5 years ago, my father-in-law died after cancer’s second war became too mighty. During the first war with cancer, he and I spent a lot of time together. Because he lived an hour’s drive from the hospital, he stayed with my husband and I for several weeks of twice daily outpatient radiation treatments. I didn’t want him to be too bored or lonely, living in an unfamiliar house, so I reduced my work hours. We spent a lot of time chatting and he shared a lot of fun stories about himself.
When the cancer became too strong to allow him to live at home, I would visit him every morning in the hospital. He loved coffee and chocolate donuts. He’d happily enjoy them while we visited before I had to go to work. (He was very lucky during chemotherapy in that he didn’t lose much of his appetite).
Although I curse cancer at every turn, I’m grateful for the quality time it gave us together, that we otherwise wouldn’t have had.
I’m sharing this story because at the time of his death, I was 7 months sober and didn’t feel as though I was struggling with sobriety. By the time I went back to work 5 days later, I was full-on drinking all day, every day again.
Here I am on the 5 year anniversary of his death and have 5 months of sobriety. I know from history that I’m potentially just one event (aka excuse) from a relapse. I have to safeguard against that. I cannot passively sit back and expect to stay sober through life’s ups and downs. I have to be proactive in my recovery.
I’ve written a lot about my struggle with AA: is it for me? Whether or not it’s for me in the long-term, I have to become more committed within the program before I can decide either way. That means getting a home group and a sponsor. So I’m working on that.
My husband’s health is slowly declining, in a life-changing way, so it’s important now more than ever to become more active in my sobriety. Especially for the past month, I’ve been very passive and reverting to my old habit of isolation. Not a smart move for an alcoholic in early recovery who is facing big changes in the near future.
So I start the anxiety-inducing process of finding a sponsor. Yuck. I know who I want to ask, but my inherent self-loathing is making it very difficult to approach her. I’ll be asking her tomorrow, so I have one last evening where I don’t have to live with rejection. Tomorrow night may be a different story…