Posted by Steps to Recovery on December 23, 2012

I knew that coming home for the holidays would be a series of reminders and situations that were drug related, and I prepared myself to deal with these things. I mean, I feel like that is what a big piece of recovery is..Preparing oneself for the triggers and situations that will be difficult in the real world. It’s unavoidable, really. Even still, I was a bit surprised that it started so soon.

I sat next to a nice fellow on my flight home, he lives about an hour from my hometown. The conversation started fairly generically, me excusing my toddler for encroaching on his space with her curious little hands and wiggly feet. He was really kind, saying it was no big deal and mentioning that he has kids and has flown with them when they were her age. He was really nice, so we chatted and when I mentioned where I had grown up, he told me he sees my hometown on the news everyday for something drug related, usually something involving meth. It’s not just my hometown either, it’s really all around, especially in this area, so I wasn’t surprised to hear it but part of me was a little surprised that it was already coming up.

When we landed and I was picked up by my mom and stepdad, we were hungry, it was really late, so we hit a truck stop for some food. Our waitress was really awesome…But clearly high. She just had all the signs and my intuition picked right up on something. But she was really fast, really nice, super sweet to my baby and a really funny and upbeat lady. Even though part of me wanted to shrink back from her, a bigger part told me to just let it go. She was harmless and doing a great job. All the other customers in there loved her too, everyone was obviously having a great time, there was nothing wrong. It was ok, I relaxed and enjoyed myself.

When we were done, my mom left her a very generous tip. This little piece in my brain was really turning that over in my head…We were probably supporting this woman’s habit. But a bigger piece was like, hey, she did a fantastic job, we were tipping her for the amazing service we received, what business is it of mine how she might possibly use the money? When something is given to another person, it’s not my business what they do with it. Even if I don’t want to contribute to someone else’s potential addiction, didn’t she deserve a great tip because she was awesome? Yes, yes she did and I’m glad my mom took good care of her. Besides, my internal reaction wasn’t actually about her, it was about me and my lingering fear around addiction and judgement of people who set off my addiction spidey senses.

If I let every little thing that triggers me consume my attention, I will not enjoy this trip at all. Yeah, I feel like I jumped out of my secure, comfortable life in SoCal and right into the fire, but I am in control of myself, I am in control of how I am feeling and my own actions. That is all that matters. And I choose to have a blast on my vacation and not let the little things get to me.

How do you manage your thoughts about drugs around you?