“I am much better, thank you.”
“What’s that you say? Larry, were you ill?”
“Were you in an accident?”
“No, but thanks for asking.”
“Have you suffered a loss? Did your cat die? Have you become homeless? Was your home burglarized? Did a stray dog bite you? Was you truck stolen? Did your best friend desert you? Have you switched political affiliation? Is the devil sitting on your left shoulder?”
“No, no, no. Nothing like that?”
I awakened this morning with an attitude that could have turned sweet milk sour and sent the sun in the sky ducking for cover behind the nearest clouds. My mindset upon crawling out of bed was one that would not be coddled by cheery verses of inspiration or a breakfast of pancakes with fresh strawberry topping. Nope, don’t bother me. I am going to be miserable today, mope around the house and probably take a nap before noon time. Then I will vegetate in front of a baseball game on TV all afternoon and I will probably not get out of my pajamas until supper time. Heck, why not just stay in PJs until bedtime?
But, I am better now, thank you.
“Why is that, Larry?”
Nobody came to my party. Pity parties are lonely affairs with no cake and ice cream nor gaily wrapped presents. There is no music to dance to and the conversation is boring. I choose to slouch in the chair with my chin drooping to my knees. Between sobs and sighs of “I am so lonely, I am so unlovable, I don’t have enough, I am stupid, I am worthless,” my pity party just drags on ad nauseam until the last bag of Cheetos is gone and all the Twinkies are history. Bingeing seemed like a great idea, but then I hate myself for breaking my diet and being such an emotional wimp.
Sound familiar? Well, congratulations to me. I did not stay at my own party. The Cheetos and Twinkies are still on the cupboard shelf. Today I shoved all those negative thoughts into the category of drinking thinking – “poor me, poor me, yeah why don’t I just pour poor me another drink?”
Drinking thinking is akin to stinking thinking – 1st cousins, I believe. Both will get any recovering addict into a world of do-do if he/she doesn’t take remedial steps pronto. Do a gratitude list, call a friend (no, not a drinking buddy), start a housecleaning project, take a walk, do some exercises, find a meeting. Sometimes just moving to a different room in the house will get us over that initial “poor me, woe is me.”
“This too shall pass.”
Fighting those negative feelings without a drink or a drug was always challenging. We are not normal people with normal emotions, probably never will be. It is of utmost importance to keep our battle armor nearby – a plan, a chore in which to engage immediately, an inspiring book, the list of phone numbers, an escape route from social situations that tempt. How about the easiest of all – a prayer to the God of our understanding? Talk to him/her/it as if you are the best of friends because, whether you believe it or not, that God always has been, always is, always will be waiting to caress you and me, hold us in loving arms and get us through the “poor me” moments.
I will walk through the valleys of darkness, because that’s what humans must do to get to the light beyond the horizons. Our God will guide us and protect us so that we can walk fearlessly on paths of comfort and blessing. Over that next summit is an overflowing cup of joy and peace. Go for it! We are worthy and loved.