"Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear." ~Ambrose Redmoon

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

“I Need A Drink!”

Though it was many years ago, I'll never forget the night I discovered that my way of handling life didn't work very well.

Trying to juggle the responsibilities of work and family was tough, so I was more than ready for fun when friends took us out for dinner and dancing to celebrate my husband’s birthday. Before we ate, I ordered an ice-cold margarita. Then, the guys decided we should all do tequila shots. I didn’t hesitate to gulp mine down. After that came sizzling steaks along with a glass of red wine.

We laughed and talked while we ate, taking our time and enjoying the conversation as much as the food. When the others ordered after-dinner drinks, so did I—amaretto on ice. From the restaurant, we went to a club, and I switched back to margaritas. Someone suggested not mixing it up so much, but my good time was more important than paying attention..

However, by the time our friends let us out at the curb in front of our house, I started throwing up. After a night of sheer misery, I finally crawled out of bed the next afternoon about 2:00. Despite my agony, we were celebrating Mother’s Day (and my husband’s birthday) with both our families. Fifteen people would arrive for dinner by 5:00.

That hangover taught me a lesson that changed my life. It was the last time I ever got drunk to escape a painful reality. Never again would I inflict that much suffering upon myself. The temporary escape wasn’t worth the consequences.

So, how did I move from wanting to drown my sorrows to having the courage to deal with life's difficulties? 

Figuring out how to make different choices required a new operating system. That's tomorrow's topic.

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