On my walk to my Tuesday meeting, I noticed that I seem to battle a lot with excuse making, so I decided to make this thread and see where it goes. I’m not talking about relapses, but any excuses that tempt me not to prioritize my recovery in general. I think a lot of us could benefit from reflecting on our responses to the excuses that our silly brains offer us. This thread is for those who find it helpful to write them out loud, or otherwise want to share.
Here’s an example post for what I have in mind. Relatively brief, and names the excuse and the reality.
“I agreed to call my sponsor twice a week, but I haven’t been. My excuse was that I had never called him before, was far too anxious to start, and didn’t know what time he was going to be available to take calls. The reality is that if I somehow messed up the phone call, nothing terrible would have happened, and not trying to make the call was a lapse in the commitment I made.”
Note: My intention is to stimulate introspection on our own experiences in a timely manner and keep our eyes focused on our program, whatever that looks like for each person. My hope is that we catch ourselves compromising our recovery before bigger problems build. You can post about triumphs over excuses as well as failures.
Let’s do this!
I almost let my brain talk myself out of going to my meeting today. My excuse was that I hadn’t left enough time to fix my bed head before leaving to get to my meeting, and that it would make my anxiety act up having bad hair in front of strangers, so I should just stay home. The reality? THEY DON’T CARE. They care that I show up. Even if I get so anxious I miss everything everyone says, showing up is sticking to my plan to go to three meetings a week, and will make me stronger fighting my anxiety next time.
Man, I knew my anxiety kicks in at high volume for ridiculous reasons, but now I have to wonder if it is actually legit trolling me at this point.
Naivety, physical and mental stress were my excuses before. I thought I was protecting my mental health by white knuckling it at times, because I thought “if one more person or thing asks anything more of me!!”… I would tip over.
I found the majority of my excuses were related to someone else, like, an anniversary of a loved one passing? Drink their favorite drink. I did this for my grandfather (who had actually sobered up for me when I was younger…talk about irony, but that’s a story for a different time), grandmother, and any of the multiple friends I’ve lost over the years. I also tend to drink based on what bar I’m at and who’s working. Someone I know well means sticking around longer, vs the new guy/gal on the job that night. Then I’ll just go find a bar where a friend is working.
That also got me thinking a while back about how many bar “friends” I have…
I never really dealt with anxiety, so that’s not been a factor.
Mental health is a big one for me. I was told lots “No don’t take that all on, you’re overloading yourself and won’t be any good to anyone if you’re burnt out”, which has truth to it, but I was never taught to examine where the line was, so I started using that TOO much and it became an excuse, though I wasn’t aware of it.
You’re right there is some truth to it… anything is possible though. I made the right choice to start when I did… even though I looked and felt crazy at times. Haha. Who knows where I would be now if I hadn’t.
For me, my excuse was “I’m a grown-assed man. I served my country. I work hard and my bills and taxes are paid. I’ve earned the right to drink”.
This would hold true, if my only responsibilities were to take care of me. It’s ok to be selfish when you only have to care for yourself. But I am a husband and a father. I have a responsibility to be the best me I can possibly be. Some can drink while accomplishing this. I cannot, in spite of the years spent trying.