, in doing that, I’ve found that most of my fears are unfounded and catastrophic in nature. Rooted in my own warped reality.
In my final one-on-one session before going home my counselor said, ‘What’s the worst case scenario here?’ And, after thinking it through, all the things that seemed like the end all be all to me actually were rooted in total and complete speculation. Family being overbearing, under-bearing, UN-understanding, too understanding, coddling, judgmental, you name it: I saw it happening.
But, the truth of the matter is, the worst possible thing that could happen, well, it was the one thing that I’d been side stepping around. The one scenario that I hadn’t played out, or even considered for that matter.
The worst case scenario: Drinking.
I’m going to be in a place where I’ve never been sober before. I’m going to be with people that I’ve never been sober around. I’m going to be at an event at which alcohol has always played a pretty major role. And, in saying that out loud, I realized, all this stress and fear about going home, about family, about the faces and places, it wasn’t really about them. It was about me. It was about my drinking. My expectations of myself.
I’m not really afraid about other people being different. They’re not different. They’re going to be exactly the same. It’s me.
I’m the one who’s going to have to navigate my own course. And, everyone else, every place I go, it’s all going to follow my lead. I can’t control the wine haul my uncle will cart in the front door of our Christmas day celebration. I can’t control my cousins’ reaction to the fact that I’m not red faced, loud, and slurring my words. I can’t control that my grandmother with most likely embarrass me by calling me out in front of my whole family.
I can control me.
That, makes things easier. It allows me to let go of all the bullshit, predictable and unpredictable. Because, I don’t want to drink. And, I’m not going to drink. So, if that’s the worst case scenario, I’ve got it in the bag.
With that, I’m suddenly ready.
Watch out NYC. Here I come.