My mood was all over the place yesterday, but I couldn’t figure out why. I chalked it up to the usual things: too much to do, too tired and not enough down time. On the drive to work this morning, I started to realize what the real problem is.
Now, yesterday wasn’t all bad. Mass was good, I got up and did a reading without incident, and Duncan and I marched in Haverhill’s Santa Parade, helping Scout Pack 27 and the Betsy Conte Food Drive collect food for those who are having trouble finding enough of it.
The day was sparkling, and once we got going, I enjoyed the three miles of walking.
It was also nice to get some quality time with Duncan. He wore his pink hat, and no one gave him crap about it. I’d like to think more than a few people learned to keep their stupidity to themselves after reading this post.
Probably not, but that’s OK.
Unfortunately, he spent two hours before the parade grousing about having to walk three miles (he stayed in the Radio Flyer wagon most of the time while I pulled him along) and I lost my cool trying to talk him off the ledge.
He had a great time, so all that difficulty amounted to a waste of a couple perfectly good hours.
But that’s life — the normal ebb and flow of family life. Back when my demons had me by the balls, I would sink into major depressions over this sort of thing. In the last couple years I’ve had a much cooler head about moments of parental challenge.
Yesterday I let things get to me more than I should have, though.
Erin chalked it up to everyone being overtired, and that’s certainly part of it. She made sure all three Brenner boys were in bed before 8 p.m.
But on the drive in this morning, I started thinking about a few things, and then it hit me.
I’m hitting a wall in my recovery program.
The things I do to manage the OCD are working fairly well.
But the program to keep my addictive impulses at bay is at a crossroads.
I don’t know what the answer is.
But one thing is certain: If I don’t figure it out and make some changes, I’m headed for a relapse.
Since I’m not about to let that happen, I’m going to figure out what I need to do. I took the best possible step forward once I got to the office: I talked to my sponsor about it. Together, we’ll figure out the right adjustments to make that’ll keep me sober and abstinent.
One area where I know I’m having misgivings: The sponsorship thing. I’ve sponsored others in the program for more than a year now, but one of my sponsees has turned out to be a lot of work. The emotional baggage with this guy is immense. We’ve also become good friends, and that might be part of the problem. He needs me to be a friend more than a sponsor. He just doesn’t realize it yet. He requires so much of my time that I’m starting to worry about him getting in the way of my own recovery.
That sounds selfish, and it is. But in the end, my first responsibility is to my own recovery. My family, friends and colleagues deserve nothing less.
So I’m going to talk to him.
We’ll see how that works out.