Okay… any opinions?
This weekend my boyfriend and I were invited to go away to our friends’ place (they are a married couple) that live a 4 hour drive away.
In the past, getting together with them usually involved a lot of drinking and a lot of eating. We don’t see them often and I know my boyfriend misses his best friend. I really feel like we need to go because of that. And we really do have a good time when we get together but I am an alcoholic and I also have an eating disorder so the implicit drinking and eating is really really scaring me. Also we will probably go to the pool and recently I have gained 5-10 pounds and I’m feeling self conscious on top of feeling fragile with alcohol and food.
I am serious about getting sober from both of these issues. How could I possibly survive this? My boyfriend is aware of my alcohol problem and my eating disorder. I wish I could just suck it up and tough out one weekend but I think we all here know that that is not always possible. If I want to do well I would probably have to verbally set boundaries beforehand. Idk what would you do? Thanks.
Okay… any opinions?
If you do not trust yourself of staying sober there, I wouldn’t go if I were you. I would wait untill I’m stronger and feel more comfortable about it.
I think I agree with @Buts I would cancel and wait till I was feeling much better, your health and happiness is far more important. X
Do you have any other friends or family in that area? You could than visit for a while and escape if it’s going right?
Are you guys close enough to share that you are in recovery? Maybe the would support you?
As for the 5 pounds… you are probably the only one to notice.
That being said, if it doesn’t feel right, don’t risk it.
I’ve had an eating disorder and a drink disorder though not at the same time.
I personally know I’d not make it through that situation without stumbling on one or both of those if I did not have a firm hold on my sobriety or food issues.
Whether anyone else notices the 5 pounds is never the problem with an eating disorder, is it. It’s because we notice and obsess in an unhealthy way.
Do what feels most likely to keep you sane and sober and keep this app handy if you go.
As other people have said, you gotta think of you!
If you feel that you won’t be comfortable then it probably best not to go.
If your partner understands, then you can now out gracefully with some illness and your partner can go on his own.
It’s entirely up to you though. But think about it, hard.
You come first always. I wouldn’t go.
If I was in early recovery, I would send my partner and I’d stay home and read, tbh.
Now, I’d be fine with an event like this but that’s me personally. I’d plan elaborate snacks and meals that felt safe for me. For me in my ED recovery, it’s depends on the day what that means so I’d probably Pinterest a bunch of ideas and then decide on a shopping list right before. That would keep me busy, which is key for me.
Remember this is ONE time of seeing them. You’ll see them again, if you need to skip it to stay sober, skip it!
Ugh, I feel your pain. My husband and I have moved to Florida from up north. We spent a lot of time (mostly drinking) with a couple who we are both close with. In the past, I have tried to quit drinking and spend time with them and have been jokingly called “no fun Holly”. The sad part is that it’s true. I am super stiff and self conscious socially without a drink and quite a lot of fun with one. I finally understand that entertaining them is not worth the days of depression and anxiety that follow. I want them to come. I love them. I will just be “no fun holly”. In fact, I may even get a T-shirt made LOL. If they don’t enjoy me they can stay home next time. Good luck with whatever you decide. My heart is with you. The only recommendation I could give is a trick that my therapist gave me. She teaches me mindfulness. When I’m feeling anxious I stop and look around me for reflections/shadows and really notice what they look like and how that light makes them happen. It helps me.
In early sobriety I would look to this list for tips to stay sober at any party/event…if everything on this list is doen mindfully and we keep ourselves honest the entire time, sobriety WILL win.
-Do I have to go?" First and foremost, determine if there is a valid reason for attending this event. Is it to mark a very important, once-in-a-lifetime occasion for a very dear loved one? Required by work? Required by law? I can’t think of very many other reasons one would have to go to an event. Birthday? They’ll have another one next year. Wedding of second cousin? If they’re not close to you, they probably won’t notice if you’re not there. Christmas? Again, that will happen next year, too. Early sobriety is about you. It’s about saving your life. Be a little selfish. If you can back out of a difficult event, do it. It’s not forever, it’s just while you get your sober muscles good and strong.
-Bring a sober support. If you can, bring someone who is on your team and who can help you remember why you are doing what you are doing.
-Set a time limit. Get there late, leave early. Determine ahead of time what a realistic amount of time you can resist temptation is. One hour? Two? Plan to stay only as long as needed for the most important parts of the event, then stick to that plan. If you’re worried about what the host(ess) will say, tell them ahead of time that you will have to leave by _____ o’clock. Make up an excuse if you want. Still feeling strong when the pre-set time comes up? Don’t tempt fate; leave on a high note.
-Plan what you will drink. Your host(ess) wants you to feel comfortable and welcome. That usually includes offering you a drink. Maybe it’s a hot day; you will want something to wet your whistle. What will it be? Ginger ale? Club soda and cran? Sparkling water? Know this ahead of time, that way when someone says “Can I get you a drink?” you can confidently and without pause say “Oh, why, yes please. I’d love a Sprite.” If you’re worried that everyone else will have a cocktail glass and you won’t, ask the bartender to put your drink in a rocks glass. If you don’t think it’s likely that there will be non-alcoholic beverages available, bring your own lovely bottle of seltzer water with you.
