Saying No In Recovery

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My family put together a nice dinner at Ruth’s Chris steakhouse (which I love) last weekend for my mom’s 65th birthday. They asked me a while ago if it would be OK for me, and I initially said yes. They said no one would order alcohol at the table.

As the dinner approached, I become more anxious and nervous about going. I have a deep association between nice steak dinners and nice red wine and cocktails. Hey, what good wine lover wouldn’t!

On the day of the dinner all I could envision was those beautiful tall glasses of Pinot or Cabernet, along with a delicious filet mignon with blue cheese crust. Then my stomach started hurting me. After talking with my wife, I made the decision not to go to the dinner. I didn’t want to torture myself and feel totally uncomfortable there. I knew I wasn’t ready to be in that environment despite my love of fine dining.

I wasn’t really sure how my family was going to react, but their reaction was very positive, validating my decision. My dad said that he was proud that I could put my sobriety first. His positive reaction was a direct result of him going to the Hazelden family program and going to Al-Anon meetings.

So instead of going to Ruth’s Chris, my wife and I ate at the mall then went to my regular Saturday Night AA meeting. And that was the perfect night for me.

One day at a time…

~Dick

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