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Recovery and holidays

Last week took me off on holiday with my wife and daughter for the first time in 4 years and the 1st time in recovery. While I had a lot of trepidation about the whole thing, it actually came off really well, proving to me that expectations are generally the cause my anxieties. I went away with a head full of recovery, stocked up on meetings before going, read some big book and spent a lot of time on the phone with other recovering alcoholics. Was this solid ground work? In light of the outcome, I feel it was. I went away, knowing that while I may not have the fellowship at the end of the phone, I had it with me in spirit.

The beginning of the week saw me faced with an unhappy and at times scarily angry wife, but rather than reacting, I chose to draw a line between her rage and my feelings of resentment and blame. This may not sound like much but to me it’s a massive step forward, this gave my wife the space and time to get to her own conclusions and me the ability to just enjoy the moment and connection with my Higher Power. HP was with me every step of the way, every morning when I awoke I said my prayers as usual, and then set off on the next leg of the journey, both physically and metaphorically.

The connection that I have made with my wife and daughter while away with them feels amazing. I feel grateful for being able to spend the time with them, and with my higher power. Up until now there has been a distinct divide between my recovery time, and time with them. It’s like I live two lives, one a spiritual student / recovering alcoholic and the other as a father and husband. Being away and floating along rivers in a boat, without the pressures of work and general life to attend to has given me space to reflect on what it is important in my life. It isn’t just recovery; it is also the rebuilding of broken relationships. I had lost sight of both of these things recently.

The ability to enjoy myself without resorting to drunkenness is fantastic; to wake early every morning of my break and really feel connected with the surroundings was amazing. To spend a week in pleasant company, to be present physically, emotionally and spiritually is growth beyond anything I could imagine when I came into recovery.

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