-Remember HALT. H=Hungry, A=Angry, L=Lonely, T=Tired. Eat a high-protein snack before you go and avoid sweets at the event as they can create a blood-sugar crash that leads to alcohol craving. Release yourself from resentment or anger that “everyone else gets to drink and have a good time” and you don’t. You know you don’t have a good time when you drink, you have a hangover and a feeling of defeat.
-Lonely? Talk to people and have a good time. Hey, you’re gonna remember this in the morning! If you need to, duck into a corner and call a sober friend, do it.
-Check in with a sober support before and after the event. Call and get (or give yourself) a little pep-talk right before you go or even in the parking lot. Have them on-call in case things get rough (remember that lonely thing?). Then, call afterwards to tell them what a rockin’ job you did staying sober. If you can’t find someone to do this for you (I bet you can), come here and post before and after.
-Take a time-out. Plan a little self-care halfway through the event if it is long, and give yourself a break if you need it. Sit in a bathroom stall and read a few motivational quotes on your phone. Call your sober support or, if you have one with you, pull them aside for a little check-in. Find a quiet corner to take deep breaths. Step outside and do a quick meditation. Sit in your car and listen to an inspiring song.
-Emergency Exit Strategy. This is not the time to ride-share. If you have a car, drive it and don’t give anyone a ride to or from (except your sober support). If you get in a pinch and have to leave, you do not want to have to wait for someone to be ready or have someone convince you to stay “just a little bit longer.” If you must ride with someone else, make sure they know your planned departure time and are willing to stick to it. Plan alternate means of getting home in case they flake, including having the phone number and enough cash for a cab ride home or the current bus schedule and bus fare.
-Plan/journal/visualize your success. Your head is probably full of all the bad stuff that could happen. Focus on what it will be like if you follow your plan, meet your goals, and have a fabulous time. Meditate on it, write the story in your journal, visualize it for a few days beforehand. Go into the event with that feeling of success and accomplishment already with you.
-“Why aren’t you drinking?” Trust me on this one, you are thinking about your drinking way more than anyone else. Most people are concerned about having their drink; they probably won’t care about yours. But let’s make a plan just in case. Practice a simple response like “I don’t feel like drinking tonight” or “drinking just doesn’t agree with me anymore.” You have spent enough years justifying your drinking. You don’t have to justify not drinking. But if it makes you more comfortable say “my ulcer is acting up today” or say it interacts with a medication you are taking, whatever. If they push, change the subject. Asking a question about the person’s life seems to work especially well. People like to talk about themselves. If they still push, this is likely about them and their relationship with alcohol, and they are very likely drunk. Don’t take it personally. The broken record technique is particularly useful in this situation. Repeat the same simple phrase (i.e. “I don’t feel like drinking tonight”) over and over and over. Drunk people get bored easily. If you’re not stuck sitting next to them at the dinner table, walking away is also effective.
-The Great Escape. If you must go and do everything above and still feel weak… Run away! Retreat without apology. Deal with social repercussions later. They will probably be less dramatic than if you get yourself all sloppy drunk and do something stupid.
-Reward yourself for a job well-done. Plan a special little something for when you get home or the next day. A bubble bath, a pedicure, massage, favorite movie, steak dinner etc. You’ve done something huge! You stayed sober through a major challenge! You deserve it.
-Follow-Up with Self-Care. Just like after a strenuous workout, your sober muscles are bound to be a little tired for the next few days. Check in with your feelings, take it easy, and be vigilant of temptation for a little while.
I can relate a lot to your addictions. I personally wouldn’t go. Why don’t you suggest your boyfriend goes without you and you take a weekend to reflect on where you’re at in your journey and where you want to be?
In early recovery I babied my sobriety and myself and made being sober my #1 priority. I missed quite a few important events and get togethers because I knew I wasn’t ready to be in those types of situations.
Put yourself first and stay home and relax, pamper yourself, sleep, rejuvenate. This is an important time to take care of yourself and know your current limitations. As your sober muscles grow, you will be able to socialize more freely…but til then, you need to be gentle with your self and your sobriety.
Think of it this way, you are recovering and like all recoveries, it is a process that has certain requirements.
If you were recovering from a major surgery, would you go? How about recovering from a major illness?
It’s ok to say no, especially if it may save your life.
I have thought a lot about telling them about my recovery. I havent purposely told people about a recovery effort in like 10 years, and it was really hard and uncomfortable. I kind of suffered silently for a long time. Do you have any advice about telling people? Maybe I could do it in a better way this time around.
Well said. I am not going to make my decision lightly!
Yes, having both of these problems is difficult because they just egg each other on. And recovery for the eating disorder - for me I need to get more comfortable with going out and eating like a burger at a restaurant, but recovery for alcoholism for me means avoiding going out so I avoid alcohol at the restaurant hahaha.
I really appreciate your comment. I love this story so much. I like the idea of just owning my “no fun” self at parties or social events and doing my own thing!
We can be no fun together!
I really appreciate this list! I’m going to save it for the future.
I think that is a good idea and a good way to put it! Thanks!