The first days in the fall of 1989 that I spent out in the world after 30 days in rehab are etched in my mind. I bounced between the joy of feeling better than I had in over a decade with the anxiety of how I would stay sober by myself. Of course, I wasn't exactly alone. I had AA meetings and went twice a day. I had a sponsor, whom I never called. But I still had to go past the wine in the grocery store and deal with my habits and cravings.
This weekend, I've been with friends for lunch and family for a few meals. Everyone is most supportive but no one is going to watch out for me. I have to keep my commitment myself. I both feel up to the task and shaky about doing so.
I did bring my own food to my sister's and she's got a juicer and she joined me in a juice breakfast and salad lunch. And there's been plenty to eat. But the crackers went by and the flour tortillas with cheese and there was a lovely cheesy polenta at lunch yesterday, and I felt a bit of envy and those old, old pangs of being an exception. I felt a little excluded even though it's completely voluntary.
I'm realizing I need to marshal a bigger support system just as I did when I got out of rehab.