Sober Hawaii has not been an easy accomplishment, but it has been satisfying. The first night was the absolute hardest. Our little family came in a day before everyone else and stayed in a hotel. The buzz of the ice machine in the hallway mocked me….all, night, long. When I woke up to just water in the hotel glasses, I admit, I was irritated, frustrated, and a bit pissed off. I have had to work hard this whole trip on my mindfulness, constantly reminding myself of the good things sobriety has brought me. Being completely present for my children on this trip has been something that has brought be so much joy. It has also brought in some guilt. There have been so many family trips I’ve navigated in a thick haze while my children made memories and I have had to look at pictures to remember what we did. This trip, when these stabs of guilt have come in, I have allowed them to stay and sting for a bit. I have felt the need to have a little guilt because it is helping me remember why I shouldn’t fold to my cravings. The key is to not wallow in that guilt. Use it as a shield in the battle and move on through.
The support and love I have felt from everyone here has been overwhelming and humbling. I have been so afraid of not living up to my former boisterous family vacation self. Reacquainting myself with who I truly am in social situations as been strange and I’m still coming to terms with it. I am still me, shockingly, but definitely a bit quieter. I am positive there are plenty of people who appreciate that.
My anxiety has not taken a vacation unfortunately, but dealing with it in paradise is a bit more bearable. Taking walks, painting and losing myself in family fun have been my therapy, pulling me back away from that black hole. I am so grateful, again, for the tools I have learned to deal with these demons. I have also been able to talk about recovery with my brother-in-law a bit, who knows all about it, which has been therapeutic. I am grateful for that. This life boat of love and support I’m floating on is not something I will ever take for granted, nor will I ever underestimate the importance of it. This is not a journey I would be taking if I were doing it alone. I’m not that dedicated, or strong.
In just a few days, I will have my first sober vacation in over a decade, and the first sober trip to Hawaii, under my belt. Milestone by milestone, things should continuously get easier…..right?